Ashwin is Counsel in the Tampa office of FordHarrison LLP, a national labor and employment firm representing employers. Ashwin is dedicated to diversity and inclusion, and has represented FordHarrison at a number of events over the years, including at the Minority Mentoring Picnic in Hialeah, Florida, and the Hillsborough County Bar Association Diversity Networking Event in Tampa, Florida. Ashwin also is involved in FordHarrison’s initiatives to promote and increase diversity and inclusion within the firm.
Ashwin earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Florida. While pursuing his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, with a concentration in Economics, Ashwin completed an advanced Spanish language and culture program at the Universidad Internacional Menendez Pelayo in Barcelona, Spain.
SVP & Chief Talent Officer
Barbara is an accomplished senior HR executive with more than 25 years in the HR field within the hospitality industry’s domestic and international markets, joining us in January 2013.
In her role as Senior Vice President, Human Resources, Barbara is responsible for building a comprehensive employee structure and team environment that attracts and retains the talent necessary for Holiday Inn Club Vacations to meet its operational, growth and financial targets. This includes recruiting, training and organizational development, compensation and benefits, recognitions and rewards, employee relations, resources systems and reporting, corporate events and diversity/inclusion. Today, her team supports more than 6,000 corporate and resort employees throughout North America.
Prior to joining Holiday Inn Club Vacations, Barbara worked for Marriott International, where she was serving as the Vice President of Human Resources for the Caribbean and Latin America markets for both Marriott and Ritz-Carlton Hotels. She worked in many divisions of Marriott, including Marriott Vacation Club where she worked both in Human Resources and later on as a sales Project Director.
Barbara is a graduate of the University of Maryland University School with both a B.S. in Business Management and a M.S. in Business and International Marketing.
Sr. Director Talent Acquisition
Prior to this role Jen was the Sr. Director of Talent Acquisition & Diversity for Bright House Networks. Jen served as the company’s talent and diversity strategist and is responsible for leading the talent acquisition, diversity and onboarding functions for the organization. Jen provides vision, direction and strategy for the company’s sourcing, workforce planning, employment branding, candidate experience and talent operations.
Jen joined Bright House Networks in April of 2012 with prior experiences with Comcast Corporation, Limited Brands and ARAMARK Corporation. Jen’s expertise ranges from all levels of hiring from hourly to executive talent with an emphasis in talent systems and employment branding. Jen holds a BS in Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management and an MBA both from The Pennsylvania State University.
Director, Diversity & Inclusion
Cal Jackson is the Diversity & Inclusion leader at Tech Data Corporation and a certified NTL Diversity Practitioner. He joined the global technology distributor in 2014. Cal is most known in the Diversity and Inclusion community for his design, development and delivery of engaging and thought-provoking cultural competence workshops. Topics include generations, gender, lookism, self-awareness, discrimination, bias, classism and enhancing the cultural competence of managers.
He has received various accolades for his work from Centers for Disease Control, FL Blue, The Florida Diversity Council, the Conference Board, Jacksonville Business Journal, Indo-USA Chamber of Commerce (Jacksonville, FL), and the First Coast Asian American Chamber of Commerce.
Cal Jackson has been an advocate for social justice through his many associations which include the board of directors of the Florida Diversity Council, Hispanic Institute for Life & Learning, OneJax’ Project Breakthrough, Blueprint for Prosperity, Jacksonville Diversity Council, Northeast FL United Negro College Fund Advisory Board, and Community Hospice of Northeast FL Board of Directors.
Chief Talent Officer/CHRO
Cheryl G. Brown is a capable and confident hands-on Senior Executive with exceptional experience in Human Resources in the areas of Talent Acquisition, Employee Relations, Compensation and Benefits, Change Management, Organizational Development, Performance Management, Cultural Diversity & Inclusion, and Succession Planning. She is a champion of creating a “Praise” culture® in the workplace, which fosters performance synergy and employee development that inspires engaged employees to excel to their fullest potential while ensuring the organization builds a pipeline of future leaders and employee bench strength that are “best in class.” Cheryl has won numerous awards for her leadership in business and her community outreach such as a finalist for “Best Places to Work”, a finalist for Healthiest Employer, The “Ruby Class” Volunteer Award, a finalist for Business Woman of the Year, and a recipient of the Florida Diversity Council Most Powerful and Influential Woman Award.
