Session Speakers

October 28, 2021

May 27, 2021

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Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences


Sarah is currently an Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at University of California, Los Angeles and the Associate Director of the Integrative Psychiatry Clinic.  She completed her Adult Psychiatry Residency at Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Montefiore Medical Center in New York followed by a fellowship in Geriatric Psychiatry at Yale University.  


Her clinical interests include mood, anxiety, and cognitive disorders in adults and older adults and her research focuses on pharmacological and combination and augmentation strategies using mind-body approaches.  Because of her prior experiences working with marginalized populations, she is interested in improving systems-based practices and structural competency within medical education and healthcare systems.  She is passionate about teaching, training and mentorship and has received several awards, including a Clinical Teaching Award, a Kindness Award, and Super Doctors Southern California Rising Stars 2021.   




Geriatric Psychiatrist

Palo Alto Medical Foundation


Uyen-Khanh is a geriatric psychiatrist at Palo Alto Medical Foundation. She studied at Harvard College, Harvard School of Public Health, New York Medical College, and UCSF, and has served in numerous national leadership roles at the American Psychiatric Association (APA) since 2013, including her current role as a Board of Director for the APA Foundation. Dr. Quang-Dang is passionate about cultural psychiatry and promoting the leadership of women and other minorities in medicine.




Clinical Psychologist

Director of Ambulatory & Addiction Care

Sutter Health


Tam is a clinical psychologist and the Director of Ambulatory & Addiction Care at Sutter Health.  She has a deep passion for identifying needs within communities, understanding the psychological impacts of trauma, and creating innovative strategies and services to improve the health of the whole person.  As a member of the AAPI community and a mental health professional, she is interested in the intersection of race and mental health and change behavior from a structural and systems perspective.



Full Spectrum Family Medicine
Palo Alto Medical Foundation


Jennifer is a full spectrum family medicine doctor at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation.  She went to medical school at Touro University California and completed her residency training at the Stanford-O’Connor Family Medicine Residency Program.  Her patients enjoy her calm and collaborative approach to medicine as she guides them through all steps of life form prenatal care to geriatrics.






John Sequeira

CEO of TL One Partner, LLC


TL One Partner's primary mission is to provide strategic Diversity and Inclusion consulting and transformational coaching to its clients. John's corporate career includes a broad range of Human Resources managerial, strategic advisor and specialist roles.  Most recently he served as the senior practitioner within Royal Dutch Shell’s D&I consulting practice. 




Ray Arata

Co-Founder Better Man Leadership Group


Ray Arata brings his 20 years of healthy masculinity work with men on how to live and lead from the heart  to the very relevant topic of enlisting the engagement of men to support workplace cultures of diversity, inclusion and belonging.


With over fifteen thousand hours of men’s personal leadership work under his belt, having led transformational workshops, men’s groups, and coaching men, Ray brings a unique and much needed experiential point of view that supports organizations in meeting men where they are and guiding them on an inclusionary leadership journey where women, the organization, and men all win.


As a co founder of Better Man Leadership Group, Ray is committed to the transformation of the gender perspective from which organizations engage with all stakeholder groups; customers, employees, investors, partners, and the global community.



J. Andrew Drake, PE

Vice President, Asset Integrity

Gas Transmission and Midstream


Andy is responsible for the company's risk assessment and asset integrity programs to ensure safe operations across all GTM assets in North America. Andy is the executive sponsor for FEMINEN (Females in Engineering and STEM-related positions) an employee resource group, and he is part of the Diversity & Inclusion steering committee at Enbridge.


 In addition, Andy is active within the community through the YES Prep program whose mission is to increase the number of students from underserved communities who graduate from college prepared to lead.    



Leslie Mays

Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Leslie Mays has led significant culture transformation efforts for more than 30 years across industries and sectors. In her current role, Leslie is responsible for ensuring the integration and impact of DEI strategies across all areas of the foundation including culture, talent, grantmaking, and ultimately, program outcomes. Leslie has been a pioneer in the practical application of advanced workforce analytics to effectively build future-focused HR and DEI strategies which deliver measurable results.



Michael Pubentz

Vice President of IT Major Projects & Systems Development



Michael is an active member of the Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DIB) Ambassador Committee. He has led enterprise teams, organizations, and major programs in the area of software development, analytics, and other IT areas for more than 20 years.  His focus areas and passions include employee engagement, organizational diversity & inclusion, and encouraging community partnering and service.  Michael also leads multiple mission/service trips each year focusing on drilling water wells in communities internationally and home repair (building wheelchair ramps, home painting, etc.) locally and regionally in Texas.






