2022 Colors of Success DEI Award Publication

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PROGRAM AGENDA Welcome Raven Brown, News MohammedGreaterOpeningNews10NBCAnchor/ReporterRemarksBobDuffy,President&CEORochesterChamberofCommerceKeynoteAddressA.Ahamed,CEO&ChiefDiversityOfficerEDIExecutiveSearchATributetothe2022ColorsofSuccessDEIAwardNomineesClosingRemarksBobDuffy Colors of Success DEI Award Judges Dr. Deanna Burt-Nanna, Monroe Community College Bill Carpenter, Regional Transit Service Adrian Hale, Foundry Tag your photos online with event hashtag #ColorsOfSuccessROC Twitter: @RochesterChambr Instagram: @GreaterRochesterChamber Facebook & LinkedIn: Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce 2022 Colors Of Success DEI Award Presentation

BOB ChamberGreaterPresidentDUFFY&CEORochesterofCommerce

We want to thank our sponsors for their generosity and support of the inaugural Colors of Success DEI Award. They have made today’s celebration possible. We also want to thank our judges for their role in helping us pick our 2022 Colors of Success DEI Award Recipient. Lastly, we thank each of you for joining us to recognize such a distinguished group of community leaders fostering DEI in our community.

We are pleased to welcome you to today’s Colors of Success DEI Award celebration, where we will honor some of Greater Rochester’s most notable changemakers.

These nominees have our gratitude, admiration, and unwavering support of their continued efforts to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion in our community.


At Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce, we believe that the Greater Rochester region’s diversity is its strength. We are committed to creating an economy that is built on the ingenuity, intelligence, and involvement of all of our residents - not just some. In order to reach our maximum potential, we must ensure that every person in our community has access to economic opportunities.

Greater Rochester Chamber created the Colors of Success DEI Award in 2022 to help shine a spotlight on these courageous leaders’ dedication to diversity, equity, and inclusion in our workplaces and community.


Rochester has had its fair share of social and racial challenges throughout our history, but it has also been a region that has shaped civil rights in our nation. It is known for individuals working to improve the lives of those around them. These individuals are the glue that holds our community together and are one of our greatest strengths. Greater Rochester would not be the thriving and progressive region it is today without these individuals, past and present, including each of our outstanding nominees for today’s award.

THANK YOU TO OUR EVENT SPONSORS SUPPORTING SPONSORS Coordinated Care Services, Inc. (CCSI) Empire Justice Center Excellus BlueCross BlueShield Heritage Christian Services John Schlia Photography LeChase VisionsRG&E/NYSEGConstruction-AVANGRIDFederalCreditUnion Greater Rochester Chamber gratefully acknowledges our event sponsors for their support and commitment in helping us foster and recognize the great work our nominees do in the diversity, equity, and inclusion space. If you wish to participate as a sponsor or nominate a worthy candidate for our 2023 Colors of Success DEI Award, please contact Greater Rochester Chamber events director, Susan George at PREMIERSusan.George@GreaterRochesterChamber.comPARTNERSSPONSORS

Many organizations are struggling to attract and retain talent, culture, base, This series will help your organization become a focusing on understanding the value in and also having a

Launched in 2020, Greater Rochester Chamber’s Colors of Success event series seeks to inform, inspire, and encourage organizations to equity in the Greater Rochester area

and Workplacebeyond.equity

more inclusive and diverse workplace by


improve workplace

expand their customer

positive effect on productivity and employee engagement. Take your diversity journey beyond today’s award and consider attending one of our upcoming Colors of Success events, listed below. Greater Rochester Chamber gratefully acknowledges our 2022 Colors of Success DEI Event series sponsors: Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, Five Star Bank, and Trillium Health REGISTER ONLINE my.GreaterRochesterChamber.com/CalendarAT UPCOMING VIRTUAL EVENTS & TRAINING: Workplace Wellbeing and Inclusion Thursday, September 22, 2022 | 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM Training Seminar: Fundamentals of Diversity Wednesday, October 12, 19, 26, 2022 | 8:00 AM - 9:30 AM Leveraging Diversity to Achieve Business Success Thursday, November 10, 2022 | 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM SADY ALVARADO-FISCHER COLORS OF SUCCESS DEI AWARD The inaugural Colors of Success DEI Award recognizes great leadership in advancing diversity, equity and inclusion in the greater Rochester community. Congratulations Sady Alvarado-Fischer and all the nominees for this well deserved achievement.

and optimize talent.

different perspectives that motivate employees towards creativity

is a defining feature of a successful organization in all its forms, including race, gender, ability (physical, psychological), sexual orientation, religion, and others.

improve workplace

innovation, while

2022 COLORS OF SUCCESS DEI NOMINEESAWARD SADY ExcellusDiversity,CorporateFISCHER,ALVARADO-CDPDirectorofEquity&InclusionBlueCrossBlueShieldTALETHEABEST Sr. Vice President of People & Culture YMCA of Greater Rochester DAN BUTLER Equity and Advocacy Division Director Urban League of Rochester GREG AdvocacyNorthwesternManagingCONSTANTINODirectorMutual/ConstantinoFinancialJEIRIFLORESSpecialistAssociateDirector,Diversity&InclusionStrongCenterforDevelopmentalDisabilitiesSYLVIADAVID-WESTProjectEngineerL3HarrisTechnologiesHARIS CoordinatedAJALEAHDirectorARSHADofHRCleanCraftBOBOWSKIResidentialDirectorPeopleInc.KESHACARTERChiefDiversityOfficerCareServices,Inc.(CCSI) MARLENE CORTÉS Senior Program Manager Empire Justice Center DR. DONNA M. HARRIS Associate SouthExecutiveMIKEDiversityPrincipal/ChiefOfficerCGREVANSDirectorEastAreaCoalition,Inc.

JULIO JORDAN Director of Diversity, Equity, Justice and Ibero-AmericanInclusionAction League DR. SHAUN NELMS Professor & Superintendent University of Rochester/ Rochester City School District JOSEPH SEARLES, JR. Vice President & Chief Community Engagement Officer Trillium Health ANNETTERecruiterRAMOS Monroe County Board of Elections MONA ExecutiveISLEROfficeAdministratorWXXI DR. DEANNA KIMBREL Chief Diversity Officer/Director Department of DEI, Monroe County, New RochesterSTEPHANIEYorkPAREDESAssistantDirector,Community&BelongingInstituteofTechnology FRANKMemberSTAROPOLI Exploring Racism Groups & United Christian Leadership Ministry DENISE REED LAMOREAUX Director, Equity & Belonging Zillow DR. KEITH JENKINS Vice President & Associate Provost for Diversity and Inclusion Rochester Institute of Technology JOE STARLING Faith Community Inclusion Specialist Heritage Christian Services NICOLE VANGORDER Chief Operating Officer Upstate Special Needs Planning REV. DR. MARLOWE V.N. CommunitySt.SeniorWASHINGTONDiversityOfficerJohnFisherUniversitySARATAYLORLiaison&TrainingSpecialistEleversityJULIOVÁZQUEZ,SR.ChairoftheBoardofTrusteesEugenioMaríadeHostosCharterSchool7


HR and IT Executive for CleanCraft (A Janitorial Company based in Rochester, NY) with a bachelor’s degree focused in Information Technology. Haris demonstrates exceptional skills in defining the culture of the company and helping the community with his calm and logical approach to the problems which may come across daily. Haris has been working towards creating a Culture of inclusivity to create a significant impact in raising awareness towards the non-traditional barriers employees may be

(she/her/ella) is a dynamic, Queer, feminist, Latina changemaker with a passion for social justice issues.

Born in Honduras, Sady grew up in Europe, and was raised to be a “troublemaker for good.” As the founder of Good Trouble Consulting, she gets into “good trouble” by supporting various organizations in taking meaningful actions toward DEI.

SADY ALVARDO-FISCHER, CDP Corporate Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Excellus BlueCross BlueShield

As Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, Sady leads the company’s DEI strategy. Entrusted with challenging the status quo and creating an equitable work culture, she implemented several policies and practices to address and eliminate the impact of biases. Under her leadership, the health plan adopted an “I.D.E.A. Mindset,” (inclusion, diversity, equity, access) earning the organization several national and local recognitions for workplace inclusion. As a result of her own intersecting identities, Sady has a strong commitment to women, Latinx, and LGBTQ+ issues, and volunteers with several community organizations, including: Rochester Latinx Roundtable and the United Way’s Leadership Development Programs.

Director of HR SadyCleanCraftAlvarado-Fischer




Sady holds a bachelor’s in Gender Studies from Empire State College, a master’s in Leadership & Organizational Change from Nazareth College and is a Certified Diversity Professional. Sady resides in Rochester with her wife and their three

an immigrant from Pakistan understands the challenges that minorities may face in acquiring employment or take a step towards success, given this, he makes sure that anyone who walks through the doors of CleanCraft is being treated well and is considered for all of the open roles within the company.

With his IT background he has been helping the company overcome the daily IT challenges and in finding and implementing innovative IT solutions to help the company prosper. Haris has also been volunteering in helping the elderlies of the community with the technical support, teaching them basic computer skills and most importantly helping them from getting scammed through phishing emails/texts and phone calls.

Professional for a children’s respite program, and continued to grow and advance her career within the OPWDD service provision arena. In her role as Director of Residential Services with Ibero American Action League, she was at the forefront of a significant auspice change—tasked with ensuring that the cultural connections to city, family, and community of both staff and individuals-served remained intact. Ajaleah is driven to serve her community and to advocate for those most at risk of being overlooked. As a Residential Director at People Inc., she sits on the organization’s DEI committee, helping to safeguard and maintain the Hispanic culture so deeply woven into the fabric of servicesprovided; an advocate not only for the residents, but also for the staff that make up People Inc.’s rich and diverse workforce.

