Flourish CLEVELAND Conference for Women in Leadership

Welcome to Flourish Cleveland!

We believe that when women flourish we change the world, by positively impacting our families, organizations and companies and our communities. We know that organizations where women are highly represented in senior management outperform their competitors by up to 26%.

We propose, however, that even at the highest levels of success, many women spend a large portion of their time, treasure and talent on external concerns. And very little on their own strategic self-development.

Our promise is to create safe and immersive environments for women to connect, engage and create their next level of self-defined strategic success in their careers, businesses and lives. We promise to provide every tool at our disposal to help them grow. Luxuriantly.

As was the case in previous years, we fully expect the Flourish Cleveland Conference for Women in Leadership to sell out within a few weeks of opening registration. The conference has been so successful in Cleveland (and across the U.S.) for the following reasons:

  • Each conference is focused on the region it serves. So the Flourish Cleveland Conference is focused on issues related to the advancement of women in the Midwest, and specifically across Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Pennsylvania.
  • The Cleveland Conference highlights women who are either flourishing in Northeast Ohio, have ties to the region, or whose work directly impacts the women, workforce and world as seen through the lens of Northeast Ohio.
  • The Cleveland transformation renaissance is pervasive. In addition to winning the Republican National Convention and the obvious excitement about the Cavaliers and sports franchises, the downtown is growing with a brand new Global Innovation Center, a new convention center and several new hotels, restaurants and attractions.
  • Flourish Cleveland Awards (Entrepreneur of the Year and Executive of the Year) are honors designed to recognize an executive and an entrepreneur in the Cleveland area who is making tremendous contribution in her industry, her community and to the individuals she supports and those she serves.

The Facts about Women in Leadership

You are a leader who values the advancement of women. For your organization’s culture, its brand, and importantly, its bottom line. You’re in great company, recent research suggests that when examining the financial returns of companies with three or more women on the board, those companies outperform companies with homogenous (all-male) boards by 60 percent in return on invested capital, 84 percent in return on sales, and 60 percent in return on equity. These data indicate that women leaders are not just good for the organization’s brand, culture and bottom line but suggest that women in top leadership positions actually have a synergistic impact on profits (Carter, 2004).

Because we understand the need to attract, retain and engage women leaders, we have developed an immersive, inspirational and substantive one-day experience called Flourish Conference for Women in Leadership.  Flourish was developed specifically for high-achieving female senior leaders and executives as a resource for strategic career and life-planning at a time when every female senior leader is seeking “work-life balance.”

Flourish Conference Agenda – Friday, March 2, 2018

Friday: 8:30am – 4:30pm
8:30a – 9:00a Registration and Breakfast
9:00a – 09:15 Opening Ceremony

Morning Keynote
: Women in Leadership: The Aspiration vs. The Reality.


The Science of Flourishing
: Exploring the Six Dimensions of Flourishing and the trends and insights regarding the impact of women in leadership.

9:45a – 11:45 Executive Fireside Chat: Intimate discussions in assigned small groups with the top executives and entrepreneurs in their industries. This is a unique element of the Flourish Conference Day.

11:45a – 12:00p Break

12:00p – 1:30p Luncheon Keynote and Flourish Awards Ceremony: Flourish Keynote Conversation: How Women Lead in Dynamic Environments. We also recognize the Flourish Executive of the Year and Flourish Entrepreneur of the Year.

1:30p – 3:00p The Art of Flourishing: Women will either join the Flourish Forward group for those who have participated in Flourish to design their 3-year plans, or first-time participants join together to understand the domains of flourishing.

Collaborative exercises. Career and Work-Life Assessments. Continuing through Flourish 100-Day Action Plans™ while working with Executive Coaches and Flourish Accountability Partners.

3:00 – 3:15 Break

3:15 – 4:30 The Mastery of Flourishing: Leveraging insights learned throughout the day for positive impact in the future. Participants strategize their top three (3) professional and personal priorities – and the impact these will have on their lives over next 100 days.

Participants will be scheduled to record a customized Flourish Letter-to-Self stating what they commit to accomplish in the next 100 days.

4:15 Closing Ceremony

4:30 – 6:00p VIP Champagne Toast: Featuring special guests, champagne and appetizers and a Flourish Spa Experience (makeovers, massages and mingling).

About Cleveland

Cleveland’s geographic location on the Cuyahoga River and Lake Erie has been key to its growth. The Ohio and Erie Canal coupled with rail links helped establish the city as an important business center. Steel and many other manufactured goods emerged as leading industries.

The city diversified its economy in addition to its manufacturing sector. Cleveland is home to the corporate headquarters of many large companies such as Applied Industrial TechnologiesCliffs Natural ResourcesForest City EnterprisesNACCO IndustriesSherwin-Williams Company and KeyCorpNASA maintains a facility in Cleveland, the Glenn Research CenterJones Day, one of the largest law firms in the U.S, began in Cleveland.  Cleveland and its surrounding suburbs are also home to several private equity firms including The Riverside Company, Kirtland Capital Partners, Resilience Capital Partners and Primus Capital.

In 2007, Cleveland’s commercial real estate market experienced rebound with a record pace of purchases, with a housing vacancy of 10%.

