Cecilia Orellana-Rojas, Ph.D.
Cecilia Orellana-Rojas joined the National Diversity Council (NDC) in 2013 as vice president of strategy and research. In this role, she provides a clear direction for the NDC leadership by planning, defining, articulating and managing the ongoing execution of the organization’s strategic goals. In addition, she offers leadership and direction for the implementation of innovative and high quality research initiatives in the area of diversity and inclusion. She is the creator of the DiversityFIRST™ Toolkit, a unique diversity reference portal and research consolidator available to national and state partners.
Ms. Orellana-Rojas 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. She developed and implemented initiatives for diversity communications, metrics and training. As a business partner, she worked with clients to ensure that AT&T’s business practices, processes and procedures incorporated and supported workforce inclusion. She also provided consulting in all aspects of workforce diversity.
Prior to her corporate role, Ms. Orellana-Rojas worked as a journalist and later taught in academia for more than 10 years in the areas of Spanish and sociology, with particular emphasis on U.S. race relations, Latin America, women’s studies and research methods.
Ms. Orellana-Rojas 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 took a leadership role in establishing the mission of the summit as a venue for Hispanic 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 in the state of Texas.
A native of Chile, Ms. Orellana-Rojas earned a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Texas at Austin, a master’s degree in Latin American studies from the University of New Mexico, and 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.
Jim Penny is executive director at the National Diversity Council.
Author of twelve books, including the nine volume Standards of Knowledge management series, Jim is also a speaker, mentor, coach, e-learning expert, business owner and entrepreneur. Jim has held many senior level positions in corporate America including Vice President, President, COO, and CEO. Additionally, he is recognized as a “sales superstar” who routinely exceeded his annual quotas, ranking “Number One in the World” for several organizations. Jim has helped many salespeople learn how to routinely exceed their quotas.
Jim has been teaching organizations about the functions, sills and competencies of management since the 1970s. He frequently speaks to business and professional groups about management and networking, basing his talks on the Standards of Knowledge and Networking Genius.
Jim is a long time diversity advocate, a member of Dallas HR’s (SHRM) leadership team, and a repeat presenter at HR Southwest, the largest regional human resources conference in the United States. His latest book and speeches, based upon Tell the Children: Values Build Character, are dedicated to helping parents and organizations (corporations, associations, and non-profits) return their focus to values, the building blocks and foundation of character.
Jim is responsible for the content and maintenance of the DiversityFIRST™ Toolkit.
Al Sullivan is the president and owner of Inspirus Consulting Inc. a firm specializing in system wide Organization Development, Diversity, and Sustainable Change. His approach integrates both theory and practical tools from the Applied Behavioral Sciences. His primary goal is to help client systems engage everyone to do their best work.
His firm worked with a 3000-employee city municipality to redesign legacy Diversity, Inclusion, & Culture training. The Action Research method was used to collect / analyze relevant data, design a sustainable solution, and train internal trainers to continue proliferating the initiative. The work was also integrated into long term strategic objectives.
Al helped the Information Technology division at global pharmaceutical organization win the “Attraction, Development, & Retention” Diversity award by designing and implementing initiatives which significantly increased senior female and minority leaders.
Al has experience designing, delivering, and evaluating training intended to improve awareness and collaboration in multicultural organizations. He attends to the various levels of system when training and consulting (e.g. individual, team, organization, and community). His continuous improvement focus helps to connect training design to strategic organization objectives.
Additional areas of expertise include applying strategies in areas such as Talent Management, Employee Engagement, Executive Coaching, Strategic Human Resources Management and Organization Development.
Al is a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources. He is also trained in a number of Organization Development tools and approaches such as Use of Self, Organization Analysis / Design, Action Research, Group Facilitation, Multicultural Organization Development, and Change Management, & Process Consulting.
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.
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.