A DIVISION OF THE L. DOUGLAS WILDER SCHOOL OF GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS

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Meet Our 2021 Speakers

Susanna Wu-Pong Calvert [View Image]Over the past 25 years in higher education as a teacher, coach, and a faculty and student development professional, Calvert has taught and counseled hundreds of students and faculty members on interpersonal relationships and personal development. Calvert spent most of her life playing the game of creating a successful life… a PhD in pharmaceutical chemistry, tenure at a major university, a McMansion and 2 kids, only to realize that these things did not bring happiness. She learned over time that relationships are the most important thing in our lives, but few, including Calvert, are taught how to create rewarding relationships in our personal and professional lives; this was particularly evident to Calvert while observing many young people ill-equipped to manage emotional and relationship challenges. After decades fostering professional and personal development in students, staff, and faculty at Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Georgia, a degree in applied positive psychology (MAPP), and several coaching credentials, Calvert became inspired to bring mental, emotional, and relationship education to students and communities beyond higher education through this unique Foundation.

[View Image]Chen was the first Asian female to serve as a judge in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. She served as a Trial Attorney with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and was appointed by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, to chair the Interpreter Services Committee of the Interbranch Commission for Gender, Racial & Ethnic Fairness. Chen has served as an Adjunct Professor with Temple University School of Law and serves on many boards including Drexel University, Blacks Educating Blacks About Sexual Health Issues, Southeast Asian Mutual Assistance Associations Coalition, and was the co-founder of the Asian American Women’s Coalition.

[View Image]Cordova serves as Chapter President of Association of Latino Professionals of America- Philadelphia Chapter, the oldest Latino professional organization in the United States, with the mission of empowering, connecting, and inspiring the next generation of Latino leaders. Cordova is a first-generation college graduate of the University of New Mexico and Anderson School of Management-UNM. Córdova is an Account Manager at General Mills; and is an advocate for diversity and outspoken ally for all marginalized communities, by serving as a member of the Familia Network Employee Resource Group, and as a leader on the Women in Sales Steering Team and Diversity Recruiter to ensure talent acquisition is inclusive and diverse. 

[View Image]Credicott is a supervisor of Environmental Regulations leading the Environmental Justice team for Dominion Energy. Prior to joining the Environmental Justice team, Credicott spent 3 years as supervisor leading the Climate, Greenhouse Gases, and Corporate Metrics team for Dominion Energy, in which she was closely involved in the development of Dominion Energy’s climate commitments of reaching Net Zero and associated emissions reductions. Credicott previously spent 6 years as an environmental specialist supporting Dominion Energy’s environmental air compliance and permitting throughout the company’s footprint. She currently serves as chair for ChamberRVA’s HYPE young professional organization (Helping Young Professionals Engage), which is a hub for RVA young professionals to connect with each other, plug into [RVA’s] community, and grow personally and professionally. Credicott holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental science from the University of Virginia

[View Image]Davis is an experienced DEI strategist assisting organizational leaders in the collection and analysis of workforce and recruiting metrics. Skilled in evaluating business landscapes and implementing projects and policies that enable organizations to integrate inclusion in business practices. Marcelle’s background extends to academia, which includes both the design and facilitation of both MBA and PhD courses. Davis is a published author and is in several academic journals. She has been a keynote speaker and presenter at a variety of conferences, both nationally and internationally. Davis has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Georgia State University, an MBA from American Intercontinental University, and a Doctor of Strategic Leadership from Regent University.

[View Image]Gunn graduated in 2019 from The College of William & Mary where she majored in Government. During her tenure, she actively served her campus and the greater Williamsburg community and gained a passion for making a difference through policy, law, music, and dance. Gunn served in a state-wide position for Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, as a Praise and Worship leader at Divine World Changers Int'l Ministries, and as the Policy Manager and legislative assistant to former Virginia Delegate Jennifer Carroll Foy. Gunn is currently attending the Emory University School of Law.

[View Image]Jones is the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Designer of Sassy Jones, a fashion and lifestyle brand. Her goal is to make style and fashion feel effortless for the woman who wants and does it all. Under Jones’ leadership and vision, the brand has stunned the business and fashion worlds, having reached the 24th spot on the Inc. 5000 list and been named by Forbes as one of the top 25 small businesses that thrived during the pandemic. Jones has been recognized as the 2021 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year, a Tory Burch Foundation Fellow, and as a winner of HSN’s “The Big Find,” and now is regularly featured on their retail platform. With impeccable style, flair, and innovation, Sassy Jones is on its way to becoming a household name and iconic fashion design house.

[View Image]As a leader in technology, Keeton has experienced the unique challenges that come with being a woman in an industry that lacks diversity. She believes in the business case for diversity and brings a practical approach to help companies accelerate their Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion goals. Keeton is now the founder of Control Y, a consulting and coaching firm that helps companies create an environment where women leaders thrive. Keeton was the former Chief Customer Officer at SingleStone, a tech consulting company, where she advised Fortune 500 executives on digital and agile transformation, customer experience, and operations improvement.

[View Image]Ryann Lofchie has built a career around an unwavering belief in human potential. She recently launched her newest venture, Viveki Consulting, LCC serving as a strategic advisor to business owners looking to build heart-centered businesses. At the height of the pandemic, Lofchie worked to relaunch the Richmond region’s Small Business Development Center assisting entrepreneurs to navigate the uncertain economic environment. Prior to this role, she served as the CEO of the Frontier Project, a boutique consultancy that focused on culture transformation and leadership development. Lofchie has a BA in Psychology from the University of Illinois, a Master’s Degree in Human Resources and Industrial Relations from the University of Illinois, and an MBA from the University of Richmond.