The Cleveland Clinic is the city’s largest private employer with a workforce of over 37,000 as of 2008. It carries the distinction as being among America’s best hospitals with top ratings published in U.S. News & World Report. Cleveland’s healthcare sector also includes University Hospitals of Cleveland, a renowned center for cancer treatment, MetroHealth medical center, and the insurance company Medical Mutual of Ohio. Cleveland is also noted in the fields of biotechnology and fuel cell research, led by Case Western Reserve University, the Cleveland Clinic, and University Hospitals of Cleveland. Cleveland is among the top recipients of investment for biotech start-ups and research. Case Western Reserve, the Clinic, and University Hospitals have recently announced plans to build a large biotechnology research center and incubator on the site of the former Mt. Sinai Medical Center, creating a research campus to stimulate biotech startup companies that can be spun off from research conducted in the city.

City leaders promoted growth of the technology sector in the first decade of the 21st century. Mayor Jane L. Campbell appointed a “tech czar” to recruit technology companies to the downtown office market, offering connections to the high-speed fiber networks that run underneath downtown streets in several “high-tech offices” focused on the Euclid Avenue area. Cleveland State University hired a technology transfer officer to cultivate technology transfers from CSU research to marketable ideas and companies in the Cleveland area, and appointed a vice president for economic development. Case Western Reserve University participated in technology initiatives such as the OneCommunity project, a high-speed fiber optic network linking the area’s research centers intended to stimulate growth. In mid-2005, Cleveland was named an Intel “Worldwide Digital Community” along with Corpus Christi, TexasPhiladelphiaPennsylvania, and Taipei. This added about $12 million for marketing to expand regional technology partnerships, created a city-wide Wi-Fi network, and developed a tech economy. In addition to this Intel initiative, in January 2006 a New York-based think tank, the Intelligent Community Forum, selected Cleveland as the sole American city among its seven finalists for the “Intelligent Community of the Year” award. The group announced that it nominated the city for its OneCommunity network with potential broadband applications. OneCommunity collaborated with Cisco Systems to deploy a wireless network starting in September 2006.

Source: Wikipedia.org

2018 Conference Speakers

Dr. Akram Boutros

President and Chief Executive Officer

MetroHealth System

Tricia Griffith

President and Chief Executive Officer

Progressive Insurance

Sara Shookman

Emmy Award Winning Journalist

WKYC3 TV

Edna Kane-Williams

Senior Vice President, Multicultural Leadership

AARP

Denise Carkhuff

Private Equity Partner

Jones Day

Theresa Harrison

Global Director Diversity & Inclusiveness Procurement Leader

EY

Virginia Addicott

President and Chief Executive Office

FedEx Custom Critical

Tyronne Stoudemire

Vice President, Global Diversity & Inclusion

Hyatt Hotels Corporation


2018 FlourishForward Facilitators & Co-Chairs

Ramona Hood

Vice President, Transportation Management

FedEx Supply Chain

Kathy Lentner

Founder

Wise Old Tree

Nichole Barnes Marshall

Chief Diversity Officer

LBrands


2018 Co-Chairs

April Miller Boise

SVP, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary

Meritor, Inc.

Dr. Tyffani Dent

President

Monford Dent Consulting & Psychological Services, LLC

Cindy Earl

Founder & CEO

ClaimYourSpotlight.com

Kathryn Hall

Manager of Diversity

Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District

Tonika Hammonds

Associate Director, Inclusiveness Recruiting Leader

EY

Felicia Johnson

Executive Vice President

Gorilla Group

Christine Lobas

Founder and CEO

Studiothink

Micah Mitchell Hines

Special Counsel

Blackwell Burke

Dr. Akram Boutros

Title: President and Chief Executive Officer

Company MetroHealth System


In his four years as the President and CEO of MetroHealth, the public health system in Cleveland, Akram Boutros, MD, FACHE, has galvanized political leaders, entrepreneurs and the public around supporting community-wide health care many had taken for granted.

With his unwavering commitment to delivering high-quality health care to everyone in Cuyahoga County, Akram Boutros has achieved what many thought was impossible. Under his leadership, The MetroHealth System went to market on its own credit in 2017 and sold $946 million in bonds to rebuild its hospital, revitalize its main campus and resurrect its West Side neighborhood.

That is just one piece of the unprecedented transformation of Cuyahoga County’s public health care system Dr. Boutros has piloted since he arrived at MetroHealth in 2013.

In the four years since, he has created an Integrated Delivery System that provides care at more than 20 community health centers, four emergency departments, four clinics in Discount Drug Mart stores, five MetroExpressCare locations and nine pharmacies. Those are in addition to MetroHealth’s main-campus hospital, which is home to the area’s most experienced Level I Adult Trauma Center, a Level II Pediatric Trauma Center, one of two adult and pediatric burn centers in the state and Ohio’s only Ebola Treatment Center.

Now a more than $1 billion operation, MetroHealth and its caregivers treat patients at more than 1.3 million visits a year.

In the past four years, The MetroHealth System has also created more than 1,200 additional jobs, sent doctors into a dozen Cleveland schools and constructed an $82 million addition to its Critical Care Pavilion. Annual operating revenues have grown from $783 million in 2012 to $1 billion in 2016. And last year, MetroHealth returned $226 million – 22 percent of its operating expenses – to Cuyahoga County in free care and community benefit programs. That is 2.5 times the national average.

An internist with a 25-year record of successful hospital leadership at academic medical centers, community hospitals and specialty hospitals, Dr. Boutros cultivates personal relationships throughout the hospital system and the community along with an atmosphere of personal excellence for everyone he works with.

A graduate of St. John’s University, SUNY Downstate Medical Center and Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program, he has led organizations through strategic repositioning, operational redesign, clinical and physician integration and population-health and risk-contracting programs. He sees collaboration with other health systems, organizations and local residents as a key driver in fulfilling MetroHealth’s mission of leading the way to a healthier community.

