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2022 Leadership SUMMIT


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2022 Speaker Line up

Dr. Maria Gomez Albrecht

Dr. Maria Gomez Albrecht is the Chief Marketing Officer at Alonos®, an international consulting firm specializing in organizational effectiveness, improved business performance, strategic marketing solutions, and enhanced team dynamics for leadership teams and executive management. Besides leading the company’s marketing practice, she is also a Marketing Professor at the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) for two Executive MBA Programs, as well as at Texas Woman’s University (TWU) at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Maria is an accomplished and highly skilled business professional leveraging 25+ years of experience in several industries such as retail, medical, nonprofit, environmental, and education. She earned a Doctorate in Business Administration from Swiss Management Center University in Switzerland. She is also a PhD candidate at Universidad Central de Nicaragua for her second doctoral degree. Maria has deep knowledge of multicultural marketing thanks to her fluency in Spanish and Portuguese, as well as business proficiency in French and Italian. Her language skills have enabled her to launch marketing campaigns on a worldwide scale.

An author and global speaker, Maria is involved with several professional and academic organizations nationwide, including serving as 2021’s President of Prospanica’s DFW Chapter.

Richard Lopez

Richard is responsible for developing and leading innovative global diversity and inclusion initiatives, programs and strategies. He provides consultation and subject matter expertise to senior leaders and HR to drive leadership commitment to diversity goals. He designs and implements diversity action plans, leadership training programs, and initiatives to foster an inclusive work culture. He is the global project lead for Dell’s Be the Change initiative that focuses on engaging team members through inclusion awareness and unconscious bias training.

Prior to this role, Richard managed Dell’s international expatriate program where he consulted HR and business leaders on the policies, laws, and business procedures that impact a globally mobile workforce.

Prior to working at Dell, Richard worked for Ernst & Young and has extensive experience in HR consulting, expatriate tax, and supplier management. He completed international assignments in London, England and Guadalajara, México. He received his BA degree in international business from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas and is certified as a Global Mobility Specialist by Worldwide ERC, the Association for Workforce Mobility.

Deniss Pleiner

Deniss Pleiner is a licensed therapist and mental health advocate.  She specializes in working with the Latinx Community--particularly in supporting first and second generation Latinx professionals in navigating bicultural identity, breaking toxic generational patterns, and battling impostor syndrome.

Inside and outside of the therapy office, she covers mental health aspects that take into account our cultural experiences: from family dynamics and generational trauma to boundary setting and work-life balance. She has developed workshops for professional agencies, nonprofits, and spoken at community panels.

She strongly believes that everyone has a right to free mental health information and education and dedicates her free time to creating educational mental health content on Instagram(@denisspleiner), YouTube (Therapy, Explained), and a podcast (My Therapist Friends).

Mandy Price

Mandy Price(she/her/hers) is an advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) as theCEO and co-founder of Kanarys, Inc., a technology company focused onproviding the tools organizations need to create long-term systemic changearound DEI challenges. Kanarys uses a data-based approach to pinpoint whatcompanies may not have been able to see before so DEI strategies andinterventions are precise, measurable and result in lasting transformation. Data from submissions is analyzed through artificial intelligenceand natural language processing, allowing partner companies to betterunderstand the challenges and opportunities facing them and to build a moreinclusive workplace culture. Company partners are able to measure performanceagainst DEI benchmarks and identify areas of improvement and growth,by gathering and analyzing cultural and demographic data, industry rankings andtrends. Kanarys is creating a workplace where everyone belongs.

Kanarys hasbeen covered by Good Morning America, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes,CNBC, Business Insider, Entrepreneur, Human Resource Executive, and more. Kanarys has participated in severalaccelerator programs including the Google for Startups Black FoundersAccelerator, Unreasonable FUTURE of Work program, and Morgan StanleyMulticultural Innovation Lab. Mandy was named a Top100 HR Tech Influencers of 2021 by Human Resource Executive, and she and her co-founder, Star Carter, were named two ofInc.’s 2021 Female Founders 100 for helping companies address systemic racismin the workplace. They were also recognized as two of Entrepreneur magazine’sTop 100 Most Powerful Women of 2020. Additionally, Mandy was named DallasStartup Week’s 2020 Rising Entrepreneur.

She regularly speaks atnotable DEI, technology, and leadership conferences like Mom 2.0, GoldmanSachs: 10,000 Small Businesses, D Magazine’s Diversity and Inclusion Symposium,UT Austin’s School of Law, Dallas Startup Week, and more, where she shares herexpertise on DEI in the workplace.

Mandy practiced law as aHarvard-educated attorney for over 12 years before leaving to co-found Kanarys.Mandy’s interest in DEI began early in her careerwhen she helped create the division of diversity and community engagement atthe University of Texas as an undergrad. She then held the role of outreacheditor of the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review. In her previouslegal career, she served on the Women's Task Force at Barnes & Thornburgand the board of directors of the Texas Civil Rights Project and as a member ofthe Diversity Committee at Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP and as the formerpresident of the J.L. Turner Legal Association, the African-American BarAssociation of Dallas. In 2017, Mandy received the “40 Under 40 Nation’sBest Advocates” award from the National Bar Association and was selected as a“Best Lawyer in Dallas” by D Magazine.

Mandy earnedher Juris Doctorate from Harvard Law School and a Bachelor of BusinessAdministration from the University of Texas at Austin. She resides inDallas, Texas, with her husband and two children.

Dr. Laura Quiros

Dr. Laura Quiros, Ph.D., LMSW advises, coaches, and trains boards of directors, executives, and other professionals across the corporate, professional services, higher education, and non-profit sectors to advance their DEI efforts. As an affiliate of Coston Consulting, she regularly works with clients to expand their racial literacy and help them communicate more openly about race and racism. She also helps clients identify, understand, and overcome issues that create a culture of organizational whiteness.

