68.4 F
Los Angeles
Friday, Sep 22, 2023

Diversity and Inclusion Summit (Recap)

March 20, 2019

City Club LA
555 S. Flower Street, 51st Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90071


Letter from the Publisher

Anna Magzanyan

The Los Angeles Business Journal Celebrates the LA Business Community’s Leadership Role in Diversity and Inclusion

The Los Angeles Business Journal proudly hosted the fourth annual Diversity and Inclusion Summit event at the City Club LA on Wednesday, March 20th. The eventful morning featured a series of panel discussions featuring companies and individuals who have shown an exceptional commitment to promoting practices that advance diversity and inclusion in the workplace and in business leadership. Attendees had the opportunity to learn from the managers and executives who have shown the ability to develop and lead an increasingly diverse workforce and client base to achieve company goals.


Panel topics included:

Keynote: Are We ALL Biased?
The audience also heard an inspiring and thought-provoking keynote presentation from Sahar Andrade (Sahar Consulting), truly one of the nation’s leading authorities on the subject of diversity in the workplace. She asked the question, “Are we all biased?” and discussed the best practices for avoiding bias in recruitment, hiring, retention and mentorship of employees in a diverse work environment as well as the legal considerations that should be of concern.

Leadership & CEO Commitment
Moderated by Jed Daly (Vistage), panelists Yasmin Davidds (Multicultural Women Executive Leadership Foundation & Dr. Yasmin Davidds Leadership Institute), Natasha Mata (Wells Fargo), and Ken Siegman (West Monroe Partners) – executive leaders from different industries and sectors shared their views on challenges and opportunities when building and measuring a culture of diversity and inclusion within their organizations and the effects it has on productivity.

Supplier Diversity
Moderated by Priscilla Chavez (PCL Construction), panelists Amber Meshack (Los Angeles World Airports), Lois M. Shelton (California State University, Northridge), and Leticia Woodard (LADWP) – all influential thought leaders – helped to define supplier diversity and talk about the strategies used by successful businesses to procure minority contracts and secure access to capital.

Building a Diverse Team
Moderated by Lizbeth Nevarez (Green Hasson Janks), panelists Sherry Beamer (Easterseals Disability Services), Kalika Yap (Citrus Studios), and Anthony Young (Edendale Capital) – top business leaders – shared the issues that need to be considered when building a diverse team and how that correlates to productivity, profitability, business growth and morale.



Sahar Andrade

Diversity, Inclusion Speaker
Sahar Consulting

Sahar Andrade, MB.BCh is a Diversity, Global Leadership and Culture Competence Speaker/ Consultant, certified as a Social Media Strategist. She has lived, worked and been educated in seven countries and three continents and speaks five languages. She holds a Double Bachelors degree in Medicine and Surgery, a Major in Psychiatry from Cairo University; and has successfully completed a Mastery of HR Studies Certificate Program. She is a TED Talk speaker and her Entrepreneur Training Program has received Congressional Recognition. She was awarded the Diversity Insights Award for 2015 by the National Diversity Council and the Leadership Excellence Award 2014 by hr.com.


Sherry Beamer – Easterseals Disability Services

Since 2017, Sherry Beamer has served as Director of Easterseals WorkFirst Employment Services in Los Angeles County where she oversees the expansion of customized employment services that assist people with disabilities find and keep meaningful work. A recognized leader in the area of disability employment services, she is a board officer for the California Association of People Supporting Employment First (APSE). A former business owner, Beamer holds her Master’s degree in Social Work Administration from the University of Illinois, Chicago.

Priscilla Chavez – PCL Construction

For Priscilla Chavez, the construction industry is more than just building. To her, it’s about breaking out of the traditional misbeliefs and discovering unique ways of making a difference in local communities. As the manager of diversity and inclusion at PCL Construction, Chavez oversees and manages community outreach, certified subcontractor relationships, local hiring requirements, local government and labor relations as well as small business development. As a certified compliance administrator, she has been recognized as the industry’s leading compliance professional in Southern California. Chavez also serves as the president of the National Association of Women In Construction Los Angeles Chapter.

Jed Daly – Vistage

Jed Daly is President of Infiniti Films, Inc. (“IFI”), a consulting firm he founded in 1990 which specializes in media and entertainment. IFI’s client list has included Lucasfilm, United Artists, Lions Gate Entertainment, and many more. Daly is also a Vistage Chair, chairing two Los Angeles based groups of CEOs and senior business leaders. Vistage is the world’s largest CEO/CXO membership organization, bringing together monthly more than 23,000 CEOs in small local groups to help each other make better decisions, make them faster with less stress, while working less.

Dr. Yasmin Davidds – Multicultural Women Executive Leadership Foundation & Dr. Yasmin Davidds Leadership Institute

Organizational psychologist, leadership development expert and educator, Dr. Yasmin Davidds has trained and counseled more than 2,000 corporate leaders in over 200 blue chip companies throughout 22 countries. Dr. Davidds has developed and implemented customized leadership programs for Fortune 100 companies in Brazil, Columbia, Argentina, England, Spain and the U.S. She established the Women’s Institute of Negotiation (WIN), dedicated to the teaching, instruction and development of negotiating skills and leadership competencies primarily focused on women in professional, academic and corporate settings. Dr. Davidds’ commitment to women leaders has brought her recognition and acclaim.

Natasha Mata – Wells Fargo

Natasha Mata, a 23-year financial services veteran, is region bank president for the Central L.A. region. A California native, Mata began her career with Wells Fargo in 1996. Mata has held a number of leadership positions including district manager, community bank president, and area president. Passionate for the communities she serves, Mata has served on the boards of United Way Capitol Region and Sutter Health Medical Center in Davis. She has actively volunteered with United Way, Ronald McDonald House, Placer Food Bank, as well as other nonprofit organizations throughout her community. She enjoys collaborating with local officials and community leaders in identifying and addressing the needs within the community.

