7:30 a.m. Registration, Networking, & Breakfast
8:30 a.m. Welcome & Introduction to Program
8:40 a.m. Summit Chair Leadership Lesson & Speaker Introduction
9:00 a.m. Why Remix DEI Anyway? The Case for an Expanded Approach
9:15 a.m. Break
9:30 a.m. Make the Remix Real: Connect, Engage, & Power Up!
9:50 a.m. Innovate & Implement Panel
10:30 a.m. Break
10:45 a.m. Implementing Intersectionality to Innovate on Your DEI Journey
12:00 p.m. Morning Session Concludes
Afternoon Agenda (for full-day attendees)
12:00 p.m. Lunch
1:00 p.m. Breakout Session #1
2:00 p.m. Break
2:20 p.m. Breakout Session #2
3:30 p.m. Adjourn
Next Steps for Your DEI Journey
Meet the Speakers
Summit Chair: Tasha Blackmon, President & CEO, Cherry Health
Born and raised in Grand Rapids, Mich., Tasha Blackmon is a dynamic, collaborative leader, mentor and coach who brings more than 20 years of business operations experience to her role as President and Chief Executive Officer of Michigan’s largest Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC). Cherry Health provides integrated health care services to over 55,000 patients in Barry, Kent, Montcalm, Muskegon, Ottawa and Wayne counties.
During her 18 years with Cherry Health, Blackmon has championed health justice through aggressively disrupting healthcare disparities. Her experience comes from an operational perspective, having established high standards of care utilizing a health equity lens to treat an individual’s health needs
holistically, rather than symptomatically. She has led numerous large-scale expansion and development projects and held six positions within Cherry Health before becoming CEO in 2018. As an accomplished and mission-minded leader, it is imperative to Tasha that our community is healthier, one patient at a time.
An eloquent and inspiring speaker, Tasha has a way of being heard on behalf of those who do not have voices, and for those whose voices have been silenced because of the barriers that they face. She is passionate and personally driven to ensure that all patients served in her home community, and surrounding areas, receive the highest quality of care.
Ovell Barbee, Jr., Human Resources Strategist, AskOvell.com
Owner/Principal of Ovell Rome & Associates, Ovell Barbee Jr., is a renowned, visionary human resources leader, consultant and speaker with a passion for diversity, equity, and inclusion. He’s held executive leadership roles at Fortune 500 companies in an array of industries including Motorola, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, General Motors/OnStar, Spectrum Health (now Corewell Health) and Indiana University Health.
In these roles, he drove sustained cultural change and reduced barriers for diverse populations with a “human-centered” approach that addressed systemic and unconscious barriers and bias. He implemented policies and practices allowing everyone opportunities to thrive within a corporate culture.
As a respected Human Resources and DEI thought leader, Ovell is an accomplished and sought-after speaker who chaired the National HR Healthcare Conference in 2022. He’s presented at the Healthcare, HR Management Institute’s National Forum, the Becker’s Healthcare Annual Meeting, the National Diversity Council’s National Black Men in Leadership Summit and many other local, state and national meetings. He’s been featured in webinars, podcasts, and news articles on Human Resources and DEI topics. He offers guidance and advice on HR and DEI topics through his website, AskOvell.com.
Laura Longstreet, Director of Human Resources, Lumbermen’s
Laura Longstreet is a spirited HR Professional with a passion for people. She is energized by helping people recognize and achieve their potential – and her energy is contagious! Laura feels blessed to have had the opportunity to build out the HR department at Lumbermen’s and further enhance the employee owner experience through HR support, training, and strategic partnership – implementing new processes and tools to drive efficiencies as the organization grows. Specifically, she has played a principal role in creating and communicating the company’s MVP – Mission, Vision, and Promise – and ensuring that all employee owners experience the organization’s mission to intentionally care for people.
Laura graduated from Central Michigan University in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in marketing and obtained her SHRM-SCP certification in 2017. She loves opportunities to share her unconventional career journey with students and young professionals – sharing that, “sometimes you have to figure out what you don’t like in order to find your passion”. When she’s not at work, Laura enjoys spending time with her husband and two children. They love to be active (preferably outdoors) and travel.
