Cecilia Orellana-Rojas, Ph.D.
Cecilia Orellana-Rojas joined the National Diversity Council in 2013 as vice president of strategy and research. In this role, she provides direction for the NDC leadership by planning, defining, and articulating the execution of the organization’s strategic goals. She leads consulting efforts and innovative, high quality educational and research initiatives in diversity and inclusion. She is the creator of the DiversityFIRST™ Toolkit, a unique diversity reference portal and research consolidator, and the DiversityFIRST™ Certification Program curriculum, which prepares professionals for successful careers in the D&I space.
Cecilia brings 15 years of experience at AT&T, where she started as a manager in diversity marketing. She spent most of her career at the telecommunications giant as associate director and lead consultant of corporate diversity. In this role, she offered support in the formulation, implementation and direction of AT&T’s diversity and inclusion strategy including metrics, communications, and training. She also provided consulting in all aspects of workforce diversity. Prior to her corporate role, she worked as a journalist and later taught in academia for more than 10 years in the area of sociology, with emphasis on U.S. race relations, gender, Latin America, and research methods.
Cecilia is a passionate advocate for diversity. She was instrumental in the launch of the Texas Diversity Council and served as the first president of the San Antonio Advisory Board. As a founding member of the Texas Hispanic/Latino Summit, she played a leadership role in establishing the mission of the summit as a venue for Latino/a voices within the Texas Leadership and Diversity Conference. She has been recognized numerous times with the Diversity Champion Award and Diversity Leadership Award for her commitment and dedication to diversity business practices.
A native of Chile, Cecilia earned a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Texas at Austin and a master’s degree in Latin American studies from the University of New Mexico. She graduated Summa Cum Laude with a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of North Dakota. She resides in San Antonio, Texas, with her husband, Henry, and their son, Rodrigo.
Armida Mendez Russell
Armida Mendez Russell has earned an international reputation for her work in the field of Organization Development and Diversity Management. She is co-author of The Diversity Directive, Why Some Initiatives Fail and What to Do About It, and author of several organizational climate assessment tools. Armida is the originator of the Head (Knowledge), Heart (Understanding) Hand (Skills/Application) model, which is the basis for her work.
Ms. Mendez Russell spearheaded and co-authored the Discovering Diversity Profile® and co-authored the Global Diversity Survey® among others. Armida is the Co-Founder and president of DiversityFIRST Consulting. Prior to holding that position, she was the Head of Global Diversity at BMC Software and Founder/CEO of Mendez Russell Training & Development, Inc.
Ms. Mendez Russell has been recognized by Profiles in Diversity Journal as a diversity pioneer and for her work in the field which is used by numerous global organizations as the foundation for a wide range of diversity and change management initiatives.
Armida has worked in partnership with several major organizations to assess their strategies, structures and processes to improve organizational effectiveness and performance.
Armida has developed numerous initiatives designed to manage change in a complex business environment. Clients include Fortune 500 companies such as IBM, 3M, Bayer, American Express, International Paper, Caesar’s Entertainment (Harrah’s), Medtronic, General Motors, General Mills, Dell Computers and Google. Educational institutions include Baylor University, University of Minnesota, and University of Wisconsin among others in business, government and not-for-profit organizations.
Stan C. Kimer
Stan C. Kimer, founder and president of Total Engagement Consulting, is recognized as an internal/external consultant with unique skills in employee development/career mapping, workplace diversity (specialization in GLBT – Gay, Lesbian Bisexual, Transgender), and organization effectiveness/leadership development. Stan formed his own consultancy around these areas in 2010 following a 31-year successful diverse, multi-functional career at IBM.
While at IBM as Director of Global Sales Operations for IBM’s consulting practice, Stan served as the executive sponsor overseeing career development for IBM’s 3,000 Sales Operations employees. He has now executed his unique innovative career mapping approach which he launched at IBM, with clients ranging from major corporations to church denominations to professional organizations. During his four years on IBM’s global corporate diversity staff, Stan led IBM into industry leadership in LGBT diversity and established IBM’s procedures for supporting transgender employees and assisting with case management of employees undergoing gender transition while in the workplace.
Since forming his own consulting practice, Stan has trained or spoken in over 50 venues reaching over 3,000 professionals. He is a certified Out and Equal Workplace Advocates Building Bridges Trainer and a certified Training Management Corp / Berlitz Cultural Competency Trainer / Practitioner. Within the transgender arena, Stan has provided training to client employee and HR teams and has assisted with case management of gender transitions in the workplace.
He is active in leadership roles in dozens of community and civic organizations including as a volunteer instructor on his church denomination’s leadership development faculty. In 2013, the Triangle Business Journal recognized Stan with one of their Leaders in Diversity – Role Model awards. Stan received his MBA from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business and BS in management science from Georgia Tech.
In his spare time, Stan is training to be a competitive adult figure skater.
Cassandra Harvey is the founder and president of Exodus Consulting Group, which specializes in providing strategic organizational and human resources consulting services. Sandy, as she is known by many, has provided Coaching, Diversity, and Leadership training, for organizations throughout the US and Canada for Fortune 500 companies. She has consulted for multinational companies, as well as small businesses and focuses on culture, engagement, and strategic growth. As an organizational development consultant, she is skilled at implementing systems and processes, writing policies and procedures, developing and implementing strategic human resources and training plans.