Head of learning strategy for the consulting side of Hewitt Associates, Best has accumulated over 30 years of business planning, employee engagement and performance consulting experience with Scott Paper, Shell Oil Company and Moog Inc. organizations. Her people philosophy is simple: inclusive leaders build inclusive organizations; and inclusive organizations enable thriving communities.

For over thirteen years, Ajaleah Bobowski has served the Rochester and surrounding area community as a leader in human services. She began work as a Direct Support


Sr. Vice President of People & Culture YMCA of Greater



Best is a graduate from Drexel University with honors and a BS degree in Marketing and Communications; and has a Masters in Learning & Organizational Change from Northwestern University. An unapologetic “beach bum”, avid reader and jazz enthusiast, Talethea quietly resides with her wife in Victor, NY.

Integrally involved in the community, Kesha is a board member of Rochester RHIO, The Women’s Council, Mission Fulfilled, and Willow Domestic Violence Center and is also a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority,

Kesha is a Certified Diversity Professional (CDP) and holds a Six Sigma Green Belt, as well as a Professional Human Resources certification from the Human Resource Capital Institute. She was also a Young Athena Award Finalist 2019-2020 and a Democrat & Chronicle “Woman to Watch” in October 2016.

Equity and Advocacy Division Director Urban League of Rochester

KESHA CARTER Chief Diversity Officer Coordinated Care Services, Inc. (CCSI)


Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership, as well as a Master of Science in Business Administration and Management, both from Keuka College. Kesha brings over 15 years of experience to her role and is committed to creating continuous growth through education and collaboration.

Prior to coming to CCSI, Kesha developed policies and programs to attract, retain, and promote a diverse workforce. In another previous role, she assisted the Director and CEO with a broad spectrum of programming for employees.


Dan T Butler is the Equity and Advocacy Division Director of the Urban League of Rochester. Dan has led numerous organizations through the Interrupt Racism Cohort, working closely with each to address internal challenges and policies. Dan was born and raised in Rochester, NY and attended Housatonic Community College in Bridgeport, CT, and received a certificate in Behavioral Health Care Specialist Track I and Associates Degree in General Studies. He returned to Rochester to obtain a Bachelor’s degree in Organizational Management and a Master’s degree in Strategic Leadership from Roberts Wesleyan College. Additionally, Dan received the Certificate in Diversity and Inclusion in HR Management from Corexcel in January 2022 and training from the Racial Equity Institute. Dan has been deeply involved with human service work for over 18 years, taking experience from his previous jobs as a Section 8 Housing Specialist, Accessibility Specialist, Care Manager, and Senior Counselor. Outside of his professional role, he is an ordained minister who serves as the senior pastor of St. John Baptist Church of Rochester. Dan is married to Marcella Cunningham-Butler, who is also involved in the Rochester Community. They have a wonderful blended family of three daughters, one son (deceased), and three grandchildren.

Kesha Carter is the Chief Diversity Officer for CCSI. There she leads the organizational strategy on diversity, equity, inclusion (DEI), and antiracism. She has facilitated DEI workshops, conversations, and trainings, both locally and nationally.

Growing up in nearby Canandaigua, Greg always dreamed of playing professional baseball. This dream came true in 2001, signing his first professional contract with an Independent League team in Pennsylvania. Greg was able to continue his professional baseball career playing for several Major League organizations and even played 2 seasons in MLB Europe.


Greg and his team serve the community through their involvement with several civic organizations including: Homesteads for Hope, Canandaigua Kiwanis Club, Camp Good Days, St. John Fisher College, Special Olympics NY, The Italian American Community Center, The Finger Lakes Networking Group, Canandaigua YMCA, and The Salvation Army, Ontario ARC, Happiness House and The Equicenter.

Marlene Cortés is the Senior Manager of Language Justice at Empire Justice Center. Through her 30 years of experience in Legal Services, Marlene has seen firsthand how LEP (Limited English Proficient), d/Deaf and hard-of-hearing populations experience gaps in resources and knowledge accessing basic needs services within our community. In 2019, she began focusing on language justice as a foundational civil rights issue and became a trailblazer for breaking down barriers to leverage deep, systemic improvements in Monroe County. Marlene does this through training, technical assistance, outreach and by providing “Know Your Rights” information to those facing language-related inequities.

Marlene is the Co-founder of the Monroe County Language Access Coalition, the only Language Coalition in NYS that includes the Deaf/Hard of Hearing community, which is comprised of 27 local agencies focused on language access barriers. She participates in the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Language Access Working Group, Americans for Financial Reform Task Force for Language Access, and is a graduate of the Latino Leadership Program of United Way. Marlene is a member of the Latinx Leaders Roundtable, Deaf Friendly Roc, Latino Health Coalition, and New Americans Health Coalition.