Brad Mathis, Vice President of Community Development & Inclusion, Rockford Construction
As the Vice President of Community Development & Inclusion, Brad has more than 15 years of real estate experience, building sustainable communities that meet the needs of stakeholders while improving the well-being and quality of life for neighbors. He has worked in all facets of real estate, including construction, development, finance and sales. Brad’s extensive background in strategic planning, team building, and community engagement brings a unique perspective to Rockford. His experience has enhanced our internal culture, trade contractor relationships and participation within the community as it relates to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion.
Dr. Oluwaferanmi Okanlami, Assistant Professor, Michigan Medicine & Director of Adaptive Sports & Fitness, Division of Student Life, University of Michigan
Dr. Oluwaferanmi Okanlami is an Assistant Professor of Family Medicine, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, and Urology at Michigan Medicine, and the Interim Director of Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) and Director of Adaptive Sports & Fitness within the Division of Student Life at the University of Michigan. He also serves as the Director of Adaptive Sports in the Michigan Center for Human Athletic Medicine & Performance and is the Spokesperson for Guardian Life in their Equal & Able Partnership.
“Dr. O” was born in Nigeria before immigrating to the US at a young age. He attended High School at Deerfield Academy and college at Stanford University where he also ran Track & Field, serving as captain his last two seasons and achieving Academic All American recognition.
He then earned his MD from the University of Michigan before matching into Orthopedic Surgery at Yale. At the beginning of his 3 rd year he experienced a spinal cord injury, paralyzing him from the chest down. After two surgeries and intense rehabilitation, he was blessed with some return of motor function, and navigates the world as a proud wheelchair user, managing the other long term sequelae of an incomplete cervical spinal cord injury.
He went on to earn a Master’s in Engineering, Science, and Technology Entrepreneurship from The University of Notre Dame, and completed his Family Medicine Residency at Memorial Hospital in South Bend, Indiana. He served on the St. Joseph County Board of Health, appointed by former Mayor Pete Buttigieg; and is on the board of the River City Challenged Athletes, a non-profit supporting the area adaptive sports teams. He was featured on Robin Robert’s Good Morning America Series “Thriver Thursday,” and has a catch phrase, “Disabusing DisabilityⓇ,” hoping to demonstrate that DISability doesn’t mean INability. He is a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honors Society, received Michigan Medicine’s Distinguished Early Career Alumni Award in 2020, and was given the “A Teacher’s Teacher Award” by the Academy of Medical Educators.
Nationally, he serves as the Disability Issues representative on the Steering Committee for the Group on Diversity and Inclusion at the AAMC, and the National Medical Association’s Council on Medical Legislation. He speaks around the country on topics related to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, including, but not limited to the lack of black male physicians and creating a health system that is accessible and inclusive to both patients and providers with disabilities, and has been featured on CBS News, PBS News Hour, and MSNBC’s Morning Joe. He is leading efforts to create an adaptive sports program, providing access to physical fitness and recreational and competitive sports for all.
Ana Ramíres-Sáenz, Founder & CEO, La Fuente Consulting
Ana Ramirez-Sáenz, founder and CEO of La Fuente Consulting, a diversity, equity, and inclusion consultancy, is on a mission to bridge cultures and simplify communication in the workplace, community, and personal spaces. By following the guiding principle of fostering an open, positive, and respectful culture where all are valued and able to contribute to their full potential, Ana guides her clients through cultural transformation processes that enable equitable and welcoming work environments.
Early in her corporate lending career, (MBA Finance), through engagement in discussions and committees that focused on increasing diversity, she soon found her passion for fostering equity/ inclusion in the workplace. Ana continued to be intimately involved advancing the DEI work within her profession until she left a thriving career to establish La Fuente Consulting in 2000.
Her over 20 years of practical, hands-on real-world experience has transformed her into a thought leader in the field diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). As a management consultant, strategist, executive coach, and learning and development professional, her Listen, Learn and Lead approach makes Ana a sought-after partner and trusted advisor.
Highly experienced in formulating and implementing strategic, enterprise-wide DEI initiatives, Ana helps organizations navigate the complexities of engaging in a DEI journey. She helps them answer some of their most salient questions such as, how do we create an inclusive environment where all individuals are accepted and celebrated? How can my organization implement retention strategies for a diverse, talented workforce?
