2020 Diversity + Inclusion Summit


Diversity and Inclusion are a key part of creating an environment that drives innovation and improves the bottom line.  It provides companies a wide range of differing viewpoints, experiences and perspectives that is only possible by having a unique and varied employee base.  At NC TECH’s first Diversity + Inclusion Summit, we will explore at D + I through a different lens to explore what is possible when organizations harness the benefits of a diverse workplace.  Be part of this very important conversation by joining us for the one day summit which will include keynote, breakout sessions and a resource expo.

Morning Keynote

John Samuel Smiling

John Samuel
Head of LCI Tech
LC Industries

John Samuel , Head of LCI Tech , a North Carolina-based firm that is one of the largest employers of Americans with disabilities. John’s passion for inclusion is rooted in the fact that he is a blind entrepreneur, advocate and public speaker committed to creating opportunities by eliminating accessibility barriers.

After being diagnosed with a degenerative eye condition, John embarked a on journey build his life and career as a person with disabilities.  John will share his story and talk about why it is important that we continue to remove barriers that are limiting people with disabilities from all aspects of life, including work.

Afternoon Keynote 

Raven Solomon
Generations Keynote Speaker | Author | Multigenerational Leadership Expert
Center for Next Generation Leadership & Professional Development

Topic: Closing the Generational Gap: How to Lead Across
Generational Difference & Win through Generational DE&I

For the first time in history, there are 4, in some cases 5, generations working alongside one another in the workplace. Differences across these generations can create frustration, tension and breakdowns in communication. These problems can stall productivity and create hostile work environments that lead to disengagement and dissatisfaction. Creating a culture where generational differences are welcomed and even leveraged can result in higher performance, happier employees and better places to work.   

This unique and highly engaging keynote engages every attendee, no matter the age, as they learn about the differences and similarities across the 5 generations in the workforce, and how each can be leveraged to create cross-generational synergy that drives competitive advantage. Attendees will walk away understanding general characteristics of each generation, why these characteristics are as they are, how they tend to show up at work and how these things can benefit the top and bottom line of the organization when leveraged properly.

Panelists to Date

Lindsey Braciale
Founder and CEO

Harold Zeishner
Senior Business Development Manager
Alliance of Professionals & Consultants (APC)

Courtney White
Head of Human Resources

Greg Boone
Blue Acorn iCi

Brandon Miller
Manager and Diversity Chair
Clarkston Consulting 

Kimberly Wheeler
Director Business Engagement
Capitol Area Workforce Development Board

Zeydy Ortiz
Founder and Chief Data Scientist
DataCrunch Lab

Catherine Harrell
Dude Solutions

Lynne Garrison
Garrison Consulting

Kimarie Ankenbrand
Managing Director

Dinaz Taylor
VP – Global Talent Acquisition

Caroline Sullivan
Executive Director
NC Business Committee for Education

Mark Ezell
NC Governor’s Highway Safety Program


Roger Mayer 
NC State University

Timothy Thomason
Engagement, Inclusion & Diversity

Dee McDougal
SVP of Diversity + Inclusion
Pacific Western Bank

Addie Swartz

Danielle Pavliv
Sr. Diversity + Inclusion Manager

Jillian Munro

Doug Speight
Founder/Chief Innovator
Startup Advocate

Pashara Black
Events and Community Outreach Manager


8:30 AM   Registration/Resource Expo

9:30 AM   Welcome/Opening Keynote

10:15 AM Concurrent Breakout Sessions

Session #1:  10:25 – 11:20 AM

  • Business Value – How Does D + I Improve The Bottom Line?
  • Generational Mandate – Can’t We All Just Get Along and Thrive Together?
  • Creativity + Productivity – Why Is Diversity A Catalyst for Innovations and Discoveries?

Session #2:  11:30 AM – 12:25 PM

  • Unconscious Bias – What Is It and Can It Be Eliminated?
  • Communications – How Can You Communicate Effectively To All?
  • Disabilities/Accessibility – Why Accessibility Is The Key To D + I?

12:35 PM Lunch

1:15 PM   Afternoon Keynote

2:00 PM   Closing Remarks/Adjourn


Friday, March 13
8:30 AM - 2:00 PM


Sheraton Imperial Hotel
At Exit 282, I-40
4700 Emperor Boulevard
Durham, NC  27703
Map + Directions


Registration is open to NC TECH members and non-members.

  • Member Registration: $100
  • Non-member Registration: $200



Interested in sponsoring the Summit? Contact Tracy Sternberg by email or call 919.856.0393. Click below to view the sponsorship opportunities.


Not a member? Contact a member of our membership team at 919.856.0303 or email membership@nctech.org if you are interested in learning more about joining. To see if your company is a member, view NC TECH member directory.

Fine Print: All registrations to NC TECH events are final and non-refundable.  Refunds will only be offered if the event is canceled.  Registrations are transferable to another qualified guest.  Please contact NC TECH at 919.856.0393 to request such a transfer.

Thank You Sponsors

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Event Partners

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