His community service includes chairing the American Heart Association 2015 Cleveland  Heart Ball, the most successful in the city’s history.

Tricia Griffith

Title: President and Chief Executive Officer

Company Progressive Insurance


Tricia Griffith was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of Progressive Insurance in July of 2016.  She is responsible for helping the company become consumers’ number one choice and destination for auto and other insurance.

Prior to being named CEO, Griffith served as Personal Lines Chief Operating Officer since April, 2015 overseeing the Company’s Personal Lines, Claims and Customer Relationship Management groups.

Tricia joined Progressive as a claims representative in 1988 and has served in many key leadership positions during her tenure.  She held several managerial positions in the Claims division before being named Chief Human Resource Officer in 2002.  In 2008, she returned to Claims as the group president, overseeing all claims functions. Prior to being named Personal Lines Chief Operating Officer, Tricia was President of Customer Operations, overseeing claims and the customer management group, which comprises the company’s contact center group (sales and delivery), as well as the customer experience, systems experience and workforce management groups.

Tricia has a bachelor’s degree from Illinois State University and is a graduate of the Wharton School of Business’ Advanced Management Program. In 2016 & 2017, she was named one of the “50 Most Powerful Women in Business” by Fortune Magazine.

Sara Shookman

Title: Emmy Award Winning Journalist

Company WKYC3 TV


Sara Shookman is an Emmy-award winning television journalist, glad to be working here at home in Northeast Ohio. Sara began co-anchoring WKYC’s 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. newscasts with Russ Mitchell in 2015. She joined the Channel 3 News team in 2012.

Sara has become one of Channel 3’s go-to storytellers, covering local, national and even international news. She is often assigned to the big story and has filed reports around the country for WKYC-TV’s parent company, TEGNA. The Olympics have been a favorite assignment for Sara. She has covered the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.

Sara sees the possible in Northeast Ohio, and gives time to dozens of organizations each year that do the same. She is a member of the Northern Ohio chapter of Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Board of Trustees and the Board of Directors for Towards Employment, which helps people with barriers to employment find and keep meaningful jobs. She’s also passionate about volunteering with The Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland and the SeriousFun Children’s Network’s Flying Horse Farms in Mt. Gilead.

Sara grew up in Akron. She is a proud graduate of Manchester High School and lover of the Portage Lakes. She is glad to be back at WKYC, where she first worked as an intern during her college years at Ohio University. She graduated summa cum laude from the E. W. Scripps School of Journalism. Prior to WKYC, Sara was reporting and filling in at the anchor desk at WVLT in Knoxville, Tennessee. Sara got her start in television at WOUB in Athens, Ohio.

Edna Kane-Williams

Title: Senior Vice President, Multicultural Leadership

Company AARP


Edna Kane-Williams has over twenty years’ experience in working senior management positions within both nonprofit and for profit organizations, with an emphasis on strategic planning, targeted marketing, community and media outreach, and program development. Her career has had a particular focus on the needs of older adults and multicultural communities.

In her current position as Senior Vice President of Multicultural Leadership at AARP, she is responsible for the development and execution of strategy relating to growing social impact and membership in multicultural communities, including Hispanic/Latino, Asian American Pacific Islander and African American/Black. She previously served as Vice President of Multicultural Markets and  Engagement for the African American Audience, and as Vice President of Strategy and Communications for the AARP Foundation.

Ms. Kane-Williams also served as Senior Vice President of Communications and Social Marketing at IQ Solutions Inc., where she was responsible for developing communications plans and strategies to better market to underserved African American and Hispanic communities. As a Senior Vice President at Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide she worked on program design and implementation,
and developed targeted marketing for underserved populations.

Edna graduated from Yale University with a B.A. and received an M.A. from George Washington University. She is the recipient of a Coro Foundation Fellowship, and was also a Diversity Executive Leadership Program fellow for the American Society of Association Executives.

She is currently a member of the Board of Directors for Legal Counsel
for the Elderly.

She has received numerous career awards, including the Spirit of Democracy Award from the National Coalition of Black Civic Participation (2015), the National Markets Award from the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters (2014), and the Marketing Executive of the Year Award (2015) from Target Market News.

Denise Carkhuff

Title: Private Equity Partner

Company Jones Day


Denise has spent the last twenty-two years (twelve of which as partner) at the global law firm, Jones Day, acting as the principal outside lawyer on a multitude of completed M&A and private
equity transactions. Her experience covers a wide range of matters in a variety of industries and deal structures. Denise has worked on all aspects of the full life cycle of a company, from
incorporation to liquidity event or dissolution. While the main focus of Denise’s practice has been the representation of private equity funds, she also has served in a general counsel function
for countless private companies.

After helping clients with their businesses for the last twenty-two years, she decided to start her own business, Adrenaline Monkey, a family adventure and performance training center dedicated to empowering guests of all ages, sizes and abilities through fun and physical challenges. Inspiring “Adventure For Life”, Adrenaline Monkey will feature ninja warrior style obstacle courses, parkour courses, an aerial ropes course, climbing walls and an arcade.

She sits on the board of Breakthrough Charter Schools, urban charter schools with the mission of giving every scholar a chance to go to college. For over a dozen years, Denise led Women In
Transactions, a networking group for women doing transactional work, which currently sits under the ACG umbrella. She co-leads RRAIN, a women’s group for the Cleveland Jones Day
women lawyers. She was selected to be a “Wise Woman” as part of Deloitte’s Wise Women leadership program. Denise is a member of the current Leadership Cleveland class.

