2021 Houston Virtual DiversityFIRST™ Certification Program
Luzilda Carrillo Arciniega, Ph.D.
Lucy C. Arciniega has over ten years of experience in the diversity, equity, and inclusion industry. She is a full-time consultant and recognized scholar-practitioner on diversity and inclusion, having published academic articles in several peer-reviewed journal articles and opinion editorials through her column, "Diversity in the Workplace," which was hosted from 2017 to 2019 by the American Anthropology Association, a professional membership organization with over 10,000 members. Currently, she also holds a consultant position as a Managing Research Director at the National Diversity Council, a non-profit 501 (c) 3 organization, overseeing the NDC Index, an annual survey which measures organizational commitment to diversity and inclusion. In this role, Lucy designed the methodology for assessing the results of a 200+ question survey according to global diversity and inclusion best practices. She also designed the NDC Index Report to help companies use their survey results to create an efficient DEI organizational strategy that maximizes their investment in organizational change. Formerly, Lucy held a position as a Visiting Assistant Professor in Business and Organizational Anthropology at Wayne State University. As a trained anthropologist, she has also used her cross-cultural perspective to bring key insights into customer service experience, management leadership strategies, and employee and team engagement dynamics through change management consulting. Lucy C. Arciniega received her Ph.D. and M.A. degrees in Anthropology from the University of California, Irvine. Her doctoral research on the diversity and inclusion industry received numerous awards, including the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research Grant. She is currently working on her book based on the culture of the selling and institutionalizing diversity work in corporations. She lives in and works out of Los Angeles, California.
Leon Fraser brings his versatile experience in the corporate, academic, and certification arenas to help organizations diagnose and resolve persistent team performance and interpersonal challenges. He was formerly Director of Corporate Strategy at Verizon and has taught Corporate Strategy at Rutgers University. He earned the Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) certification and thereby understands the importance of having a company’s HR and diversity initiatives to be fully in concert with a company’s overall strategy. He has taught Managing Workforce Diversity at Rutgers University where he also received the Faculty Leader in Diversity Award. He is a Certified Diversity Professional by the National Diversity Council and teaches in the DiversityFIRST training program. He received the Most Engaged Leader Award from the Tri-State Diversity Council for delivery of diversity programs. He received the Mentor of the Year Award from National Black MBA Association New Jersey Chapter. He has extensive consulting experience through a boutique firm which specializes in helping clients to address management and strategy issues. Not only does he have solid practical experience in consulting, he is the originator of the Management Consulting course at Rutgers, with proven techniques and sage case studies. On an individual basis, he is an Associate Certified Executive Coach per the International Coach Federation and has taught Executive Leadership at the graduate level. In addition to Verizon, Leon has corporate experience in marketing and market research at Newsday and Aetna. He was also vice president of an international start-up and a legislative aide to two Congressional committees in Washington, DC. He earned a BA cum laude from Harvard University and MBA degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Kelsea Haught is a strategic minded and operationally focused diversity leader, experienced in management and corporate growth. It is Kelsea’s goal to empower people and organizations to build cultures of inclusion, equity and purpose. She is deeply passionate about equity and belonging and is a dedicated human rights advocate. Kelsea currently serves as Director for the National Diversity Council and has been with the organization since 2014. As Director, Kelsea is responsible for the direction, development and management of multiple diversity initiatives and regional councils throughout the US and abroad. Kelsea provides oversight for event and business development programmers, and strives to provide staff members with the support they need to fulfill the NDC’s mission, vision, and goals to the best of their abilities. Kelsea assists with training and development, recruitment and selection, and operational management, in addition to coordinating event production, business development and strategic partnership opportunities, raising over $200,000+ in new corporate partnership dollars. Over the past several years, she has worked closely with NDC CEO and Chairman, to provide support and direction to multiple state and regional diversity councils in the US, including Ohio, Washington, Oregon, California, Colorado, and most recently in her home state of Texas. While serving the National Women’s Council, Kelsea was instrumental in unifying national branding efforts for our signature event series, the Women in Leadership Symposium and launched the LIFT newsletter, featuring intersectional voices advocating for gender equity in the workplace and reaching over 150,000+ readers. In 2018, Kelsea was tapped to assist in the launch of the Global Diversity Council, expanding the council’s global identity and international reach to include events in London, Mexico City, Toronto, Vancouver, and Dubai, among others. Prior to the National Diversity Council, Kelsea served in a regional managerial role with Houston based retail group AA Concepts. During this time, Kelsea expanded the group reach to include the introduction of 3 new retail locations and boosted revenue, being recognized as top earner throughout her tenure with the organization. In this role, Kelsea improved operational efficiency and gained widespread exposure to various departmental projects including: talent, sales, merchandising, inventory control, event management, customer services and financial processes. She is a proud graduate of Texas A&M University, where she earned her B.S. in Sociology, with a focus in philosophy and gender studies. Kelsea received her designation as a Certified Diversity Professional in 2017. She is a passionate ally for the LGBTQ+ Community and volunteers with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. She resides in Houston, Texas and is an advocate for pet adoption and animal welfare, adopting her Catahoula Leopard Dog in late 2011.
