Angeles Valenciano serves as chief executive officer of the National Diversity Council (NDC), becoming the first female CEO of this major nonprofit. In this role, she will continue to advance the NDC’s mission of fostering diversity and inclusion in the workplace. She will also focus on strengthening partnerships with businesses, academia and the community at large.
Ms. Valenciano is a seasoned strategist with more than 20 years of experience in human resources, primarily focused on diversity, organizational change, and development. She was previously president of the Healthcare Diversity Council and executive vice president of the NDC. In the latter role, she oversaw the growth of several national markets, including California, Colorado and Arizona. In addition, she also served as vice president of business development for the Texas Diversity Council (TXDC), one of the NDC state councils.
Ms. Valenciano was the TXDC’s first executive director with responsibility over operations and policy implementation as adopted by the Board of Directors. She directed the agendas of the regional diversity council’s advisory boards in Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, and Houston. Under her leadership, the annual Women in Leadership Symposium was created and is now a national and global event held in more than twelve states and several countries including England, Mexico, Canada and most recently United Arab Emirates.
Formerly, Ms. Valenciano was the director of diversity and inclusion for 84 Lumber Company. She provided leadership and direction for the infrastructure, design, formulation, implementation and execution of the organization’s overall diversity strategy, which included external communications, public relations, and community engagement. She was also responsible for ensuring the efficacy of these business practices, processes, and procedures. Ms. Valenciano’s role was carried out in the company’s business expansion into Mexico and Canada.
As an assistant vice president and officer at JPMorgan, she served in the capacity of leadership development consultant in Credit Card Services and Organizational Development, and consultant to Customer Services’ clients. Ms. Valenciano also managed the strategic direction and execution of organizational-wide development processes as well as diversity programs and initiatives. She served as subject matter expert on global diversity, overseeing the company’s initiatives in various countries.
Active in charitable and civic affairs, Ms. Valenciano is a graduate of the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de San Luis Potosí located in the City of San Luis Potosí in Mexico with a degree in business and computer information systems. She holds a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) Certificate from University of Villanova. She has completed various leadership and professional development programs across the country and abroad.
Ms. Valenciano is fluent in English and Spanish. She serves on the board of the Science, Engineering and Technology at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, TX. She is a strong advocate and chairs several committees for people with disabilities in the workplace. She is a proud ally to the LGBT community and is active with several chambers of commerce across the country. Ms. Valenciano lives in San Antonio, TX, with her sons.
Cecilia Orellana-Rojas, Ph.D.
Cecilia Orellana-Rojas serves as senior vice president of strategy and research for the National Diversity Council. In this role, she oversees the execution of the organization’s strategic goals to generate new revenue streams. She leads the consulting function as well as innovative, high-quality educational and research initiatives in diversity and inclusion. She is the creator of the DiversityFIRST™ Certification Program curriculum, which prepares professionals for successful careers in the D&I space, and the NDC Index, a tool that measures organizational commitment to diversity and inclusion among companies in the United States. She is also the developer of the DiversityFIRST™ Toolkit, a unique diversity reference portal and research consolidator.
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 and inclusion. 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 Latino Summit, she played a leadership role in establishing its mission as a venue for Latinx voices. She has been recognized numerous times with the Diversity Champion Award and Diversity Leadership Award for her commitment and dedication to diversity business practices.
Currently, Cecilia serves on the Board of Directors as chair of the Diversity Committee for the Masters Leadership Program of Greater San Antonio and as an external member of the Workforce and Diversity Committee for the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA). Previously, she served on the Immigration and Refugees Action Team for the City of San Antonio’s Faith -Based Initiative.
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.
James Mason, Ph.D.
James L. Mason, Ph.D. is an independent Health Consultant, the former Chief Diversity Officer for Providence Health & Services in Oregon, the former Director of the Office of Multicultural Health for the State of Oregon, and one of the founders of the National Association of State Offices of Minority Health (NASOMH) where he served as treasurer.
At the Georgetown University Child Development Center, he worked to develop a model of cultural competence for children’s mental health, along with a tool for assessing cultural competence. He is a founding member of the National Center on Cultural Competence also at Georgetown University where he worked to improve public health and health care services to diverse populations.
