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Panel: Next Generation DEI: Innovating for Inclusion MODERATOR: Rhonda Morris

Rhonda Morris​

Vice President and Human Resources Officer​, Chevron Corporation

Rhonda J. Morris is vice president and chief human resources officer for Chevron Corporation, a position she has held since 2016. She is responsible for shaping and driving Chevron’s people and culture strategy, including leadership succession, learning and talent, diversity and inclusion, workforce planning, and total rewards. She also serves on the company’s Executive Committee. Prior to 2016, Morris held several roles of increasing responsibility in human resources, global marketing, and international products. In 2021, Morris was inducted as a fellow in the National Academy of Human Resources, the highest honor granted in the HR profession.​




Stacey Abrams​

Former Georgia State Representative​

Stacey Abrams is a political leader, voting rights activist and New York Times bestselling author. After serving for eleven years in the Georgia House of Representatives, seven as Democratic Leader, in 2018, Abrams became the Democratic nominee for Governor of Georgia, winning at the time more votes than any other Democrat in the state’s history. Abrams was the first black woman to become the gubernatorial nominee for a major party in the United States, and she was the first black woman and first Georgian to deliver a Response to the State of the Union.



Dwight Hutchins​

Managing Director & Senior Partner​, Boston Consulting Group

Dwight Hutchins is a senior member of the Marketing, Sales & Pricing practice and the Center for Digital Government at Boston Consulting Group. Dwight helps c-suite executives of global organizations improve enterprise performance by accelerating economic growth and enhancing customer engagement. His aim is to deliver lasting operating model transformations by combining digital and technological advances with rapid leadership and organization development.



James H. Lowry​

Senior Advisory, Boston Consulting Group​
Founder, James H. Lowry & Associates​

James H. Lowry, a Senior Advisor at Boston Consulting Group, is a nationally recognized workforce and supplier diversity expert. He currently leads the firm’s workforce diversity, ethnic marketing, and minority business development consulting efforts. Prior to joining BCG in 2000, Jim founded his own firm, James H. Lowry & Associates, which, in 1978, prepared the first major study on minority business enterprise development for The Department of Commerce. He continues to head his firm while serving as a senior advisor at BCG.



Panel: Strategic Partnerships​     MODERATOR: Cheryl Harris

Cheryl A. Harris​

Chief Procurement Officer, Allstate

Cheryl A. Harris is the Chief Procurement Officer at Allstate. In this role, Cheryl manages Allstate’s $12B 3rd party spend portfolio to deliver value, mitigate risk, foster innovation, and develop high performing individuals and teams. She also oversees Allstate’s Business Inclusion and Supply Chain Sustainability programs where her focus is on increasing economic equity through the inclusion and development of minority, women, LBGT, veteran and disabled owned businesses, and ensuring that Allstate suppliers serve stakeholders in a socially responsible way.


Hayden Brown​

President & CEO​, Upwork

Hayden Brown is the president and CEO of Upwork, where she has overseen the company’s growth from $10 million to over $700 million in annual revenues and from $100 million to more than $4 billion in Gross Services Volume. Upwork’s workforce, now numbering more than 2,500 team members, has always been made up of approximately 75% freelancers working remotely from around the world on the Upwork platform. Joining in 2011 as a product manager, she became CEO in January 2020. Hayden is passionate about using technology, including AI, to enhance work experiences for professionals and businesses. Under her leadership, Upwork expanded its product portfolio and introduced Uma, Upwork’s Mindful AI.

Holding an AB in politics from Princeton, Hayden began her career at McKinsey, then worked at Microsoft and LivePerson before joining Upwork. She has been named to Forbes’ Future of Work 50, SIA’s’ Staffing 100 North America and Global Power 150 Women in Staffing lists, and was at the helm when Upwork was named one of TIME’s Most Influential Companies.



Rhonda Henley​

Vice President, Americas Partner Sales, Cisco

Rhonda is responsible for leading partners across the U.S., Canada, and Latin America, representing the Americas primary route to market and accounting for over 90 percent of its annual revenue. Rhonda and her team are committed to delivering an exceptional customer experience with their partners by aligning strategies, delivering meaningful solutions for customers, and driving sustained profitability. Prior to her current role, Rhonda was a Senior Director within Cisco’s Global Partner & Routes to Market Sales Organization. She led a portfolio of Cisco’s largest Global System Integrators, Consulting partners and IT Service providers, each focused on accelerating digital transformation with Cisco technologies. Her global team shared a vision to deliver growth and competitive advantage by accelerating cloud and managed services for public and private sector customers.