Managing NorthwesternDirectorMutual/Constantino Financial

MARLENE CORTÉS Senior Program Manager Empire Justice Center


Greg began his career with Northwestern Mutual as an intern in 1999 and signed a part-time contract in 2000. He then graduated from St. John Fisher College with a major in management and a minor in Marketing & Finance. In 2004, he converted to full- time status and has built a highly successful financial advising practice from the ground up— working with growing families, business owners and medical professionals. He has held leadership positions within Northwestern since 2007 and in 2020 became the Managing Director of the Rochester office.

Marlene is a native Rochesterian and her family is from Aibonito, Puerto Rico. She currently lives in Henrietta with her family & is passionate about being active in the Rush Henrietta School District.

Greg’s most notable accomplishments include: Million Dollar Round Table, Lives Leader Summit, Advisor of the Year, the NM Community Service Award, 3,000 Career lives, St. John Fisher’s Hall of Fame, Canandaigua Academy’s Hall of Fame and Rochester Business Journal’s 40 under 40. Greg, his wife, Stephanie and 3 children—Vinny, Jack and Lucia live in Farmington, NY and are proud to call the Finger Lakes home.

Project SouthExecutiveMIKEL3HarrisEngineerTechnologiesEVANSDirectorEastAreaCoalition, Inc.

Mike has lived all over the country: Wyoming, Nebraska, California, Montana, New Jersey and now New York, “Rochester is a great place to live. I’m happy to call this my home.” Mike enjoys grunge and punk rock music, kayaking, biking, hiking, Star Wars, drumming, video games and writing. He currently runs his own publication company and has written seven books.

Sylvia David-West is a Project Engineer for the Global Subcontracts Group in the CS segment of L3Harris Technologies. Prior to assuming this role in December of 2017, Sylvia served as an Electrical Engineer/Scrum Master for the Hardware Test Engineering group in the New Product Introduction (NPI) department. Prior to working for NPI, Sylvia supported the Pioneer Focus Factory as a Test Engineer from 2014-2016, Test Technician from 2012-2014 and a Manufacturing Technician from 2006-2012.


In addition to Sylvia’s professional role, she also serves as the LEAD Rochester President (multiple sites), a role she started in February of 2020. LEAD is an employee resource group within L3Harris that endeavors to create a space for employees to develop themselves personally and professionally while raising cultural awareness through hosting inclusive events and actively engaging with the community. In this role, Sylvia has been able to strategically position LEAD to be an agent of change within CS moving the company towards embracing the concept of being a more equitable and inclusive place to work.

Sylvia holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical/Mechanical Engineering Technology from The Rochester Institute of Technology and is currently working with the HR team to build on the relationship between L3Harris and RIT. Sylvia is a member the National Society for Black Engineers. In addition to LEAD, Sylvia is a member of the employee resource group, Women Who Strive for Empowering, Enhancing, & Encouraging Other Women (WE3) She volunteers her time to many different organizations in the Rochester community.

Mike Evans moved to Rochester, NY in 2013 after his wife received her PhD in Toxicology at Rutgers University and took a postdoctoral position at URMC. Mike has been working in the non-profit sector for nearly a decade, serving as Director of Operations at Rochester Childfirst Network (RCN) and Ronald McDonald House Charities of Rochester, before becoming the Executive Director of the South East Area Coalition in October 2020. Recently Mike created a new tool lending library program, SEAC’s Tool Shed, which serves the Greater Rochester Area.

Mike is passionate about diversity, equality, and inclusion because, “only once we’re all equal and included, can we truly be rid of oppression and hate. I grew up idolizing Star Trek: Next Generation; all species, beliefs, cultures, views, etc. were discussed, accepted, and celebrated. That’s where we need to head.”

Prior to joining CGR, Dr. Harris has been a consultant research analyst for Latino Affairs and Bilingual Education at the Rochester City School District (RCSD); a faculty member at the University of Rochester; a researcher at the Consortium for Policy Research in Education at the University of Pennsylvania; and a postdoctoral fellow at the RAND Corporation She is a board member of Breathe Deep, Teen Empowerment and Causewave Community Partners. Dr. Harris also serves as the Upstate New York Social Action Coordinator for Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Strong Center for Developmental Disabilities DR. DONNA M. HARRIS

Associate Principal & Chief Diversity Officer



Jeiri Flores is a strong, passionate Puerto Rican disability rights activist from Rochester, NY. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in the study of Sociology and African-American Studies at SUNY Brockport in 2014. She serves as a resource for residents in her community by connecting them to existing services and supports. As a disability advocate Jeiri shares her unique perspective at various colleges and conferences where she introduces attendees to the struggles and invisibility people with disabilities face. She provides insight regarding inclusion, citizenship, disability intersectionality and challenges that remain unaddressed by society. She hopes to influence young disabled people to fulfill their purpose and create a new narrative for what it means to be disabled.

