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Diversity and Inclusion Summit
The Business Case for An Inclusive Workplace.
Summit attendees learned about why creating a more diverse workforce is not only good for social progress but also imperative for the financial wellbeing of your company.
Event date: March 30, 2021
Keynote Speaker: Eric Ellis, M.A.
Eric has conducted national keynote addresses for the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM), WBENC and multiple business expositions. He moderated the Common Ground broadcasts for ABC affiliates WCPO-TV and PBS’ WCET-TV during Cincinnati’s civil unrest. He has recently published a book, “Diversity Conversations,”which explores the practical application of managing inclusion.
Previously, Eric had been Managing Director of Inroads Greater Cincinnati/Dayton, a training and development organization, and Program Director for the University of Cincinnati’s Division of Evening College and Continuing Education. He has an M.A. in Planning from the University of Cincinnati where he also completed two years of post-graduate studies focused on organizational development. He earned a B.A. in Business from Wright State University where he was a member of their NCAA Division l National Championship Basketball team.
The recipient of many awards, Ellis has received a State of Ohio Governor’s Citation, recognition for leadership by former President Bush’s Point of Light Foundation and the designation as Greater Cincinnati’s Big Brother of the Year. Integrity Development was also awarded Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber’s Small Business of the Year Award and Ohio’s Minority Business of the Year Award.
He has been described by the Cincinnati Enquirer as “Cincinnati’s Diversity Fixer.” He can be heard nationally on his weekly radio broadcast entitled Diversity Conversations, which can be heard globally through www.1320thevoice.com.
Moderator: Qiana Cressman
Executive Director of Donor Operations at Miller-Keystone Blood Center and publisher of Emerge Woman Magazine
Qiana Cressman has 20+ years of leadership experience in business development, media relations, community engagement and diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in healthcare. She has generated over $35MM in overall revenue. Currently, Qiana serves as Executive Director of Donor Operations at Miller-Keystone Blood Center. She is the youngest and first woman of color appointed to this role managing a team of more than 150 employees and managers. In 2018, she founded Emerge Enterprise Media, LLC: A multi-media organization that publishes
Emerge Woman Magazine. Emerge has readers in 16 states and has featured over 200 womens’ stories. She holds board seats on the MTS Sickle Cell Foundation, Inc., Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce Board of Governors and Co-Chairs the Board of Directors for the African American Business Leaders Council. In 2020 she was selected as a Woman of Influence award by Lehigh Valley Business. Qiana has a B.S. in Management.
Panelist: Desha Dickson
Associate Vice President, Community Health and Co-Chair of the Reading Hospital Diversity & Inclusion Council
Desha Dickson is the Associate Vice President of Community Wellness for Reading Hospital/Tower Health. She oversees development, implementation and management of community benefit programs. She is responsible for leading the Community Health Needs Assessment for the seven hospitals within the Tower Health system. She aligns internal and external stakeholders to address pressing community health needs. She has led the Hospital in adding innovative programming to address the social needs of patients, such as the Medical Legal Partnership program, Accountable Health Communities and the Street Medicine program. She has close to twenty years of combined experience working with healthcare and community based nonprofit organizations. Desha believes strongly in the value of strategic, community-centered partnerships to address population health. She holds an MS degree in Nonprofit and Organizational Management from Eastern University.
Panelist: Judith A. Harris
Judith A. Harris, Co-Chair of the Estate, Trust & Individual Tax Practice Group, has over 30 years of experience in the areas of taxation, wills and trusts, estate administration, business matters, and tax exempt entities.
In addition to creating estate plans for clients from the most sophisticated to the most basic of wills, revocable trusts, powers of attorney, and living wills, Judith’s specialties include business matters involving corporations, partnerships, and limited liability companies. Her practice also includes the creation and representation of charitable trusts and foundations, as well as representation of estates, trusts, and beneficiaries in disputes before the Orphans’ Court. She handles the resolution of tax controversies for business and individual taxpayers before all divisions of the Internal Revenue Service and the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue. These cases often involve estate, business, and individual audits, or the resolution of collection efforts such as liens, levies, and garnishments by the IRS and state taxing authorities.
As an estate planning and tax attorney, Judith frequently works with clients to structure the optimal transfer of a client’s wealth and business interests to younger generations with minimal tax consequences.
Panelist: William D. Brown
CEO, FIA NYC Employment Services
An experienced businessman with over 25 years of experience, Brown manages several businesses. In 2012, he co-founded FIA NYC, LLC. Employment Services and soon thereafter became the CEO and Director of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion. In addition, the founder of the Lehigh Valley based 11Thirty Entertainment, LLC.
As an established leadership mentor, Mr. Brown has worked with accomplished business owners, Broadway performers, award winning actors, and community leaders. In 2019, he founded Vision Buildaz, a mentoring platform that provides guidance in realizing your purpose and fulfilling your destiny.
In 2011, Mr. Brown established a food outreach program in the Bronx, NY, which feeds hundreds of people on a weekly basis. He is a member of the Board of Advisors for Monroe College. Currently, a member of the Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Committee for United Way of Greater Lehigh Valley, and a Disaster Services Volunteer with American Red Cross.