Ruth Jacks​

EVP, Head of Diverse Segments​, Wells Fargo​

Ruth Jacks assumed the role of head of Diverse Segments for Commercial Banking in June 2023. Ruth and her team are responsible for overseeing the commercial banking relationships with Black and African American, Hispanic and Latino, Native American, Asian, LGBTQ+, veteran, and women entrepreneurs across the U.S., developing solutions to help them achieve their financial objectives through access to Wells Fargo’s capital, network, and expertise. With more than 25 years of leadership and banking experience, Ruth joined Wells Fargo in 2021 after serving as the Sales Strategy and Analytics Executive at Texas Capital Bank.




Farryn Melton​​

Former, Senior Vice President & Chief Procurement Officer​, Bristol Myers Squibb​

Farryn is the former SVP, Chief Procurement Officer (CPO) for Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS). Her team was responsible for aligning with the company’s business strategy to optimize value, drive efficiency and manage the company’s external spend. With revenues in excess of $35B, her team managed the company’s external spend of ~ $12B from early research to distribution. In addition to Global Procurement and Supplier Relationship Management, she was responsible for strategy-to-pay processes, global travel and fleet operations. She led a diverse team of over 400 + colleagues around the world and managed large external partnerships.




Susanna Webber​

Senior Vice President, Global Supplier Management Group & Global Workplace Enterprise Services, Chief Procurement Officer, Merck & Co., Inc​

Susanna Webber is Senior Vice President of Global Supplier Management Group & Global Workplace Enterprise Services and Chief Procurement Officer at Merck & Co., Inc., a role to which she was named in February 2020. Most recently, she served as the company’s Vice President of Indirect Sourcing and Operations. Previously, she served as President and Managing Director for Russia at General Motors Company. Webber began her career at General Motors as a Buyer in Troy, Michigan, and worked her way up to executive management through ever-increasing areas of responsibility.





Nathalie Molina Niño

Chief Strategy Officer, Known​

Nathalie is the Chief Strategy Officer and a Co-Founder at Known. She is an investor, author, educator and retired global tech entrepreneur. She makes personal investments in startups out of her family office, O³, and prior to that via BRAVA Investments, a gender lens investment firm where she served as CEO. She is the author of the 2018 book LEAPFROG, The New Revolution for Women Entrepreneurs (Penguin Random House, Tarcher Perigee), named by Book Authority as one of the “Best CEO Books of All Time.”

As part of her work as a champion of women, communities of color and the planet, she co-founded the trade organization for Builder Capitalism, a long-view, alternative asset class to Venture Capital.



Bruce A. McDonald

Managing Director, Wells Fargo Corporate & Investment Banking​

Bruce McDonald is a Managing Director and Head of the Diverse Segments Group’s Banking and International businesses. Bruce provides strategic advisory and capital raising services to companies within a variety of industry sectors. He is based in Charlotte, NC. Bruce has extensive experience in providing advisory services related to sell-side and buy-side mergers and acquisitions, public and private equity capital markets transactions, leveraged and high-grade debt capital markets transactions and financial restructuring.

Prior to joining Wells Fargo Securities, Bruce spent seven years as a managing director at Houlihan Lokey, Inc. Prior to his time at Houlihan Lokey, he spent five years with a predecessor of Wells Fargo Securities. Bruce began his investment banking career with Deutsche Bank Securities and its predecessors.



Greg Morris

CEO​, SafeTouch Security​

Greg is a seasoned executive with over 18 years of exceptional performance in P&L leadership, global sales & marketing, and operational leadership at General Electric and United Technologies Corporation. Greg has extensive experience in acquisitions, sales leadership, cost reduction, and driving labor productivity. His strong leadership track record stands out for sound judgment and healthy business growth, regardless of market conditions.​



Panel: Generational Wealth and Family Office      MODERATOR: Phyllis Newhouse​

Phyllis Newhouse​

Founder & CEO of ShoulderUp​
CEO, Xtreme Solutions

Phyllis Newhouse is a serial entrepreneur and investor, retired military senior officer and mentor. She is CEO and Founder of ShoulderUp Technology Acquisition Corp, Founder and CEO of Xtreme Solutions, Inc., and Founder of ShoulderUp, a 501c3. A pioneer in business, she is the first woman to win an Ernst & Young (EY) Entrepreneur Of The Year® award in the technology category as well as become the first African American female CEO to take a SPAC public (Athena Technology Acquisition Corp.). Passionate about women-led businesses, Newhouse teaches aspiring entrepreneurs to recognize and capitalize on their leadership skills and empowers others to operate in greatness.​

From growing up as the youngest child in a modest family to serving as a U.S. Army officer, Newhouse, a service-disabled veteran, has consistently relied on hard work, strong ethics, a passion for technology, and a desire to make a difference, earning recognition as one of the top leaders in the tech industry.

