Global ERG Network Conference website Banner


Join your fellow conference attendees to learn, explore, discuss, and share ideas through this year’s keynotes, sessions, and workshops. Hear what’s new from subject matter experts. Connect with others who, like you, are passionate and intentional about making a difference in workplaces and communities. Join in rich conversations and exercises to experience “I never thought about it that way!” insights that can help you accelerate the important work you and your groups are doing.

Speaker Bios

Keynote Session Descriptions

Nicole Bergman

Fitness & Wellness Expert
Owner, Training for Warriors – Greensboro

Preparing for the Battlefield of Life

As Pat Benatar famously sang, love is a battlefield. But life itself can feel like a battlefield at times. From the daily stresses of work and family to the challenges of maintaining good health in a world that often seems designed to make us unhealthy, we all face battles every day.  And amid the COVID-19 pandemic, these battles have only become more difficult.

That’s why it’s so important to prioritize our physical, mental and emotional health. Maintaining a healthy balance in these areas requires commitment and support, but it’s essential for thriving in the face of life’s challenges.

Coach Nicole has spent 25 years in the health and fitness industry, working with individuals and groups to help them find that critical balance and, ultimately, find joy in their lives. Drawing on the principles of Training for Warriors, she’ll share what she’s learned about preparing for the battlefield of life.

Join us as we explore the keys to maintaining strong physical, mental and emotional health in today’s challenging world. With Coach Nicole’s guidance, you’ll learn how to not just fight the battles of life, but to thrive and find joy along the way.

Fred Johnson

Vice President/Wisconsin State Manager

Unleashing Passion for People, Community and Business

Join us for an inspiring keynote session with Fred Johnson, Vice President and Wisconsin State Manager at ERIE Insurance. Fred is being recognized as an Executive Sponsor of the Year for the 3rd consecutive year. With a remarkable journey that started as a 17-year-old intern performing filing and janitorial work, Fred has transformed his passions into a thriving career with a Fortune 500 company.

As an employee at ERIE Insurance for 21 years, Fred’s dedication to fostering an inclusive and diverse environment has not only propelled his own professional growth but has also driven DEI initiatives and market share growth for the organization.

In this session, Fred will share his insights on how to leverage passion for people, community and business to create positive change within an ever-changing environment. Drawing from his own experiences, Fred will provide valuable strategies that effectively marry business objectives with DEI efforts and the importance of ERGs in making it happen.

Attendees will walk away from this keynote session with a renewed sense of purpose, armed with actionable steps to leverage their own passions for the betterment of their organizations, communities and themselves. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from Fred Johnson – a dynamic leader who has successfully harnessed the power of passion to drive meaningful change in the corporate world.

Kai Kight

Violinist, Composer, Keynote Speaker

Composing Your World

As a classical violinist turned innovative composer, Kai Kight uses music as a metaphor to inspire individuals and organizations across the world to compose paths of imagination and fulfillment. Kai is on a mission to spark a global mindset shift in which ingenuity is the norm, not the exception.

Natalia (Nat) Lyckowski

Global Neurodiversity Advancement Leader
Supply Chain Inventory Transformation Lead

Your Neurodiversity Journey

Join proudly neurodivergent Nat Lyckowski, Global Neurodiversity Advancement Leader at IBM, as she helps you on your neurodiversity learning journey to create actionable and inclusive workplaces for the neurodivergent community.

Session Overview

Common factors of diversity include race, ethnicity, gender, gender expression and identity, religion and age. But what about diversity of the mind? Neurological differences such as autism, dyslexia, ADHD and others are found in 1 in 20 people. Accepting such differences as strengths and skills can positively impact not only the individual, but also your community and even your company’s value. Come and explore this next path in your diversity journey to embrace neurodiversity as any other natural human variation.


  • Define neurodiversity and the history of the term
  • Consider neurodiversity friendly language and graphics
  • Understand strengths and challenges of neurodivergent individuals
  • Actions to help neurodivergents succeed in the workplace

Calandra Jarrell

Senior Vice President, Diversity & Inclusion Executive

Step Into Your Story

Did you know that we are 22 times more likely to remember a fact when it has been wrapped into a story? By being authentically you, you inspire others to do the same – leading to meaningful and powerful change. Calandra Jarrell, D&I Executive at Bank of America will share her personal journey and the importance of stepping into your story. She’ll share about the evolution of the Employee Networks at Bank of America and encourage leaders to be storytellers and culture carriers for their companies and those behind them – to truly raise the bar for ERGs everywhere.

Workshop Session Descriptions

Workshop 1 – ERG Leaders’ Career Unleashed: Nurturing Growth through Impactful Work

Lynn Cowart

Chief Operating Officer, Talent Dimensions

Talent Dimensions Logo

As an ERG leader, you invest valuable time and effort in steering Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), Business Resource Groups (BRGs) and Diversity Councils towards success. But have you ever wondered how to harness the transformative power of this experience to propel your own career forward?