He has worked in higher education as an administrator, researcher, and educator since 1977; he has consulted and spoken with colleges, universities, and health and human service professionals and organizations in the United States, Latin America, and Canada. His focus has been culturally competent organizational and work force development. He has applied cultural competence to a variety of service disciplines including: healthcare, public health, mental health, child welfare, higher education and compulsory education.
Named “World-Class Peacekeeper” and “Everyday Hero” by the Star Tribune, Hanadi is an inclusion consultant, Speaker and Coach. By sharing her experience as a Muslim, Hanadi’s trainings inspire and equip teams and leaders from different cultures to strategically move towards inclusion. Personal, thoughtful and uplifting, she connects with her audience and wins hearts and minds.
As a thought-partner to leaders in business, education and government, Hanadi gives voice to communities of color and inspires workers from all identities to come together around shared our humanity. Her engaging workshops and presentations foster understanding and compassion for religion in the workplace, Islam, unconscious bias, minority empowerment and building cohesive teams. She is a Human Rights Award recipient from the city of Eden Prairie for her efforts in dismantling misconceptions about Islam and building bridges of unity.
She has been featured in the Star Tribune for her community building projects and had been published The Washington Times, The Huffington Post, The Star Tribune, MinnPost, The Guthrie Theater, The Minneapolis Institute of Art and more recently Cosmopolitan magazine and Pantsuit Nation book. Hanadi joined the US State Department in 2016 as a speaker on social media and social change, and gave the TEDx talk entitled “A Lebanese approach to eliminate prejudice against Muslims” in 2017.
Hanadi’s training sessions and keynotes have been featured at the National SHRM Diversity and Inclusion Conference, Leadership Diversity Alliance, The Forum on workplace Inclusion, The Multicultural Women’s National, EmERGe Conference, Serious Play, The National Diplomacy Summit and many others. Her success attests to her caliber and outspokenness.
Before coming to the United States, Hanadi was an award-winning creative and communication specialist working across different media, including print and television in the Middle East.
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.
Leon Fraser brings his versatile experience in the corporate, academic, and certification arenas to help organizations diagnose and resolve persistent team performance and interpersonal challenges.
He was formerly Director of Corporate Strategy at Verizon and has taught Corporate Strategy at Rutgers University. He earned the Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) certification and thereby understands the importance of having a company’s HR and diversity initiatives to be fully in concert with a company’s overall strategy.
He has taught Managing Workforce Diversity at Rutgers University where he also received the Faculty Leader in Diversity Award. He is a Certified Diversity Professional by the National Diversity Council and teaches in the DiversityFIRST training program. He received the Most Engaged Leader Award from the Tri-State Diversity Council for delivery of diversity programs. He received the Mentor of the Year Award from National Black MBA Association New Jersey Chapter.
He has extensive consulting experience through a boutique firm which specializes in helping clients to address management and strategy issues. Not only does he have solid practical experience in consulting, he is the originator of the Management Consulting course at Rutgers, with proven techniques and sage case studies. On an individual basis, he is an Associate Certified Executive Coach per the International Coach Federation and has taught Executive Leadership at the graduate level.
In addition to Verizon, Leon has corporate experience in marketing and market research at Newsday and Aetna. He was also vice president of an international start-up and a legislative aide to two Congressional committees in Washington, DC. He earned a BA cum laude from Harvard University and MBA degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
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.
Valerie J. Wilson is the founder of Essence Learning, a business solution focused on building personal, professional and organizational excellence through learning, coaching and strategic planning. Essence Learning collaborates with their clients to identify solutions that are best suited to develop, grow and maximize their performance.
For over two decades, Valerie has focused on leveraging diversity in the workplace to drive business results through a creative, innovative and highly talented workforce. She helps organizations to foster an inclusive workplace, using a systematic strategy that threads through the organization and includes hiring, coaching, developing and retaining top talent from diverse experiences, ethnicities, genders, abilities and cultures.
In her former role, as Executive Director of Talent Management and Diversity and Inclusion, Valerie was the senior executive expert and advisor for learning and development and diversity and inclusion strategies. She was responsible for maximizing the workforce effectiveness for close to 10,000 employees across the globe. Valerie, with a team of professionals, effectively executed the business initiatives for performance management, learning and development, diversity and inclusion, employee engagement and community involvement.