Cheryl has earned her Bachelors of Business Administration in Accounting from North Carolina Central University and her MBA from Walden University in addition to earning her Professional Human Resources (PHR) credentials in 2002 and earning her Senior Professional Human Resources (SPHR) credentials in 2012. She is also a partner with her husband as the Founder and President of Demonstrative Truth Ministries International where they travel to bring Zoë life, healing, and encouragement to people all over the world. (www.dtmi.us).
National Diversity Council
Dennis Kennedy has an unwavering passion for people and works to ensure that all individuals receive equal opportunities in the workplace regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, or sexual orientation. In 2004, Mr. Kennedy walked away from his job to start the Texas Diversity Council (www.texasdiversitycouncil.org). He realized the need to create an organization that would champion Diversity & Inclusion across the state. Four years later, Mr. Kennedy found himself launching the National Diversity Council (NDC) for the exact same reasons he started the state council. NDC is currently active in more than fifteen states. His vision is to have state and regional diversity councils across the United States (www.nationaldiversitycouncil.org). Mr. Kennedy spent several years as a college professor at the following universities: University of Houston Downtown, Texas Southern University and University of Texas at San Antonio. Courses he taught include: Business Statistics, Economics, HR Management, Compensation Management and Diversity Management. He also spent 5 years working in a corporate environment in the field of Human Resources. Mr. Kennedy graduated from the University of Houston with undergraduate degrees in economics, business management and political science. He earned a MBA from University of Houston as well.
SVP & Chief HR Officer
Dionne Wong serves as the Senior Vice President/ Chief Human Resources Officer for Broward Health, one of the ten largest public healthcare systems in the nation. She serves as the chief strategist responsible to identify, recruit, develop and maintain a diverse, engaged, collaborative, skilled and inclusive workforce of over 9000 employee partners to support Broward Health’s mission of providing world class healthcare. Under Dionne’s leadership, Broward Health has bolstered its commitment to identifying and developing a robust pipeline to support future workforce planning needs with an emphasis on community partnerships and outreach initiatives to foster a spirit of opportunity and inclusion for our highly diverse workforce and surrounding communities. Dionne has also enhanced the system’s employee development, employee recognition, wellness, and diversity and inclusion programs in order to empower and create access and opportunity for all of Broward Health’s employee partners. As a result, Broward Health has achieved a system-wide employee engagement score of 98%, which is above national trends and employee turnover rates well below industry trends.
Director of Community Outreach, Center for Community
Jennifer Kaminsky is the Director of Community Outreach at Empath Health, where she also chairs the Diversity and Inclusion Committee. Jennifer’s department is responsible for all community education regarding the integrated network of care provided by Empath Health. Her responsibilities include creating and implementing strategic plans for outreach to diverse communities, Speaker’s Bureau presentations, and staff training/education regarding cultural competency in the health care setting. Jennifer has 15 years of experience in both health care/hospice care and non-profit management. She earned her Master in Social Work at the University of Central Florida and her Master in Business Administration from Baker College of Business (the University of Michigan). Jennifer became a Licensed Clinical Social worker in 2003. Other accolades include Leadership St. Pete 2008 and the (inaugural) Master’s Academy at the Greater St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce 2008.
FLDC Vice-Chair of the Board
Chief Human Resources Officer
Grow Financial Federal Credit Union
Kim graduated from the University of Maryland with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminology/Sociology, and began her career in management through the Executive Management Training program at May Company. As a Human Resources professional, her career has taken her to Blue Cross/Blue Shield and later to PharMerica, where she served as Vice President of Human Resources before joining Grow Financial Federal Credit Union, (formerly MacDill Federal Credit Union), in 1999. In her position with Grow Financial, Kim is responsible for the implementation of and compliance of all human resource policies, as well as payroll management, staffing and employee training. Kim has earned her Senior Professional in Human Resources certification and is a member of the national Society of Human Resource Management, (SHRMA). She currently sits on the Board of Directors for the Florida Diversity Council. In addition to speaking on diversity, Kim has co-chaired the annual Young Women’s Leadership Symposium in Tampa. She currently resides in Tampa with her husband and three daughters.
