2017 ERG & Council Conference:
People, Purpose & Passion - Making a Difference!
Presenters & Featured Events
Linda Stokes: Event Host & Workshop Facilitator
President & CEO at PRISM International, Inc. &
the Association of ERGs & Councils
Workshop Facilitator: Using the ERG & Council Honors Award™ Application and Application Summary Report as Tools to Drive Greater Impact
Linda founded PRISM in 1992 with the mission of increasing organizational performance by creating more inclusive workplaces that value the contributions of all employees and that connect D&I strategies and tactics to the business of the organization. Under her leadership, PRISM has provided D&I consulting services, training and products to millions of employees in hundreds of organizations around the globe.
She is the co-author of Multicultural Customer Service: Providing Outstanding Service Across Cultures, author of numerous journal articles, media contributor on topics of organizational strategic and tactical D&I, and a curriculum developer of over 120 cross cultural and D&I consulting and training programs. She is a recognized leader in the field of D&I and coaches and mentors Executives, CDOs and diversity professionals at several American and European global firms. As a women-owned certified business headquarter in Central Florida, Linda’s leadership and success was recognized by the Women’s Executive Council of Orlando when she was awarded their Women’s Achievement Award for Business.
In 2006, she recognized the special needs of Diversity Councils and Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) and created the Association of ERGs & Councils. That was followed in 2008 with the launching of the annual ERG & Council Honors Award™ and in 2012 with the first annual ERG & Council Conference™.
In 2014, Linda responded to the growing healthcare needs of providing exceptional service and care by increasing cultural and language competencies by developing a special suite of healthcare skills and tools.
Most recently she has taken confronting our unconscious biases, micro-inequities, and cultural misunderstandings to the next level by creating The Elephant We Can't See™- a unique workshop that uses storytelling followed by interactive, engaging, skill building training to help begin a dialogue about any difference that makes a difference in the organization.
Prior to PRISM, Linda's professional experience included management and executive experience in education, healthcare, banking and international customer service consulting and training. She received her B.A. in Psychology from Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida and her M.A. in Educational Leadership from Stetson University in Deland Florida.
Fernando Serpa: Event Host & Workshop Facilitator
Executive Director at the Association of ERGs & Councils
Workshop Facilitator: Transforming Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) to Business Resource Groups (BRGs): The Next Stage of Affinity Group Evolution
Fernando draws upon his two decades of in-depth diversity and inclusion experience across the public and private sector and excels at building dynamic, cross cultural diversity and inclusion strategies to influence systemic change across organizations. He has led diversity efforts for such Fortune 100 companies as Agilent Technologies, Symantec, JCPenney and Johnson Controls. His responsibilities have included worldwide diversity recruitment and retention, employee network groups, international programs and diversity and inclusion training.
Most recently he served as the Director of Global Diversity at Johnson Controls where he developed strategies to advance diversity and inclusion globally. He also developed and maintained strategic alliances and relationships between the business, affinity groups, and industry organizations, and actively supported workforce planning and talent attraction, development and retention. As the Director of Diversity and Inclusion at JCPenney, he led diversity strategy and training for over 150K associates. At Symantec, he was the Director of Global Diversity and developed a global diversity strategy that was country specific and presented diversity training around the world including Japan, Germany, Ireland, France and Singapore.
A graduate of George Washington University Law School in Washington D.C., he was appointed by the White House to the U.S. Department of Justice where he directed immigration policy and worked with Congress and Federal agencies to develop and implement legislation, policy and procedures. From 1995 to 2000, Fernando served at the United States Commission on Civil Rights where he represented the Commission on civil rights issues to state and local governments, citizen-based groups and corporations.