Self-identified as Indigenous and neurodiverse, Alejandrina (Ale) Ricardez, is a thought leader and strategic thinker visionary about diversity, equity, and belonging. In her current role as Statewide Manager for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for Blue Shield of California, Ale affirms and centers diversity, equity, and inclusion through trust-based engagement and culturally congruent practices with diverse stakeholders. An immigrant from Oaxaca Mexico, Ale holds a master’s in urban planning from the Luskin School of Public Affairs at UCLA and is a contributing author to “The Ties that Bind Us: Mexican Migrants in San Diego County,” and other publications. She is also the co-founder of the Coalition of Communities of Oaxaca, COCIO. At the intersection of her experience in diversity as a self-identified indigenous, neurodiverse, and seasoned professional, and a woman executive, Ale is passionate about psychological safety and belonging. One of her most proud accomplishments is leading a Community Resiliency project in which Blue Shield of California stepped beyond ‘clinical’ methods and engaged communities to tap into local pride and the power of art by commissioning more than 20 murals statewide, ranging from San Francisco to San Diego. Ale spends her free time practicing mindfulness, traveling to her home State of Oaxaca, and volunteering on several boards for local non-profits in Southern California. Ale is pursuing a Ph.D. in Leadership and Organizational Development.
Alex Frazier (they/them) is a Black, queer, Trans, soft-bodied, HIV positive artist, community organizer, educator, and harm reductionist from northeast Ohio. Their work strives toward the liberation of Black queer, Trans, and intersex people from all walks –of- life. Alex is sometimes also known as Shay, from the dynamic sexual health duo Shay & TK, as well as Rev. Juanita Bind’Em, drag educator extraordinaire. Alex is a classically trained vocalist, devised theatre artist, and proud community college graduate. They spent their early career as a performing arts educator; lending their talents to arts and culture organizations across the state of Ohio, Cleveland Public Theatre, Karamu House, Cleveland Playhouse, The Great lakes Science Center, House of Blues Music Forward Foundation, and Columbus Children’s Theatre. In their free time, Alex still writes and directs children’s theatre for youth and community theatres in Cleveland, Ohio. Alex is entering their third year at Equitas Health. They currently serve as the Program Manager of Retention and Belonging in the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. During their tenure at Equitas Health, they spearhead projects like The Liberation Health Model Trainings, Whip Smart: An Inclusive Exploration of Consent Culture, Kink, BDSM, and The Ohio Youth Leadership Summit: 2020-2022, as well as participated in community support programming like the Equitas Health’s Racial Justice Funding Grant. They are looking forward to utilizing their lived experience as a multiply marginalized person and community advocate maximizing the transformative and liberatory power of radical and sustaining change throughout the agency.
Anjanette Elligan has Over 20 years of pharmaceutical research industry experience. Held various leadership roles. Currently a Site Partnership Manager/DICT SME with Sanofi US. Wife of 19 years in June to Marcel, and a mother of a 24-year-old daughter Gabrielle and a 7-year-old son Axl. Proud HBCU graduate from Spelman College with a BA in Psychology. Received MBA from Beulah Heights University. Pursuing Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership from Beulah Heights University. Diversity in Clinical Trials (DICT) Certification received from ACMA. Passionate about Health Equity, Diversity, Equality, Equity, Inclusion, and Patient Centricity within the research industry
A frequent contributor to publications like Forbes.com, HR Magazine, and peer-reviewed journals, David serves as the U.S. subject matter expert on strategic human resources issues, ranging from diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and talent management to international benefits and wellness initiatives. David is currently the Director of Human Resources & Talent Strategy for Mobilization for Justice based in NY City https://mobilizationforjustice.org, where he serves on the senior management team. “Mobilization for Justice’s mission is to achieve social justice, prioritizing the needs of people who are low-income, disenfranchised or have disabilities. We do this by providing the highest quality direct civil legal assistance, conducting community education, and building partnerships, engaging in policy advocacy, and bringing impact litigation.” For over a decade, David served as a member of the Doctors Without Borders/MSF-USA management team, he is also a frequent lecturer and panelist on DEI, human resources, insurance/risk management, and international employment—including at Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations and the American Bar Association International Employment Law Conference in Dublin. David recently was awarded the George Washington Honor Medal from the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge (2019) for his speech at the Women in Leadership Symposium. He is a member of the SHRM Global Expertise Panel, a Board Member of the Tri-State Diversity Council, and the Academy of Advanced Practitioners of the Association for Conflict Resolution. Prior to joining MSF-USA, David was Director of Human Resources at the New York Foundling Hospital Center for Pediatric, Medical and Rehabilitative Care (Elizabeth Seton Pediatric Center) where he received the NYAHSA (now LeadingAge New York) Professional of the Year Award for his contributions to pediatric long-term care. A graduate of Cornell’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations, he is also a member of the Board of Advisors and Faculty of National Paralegal College and is a Kellogg (Northwestern University) Executive Scholar. He has taught courses for eCornell, the SHRM preparation course and long-term care administration for New England College. David has more than 20 years of human resources experience and holds master’s and post-master’s degrees in management and international employment law. He is a Certified Diversity Professional, Senior Certified HR Professional, Career Management Fellow, coach, and a Certified Wellness Practitioner. He received the Tri-State Diversity Council’s “Most Engaged Leader” and “Company of the Year Award” in 2018. David serves on the National Staff of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary in the Diversity Directorate and received the prestigious U.S. Coast Guard Meritorious Unit Citation—the service’s highest non-combat peacetime award, as well as the Meritorious Team Commendation. He is also a U.S. Coast Guard Academy Admissions Partner. David serves on the “Design Thinking Program” at Pace University’s Lubin School of Business and volunteers for the Life Raft Group, a cancer research organization. He is also a graduate of the Harvard Humanitarian Institute for Urban Emergencies and the Harvard Program on Negotiation. In 2019, David was selected as one of the “Top 3 Healthcare Leaders” which was presented at MD Andersen Cancer Center (Healthcare Diversity Council Conference). He also received the “Healthcare Diversity Advocate” honor from the Tri-State Diversity Council that same year, as well as Get5’s “Compassion in Employee Relations” award. In 2020, he was awarded the “Authentic Leadership Award” and “Most Engaged Leader” by the Tri-State Diversity Council. He also presented a workshop on leadership, strategy, and culture at the 2020 National Diversity Council’s Annual Conference, which will be included in the National Diversity Council’s best practice online toolkit. In 2021, he was awarded the National Disability Inclusion Award and presented on wellness and well-being for Cornell University. In addition, David serves as a Board Member of the Coalition for Racial Justice & Equity which develops strategies to address systemic racism in education and the justice system.
Latasha Guy is a pharmacist with Walgreens for over 19 years. Currently supports the Health Equity team where she manages the health equity stores and help develop and implement programs to help improve health outcomes in underserved communities. When the pandemic came, she helped develop and support local partnerships in some of the most vulnerable communities. In addition, she has assisted with COVID vaccine equity and testing efforts by coordinating mass vaccination clinics and mobilizing Walgreens mobile trailer. She has worked and lived on the South and West sides of Chicago and experienced first-hand the need to improve health education and access to people in the community. She is passionate about insuring everyone has an equal chance to live their healthiest life.
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. Dr. Solis is also passionate about opening doors for individuals who are from communities which have been historically excluded from medicine, and about increasing diversity in all aspects of medical education. Dr. Solis is also a diversity, equity, and inclusion consultant, working with organizations desiring to increase their constitutional diversity and create a more inclusive and equitable workplace. Dr. Solis holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology, a master’s degree in Higher Education Administration, and earned her Ph.D. in Leadership Studies at Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio. She is honored to serve in volunteer leadership roles for several national and local organizations, including the Council on Diversity and Equity at the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine and the Holocaust Memorial Museum of San Antonio Commission. She also serves on the leadership council of Travis Park Church and on the Board of Directors for the National Healthcare Diversity Council. Dr. Solis is married to Mr. Felix Solis, III. She is an avid reader of both fiction and non-fiction and believes that all books are improved with the addition of cats, coffee, and chocolate.
Erick Garcia, MHA, is a multifaceted leader with a diverse background in healthcare administration, human resources and equity, inclusion and diversity. With over eight years’ experience working on equity and inclusion strategies for large, multi-state organizations, Erick has been able to create and foster an inclusive culture, move the needle on health disparities, and create sustainable foundations for equity programs at all levels. Joining Mayo Clinic in 2021, Erick has the pleasure of serving as Equity, Inclusion & Diversity Advisor for the Arizona site and shields where he supports leadership, physicians, scientists, nursing, and allied health staff. As EID Advisor, Erick focuses on creating a culture that fosters inclusion and belonging through education programs, instructional design, mentorship and sponsorship, community outreach, and social media initiatives. He has a bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University, a master’s degree in healthcare administration from Grand Canyon University, a Health Equity Certificate from Arizona State University, and is a Certified Diversity Professional through the National Diversity Council.
Kolanda Douglas is the Equity, Inclusion and Diversity Director for Mayo Clinic in Rochester. In this role, she brings best practices, tools, resources, training and subject matter expertise to support the success of the Rochester site in advancing equity, inclusion and diversity. Kolanda joined Mayo Clinic after spending nearly a decade in higher education, managing diversity recruitment processes, drafting Affirmative Action/Equal Employment policies, leading trainings around AA/EEO, diversity and inclusion, and integrating diversity and inclusion data into processes and discussions with senior level administrators and leaders. In addition to her career accomplishments, Kolanda is also an award-winning orator and certified life coach.
Lindsey (pronouns: she/her/hers) received her Master's in Health Administration from the Price School at University of Southern California. She has worked at Keck Medicine of USC since 2009, and is currently a Process Architect in the Office of Performance and Transformation. Her process improvement work centers around the Care Delivery Redesign initiative, working with service lines and other departments on improving the patient journey and removing operational barriers for providers. Lindsey also leads the health system’s efforts to create a more welcoming and affirming environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) patients and their families, faculty members, and staff. Lindsey created and currently co-chairs the Keck Pride Committee/LGBTQ+ Employee Resource Group, which focuses on the design and implementation of LGBTQ-centered efforts across Keck Medicine of USC. She has successfully led the USC hospitals' efforts to achieve the Human Rights Campaign Healthcare Equality Index designation of “Leader in LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality” for several years, and led the development and launch of Keck Medicine’s new Gender Affirming Care Program. She has provided over 3000 hours of LGBTQ+ inclusivity training throughout the health system, and has been an expert panelist and speaker at several local, regional, and national conferences and events.
Monique Daley, MS, joined Wheeler Health as the first diversity officer at the organization, a statewide leader in integrated primary and behavioral health care. In her role, she promotes and monitors equity, diversity, and inclusion for the Wheeler workforce and patients; lead the Wheeler Diversity and Inclusion Committee; monitor and review the effectiveness of diversity and inclusion efforts; promote the full integration of National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Health and Health Care (The National CLAS Standards) and health equity throughout Wheeler; and much more, including training and education, as well as ensuring Wheeler is working with minority- and women-owned businesses. Monique holds previous experience in higher education at Central Connecticut State University and Trinity College. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated and is currently pursuing her Doctorate in Educational Leadership at the University of Hartford. Monique was born and raised in Jamaica before migrating to the United States. Her lived experience informs her approach to understanding diversity, equity, and inclusion. She views diversity as an asset and therefore employs an asset-based lens to her work. She is committed to addressing issues of historical and systemic racism to grant equitable, barrier-free, and just access to care.
N. Chineye (Chi) Anako is a public health practitioner whose work has focused on the intersection of public health and health equity solutions. Past initiatives include work on food security/life cycle, violence prevention in youth and cultural and linguistic programs. She is the Regional Director for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for Trinity Health Of New England, a five-hospital system across Connecticut and Massachusetts, part of Trinity Health. Under her leadership, she led the Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Initiative, which revised the patient demographic questions to be inclusive of all genders and sexual orientation on all hospital in-take forms and in EPIC system throughout the Regional Health Ministry (RHM). She also oversees the 3+1 Language Services Program. The program provides cultural and linguistic care to patients, especially those from marginalized groups. In addition to her role at Trinity Health Of New England, Chi currently serves on the board of the Connecticut Chapter for the National Association for Health Services Executives (NAHSE) and is also the immediate past-president. NAHSE is a healthcare organization that ensures greater participation of minority groups in the healthcare field. She also serves on the board of the Connecticut Public Health Association (CPHA) and Copper Beech Institute (CBI). Chineye holds a master’s degree in Public Health with a concentration in Health Promotion from Southern Connecticut State University and a Bachelor of Science in Molecular Cell Biology from the University of Connecticut. She is a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) and an EPIC Summer Scholar at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. Chineye Anako is an avid traveler and a native from Nigeria.
Patrick Decker-Tonnesen (he/him) is an Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity Advisor at Mayo Clinic. Patrick is also a doctoral candidate of Social Work at Loyola University Chicago, and his dissertation focuses on the experiences of individuals who have historically marginalized identities and serve on nonprofit governance systems. Additionally, Patrick has published several peer reviewed journal articles that focus on populations connected to nonprofits. Prior to becoming a researcher, Patrick lived in Punta Gorda, Belize, for several years working with local indigenous Mayan populations. Patrick’s skills include DEI mixed-method assessments and DEI strategic planning and implementation. Patrick holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Mount St. Mary’s University, and a Master of Social Work, as well as certificates in Nonprofit Management & Philanthropy and Measurement & Quantitative Methods, from Loyola University Chicago. Patrick also holds a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Certificate from the University of South Florida.
Scott is an accomplished educator, mentor and diversity and inclusion practitioner. Scott joined B. Braun in April 2022, as Sr. Director, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI), for B. Braun Medical North America, with responsibility for building upon and implementing strategies that will encourage and build an inclusive and diverse workforce. Scott previously served as Associate Vice President for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at DeSales University where he was the inaugural leader for university wide efforts in advancing DEI throughout the institution while delivering DEI related professional developments to DeSales’ faculty and staff. Scott also led engagement efforts with students to support the enhancement of the campus climate around DEI and community engagement efforts. Prior to his time at DeSales, Scott was Chief Diversity Officer at Northampton Community College where he led the creation of Northampton’s first Diversity Strategic Plan (2020) in partnership with the institution’s College Diversity Committee. He also hosted the University of Southern California’s Race and Equity Center for a series of DEI professional development experiences, and held a variety of positions in diversity, academic and student support and athletics at SUNY-ESF and Syracuse University. Scott is currently a member of the National Association of Diversity Officer’s in Higher Education (NADOHE) and holds leadership positions in numerous local efforts in the Lehigh Valley community to advance DEI, including serving as co-chair of the DEI Committee of the United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley. He was also named to the Pennsylvania Governor’s Advisory Commission for Latino Affairs. Scott holds an M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration from Kutztown University, and a BS Ed. in Secondary Education, English from Kutztown University. He also holds an Executive Leadership Certificate from the University of Southern California’s Rossier School of Education – Race and Equity Center.