EVP & CFO, Florida/Caribbean
As a key member of the senior executive team, Lisa develops financial strategy to achieve the company’s vision, capital requirements and profitability goals. She also ensures seamless interaction within our global network. She provides effective reporting, analysis and forecasting in her advisory capacity to the CEO and President. Prior to this role, Lisa had served as senior vice president and as controller of Right Management’s Florida/Caribbean Region. With over 16 years of experience in finance, operations and customer service, she is responsible for ensuring financial strength and operating efficiency while managing all aspects of the accounting operations and team. Lisa has been a significant partner in creating behaviors that increase profitability and productivity concurrently with producing and analyzing financial results with respect to sales, cost, profit, trends and budgets. Lisa’s experience has been influential in managing business finances in correlation with the company’s vision and strategies.
Prior to joining Right Management, Lisa worked with Precision Response Corporation, a Business Services provider delivering Customer Management and Sales & Marketing solutions for leading brands. She was instrumental in forecasting, creating and analyzing billings for the corporation. Lisa also held supervisory and lead positions with Starcrest Products, a California mail order catalog company. While in those roles, Lisa successfully set group and department goals aligned with company objectives. Having lived in Belarus for more than two years, Lisa understands the complexity of the global business world.
Lisa received her Master’s Degree from Florida Atlantic University and her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Economics from the University of California. In addition to her educational coursework, Lisa served as president of FAU’s Florida Atlantic Planning Society (FAPS), where she spearheaded local waterway cleanups. She remains active in that association, and is committed to the community through groups such as the WBENC, American Cancer Society, United Way, Girl Scouts, Flamingo Gardens and Early Alert Canines Foundation for Diabetics.
Lorrie McGovern, D.B.A.
Associate Dean, Graduate Studies in Business
Saint Leo Unviersity
Dr. Lorrie McGovern is the Director of Graduate Studies in Business and Associate Professor of Management and Marketing at Saint Leo University. She is responsible for all graduate business degree programs which currently include Masters of Business Administration (MBA) and Masters of Accounting. Before joining Saint Leo in the Fall of 2010, Dr. McGovern served as Dean of the School of Business at King College in Bristol, Tennessee. Prior to that appointment, she served as Director of Leadership and Entrepreneurship and Director of the Bachelor of Business Administration programs. Dr. McGovern has owned three successful businesses and served as Director of Community Development for the Bristol Chamber of Commerce. Dr. McGovern holds a Bachelors of Science from Virginia Intermont College, Masters of Arts from Tusculum College and a Doctorate in Business Administration from Argosy University. In addition, she earned the SPHR credentials.
Pam joined Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) in 2011, as part of the National IFS Recruiting team where she has been supporting the US IT organization. Her experience includes some to the largest financial service and staffing firms in the industry; spending over 15 years as a Corporate Recruiter for such companies as KForce, SunTrust Banks and Raymond James.Originally from the Tampa Bay area, Pam earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Florida Southern College in Lakeland. Pam also holds the position at PwC as the Tampa ESC Diversity Leader. Her involvement in external organizations, highlights the importance of networking in the community to collect and share best practices around diversity. Pam also recognizes the need for cultivating and encouraging an inclusive workforce.
VP, Organizational Effectiveness
Olesea Azevedo is Florida Blue’s vice president, Organizational Effectiveness. In this role, Azevedo has accountability for strategic business partnership, change leadership, organizational development, cultural inclusion and diversity, employee relations and the employee value proposition/employee engagement.
Azevedo brings to her leadership role deep human resource experience across multiple industries. Prior to joining Florida Blue in 2014, she served as assistant vice president, Human Resources and Employee Communication, for Baptist Health South Florida. Prior to that, she held HR Leadership roles in both the Consumer and Commercial business units at ConAgra Foods. Azevedo also brings a unique multi-cultural perspective to her work and speaks five languages.
A compassionate leader, Azevedo takes great pride in developing employees and strengthening her teams. She also is very committed to making a difference within the community through organizations that include Big Brothers, Big Sisters (BBBS) of Greater Miami and the School to Work program.
A member of the Society for Human Resource Management, she is the recipient of numerous awards for excellence including recognition for her work in leadership and business impact.
Azevedo holds a Master of Business Administration from Northern Illinois University as well as a Bachelor’s in Business Administration from Andrews University.