For the past 11 years, Dr. Quiros has served as an Associate Professor of Social Work at Adelphi University, where she teaches social work practice at the doctoral and master's levels. Her research and scholarly interests focus on the social construction of racial and ethnic identity and trauma informed care through a social justice lens. Dr. Quiros is a founding member of the advisory board for the Prospanica Center for Social Justice, which seeks “to improve our ability to have critical conversations about social justice issues as a diverse and multi-faceted community” of Latino professionals.

As a woman of color from a multicultural background, Dr. Quiros leverages her experiences, relationship building, and clinical skills to foster connections, inclusion, and empathic accountability. Having to negotiate her own identity required her to create safe spaces to survive and thrive and helped her develop tools that allow her to relate to various experiences that impact diverse groups.

Dr. Quiros earned a Doctor of Philosophy in Social Welfare from The Graduate School and University Center of the City University of New York, where her dissertation focused on “The Social Construction of Racial and Ethnic Identity among Women of Color from Mixed Ancestry: Psychological Freedoms and Sociological.” She also earned a master’s degree in social work from Hunter College School of Social Work and a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Skidmore College.

Ruben Ramirez

RubenRamirez is Managing Director and Occupier Services Leader for the AmericasIndustrial & Logistics practice.  Heis responsible for developing innovative solutions, coordinating significantreal estate requirements and managing interactions with prospective clients.Based in Dallas, Texas, Ruben oversees business development, client solutions,and I&L technology for the Americas.

With20-year experience in consulting and management, Ruben joined CBRE in 2011. Hehas navigated multiple roles at CBRE ranging from leading global changemanagement for the company’s capital technology projects, developing businessstrategies and executing key initiatives for both the Americas Industrial &Logistics and Americas Retail lines of business, and leading the Industrial& Logistics Occupier platform of services that drove more than $1B inrevenue in 2021.

Hisrole as Occupier Leader focuses energy to entirely to growing the AmericasIndustrial & Logistics Occupier business and continue his work in evolvingCBRE I&L into a market-leading, user-friendly, client-and-producer focusedservices platform.

Based inDallas, Texas, Ruben enjoys spending weekends at the lake. Whether it issitting by a fire or wake surfing, it is a year-round retreat from city life.

Thomas Savino

Thomas Savino is the Chief Executive Officer of Prospanica,the nationally recognized and premier nonprofit dedicated to developingHispanic talent and growing the number of Hispanic professionals represented inindustries of America to perpetuate economic growth and corporatecompetitiveness.

Thomas has an impressive history of advocatingfor business education and is a respected executive in the Hispanic community.As an expert consultant specializing in performance measurement analysis,knowledge management, and organizational structure, he has collaborated withcorporations and national boards throughout the country.

During his time as research analyst and internalconsultant for McKinsey & Company, he specialized in the development ofglobal initiatives, later joining TMS Consulting as managing director and alsoserving on the former National Society of Hispanic MBA’s national board. Thomashas consulted with some of the largest companies in corporate America,including Fortune 100 companies, and his expertise is sought out for keynotespeeches, magazine articles, and seminars.

Formerly a 30-year resident of the Bronx, Thomasnow lives in Ridgefield, Connecticut with his wife Maria and sons Oliver andPierce, and continues to advocate for higher level education and professionaldevelopment for Hispanics.

Miguel Solis

Miguel Solis currently serves as Managing Director of Strategic Initiatives at the Commit Partnership, the nation’s largest educational collective impact organization with over200 institutions (including 15 school districts and eight higher-ed institutions educating over 790,000 students), focused on improving post-secondary completion and economic mobility levels across the North Texas region. Since 2009, Miguel Solis has served the residents of Dallas in the areas of education, housing, and transportation. Miguel began his professional career as a member of President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign and soon after, was selected as a Teach For America corps member in Dallas, TX where het aught 8th grade social studies in the Dallas public schools. Solis would later serve as special assistant to the superintendent of the school system; co-found the non-profit Latino Center for Leadership Development; and run the urban policy think tank Coalition for a New Dallas. In 2013, Miguel was elected to the Dallas ISD Board of Trustees at the age of 27. During his tenure he was also elected as the Board President and Vice-President, making him the youngest person to ever hold these roles.

Miguel is involved in numerous non-profit activities including serving on the Children’s Medical Center Foundation board, the FUSE Corps national board of directors, and the Teach For America national board of directors. He is also an alumnus of the Aspen Institute’s Rodel Fellowship, having been selected as an elected official who has demonstrated an outstanding ability to work responsibly across partisan divisions and bring greater civility to public discourse. For the totality of his work, Miguel was selected to the Dallas Business Journal’s 40 under 40 and the 2021 Dallas 500 Most Powerful Business Leaders.

Miguel graduated from Lamar University with a Bachelor of Arts in History and Harvard University with a Master of Education in Policy and Management.

Joaquín Zihuatanejo

Joaquín Zihuatanejo is a poet, award winning teacher, and World Poetry Slam Champion from Dallas, Texas. He is the only poet on the planet to win both the Individual World Poetry Slam Championship held in North America and the European World Cup of Poetry Slam Championship held in Paris, France. Joaquín holds a BA from the University of North Texas in English and an MFA from the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Hiswork has been published in Prairie Schooner, Sonora Review, Yellow Medicine Review, and Huizache among other literary journals. Joaquín’s work has been featured on NPR, HBO, and NBC. His poem “Nahui Ocelotl First Son Jaguar Son” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2017. Joaquín’s manuscript, Arsonist, won the Robert Dana-Anhinga Prize for Poetry and was published by Anhinga Press in the fall of 2018.

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