Ana is an engaging bilingual and bicultural facilitator who has delivered programs in English and Spanish for thousands of participants from the shop floor to the board room across North America for an array of industries including healthcare, financial and professional services, construction, manufacturing, retail, technology, and education.
Timothy L. Williams, Vice President of Diversity & Inclusion, Meijer, Inc.
Timothy L. Williams is Vice President, Diversity & Inclusion, for Meijer, Inc., where he serves as the executive sponsor and thought leader for all diversity and inclusion-related strategies. Mr. Williams has practiced labor and employment law as a partner in two different Atlanta boutique firms and served as a principal in his own firm representing management in employment litigation matters in both state and federal courts and before various administrative agencies, providing general advice to clients, as well as training clients on preventative measures to avoid litigation. Mr. Williams also served as a law clerk for the Honorable William M. Acker, Jr. in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama and is licensed in both Georgia and Michigan. Mr. Williams is a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School where he was an associate editor on the University of Michigan Journal of International Law and served as a first-year writing instructor. Mr. Williams is also an alumnus of the University of Michigan’s Stephen M. Ross School of Business where he graduated cum laude with a Bachelors in Business Administration. Mr. Williams has served on various civic boards and currently serves as a board member for University of Michigan Health – West, the Heart of West Michigan United Way and Rende Progress Capital, a racial equity focused Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). He also serves as board chair for the West Michigan Center for Arts and Technology. Mr. Williams is married to Shoran Reid Williams and a father to two adult-age daughters. Mr. Williams enjoys college athletics and golf and earned three (3) varsity letters in football at the University of Michigan.
Meet the Afternoon Facilitators
Digital – Calder Solutions
Seiarra Schrum, Senior UI/UX Designer
I’m a senior UX leader, product designer, design thinker, and human-loving optimist. I’m currently a senior user experience designer at Calder Solution, where I work with a team of passionate forward thinkers. I have a mission to maintain a healthy balance between functionality and visual impact with all my work. I am an open-minded and focused designer ready for any challenge that may come about. My specialties lie in UX/UI design, branding, and advertising. I find user experience the perfect catalyst to constantly drive change for the better. Throughout my career, I’ve collaborated with a diverse set of brands including, Herman Miller, Meijer, and Amway, leading human-centered designs that ensure both business and user needs are met. My UX practice combines product design, design thinking, research, and experience strategy, all with a relentless focus on the end user. Let’s make sure the design always has a seat at the table!
Laura Sullivan, Vice President of Design
Laura Sullivan is a seasoned design and executive leader with a passion for mentoring teams and delivering excellence. Her design experience includes healthcare, e-commerce, finance, education, government, retail, and branded consumer products. With a concentration in research and human-centered design, Laura is passionate about creating accessible digital experiences that are inclusive to all audiences.
Matt Sweda, Software Developer
I’m a software developer and artist in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Currently, I’m working with an amazing team at Calder Solutions to build websites and other systems that help transform people’s lives and businesses. With experience at smaller startups like Detroit Labs, as well as top companies such as GM, I’ve worked with technology at many different scales.In everything I do, I try to approach it with a sense of curiosity and openness. I am a development specialty in frontend systems and DevOps. When I help to build an intuitive user experience, whether that’s for customers or the developers who work on our systems, I feel particularly satisfied.
Diverse – Warner Norcross + Judd
Mandice McAllister, Diversity, Equity + Inclusion Manager
Mandice McAllister is the Diversity, Equity + Inclusion Manager for Warner Norcross + Judd LLP, a leading law firm with over 230 attorneys and nine offices throughout Michigan. Within her role, she provides strategic leadership for the firm’s internal and external DEI-related programs and processes, including the DEI Action Committee and employee resource groups. Mandice is co-chair of Mosaic, an employee resource group for Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) firm members at Warner – unwavering in her commitment to help create and sustain a more diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace. She earned her Bachelors of Science in political science from The Ohio State University. Mandice was a 2021 finalist for DEI Champion of the Year at the EPIC Awards for the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce, and serves as a board member for the Comprehensive Therapy Center and the National Black MBA Association for the Greater Michigan Chapter.
