Talent, leadership, and culture development leader, Candace D. Washington, helping organizations build tools and inclusive ecosystems that equip emerging leaders to authentically navigate real-world challenges, accelerate performance, and thrive at their highest potential. As a diverse leader, having learned the hard way from years struggling post undergrad to succeed in the marketplace, Candace teaches skills beyond book smarts pivotal to leadership success like how to build winning relationships, emotional intelligence, self-awareness, effectively communicate, influence up, and cope with culture shock in non-diverse environments, among others. Organizations partner with Pivotal Impact to accelerate success of emerging leader’s by building capacity for individual and organizational effectiveness. She has lived the lessons she teaches and is committed to demystify the workplace and build cultures that help future leaders navigate smarter, farther, and faster. Before launching Pivotal Impact, Candace served as Senior Lead of Training and Development at the University of Chicago. She holds over 15 years of experience in Fortune 500 companies, not-for- profit organizations, and higher education institutions. Candace is an alum of University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign with a B.S. in Advertising communications and received her MBA, with emphasis in Learning and Development from Roosevelt University. She is known for her passion and exceptional record of bridging skill gaps with performance driven solutions that accelerate leadership and elevate outcomes. She is on the Board of Directors of a not-for-profit that develops urban leaders for global impact and is an advisor to several national youth development organizations. When not immersed in her work, Candace loves spending time traveling with friends/ family, connecting with different cultures, mentoring, dancing and most importantly, playing with her adorable niece and nephew! She lives in and LOVES Chicago! Go BEARS!
Celia is an Asian Indian non-op trans women of color who is an entrepreneur, musician, photographer, story teller, activist and a blogger. She writes and speaks passionately about her struggles and challenges she faced in her family, work and community both in US and India. As a management consultant with top fortune 100 companies, she educates, empowers and advocates for transgender and gender non-binary individuals in the business world. Celia brings an amazing intersectional blend of ethnicity, creativity, culture, religion and corporate experience in her activism. Received the 2019 Human Rights Campaign’s equality award for “Outstanding commitment and service to our community”. She is currently serves in the Executive Board for Trans Can Work and as the VP of Stonewall Democrats of Ventura County, California.
Derrick Brummel is Accenture’s Midwest Inclusion and Diversity Lead with over 15 years of human resources and talent acquisition experience. He is passionate about the holistic talent lifecycle, helping people grow and an inclusive workplace—including the important role employee resource groups play in engaging, educating and driving business outcomes. Prior to his current role, Derrick led Accenture’s North America employee referral team and served as a human resources business partner for talent cross-industry in chemicals, natural resources, energy, utilities, communications, media, software, platforms and high tech including a focus on advanced technologies. Prior to Accenture, he served as a human resources business partner for PNC Financial Services. Derrick lives in Oak Park with his wife Lee, and daughters Julia and Delaney.
Fellicia Foster is the Vice President and US Head of Inclusion & Diversity. In this capacity, Fellicia develops the US diversity talent strategies to create a diverse and inclusive workforce and breakdown barriers for employees to pursue and excel in their careers. She is also responsible for US and Canadian Employee Resources Groups, enterprise diversity recruitment and providing oversight on customer inclusivity and diverse community engagement. Prior to this role, Fellicia served as the Head of Diversity Recruitment – North America, where she led an international mandate to attract, source and select external diverse talent for the enterprise. Through the development of the North American diversity recruitment strategies, Fellicia enhanced BMO’s market profile and partnership engagement in diverse communities and increased its’ diverse candidate pipeline. Fellicia joined BMO in 2010 and has held progressive leadership roles over her multi-year tenure. She has demonstrated her leadership capability, agility and strong work ethnic by leading multi-year strategy implementation projects, managing a consumer leading operations team, serving as a strategic advisor and coach to senior leaders and executives in the US Mortgage Sales business, heading the North American diversity recruitment strategy and team and providing on-going redesign and implementation of innovative diversity strategies, programs, policies and initiatives. Before joining BMO Harris, Fellicia spent 3 years as a Computer Software Trainer at Skyward Inc. in Bloomington, IL, where she facilitated customized software training across the US on various modules within the student information systems platform. Ahead of Skyward, she worked at PepsiCo Beverages and Foods as a Diversity & Inclusion Analyst. Fellicia also leverages her business skills by serving on various non-profit organizations. She serves as the Immediate Past-President and Executive Advisory Council member of the National Association for African Americans in Human Resources (NAAAHR) Chicago Chapter, Board of Directors for Illinois State University Alumni Association, Sr. Advisor of Chicago Financial Women Alliance (CFWA), Board of Directors for Illinois Diversity Council, Steering Committee member for the Financial Services Pipeline of Chicago, member of the BAI DEI Executive Advisory Group and formerly served on the American Heart Association Multicultural Executive Leadership Committee. Fellicia holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration from Illinois State University’s College of Business. Fellicia was named the BMO’s Best of the Best 2019 and 2020, one of the 2014 “Top 40 under 40” by Collaborate Magazine and selected for the Illinois State University’s 2017 College of Business Early Career Achievement Award, recognized with the American Heart Association Heart of Excellence Award and a 2020 40 Game Changers Under 40 by Ariel Investment and WVON, and National Diversity Council Diversity Officer at the Frontlines Spotlight 2020. Fellicia also has a published article in Savoy Magazine, “Turning a Page – the Next Chapter in Diversity and Inclusion” and has been quoted in other publications such as Crain’s Chicago Business “How to Boost Inclusion and Diversity at Work” and “How to diversify Chicago’s c-suites”. Fellicia has had speaking engagements for national and global events.
