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Building a High-Performance, Inclusive Culture

Thank you for attending our fall event!

This event was held on Thursday, September 15, 2022
Manchester Country Club, Bedford, NH

Join NH Business Review for the next event its diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) series.

This session will build on material covered in prior sessions, allowing past attendees to take their understanding of DEI issues in the workplace to the next level, while remaining accessible to newcomers. 

The three-part program will feature a keynote presentation from Christa Kirby covering “Emotional Intelligence: The Bedrock of Inclusion.” 

Then, participants will dive into guided table discussions, exploring DEI challenges and successes they’ve encountered in their own workplaces and lives. 

The event will culminate in a panel discussion featuring top DEI professionals from NH businesses as well as the DEI consulting world responding to helping illuminate the issues raised in the panel discussion. 



Emotional Intelligence: The Bedrock of Inclusion 

What is the connection between emotional intelligence (EI) and successful diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives?  What is the foundation skill of EI?  And how does EI translate into behaviors that foster a work environment of psychological safety and belonging?  In this interactive session, we’ll explore EI through the lens of DEI.  Topics we’ll cover include: 

  • Four domains of emotional intelligence
  • Connecting EI to DEI
  • The anatomy of emotion
  • Self-regulation and deep listening

 Attendees will receive an emotional intelligence self-assessment with reflection questions and additional resources to extend their learning. 

Keynote Address

Christa Kirby

Christa Kirby
VP of Talent Development and Practice Director for Management and Leadership
Corporate Education Group (CEG)

A licensed psychotherapist, Christa integrates her global experience as a mental health professional with her passion for holistically developing leaders and teams. For the last 25 years, she has been designing and delivering impactful learning experiences to companies, nonprofits, and non-governmental organizations all over the world.  

Christa has also played a pivotal role in various national and global initiatives focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion, civil society building, and conflict resolution. Her work has taken her across North America, throughout Western and Northern Europe, as well as to countries including Afghanistan, Bosnia, Croatia, Romania, Estonia, Ethiopia, India, and Singapore.


Zaineb200x200Zaineb Haider
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 nonprofit organizations nationwide. Zaineb holds a master’s in human resource management, Diversity and Inclusion from Georgetown University. 

Javier200x200Javier Barrientos
Vice President and Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer

Javier Barrientos is vice president and chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer for Point32Health, the parent company of Tufts Health Plan and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, a leading health and well-being organization. He previously served as the head of diversity, equity, and inclusion at Takeda Pharmaceuticals, T-Mobile, Charter Communications and more. He earned his MBA from Boston University, a graduate certificate in diversity management from Cornell University and a bachelor’s degree in law from Universidad de Costa Rica. In addition, he is a coaching graduate of the Augere Foundation and Coaches Training Institute in Barcelona, Spain. 

His work includes several firsts and leading-edge practices in diversity, equity, and inclusion. Most recently, Javier introduced the Inclusion Bar Raiser initiative and became a founding member of the Latino DEI Collective. He is the proponent of the “inclusionist mindset,” an appeal to individuals, teams, and organizations to proactively identify and act to close diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility gaps wherever they show up. Other notable achievements include the Multiple Sclerosis program for underserved patient populations (MS-UP), tax benefit equality for same-sex couples, women’s leadership programs, transgender healthcare benefits, the Biodiversity Fellowship and Raising the Bar Women on Corporate Boards. 

Jamesmckim 1

James McKim
NAACP, Manchester, NH branch
Managing Partner
Organizational Ignition 

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.” 

Rebeccasanborn200x200Rebecca Sanborn, J.D. 
Sanborn Diversity Training Solutions, LLC

As the founder and president of Sanborn Diversity Training Solutions, LLC, Rebecca Sanborn provides LGBTQ+ cultural competency training for businesses and nonprofits.  Rebecca believes education is one of the most powerful tools we possess for improving society and advancing human rights, and she lives that through her work.  Prior to launching Sanborn Solutions, Rebecca practiced law for 17 years in New Hampshire.  She holds a Juris Doctorate from the University of New Hampshire Franklin Pierce School of Law, as well as a Diversity and Inclusion Professional Certificate and a Certificate in Advanced Employee Relations, both from Cornell University’s ILR School.  Rebecca also has the privilege of serving on several nonprofit boards in her community.  She resides with her spouse and her mother in Derry.  


Event Photos

May 2022 event recap:

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 included:  

  • 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. 

May 2022 Event Panelists:

  • Aura Huot, Director of People and Culture, Lavalley Brensinger Architects
  • David Pease, Senior Vice President, Director of Talent and Diversity, Bangor Savings Bank
  • Kevin J. Rash, Chief Business Diversity Officer, Point32 Health
  • Zaineb Haider, Senior Advisor for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Cigna
  • Armando G. Llorente, Manager, Llorente HR Consulting LLC
  • Sydney Scott, Author, “Body-Image Blueprint”
  • Keynote address: James McKim, President, NAACP Manchester

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


Presenting Sponsor

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General Sponsor

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Local Sponsors

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Sponsorship opportunities are available.
Contact Ernesto Burden for details.

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