Stan C. Kimer, founder and president of Total Engagement Consulting, is a nationally recognized consultant with unique skills in employee development/career mapping and workplace diversity (specialization in LGBTQ+, Employee Resource Groups, Diversity Councils, Diversity Strategy and Inclusive Recruiting). Stan formed his own consultancy around these areas in 2010 following a 31-year successful diverse, multi-functional career at IBM. While at IBM as Director of Global Sales Operations for IBM’s consulting practice, Stan served as the executive sponsor overseeing career development for IBM’s 3,000 Sales Operations employees. He has now executed his unique innovative career mapping approach which he launched at IBM, with clients ranging from major corporations to church denominations to professional organizations. During his four years on IBM’s global corporate diversity staff, Stan led IBM into industry leadership in LGBT diversity and established IBM’s procedures for supporting transgender employees and assisting with case management of employees undergoing gender transition while in the workplace. Since forming his own consulting practice, Stan has trained or spoken in over 150 venues reaching over 7,500 professionals. He is a certified Out and Equal Workplace Advocates Building Bridges Trainer and a certified Training Management Corp / Berlitz Cultural Competency Trainer / Practitioner. Within the transgender arena, Stan has provided training to client employee and HR teams and has assisted with case management of gender transitions in the workplace. He is active in leadership roles in dozens of community and civic organizations including as a volunteer instructor on his church denomination’s leadership development faculty. In 2013, the Triangle Business Journal recognized Stan with one of their Leaders in Diversity – Role Model awards. Stan received his MBA from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business and BS in management science from Georgia Tech.-- In his spare time, Stan trains as a competitive adult figure skater.
Cecilia Orellana-Rojas, Ph.D.
Cecilia Orellana-Rojas joined the National Diversity Council (NDC) in 2013 as vice president of strategy and research. In this role, she provides direction for the formulation of the organization’s strategic goals and oversees the consulting services function. In addition, she leads innovative, high quality educational and research initiatives in diversity and inclusion. She is the creator of the DiversityFIRST™ Toolkit, a unique diversity reference portal and research consolidator, and the DiversityFIRST™ Certification Program curriculum, which prepares professionals for successful careers in the D&I space. Cecilia brings 15 years of experience at AT&T, where she started as a manager in diversity marketing. She spent most of her career at the telecommunications giant as associate director and lead consultant of corporate diversity. In this role, she offered support in the formulation and implementation of AT&T’s diversity and inclusion strategy with an emphasis on diversity metrics, communications, and training. As a business partner, she worked with clients to ensure that AT&T’s business practices, processes and procedures supported workforce inclusion. She also provided consulting in all aspects of workforce diversity. Prior to her corporate role, Cecilia worked as a journalist and later taught in academia for more than 10 years in the area of sociology, with emphasis on U.S. race relations, gender, research methods, and Latin America. Cecilia is a passionate advocate for diversity. She was instrumental in the launch of the Texas Diversity Council and served as the first president of the San Antonio Advisory Board. As a founding member of the Texas Hispanic/Latino Summit, she played a leadership role in establishing the mission of the summit as a venue for Latino/a voices within the Texas Leadership and Diversity Conference. She has been recognized numerous times with the Diversity Champion Award and Diversity Leadership Award for her commitment and dedication to diversity business practices. A native of Chile, Cecilia earned a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Texas at Austin, a master’s degree in Latin American studies from the University of New Mexico, and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of North Dakota. She resides in San Antonio, Texas, with her husband, Henry, and their son, Rodrigo.
Al Sullivan is the president and owner of Inspirus Consulting Inc. A firm specializing in system wide Organization Development, Diversity, and Sustainable Change. His approach integrates both theory and practical tools from the Applied Behavioral Sciences. His primary goal is to help client systems engage everyone to do their best work. His firm worked with a 4000-employee hospital to assess, design, and implement updated and strategic Diversity, Inclusion, and Culture training. He used the “Train the Trainer” model to provide the hospital with the capacity to train, update, and evaluate the program with sustained impact over time. Al helped the Information Technology division at global pharmaceutical organization win the “Attraction, Development, & Retention” Diversity award by designing and implementing initiatives which significantly increased senior female and minority leaders. Al has experience designing, delivering, and evaluating training intended to improve awareness and collaboration in multicultural organizations. He attends to the various levels of system when training and consulting (e.g. individual, team, organization, and community). His continuous improvement focus helps to connect training design to strategic organization objectives. Additional areas of expertise include applying strategies in areas such as Talent Management, Employee Engagement, Executive Coaching, Strategic Human Resources Management and Organization Development. Al is a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources Al is also trained in a number of Organization Development tools and approaches such as Use of Self, Organization Analysis / Design, Action Research, Group Facilitation, Multicultural Organization Development, and Change Management, & Process Consulting.
Angeles Valenciano serves as chief executive officer of the National Diversity Council (NDC), becoming the first female CEO of this major nonprofit. In this role, she will continue to advance the NDC’s mission of fostering diversity and inclusion in the workplace. She will also focus on strengthening partnerships with businesses, academia and the community at large. Ms. Valenciano is a seasoned strategist with more than 20 years of experience in human resources, primarily focused on diversity, organizational change, and development. She was previously president of the Healthcare Diversity Council and executive vice president of the NDC. In the latter role, she oversaw the growth of several national markets, including California, Colorado and Arizona. In addition, she also served as vice president of business development for the Texas Diversity Council (TXDC), one of the NDC state councils. Ms. Valenciano was the TXDC’s first executive director with responsibility over operations and policy implementation as adopted by the Board of Directors. She directed the agendas of the regional diversity council’s advisory boards in Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, and Houston. Under her leadership, the annual Women in Leadership Symposium was created and is now a national and global event held in more than twelve states and several countries including England, Mexico, Canada and most recently United Arab Emirates. Formerly, Ms. Valenciano was the director of diversity and inclusion for 84 Lumber Company. She provided leadership and direction for the infrastructure, design, formulation, implementation and execution of the organization’s overall diversity strategy, which included external communications, public relations, and community engagement. She was also responsible for ensuring the efficacy of these business practices, processes, and procedures. Ms. Valenciano’s role was carried out in the company’s business expansion into Mexico and Canada. As an assistant vice president and officer at JPMorgan, she served in the capacity of leadership development consultant in Credit Card Services and Organizational Development, and consultant to Customer Services’ clients. Ms. Valenciano also managed the strategic direction and execution of organizational-wide development processes as well as diversity programs and initiatives. She served as subject matter expert on global diversity, overseeing the company’s initiatives in various countries. Active in charitable and civic affairs, Ms. Valenciano is a graduate of the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de San Luis Potosí located in the City of San Luis Potosí in Mexico with a degree in business and computer information systems. She holds a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) Certificate from University of Villanova. She has completed various leadership and professional development programs across the country and abroad. Ms. Valenciano is fluent in English and Spanish. She serves on the board of the Science, Engineering and Technology at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, TX. She is a strong advocate and chairs several committees for people with disabilities in the workplace. She is a proud ally to the LGBT community and is active with several chambers of commerce across the country. Ms. Valenciano lives in San Antonio, TX, with her sons.