Jacqueline Camacho is a visionary social entrepreneur that has created an enterprise of inspiration. Her keen sense of service coupled with the vision to bring good to the world have led her to create two successful award-winning companies, establish two nonprofit organizations, publish 24 books, create over 10 products, and has held dozens of events around the world in just the past decade. She is often referred to as a "dream catcher" as her strategies have supported thousands of women, authors and young ladies to live a life of significance. Jacqueline's quest to be a servant leader extends to every area of her life. She has shared her inspiration in four continents and aligned with some of the most powerful brands to elevate others. At only 36 years of age, she has achieved what most would not do in an entire lifetime. Being a cancer survivor sparked a sense of urgency to serve and transcend. Jacqueline believes that magix (yes, a made up word that means magic x 10) is the interception of profit and impact. She is one of the few Latina sports airplane pilots in the United States and is about to embark on the historic air race that 20 women flyers participated in crossing the United States 91 years ago, including the famous Amelia Earhart. Jacqueline believes that "taking off is optional, landing on your dreams is mandatory.”
Jeena Cho is the co-author of the best-selling book, The Anxious Lawyer, An 8-Week Guide to a Joyful and Satisfying Law Practice Through Mindfulness and Meditation (ABA). She started her career as an assistant state attorney and practiced bankruptcy law for over 15 years before becoming a mindfulness consultant. She is a regular contributor to ABA Journal and Above the Law where she covers resilience, work/life integration, and wellness in the workplace. She regularly speaks and offers training on lawyer well-being, diversity, productivity, mindfulness, and meditation.
Jessica Kimbrough is chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer at United Airlines. She is responsible for helping United redefine its efforts on diversity, equity and inclusion – ensuring that United’s approach is strategic, integrated and outcome-oriented and builds a culture that reflects our core values. In her prior role, managing director, labor relations & legal strategy, Jessica worked closely with senior management providing counsel on labor litigation, negotiations, contract administration and organizing issues and managed attorneys who represent the company in labor arbitrations. Prior to joining United, she served a gubernatorial appointment as a Board Member on the Illinois Labor Relations Board, adjudicating public sector labor matters. Prior to that role, she was an Associate General Counsel to Governor Pat Quinn, managing labor, employment and procurement legal matters throughout State government agencies. Jessica began her career litigating labor and employment matters as assistant corporation counsel in the City of Chicago’s Law Department, Labor Division. Jessica, who was honored as a Chicago Defender 2017 “Woman of Excellence” for excellence in her career and civic engagement has a passion for creating a pipeline of diverse lawyers and leaders. She has served as a Board Member of Legal Prep Charter Academy and Just the Beginning - A Pipeline Organization. In 2012, she was honored as one of Just the Beginning’s “20 Under 40” for her service on the organization’s Associate Board, and for her volunteerism. In 2011, she was selected as a Fellow in the American Arbitration Association’s A. Leon Higginbotham Fellows Program. Ms. Kimbrough holds a B. A. with Honors from Purdue University and a J.D. from Chicago-Kent College of Law.
