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: