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18th Annual Diversity Summit held in Sugar Land, TX

COMM_Diversity Summit Opening_2018

Opening Session: Executive Director: Cecil Fong, Honorary Co-Chair: Joanna Nolte, Manager Equal Opportunity and D&I, Shell U.S., Honorary Co-Chair: Dr. Antonio D. Tillis, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences and M. D. Anderson Professor in Hispanic Studies, University of Houston.

by Susan Pothanikat

SUGAR LAND — On Friday, May 4th, the 18th annual Diversity Summit took place at the Sugar Land Marriott. Executive Director, Cecil Fong, welcomed the sold out crowd for a day filled with speaker sessions to educate professionals on making a diverse workplace inclusive for all. Speakers from various backgrounds educated attendees on the following topics: inclusive leadership, creating a safe and harassment free working environment, supplier diversity, shedding light on gender identity, among others.
The first part of the speaking sessions was followed by the luncheon where the 2018 Diversity Summit Champion Award recipients were recognized on stage. Stanley Kazibew, Marketing and Business Development Associate from LNG Bechtel, accepted the award for the Corporate Diversity Champion. Stanley was instrumental in Bechtel being named as 2017 Corporate Partner of the Year by both Society of Hispanic Professionals Engineers – Houston and by National Society of Black Engineers – Houston. Both groups seek to inspire and empower underrepresented communities to pursue excellence through STEM professions. Stanley is always willing to help others and share his insights and has inspired other colleagues to become more involved in this critical mission.
Nancy Levicki, President and Co-Founder of Dress for Success Houston was also awarded as the Community Diversity Champion. Dress for Success helps low-income women and war vets from the Houston area enter the job market looking and feeling their best. Nancy, Susie Cunningham and a small group of founding Board members opened the first Dress for Success in the state of Texas. Twenty years later, Dress for Success Houston has provided more than 75,000 units of service to 40,000 underprivileged women in Houston.

COMM_Diversity Summit Plenary

CEO Panel on Inclusion Practices: Moderator: Dr. Dusya Vera, Associate Professor, Bauer College of Business, University of Houston. Panelists: Dr. Cesar Maldonado, Chancellor, Houston Community College, Brett Perlman, CEO, Center for Houston’s Future, Joanna Nolte, Manager Equal Opportunity and D&I, Shell U.S., Debbie W. Ridley, President and CEO of The Organizational Fixer, LLC

In 2012, under Nancy’s leadership, Dress for Success Houston completed a successful $6.7 million capital and moved into a 16,000 sq. ft. building located in the Upper Kirby District at 3310 Eastside Street. Houston is proud to be the first and only affiliate, worldwide, to purchase land and build a permanent facility. 2018 marks the 20th anniversary of Dress for Success Houston, and Nancy is proud to have co-founded an agency committed to addressing the needs of women of all ethnicities in the community.
After the luncheon, guests networked with the various sponsors at their respected booths. Among the sponsors included: Embridge, Shell Oil, BP, Chevron, Rice University, CenterPoint Energy, ConocoPhillips, University of Houston, Bechtel, HEB, Deloitte, Houston Community College, Memorial Hermann Health System, Cole Chemical, Madras Pavilion, Outreach Strategists, Soaring to Greatness, DoubleTree by Hilton, METRO, Pink Petro and Voice of Asia.
CEO Panel on Inclusion Practices: Moderator: Dr. Dusya Vera, Associate Professor, Bauer College of Business, University of Houston. Panelists: Dr. Cesar Maldonado, Chancellor, Houston Community College, Brett Perlman, CEO, Center for Houston’s Future, Joanna Nolte, Manager Equal Opportunity and D&I, Shell U.S., Debbie W. Ridley, President and CEO of The Organizational Fixer, LLC


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