Speakers

March 2015 DEF Logo

Dr. Devona WilliamsDr. Devona Williams, President/CEO , Goeins-Williams Associates, Inc.

Dr. Devona Williams founded Goeins-Williams Associates, Inc., (GWA) in 1986 to “help organizations achieve greater productivity in strategic work environments”.  As President/CEO of GWA, Dr. Williams has contributed her talents to helping nearly 50000 individuals in hundreds of organizations increase their performance and effectiveness. Dr. Williams is an expert in strategic planning, organizational performance assessment, development and improvement, meeting and retreat facilitation. Williams and her company also provide professional development in leadership, diversity and team building. Her firm has provided diversity training, developed curriculum and provided consultation on cultural diversity and inclusion to nearly 9000 employees in hundreds of organizations including corporations, governments, hospitals, school districts and nonprofit organizations. Williams speaks on business, diversity, leadership, motivation, and success and is often quoted in the media on these topics. She is author of the new release, The Intentional Consultant: How to grow a sustainable practice, contributing author to the inspirational book, Remarkable Women and creator of the internationally best-selling Spice of Life® Diversity Card training tool.  Williams was named Entrepreneur of the Year by the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., Psi Iota & Psi Epsilon Chapters in 2011 and Consultant of the year by the Denver Business Journal in 2006. Dr. Williams received her doctorate in Urban Affairs & Public Policy from the University of Delaware.  In 1995, she received the University of Delaware’s Presidential Citation for Outstanding Achievement and the Distinguished Alumna Award from the University’s College of Urban Affairs & Public Policy.  (www.goeinswilliams.com).

Rosa ColonDr. Rosa M. Colon-Kolacko, Ph.D., MBA, CDM , SVP Christiana Care Learning Institute and Chief Diversity Officer, Learning Institute at Christiana Care Health Systems

Rosa M. Colon-Kolacko, Ph.D., MBA, CDM is currently SVP, Christiana Care Learning Institute and Chief Diversity Officer. Dr. Colon-Kolacko has more than twenty years’ experience in a variety of roles in North America, Latin America, Puerto Rico, Europe, and Asia, Rosa reports directly to Christiana Care’s President and CEO. Dr. Colon-Kolacko holds a Ph.D. in Organizational Development and Change from Benedictine University, a MBA from Brunel University in England, a post-graduate Marketing Diploma from the Chartered Institute of Marketing, London, a Bachelor’s Degree in Business from Columbia College, and a Professional Certificate in Human Resource Management from Villanova University. She has also a Certificate in Diversity Management (CDM) from Georgetown University and the AHA Institute for Diversity in Healthcare Management and has completed executive education at Harvard Business School and a Senior Leadership Certificate from American College of Healthcare Executives. She is an active researcher and has held Academic positions as Professor of Professional Practice at Bowling Green State University, adjunct faculty at Georgetown University and University of Delaware. Dr. Colon-Kolacko currently serves on the American Leadership Council of the Institute for Diversity in Health Management, an affiliate of the American Hospital Association (AHA). She has also been appointed by the Governor of Delaware to serve in the DE Hispanic Commission where she is the Chair of the Health & Social Services Committee, and is a member of DE State Healthcare Innovation Patient and Consumer Advisory Committee and the University of Delaware Employee Development Advisory Council. She serves in multiple boards including Vice Chair of the Board of the Latin American Community Center and the Treasurer of the National Board of the American Colleague of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) -National Latino Forum. Under her leadership, Christiana Care has achieved national recognition related to learning & development and diversity.

Terri Hartwell EasterTerri Hartwell Easter, Management Consultant, Strategic Human Resources Expert, Executive Coach