Advocacy Specialist Associate Director, Diversity & Inclusion

Dr. Donna M. Harris is Associate Principal and Chief Diversity Officer at the Center for Governmental Research (CGR). Her policy research career has focused on using data to address racial inequity. She leads efforts to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion within CGR and across the organization’s portfolio of work focusing on education, government, nonprofits and communities. Dr. Harris’ research includes a study that examined the inequities confronted by Latinx families as they negotiated Rochester’s secondary schools. Study results are described in The Plight of Invisibility: A Community-Based Approach to Understanding the Educational Experiences of Urban Latina/os published by Peter Lang.


Mona is a member of the University of Rochester Medical Center Community Advisory Council; the Wilmot Cancer Center African American Advisory Council and Faith in Community Advisory Board; the HealthiKids PlayRocs Advocacy Group; and serves as a Volunteer for the Greater Rochester Scleroderma Support Group. She was previously a member of the Center for Community Health’s COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Council.

Mona Isler is the Executive Office Administrator at WXXI Public Broadcasting. She supports the President & CEO; the Executive Vice President & General Manager; the Board of Trustees; and she is the Project Manager of WXXI’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council.

Jenkins’ desire is to serve. Dr. Keith B. Jenkins, Professor of Communication, School of Communication, is the Vice President & Associate Provost for Diversity & Inclusion at Rochester Institute of Technology. A native of Pine Bluff, Arkansas, Jenkins earned his B.A. in Communication from the University of Arkansas and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Communication from the Florida State University.

Vice President and Associate Provost for Diversity and Inclusion Rochester Institute of Technology


Since joining RIT in 1992 as an Assistant Professor, Jenkins has also served as Faculty-in-Residence (1993 – 1995), Assistant Provost for Diversity (1999 – 2002), and Director of Undergraduate Degree Programs, School of Communication (2011 – 2016). He also established RIT’s Multicultural Center for Academic Success (2001), the School of Communication’s Journalism Degree program (2008), and served as the principal author of the RIT Action Plan for Race and Ethnicity (2021). His scholarship focus includes intercultural communication and rhetoric.

Jenkins’ RIT awards include the Student Government Extra Mile Award (2022), Eisenhart Award for Outstanding Teaching (2010), Isaac L. Jordan Pluralism Award (2005), RIT Diversity Trailblazer Award (2004), NTID’s (National Technical Institute for the Deaf) Pluralism Award (1995), and the Provost’s Excellence in Teaching Award (1993-94).

Jenkins and his wife, Terria P. Jenkins, Esq., are the parents of two wonderful children, Kristal and Timmothy.

Mona sits on the Board of Directors of the Interdenominational Health Ministry Coalition where she serves as the Board Secretary and Chair of the Governance Committee. IHMC assists faith organizations in developing, sustaining and growing health ministries to help mitigate health disparities in communities of color. Mona is passionate about the physical, mental, and spiritual health of her community, particularly under represented populations most impacted by racism and inequitable treatment.

Mona is the proud grandmother of Aizen, mother of two adult children, Andrew and Aja and her cat, Blue. She enjoys doing improvisational comedy, baking and traveling.

Executive Office Administrator

Through his work with them, he has ensured that our voice is at the table and that measurable processes are in place to address the systemic and structural inequities we face as members of the BIPOC community. Julio understands the dynamics of relationships and prides himself on being a leader, a listener, and a lover of life. Julio enjoys spending time with family and friends, being by the lake and exploring the Finger Lakes region. Julio is proud to represent Ibero, our community and his family in all that he does. His goal is to be the change he wishes to see, and to leave a positive impact within our


Julio Jordan serves as the Director of Diversity, Equity, Justice, and Inclusion at Ibero-American Action League, where he partners with corporations, organizations, and health providers on their diversity, equity, justice, and inclusion journey. These organizations include the Rochester City School district, the Urban League of Rochester, the YWCA, the Monroe County Criminal Justice council, Climate Solutions Accelerator, the RASE commission, the Latino Health Coalition, Rochester Ecology partners, the R.E.A.L team and other organizations that directly impact and work with communities of color.

DR. DEANNA KIMBREL Chief Diversity Officer/Director Department of DEI, Monroe County, New York

Director of Diversity, Equity, Justice, and Inclusion Ibero-American Action League


has worked as a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) practitioner, educator, entrepreneur, and executive leader for the last 16 years. Some of her highlights and strengths include: organizational and governmental strategy, leadership development, change management, public speaking, coaching, and corporate training. Dr. Kimbrel is a Rochester City School District graduate and also holds a Bachelor’s degree from the State University at Buffalo in Communication and International Business, a Master’s degree in Communication and Marketing from Rochester Institute of Technology and a Doctoral degree in Management and Organizational Leadership from University of Phoenix. Currently she works as the Chief Diversity Officer and Director of the Department of DEI for Monroe County in New York State.