My name is Scott Ollerman, I was born and raised in the suburbs of Detroit. I was never a great student, falling behind due to medical issues in my early elementary years. I have always wanted to be a nurse but took a different journey to get to my nursing profession. I was enlisted in the United States Army as a Licensed Vocational Nurse and was accepted at Bowie State University for their RN to BSN program. I was Commissioned in the Army and spent just over 2 years as an officer. During my time in the Army I was able to experience aspects of nursing from emergency, ICU to Labor and Delivery. Being a nurse also gave me the ability to work in the civilian sector and as an Emergency Trauma nurse. After my Army career I came to San Antonio Texas and practiced as a Pediatric Critical Care Transport Nurse and Pediatric Emergency room nurse, Medical Program Director for a non-profit caring for unaccompanied minors in the care of the United States government and as the Chief Nurse Executive for a state hospital. I am currently the Associate Program Director for Galen College of Nursing Associate Degree Program and the Director of Nursing for Ohana Pediatric Home Health. I look forward to sharing my knowledge and experience with you all.
Sydni N. Howard is currently the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Director at Central Ohio Primary Care. She believes the key to success lies in the details; any detail whether it be business, personal or fashion. As a child, Sydni aspired to be a lawyer and impact people’s lives by focusing on civil rights. Never did she imagine working in healthcare. As fortune would have it, she has been able to blend work in healthcare with her childhood dream of being a social justice warrior. She is passionate about educating healthcare professionals on the importance of how culture impacts each patient’s health care needs. Educating community members to better understand their healthcare needs and communicate them to their providers. Allowing them to advocate for their health and well-being. Sydni has 20+ years working in healthcare in a wide variety of roles, including educator and project management. She is taking all of this experience to her role in DEI, focusing a strategy based on understanding the intimacy of the customer service relationship needed for effective high quality patient care. Sydni holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from The Ohio State University, an MBA from Ashland University, a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Certification, and she is a Certified Diversity Practitioner thru the National Diversity Council. Outside of work she enjoys cooking, bowling, traveling, hosting family and friends for game nights, watching jeopardy and learning the new word of the day!
Vanessa Nazario was born in Puerto Rico and raised in Trenton, NJ. She has worked in the field of Community Development, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for over 25 years. Her career began at MECHA, a Hispanic based nonprofit organization providing home ownership training and counseling to low-to-moderate income families. She later joined PNC Bank where she worked and had the honor of working in several roles over the course of her 20 year career within the Community Development Banking Department. In early 2017, she transitioned into a new role with RWJ University Hospital, which is part of RWJ Barnabas Health System, as Director of Diversity and Inclusion where she was responsible for diversity and inclusion and healthcare equity initiatives. She managed several key programs that helped transform the culture into an inclusive environment for both staff and patients. Vanessa also launched the Hospital’s first Diversity Council and provided oversight for the seven Business Resource Groups. She was also a key leader in the development and launch of the PROUD Gender Medical Center Program: a comprehensive medical program serving the needs of the LGBTQ+ community. In early 2021, she joined Memorial Healthcare System in Hollywood, FL as Director of DEI and to lead the System’s diversity, health equity, and inclusion strategy and Language Interpretation Services. In June 2022, she was promoted to Corporate Director, Chief Diversity Officer. In addition, she is leading the System’s inaugural health equity strategy. Vanessa serves on several committees: Florida Diversity Council’s Education Committee; Human Resources Association of Broward County’s (HRABC) DEI Committee; serves as a Student Mentor for Rider University’s Women in Leadership Council; HISPA’s South Florida Advisory Council; ARC of Broward’s Business Advisory Council. Vanessa has spoken at numerous conferences on topics such as: diversity, inclusion; health equity; community development; diverse women in leadership. Vanessa received her MBA from Rider University in Lawrenceville, NJ and also has a Masters in Science degree from Southern New Hampshire University. She completed a Non Profit Management Certificate from Seton Hall University and is certified as a Diversity Executive (CDE) from the Institute for Diversity Certification. She is currently completing an Executive Leadership program at Cornell University.