Valerie is a Certified Diversity and Inclusion Professional, President of the Greater San Antonio Diversity Advisory Board and alumni Board Member of the Texas Diversity Council. As a community leader and D&I consultant, Valerie collaborates closely with the National Diversity Council, Texas-based corporations, non-profit organizations and community agencies. Together they build alliances, partnerships and leverage resources to nationally advance the work of diversity and inclusion.
Victor Green joined Wayne State University (WSU) as the Director of Community Relations in April 2005 and has more than 25 years of government and community affairs experience. He is one of the lead university administrators working to create, develop and sustain partnerships throughout the Detroit Metropolitan area. He also lectures in the Labor Studies Department at WSU and at the Kalamazoo Valley Community College (KVCC), Police and Corrections Academies on the subjects of Diversity & Inclusion, Ethics and Communications. Victor has conducted numerous trainings throughout the state of Michigan in the public and private sectors.
Prior to his current position, Victor’s career included working as Staff Assistant for two members of Congress – former Congressman Howard Wolpe, D-MI and Congressman Fred Upton, R-MI – where he specialized in immigration issues and community outreach. After his tenure with the U.S. House of Representatives, Victor served as a Public Safety Officer (PSO) for the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety, where he rose to the rank of Inspector of Internal Affairs and Community Relations.
Victor is a native of Detroit and a graduate of Renaissance High School. He earned a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Western Michigan University. He received his Certified Diversity Professional (CDP) designation from the National Diversity Council. Victor and his wife, Alysia, have a son, Matthew, a graduate of WSU.
Cynthia Rocha is CEO of L3-Life Long Legacies, Inc., a human development company that she founded in 2011. She 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 range of organizations to mobilize their commitment and support for diversity into concrete, measurable actions.
Cynthia is a recognized community advocate and leader by having served on numerous local and state organizations. She has recently been named Chair of SOMOS cultural y màs, with the mission to commemorate and celebrate the traditions, history, and heritage of the Latino community.
She currently serves on the Inclusion Initiative Advisory Board for the Edwards Aquifer Authority of San Antonio. She serves as the Chair of the Professional Development Committee for the Greater San Antonio Advisory Board of the Texas Diversity Council. She is a former Board of Trustee for Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio as well as the Baylor Alumni Association Board of Directors.
She is an alumnae of the Masters Leadership Program of San Antonio for 2019-2020 where she serves as Class Manager. She is an alumnae of Leadership SAISD 2015-2016 , Leadership San Antonio XXVII, Leadership Texas 2006, and in 2008, she completed Harvard University’s Executive Public Leadership Program as a National Hispana Leadership Institute at the Kennedy School of Government.
Cynthia earned her BBA from Baylor University and an MBA from Our Lady of the Lake University, Cynthia is also certified as a Professional of Human Resources. Cynthia has also just recently been named as part of the consultant team to the National Diversity Council.
Cynthia is married and has two beautiful children, Antonio Daniel and Catalina Paloma.
Julian Newman, founder and CEO of Culture Creative, is a certified diversity and inclusion thought leader. As a cultural intelligence strategist, author and motivational speaker, Julian has spoken to more than 100,000 people and groups internationally during the past 20 years. Julian shares his leadership experience with corporate, non-profit, creative and faith-based clients nationally. Julian has a unique gift of bringing people together to become beautiful together. He empowers them with curated seminars, training materials, and lectures. Since the launch of Culture Creative, Julian and Culture Creative team have assisted more than 100 companies and organizations, empowering them to develop more culturally intelligent leaders, employees and environments where every person can achieve the highest level of their human potential.Because when people link up in authentic partnership they are more Beautiful Together.
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.
Lucy Carrillo Arciniega, Ph.D.
Lucy Carrillo Arciniega is the executive director of the Diversity Research Institute and the lead strategist of the National Diversity Council Index. As lead strategist of the NDC Index, Lucy translates diversity and inclusion best practices into organizational benchmarking tools. In this role, she undertakes the analysis and reporting process of a 200-question survey that helps companies manage their D&I strategy, foster inclusion in the workplace, and develop a diverse talent pipeline.
