Photos from the DEI: From Talk to Action event, which was held on Thursday, May 5, 2022. Photos by Jodie Andruskevich.
About this event: Proven research demonstrates that diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) is a powerful driver for business performance and innovation. But what does and should DEI mean to business owners and operators? At this event, business leaders will develop an enhanced understanding of what DEI is from a business perspective, how it can improve organizational performance as well as practical steps they can take away to create a powerful, creative, innovative and supportive culture.
Topics covered will include:
- Recruitment and retention
- Marketing through a DEI lens
- Setting and achieving DEI goals
- Leading NH companies’ DEI experiences and outcomes
- And more
This three-part program will feature an opening overview from James McKim, managing partner at Organizational Ignition and author of the new book, “The Diversity Factor: Igniting Superior Organizational Performance.” Then, a panel of consultants specializing in DEI and moderated by Lisa Carter, owner of Drinkwater Marketing, will dive into a broad overview of the field as seen across their many clients in New Hampshire and beyond. Finally, a panel of DEI officers from New Hampshire companies, moderated by Zaineb Haider, Senior Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Advisor at Cigna, will share their practical experiences in leading their companies’ DEI efforts.
NAACP, Manchester, NH branch
James McKim is president of the Manchester
branch of the NAACP and managing partner for Organizational Ignition. McKim has led organizations such as Hewlett Packard Enterprise, FIRST, Hawkeye Data LLC, and Digital Equipment Corp. in launches of new products and performance enhancements. Additionally, McKim is the author of “The Diversity Factor: Igniting Superior Organizational Performance.”
Panel One: Local Consultants Specializing in DEI
Founder / Chief Engagement Officer
Drinkwater Marketing & Productions
Lisa Carter is a serial entrepreneur with a passion for building brands. As the founder and chief engagement officer of Drinkwater Marketing and Productions she works with B2B and B2C businesses to develop digital strategies to drive revenue. Prior to launching Drinkwater, Lisa spent 20+ years in the corporate sector building product and brand strategies for top fortune 500 companies such as The Limited Corporation, Timberland Footwear and Staples Inc.
Sydney Scott has dedicated the past four years to creating curriculum and resources based off of her studies in Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice, as well as within Psychology. After failing to see herself represented, accepted, and celebrated within her educational experiences, Sydney came to realize that educators and lesson plans are ill-informed and unequipped to create safe spaces for students of color, or any individual belonging to a marginalized community. This, alongside her experiences while being placed in a higher level of care for her mental health, where she witnessed counselors and staff informed by a great deal of bias against other Black, female peers, Sydney realized part of seeing change was being the change.
Cofunded by Sydney, Rayze is a company dedicated to uplifting the voices and experiences of those who have been silenced for centuries through the provisions of supporting political reform, dedication to working with minorities only, educational resources, as well as consulting for schools and businesses. Sydney was a major contributor to the development and implementation of an Anti-Racism statement, Anti-Bias hiring policy, curriculum reform, and measures of accountability for a private school located in Littleton, Massachusetts.
Sydney has also authored the book, “Body-Image Blueprint,” and offers one-on-one coaching opportunities, to provide equitable and reflective mental health resources for all.
Armando G. Llorente, SHRM-SCP
Llorente HR Consulting LLC
Armando G. Llorente, SHRM -SCP, is a bilingual, award-winning HR executive with global experience directing human resources teams at Clark & Lavey Benefits Solutions, Thermo Fisher Scientific, EMC (now DELL) and Osram Sylvania (Siemens.) He is the Manager of Llorente HR Consulting LLC. Additionally, he is the Co-Leader/Facilitator for the Senior Human Resources Network’s People and Culture Consulting Group.
Armando helps organizations incorporate Human Resources initiatives into their overall strategy and mission and deliver results. He accomplishes this through:
– consulting and coaching of leadership teams (from C-suite to team leaders)
– creating inclusive policies and procedures …and
– establishing checkpoints to validate organizational progress and/or opportunities for improvement.