As the former Chief Operating Officer of a top 100 national AmLaw legal practice and highly regarded organizational change strategist for leading professional service firms, commercial banks, and the White House alike, Terri’s trademark is bringing new approaches and innovative thinking to some of the toughest human resource management changes and most aggressive revenue enhancement goals. Understanding that, at the heart of every organization is its people, Terri’s pragmatic, informed approach is to lead lasting positive outcomes both for individuals and for an entire organization’s culture. With a renowned diversity practice, Terri works with clients to frame day-to-day business through a lens of inclusion to attract and retain a more diverse workforce, and create pathways to business growth. With management and operational expertise across the United States, and in countries around the world, including Belgium, Egypt, Russia, South Africa and the United Kingdom, she knows how to work authentically with a company’s culture to create an environment where everyone can thrive. Leveraging expert coaching, organizational assessment, business process re-engineering, and professional development skills, Terri’s adept navigation of some of the most highly regulated, competitive environments, is widely regarded in the industry. She has worked with a full range of talent – from both rising leaders to the most seasoned executives – to inspire more effective, inclusive management practices, helping them embrace change, reinvigorate, and manage more nimbly and effectively. Terri is regularly asked to speak to human resource and recruiting executives about her unique knowledge. She’s presented at the American Bar Association’s National Conference, SHRM National Diversity & Inclusion Conference, Delaware Chapter of SHRM , and the Delaware Chapter of the National Association of African Americans in Human Resources (DE NAAAHR) Diversity Exchange Forum. She is a graduate of Southeastern University, with graduate coursework in business administration from Howard and Harvard Universities, and specialized training in business process re-engineering and service quality management from the Disney Institute and Stanford University. She is a former trustee of Southeastern University and former Chair of the Human Resources Section of the Association of Legal Administrations (CapitalChapter).

Jim GrigsbyJim Grigsby, Organizational Effectiveness, W.L. Gore & Associates

Jim Grigsby has helped pioneer using personal relationships built across differences as a basis for creating higher functioning teams at W. L. Gore & Associates. Jim has over fifteen years of industry experience in leading technical teams combined with four years of working on diversity and inclusion initiatives at Gore as part of their Enterprise Diversity Team. He is the co-founder of White Men Supporting Diversity (WMSD) whose mission is to help break down barriers between majority and minority groups at Gore through programs such as Building Relationships across Differences (B-RaD). This background uniquely positions Jim to speak to, and provide creative ideas on building relationships and trust in the workplace with the goal of supporting better business results.

RWWIIDr. Ronald Whitaker II, NAAAHR DE Chief Diversity Officer & Diversity Council

Dr. Whitaker is a highly qualified scholar-practitioner, educator, administrator, and servant leader, committed to promoting the personal development and holistic success of individuals, in addition to advocating for diversity, equity, inclusion, and cultural awareness through the lens of social justice! He is revered amongst colleagues for combining diversity theory and practice, in addition to engaging in “courageous conversations” in a respectful manner. Professionally, Dr. Whitaker is currently a committee member for the National Association of Chief Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADOHE), a clinical professor, senior administrator, and researcher at Lancaster Bible College at the Center for Urban Theological Studies, a sought after educational and diversity consultant, and a UCEA Barbara L. Jackson Scholar. He has presented workshops on issues related to cultural awareness, diversity, and talent management at highly selective universities such as: Columbia University, Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania, Vanderbilt University, and University of Delaware. Dr. Whitaker has also presented his research at national and international academic and professional conferences, including the Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion International Conference in Munich, Germany. Educationally, Dr. Ron Whitaker completed his Doctoral Degree in Educational Leadership at Duquesne University. His research explored the intersection of racial identity and systemic inequalities through the lens of social justice. He also earned a Master’s Degree in Education (M.S. Ed) from University of Pennsylvania, a Master’s Degree in Business Administration (M.B.A.) from Eastern University and undergraduate degrees in Leadership and Biblical Studies from Geneva College, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude.

Brenda SotoBrenda Soto, PHR, MBA, CSSGB, International Talent Management Consultant

Brenda is a dynamic bilingual Human Resources professional with outstanding interpersonal skills and sound record of accomplishments in both individual and teamwork environments within diverse business scenarios. She is the founder of Brenda Soto Associates, a Talent Management Consulting firm that specializes in Spanish and English services. With over 20 years of comprehensive human resources experience, Brenda’s expertise includes recruitment and retention, employee relations, talent management, performance development, and process improvements with demonstrated results while evaluating, developing, and implementing new/existing programs. Brenda is also a certified professional in Human Resources (PHR) who graduated Cum Laude from Inter Americana University of Puerto Rico with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing , a Master’s degree in Business with a major in Human Resources Management from University of Phoenix, Certified Return on Investment (ROI) Professional from Jack Phillips ROI Institute, a Certified Lean Six Sigma Green Belt from University of Delaware, and graduated from the Dale Carnegie Leadership Course®: Effective Communications and Human Relations. She has participated in the development and implementation of restructuring projects for Fortune 500 organizations, while aligning people’s needs with business. During her career, she has supported diverse geographical areas such as Latin America, North America, the Caribbean, and Western Europe. Brenda is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of College of Business at Wilmington University, offering coursework in her specialty area of Human Resources Management, Leadership and Organizational Development for undergraduate and graduate degree programs. In the community, she has been an active volunteer working for non-profit organizations serving as a Translator, Career Advisor, and Mentor Coach for youth Latino students in the transition from high school to College. In 2014, Brenda was appointed, by the Hon. Governor Jack Markell, to serve as an Executive Board member for Delaware Hispanic Commission.