Michael S. Arlein, Esq.

Partner, Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP​

Michael Arlein is Chair of the firm’s Trusts and Estates group and the firm’s practice group devoted to Founders & Entrepreneurs and has been with the firm since 2000. Mr. Arlein focuses his practice on estate and tax planning for high-net-worth individuals and families, including founders and entrepreneurs, Wall Street professionals, principals at venture capital and private equity firms and hedge funds, real estate developers, corporate executives, professional athletes, entertainers and artists. A former investment banker, Mr. Arlein brings to his clients the insight and business sense that distinguishes him among lawyers. He works closely with clients and their other trusted advisors to identify their objectives and provide creative and practical solutions designed to meet their specific goals. Collaborating with lawyers from the firm’s other practice areas, Mr. Arlein often serves as “general counsel” for his clients, coordinating all their personal legal needs.



Elisa Rizzo​

Managing Director, J.P. Morgan Private Bank​

Elisa Shevlin Rizzo is a Managing Director and the Head of Family Office Advisory for J.P. Morgan Private Bank. Elisa leads a team of experts in working with complex, multi-generational families and their advisors to provide guidance around a suite of family office services. She focuses on helping clients navigate the challenges of institutional wealth through trust and estate structuring, family governance and next-generation engagement.​

Elisa draws on her broad experience in estate and wealth planning design and administration to serve as a thought engine and advance the firm’s discipline in this space. She fosters a culture of collaboration, ensuring her team has the resources and training they need to successfully partner with private banking coverage professionals.



Panel: Access to Capital      MODERATOR: Ben Carson, Jr.

Ben Carson, Jr.

Co-Founder & Partner, Fvlcrum Funds​

Ben Carson Jr. is Co-Founder and Partner at FVLCRUM, where he is responsible for the overall guidance of the company and the portfolio. Previously, Mr. Carson served as Executive Vice President at The Warner Companies, where he led TWC Capital, a division that advised companies on mergers and acquisitions, capital structuring, capital raises, investments, insurance, and strategic planning.

Ben is actively involved in the community and serves on several boards, including Tufts University (Derby Entrepreneurial Center and the President’s Council), YPO (Young President’s Organization), the Minority Wealth Commission, Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital Foundation Board, and Carson Scholars Fund.



Harold Butler

Managing Director, Head of Diverse Financial Institution Group, Citi

Harold E. Butler, Jr. is a leader in Citi’s Banking, Capital Markets and Advisory franchise, and is responsible for the portfolio of business with the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Federal Reserve System.

Harold is the Head of Citi’s institutional engagement with Minority Deposit Institutions, Co-leading with equity investments and overseeing a host of development and revenue generating opportunities. Harold co-created and leads Citi’s support of the U.S. Treasury Mentorship Protégé Program. Harold joined Citi in 2006, and currently serves as the Co-Head of the Diversity Operating Committee within banking focusing on talent recruitment, retainment, and enrichment. He serves as a founding member of the Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Board within Citi’s Global Markets and Securities business.


Jennifer Jeronimo

CEO & General Partner, Gaingels Inc.

Jennifer has over 20 years of experience in finance and banking working at large institutions such as Credit Suisse, Bear Stearns and JP Morgan earning the coveted position of Executive Director.

She has a wide array of experience, both local and global, servicing institutional and hedge fund clients by running the collateral management, pricing, portfolio accounting and restricted securities departments. Jennifer was also integral in helping JP Morgan lift the consent order by working in the Compliance Operations organization. Some of her more notable accomplishments include building a KYC organization in India across all the lines of business at JP Morgan, leading the global roll-out of the transaction monitoring system, creating and implementing operational efficiencies for each organization saving millions of dollars a year and reducing friction for clients.

Alden McDonald, Jr.

Chief Executive Officer, Liberty Bank & Trust

Mr. McDonald, CEO, has held his current position since the bank’s inception in 1972, making him the longest tenured African American financial executive in the country. With over 50 years of experience in the banking industry, Mr. McDonald’s strategic vision and hard work have been crucial to the success of the bank. Under his leadership, the bank’s assets have grown from a mere $2 million in 1972 to over $1 billion currently.



