The Speakers


Sarah Alter

President and CEO, Network of Executive Women

Sarah Alter is President and CEO of the Network of Executive Women, a nonprofit learning, leadership and gender equality advocacy organization of over 13,500 members (representing nearly 900 organizations), over 300 national and regional corporate partners, and 22 regional groups in the United States and Canada. NEW advances gender equality and diversity across many industries, including retail, consumer goods, financial services, and technology. Alter joined NEW in 2017, and has wide-ranging executive leadership experience in the markets NEW represents.   

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Mariana Atencio

Peabody award–winning journalist and author

Mariana Atencio is a motivational speaker, Peabody award–winning journalist, author and influencer, included in AdWeek’s “Young Influentials”, as well as the co-founder of “Go Like”, a multimedia production company. Mariana’s TEDx Talk “What Makes You Special?” is one of the top 10 most watched on YouTube and translated into 13 languages. Her first book, Perfectly You, was an Amazon Best Seller and selected as an Audible Editor’s Pick and AppleBooks “Must Listen.” 

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Nicole Balkenbusch 

Head of Finance for Amazon's North America
Customer Service Operations

Nicole Balkenbusch is Head of Finance for Amazon's North America Customer Service Operations, leading a team across 5 countries and has been at Amazon for 3 years. Amazon Customer Service prides itself on serving customers with Amazon’s mission to be “earth’s most customer-centric company.” Previously, Nicole worked at Procter & Gamble for 11 years (relocating 4 times), having experiences across manufacturing, supply chain management, corporate consolidations, and sales/marketing. She graduated from The Ohio State University with an Accounting degree and got a MBA from Xavier University. Nicole is also the Executive Co-Chair of the Network of Executive Women's Pacific Northwest chapter, where she drives initiatives to Advance All Women, in conjunction with her personal legacy statement to be a “strong business woman who helps others break down barriers.” 


Dr. Angie Beeman

Associate Professor, Marxe School of Public and International Affairs, Affiliate Faculty, Black and Latino Studies, Baruch College-CUNY

Dr. Beeman's research examines the evolution of racism, its intersection with economic inequality, and how this process affects institutional practices, identities, and interracial organizing. Her work has addressed how organizations can build more equitable environments as well as the challenges diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives pose for faculty of color. Her forthcoming book, "Liberal White Supremacy” addresses the role progressives play in silencing racial and class oppression and examines differences between liberal and radical organizing. Dr. Beeman's research has appeared in Harvard Business Review, both online and in the journal, Forbes Magazine, Sociological Forum, Social Science Quarterly, Sociology of Race and Ethnicity, Violence Against Women and as chapters in several edited volumes. She has also written for Counterpunch Magazine and Racism Review. Her research on what she has called "emotional segregation" received an award from the American Sociological Association (ASA) and was published as the lead article in Ethnic and Racial Studies. This work was noted in the 2018 Presidential Address for the ASA. 

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Steffi Behringer 

Co-Founder, Allyship & Action.

Steffi - born and raised in the Black Forest - transitioned to the US in 2014 after graduating University in Augsburg, Germany. She spent four years on the Brand side at a Fortune500 automotive company, before she started her production career in New York City. She builds, produces and executes one-of-a-kind events, immersive experiences, brand activations or exclusive pop-ups - IRL and virtually for clients like BMW, MINI, Google, YouTube, Forbes, Foot Locker, Under Armour, NBA and more.


Leilani Brown 

Bio to come.

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Bio to come.


Amelia Dunlop 

Chief Experience Officer and US Customer Strategy & Applied Design Leader, Deloitte Consulting, LLP 

As Chief Experience Officer at Deloitte Digital and leader of the US Customer Strategy and Applied Design practice for Deloitte Consulting LLP, Amelia Dunlop helps companies develop winning strategies that combine innovation, creativity, and digital strategy. Amelia received Consulting Magazine’s 2020 Top Women in Technology Award for Excellence in Innovation. She is author of the forthcoming book, Elevating the Human Experience: Three Paths to Love and Worth at Work. 