Bleuzette Marshall, Ph.D.
Bleuzette Marshall is the Vice President for Equity, Inclusion and Community Impact at the University of Cincinnati. In this role, she manages the offices of Equal Opportunity & Access, Title IX and Diversity & Inclusion; implements the University’s Diversity Plan; co-chairs the President’s Diversity Council; provides strategic leadership for the recruitment, retention, and advancement of diverse talent (students, faculty, and staff); assists with supplier diversity efforts; serves as a resource to benchmark trends and promote best practices; and builds partnerships in the broader community. She administers the university’s diversity incentive grant process to award colleges and units with funds to enhance innovative practices to build a more inclusive university. In addition, she created and is the convener of a chief diversity officers’ roundtable with corporations, community organizations, colleges, health systems, and legal firms to serve as a resource and think tank to advance diversity and inclusion efforts within the region. Previously, she was the Senior Director of Development for Provost & Student Affairs at the UC Foundation. Under her leadership, $20 million was raised for university-wide scholarships and programs, and she developed the Onyx & Ruby Society – an affinity based giving program for African American alumni. She has worked diligently to design and implement programs to promote diversity and aid in the retention of students. She co-created the Brothers And Sisters Excelling (BASE) Mentoring Program, organized the Tyehimba Graduation Celebration, facilitated a series of workshops on the freshman year experience, and served as the co-chair of the university-wide diversity conference. She was also an adjunct instructor for a diversity course at Miami University (Oxford). In addition, Bleuzette has served as an advisor to several student organizations including Latinos en Accion, Cincinnati Women in Excellence & Spirit Together (CWEST), and the Senior Class Officers. Currently, she is the advisor for Sigma Phi women’s honorary. Bleuzette is an alumna of the University of Cincinnati and its prestigious Darwin T. Turner Scholars Program. She earned a B.A. in Psychology, a M.Ed. in Educational Foundations, and a Ph.D. in Educational Studies. She is also the founding president of the UC African American Alumni Affiliate (4A). During her tenure, an All-Class Reunion was implemented in conjunction with Homecoming that reconnected eight decades of graduates. Within the community, she was the project manager for the Greater Cincinnati International Hall of Fame and an educational consultant to White Hat Management. Currently, she serves on the boards of the Public Media Connect and Project ArtReach. She is also a member of the Cincinnati Chapter of The Links, Incorporated; Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated; the Greater Cincinnati Hispanic Scholarship Fund Celebración Steering Committee; and St. James A.M.E. Church – Covington. Bleuzette has been recognized with the Cincinnati Human Relations Commission’s Champion for Connecting Cultures & Communities Award, the King Legacy Award, the National Diversity Council’s Glass Ceiling Award, and the Cincinnatus Association’s 2016 Donald & Marian Spencer Spirit of America Award.
Linda Valdez Thompson
Linda Valdez Thompson is a former DEI executive at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport. She joined DFW Airport in 2001 to provide strategic leadership for Human Resources, Procurement and Materials Management, Risk Management, Business Diversity and Development, and Corporate Communications & Marketing functions. Linda established employee engagement initiatives to ensure the workforce remained productive, healthy, diverse, and inclusive. These initiatives included employee resource groups, mentoring networks, learning and development opportunities, and a Total Rewards strategy. She also championed the Airport’s Wellness program with an onsite fitness facility and medical clinic. Additionally, Linda established an award-winning supplier diversity program. Linda has more than 20 years of managerial and executive experience with Fortune 500 companies such as Levi Strauss, Hasbro, and Baxter Health Care. She has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Midwestern State University and a master’s in organizational management from the University of Phoenix. Linda holds various certifications including Certified Diversity Professional/Advanced Practitioner from Cornell University. She is alumni of the prestigious National Hispana Leadership Institute. Linda has received several distinctions including Woman of the Year by Hispanic Business Magazine and Top Latinas of Influence by Latino Leaders Magazine among others. She was nationally recognized by the National Diversity Council as a Top Latino Leader and by LATINA Style Magazine as a Top Corporate Latina Executive.