Since 2015, Lucy has overseen the strategic plan for the Diversity Research Institute, a research collaboration between diversity scholars and practitioners. This includes the development and implementation of programs and initiatives, and the marketing campaign and outreach efforts to community partners, academic institutions, and business organizations. As a researcher, she has written and edited industry reports including “Leading While Diverse: The Case for Diversity in Corporate Governance across Multinational Pharma” and the 2016 and 2020 “Diversity in Texas Fortune 1000 Companies.”
Lucy also works as an independent diversity consultant, using her skills as an anthropologist to bring cultural insights into the customer service experience, management leadership strategies, and employee engagement. She has experience consulting with multinational corporations, designing and delivering diversity trainings for senior managers, as well as professional development workshops for university students. She draws insights for consulting from her six-year dissertation research on diversity management, business cultures, and American race relations.
Lucy Carrillo received her Ph.D. and M.A. degrees in anthropology from the University of California, Irvine. Her doctoral research received numerous awards, including the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research Grant and an honorable mention from the National Science Foundation. She is also a University of California, Berkeley undergraduate alumni. In August 2020, she will join the Anthropology Department at Wayne State University as a visiting assistant professor of business and organizational anthropology.
She currently lives in Los Angeles, CA, with her partner and three cats: Mochi, Billy, and Chicho.
Linda Grace Solis, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Applied Humanities at the University of the Incarnate Word School of Osteopathic Medicine (UIWSOM) in San Antonio, Texas. She is dedicated to education, particularly in the medical education setting, where she encourages learners to become holistic, open-minded, and culturally and socially aware physicians. Her teaching focuses on topics such as self-awareness and emotional intelligence, cultural and intellectual humility, unconscious bias, inclusive practices in a healthcare setting, communication skills, and giving and receiving feedback.
Dr. Solis is also passionate about opening doors for individuals who are considered under-represented in medicine (URM), and about increasing diversity in all aspects of medical education.
Dr. Solis earned her Bachelor of Arts in psychology from McKendree College (now University) in Lebanon, Illinois, and a Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration from the University of Arizona in Tucson. In 2009, Dr. Solis decided the time was right to pursue a Ph.D. She completed the doctoral program in Leadership Studies at Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, focusing her research on how leaders communicate. Her dissertation centered on President Abraham Lincoln’s leadership communication style as evidenced in his speeches and writings, using the modern lens of the full-range leadership model.
Dr. Solis is married to Mr. Felix Solis, III, and when she is not at work, she can usually be found on her sofa reading a good book or chatting with her family, often with a cat on her lap.
Arquella Hargrove brings a successful 25+-year track record of creating and implementing productivity-inducing practices through the application of strategic planning and organization development in both the public and private sectors. She has supported both established organizations and entrepreneurial ventures advising them through their stages of creation, growth, and stabilization.
She helps organizations and business leaders build stronger, more effective teams and companies. Valued for providing her clients with a set of principles on workforce development, diversity, equity & inclusion strategies, EEO and company-wide codes of ethics and policies to build their capacity. Arquella has been responsible for leading performance management, talent development, teleworking/telecommuting programs, succession planning, and learning strategies. In her role of leading these efforts for Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion, Performance Management and Talent Development, the focus was on designing, developing, and advancing the company’s performance culture, people, and engagement strategies. In addition to developing and driving communication, awareness, and support of development initiatives and expectations while partnering with senior leadership.
Arquella is a sought-after facilitator, business consultant, human resources strategist, speaker, and coach dedicated to the transformative and sustainable results of business leaders. A moderator and frequent panel speaker in the areas of diversity, women in leadership, and social capital, as well as, a contributor to publications such as Workforce Magazine. Arquella was awarded “Top 30 Influential Women in Houston 2018.”
Arquella holds a bachelor’s degree in Human Resources Management from Ottawa University and an Executive MBA from Texas Woman’s University. Arquella has multiple certifications in personality behavioral assessments (Birkman, DISC, MBTI, Insights, Personalysis), certified facilitator, human resources (PHR and SHRM-CP), master coaching, leadership development, conflict resolution, mediation, certified trainer, and Unconscious Bias Practitioner.