August 21, 2020 (Omaha, Neb.) – Inclusive Communities today announced the graduation of the inaugural cohort of LeadDIVERSITY Advocates. The 25 graduating Advocates represent a cross-section of Omaha’s corporate, non-profit and public sectors .

A year-long leadership development program created in partnership with Omaha Public Power District, the Greater Omaha Chamber and Business Ethics Alliance, LeadDIVERSITY is designed to build a network of leaders dedicated to creating opportunities for diversity, equity and inclusion in Nebraska. Topics studied included ethical leadership, identity, institutional inequalities, LGBTQIA2S+ rights and more.  

“Our advocates are now the change-makers at their respective workplaces and within their communities. They are equipped with the tools to assess and address the need for diversity and inclusion, and in so doing, they create balance and equity in our society. We are so proud of their journey, and excited to see their success over this past year translate into a strengthening of our community,” said Tena Hahn-Rodriguez, Inclusive Communities’ business development manager.

While COVID-19 prevented in-person graduation celebration,the group celebrated virtually. 

“This group has grown immensely over the past year,” said Cammy Watkins, deputy director, Inclusive Communities. “They have forged deep interpersonal relationships and they’ve truly established themselves as role models and leaders in their own right”  

Graduating LeadDIVERSITY Advocate Kara O’Connor echoed Watkins’ remarks, “Once in a while, you have the pleasure of observing a team shift from a group of talented players to one with a collective vision. When that happens, they are unstoppable. I felt that shift with our group.” 

LeadDIVERSITY Advocates Include:   

Abigail Moland, Attorney/Shareholder with McGrath North Mullin & Kratz PC LLO 

Al Hoffer, Behavioral Health Case Manager with Heartland Family Service 

Amelis Long, Director, Inclusion and Diversity with First National Bank of Omaha 

Angie Balsarini, Community Engagement Manager with Film Streams 

Angela Cooper, Vice President & Chief Diversity Officer with Mutual of Omaha 

Barry Thomas, Director of Equity and Diversity with Omaha Public Schools 

Bradley Ekwerekwu, CEO with Learning Community of Douglas and Sarpy Counties 

Christopher Whitt, Vice Provost for Institutional Diversity and Inclusion with Creighton University 

David Scott, Director of Sales & Marketing with The Peregrine Hotel, Curio by Hilton 

Dulce Sherman, Chief Operating Officer with Whispering Roots, Inc. 

Erika Volker, HR Director for the Physician Enterprise for CHI Health 

Gina Ponce, Director, Latino Community Outreach with Bellevue University 

Jennifer Deitloff, Chief Diversity Officer with The Scoular Company 

John Staup, Director, Talent Acquisition with Omaha Public Power District 

Kara O’Connor, Financial Advisor with Edward Jones 

Keesha Davis, Superintendent of Dispatching-Northwest with Union Pacific Railroad 

Kirsten Case Fuller, Service Learning Academy Community Liaison with UNO 

Molly Mullin Verble, Director, High School and Post-Secondary with Partnership 4 Kids 

Nancy Melby, Vice President, Director of Operations with LEO A DALY 

Peter Edwards, Director, Process Improvement with Conagra Brands 

Polly Harris, AVP Workforce Operations with Union Pacific Railroad 

Rafael Llorens, Bilingual Career Specialist with Dynamic Education Systems. Inc.  

Shawntal Mallory, Chief Professional Development Officer & General Counsel with Omaha Home for Boys 

Stephen Osberg, Director of Transportation Development with Greater Omaha Chamber 

Wayne Brown, Vice President of Programs with Urban League of Nebraska 

For more information about the program or to learn how to become a sponsor, visit: