Diversity and Inclusion Panel

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The Diversity & Inclusion panel provides a forum for panel members to have a robust dialogue about the successes, opportunities, and challenges of D&I in the workplace.  Discussions include the various dimensions of diversity, opportunities to enhance inclusion, and relative impact of D&I strategies.

Panel Members

Oneida Blagg
Executive Officer for Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion, Pierce College 

Oneida D. Blagg is the inaugural Executive Officer for Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion at Pierce College in Lakewood, Wash.  The College's mission is to create quality educational opportunities for a community of diverse learners to thrive in an evolving world.

Blagg earned a bachelor's degree in Political Science, Summa Cum Laude, and a master's in Social Science from Pacific Lutheran University. During her undergraduate and graduate years, she enlisted in the National Guard and later became a commissioned officer. Blagg is also a graduate of several military schools such as the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute, and the Air Command and Staff College.

Blagg has over 20 years' experience as a diversity professional in several sectors: higher education, county government, federal service, and reserve military service. Her work in diversity management has encompassed affirmative action planning, directing investigations into complaints of discrimination and sexual harassment/assault, investigating such complaints, coordinating ADA programs and Title IX programs, and managing employee assistance programs. In addition to having held several positions directing equal opportunity programs, Blagg has directed other functions as well such as human resources and student services. She has also taught at both the college and the university level.

During her military career, Blagg served in several National Guard positions which spanned from unit commander to operations officer before transferring to the Air Force Reserve. Her later assignments included serving at US Central Command in Florida and as chief of military equal opportunity. In 2005, Blagg retired at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. 


Kelley Cornish

SVP, Head of US Diversity & Inclusion, TD Bank

Kelley F. Cornish, MA, CCDP, is the SVP, Head of US Diversity & Inclusion, TD Bank. Kelley is also the co-author of her first book, "It's Work! How Will You Show Up?" where she highlights the career of a millennial and offers relevant advice for excelling to the next level in the workplace and in your personal life.  

Prior to joining TD Bank, Kelley served as Director, Diversity & Inclusion for AmeriHealth Caritas Family of Companies, responsible for working collaboratively with assigned business units in the creation, promotion, and implementation of diversity action plans and providing subject matter expertise to business leadership. In addition, Kelley oversaw diversity analytics, EEO and other HR requirements and the enterprise's teleworker program.

Additionally, Kelley has served as the President of Philly SHRM. Her background also includes leading the efforts of the Diversity, Inclusion and Talent Management (Enterprise HR) function for the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia from 2005 - 2010.  

Certified as a diversity management professional by Cornell University, Kelley holds a Masters in Human Resource Management from Webster University and a Bachelor's in Business Administration from the University of South Carolina - Aiken.  


Gina C. Edwards, SHRM-CP

HR Consultant, T.H. Easter Consulting

Gina Edwards is an HR Consultant with T.H. Easter Consulting; serving in the Human Resources field for over 25 years in areas of Talent Management and as a Human Resources Business Partner.  She has experience working in verticals such as Information Technology, Banking, Utilities and the Big 4 Accounting Firms.  Furthermore, she is a part-time Adjunct Instructor at Goldey Beacom College.  Gina is a published author of two inspirational books.

Gina serves as President-Elect of the Delaware chapter of The Society of Human Resources Management and has obtained her SHRM-CP certification.  She also serves on the United Way Human Resources Committee.   She is an Adult Black Achiever Alumni through the YMCA and served as a Mentor through the United Way "Women in Action" Program. She received a Bachelors of Arts Degree at California State University in Business Administration and a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership from Wilmington University.  


Susan Gordon

Former Chief Diversity Officer, U.S. Army

Ms. Gordon is the former Chief Diversity Officer and Highly Qualified Expert for the United States Army.  In this role, Susan was responsible for ensuring Diversity and Inclusion strategies and initiatives were aligned and integrated into all military and civilian human capital and Equal Employment Opportunity decision-making models throughout the Army. In addition, Ms. Gordon has earned more than 20 years of diversity, inclusion, talent management, and Human Resources leadership experience at several Fortune 500 companies including; Director of Global Diversity and Inclusion for Microsoft, Senior Vice President of Human Resources for TD Bank, Vice President of the Corporate Law Office, Vice President of Human Resources and Director of Talent Management for Bank of America, and Assistant Vice President of Corporate Diversity Staffing for the TJX Companies. As an independent Workforce Inclusion Coach, she has provided strategic diversity, inclusion and leadership development coaching and advice to CEO's and other senior executives at Fortune 500 companies (i.e., AstraZeneca Global, Sunoco, etc.), not-for-profit organizations and institutions of higher learning, and has mentored countless high potential professionals to successfully move forward into leadership roles. In addition, Susan has written award-winning inclusion programs and designed, developed, and trademarked leadership development programs including "The Business Ready Women™", The Business Ready Professional™, and The Business Ready Workplace™.