Divided – Grand Rapids Public Schools
Maleika Joubert Brown, Ed.S, Director of Equity and Inclusion, Grand Rapids Public Schools
As a 27-year educator in the Grand Rapids Public Schools, Maleika Joubert Brown, Ed.S works tirelessly to improve the education and life outcomes of the students she serves. In her previous roles as a Teacher, Instructional Coach, Curriculum Supervisor, and Director of Professional Learning, she maintained a focus on the most important part of our nation’s future—its children. She continues this focus as the Director of Equity and Inclusion for GRPS. This role allows her to work closely with district leadership, staff, Pk-12 scholars, community partners and families. Maleika is an eager student of diversity, equity, inclusion and culture as they relate to student achievement and success and has facilitated professional learning opportunities in these areas for a variety of role groups.
Maleika played an integral part in the creation the District’s Vision for Excellence Through Equity and the 2022-2025 GRPS Strategic Plan. She received a Bachelor of Science in Education from Louisiana State University, Master of Arts in Education from Marygrove College and Educational Specialist degree from Grand Valley State University. Maleika’s role as an educator and advocate for scholars has afforded her many opportunities to learn, grow and share. In addition to facilitating equity and belonging learning and reflection opportunities, Maleika has had the wonderful opportunity to work alongside GVSU, WMU and the Institute for Learning to facilitate learning opportunities in the areas of Mathematics and Teaching and Learning.
A member of the Theta Chi Omega chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc,. and a past member of the the Advisory Board for Grand Valley State University’s Regional Math and Science Center, Brown currently serves member of the Board of Directors for Save Haven Ministries, West Michigan Center for Arts and Technology, The Literacy Center of West Michigan, and an appointed member of the City of Grand Rapids Civil Service Board. Maleika is a proud lifelong educator, learner, and advocate; however, her most important roles are that of wife and mother.
Dr Tova Sanders, Talent Consultant
Dr. Tova Sanders is a talent consultant, presenter, keynote speaker, and researcher with 15+ years of experience creating, implementing, and managing cutting-edge, equity driven, learning and talent solutions for mid-sized and large global organizations. As a former college professor, she has helped to establish the foundation for a global doctoral program focused on social justice, leadership and organizational change and has been recognized for providing outstanding culturally relevant coaching and mentoring for leaders spanning 9 countries and multiple industries including healthcare, technology, manufacturing, non-for-profit, governmental service, and education. As a consultant, she utilizes her specialist knowledge of talent strategy, leadership, and the future of work to partner with organizations and communities to develop high-impact, equity-driven talent and learning solutions that are cutting-edge, research-based, and meet the needs of a rapidly transforming workplace. Tova is passionate about furthering inclusive prosperity through innovative collaborations among employers, workforce development professionals, education, and other learning providers.
Advancing Inclusion in a Digital Age
Many organizations struggle with their understanding of what makes a digital experience accessible, why accessibility is important, and what steps they can take to make their digital experiences inclusive to all audiences. In this session, the Calder team will draw from our expertise in helping organizations like yours prioritize accessibility and inclusive design to give you a solid path forward in your accessibility journey.
Advancing Inclusion in a Diverse Age
The world is diverse and, increasingly, so are our workplaces. Research shows that individuals interact across differences at work more than in any other place in their lives. What happens when different identities, cultures, and values converge in a work environment? In this session, attendees will explore the concept of identity, and how it influences day-to-day workplace interactions. They will learn strategies for cultivating a culture that values and celebrates diversity, and leave equipped to think creatively to shape systems within their organization to achieve the outcome of inclusion.
Advancing Inclusion in a Divided Age
We are living, growing, and striving to thrive in an increasingly diverse community, world, and nation. Our workspaces are microcosms of our society. In countless instances, the diversity that has the propensity to grow our organizations, and this nation, instead function to divide us — effectively stalling growth and progress. At a time when we are the most [outwardly] polarized, we avoid discussions that make us uncomfortable, especially in the workplace. During this session, we will explore psychological safety as a key lever for building brave spaces that move teams beyond the divide and toward a zone of high performance, innovation, and growth.
Learn More About Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services:
To enrich the lives of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community by promoting equal communication, advocacy, social opportunities, community resources and education to all.
http://www.deafhhs.org/ or directly to https://deafhhs.org/interpreter-services/
Ph: 616-732-7358 x106
Interested in sponsoring this event in 2023? Please contact Yadira Garza-Malone to learn more.