Corporate Diversity Champion
Roland V. Manzano
Director Staffing Initiatives and Outreach
Roland Manzano has a Bachelor of Science from Sam Houston State University with over forty years of Human Resources experience. He was with Cap Gemini America, Compaq Computer Corporation, Bank of America, and BMC Software, before joining Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (METRO) in 2003. As of February 1, 2023, Roland was promoted to the Director of Staffing Initiatives and Outreach. In this position, he is primarily tasked with developing and initiating outreach activities to various organizations such as Military organizations, minority, A.D.A., and the development of a college recruitment program to implement and develop special initiatives for hiring at METRO.
Roland has always practiced and promoted diversity and inclusion through his professional work. He led a dedicated group of employees to conduct outreach to diverse communities to provide career opportunities for long-term growth. He initiated METRO’s Diversity Council, an employee resource group (ERG) with representation from diverse groups and departments. The goal was to provide a forum for discussion of EEO issues and to celebrate diverse cultures. It aims to provide dignity and respect to all diverse communities and improve career opportunities for everyone.
He has been a member of the Diversity Summit planning committee for many years and has provided METRO tote bags every year to the conference attendees.
Among his many accomplishments are:
Initiated a Bilingual incentive for Bus Operator at METRO who could speak Vietnamese, Chinese, Spanish, and American Sign Language in order to improve customer service to the diverse Houston population and to attract more diverse candidates to METRO. Recently this bilingual incentive has expanded to include Arabic and French.
Participated in the development of a similar program called the METRO Co-Op High School Intern program in the METROLift department where these interns staff customer service positions and bridge the gap between school and employment.
In his new role at METRO, as Director of Staffing Initiatives and Outreach, he will continue to expand diversity and inclusion outreach and develop new staffing initiatives to enhance diversity and inclusion at METRO.
Community Diversity Champion
Commissioner Precinct 2
Born and raised in Houston’s Northside neighborhood, Commissioner Adrian Garcia has always called Harris County Precinct 2 home. Elected in 2018, Adrian Garcia is serving as Commissioner for Harris County Precinct 2. His career in public service began as a Houston Police Officer when he patrolled the streets of Houston, meeting residents and investigating serious and violent crimes. Before serving as Harris County Commissioner Precinct 2, Commissioner Garcia served as Councilmember for the City of Houston and as the first Latino Harris County Sheriff.
Serving more than 1.3 million people as County Commissioner, Garcia helps to ensure that Commissioners Court passes a balanced countywide budget of more than $5 billion, while ensuring that Harris County operations are funded to serve a quickly growing county.
With Precinct 2 downstream from five counties, Commissioner Garcia is laser-focused on strengthening our infrastructure to reduce our risk of chronic flooding. As major initiatives, he’s improving the condition of roadways and sidewalks; constructing new hike and bike trails; reducing homelessness; and improving dozens of Precinct 2 parks for area families.
As a champion for the underserved and underrepresented, Commissioner Garcia directed the construction of the first All-Inclusive park in Precinct 2 AND Harris County, to serve the needs of all people. However, those with physical and cognitive disabilities will be the primary beneficiaries.
As a lifelong law enforcement officer, he has worked to increase the budget of all Harris County law enforcement agencies by more than $100m since taking office in January 2019. Additionally, Commissioner Garcia has pursued technology enhancements for law enforcement by proposing a $14.8m investment in technology solutions; this is evident in the implementation of a ShotSpotter pilot program, a system that detects the illegal use of firearms, resulting in the prompt arrest of violent offenders.
A believer in the potential all children are born with, Commissioner Garcia has championed a host of education initiatives, including free SAT/ACT Prep Classes, Early Childhood Education with an Inter-generational approach, and contemporary workforce development initiatives in partnership with Precinct 2 community colleges, all in the pursuit of helping area residents have the best opportunities at resilient and good paying jobs.
In his spare time, Commissioner Garcia enjoys bike riding, reading autobiographies, traveling with his family, and cooking.
Team Diversity Champion
Information Technology Team
At CenterPoint Energy, we are committed to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion to support our colleagues, customers, contractors, suppliers, and community members, regardless of race, gender, color, sexual orientation, age, religion, or physical or mental disability, so they have an equal opportunity to thrive.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion are core to who we are, what we do, and how we do it. We believe that diversity, equity, and inclusion are critical components of our long-term business strategy, serving as cornerstones of our service, performance, and growth.
Accomplishments for IT Key Initiatives
1. Utilization of diverse interview panels in hiring process and interviewing/recruiting/hiring diverse individuals.
Metrics: In 2022, IT achieved a 99% success rate for placements using diverse interview panels and 96% success rate for requisitions with diverse candidates interviewed.
2. Promoting awareness by encouraging employees to share their diverse stories and experiences.
Metrics: The participation from employees from IT has been significant, with 75% of the stories submitted within the company coming from the IT organization.
3. Encourage employee and leadership DEI training
Metrics: 25% of IT employees completed the training in years 2021-2022, with a large portion completing the training on “overcoming unconscious bias in the workplace”.
4. Support and Encourage participation in Employee Resource Groups & Affinity Groups.
Metrics: The membership among employees in ERGs and AGs is significantly increasing and the participation in sponsored events is high. The IT organization has many employees (60%) actively engaged in various ERG/AG groups.
5. Communicating Progress on diversity, equity, and inclusion goals.
Metrics: Weekly Status Reports and Quarterly Newsletters are generated that highlight progress on the DEI journey and include metrics to measure improvement.
The DEI culture is alive and flourishing within CenterPoint Energy. The IT department has been a leader and pacesetter in embracing and furthering our DEI vision within the company. The IT leaders and employees “walk the talk” in terms of supporting a diverse and inclusive environment, where we respect, understand, and appreciate each other, those we serve and the people around us.