Deborah Elam Keynotes DIVERSIFY Luncheon

Deborah Elam keynotes this year's luncheon. Elam began her 30-year career at General Electric as an intern, working her way up to GE Foundation President. In 2017 she launched Corporate Playbook to coach organizations to elevate diversity, inclusion and philanthropy.

Click here to learn more about Deborah Elam.


Learn, Grow, Collaborate at Diversify 2019

Join the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce for Diversify, a half-day summit highlighting diversity, inclusion and the 21st century workplace. June 19 at the Chattanooga Convention Center, Diversify features breakout sessions led by industry professionals and a lunch program keynoted by diversity expert Deborah Elam.

Join Us for Diversify
8 a.m.

Breakfast, networking & welcome session with a panel featuring the day’s speakers

9:15 a.m. Sessions (choose one)


Unconscious Bias

Ronald Harris, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee

Unconscious bias: we all have it whether we admit it or not. Failure to acknowledge bias adversely affects hiring practices, culture, recruitment, retention and attrition of existing employees. This session gives attendees the opportunity to share, explore and discuss unconscious bias.


The Role of Empathy in Inclusion & Diversity

Sabrina Moon, Problem Solving Institute

Explore the role empathy plays in building an inclusive and diverse culture. Topics for this session include defining empathy, how to build skills in empathy and how to measure empathy.



Workplace in My Shoes: A Disability Simulation

Luronda Jennings, Hamilton County Schools

An interactive stimulation for employers, community partners and volunteers of what life is like with a disability. Participants will engage in stimulations to gain a new level of empathy and appreciation for those living with autism, language impairment or an intellectual disability.


10:15 a.m. Sessions (choose one)


Creating a Diverse Workforce

Summer Kohlhorst, Center Centre

Learn techniques and strategies Center Centre uses to attract and retain a talented and diverse workforce. This session overviews Center Centre co-founder Dr. Leslie Jensen-Inman’s model for designing a better work experience for a range of accessibility needs.


The 5 Point Diversity & Inclusion Strategy

Teresa Daniel, HR Consultant

The 5 point Diversity & Inclusion Strategy assists businesses in developing a plan to encourage a culture of diversity and inclusion within their organizations. This session will be interactive, engaging and a place to share inclusion best practices and resources.


Success Pathways for Building a Multi-Million Dollar Empire as a Person of Color

Alexis Willis, The INCubator

Reginald Lewis’s memoir on building an empire provides the backdrop for a conversation between Alexis and her hero, Jeff Willis. Willis uses principles in the book to guide his entrepreneurial journey as he continues building a multi-million dollar company. Join the discussion on how to navigate industries as a person of color and strategies to build a legacy.


11:30 a.m. Diversify Luncheon Featuring Deborah Elam

Deborah Elam began her 30 year career at General Electric as an intern, working her way up to Chief Diversity Officer and later President of the GE Foundation. As GE’s first black female corporate officer, she had dedicated her career to diversity, philanthropy and inclusion. She’s the recipient of numerous accolades and awards as a strong woman in business.  

In 2017, Elam launched her company, Corporate Playbook, a business consulting firm specializing in coaching organizations to elevate diversity, inclusion and philanthropy. Learn more about Elam and her company at corporateplaybook.com



1:30 p.m. Sessions (choose one)

Inclusive Workforce Planning for Diversity

Greg Laudeman, Eduity

Workforce planning gives employers the opportunity to avoid problems and build capabilities to compete within their industries. To be effective, workforce planning must be inclusive, intentional and strategic. The best strategies come from including diverse perspectives in the conversation. Bring a laptop and get started on workforce planning for your organization during this workshop.


Onboarding for Retaining and Promoting Veterans

Pipan Wilson, Unum

About 60-70% percent of veterans leave their first job in between their first and second years. Mentoring veterans during their first few years of employment can significantly reduce the turnover rate. This session explores how workplaces can support mental health.


Cultural Competency Training: The Latino Market

Stacy Johnson, La Paz

Prepare your workforce to serve diverse internal and external customers with this training focused on recognizing cultural world views, discovering attitudes towards differences and developing cross-cultural skills that lead to better communication and higher levels of productivity at work.


Full registration ($100) includes breakfast, breakout sessions and lunch ticket. Session-only registration ($50) includes breakfast and breakout sessions.