[View Image]Morukian brings years of experience in consulting, training, and coaching leaders in their growth and development. She specializes in equity, diversity and inclusion, intercultural competence, resilience and well-being, organizational culture transformation, and leading innovative change. She hosts a podcast and blog, Culture Stew, which focuses on the multidimensionality of identity and best practices in diversity, equity, and inclusion. In the coming months she will be publishing her first book, “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for Trainers: Fostering DEI in the Workplace.” Morukian earned a dual Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Michigan in Organizational Studies and Spanish, and a Master’s Degree from American University in International Communications.

[View Image]As director for the Americas for The Coca-Cola Company, Scott leads efforts to support more than 30 office locations, in more than 15 countries making sure employees can focus on products while her team provides safe and productive places to work. Previously, Scott developed workplace change programs for Fortune 500 companies across North America, served as executive director for the Hanover County Chamber of Commerce and taught as an adjunct at Virginia Commonwealth University. Scott has received the coveted Gold Award from the Virginia Public Relations Awards Program, and a slot on Richmond’s Top 40 Under 40 Inside Business Leadership Awards, and is a graduate of Marshall University.

[View Image]Snoddy is the Founder and President of the Don Davis Legacy Foundation, established in 2016 to perpetuate legacy building efforts and initiatives that support the community at large. In addition, Snoddy is the Managing Director of Groovesville Productions & Publishing LLC which controls the Grammy Award-winning music catalog of multiple gold and platinum-selling hit records. Snoddy worked as a real estate professional facilitating multiple development projects which included building and rehabbing multiple affordable single-family residential properties and several commercial real estate projects throughout the country.  Snoddy co-authored her first book A Widow’s Resilience – Wisdom Keys for Moving Forward in Life and Love After Death Do Us Part and has been recognized as “The Only Black Woman in the U.S. Who Owns Her Own Bank”, according to blackbusiness.com.

[View Image]Underwood, who strongly believes in servant leadership and culturally relevant reform, was appointed by Governor Ralph Northam as the Commonwealth of Virginia’s first cabinet-level Chief Diversity Officer (CDO).  This position is also the first of its kind in the nation. As the Commonwealth’s CDO, she is committed to addressing racial, ethnic, disability, gender-based, and other cultural inequities in formal and informal policies in Virginia state government.  Specifically, Underwood works tirelessly to build the ONE Virginia mission, the first-ever statewide strategic plan for inclusive excellence across over 100 state agencies and with other public and private sectors.  In this historical role that provides a roadmap for building diversity-lead innovation across local, state, and federal government, Underwood was named one of “20 Agents of Change” in 2020 by the Virginia Museum of History and Culture for the measurable accomplishments, impact, and racial reconciliation she has already had on the Commonwealth.  As part of her role, she is also guiding the COVID-19 Equity Task Force, the leadership team that directs the work of the Unified Command Health Equity Working Group.  Her goal is to make Virginia an exemplar for the nation, regarding diversity, equity, and inclusive excellence. Underwood has more than 25 years of public service, where she championed to make systemic inequity visible in the education sector as an university administrator, teacher educator, researcher, “national board certified teacher,” and diversity trainer. During her more than 16 years as a PK-12 science teacher and expert in education equity, she served for two terms on the Virginia Advisory Board for Teacher Education and Licensure (ABTEL), authored several publications, and presented at national, state, and local conferences. As a national expert in the cultural contexts of public education, change management, and leadership, Underwood works to make public and private sectors more culturally relevant.

[View Image]Veliz is a performance-driven, executive-level bilingual business professional with 25+ years of experience in utilizing a process-focused approach to organizational design, change and HR leadership for multi-billion dollar organizations while providing strategic business management insights to support executive decision making. Veliz has a proven track record of revitalizing organization culture and HR operations while successfully building a culture of employee engagement, overcoming resistance through employee involvement and implementing rapid change derived from data-driven metrics. Veliz is a strong, compassionate leader who values teamwork, kindness, professionalism and working in impactful organizations that have a strong purpose.

[View Image]The Founder of BareSOUL Yoga & Wellness, a community-based organization initially created to offer accessible yoga offerings, and Mindful on Life, which is a curriculum-based program dedicated to transforming the community through the practice of mindfulness educationWilliams has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology degree from the University of Virginia and a Master’s of Science degree in Yoga Therapy from Maryland University of Integrative Health. Williams is a Yoga Therapist and Mindfulness Educator with 12 years of experience in the fields of education, behavioral and mental health, and community programming in Richmond, VA, and surrounding areas.

[View Image]Wilson is a leadership expert, speaker, trainer, coach, and author whose philosophy is simple: “Lead By Example”. Wilson is the Founder & CEO of Innovative Strategies Consulting, LLC where she serves as the Senior Leadership Development Coach. A John Maxwell certified coach, trainer, and speaker who provides coaching to school divisions, teachers, administrators, 1:1 life coaching, and courses for aspiring administrators and existing administrators. Wilson helps people, worldwide, create a leadership legacy within their own spheres of influence. She has appeared on CNN, NBC, ABC and CBS and has been featured in articles in The Richmond Times Dispatch, The Free Press, and The Progress Index

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