Sharon H. Patterson

President, CEO & Co-Founder, Billion Dollar Roundtable​

Sharon Patterson is President, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of the Billion Dollar Roundtable Inc. (BDR), the organization of major U.S. corporations that promotes supply-chain diversity through top-level forums and sharing of best practices, thought leadership and policy engagement. The organization’s corporate members each purchase more than $1 billion annually in goods and services from diverse suppliers on a first-tier basis. The BDR book, “Billion Dollar Roundtable: Best Practices in Supplier Diversity,” is widely read and assists companies in developing supplier diversity programs. Over the years BDR has received several awards and recognition including the induction in the Minority Business Hall of Fame and Museum.​



PANEL: Secrets to Success: Their Journey to Becoming a Billionaire    MODERATOR: Morgan Radford

Morgan Radford​

“NBC News Daily” Anchor, NBC News, New York​​

Morgan Radford is the co-anchor for “NBC News Daily” (12-2pmET), the number one daily news program on all afternoon television in the key demographic across the country. From breaking news in the nation’s top stories, to peeling back the layers of meaning for voters in this fevered political climate, Radford connects with more than 1.1 million viewers daily and her political reporting appears frequently on TODAY Show, NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” and in Spanish on Noticias Telemundo.

Originally from Greensboro, NC, Morgan received her bachelor’s degree from Harvard University, a master’s degree from Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism and a Fulbright Fellowship from the United States State Department.

Dr. Trisha Bailey​

CEO, Bailey’s Medical Supplies​

Dr Trisha Bailey is a Jamaican-born entrepreneur, philanthropist and public speaker. Life for many entrepreneurs has not been a “crystal stair,” and for Dr. Trisha Bailey, there is no exception. Her gritty background makes her no stranger to hard work, but it is her passion and kindness that have led to her success, making her the wealthiest Jamaican woman to this date. Trisha Bailey migrated to the United States from Jamaica, leaving behind a family, hoping and praying for her success. While many people may view her past as dark and traumatic, Trisha Bailey has taken those experiences to help create her own yes by strategically facing the obstacles in her journey head on.​

Dr. Bailey has taken over the home medical equipment industry as the only black woman in this arena, establishing pharmaceutical and durable medical equipment facilities across the country.​

Nina Vaca​

Chairman & CEO, Pinnacle Group​

Nina Vaca personifies the American Dream as a trailblazing Latina entrepreneur, a world-changing philanthropist, and a dynamic global leader.​

​Nina founded Pinnacle Group in 1996 and has served as its Chairman and CEO for over two decades. During those two decades Pinnacle has grown rapidly. What started as a one-woman IT staffing firm has grown into a workforce solutions powerhouse providing multiple service lines to industry leaders in the telecommunications, financial services, transportation, and technology industries. In 2007, Pinnacle began providing services nationwide and in 2009 entered the Canada market. Today Pinnacle is expanding internationally to serve clients in Europe, Latin America, the Asia Pacific region and beyond. Pinnacle has been included in the Inc. 500/5000 list of fastest-growing companies 13 times and in 2015 and 2018 it was named the fastest-growing women-owned/led company by the Women Presidents’ Organization.​

PANEL: How You Win in the World of AI    MODERATOR: Jason W. Gallo

Jason W. Gallo​

Global Vice President, Partner Sales Development​, Cisco Systems

Jason brings business, finance, and engineering expertise to drive global success. His outcome-based leadership and focus on profitable business growth have led to career success at Fortune 50 companies. Jason’s adept ability to apply financial knowledge and fuse that with technology is a trademark of his initiatives.​

Jason was recently recognized in 2023 and 2022 as a Channel Chief by Computer Reseller News and has previously been named one of the Top 100 under 50 Executive Leaders by Diversity MBA magazine. He has been a prominent and frequent speaker for Cisco global partner events, analyst conferences, industry activities and a contributor for thought leadership publications and business-related social media channels.​

Marlan K. Hardie​

AVP, Chief Digital Officer, World Wide Technology

Prior to his current role as Chief Digital Officer at World Wide Technology, Marlan was the Chief Experience Office at WWT for nearly four years. Before joining WWT, Marlan was a digital CX/EX sales leader – financial services – for Salesforce. He held multiple positions at Cisco Systems, including CX/EX business development manager, US service provider CX leader, and, most recently, Chief of Staff and National Strategy.



Jeff McMillan​

Head of Firmware Artificial Intelligence​, Morgan Stanley

Jeff McMillan is the Chief Analytics and Data Officer for Wealth Management for Morgan Stanley. In this capacity, Jeff is focused on driving organic growth through the use of the latest analytical, machine learning and artificial intelligent capabilities. Prior to this, Jeff’s roles at Morgan Stanley included Head of Advisor Platforms, Head of​ Product Platforms as well as the COO for the Investment Strategy Group. Before joining Morgan Stanley in 2009, Jeff served as Head of Business Strategy for Merrill Lynch Research.​

Jeff is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point where he received a BS in economics. Following this he served on active duty as an armor officer and scout platoon leader in South Korea and Fort Knox, KY.​