Ms. Gordon has been formally recognized for her diversity and inclusion leadership achievements with several awards over the years including (but not limited to) the U.S. Army Superior Civilian Achievement Award for Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion,  Association of Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting's, Diversity Leadership and Service Award, Bank of America/Fleet – Diversity in Action Award, the YMCA Black Achievers Award and the National Association of Professional Women's, "Professional Woman of the Year Award" for her outstanding leadership and commitment to her profession.  She has also demonstrated her commitment to diversity and inclusion profession in volunteer roles including Florida State Diversity and Inclusion Director for the Society of Human Resources Management/HR Florida, Florida Regional Director for the International Society of Diversity & Inclusion Professionals, Diversity and Inclusion Subject Matter Expert for the Society For Diversity, and as a Georgetown University/OPM – Diversity & Inclusion Advisor.

Susan holds an undergraduate degree and a Master's in Business Administration (MBA) from Northeastern University, completing studies in international business in London and in Prague. She holds a senior certification in human resources and a certificate in Human Resources Negotiation Skills from the Harvard University/MIT/TUFTS Program on Negotiation. Susan also holds U.S. Secret Security Clearance.  


Tom C. Hogan, Ph.D., SHRM-SCP

Professor of Practice in Human Resource Management, Pennsylvania State University

Dr. Hogan is a scholar-practitioner, strategic adviser, consultant, and an executive leadership coach. He is a champion of diversity, equity, inclusion, civil discourse and an enabler of executive leadership and organizational excellence. His distinction is the ability to promote transformational leadership development by creating incidents of cognitive dissonance and opportunities for self-discovery and self-reflection by using the arts as an agent-of-change.

Dr. Hogan is a Professor of Practice in Human Resource Management at the Pennsylvania State University, School of Labor and Employment Relations. He is the founder and Director of the School’s Academy of Human Capital Development and serves as Scholar-in-Residence at the Penn State Sustainability Institute. He is providing leadership on the implementation of the Penn State University 2016 – 2020 Strategic Plan as a member of the Stewarding our Planet's Resources Steering Committee. Dr. Hogan teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in-residence and online. His research and teaching interests include Global Leadership Development, Global Diversity and Inclusion, Business Ethics, Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability.


Delphia Howze, SHRM-CP

Director of Employee Relations and Development, Ithaca College

Delphia Howze is a forward-thinking Human Resources and Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) leader with nearly 20 years of successful experience in helping organizations leverage human capital and diversity to create and strengthen inclusive environments.  Her areas of expertise include developing and implementing HR and D&I strategies, training and development, mentoring and coaching, leadership development, AAP programs, and immigration petitions.   

As the Director of Employee Relations and Development at Ithaca College in Ithaca, NY, Delphia is responsible for developing and enhancing leadership acumen for all employees of the college community.    She has enhanced her professional proficiency through roles of increasing responsibility held in industries such as retail, banking, energy, trucking and logistics, and higher education. Delphia consistently demonstrates her commitment to HR and D&I by serving as a board and trustee member to a variety of organizations.

Delphia holds a BA from the University of Pittsburgh, an MBA in International Business from Point Park University, and Project Management Certification from Villanova University. She also maintains SHRM-CP certification through the Society of Human Resources Management. 


Susan Loynd, SHRM-SCP

Director of Administration & Human Resources, Washington County Mental Health Services, Inc.

Susan Loynd is responsible for all Human Resources management and administrative activities for WCMHS, a privately held, non-profit community mental health center. She started her career in the renewable energy industry, in a corporate role, but soon discovered a passion for working at a grassroots level to have a positive impact on the most vulnerable members of her local community.
In addition to leading the Human Resources team, she also manages quality assurance, IT, and other business activities. Loynd graduated with a Master's in literature from the University of Kent, England, and received a Bachelor's of Arts degree in English from the University of Vermont. She is dedicated to lifelong learning and volunteering and has taught numerous business and humanities courses at the college level for over 13 years, including working with a local college/university partner to facilitate the SHRM Learning System and other SHRM products. She has just completed her term as SHRM's Northeast representative on the Membership Advisory Council and served on the SHRM Vermont State Council for over 10 years, most recently as the state director.

She is also an active member of local community theater and sits on two Boards including a PRIDE committee dedicated to educating theater-goers about issues in the LGBTQ+ community.


Lisa Ponder, SHRM-SCP

Vice President, Global Director of Human Resources, MWH Constructors Inc.

Lisa Ponder is a human resource executive and employment law attorney solving business challenges with talent-based solutions. She and her teams attract, develop and retain the right people and empower them to create cultures that drive measurable P&L results. In her current position, Ponder and her teams in both the US and the UK are winning the talent war in the construction industry with over 2200 professional and skilled trade employees delivering 1 billion dollars in construction projects annually. Ponder is also part of the executive team leading the company’s integration with their new parent company and the steering committee leading the implementation of a new ERP system in the US. She has worked as an HR Director for over twelve years for three Colorado companies.  

