Dei Logo 01

Recruitment and Retention

A culture of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) is becoming essential for both recruitment and retention. But it’s not as simple as changing the language in a job ad. Our speakers will highlight key aspects of DEI as it applies to recruitment and retention: 

  • How to define DEI and why it matters to organizational performance 
  • Understanding and empathetically dealing with pushback 
  • The employment lifecycle, and… 
  • Inclusive leadership 

The event will feature short talks on each of these points by a variety of speakers, a series of audience workshop table discussions and an expert panel discussion at the end to help explore topics raised by the table discussions. 


Thursday, September 14, 2023
Manchester Country Club in Bedford, NH

Speakers and Panelists

Tomraffio 200x200Tom Raffio
President and CEO at Northeast Delta Dental 

Tom Raffio has served as president and CEO of Northeast Delta Dental since 1995. Before joining the company, he was senior vice president of Delta Dental of Massachusetts and director of group healthcare management reporting at John Hancock Insurance. Tom spearheaded the creation of the Northeast Delta Dental Foundation, which supports oral health programs each year by investing several hundred thousand dollars. He is an engaged civic leader, serving on numerous boards and has authored several publications, including “Prepare for Crisis – Plan to Thrive.” He earned an undergraduate degree at Harvard University, an MBA from Babson College, and designation as a Fellow of the Life Management Institute.  

Ryanking200x200Ryan King
Vice President of Human Resources at Northeast Delta Dental 

Ryan joined Northeast Delta Dental in 2021 as the Director of Human Resources.  He was promoted to Vice President of Human Resources in early 2022.  Before that, he was the Director of Human Resources at McLane Middleton and Pioneer Behavioral Health.  In his current role, Ryan is responsible for leading Northeast Delta Dental’s overall human resources strategy, leadership development, diversity and inclusion, cultural development, compensation and benefits, recruiting, strategic and succession planning.    

Ryan holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Connecticut and also holds two professional HR certifications, SHRM-CP and HRCI- PHR.  Alongside a successful 20+ year career in Human Resources, he also serves on the Board of Directors for the Manchester Area Human Resources Association, and serves on the Rivier University Advancement Committee as well as the President’s Circle Council.  He is also an Ice Hockey Coach at Windham High School. Ryan lives in Hudson, NH, with his wife and 2 children. 

Alberto200x200Alberto Ramos
Chief Diversity Officer
Plymouth State University

Alberto Ramos was named Plymouth State University’s chief diversity officer and director of diversity, equity and social justice in 2022, becoming the first to serve in this role for the University. Ramos arrived from the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System where he has served in various roles, including adjunct faculty member, diversity and equity success specialist, and chief diversity officer.

Ramos works closely with senior leadership to revise and develop University policies and procedures, including developing, supporting, and advancing the Center for Diversity, Equity, and Social Justice as a hub where students of all backgrounds and the community can gather, learn, discuss issues, and more.

Ramos, is bi-lingual in English and Spanish, holds a master of arts degree in teaching English as a second language, with a teaching English as a foreign language emphasis, a bachelor of arts in travel and tourism and communications studies from St. Cloud State University, and a professional certificate in leading for inclusion and racial justice from Antioch University.

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.  

AuraAura Huot
Director of People and Culture
Lavallee Brensinger Architects 

Aura currently works at Lavallee Brensinger Architects as the Director of People & Culture and she is the Founder of the People & Leadership – The Other P&L Community. She also serves as Director of Programming at the Diversity Workforce Coalition, as a Founding Member at Hacking HR’s Experts Council, and as the Diversity Council Member at Amplify Talent Academy. Through these experiences, Aura has become a connector, an amplifier, a builder, and an innovator who mobilizes people and organizations to uncover and act on the possibilities and achieve great results for all. With her motto of “Go Team!”, she is most passionate about fostering inclusive cultures, and innovating.

Wendy WilliamsWendy Rue Williams (she/her)
Head of Health Equity

As the Head of Health Equity at Point32Health, Wendy leads the enterprise-wide health equity strategy. In her role, Wendy partners with subject matter experts, leaders, and colleagues throughout the organization to advance health equity data analytics and outcomes for Point32Health’s more than two million members. She also helps to influence and integrate more health equity within policies, practices, and health care experiences.

Prior to Point32Health, Wendy led strategies for global diversity and inclusion and national population health for Marsh McLennan companies. She also held roles in state government, nonprofits, corporations, and academic institutions. As a social worker, she provided therapeutic services to adolescents and partnered with the Massachusetts State Legislatures on bills that impacted women and children. Wendy earned a BS in Athletic Training from the University of South Carolina and a Master of Social Work with a concentration in Urban Leadership from Simmons University.

Event Advisors

Thank you to our diversity, equity and inclusion advisors for sharing their expertise in helping to shape these events.


Aura Huot
Director of People and Culture
Lavallee Brensinger Architects


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


Zaineb Haider
Senior Advisor for Diversity Equity & Inclusion

Jamesmckim 1

James McKim
Managing Partner

Event Photos

Past events

September 2022 event recap:

About this event: The three-part program featured a keynote presentation from Christa Kirby covering “Emotional Intelligence: The Bedrock of Inclusion.” Then, participants dived into guided table discussions, exploring DEI challenges and successes they’ve encountered in their own workplaces and lives. The event culminated 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. 

September 2022 Event Panelists:

  • Zaineb Haider, Senior Advisor for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Cigna
  • Javier Barrientos, Vice President and Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer, Point32Health
  • James McKim, President, NAACP, Manchester, NH branch
  • Rebecca Sanborn, J.D., President/Founder, Sanborn Diversity Training Solutions, LLC
  • Keynote address: Christa Kirby, Corporate Education Group (CEG)

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 featured 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, dived 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, shared 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

September 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.

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 

Presented by

Harvard Pilgrim Point 32 Health Logo Rgb Small

Event Sponsors

Bsb 2023 Logo Wtag Rgb
Service Credit Union Logo
Uhc Mb Lockup Horiz Blu Rgb

Sponsorship opportunities are available.
Contact Ernesto Burden for details.

Business & Service Directory


Contribute a story idea, press release or letter to the editor. Submit