Denise has been blessed with an amazing family. She lives in Concord, OH with her husband and entrepreneur, Dane Wujnovich, and her twin daughters, Eva and Gia. Eva and Gia were the original inspiration for Adrenaline Monkey. Her daughters also inspired her to write and publish a children’s book, Mama’s Heart Fits Two, which explores the sharing issues with which twins and other siblings struggle.

Theresa Harrison

Title: Global Director Diversity & Inclusiveness Procurement Leader

Company EY


Theresa Harrison is the Global Director Diversity & Inclusiveness Procurement Leader at EY, a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. She is responsible for the management and oversight of the EY supplier diversity initiative.  In this role, which she has held since June of 2004, she is responsible for the design, development and implementation of diverse supplier policies, processes, and procedures.

A recognized leader in the industry, Harrison is a frequent public speaker and works to build awareness of the importance of supplier diversity both inside and outside of EY.

She serves as Chair of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) Board of Directors.  She is an active Ambassador engaging prospective Corporate Members. Additionally, she has engineered significant improvements to the organization by developing its Recruitment Program and its Dashboard for success measurement.

Harrison serves on the Diversity Information Resources and AIDC Board of Directors.  She serves on the Supplier Diversity Advisory Board for NMSDC

Ms. Harrison obtained her Bachelor of Science Degree in Management from Emmanuel College and a Masters of Business Administration from Bentley University.

Awards:
·         2013 – Corporate Advocate WBE Hall of Fame
·         2013 – Advocate of the Year by the NY & NJ MSDC
·         2011 – William C. Alcorn Award from WBENC
·         2010 – Applause Award from WBENC
·         2008 – Advocate of the Year by NGLCC
·         2008 – The Network Journal’s Top 40 under 40
·         2008 – WE Magazine “100 Women Impacting Supplier Diversity
·         2006 – WE Magazine “100 Women Impacting Supplier Diversity

Virginia Addicott

Title: President and Chief Executive Office

Company FedEx Custom Critical


Virginia Addicott is president and CEO of FedEx Custom Critical, a leading North American expedited freight carrier located in Green, Ohio. The company provides 24/7 service throughout the United States, Canada, and internationally, delivering hundreds of thousands of critical shipments each year. Expedited shipping services are available through the company’s Surface Expedite, Air Expedite and White Glove Services® divisions. The company also has a subsidiary — FedEx Truckload Brokerage to meet customers’ truckload shipping needs.

Addicott joined FedEx Custom Critical in 1986 and quickly worked her way up the ranks, holding director positions in various departments where she placed a strong focus on organizational culture, customer satisfaction, and developing people.

In each role, Addicott used technology to improve productivity. By streamlining processes, she has improved efficiency and enhanced communication capabilities to move the company forward.

Addicott has been recognized for her leadership both at work and in the community. In recent years she has been inducted into the Northeastern Ohio Business Hall of Fame (2013), received the Women of Power Award from the Akron Urban League (2013), and also received the Leadership Excellence Award from the National Diversity Council (2014). She has also been named to the Inside Business Power 100 list for the past four years (2011–2014) and the Crain’s Cleveland Business Power 150 (2014). In addition, FedEx Custom Critical has been recognized as one of Northeast Ohio’s top workplaces, receiving the NorthCoast 99 Award 13 times, and has also been selected to the Plain Dealer Top Workplaces list in 2013.

Addicott earned a Bachelor of Science degree (‘85) and an EMBA (‘95) from Kent State University. In 2013 she was appointed by Ohio Governor John Kasich to the Kent State Board of Trustees. She is past chair of The Boys and Girls Club of the Western Reserve and past chair of the Greater Akron Chamber of Commerce. She also serves on a number of other boards to benefit the Northeast Ohio community, including Akron Children’s Hospital and the Akron Community Foundation.

Tyronne Stoudemire

Title: Vice President, Global Diversity & Inclusion

Company Hyatt Hotels Corporation


Mr. Tyronne Stoudemire, Global Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion at Hyatt Worldwide, has more than 20 years of experience in diversity and inclusion, and human resource management. At Hyatt Worldwide, Mr. Stoudemire works with the senior leadership team to implement culture, talent, and marketplace strategies that leverage diversity to grow the business across the company’s portfolio of brands. As such, his team and internal corporate partners have implemented diversity-training initiatives including Diversity Business Resource Groups, mentoring programs for high potential women and people of color, a communications and public relations strategy to drive internal engagement and external brand recognition, and enhanced brand marketing effort to further focus on multicultural and LGBT audiences.

A globally recognized executive and highly sought-after speaker he routinely consults with Fortune 100 clients on diversity strategies, with particular insight around how organizational leaders can understand and harness the shifts evident in national and global demographic trends. Tyronne employs a unique talent that results in extraordinary benefits for individuals and organizations and has a proven ability to advance socially responsible corporate initiatives by fostering strategic relationships to promote international grassroots movements.

Ramona Hood

Title: Vice President, Transportation Management

Company FedEx Supply Chain


As Vice President of Transportation Management at FedEx
Supply Chain, Ramona Hood is responsible for providing
leadership and strategic direction on sales, revenue and
business goals for the transportation team. In her role, Hood focuses
on developing industry-leading teams, processes and technologies
that ensure the company’s transportation offerings align with
the entire FedEx Supply Chain portfolio. Prior to FedEx Supply
Chain, Hood held various positions of increasingly responsibility
within FedEx Custom Critical and FedEx Truckload Brokerage.She has 25 years of experience within the FedEx organization.

