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Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Conference - Implementation & Application in a Culture of Change

  • 11/09/2021
  • 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
  • Virtual - Zoom Meeting




Join us for the second annual educational conference on diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace. A wide variety of experts in the field will speak on how to move the needle on creating a more inclusive Louisville.  The one-day conference will run from 9:00am until 1:00pm on Tuesday, November 9th, 2021.

Learning Objectives:

The one-day learning objectives of the presentation are:

  1. Sustainable DEI Strategies: Turning the Moment into Momentum
  2. Reclaiming Shadow Projection: Essential Tools for Personal Growth and Healthy Relationships
  3. The Business Case for Disability Inclusion
  4. Micro-Behaviors: Workplace Impact & Intervention
  5. Overcoming Unconscious Bias: A conversation with Chandra Gordon

Certification Credits:

SHRM & HRCI credits pending


Date: Tuesday November 09, 2021

Time: 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Where: Virtual Conference - Zoom

Price: Members - $25 

           Non-Members - $35 

Sponsored by:

Platinum Sponsor


Keynote: Sustainable DEI Strategies: Turning the Moment into Momentum

Perry Sholes

Senior Consultant

 Perry joins Leading NOW after a successful career in Human Resources and Operations. In his roles, he helped to drive profitability at complex global organizations that included private equity portfolio companies, large public companies, and privately-owned businesses. Perry’s unique background in Human Resource management and Operations, where he worked as a GM at McDonald’s Corporation in New Orleans, as a District Manager at Taco Bell Corporation and as a Regional Foodservice Manager at Target Stores Corporation, all roles with P&L, operations, training, and people development responsibilities. His Human Resources skills were developed in the consumer products (CPG) industry at Nabisco Foods Company Inc., and Kraft Foods Inc.; he was responsible for various corporate functions in both the US and Latin America. Perry has held several roles leading the HR function, and guiding company culture: Raising Cane’s team as VP Crew Resources, VP HR at Thomas and King Inc., a privately-owned operator of Applebee’s and Johnny Carino’s brands, and SVP HR at Last Call Operating Company; Fox & Hound and Champps Sports Grill brands. These roles have enhanced his ability to lead through course changes, operate within slim 14 Milliston Road #226 | Millis, MA 02054 USA | +1 508 433 0150 | LeadingNOW.biz margins, grow the organization’s talent development infrastructure, and build highly capable and service-oriented HR teams. Perry has held several board positions with multiple associations including Women’s Foodservice Forum, Multicultural Foodservice & Hospitality Alliance, and Girl Scouts Louisiana-East. He has been a leader within Society Human Resource Management (SHRM) Kentucky and Louisiana, most recently as President New Orleans SHRM Chapter in 2020 and Diversity Director Louisiana State SHRM Council 2021. He has led within business and industry organizations as the Founder, Member and President of the Kraft Foods Alumni Network, and CPG Professional Networks since 2006, and also as Vice Chairman of the New Orleans Regional Black Chamber 2021. Perry is a 2019 Graduate of New Orleans Regional Leadership Institute (NORLI) and Urban League’s ULead Program. Finally, after returning home to New Orleans, he founded Corporate Internship Leadership Institute in spring of 2019, a Louisiana based 501c3. Perry received an Executive MBA from the University of South Florida and a B.S. in Marketing from Tampa College. He is a certified HR professional (SPHR and SCP), Myers-Briggs Practitioner and Predictive Index certified Talent Optimization Consultant

Kelly Lockwood

Primus Chief Executive

Officer Kelly Lockwood Primus, was appointed Chief Executive Officer in December of 2020 after successfully transitioning the merger of Leading Women into Leading NOW’s stable of brands. Prior to this appointment, Kelly was CEO & President for Leading Women and was with the organization since 2013. Prior to joining Leading Women, Kelly was a member of the executive team for WFF, a national non-profit women’s leadership organization. As Vice President for Marketing & Communications, Kelly was instrumental in returning the organization to prominence in the foodservice industry as the authority for women’s leadership development, and drove participation in the organization’s live and virtual events to “sell-out” status. Before her time working within women’s leadership development organizations, Kelly was a member of the executive team at Primo Water, a publicly held CPG company, in the role of Vice President, Marketing & Communications. Recruited pre-IPO, Kelly was challenged with articulating the brand promise, creating the brand communication strategy and instituting integrated marketing campaigns to drive retailer and consumer brand preference. Within less than a year, the organization went public, had acquired multiple new retail partners including Walmart, and the company’s products were featured in leading trade publications as a product category to watch. While a resident in North Carolina, Kelly was a mentor to students at the Wake Forest University Graduate Women in Business Program, a panelist at their Women in Leadership 14 Milliston Road #226 | Millis, MA 02054 USA | +1 508 433 0150 | LeadingNOW.biz Conference and a judge at the Wake Forest University Schools of Business Annual Marketing Summit MBA Case Competition. Before joining Primo, Kelly was charged with developing The Goodwin Group’s global business and marketing strategy to expand the integrated marketing agency’s revenue opportunities within the pharmaceutical and medical association industries when she took on the role of Vice President, Strategy and Business Development. Utilizing research to identify a unique market opportunity, Kelly reconstructed the organization’s service offerings resulting in new customer acquisitions and a revenue increase of 100%. From 2000 to 2006 Kelly held marketing & communication roles of increasing responsibility at the $700M privately-held consumer products company, The Holmes Group, Inc. (acquired by Jarden Corporation) culminating in the role of Corporate Vice President and General Manager of the Lighting Division Business Unit. A graduate of the University of Rhode Island, Kelly also participated in Executive Leadership Programs at Boston College and Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. Connect with Kelly on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/kellylockwood