Join us for an engaging workshop, ERG Leaders’ Career Unleashed: Nurturing Growth through Impactful Work, where we’ll delve into the art of leveraging your ERG leadership role to amplify your professional development journey. This dynamic session will explore the strategic ways ERG leaders can turn their impactful work into a catalyst for personal growth and advancement.

Workshop 2 – Creating a Culture of Belonging

Cile Johnson

Chief Business Officer, Talent Dimensions

Talent Dimensions Logo

We’re human. 

For that reason alone, we want to belong. We need to belong. Maslow pointed that out decades ago in his hierarchy of needs.

Research shows that people who feel they belong are ready and able to bring their ideas, their energy, their unique talents – their best selves – to their work. 

Belonging is a universal human need.

And yet, organizations continue to struggle with creating spaces where people feel they belong. 

Join us to explore the nature of belonging in the workplace. We’ll examine what we call Belonging by Designan intentional approach to leveraging our similarities while tapping into the unlimited potential of our differences to create spaces where people feel they belong. 

Workshop 3 – Becoming an Articulate Advocate

Bobby Gordon

Regional Vice President, Talent Dimensions

Talent Dimensions Logo

More than ever, organizations are expecting ERG, BRG and Council leaders to create and manage an inclusive environment. Advocates for marginalized individuals and groups are an important part of making diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) a reality throughout the organization. Skilled advocates are powerful elements of a robust strategy. Navigating the world of diversity can be a challenging prospect though if you have limited experience with DE&I or are faced with rapidly changing events that bring sensitive issues to the table. To successfully perform as an advocate then, it is critical to understand the fundamentals of inclusion and have the skills to help others be seen and heard.

Join us as we address:

  • Understanding the role of the advocate
  • Developing Advocate skills and behaviors
  • Communicating the DE&I process
  • Handling tough questions and situations

Workshop 4 – The Evolution of Women’s Leadership in the New World of DEIB

Jennifer Martineau

President and Founder, Leap & Inspire Global

In the past year, women leaders have switched jobs at the highest rates we’ve ever seen – and at higher rates than men in leadership. Women are still dramatically underrepresented in leadership: only 1 in 4 C-suite executives is a woman, and only 1 in  20 is a woman of color. Research shows that companies with three or more women serving on corporate boards performed significantly better financially than companies with few or no women on their boards. Dr. Martineau will share what’s behind these and other trends in the workplace and speak to the role of ERGs in providing solutions to attract, promote and retain women in leadership.

Breakout Session Descriptions

Pre-Event – ‘Evidence of Excellence’ Panel Discussion

Lynn Cowart

Chief Operations Officer, Talent Dimensions

Joshua Dantzler

Sr. Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging Specialist, Amtrak

Tonja Moyer

Director of Continuous Improvement, University of Michigan

Ashley Nessler

Senior Vice President, Financial Center Operations Strategy, Bank of America

The Diversity Impact Award (DIA) recognizes and celebrates the outstanding achievements of ERGs, BRGs and Diversity Councils. The awards are a testament to the tremendous effort, dedication and talent of the individuals who have worked tirelessly to bring about meaningful and lasting changes for the groups they represent and the organizations and communities they serve. Join us for this unique opportunity to hear award winners share their success stories, the challenges they faced, the strategies they employed and the lessons learned along the way.

Session 1 – Creating & Sustaining Global ERG Networks

Bobbi Brown-Alexander

Director of Employee Resource Groups and Global Communities in Inclusion, Diversity, & Equity, Kyndryl

Anna Ettin

Senior Employee Resource and Inclusion Leader, Amazon

Millicent Rone

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Sr. Specialist, American Airlines

Shannon Snowden

Global Head of Employee Resource Groups and Wellness, Experian

Global ERG networks have become an integral part of fostering inclusivity and belonging within organizations worldwide. By providing a platform for employees to connect, learn and support each other, these networks can play a crucial role in creating more diverse, equitable and inclusive cultures.

Creating and sustaining global ERG networks is not for the faint of heart.  Aligning your ERGs to your mission, values and business strategy is critical and when you do it at a global scale, the complexity is exponential.

This panel of experts from Amazon, American Airlines, Experian and Kyndryl will share their experiences in creating these networks and what it requires to ensure their ongoing success.

Session 2 – Retaining and Advancing Underrepresented Talent

Imelda Wicks

Assistant Vice President of Belonging and Engagement, University of Texas at Arlington

Most organizations across the nation spend millions of dollars finding ways to attract, retain and advance talent.  Find out how ERGs can effectively support institutional retention efforts. At this session Imelda will share strategies for retaining and advancing talent from underrepresented and underserved groups. You will also find ways on how to measure the success of these initiatives and share this data with leadership at your organization.