Kim Fahey oversees technology and information systems at Collegis Education. With two decades of industry experience, Fahey previously served as vice president of IT at R. R. Donnelley & Sons Company, a global provider of integrated communications. In this role, she oversaw hundreds of employees and consultants as well as operations from project management and customer relationship management to master data management, ecommerce and integration solutions. Fahey loves to use technology to solve real business problems. She is humbled to share that she has had a long career of making her business partners successful and does so through her unique strength in building high-performance teams. Three words that describe her approach to being a leader at Collegis: collaborative, empowering, and results-driven.
Sonia A. Antolec is the Director of Policy for The Mom Project, a Chicago-based company with a mission to help women and moms in the workforce. Sonia joined The Mom Project in 2019, making the switch to the private sector after 13 years in public interest and government. She previously served twice in the Cook County State's Attorney's office, and was Deputy General Counsel and Chief Administrative Law Judge for Illinois Healthcare and Family Services. She's a proud alumnus of DePaul University and Loyola Chicago School of Law. Sonia was recently appointed as a judge to the Illinois Court of Claims by Governor J.B. Pritzker. Her son is a sophomore at IU.
With a Bachelor’s degree at the University of Chicago in Economics and Statistics and a career in finance for 6+ years, owner Teresa Ging left her finance position to attend Le Cordon Bleu Patisserie program in Paris. When she returned to Chicago she set out to pursue a dream to open a cupcake boutique and spent eight months testing cupcake recipes. In October 2007, Ging launched the catering and delivery side of the business with 20+ flavors in the Sugar Bliss cupcake collection. In January 2009, Teresa Ging opened Sugar Bliss Cake Boutique at 115 N Wabash in the Downtown Chicago Loop and in July 2016, she opened Sugar Bliss Patisserie at the Palmer House Hilton at 122 S Wabash. In addition, she has received numerous awards since opening Sugar Bliss including Enterprising Women of the Year Award in 2019, Rising Star Award from the Women's Business Development Center in 2011, and Best New Business from the City Treasurer's Office/City of Chicago in 2010, as well as has been invited by President Obama to attend the signing of the White House Council on Women & Girls.
Tianna Tye is the founder of The Leaders’ Circle, and the premier Team Dynamics Consultant for entrepreneurs committed to building high-performing teams to scale their business and reclaim their zone of genius. As a trained Industrial-Organizational Psychologist, Tianna’s expertise in hiring, team dynamics, and transformational leadership make her a CEO’s secret weapon for managing all things on the “people” side of the business. Ready to build the team that grows with you as your company shifts into the next evolution of impact? Tianna’s got you covered.
Vanessa is driven by opportunities to empower her community to reach their full potential. As a first-generation Latina, she experienced first-hand the lack of inclusivity and equity in her community and beyond. Since then, she has focused much of her career in supporting the professional development of students and professionals. As a reporter in the Back of the Yards neighborhood of Chicago, she told the stories of educators, politicians, and community leaders in an effort to share resources with her neighbors. She later transitioned her career from journalistic storytelling to marketing storytelling. Prior to her current role, she has led marketing efforts at the Women’s Business Development Center and BMO Harris Financial. As the Director of Marketing for the Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement (HACE) she is focused on strengthening and expanding the organization’s mission and brand, by telling the stories of it’s members and the impact the organization has had on their careers and beyond. Vanessa was recognized as a Latina Brava by Latino Magazine in 2017 for her commitment to advancing Latinas through mentorship.
Zara Espinoza (pronouns: she/her, they/them) is known as a multicultural Wonder Woman that brings unique skills and life experiences in her/their People & Culture work in global tech, corporate and nonprofit organizations. Zara’s intersectional, holistic, data-driven and action-oriented approach leverages her/their 10+ years of working to equip and empower communities to support inclusive workplaces with equitable outcomes in Human Resources/talent management, business operations, learning and organizational development initiatives. Zara is an active leader and change maker in the LGBTQ+ tech community as she/they were the first female non-binary person in the Chicago Leadership team of the global nonprofit, Out in Tech. She is/They are also celebrating over ten years of leadership in global education and international relations with the Japan Exchange & Teaching (JET) Program, including eight years working with the Consulate-General of Japan in Chicago as an Executive Officer in the JET Alumni Association. Zara also currently works with Global Equity Forward and Time Is Now Consulting - both Black woman-owned and operated consulting businesses specializing in diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. Zara has led strategic people initiatives in her/their current and previous organizations, including being featured speaker and a thought-leader for Built in, Black Tech Jobs, Latinas in Tech, General Assembly, Ladies Get Paid, Blacks Excelling in Sales & Tech (BEST), LGBT Chamber of Commerce, Design Week PDX, Flatiron School, Fandom, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.