Amber Meshack – Los Angeles World Airports

Amber Meshack is the Director of the new Business, Jobs, & Social Responsibility division at Los Angeles World Airports. For the past two years, she worked on the Landside Access Modernization Program (LAMP) LAX, where she managed executive operations and strategic projects, including developing the local hire, workforce, and small, local, and disadvantaged business contracting requirements for the $4.9 billion Automated People Mover project. Meshack also served many years with the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment, where she helped establish The LA Neighborhood Council system, the nation’s largest municipal civic engagement program.

Lizbeth Nevarez – Green Hasson Janks

Lizbeth Nevarez, CPA has more than 10 years of public accounting experience. As the head of Green Hasson Janks’ Nonprofit Tax Practice, she is a frequent speaker at nonprofit workshops and conferences. Additionally, committed to the nonprofit community, Nevarez currently serves on the Board of Hillsides, a nonprofit dedicated to providing a variety of family preservation services. She is also on the Board of Executive Service Corps (ESC), a leading nonprofit provider of high-impact development services to nonprofits in Southern California. She has also completed the Riordan Leadership Institute’s Board Service Program, which develops and cultivates business professionals for lifelong service in the nonprofit community.

Lois Shelton – California State University, Northridge

Lois M. Shelton earned a Ph.D. in Business Economics from Harvard University. A Professor of Management at California State University, Northridge’s David Nazarian College of Business and Economics and an Affiliated Professor in the Doctoral School of the Grenoble Ecole de Management, she focuses on firm growth and minority and women’s entrepreneurship in her research. She has published articles in leading academic journals and was named Co-Editor of the International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research. Professor Shelton championed the launch of the entrepreneurship program at the Nazarian College, helping design the undergraduate Minor in Entrepreneurship and the MBA Concentration in Entrepreneurship.

Ken Siegman – West Monroe Partners

With more than 30 years’ experience within the financial services and consulting industries, Ken Siegman says he is fortunate in his professional life to be focused on two things that he loves: developing the next generation of leaders and helping financial services organizations embrace the digital era and deliver value for shareholders and customers. Over the past four years, Siegman’s LA team at West Monroe Partners has grown to more than 50 people serving clients across the region. He is proud of how the team has grown, but is most fulfilled by the culture of inclusivity and innovation that the team has made the cornerstone of its office.

Leticia Woodard – LADWP

Leticia Woodard is the Assistant Director for Supply Chain Services with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP), the largest municipal utility in the United States servicing over four million residents and businesses in the Los Angeles area. Woodard has over 15 years of experience in Contracts, Procurement and Project Management. Through the course of her career she has managed the acquisition functions of large budget, sophisticated, complex, design/ build, extended scope projects for the Giant Magellan Telescope Organization, Northrop Grumman, and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Woodard holds a Masters in Business Administration – Leadership and Management degree from the University of La Verne.

Kalika Yap – Citrus Studios

Kalika Yap is a thriving serial (concurrent) entrepreneur whose businesses include award-winning interactive design agency Citrus Studios, based in Santa Monica; Luxe Link, the ultimate handbag accessory responsible for keeping women’s purses off the floor; and Orange & Bergamot, her latest startup venture offering community and digital solutions for female founders. She is also the author of The Little Brand Book.

Anthony Young – Edendale Capital

Anthony Young is the Co-Founder and Chief Investment Officer of Edendale Capital, LLC. Prior to commencing his career in finance, Young was a member of the Technical Staff at Hughes Aircraft Corporation where he had the opportunity to work on a variety of commercial and defense aerospace programs. Subsequently he worked at SBC Corporation (the predecessor to AT&T) where he was responsible for network design in the Los Angeles basin. Young graduated from the University of Texas, with an MBA focused in finance, and also has a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering, from UCLA and USC, respectively.

Inside This Supplement

Disability Inclusion Is Just Good Business
Jasmine has a lot on her calendar. She’s worked at AAh’s, a popular gift shop, in the shipping department since 2017. Her job is one that WorkFirst – an Easterseals… Read More

Diversity Isn’t Enough: Why Inclusion Must be an Equal Priority
Workplace diversity is certainly not a new concern for businesses, but it is one that continues to hover near the top of many organizations’ agendas. Beyond just being the “right thing to do,” various studies have shown that prioritizing diversity makes good business sense…. Read More

Innovation’s Secret Weapon: A Diverse Workplace
When a business has more women in lead- ership positions, or significant numbers of diverse decision makers, it will gener- ate more profits and out perform competitors. Research backs this up: McKinsey found that diverse companies studied were 35% more likely to have financial results above industry average…. Read More

Diverse Paths to Inclusive Success
USC Marshall is proud of our efforts to foster a diverse, inclusive and equitable learning community. Consistent with our longstand- ing commitment to preparing global leaders with the vital knowledge, skills and tools to engage in a diverse and dynamic workplace, we continue to promote and support myriad strat- egies including partnerships, events, activities and student clubs…. Read More

Three Key Actions to Tackle Unconscious Bias
ate last year, CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion, the largest CEO-driven coalition to advance diversity and inclusion within the workplace, announced three key actions at its second annual CEO Closed-Door Session…. Read More


Photo Gallery

To view photos from this event,
click here








Tickets to this event are open seating. If you’re interested in group seating, please discuss partnership opportunities with our marketing team by calling (323) 549-5225 or email us.

To return to Diversity & Inclusion Main Page click here


Featured Articles

Related Articles