Recently awarded with Crain’s 2016 Cleveland Women of Note, Smart Business’  2016 Progressive Woman and the 2016 Woman of Influence from Women in Trucking, Hood is known as an influential female leader in the industry and continuously exhibits expertise in operations, sales performance and revenue growth. She currently serves on the Summit Education Initiative board and was previously the chairman of the board of
trustees for Child Appointed Special Advocates. Hood received her
bachelor of arts in Business Management from Walsh University
and master’s degree from Case Western Reserve University.
She currently resides in Copley, Ohio, with her two daughters.

Kathy Lentner

Title: Founder

Company Wise Old Tree


Kathy Lentner is an experienced leadership and personal development coach, marketing consultant, and facilitator with over 15 years of experience partnering with global and regional brands to develop their marketing, their strategic direction and their leaders.  Over the course of her work she has had the opportunity to influence organizations such as Pfizer, Nestle USA, Continental Contitech, John Deere, MTD, Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority, Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland Botanical Garden, Cleveland International Airport, MetroHealth Medical Center, and Ursuline College.

Kathy’s passion is working with individuals to define their ideal vision for their life to help uncover their passion and to create a future which is consistent with what drives them. Kathy enjoys working with individuals who are looking for something more, or want to reignite their passion around their work. She thrives on helping to draw out and inspire her clients to take action towards realizing their happiest, healthiest version of themselves.

Kathy earned her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Marietta College and a master’s in organizational development and analysis from Case Western Reserve University. Kathy has her Executive Coaching Certification from the Weatherhead School of Management and is a health coach. Kathy has also shared her real world expertise as an adjunct faculty member at Kent State University, as a board member for the Marietta College Alumni Association and a board member and advisor for the Ohio Environmental Council.

Kathy lives outside of Cleveland, Ohio with her husband and three sons. In her free time, she enjoys reading, yoga, running, being on the water and “adventure dining” with her family.

Nichole Barnes Marshall

Title: Chief Diversity Officer

Company LBrands


With a deep and abiding commitment to diversity and inclusion, Nichole Barnes Marshall has built a remarkable career in Diversity and Inclusion leadership.  Always seeking to empower others, Nichole has dedicated her time and talents to endeavors that enable people to take their lives to the next level.

Nichole has recently taken on the role of Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer for L Brands, the world-reknowned retailer of iconic brands specializing in lingerie, personal care and beauty products, apparel and accessories. She leads the development and implementation of inclusion and diversity strategies for L Brands’ 88,000 associates worldwide.

Nichole has a robust background with 20 years of expertise in Diversity and Inclusion leadership, Talent Acquisition and Community Relations.  Before joining L Brands, Nichole was Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion for Aon plc, where she established a framework of policy and practices that advanced Aon’s recognition as a top company for diversity and inclusion. She was also Senior Manager of Inclusion and Diversity for W.W. Grainger, Inc., where she led the successful execution of Grainger’s inclusion and diversity strategies in the areas of inclusive culture, education and workforce diversity.  She also previously worked for Aon in roles of Director of Community Affairs and Diversity Recruitment Manager, where she demonstrated leadership in engaging employees in the community and attracting the best and brightest diverse talent the marketplace had to offer.  She has also served in HR leadership roles at Tribune Company and IBM Global Services.

Throughout the years, Nichole has been actively engaged in the Chicago-area community and has played a leadership role in several important civic and professional organizations, including Leadership Greater Chicago, The Executives’ Club of Chicago, The Chicago Sinfonietta, The Museum of Science and Industry – Black Creativity Advisory Committee, The National Association of African Americans in Human Resources (NAAAHR) and Chicago United.  An avid reader and public speaker, Nichole is also a commercial voice actor and a sought after speaker and facilitator for numerous conferences, symposia and events.

Nichole is a graduate of Western Illinois University with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Sociology.  A devoted wife and mother, Nichole is married to her sweetheart Kenny Marshall, and has 3 beautiful children; Kennedy, Erin and Nicholas.

April Miller Boise

Title: SVP, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary

Company Meritor, Inc.


Ms. Boise is the Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of Meritor, Inc. a NYSE traded company and a leading global supplier of drivetrain, mobility, braking and aftermarket solutions for commercial vehicle and industrial markets. This is her third role serving as a General Counsel of a global industrial manufacturing company and leading a global team of lawyers and compliance and trade professionals.  Ms. Boise has more than twenty years’ experience advising boards of directors and executive leadership teams of public and private companies, particularly on matters of corporate governance, strategic relationships, joint ventures and capital markets transactions and leading strategic acquisitions and successful exits.  She has significant international experience, particularly in China, Brazil, Europe, Australia, and the Philippines.   She has had the pleasure to serve with three highly effective executive leadership teams and reports to the chief executive officer.   

 

Prior to going in-house, Ms. Boise held executive management and leadership roles in a large law firm where she was the first female managing partner of the headquarters office and a member of the firm-wide executive committee. She also served as the chair of the firm’s Private Equity group and was a founder and chair of the women’s initiative.