Lex Gillette

Paralympic Track and Field Athlete, Team USA

Lex Gillette is a globally recognized Paralympic track and field athlete for Team USA. Competing primarily in the long jump, Lex has amassed four Paralympic medals, four world championships, and he is the current world record holder in the event. He is the only totally blind athlete on the planet to eclipse the 22-foot barrier in the long jump. Currently, he’s training for the 2021 Tokyo Paralympic Games where he aims to bring back gold for the United States of America. 


Phil Hansen

Artist, Speaker, Author

Referred to by his fans as “the Artist for the People”, Phil Hansen is an internationally recognized multimedia artist, speaker, author and innovator - at the forefront of bringing art to a wider audience. Crashing irreverently through conventional boundaries, Phil works at the intersection of traditional art, electronic media, offbeat materials, and interactive experiences. He is most widely known for his meta-art, videos that document the creation process (sometimes even through destruction), showing millions that art is action, not just result. Hansen's work also extends deeply into traditional media with features on the Discovery Channel, Good Morning America, the Rachael Ray Show, Last Call with Carson Daly, Glamour and many more. His work is sought-after by many influential clients including the Grammy Awards, Disney, Skype, Mazda and the Rockefeller Foundation. 

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Bio to come.


Sue Ann Hong

President and CEO, Center for Asian Pacific American Women (CAPAW) 

Sue Ann Hong joined the Center for Asian Pacific American Women (CAPAW) May 2018 as the interim Executive Director. As of January 2020, she is the President & CEO. Her career was with State Farm Insurance Companies for over 28 years, including Data Processing, Diversity & Inclusion, Corporate Business & Technology Portfolio Management and P&C Auto Claims. She’s led up to 600 employees in multiple locations, managed 1000 contract employees and supported customers and State Farm agents in 23 states. 

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Jeremy Hunter, PhD

Founding Director, Executive Mind Leadership Institute

Jeremy Hunter, PhD is a global authority on mindfulness and leadership as well as the great-grandson of a sumo wrestler. He serves as the Founding Director of the Executive Mind Leadership Institute as well as Associate Professor of Practice at the Peter F. Drucker Graduate School of Management.  He leads the Mindfulness and Effective Leadership certificate for the Weatherhead School of Management’s Executive Education Program and is also co-founder and partner of Transform LLC in Tokyo, Japan. 

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Kelly Jackson 


Kelly Jackson is an international award winning Native American artist. Her edgy and soulful pieces have decorated stages across the United States, Europe, and Canada. Her music has gained admiration for its unique flare, soulful vocals, and remarkable ability to inspire and empower her listeners. Her debut album, Spirit of a Woman earned a NAMA for best Americana Album of the Year, her second, Renditions of the Soul, also received international recognition. Her single, After All This Time, earned a #1 spot on XM World and Indigenous Music Countdowns.  

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W. Brad
Johnson, Ph.D.

Professor of Psychology, Department of Leadership,

Ethics and Law; United States Naval Academy 

Clinical Faculty Associate, Graduate School of Education, Johns Hopkins University

W. Brad Johnson is Professor of psychology in the Department of Leadership, Ethics and Law at the United States Naval Academy, and a Clinical Faculty Associate in the Graduate School of Education at Johns Hopkins University. A clinical psychologist and former officer in the Navy’s Medical Service Corps, Dr. Johnson served as a psychologist at Bethesda Naval Hospital and the Medical Clinic at Pearl Harbor where he was the division head for psychology. He is a recipient of the Johns Hopkins University Teaching Excellence Award, and has received distinguished mentor awards from the National Institutes of Health and the American Psychological Association.  

