The Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce and presenting sponsor BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee host DIVERSIFY 2021 Friday, June 18. This half-day virtual summit highlights diversity, inclusion and the 21st century workplace with informative breakout sessions and a keynote presentation from Rick C. Wade of the U.S. Chamber of the Commerce.
The dual crises of COVID-19 and the unrest that swept our country last year put a spotlight on the high cost of racial and economic inequality. The Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce continues its commitment to creating a business community that includes everyone with the annual Diversify Summit.
DIVERSIFY 2021, held via Zoom, features a 10 a.m. keynote presentation by Rick C. Wade, senior vice president of Strategic Alliances and Outreach at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. An 11 a.m. panel discussion will follow, with local experts’ reactions to the keynote. These speakers include:
Moderator Dionne Jenkins, Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union, with panelists:
- Justin Groenert, Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce
- O’Mally Foster, Vision Hospitality
Full registration is $15 and includes live attendance and Q&A opportunities with presenters plus access to recordings after the event.
The Chattanooga Chamber is also spearheading a CEO Pledge for Racial Equity, a commitment by regional CEOs and managing leaders to intentionally enhance efforts to achieve equity of opportunity within organizations and the broader Chattanooga community. More than 75 local business leaders have made Pledge commitments. Read more about the Pledge here.
About Diversify speakers:
Rick C. Wade is senior vice president of Strategic Alliances and Outreach at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Wade develops and implements programs and initiatives to help the Chamber create new business relationships and partnerships across diverse audiences. He also provides counsel on policy issues and leads special projects. His wealth of knowledge and experience in both the public and private sectors enable him to give a megaphone to the voice of business across the country and share the positive impacts of the free enterprise system. Among Wade’s many responsibilities, he is leading the Chamber’s historic Equality of Opportunity initiative aimed to develop sustainable public policy and business solutions to help close race-based opportunity gaps in education, employment, entrepreneurship, criminal justice, health and wealth.
Dionne Jenkins is Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion for the Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union. In addition to her work to increase diversity and community engagement there, she serves on many boards and commissions. Jenkins is a graduate of the Urban League of Greater Chattanooga Inclusion by Design Executive Leadership Development Program and Leadership Chattanooga. Her work has been written about, honored and shared in several regional and national publications.
Justin Groenert is the Vice President of Public Policy for the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce. In this role, he oversees all policy development and implementation and all aspects of government affairs for the business community of Chattanooga. A native of Evansville, IN, Justin has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science and a certificate in Political Communications from Western Kentucky University (2004) and a Masters of Public Administration degree from the University of Southern Indiana (2016).
As the vice president of talent resources and risk management at Vision Hospitality, O’Mally Foster performs an important role in identifying new talent as Vision continues to grow. He also supports company leaders as they assist their associates in maximizing their full potential. Foster’s career began in 1996 as the regional training specialist and LP agent for Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. From this position, he transitioned into the hospitality industry where he gained experience as an assistant general manager and a rooms manager. He later became the regional director of human resources for Noble-Interstate Management where he supported a portfolio of hotels that employed over 3,000 associates.