 

Prior Experience:

As Senior Vice President, General Counsel, Head of Global M&A and Corporate Secretary at AVINTIV Inc. (formerly the Polymer Group Inc.) Ms. Boise was responsible for the legal affairs of the global manufacturing company and served as the chief compliance officer.   Additionally, Ms. Boise led the company’s M&A function, focusing on accelerating the company’s growth through acquisitions and other strategic alliances.    During her tenure, AVINTIV launched a comprehensive global rebranding campaign to better reflect its mission and impact on the world. AVINTIV excels in the innovative application of technology to create versatile, high-performance specialty materials for applications in Infection Prevention, High Performance Solutions and Personal Care.    Ms. Boise lead AVINTIV’s successful sale to a strategic buyer, Berry Plastics, Inc. (NYSE).

 

Prior to joining AVINTIV, Ms. Boise was the General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer of  Veyance Technologies, Inc. (formerly Goodyear Engineered Products), a global industrial manufacturer of highly engineered products for end markets including mining, oil and gas, defense, agriculture and automotive.  Ms. Boise advised Veyance in the successful sale of the company to Continental AG of Germany.   

 

Professional Awards:

Ms. Boise has received numerous accolades for her legal work and for work to help diversify the bar.  For example, was named by American Lawyer as one of 45 Women Under 45 to Watch, she was named  to the Power 100: Northeast Ohio’s Most Influential People by Inside Business.  She was recognized by Chambers USA: Americas Leading Lawyers for Business in the Corporate Mergers and Acquisitions category for five years in a row from 2005 to 2010 prior to going in house.  She was recognized as a YWCA Woman of Achievement.

 

Boards and Community Affiliations:

Ms. Boise has always been active in the broader business and charitable community.  Past roles include:  Board of Directors of Taylor Oswald Insurance, Chair of the Visiting Committee at Cleveland Marshall School of Law, and Board of Trustees of the St. Luke’s Foundation, University Hospitals System, The Cleveland Museum of Art, The Cleveland Foodbank, the Cleveland Zoological Society, the Cuyahoga Community College Foundation and Team NEO (an organization committed to economic development and job creation in Northeast Ohio).  She is a former member of Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO), Leadership Cleveland and Cleveland Bridgebuilders.  

 

Education and Bar Admissions:

Ms. Boise received a Bachelor’s of Business Administration from the University of Michigan Business School, magna cum laude, and a Juris Doctor from the University of Chicago Law School.  She is licensed to practice in Ohio and New York.

 

Fun Facts:

Ms. Boise took her dog to Paris when she was 21; helped build a house on an all women crew with Habitat For Humanity; and led a women only tour group to the United Arab Emirates with stops in Dubai and Abu Dhabi to learn about the role of women in Islamic countries.  She has a sense of adventure and a passion for supporting women and girls.

April Miller Boise

Title: SVP, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary

Company Meritor, Inc.


Ms. Boise is the Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of Meritor, Inc. a NYSE traded company and a leading global supplier of drivetrain, mobility, braking and aftermarket solutions for commercial vehicle and industrial markets. This is her third role serving as a General Counsel of a global industrial manufacturing company and leading a global team of lawyers and compliance and trade professionals.  Ms. Boise has more than twenty years’ experience advising boards of directors and executive leadership teams of public and private companies, particularly on matters of corporate governance, strategic relationships, joint ventures and capital markets transactions and leading strategic acquisitions and successful exits.  She has significant international experience, particularly in China, Brazil, Europe, Australia, and the Philippines.   She has had the pleasure to serve with three highly effective executive leadership teams and reports to the chief executive officer.   

Prior to going in-house, Ms. Boise held executive management and leadership roles in a large law firm where she was the first female managing partner of the headquarters office and a member of the firm-wide executive committee. She also served as the chair of the firm’s Private Equity group and was a founder and chair of the women’s initiative.

Prior Experience:

As Senior Vice President, General Counsel, Head of Global M&A and Corporate Secretary at AVINTIV Inc. (formerly the Polymer Group Inc.) Ms. Boise was responsible for the legal affairs of the global manufacturing company and served as the chief compliance officer.   Additionally, Ms. Boise led the company’s M&A function, focusing on accelerating the company’s growth through acquisitions and other strategic alliances.    During her tenure, AVINTIV launched a comprehensive global rebranding campaign to better reflect its mission and impact on the world. AVINTIV excels in the innovative application of technology to create versatile, high-performance specialty materials for applications in Infection Prevention, High Performance Solutions and Personal Care.    Ms. Boise lead AVINTIV’s successful sale to a strategic buyer, Berry Plastics, Inc. (NYSE).

Prior to joining AVINTIV, Ms. Boise was the General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer of  Veyance Technologies, Inc. (formerly Goodyear Engineered Products), a global industrial manufacturer of highly engineered products for end markets including mining, oil and gas, defense, agriculture and automotive.  Ms. Boise advised Veyance in the successful sale of the company to Continental AG of Germany.   

Professional Awards:

Ms. Boise has received numerous accolades for her legal work and for work to help diversify the bar.  For example, was named by American Lawyer as one of 45 Women Under 45 to Watch, she was named  to the Power 100: Northeast Ohio’s Most Influential People by Inside Business.  She was recognized by Chambers USA: Americas Leading Lawyers for Business in the Corporate Mergers and Acquisitions category for five years in a row from 2005 to 2010 prior to going in house.  She was recognized as a YWCA Woman of Achievement.

Boards and Community Affiliations:

Ms. Boise has always been active in the broader business and charitable community.  Past roles include:  Board of Directors of Taylor Oswald Insurance, Chair of the Visiting Committee at Cleveland Marshall School of Law, and Board of Trustees of the St. Luke’s Foundation, University Hospitals System, The Cleveland Museum of Art, The Cleveland Foodbank, the Cleveland Zoological Society, the Cuyahoga Community College Foundation and Team NEO (an organization committed to economic development and job creation in Northeast Ohio).  She is a former member of Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO), Leadership Cleveland and Cleveland Bridgebuilders.  