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Lynn LaRocca

Marketing and Organizational Leader

As a seasoned Marketing, Branding and Customer Experience executive, Lynn LaRocca has deep leadership expertise within the sectors of retail, sports, entertainment, gaming, non-profit, hospitality, and guest experience.  Recognized for demonstrating a natural aptitude for creating data-driven innovative brand marketing and events sales programs with an industry presence, LaRocca has a long history of contributing to company growth. LaRocca is currently serving as the Principal Marketing Strategist for aD2C eCommerce sports performance company, VKTRY Gear.  She is responsible for branding, segmentation, customer acquisition strategy, ROAS/marketing performance and external agency relationships. 


Nancy Lyons

Founder and CEO, Clockwork Interactive

Nancy is an outspoken advocate for making work better. More inclusive, flexible, and adaptable. No one does great work if they're worried or if they can't bring their whole self to work. And she learned this the hard way: by having terrible jobs and not fitting in. Things many of us can relate to. But how do we create workspaces like that? It's on us: leaders, employees, teams. People. We all have to take responsibility for creating cultures and spaces that actually work for humans, with all their complexities, nuances, and intricacies. And in doing so, we will make better products, better experiences, and have better work lives. Her first book was Interactive Project Management: Pixels, People, and Process, a human-centered approach to producing digital products. Her current book, Work Like a Boss: A kick-in-the-pants Guide to Finding (and Using) your Power at Work, is the little book everyone needs to remember the actions, attitudes, and attributes that will make work better, for individuals and everyone around them. 


Arist R. Mastorides 

President, Family Care, Kimberly-Clark North America  

A 30-year veteran of consumer packaged goods industry, Arist is the President of Kimberly-Clark’s North American Consumer Tissue Business building our Cottonelle, Kleenex, Scott, Viva and private label brands.  Arist is passionate about building a diverse/inclusive culture, developing great talent, building strong brands and driving growth for our categories and Kimberly-Clark. Prior to this role, Arist was the VP/GM for Kimberly-Clark’s North American Huggies business where he helped create and lead a strategic business transformational plan, premiumize the business and integrate brand plans across diapers and wipes. 

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Dr. Tsedale M. Melaku 

Sociologist, Author, and Postdoctoral Research Fellow,
City University of New York 

Dr. Tsedale M. Melaku is a Sociologist, Author, and Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the Institute for Research on the African Diaspora in the Americas & the Caribbean (IRADAC) at The Graduate Center, City University of New York. Her recent book, You Don’t Look Like a Lawyer: Black Women and Systemic Gendered Racism (2019), reflects the emphasis of her scholarly interests in race, gender, class, workplace inequities, systemic racism, intersectionality, organizations and diversity. She earned a Ph.D. and M.Phil. in Sociology from The Graduate Center, City University of New York and a B.A. in Sociology and Africana Studies from New York University.  

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Nate Nichols 

Founder & Creative Director, Palette Group

Nate started his career in 2012 at The Agency Inside Harte-Hanks on the social strategy team, managing the Hyundai Veloster’s launch campaign – or, as he describes it – ‘selling cars on Twitter.’ Today, Nate, Creative Director, Founder, and the Palette Group specialize in branded content, commercial production, and experiential/event production for brands domestically and internationally. The agency and roster have worked with Fortune 500 and 100 brands including Foot Locker, Hyundai, GM: Chevrolet, Google, and more. The team also works with start-ups such as SAXX Underwear, Cora Women, and Ten Percent Happier. In 2020, he co-founded Allyship & Action, a virtual summit series rooted in reversing systemic racism and discrimination in advertising. 


Cory Onell

President, U.S. Sales, The Kraft Heinz Company

Cory Onell joined Kraft Heinz in August 2020 and currently leads the U.S. Sales organization. He brings more than 20 years of CPG Sales experience, which includes his most recent role as Head of U.S. Retail, Customer and Commercial Business Teams at J.M. Smucker Company. He honed his expertise in the field through positions at other industry leading companies including Campbell’s, Kimberley-Clark Corporation, Mondelez International, Hershey’s and Kraft Foods. 