Director of Human Resources
Pat Kimberly is the director of Human Resources for Wells Fargo’s Florida Community Bank where she and her team support retail, small business, and business banking with more than 8,500 team members and 670 banking stores. Before assuming her current role in March, 2009, with the Wachovia/Wells Fargo merger, Kimberly most recently served as the director of Human Resources for the Wachovia Wholesale Bank, supporting team members from the Carolinas to the Keys. Prior to that, she served in several leadership roles supporting a variety of business units, where she was responsible for all aspects of Human Resources with a focus on change management, merger integration, diversity and establishing a common culture. Kimberly has 39 years of banking industry experience, 20 of those in Human Resources. She attributes her background in banking to being the key to her success as an HR business partner, consultant and director. Kimberly started her career in a credit training program and followed the traditional career path of a commercial banker: credit analyst, loan underwriter, loan officer and a number of management positions. She gained expertise in change management and cultural integration as a result of working on 56 mergers and acquisitions with Wachovia and its predecessor companies. Within Wells Fargo, Kimberly also serves as a member of the Executive Coaching Group; as a Diversity Practitioner, supporting diversity councils and initiatives; as an executive mentor; and as an advisor to a Team Member Network – Persons with Disabilities.
SVP & CHRO
Southeastern Grocers LLC
Rebecca Sinclair is Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer for Southeastern Grocers, parent company of BI-LO, Harveys and Winn-Dixie. Southeastern Grocers is the nation’s fifth-largest grocery retailer based on store count with more than 800 stores and 70,000 employees throughout the Southeastern U.S. The company is based in Jacksonville, Florida.In this role, Ms. Sinclair is responsible for all aspects of Southeastern Grocers’ human resources strategy, programs and policies, including talent acquisition, talent management, organizational effectiveness, training, leadership development, diversity platform, employee relations, compensation and benefits.
HR Operations Manager
Florida Virtual School
Mr. Richard Montes believes his life’s mission is to help develop others to fulfill their potential. Mr. Montes is able to help drive his mission through his professional career in Human Resources. His background in the discipline spans 10 years in many diverse environments including corporate and site level manufacturing. He currently works at a leading innovator of education, Florida Virtual School as an HR Operations Manager. Mr. Montes is able to leverage his relationship building tools and apply to the business concepts to realize operational improvements that impact his customers; the people of his organization. Mr. Montes earned his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration (Human Resources track) from the University of Central Florida in 2006; his Master’s in Business Administration in Management and Leadership from Rollins College in 2012; is actively certified as Professional in Human Resources, and is certified as a Six Sigma Green Belt practitioner. In his spare time, Mr. Montes routinely volunteers with local community groups and was the previous President of the local chapter of the National Society of Hispanic MBAs. Mr. Montes is happily married to his wonderful wife Natasha and together they have an awesome feline friend named Coco.
FLDC Chair of the Board
Executive Vice President, Human Resources
Wyndham Vacation Ownership
As the executive vice president of human resources, Sarah King is responsible for leading all human resources operations including recruitment and retention, leadership and employee development, employee relations and the alignment of more than 18,000 employees across Wyndham Vacation Ownership.
During her career, King has served as vice president of human resources for Wyndham Exchange and Rentals, based in the UK. In that role, she was responsible for all human resources strategies for Europe, Middle East, Africa and India (EMEAI), including nine businesses with approximately 4,000 employees across more than 20 countries. Previously, King was responsible for overseeing all human resources operations in Australia, Africa and the United Kingdom for RCI.
King is a member of UCF Rosen’s Timeshare Advisory Board and serves as the board chair of the Florida Diversity Council. She is chair of the American Resort Development Association’s (ARDA) AIF Education Committee and the ARDA WIN-Advantage Diversity and Inclusion Taskforce. She has earned several honors including the National Association of Professional Women Award (2011) and the Glass Ceiling Award from the Florida Diversity Council (2013).
King holds a diploma of communications from Auckland University of Technology.
Director, Human Resources
Tracy is a senior leader with over 25 years human resource experience gained in global multi-national organizations across all facets of HR. She has spent the majority of her time based in Sydney with regional HR responsibility across South East Asia, North East Asia and the Pacific before transferring to Tampa in August 2015. Her specialties are in, transformational change, leadership development, talent management, diversity & inclusion, organizational design, execution excellence, divestitures & acquisitions, program and project management and outsourcing.
She is known for developing strong relationships with executives and senior managers, understanding their business, their issues and challenges and have the ability to influence and appropriately challenge and coach them to adopt new ways of thinking and working. She have a track record in managing transformational change, developing diverse talent pipelines and implementing innovative, commercial and sustainable HR solutions in a complex and highly matrixed organization with a focus on diversity, cultural awareness and inclusion. She is passionate about partnering with the business to drive results, initiating and leading change, and enjoys developing teams and mentoring upcoming talent.