Are you committed to being an inclusive leader? Do you struggle with how to grow in this area, without fear of offending others, while being humble and respectful in the process? Do you desire to shift from “unconscious bias” to “conscious inclusion”? Listen to leaders from different industries and backgrounds discuss diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
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Chris Smith, Vice President of Human Resources, NiSource Inc.
Christopher D. Smith is currently the Vice President of Human Resources at NiSource, supporting the Human Resources Field Organization. NiSource is one of the largest fully-regulated utility companies in the United States, serving approximately 3.5 million natural gas customers and 500,000 electric customers across seven states through its local Columbia Gas and NIPSCO brands.
Chris has 15+ years of Labor and Human Resources experience across multiple industries and with multiple Fortune 500 Companies, including Kimball International, Bristol-Myers Squibb pharmaceuticals, Pepsi Bottling Group (now PepsiCo).
A native of Evansville, Indiana, Chris obtained his bachelor’s degree from Indiana University in English, minoring in African American Studies. In 2003, he received a Certificate in Labor and Industrial Relations from Cornell University. That same year, he received his Professional in Human Resources (PHR) from the Society of Human Resources Management. In 2014, Chris obtained his Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Notre Dame.
Liz Early, Director of Marketing and Business Development, Akoesticum Foundation
Liz leads the sales and marketing efforts for the Akoesticum Foundation, which is a training center for the performing arts which hosts a full range of international performers, from emerging talent to established artists. Additionally, Liz serves on the Board for Safe Spaces, an organization run for and by adolescent girls and young women living in vulnerable conditions in the Eastlands slums of Nairobi.
At Safe Spaces, programming focuses on education and leadership development. Activities like basketball, yoga, dance and theater build life skills and confidence. Programming in computer literacy, photojournalism, health, hygiene, and car mechanics support educational success, resilience, and vocational preparation.
Liz has a long history in the corporate world in innovation and has managed global teams to deliver complex product and services to multinational customers. Diversity is a key element to her professional success.
Quanita Roberson, Founder and Director of Nzuzu Coaching
Quanita is an international spiritual teacher, speaker, writer, and integral life coach. She holds a masters degree in Organizational Management and Development with a concentration in Integral Theory. She is an expert in healing the wounds the underlie diversity and inclusion issues in organizations, communities, and systems. She is a wisdom keeper of ancient indigenous wisdom from the Dagara Tribe of Burkina Faso, West Africa. As a water spirit she brings the gifts of forgiveness and reconciliation to the world. She serves as peace maker and bridge builder to communities.
Quanita is the source of Soul Growing: Wisdom for thirteen year old boys from men around the world, bringing together men from around the world to help support boys 13 years old and older. She is currently sourcing a version of this compilation for girls.
Nilima Bhat, Author, Speaker, Consultant and Founder of Shakti Leadership
Nilima is a strong, clear voice standing for integration and inclusion in her groundbreaking book Shakti Leadership – Embracing Feminine & Masculine Power in Business. She facilitates personal transformation, gender reconciliation, diversity, and inclusion in the workplace. She has 24+ years of global corporate experience and consciousness-based health and growth training.
Nilima has lived in Germany, Singapore, UK and Hong Kong and has spent the last few years between India and the US, serving as guest faculty at the Whole Foods Academy for Conscious Leadership, Bentley University, Babson College and Esalen. She is also actively involved with supporting the Conscious Capitalism Movement and WIN (Women’s International Network). Her client base includes multinational organizations like Tata Consultancy Services, Societe Generale Bank, Microsoft, Vodafone and the YPO.