Shane Ortega   

Co-Founder, Spart*a 

Shane Ortega is the first openly serving transgender military service member. He was featured in the HBO documentary The Trans List and on the History Channel’s History now. Shane is a mixed American Indian enrolled in the Skaroreh Katenuauka Nation, a retired disabled combat Veteran (Marines and Army) of over 11 years and a Two-spirit (Transgender) man. He has a 12+ year record of championing human rights legislation and policy. As an advocate, consultant, author, speaker and educator in topics such as LGBTQ equity, indigenous rights, disabled veterans’ rights, MMIW, two spirit education, land sovereignty and colonial/tribal law relationship. He is most commonly known for his work repealing the transgender military ban and co-founding the non-profit organization Spart*a. He also assisted with education for the “Road Home Program” at Howard Brown Health in Chicago. 

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Kev O’Sullivan 

Bio to come.

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Sarita Rao

Senior Vice President - Integrated & Partner Solutions, AT&T Business

Sarita has responsibility for leading AT&T’s business development and specialized sales efforts for next generation technologies to help business customers, across industry verticals, achieve their desired outcomes through innovation. Additionally, Sarita leads the organization working to help Communication Service Providers and Solution Providers deliver for their customers in AT&T Partner Exchange and Wholesale. Sarita and her team also enable sales across AT&T Business by providing tools, insights, and support. 

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Kim Reed

President & CEO, ITG Brands, LLC 

Kim Reed is the President and CEO at ITG Brands. She is responsible for the US business, leading over 5500 and a $3B+ business as the largest market for Imperial Brands. She recently was the EVP of Sales where she designed and oversaw a comprehensive sales transformation strategy that encompassed ITG Brands’ largest ever external recruitment for field sales while prioritizing a diverse and inclusive culture. Kim has 32+ years of experience in key leadership positions within the CPG industry. She has held key leadership positions with Kellogg’s as the General Manager of US Sales and Pepsi Bottling Group of increasing responsibility and oversight, before joining ITG Brands. 

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Melanie Richard

Bio to come.


Teresa Sande 

CEO & Founder, Mirror Mirror Strategies

Teresa Sande is passionate about equity in the workplace, healthy corporate cultures, and ensuring people are valued and rewarded for their contributions—those seen and unseen. She is the CEO and Founder of Mirror Mirror Strategies, a Talent consultancy focused on creating effective, inclusive leaders and high performing organizations. The name Mirror Mirror comes from Teresa’s coaching style where she ‘holds up the mirror’ for people to gain awareness and clearly see their talents, where they want to go, and what it will take to achieve their vision. Once you see something you can’t un-see it! 

Michael Tchong 

Futurist & Author

Michael Tchong is on a never-ending quest to decode the future. His latest book, “Ubertrends — How Trends And Innovation Are Transforming Our Future” — offers a peak into a society transformed by Michael’s unique framework of Ubertrends, massive waves that change market behavior. His ability to ride waves early led to four innovative startups, including MacWEEK, which mainstreamed desktop publishing, ICONOCAST, which rode the digital Marketing wave, Atelier Systems, the creator of a groundbreaking CRM software, and CyberAtlas, an early tracker of the internet economy. 

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Misty Tripoli 

Bio to come.

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Mirna Valerio 

Author, A Beautiful Work in Progress and Fatgirlrunning 

Mirna Valerio is a native of Brooklyn, NY, a former educator, cross-country coach, ultra-runner, speaker and author of the best-selling memoir A Beautiful Work in Progress. Although she began running in high school, she recommitted to the sport after a health scare in 2008. It was then that her love for running was reignited. She started the blog Fatgirlrunning, about her experiences as a larger woman in a world of thinner athletes. Mirna’s athletic story was later featured in the Wall Street Journal, Runner’s World, on the NBC Nightly News, CNN, on the CW Network and in the viral REI-produced documentary short, The Mirnavator.