Dr. Kimbrel previously led DEI and leadership strategies for organizations like Paychex, Sears, and Rochester Institute of Technology. Dr. Kimbrel also leads a team of consultants through the Kimbrel Management Consulting Company that guides small-mid sized organizations through the development of structure and strategy around leadership, organizational culture, and DEI. Dr. Kimbrel has been invited to speak on many platforms as a subject matter expert on topics such as DEI, organizational culture, and leadership. Dr. Kimbrel has a charismatic persona and dynamic abilities which allow her to cultivate inclusive environments where everyone has opportunity to thrive. Dr. Kimbrel resides in Rochester with her two sons.


Nelms has been charged with creating a school reform model that can be replicated in urban settings throughout the country. He was named the first William and Sheila Konar Director for the Center for Urban Education Success at the University of Rochester’s Warner School of Education and Human Development, where he leads this work.

In seven years, the school increased its graduation rate to 86% and expanded the Career in Technical Education (CTE) to include pathways in various industry settings.

Dr. Shaun Nelms is the superintendent of East Upper and Lower Schools, formerly East High School in Rochester, N.Y. As the Educational Partnership Organization superintendent for East, Nelms was asked in 2015 to create and implement a school transformation model for the lowest performing school, in the lowest performing district, in New York State. A school where the graduation rate the year prior was 29%.

Professor & Superintendent University of Rochester/Rochester City School



is a funny, outgoing and passionate multi-talented Afro-Latina powerhouse. She is the owner of Empanadas by Stephanie, co-owner of Beyond Boundaries Consulting, and co-founder of the Rochester Latino Theatre Company. She enjoys sharing her love and passion for creativity, inclusion and diversity through food, theatre, community engagement, and education. She is committed to building bridges for others to learn about the importance of inclusion, diversity and equity in the theatre community, higher education and the Rochester community. She enjoys getting into “good trouble” to disrupt the status quo and encourage others to step out of their comfort and into the growth zone.


She received her Bachelors of Arts at SUNY Brockport and is currently pursuing her Masters of Science in Integrative Design at RIT. Her favorite activities include making empanadas, traveling, acting, and playtime with her amazing son Alejandro. She has been able to dream big, reach her goals and challenge herself to new heights because of her family support system and mentors.



As CEO of the Nelms Consulting Group, he has been a frequent speaker on creating equitable school systems and executive leadership. He is active in numerous community organizations and is a member of Phi Beta Sigma and Sigma Pi Phi Fraternities. Nelms has been honored with several awards for his leadership and work in

She has served on several boards in the Rochester area including Writers & Books, United Way, Geva Theatre Artistic Council, and Blackfriars Theatre just to name a few. She currently serves as the Assistant Director of Community & Belonging in the Division for Diversity & Inclusion at RIT.

Assistant Director, Community and Belonging Rochester Institute of Technology


Community Connector & Arts Educator, Latina storyteller Annette Ramos is committed to ensuring and promoting equitable artistic opportunities through her work. Originally from New York City by way of Los Angeles, Ms. Ramos is now a Rochester-based community arts curator, advocate and Latinx Arts & Culture Keeper. Ms. Ramos has over 30 years of accomplished work as a teaching artist, master storyteller and arts advocate. Annette continues to serve as cofounder, producer, director & playwright for dozens of Latinx productions as the Executive Director of the Rochester Latino Theatre Company founded in 2011. She contributes through her civic engagement by serving as the Voter Registration Coordinator for Monroe County Board of Elections, ensuring access to voting for all Monroe County residents. Annette serves on the national Board of the Association of Teaching Artists, the Smithsonian Latino Museum Advisory Committee and leads various Latinx community



Lamoreaux has 30+ years of experience in Learning and Development, Marketing and Communications, Leadership, and Diversity and Inclusion. She has won over 40 international awards for her efforts, and is a sought after speaker across the globe. One of her career highlights was presenting at Copenhagen 2021, the world’s largest human rights conference, on the topic of Transgender rights in the workplace. Denise is currently the Director of Equity and Belonging at Zillow, and consults regularly with AARP, parity.org, Valuable 500, Inside OUT, Textio, and the Hispanic Promise. She is the former President of SUNY Geneseo’s Alumni Association, and is active in her community, supporting Western NY’s Cystic Fibrosis Organization and NY’s Warrior Alliance.


Director, Equity & BelongingZillowAsabilingual

Monroe County Board of Elections


In 2018, Frank and Tom Mitchell founded Exploring Racism Groups, an all-volunteer, no-cost process that engages the area’s most influential leaders in an intensive year-long process, focusing on the history and current manifestations of systemic racism, with an emphasis on understanding and changing one’s own participation in those systems. 180 leaders will have completed this small group process by the end of 2022. Additional cohorts will begin in September this year. The resulting Personal Action Plans set participants on an intentional path of being a proactive anti-racist leader in their own spheres of influence, impacting 25,000 employees to date.