Session 3 – How to Engage in Difficult Conversations on Identity, Race and Politics

Tammy L. Hodo, Ph.D.

Owner of All Things Diverse LLC

Now, more than ever, Americans are challenged to engage in difficult conversations about different ideologies regarding a wide range of topics. Workplaces are overwhelmed with tensions stemming from differences in opinions on issues of gun control, abortion, cancel culture and expectations around pronoun usage. Being prepared to have these conversations and understanding the central points of conflict will allow employees, leadership and human resource professionals opportunities to better navigate these challenging spaces.

Session 4 – ERG Roadmap to Credibility: When a Global Pandemic and a Social Reckoning Collide

Natalie Torres

Director of Inclusion & Diversity, ChristianaCare

The ChristianaCare Way is to serve their neighbors as expert, caring partners in their health. They do this by creating innovative, effective, affordable and equitable systems of care that their neighbors value.  Join Natalie Torres as she walks us through ChristianaCare’s inspiring journey of strategically aligning their ERG program with the organization’s vision and values. Through this transformative process, ChristianaCare’s ERGs have become a critical component in realizing their mission.

Discover how the ERGs at ChristianaCare have not only gained senior-level credibility but have also positioned themselves as the go-to groups during times of organizational change…much of this happening during the concurrence of a global pandemic and social reckoning we were experiencing as a nation. These ERGs are no longer mere initiatives on the sidelines; they are key drivers of innovation and progress within the organization. The impact of ERGs does not end there. Natalie will also shed light on how ChristianaCare is leveraging the power of data analytics to understand the profound influence of ERG participation from a Talent Management perspective.

Session 5 – Three Steps Forward, Two Steps Back: A Conversation on DEI Today – Panel Discussion

Dr. Dawnavan Davis

Vice President, Chief Equity and Inclusion Officer, Mathematica

Dr. Karen Francis

Vice President and Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer, AIR

Calandra Jarrell

Head of Employee Networks,Global Diversity & Inclusion Awards, Diversity & Inclusion Executive, Global Human Resources, Bank of America

Rich Robles

Vice President & Chief Diversity Officer, Boston Children’s Hospital

Imelda Wicks

Assistant Vice President of Belonging and Engagement, University of Texas at Arlington

George Floyd’s murder prompted a nationwide movement demanding individuals and organizations take action to address societal injustices that impact historically marginalized groups…and many did just that. Three years later we are seeing something different. Efforts to create more diverse, equitable and inclusive organizations are under attack on multiple fronts. From legislatures to the courts to corporations to social media and right around the corner on main streets and in communities large and small, voices are raised, comments exchanged, opinions are put forward and debates emerge.

Join us for a conversation where we will explore what this means for all of us, and the roles we (and ERGs specifically) can play to continue advancing DEI efforts in an increasingly divisive environment.

Session 6 – ERG Recognition Revolution: Rewards, Celebration & Compensation

Natasha Ray

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging Engagement Manager, Guild Education

Recognition, celebration and compensation are key components in ensuring a successful ERG program. In this session, participants will walk away with tactical steps to ensure these are being fulfilled. Natasha Ray will first walk through the most recent qualitative data gathered by incoming ERG leaders. Then she will transition into the philosophy that guides Guild’s recognition strategy for ERG leaders, innovative approaches taken to meet the varying desires for recognition, and ways in which Guild is celebrating and compensating leadership.

Session 7 – Making an Impact: Building and Sustaining Successful ERGs

Shannon Snowden

Global Head of Employee Resource Groups and Wellness, Experian

Are you new to leading an ERG or are you an experienced ERG leader?  Regardless of your tenure, this session is for you.  You will learn how to launch an ERG, organize your leadership teams effectively and instill best practices that will ultimately create a roadmap for growth, membership engagement and strong executive sponsorship.

Session 8 – Creating Accessible Workplaces:  A Moral and Business Imperative

Stephen Cutchins

Senior Product Manager-Accessibility, Cvent

When people think about accessibility, most people immediately go to the Americans with Disabilities Act and the legal requirements organizations must consider for this group of individuals.  While that is important, organizations need to understand that that compliance is a small part of the equation when it comes to employing and serving disabled individuals.

While organizations are scrambling to find the talent they need and want, they often overlook individuals that have traditionally been underutilized – people with disabilities.  In 2022 the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 34.8% of people (age 16 – 64) with disabilities were employed compared to 74.4% for those without a disability.

Additionally, data shows that organizations with best-in-class disability inclusion policies and practices experience greater profitability and value creation.  This far outweighs concerns about the cost of providing workplace accommodation.

Stephen Cutchins will share his insights and experience working to improve the lives of people with disabilities.  He will explore both the moral and business imperative for organizations to become truly accessible and inclusive.