Diversity has always been a passion for Sandy. She grew up playing soccer in the early 70’s with few girls and even fewer African-Americans and understands that many behaviors that divide us are actually learned. Sandy was 2001 graduate of the Blueprint for Board Service, a program sponsored by the United Way of Tarrant County and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. This program was to develop diverse professionals for Board service. As an advocate for equity and women’s initiatives, Sandy brings light to this issue through articles, public speaking, and through her Diversity training. She is a voice that heralds dignity and respect.
As Sandy has navigated her career, she has served in senior leadership and executives roles in various industries. In the early 2000’s, Sandy was a Diversity training consultant for Coca-Cola and provided training for employees in Michigan and northern Ohio. She has been certified, or is able to administer, many popular organizations – Myers & Briggs, American Management Association (AMA), AchieveGlobal, Franklin Covey, J. Howard & Associates, and Development Dimensions International.
A proud native Texan, Sandy has an BA in Business and an MBA in Organizational Management from Texas Wesleyan University, and a MA in Evangelism & Church Planting from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. Sandy began serving as a Board Member on the Michigan Diversity Council in 2011 and also chairs the council’s Women in Leadership Symposium annually.
Sandy is an ordained minister and pastor at Serenity Christian Church, where she leads the Marketing & Media ministry and Women’s Ministry. In 2006, she founded Heart to Heart, which is a women’s fellowship created to empower and encourage women to attain their best life. She is president of Serenity Community Outreach, a 501(c)(3) committed to community involvement and development in Southern Oakland County. She is a recognized New Church and Transformational Church Coach, where she coaches new pastors and church leaders or pastors that are seeking support in transforming their ministries. She resides in a Detroit suburb with her husband, Apostle John Harvey, senior pastor and founder of Serenity Christian Church.
A desire to help others is a common theme in T.K. Floyd’s life, and this desire has motivated many of her personal, educational, and professional pursuits. She tries to live her life in harmony with the well-known phrase “to whom much is given, much is required.”
T.K. is a licensed attorney, a trained mediator, and a certified and licensed professional counselor intern who offers compassionate advocacy to her clients. She is also active in the San Antonio community, where she puts into practice her belief in giving back to others through mentoring, pro bono legal services, and writing/speaking engagements.
T.K. graduated from Purdue University with an undergraduate degree (engineering management) in 1994 and graduate degree (higher education administration) in 1996. She earned her law degree cum laude from the Indiana University Maurer School of Law in 2002. She also received a graduate degree in counseling from the University of Texas at San Antonio in 2013.
T.K. has had a variety of professional experiences, including serving on the student life staff at St. Mary’s University and working as a law clerk to two federal judges (Judge C. Arlen Beam on the United States Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit in Lincoln, Nebraska and Judge Rosemary M. Collyer on the United States District Court for the District of Columbia). She has also worked as a commercial litigator for three law firms—Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, LLP (San Antonio, Texas), McDermott Will & Emery LLP (Washington, DC), and Cokinos, Bosien & Young (San Antonio, Texas).
After spending most of her legal career as a commercial litigator, T.K. decided to take a leap of faith to focus her practice on family law matters. She made this transition based on her desire to help build and strengthen families in the community. Through the Law Office of T.K. Floyd, PLLC, she offers compassionate and skillful legal assistance with adoptions, divorces, child custody disputes, child support cases, simple wills, and probate matters.
Outside of work, T.K. enjoys spending quality time with her son, Benjamin, as well as writing and speaking. Her article “Manage Time as a Parent” was published in the April 2014 issue of Helotes Life magazine, and she has spoken to a number of groups in the community on a variety of topics, including estate planning, critical thinking, and mediation.
Additionally, T.K. was named the 2015 Adult Mentor of the Year by the San Antonio Mentoring Forum and a Campus Partner-of-the-Year Honoree in 2014 and 2015 for her work as a mentor at Jefferson Middle School in the Northside Independent School District.
T.K. also serves on the Board of Directors of Life Skills for Living, Inc., a non-profit organization that uses faith to help members of the community learn anger management, stress management, and other life skills. She is a member of Now Word Covenant Church, where she serves as the assistant church director and teaches bible study. She is also a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Cynthia has been an advocate for change and has a passion for creating opportunities in the areas of education and the workplace for all communities. Cynthia is the daughter of migrant parents and has a passion for helping students and their families reach their full potential especially in the area of education. She is also a recognized and respected diversity consultant with over twenty years of experience in retail operation management, diversity management, training and development, public relations and multi-cultural marketing. She has worked with a wide diversity of organizations to mobilize their commitment and support for diversity into concrete, measurable actions.
She has a BBA from Baylor University and an MBA from Our Lady of the Lake University. She is a graduate of the Leadership Texas Class – a premier statewide women’s leadership program. She also completed Harvard University’s Executive Public Leadership Program as a National Hispana Leadership Institute Fellow at the Kennedy School of Government.
Cynthia is married and has two beautiful young children, Antonio Daniel and Catalina Paloma.