He earned a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in Organizational Management from Roberts Wesleyan College. Joseph is also a Certified Diversity Professional and certified coach. Joseph is a Rochester native. He enjoys photography, traveling, and spending time with his family.

Vice President & Chief Community Engagement Officer Trillium FRANKHealth

STAROPOLI ExploringMember

Joseph Searles is Vice President and Chief Community Engagement Officer at Trillium Health. He is a business professional, diversity, equity and inclusion strategist, and community leader. In his role, Joseph is responsible for executing community engagement and diversity, equity, and inclusion strategies in support of the agency’s workplace culture and its mission to improve health in the communities it Josephserves.isaservant

In 2014, Frank began to learn more about his own biases and complicity in systemic racism. He has led workshops for various towns, religious groups and clubs, focusing on history, present realities, and personal identification of implicit biases. He authored 65 blog posts as “A White Guy in Rochester,” drawing 400 local


leader and he is passionate about giving back to the community. He is a mentor and a coach. His past and present board service includes the Academy of Health Science Charter School, Ibero American Action League, New York New Jersey Minority Supplier Development Council, the Urban League of Rochester; National Association of Community Health Centers Workforce Advisory Committee; and the Community Technology Assessment Advisory Board.

a member of United Christian Leadership Ministry (UCLM) in 2017, drawn by this organization’s record of specific accomplishments regarding racial equity, and by its visionary leader, Rev. Lewis Stewart. He spearheaded UCLM’s creation of specific proposals for police reform, engaging law enforcement officials and community members to shape realistic reforms, and then adopt them.

Racism Groups & United Christian Leadership Ministry


Originally from Louisville, KY, Joe moved to Rochester in 1995. Outside of HCS, he is ordained as the minister of missions at the Love Fellowship Worship Center. In his free time, Joe enjoys photography, music, poetry, traveling and martial arts.

Heritage Christian Services SARA TAYLOR Community Liaison & Training Specialist

Faith Community Inclusion Specialist

Starling has served as the faith community inclusion specialist at Heritage Christian Services, a position that allows him to unite his faith with his passion for inclusion and equity. He works closely with both staff and the people the agency supports, and strives to advance a space where people of all backgrounds can be recognized and seen for who they want to be.


Sara’s 20+ year career, across multiple industries, range from direct-care front-line social worker to senior-level administrator. Sara has extensive experience providing leadership development training and capacity building services to organizations as well as managing professional conferences throughout North America. Over the last three years, Sara has become a sought-out speaker and wellrespected leader promoting Diversity, Equity and Inclusion across systems while reminding organizational leaders and allies that “Everyone has a role”. Her entire career has focused on empowering and motivating vulnerable populations.

Sara is the founder and visionary of this region’s annual Upstate, NY Women of Color Summit which provides an uplifting environment for, by and about women of color that promotes equity, education, and professional development. The summit focuses on and prioritizes the voices and experiences of people who identify as women of color and we also welcome all allies in this effort.

Sara obtained her master’s degree in Human Service Administration from St. John Fisher College, Rochester NY and has received various certificates in leadership development. Sara has also completed several ministry and theology training courses and holds ministerial licenses and has received extensive training in conference and meeting planning. Sara has one biological son, Dr. Darwin, daughter in law, Dr. Shalon and two beautiful grandchildren Jaxon and Zara. In 2009 Sara became the caregiver of her great niece Ariana and has since been raising her as her own.


Joe has led discussions on Martin Luther King Jr. and Black History Month as a member of the agency’s Inclusion Café. He has also organized African and central American drum circles to foster a better understanding of other cultures in our locations. He has traveled to Guatemala on nine different occasions to support the people at the day camp there, elevate and recognize individuals with special needs in the region, and share and learn culturally different ways to offer compassion and care.

Julio Vázquez Sr. retired as the Commissioner of Community Development of the city of Rochester in 2009, a position he held for three and a half years. He is the leader co-founder of Eugenio María de Hostos Charter School in 2000 and serves as the volunteer CEO/Chairman of the board of trustees. Julio was President and CEO of Ibero-American Action League from 1993 to 2006. From 1971 to 1984, he also worked in various positions at this agency, including community organizing. From 1987 to 1990, he owned and operated a Super Duper supermarket in the city, and worked briefly with the CSD as a Spanish teacher. Julio has a bachelor science degree in social services administration from SUNY Empire State College and a master’s degree in education from SUNY College at Brockport. He is the author of Journey of a Puerto Rican Jíbaro, a memoir.


He loves reading, cycling, canoeing and racquetball. He has been married with María Teresa (Teri) for 56 years; and has three children, seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Former leadership and involvement include: Vice Chair of the Mental Health Association of Greater Rochester, Secretary of the Board of Directors for the Villa of Hope, Vice Chair of Women In Financial Services (WIFS) Rochester, Co-Chair of Membership for the Genesee Valley Club. Chair, St. John Fisher College Alumni Board of Directors, Member Representative for RocCity Coalition, Volunteer with Rochester Young Professionals, Business Mentor for Rochester’s Young Entrepreneurial Academy, and committee volunteer for the Al Sigl WalkAbout.