Education and Bar Admissions:

Ms. Boise received a Bachelor’s of Business Administration from the University of Michigan Business School, magna cum laude, and a Juris Doctor from the University of Chicago Law School.  She is licensed to practice in Ohio and New York.

Fun Facts:

Ms. Boise took her dog to Paris when she was 21; helped build a house on an all women crew with Habitat For Humanity; and led a women only tour group to the United Arab Emirates with stops in Dubai and Abu Dhabi to learn about the role of women in Islamic countries.  She has a sense of adventure and a passion for supporting women and girls.

Dr. Tyffani Dent

Title: President

Company Monford Dent Consulting & Psychological Services, LLC


Dr. Dent is a licensed psychologist and author. In 2011, she founded Monford Dent Consulting, LLC to provide program development, training/consultation, and motivational workshops to others. Through MD Consulting, Dr. Dent has served as a consultant and trainer under various federal and state grants in the areas of sexual violence in juvenile correctional systems, and prevention/response to campus sexual assault as well as having provided mental health trainings throughout the United States. Dr. Dent is the Clinical Director at a community-based counseling center serving all of Northeast Ohio. In addition, she is the developer of Sisters of Tamar Support Circle, a faith-based sexual abuse support group guide and has worked with the Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence (OAESV) to train churches in its use. Dr. Dent is the author of two books: Girls Got Issues: A Woman’s Guide to Self-discovery and Healing, a self-help book addressing women’s emotional health and You Got This! A Girl’s Guide to Growing Up, addressing the needs of girls.

Dr. Dent serves on the Executive Boards of NAMI-Greater Cleveland and the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers (ATSA), as well as many other state and county committees addressing sexual violence, mental health, and the emotional wellness of girls and women.

Dr. Dent received her B.A. from Wilberforce University and her doctorate in clinical psychology from Wright State University. She is the wife of Travis Dent and the loving mother of Mia and Zoe.

Cindy Earl

Title: Founder & CEO

Company ClaimYourSpotlight.com


Cindy Earl, M.Ed. is the founder of ClaimYourSpotlight.com and Red Carpet Women Network (RCWN). Cindy is a well-respected consultant, trainer, author, and small business growth expert for women in small business. Her areas of expertise include marketing strategy, public relations, lead generation, social media and online business tools.

She is an Amazon best selling contributing author and frequent speaker on business marketing and social media. She has been featured on Fox Business, Cox Blue Business, The Cleveland Plain Dealer and Inside Business Magazine.

Cindy is a Book Yourself Solid® Certified Coach and the author of “Claim Your Spotlight: Become an Instant Expert in Your Niche & Walk the Red Carpet to Business Success.”Her products and services have helped simplify marketing for hundreds of small business owners, authors, experts, speakers, coaches and consultants worldwide. She is a graduate of Ohio University with a master’s degree in higher educational administration and a bachelor’s degree in organizational communication.

Kathryn Hall

Title: Manager of Diversity

Company Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District


Kathryn M. Hall, CDP is a Certified Diversity Professional with more than 20 years of experience in the field of diversity and inclusion.  She holds a Master’s degree in Psychology with an emphasis on Diversity Management from Cleveland State University.  She has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with a minor in Sociology from Baldwin Wallace University. She was also certified by the NTL, Washington, D.C. with Specialization in Diversity Management.  She recently gained certification as an Executive Coach from the Case Western Reserve University Weatherhead School of Management having served as a coach for 10 plus years.

Hall currently serves as the Chief Diversity Officer for the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District in Cleveland, Ohio. Under her leadership the organization has won numerous awards for its work in the area of diversity both locally and nationally. Kathryn previously served as the Chief Diversity Officer for a number of years at both Case Western Reserve University and Cuyahoga Community College. She is frequently sought out as a Consultant in the areas of diversity and inclusion, community engagement, supplier diversity, intergenerational differences and business development.

Hall has provided Diversity Consulting Services through Cuyahoga Community College Corporate College as well as her own firm.  Clients have included various corporate, university and non-profit organizations locally and nationally.

Kathryn’s community service includes The Council for Economic Opportunities in Greater Cleveland; The Community Relations Board for the City of Cleveland; The Commission on Economic Inclusion; The United Black Fund of Cleveland, and The UNCF of Cleveland. She was recently recognized by Who’s Who in Black Cleveland. She was also awarded the 2017 Stephanie Tubbs Jones Community Service Award by the Women of Color Foundation.

Hall resides in Cleveland, Ohio and is very active in the community working with various ethnic and young professional groups. She believes that it is critical to build a bridge among the various generations. In her spare time Kathryn enjoys basketball, football, collecting fine art and traveling.

Tonika Hammonds

Title: Associate Director, Inclusiveness Recruiting Leader

Company EY


Tonika Hammonds is the Inclusiveness Recruiting Leader – focusing on experienced recruiting for EY’s Americas Inclusiveness Recruiting Center of Excellence.  Her primary responsibilities include providing strategic direction around attracting diverse experienced professionals to EY, as well as managing several national projects and conferences.  She is also responsible for developing and leading initiatives focused on positioning EY as an employer of choice.

Tonika began her career with EY in January 2011.  Prior to joining EY, she served as the Area Director for Ajilon Finance and Professional Staffing, leading teams in the Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan markets.  Tonika has more than 20 years of recruiting, business development and leadership experience within professional services and the financial services industry.

