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Session Speakers

Derrick Brown-Ritchel.jpg
M. Helen Cavazos.jpg
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Kelly Kleinkort Montes.jpg
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Derrick Brown-Richtel

Director of Supporter Success, US Southern Region

Catalyst

 

Derrick (he/his) is a dynamic, proven executive leader with over two decades of accomplished experience in corporate relations, development, community service, philanthropy, and nonprofit leadership. His unique background blends his passion for diversity, equity, and inclusion with human capital engagement and corporate partnerships. Committed to developing mutually beneficial relationships with his partners, he has a hands-on approach to create a shared sense of vision, goals, and purpose.

Prior to joining Catalyst, Derrick held the roles of Chief Development Officer with AIDS Foundation Houston, Regional Development Officer with American Red Cross, Director of Corporate Engagement with Freedom For All Americans, Executive Director with the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (New York City), Executive Director with the Kidd Kraddick Foundation & Morning Show, and was the first In-Market Director of Human Resources with iHeart Media (formerly Clear Channel Radio).

Derrick holds a Master of Arts degree in Organizational Management and Human Resources. Additionally, he is nationally certified with SHRM as a Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP) and obtained his DE&I certification from Rice University.

 

M. Helen Cavazos

Director of Human Resources

Association for the Advancement of Mexican Americans

 

Helen is a human resources and diversity executive with extensive background in a variety of industries to include retail, insurance, financial services, and transportation 

 

Her human resources career includes working at corporate headquarters for McDonald’s Corporation in Chicago and last corporate position was Vice President Human Resources & Diversity METRO Houston. 

             

She is founder and president of M. H. Cavazos & Associates, a human resources and diversity management consulting firm.  She has channeled her human resources expertise to working with non-profit organizations such as SER Jobs, AVANCE, The Houston Food Bank and Avenue 360.  She served as facilitator/instructor for HACE  Career Development Programs focusing on training and development for Hispanics.

 

She currently serves as Director of Human Resources for AAMA, a non-profit organization that includes the George I Sanchez Charter Schools, and health and human services clinics both here and in Laredo, Texas. 

 

Sandy Dang

Co-Founder & Principal

CoInnovate Consulting

Sandy Dang, a former refugee from Vietnam, is a social entrepreneur and leadership trainer. From 2011, she was appointed by President Obama to serve on the Board of Directors of the Vietnam Education Foundation, an independent U.S. Government agency with a mission to strengthen the bilateral relations between the United States and Vietnam. 

 

Ms. Dang is the Founder and former Executive Director of Asian American Leadership, Empowerment, and Development (AALEAD). Ms. Dang was named Outstanding Americans by Choice in 2021 and Washingtonian of the Year in 2001. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Duke University and a master’s degree from Harvard Kennedy School. 

 

Donna Davis, JD

Senior Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Benny Agosto, Jr. Diversity Center

South Texas College of Law Houston.

Davis focuses on the DEI strategic vision, training, programming, internal and external collaborative opportunities for the law school.

 

Davis has twenty-three years of experience in higher education and has held various key executive positions at law schools and university systems nationwide. She is a recognized speaker, DEI practitioner, organizational development consultant, and a member of the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education.

Kelly (Kleinkort) Montes

Executive Director, US

Catalyst

 

Kelly is Executive Director for the U.S. at Catalyst, a global nonprofit that works with nearly 500 global companies to accelerate progress for women through workplace inclusion. Her team serves as thought partners for supporter organizations, imbedding research, tools, and solutions to build inclusive workplaces from the frontline to the C-Suite. Kelly frequently speaks on inclusive leadership, empathy, ERG best practices, sponsorship, and allyship; during her time with Catalyst, she has delivered nearly 100 speaking engagements.

 

Kelly is a Fulbright Scholar as well as a Young Sinologist. She holds a B.A. in Speech Communication from Texas A&M University, a Master of Public Administration from UNC-Chapel Hill, and a Mandarin language certification from Inner Mongolia University of China. 

With more than 25 years of experience, LaTanya has a record of success leading organizational change management and supporting senior leaders in operationalizing equity and inclusion across all areas of business strategy. LaTanya holds a BA from Trinity University and a Master of Public Affairs from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin.

Brandon Mack, M.Ed

Educator/Activist/Advocate

 

Brandon Mack is an activist, organizer, entrepreneur, and all-around angelic troublemaker. He is the founder/owner of B.Mack Strategies, LLC., a full-service consulting firm focusing on college admissions counseling/consulting, diversity, equity, inclusion training and education, political consulting, and dialogue and meeting facilitation. He has been an activist and advocate for over 15 years.

 

He is the Screening Chair of the Houston LGBTQ+ Political Caucus. He is a commissioner on the Harris County LGBTQIA+ Commission. He has been a part of the Mayor's LGBTQIA+ Advisory Board. He is working on a Ph.D. in Higher Education Leadership & Policy Studies.

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