Upstate Special Needs Planning

is involved in the community. She serves as a member of the Board of Trustees for WXXI Public Media & the Little Theatre, Board of Directors for the YMCA of Greater Rochester and is a member of the Development Committee for the Rochester Museum & Science Center. Additionally, she runs a social meet up group she created to connect young adults with disabilities in the community called ‘The Social Exchange.’

As COO, Nicole oversees all day-to-day operations and new client engagements for Upstate Special Needs Planning. A native of Buffalo, Nicole came to Rochester, NY to attend St. John Fisher College. Nicole has been in the financial industry for over a decade and has background in sales, recruitment, and Outsidemanagement.ofwork,Nicole

Chair of the Board of Trustees Eugenio María de Hostos Charter School


Chief Operating Officer

Activist-pastor, educator, and university administrator whose work continue to grip the intellect and stir the soul, Marlowe is a first-generation graduate of St. Francis College in Brooklyn, NY. with a baccalaureate in political science. He graduated with a Master of Divinity from New York Theological Seminary in Manhattan, NY. He also graduated from Northeastern Seminary at Roberts Wesleyan College in Rochester attaining the Doctor of Ministry in transformational leadership. He successfully completed his second doctoral work at St. John Fisher University in Rochester with the Doctor of Education (EdD) in Executive Leadership with a specialty in diversity and inclusion in higher education administration.

Dr. Washington is an ordained elder in the Upper New York Conference of the United Methodist Church. The inaugural Senior Diversity Officer at St. John Fisher University and senior minister at Agape Fellowship United Methodist Church in Irondequoit, Marlowe formerly served on the faculty of religion and philosophy at Roberts Wesleyan College where he specializes in practical theology in the areas of executive leadership, urban development, New Testament studies, and diversity and inclusion. He formerly served as diversity consultant with Brighton Central School District and currently serves the Wheatland-Chili Central School District. He is a former trustee at Keuka College and on June 25, 2022, Marlowe was elected trustee emeritus of Keuka College. He currently serves on the boards of Hillside Family of Agencies and Junior Achievement. He is married to Mira J. Washington and a proud father.


Senior Diversity Officer

byinsuredFederallyNCUA. Giving back is what we do. Visions supports hundreds of causes with donations that fund good works, employee volunteers who pay it forward, and sponsorships that support community events. COMMITTED TO COMMUNITY Proud to support the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce and Colors of Success! Powerful Partners Serving our communities means providing reliable, essential electricity and natural gas service. It also means investing our energy in the organizations and events that make our communities special. We are pleased to lend our support to the Greater Rochester Chamber. 2022-4728_RGE_Chamber_ad.indd 1 8/10/22 6:04 PM

St. John Fisher University

of our agency and the greater Rochester community!

For her work towards creating a diverse, equitable and inclusive environment at all

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are proud of our friend and colleague, Marlene Cortés her trailblazing Justice work in the Rochester

LeChase congratulates all of the finalists for the inaugural Colors of Success Award. Thanks to the Greater Rochester Chamber for its efforts to promote and celebrate diversity, equity and inclusion within our community. Indigo Creek Drive NY 14626 585 254-3510





| www.lechase.com

and Board of the CONGRATULATIONS TO COLORS OF SUCCESS NOMINEES JOE STARLING FAITH hisanForHeritageINCLUSIONCOMMUNITYSPECIALISTChristianServiceshisdedicationtofosteringinclusiveworkplaceandcommitmenttothe success and wellbeing of our staff and the people we support!


to our CCSI workforce for their sustained efforts over the last 30 years to eliminate systemic and institutional inequities across our community. We are proud to be considered local leaders who are committed to this important issue as we work to improve lives and strengthen communities.

Empire Justice Center Staff


to Kesha Carter, CCSI Chief Diversity Officer, for being recognized among so many others in our community who continue to demonstrate exemplary leadership and excellence for DEI.

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Celebrating Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

COLORS OF SUCCESS DEI AWARD! The YMCA of Greater Rochester proudly supports the COLORS OF SUCCESS DEI AWARD! 2022 AWARD NOMINEE! Congratulations to our own Talethea Best, Sr. Vice President of People & Culture, for being a 2022 AWARD NOMINEE! “Inclusive leaders build inclusive organizations; and inclusive organizations enable thriving communities.” An L3Harris Project Engineer, Employees of African Descent Employee Resource Group President, and DEI change agent, Sylvia endeavors to create a space for employee development while raising cultural awareness through inclusive activities. Sylvia leads by example with an encouraging, tenacious, positive attitude, and is a terrific example of what it means to be a leader at L3Harris. Congratulations Sylvia on this well-deserved recognition! 2022 Colors of Success DEI Award SYLVIACONGRATULATIONSNomineeDAVID-WEST


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