Tonika has a B.A. in Business and Organization Communication/ Public Relations and an M.A. in Education from The University of Akron.  She has served as a board member for the Women’s Endowment Fund and is an alumna of Torchbearers.  Tonika is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., the National Black MBA Association, and the Association of Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting.

Tonika resides in Akron, Ohio and is the mother of two children, Michael and Logan.

Felicia Johnson

Title: Executive Vice President

Company Gorilla Group


Felicia Johnson has over 20 years of experience in the Technology Strategy and eCommerce Implementation industry that aid in her ability to provide innovative delivery solutions, sales direction for new and existing customers, strategic process management, leadership development, and enterprise technology based solutions to organizations of all industries. Her background is one that is complete with the entire lifecycle of how people, combined with process and technology, are used to integrate greatness into an organization.

Felicia has played many roles in her career such as Executive Director of Project Management Offices and Internet Strategies, Engagement Leadership Manager of eBusiness/eCommerce Solutions, Senior Executive Director of Technology with a focus on Business Intelligence, Business and Programming Analyst, and most recently Vice President of Strategic Accounts. Her corporation experience ranges from working with Fortune 500 and Fortune 1000 firms, as well as US based and international middle market organizations. In addition, she has worked with such clients as Dow Corning/Dow Chemical, Hubbell Industries, Lenscrafters, Allied Industry Technologies, Walgreen’s Pharmacy, Medical Mutual of Ohio, Whole Health Management, InkStop, Pat Catans, The Cleveland Clinic, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Ohio Savings Bank, National City Bank, Formtech, Bearings Inc, Charles Schwab, Nationwide Insurance, Nationwide Insurance and more.

With a formal background in Sales Execution, Strategic Technology Planning, Account Management, Project Management Methodology, Technical Programming, Infrastructure and Design, Business Intelligence Solutions and User Interface Design, Felicia brings a broad and complete perspective to building effective customer relationships, continual growth in already existing accounts all accompanied with value based conversations that lead to additional revenue. Additionally, she is focused on directing, building and proving corporate initiatives, using a hybrid methodology of Waterfall techniques and the Agile/Scrum methodology, in major international health care, retail, manufacturing, banking, insurance, financial and start-up companies to create and implement powerful and profitable software/technology

Felicia received her Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and a Master of Science in Computer Science with a concentration in Software Engineering from Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio. She is currently the Chair of the Advisory Board for Black Girls Code. She has had formal training in Agile /SCRUM Project Management and has been recognized as a certified Information Technology Programmer and Project Manager for the Manufacturing, Health Care, Transportation, Insurance and Government industries. In addition, she is a member of Black Data Processing Organization, National Black MBA, Project Management Institute, COSE and the Northern Ohio Minority Business Council (NOMBC). Her consulting company, Point2Point Consulting, is a recognized Minority Business Executive (MBE) company and she strategizes with many executive boards for diversity inclusion of minority owned businesses.

Christine Lobas

Title: Founder and CEO

Company Studiothink


Christine Lobas is the CEO/Founder of Studiothink, a strategic brand marketing & communications company headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio. A graduate of Cleveland State University and Ursuline College with more than 20 years of experience in traditional and interactive advertising, creative direction, writing and public relations, Christine establishes a unique and comprehensive approach to strategic and creative direction for Studiothink clients. Christine has garnered awards for writing and creative direction and, prior to opening her own strategic communications/design firm, served as lead publicist and local media contact for clients including Verizon Wireless, Chipotle Restaurants and Norwalk Furniture, and subsequently was vice president and creative director for a Cleveland-based full-service advertising agency. Christine holds a certification in Gerontological studies in addition to her Marketing/Business degree and is a member of the American Advertising Federation, The American Marketing Association, The Legal Marketing Association, the Cleveland chapter of the Global Entrepreneurs’ Organization, and serves on the boards of the Epilepsy Association, the Benjamin Rose Institute, the Corporate Committee of Southwest General Hospital, and the Entrepreneurs Organization; please reach her through: christine@studiothink.net.

Micah Mitchell Hines

Title: Special Counsel

Company Blackwell Burke


Originally a native of Baltimore Maryland, Micah grew up in a family of leaders, civil rights activists and change agents. She learned at a young age that one person can make a difference, and vowed to devote her life to helping others.

Micah is a transformational, strategic and compassionate leader and developer of people. In her most recent position as General Counsel and Assistant Chief of Staff to Governor Mark Dayton, she served on the Governor’s senior leadership team and as a key advisor to the Governor and Lieutenant Governor on strategic and policy initiatives, legislation, community relations, judicial appointments, and legal matters. Micah greatly enjoyed working on issues that impacted the people of Minnesota, including the state’s health insurance exchange, minimum wage, the Women’s Economic Security Act, the Freedom to Marry Law, diversity and inclusion efforts, employment of people with disabilities, environmental issues related to clean water and air, capitol security, state land use, and tribal matters.

Representing the Governor and his office, Micah delivered remarks on behalf of the Governor at national conferences, community events, and investiture ceremonies for judges appointed to the Minnesota Court of Appeals. In addition, she served as the Governor’s designee and advised him in his role as Chair of the State Board of Investment (SBI), the state agency responsible for investment and management of $80B in state retirement assets.

Micah is a graduate of Duke University and the University of Michigan Law School. She recently settled in the Akron area, and is the proud wife of Daron Hines and Mom of 11 month old daughter, Alivia Ann.