Inspiring Leadership with Diversity, Inclusion & Cultural Competence

Posts tagged ‘diversity professional’

Valuable Knowledge Gained At 2014 Diversity Leadership Retreat

The Society for Diversity wrapped up its 2014 Diversity Leadership Retreat on Friday, July 25 in Orlando, Fla. with over 70 people in attendance over the two day conference. The event provided valuable knowledge to those in attendance, and everyone walked away with materials and information to take back to their companies.

The first day of the conference started with a keynote presentation from Isaias Zamarripa, Director of Global Workforce Diversity, Johnson Controls. His presentation highlighted the connections between employee networks, diversity recruiting and bottom line impact. After Zamarripa’s presentation, the attendees got the option to attend breakout sessions, such as unconscious bias and the role of the chief diversity officer.

During the lunch hour on July 24, the Diversity Leadership Awards were presented by Ericka Dunlap, 2004 Miss America. Dunlap presented the following awards to their recipients:

  • Corporate Diversity Leader- FordHarrison, LLP
  • Educational Diversity Leader- Nadia Quarles, University of Chicago
  • Non-Profit Diversity Leader- American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
  • Society for Diversity Member of the Year- Dr. Ken Coopwood, Missouri State University

These recipients are leaders in the diversity and inclusion field by being thought leaders and striving to be the top in their industry for D&I efforts.

After the presentation of these awards, there was a panel on supplier diversity. The day finished with additional breakout sessions that attendees could choose from.

“All of the sessions provided vast amounts of information to those who attended,” explained Leah Smiley, The Society for Diversity president. “Choosing which sessions to attend must have been difficult because there were always sessions going on at the same time that were relevant to anyone in attendance.”

The second day started off with a keynote presentation by Dr. Freeman Hrabowski, President, University of Maryland-Baltimore. His presentation allowed attendees to tell Dr. Hrabowski what they wanted to learn from him, and he tailored his presentation to what he was asked about.

“Dr. Hrabowski’s presentation was highly interactive,” stated Smiley. “I think that people walked away with more insight and information than they would have thought possible from an hour discussion.”

Another keynote speaker, Dr. Shirley Davis Sheppard, highlighted the lunch hour. Her presentation was on the “10 Global Trends that are Keeping CEOs up at Night.” Her presentation was on par with the other presenters, and it had many attendees walking away wanting more.

The event ended on July 25 with a thank you speech from Smiley, “I appreciated everyone who attended the event, and I can’t wait to see everyone again at next year’s conference.”

While the 2014 Diversity Leadership Retreat is over, planning has begun on the 2015 event. The planning committee has already decided that the event will be hosted in Charlotte, N.C., and it will be moved to October in order to more easily accommodate attendees’ schedules. More information about next year’s event will be provided at a later date, but information can also be found on The Society for Diversity’s website,

The Institute for Diversity Certification Confers Credentials to 10 New Designees

These certified diversity executives and professionals have demonstrated advanced knowledge, skill and competency in diversity and inclusion.

Plainfield, IN–October 4, 2013: The Institute for Diversity Certification conferred Certified Diversity Executive (CDE) and Certified Diversity Professional (CDP) credentials to ten (10) new designees during its September exam window:

  • Karen Reed, CDE, Acting Director of Administration & Director, Division of Multicultural Health and Community Engagement at the Virginia Department of Health
  • Dennis Stull, CDE, Director of Human Resources at Ghertner & Company
  • Jasmine Taylor, M.D., CDE, Associate Vice Chancellor for Multicultural Affairs at the University of Mississippi Medical Center
  • Shirley Aldana, CDP, Senior Diversity & Inclusion Consultant at Enlace Consulting and Resource Group
  • Randie C. Chance, Ph.D., CDP
  • Yolanda Hamilton, CDP, Diversity Consultant, YDH Consulting LLC
  • Valerie McAllister, CDP, Culturally & Linguistically Appropriate Services Specialist at the Virginia Department of Health, Office of Minority Health and Health Equity
  • Julia Mendez, CDP, Principal Business Consultant at Peoplefluent
  • Mabel D. Strum, CDP, President of MDStrum
  • Julie Swander, CDP, Diversity Coordinator at OhioHealth

Although there are other CDE designees, Karen Reed, Dennis Stull and Dr. Jasmine Taylor are the first CDE designees in the 2013 program. In November, the Institute for Diversity Certification (IDC) will complete its 2013 exam season with the largest group of CDE and CDP Candidates to date. IDC recently opened its 2014 testing cycle with self-study, classroom-based and online preparation course options.

Rita Taylor-Nash, a current CDE Candidate and Vice President at Health Care Service Corporation says, “This is the best and most comprehensive certification program I have seen in this field. In fact, I have included successful attainment of certification status in the goals of every team member.”

The IDC diversity and inclusion certification exam is a uniform test that assesses a candidate’s knowledge of 16 broad competencies. IDC also assesses a professional work through the Candidate Project evaluation. All IDC designees must pass the exam with an 80% or better. Currently, the exam competencies include The Business Case for Diversity and Inclusion, Generational Intelligence, Empowering Women in the Workplace, LGBTA Employment Issues, and Measuring the Impact of Diversity and Inclusion, to name a few. Much of the content addresses management expectations, linking diversity and inclusion goals to organizational objectives, and getting quantitative results. The Executive program heavily focuses on Global Diversity and Inclusion issues.

Leah Smiley, Founder of the Institute for Diversity Certification says, “In today’s competitive business environment, you definitely want people on-board who can execute diversity strategies well, and deliver anticipated results. This program helps organizations to purposefully move diversity and inclusion from one level to the next.”

Currently, there are nearly 200 IDC designees representing organizations such as Eli Lilly & Co., Cisco, Mercedes Benz, Wal-Mart, Goodwill Industries International, University of Miami, University of Alabama, Indiana State University, NASA, WellPoint, US Air Force Academy, HealthSouth Corp., Wells Fargo, Belk Inc., Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, and more. Upon obtaining credentials, designees may volunteer to share best practices with new Candidates by instructing preparation courses, reviewing Candidate Projects, updating materials, and providing feedback on test questions.

For more information about IDC, call 1-800-983-6192 or log onto

About IDC

The Institute for Diversity Certification was formed for the sole purpose of providing diversity and inclusion (D&I) management preparation courses and materials; administering diversity certification exams; and designating diversity and inclusion credentials to Certified Diversity Professionals (CDP) and Certified Diversity Executives (CDE). Our program is a global framework for recognizing and rewarding high quality, knowledgeable professionals who strive for excellence in the field of Diversity and Inclusion. IDC is a subsidiary of the Society for Diversity, the #1 nationwide professional association for diversity and inclusion with members in 39 states.

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