Break-out Sessions:

Jud Hendrix

Title: Reclaiming Shadow Projection: Essential Tools for Personal Growth and Healthy Relationships

Jud Hendrix is the Executive Director for Interfaith Paths to Peace, cofounder of the Big Table, a coach and consultant with New Possibilities Associates and an adjunct professor at Bellarmine University and JCTC.  Jud has worked in the area of personal and social transformation for 30 years.  He has a Master of Divinity degree from Louisville Presbyterian Seminary; a Bachelor’s in Psychology from Samford University and is currently finishing his PhD in Education and Social Change at Bellarmine University.

Jared Daley

Title: The Business Case for Disability Inclusion

Jared Daly has a BA in Psychology and Criminal Justice. He currently works for The Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities as the Regional Coordinator of Workforce Development assisting local organizations in implementing disability inclusion programs to hire, onboard and retain individuals with disabilities. Jared is the founder of The Employment Collaborative of Cuyahoga County (ECCC), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit group of more than 50 local organizations that work together to connect the local business community more efficiently to a diverse talent pool of job seekers with disabilities and other barriers to employment. Jared is a published author in the Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation as well as a national presenter on creating collaborative networks to increase employment opportunities for job seekers with disabilities. Jared is also the President Elect for The Cleveland Society of Human Resource Management, helping lead a talented group of volunteers dedicate to educating the local HR community.

Vivian Hairston Blade, MBA, MBB, PMP

President & CEO

Experts in Growth Leadership Consulting

Title: Micro-Behaviors: Workplace Impact & Intervention

Named one of Engagedly’s Top 100 HR Influencers 2021, Vivian delivers transformative and engaging live or virtual keynotes, leadership development programs, executive coaching and consulting for many of the world’s top companies.  With over 20 years of corporate career experience with Fortune 100 companies Humana and GE, she has long been an advocate for the advancement of diverse talent and has extensive experience with inclusive talent pipeline leadership development initiatives.  She is a prolific writer and published author, as well as a Adjunct Professor for the University of Louisville College of Business and a former part-time Instructor for Ivy Tech Community College’s Corporate College Division.

Raylene Pollio, MBA, CCDP/AP

President & CEO, Pollio Consulting

Raylene is a veteran corporate diversity and inclusion professional with over 14 years of expertise in strategy development, implementation and management of comprehensive, systemic diversity management practices. She was instrumental in building Brown-Forman Corporation’s diversity function from the ground up, worked closely with employee resource groups and diversity councils, and has consulted for many of the nation’s leading organizations to develop and advance their diversity and inclusion efforts.  She is a Adjunct Professor of Diversity in the Workplace for the University of Louisville School of Human

Closing: Overcoming Unconscious Bias: A conversation with Chandra Gordon

Chandra Gordon

Chandra Gordon is the Executive Director of the Library Foundation. She moved to Louisville, KY from Long Island, NY twenty years ago with her husband, three children, and dog. The move was prompted by the ready access to beautiful art (her husband is a glass artist), great food (her favorite hobby), and the solid music scene (public radio was a factor). The move enabled her to be closer to the extended family she grew up with in Tennessee and Kentucky and the many lifelong friends she and her husband developed when they attended Maryville College in Maryville, TN.

Chandra’s passion has always been social justice. After graduating from college she enrolled in the Southern Empowerment Project’s residential course on fundraising and community organizing. This launched her two-decade+ career in the nonprofit sector, with a focus on fundraising. Since that time she has worked for various nonprofits, including those focused on ex-offenders, academia, independent film, conservation, animal welfare, and for the past fifteen years, libraries.

Chandra received her Certified Fund Raising Executive credentials in 2014, she participated in Leadership Louisville’s 2011 Ignite program, the 2015 and 2021 Bingham Fellows programs, and she earned the Certificate in Nonprofit Executive Leadership from the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy in 2015.


In her free time she thinks too much, she laughs with her family, plays with her dogs, and enjoys the abundant creativity and friendships offered by this community she calls home. (She is also trying to mindfully meditate)


Lettie Johnson

Lettie Johnson is the CEO/Founder of Gifted By Design Leadership and Consulting, LLC  (GBD) A wholistic personal and professional development practice in connecting, consulting, counseling, and coaching people and organizations. Lettie holds over 20+ years of experience in transforming organizations and people across sectors. As a John Maxwell Certified Coach, Teacher, Trainer, and Speaker. She offers workshops, team building, seminars, keynote speaking, and coaching, aiding your personal and professional growth.  Also being a licensed diversity equity and inclusion facilitator she uses her skills in leadership development, strategic planning, and communication methods to assist people and organizations in maximizing their capacity and reaching their full potential. Lettie’s company, Gifted By Design has been added to the SHRM Recertification Provider offering credits (PDCs) for HR knowledge and competency programs related to the SHRM Body of Competency and Knowledge.


Lettie also voluntarily serves on several Boards both locally and nationally to name a few NAWBO, National SCORE,  & LSHRM.

Lettie’s “why” is her Community and she believes in the potential of people and organizations. Lettie is most proud of marriage to her Husband, Robert of 19 years.

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