His leadership and commitment to developing/supporting Diversity and Inclusion programs at EMC (now DELL) were recognized as he received the prestigious “Luminary Award” from HENAAC (Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Awards Corporation.) He was also selected by the “Boston Business Journal and El Planeta” as “Twenty on the Move” – a select group of Hispanic business executives making a difference in Boston.
Panel Two: DEI Officers at Local Companies
Senior Advisor for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Zaineb designs and leads Inclusive Leadership Enablement across the Cigna Enterprise. Zaineb’s experience is in organizational assessments, strategy design and implementation, cultural competence and DEI facilitation. Prior to joining Cigna, Zaineb was a Senior Consultant with Ivy Planning Group providing DEI consulting and training services to leading Fortune 500 corporations, government agencies and not-for-profit organizations nationwide. Zaineb holds a Masters in Human Resource Management- Diversity and Inclusion from Georgetown University.
Kevin J. Rasch
Chief Business Diversity Officer
Kevin serves as the Chief Business Diversity Officer of the entire Point32 Health enterprise, responsible for implementing the organizations’ goal of become a recognized health equity leader through programs that eliminate health disparities and improve member experience. Point32 Health is the organization resulting from the combination of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and Tufts Health Plans. Point32 Health and its family of companies provide health benefit plans, programs and services to more than 3 million customers in New England and beyond- guiding its members – and the communities it serves – to better health.
Senior Vice President, Director of Talent and Diversity
Bangor Savings Bank
In his current role, David is both internally and externally focused, working on building Bank talent and diversity, equity and inclusion, as well as working externally to build a diverse workforce in Maine and NH. He is a graduate of the University of Southern Maine with a Bachelor of Science in Political Science and Lesley University with a Master’s of Science in Human Resources Management. David holds national designations – the Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) from HRCI and the Senior Certified Profession in HR from SHRM (SHRM-SCP).
Prior to joining Bangor Savings Bank, David had 30 years of human resource leadership, including roles at Androscoggin Bank, The Hartford, and Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital. He is the former State Director of the Maine Society for Human Resource Management and received the distinguished Maine HR Leader of the Year award. He recently received the Unsung Business Hero award from PROPEL Portland for creating a safe and inclusive work environment for employment. Pease also serves on numerous boards and advisory councils, and as a mentor and coach to students and professionals.
Director of People & Culture
Lavallee Brensinger Architects
Aura is the Director of People & Culture at Lavallee Brensinger Architects overseeing all people, culture, HR and safety aspects there. An influential, strategic business professional with broad understanding of people and business environments, Aura loves to translate opportunities into action to drive strategy, process improvement, employee experience, engagement, diversity, equity, inclusion, communication, financials, technology, and organizational mission. During her career, Aura has had multiple roles within operations, loss analysis, finance, training, and human resources. Outside of work, you can find Aura with her husband, family and friends. Aura also serves as the Director Programming at the Diversity Workforce Coalition, as the Treasurer at the Manchester Area Human Resources Association, as an Advisor at the Student Advisory Board at Granite State College, and actively serves at other non-profit organizations. She received her Masters of Science in Leadership and a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from Granite State College and holds several certifications, including DDI-Certified Facilitator from Development Dimensions International, and Human Resource Management Certification from the University of New Hampshire.
2021 event recap:
The September 2021 workshop, led by experts in the DEI field, including business owners, helped companies just starting to work on diversity principles and those who are already strongly invested, improve their Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) foundations.
After a panel discussion from our experts, attendees had the opportunity for an honest discussion and set the agenda for a follow-up meetings, giving companies executing changes to share their process and results.
2021 Event Panelists:
- Will Arvelo, Executive Director of Cross Roads House, Portsmouth, NH
- Deo Mwano, Managing Principal Consultant of Deo Mwano Consultancy
- Allyson Ryder, Assistant Director of UNH Office of Community, Equity and Diversity
- Kevin J. Rasch, Chief Business Diversity Officer of Point32 Health
The event was moderated by Lisa Carter, Founder / Chief Engagement Officer of Drinkwater Marketing & Productions