Grace OdumsGrace A. Odums, Author

An Independent Leadership and Strategy Consultant, Ms. Odums has a growing consultancy spanning over twenty years. Her impressive client list boasts Fortune 500 and Fortune Global 1000 companies including: Disney ABC Media NetWorks, Waste Management, Fairmount Southampton Resorts, Chevron-Phillips, Siemens Medical Solutions, Wells Fargo Bank and more. A much sought after international speaker, Grace welcomes the opportunity to partner with organizations and professionals in the areas of management coaching, revenue recapture, change leadership, optimum customer care, talent performance enhancement, productivity improvement, increased efficiencies, balanced scorecard architecture, and diversity & inclusion strategy creation with D&I scorecard and strategy map development, with system-wide implementation. Ms. Odums has been featured on CN8 – Comcast Newsmakers, sharing proven strategies for creating and sustaining a highly engaged workforce. Her voice can be heard in the 2007 radio advertising campaign for Holy Family University: Wake Up Your Mind. Grace’s insights addressing “Avoiding Stereotypes” countered the Don Imus debacle and may be viewed on SHRM’s national website – Multimedia Store. Notable published works include: A New Year’s Resolution – Optimize Older Workers: T&D Magazine, Now That You Have Them – How Do You Retain Them? – The Diversity Factor – Rutgers University. In addition, Grace has written scores of procedural manuals in the areas of retail banking, mortgage lending and healthcare revenue recapture. She has logged thousands of hours in course design, development and platform delivery. Grace has held several positions of influence, including Manager of Training & Development – Frankford Hospitals, Senior Manager Training & Staff Development – Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, and Assistant Vice President, Affordable Housing Program Manager- GMAC Mortgage. Grace holds a Bachelors in Leadership from Integrity Bible Institute, IBI, and is currently pursuing her Master’s in Education – IBI. She has received other professional training at Holy Family – (Marketing), Arcadia – (Business Management), and Temple – (Accounting), Universities. She also attended the University of the District of Columbia on athletic scholarship.

Kevin Bacot's PhotoKevin Bacot, NAAAHR Delaware Sr. Board Advisor & Diversity Council

Kevin Bacot has been employed with Pepco Holdings Inc. since July 2009.  He is a Lead Talent Strategy and Workforce Planning Consultant.  In his current role he is responsible for designing a workforce planning process model to analyze PHI’s workforce and forecast future talent needs by focusing on projected retirements, turnover, and fill rates. He recently served as the Project Manager for PHI’s Applicant Tracking System Replacement Project.  The bulk of Kevin’s professional career has been spent serving in the U.S. Air Force as an Aircraft Technician working on the F-4, F-16, A-10 and C-5 aircraft from 1984 to 1997.  In 1997, he decided to make a career change and took on the demanding challenge as an Air Force Recruiter.  Kevin volunteers to support Easter Seals, YMCA Black Achievers, American Heart Association, Delaware Junior Achievement, and many more fundraising activities. He currently serves as Board President for Brandywine Counseling and Community Services.  Kevin received his BS in Workforce Education & Development from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale Ill.  He is currently pursuing his MBA through Wilmington University.

Vicki CotterVicki Cotter, MS, SPHR, CPCC, ACC

Vicki is a global leader who has coached, trained, facilitated and developed leaders, leadership teams and individuals at all levels in organizations large and small, public and private, and in the US, Europe and Asia.   Vicki is known for her fierce courage and ability to speak the truth. Vicki is a strategic thinker with expertise in Human Systems and Change Management. Vicki spent 15 years at W.L. Gore & Associates, a global technology company, in senior Human Resources & Organizational Development Leadership roles. Vicki understands manufacturing, technology, and operations in a technical environment. Vicki also spent time in banking, healthcare and consumer electronics before launching Keep it Simple, a small company specializing in executive coaching, leadership and team development, change management, culture enrichment, and creating engagement. In her partnerships with leaders and teams both business results and employee engagement were improved. Vicki has a Master of Science in Human Resource Management, and holds the designation of Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR). Vicki is a certified coach with credentials from the International Coaching Federation and The Coaches Training Institute.  She is also trained in the neuroscience of coaching and leadership. Vicki is happily married to Mark. They have four kids and two cats. And, her favorite place in the world is anywhere there is a beach.