Ponder has an extensive employment law background that includes practicing with a large global law firm and directing the legal compliance arm of a professional employer organization with over 10,000 employees. She earned a law degree from the J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University and a masters in Strategic Human Resources from Denver University. She is licensed to practice law in California, Colorado and before the Supreme Court of the United State. Lisa served as president of her local SHRM chapter and as the Director-Elect for the Colorado State SHRM chapter.  


Phyllis Rupert, SHRM-SCP

Senior D&I Consultant, Highmark

Phyllis Rupert is a Human Resources Professional with a record of and enthusiasm for organizational readiness, cultural change, performance excellence, and leadership and talent management.  With Highmark Health or its predecessors for over 22 years, Rupert is a Senior Diversity Consultant in Highmark Health's Human Resources Diversity & Inclusion Practice Area. Rupert adds strategic value to the organization by leveraging diversity and enhancing performance through inclusion, education, and subject matter expertise across the diversity spectrum. Through the partnership, influence, and alignment with corporate goals, she was instrumental in the organization's sponsorship, pilot, and 100 organizational score on the Disability Equality Index and a current health plan enterprise first year 100 score on the Corporate Equality Index.  

Rupert has been increasing leader and workforce cultural competence, designing results driven diversity programs for human resource professionals, business units, and executive leaders. She consults on, collaborates, partners, and leads corporate best practice solutions that include among others an embedded approach to diversity leader training, mentorship programs, educational diversity learning tracks, workplace and customer focused inclusion of Persons with Disabilities, Gender, LGBTQ, Veteran/Military, and a broad spectrum of diversity and inclusion initiatives.  


Di Ann Sanchez, Ph.D., SHRM-SCP
Founder/President, DAS HR Consulting and Sanchez & Associates LLC

Di Ann Sanchez, Ph.D., SHRM - SCP is the Founder/President of DAS HR Consulting and Sanchez & Associates LLC, a WMBE/HUB certified firm focused on creative and non-traditional Human Resources and Diversity programs and services. Dr. Sanchez has over 35 years of experience, is a certified Senior Human Resources Professional and has held executive positions with both private and public companies.

Dr. Sanchez's Human Resources group at Delta Technology won Atlanta's Society of Human Resource Management HR Professional Excellence Award. She was named by the Hispanic Business magazine as one of the "Top 50 Hispanic Women in Business", one of the "Top 80 Elite Hispanic Women", and "Top 100 Latinas in America". She was highlighted in the Hispanic Journal Magazine recognizing her accomplishments in Human Resources and Diversity at American Airlines and has been featured in “USA Today” seeking to improve the current process of employment verification, and encouraging comprehensive immigration reform. She has also been featured on Fox News Business Career Accelerator regarding the topic of “Love Contracts in the Workplace.” Dr. Sanchez nationally educates and speaks to business and Human Resources leaders on “Attracting, Engaging and Retaining the Hispanic Workforce,” “Why Can’t We All Just Get Along! – Diversity and Generations in the Workplace” and “Managing a Global Workforce.”

Dr. Sanchez holds a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), a Master's Degree in Organizational Management from the University of Phoenix, and a Ph.D. in Organization and Management with a specialization in Human Resources from Capella University. She is a national instructor for the Institute for Applied Management (IAML) teaching the Essentials of Human Resources Management Certification, UTA Lecturer, and a Division Chair and Associate Professor at Amberton University.

Dr. Sanchez is active in the Society of Human Resources (SHRM) by serving as the Texas Legislative Advocacy Captain, helped develop certification test questions, and has actively served on the national SHRM Special Expertise Panels. Furthermore, Dr. Sanchez is a Rotarian, board member for the Aids Outreach Center of Tarrant County, Workforce Solutions of Tarrant County, Boys and Girls Club of Greater Fort Worth and North Central Area Community Health Centers.


Justice Waidner Smith
D&I Program Manager, ONEOK

Areas of Expertise

  • ADA/Disabilities (also Workforce Staffing)
  • Building intercultural skills (also OD) 
  • The business case for diversity
  • Civil Rights Act, EEOC, Uniform Guidelines, ADEA (also Workforce Staffing)
  • Conducting diversity surveys (also metrics/measures) 
  • Conflict resolution (also Employee Relations) 
  • Cultural integration 
  • Cultural Relations
  • Diversity Training (also OD)
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Employee Networks/Forums/Councils
  • Gender, age differences
  • Glass Ceiling 
  • Inclusive Work Environment
  • Individual Differences and Similarities
  • Interviewing for Diversity (also Workforce Staffing) 
  • Managing Diversity
  • Mentoring in a diverse workplace (also OD) 
  • Organizational Capability
  • Organizational Culture 
  • Race, ethnicity differences
  • Religious differences 
  • Sexual orientation 
  • Stereotyping, prejudice, discrimination 
  • Structural and Informal Integration of Difference
  • Sustaining diversity commitment
  • Transsexualism, transgender issues 
  • Workforce demographics (also Workforce staffing)
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