Moderator - Al Tribble

FBI (Retired)


Alfred Tribble spent 27 years as an FBI Special Agent. Al’s last position before he retired in 2018, was Supervisory Special Agent. He supervised agents who investigated civil rights, human trafficking and violent crimes against children. A subject matter expert in hate crimes and color of law investigations, Al also investigated financial institution fraud, gangs, drugs and terrorism and drafted guidelines for initiating color of law investigations.


He developed  and taught training to better comprehend the threat of hate crimes, deprivation of rights under color of law, violent crimes against children and human trafficking. He also served Houston’s FBI as a SWAT Team sniper, hostage negotiator and media spokesperson.



Brian Middleton

Fort Bend County District Attorney 


Brian Middleton, a native Houstonian, was elected to serve as District Attorney of Fort Bend County in November of 2018.   He worked in both the public and private sector before being sworn in as D.A.


He has been a municipal prosecutor for the City of Meadows Place, City of Wallis, and City of Jersey Village, and has worked as a Judge for Jacinto City.  He has held jobs in the office of the Attorney General of Texas, has worked as a briefing attorney for Judge Morris Overstreet at the Texas court of Criminal Appeals and as an Assistant D.A. in the Fort Bend County DA’s office.


In the private sector, Mr. Middleton established the Middleton Law Firm and practiced in the areas of criminal law, civil litigation, bankruptcy and appeals, and worked for the firm of Barrett, Burke, Wilson, Castile, Daffin and Frappier.



Eric Fagan

Fort Bend County Sheriff


Sheriff Eric Fagan  has been Sheriff of Fort Bend County since January of 2021.  He is the first African American to serve in the position since Reconstruction.   He spent 31 years in the Houston Police Department, where he won the Officer of the Year Award three times.  He also served as President and President Emeritus of the African American Police Officer’s League.


As an HPD Officer, Sheriff Fagan served in numerous capacities, including on Mayor Sylvester Turner’s protection detail.  As an officer assigned to the Internal Affairs Division’s Alternative Dispute Resolution section, he personally mediated over 200 cases with a 100 percent rate of agreement between the parties.    He has lived in Fort Bend County for 30 years.  He was born in Harrisonburg, Louisiana, but was raised in Houston.


Eric Robbins

Sugar Land Police Chief


Chief Eric Robins is a native Houstonian who has spent almost his entire career with the Sugar Land Police Department.   Before he joined the Sugar Land PD in 1992, he was a correctional officer with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.


In his career with Sugar Land,  Chief Robins has risen through the ranks from patrol officer to detective, sergeant, lieutenant, captain, and Assistant Chief. He has provided leadership for every division in the police department.


Chief Robins is known for his innovations since becoming Chief in ______.  He has increased police visibility, made it easier for his investigators to recognize and address criminal trends, and created special enforcement teams to target and handle high crime patterns in the city.   His initiatives have directly contributed to a lower crime rate.


Troy Finner

Houston Police Chief


Houston Police Chief Troy Finner is a native Houstonian who was born in the Fifth Ward and raised in the Hiram Clarke neighborhood. 


As Chief of the fourth largest city in the United States, he oversees 5300 sworn personnel and over 1200 civilian staff members.


Chief Finner has been a Houston police officer for 31 years, serving in numerous capacities.  He has been an Executive Assistant Chief, Assistant Chief of the South Patrol Command, Manager of Field and Support Operations, and has worked in the Office of Public Affairs, Southwest Division, South Gessner Division, and Internal Investigation Command.


He is deeply committed to strengthening the relationship of the community with police, especially as it relates to building trust.  He leads from the front line during major events, including civil unrest and protest, and he embraces the use of technology and data-driven analysis in the response to and reduction of crime.




Pranika Uppal Sinha

Managing Director, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Pranika Uppal Sinha leads Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) at Greystone. In this role, she is responsible for introducing new DEI initiatives, including education, resources, and programming, across the entire firm to ensure Greystone’s diversity efforts evolve and move forward.

Pranika previously worked at Occidental in Houston, Texas, where she spent nine years in various senior talent, training, and development roles, most recently as Senior Manager, Talent Development & Inclusion. While there, she led global leadership development programs, workshops, culture and strategic diversity efforts. Prior to Occidental, Pranika held talent development, training, and diversity-focused roles at Memorial Hermann Healthcare System in Houston and 21st Century Consulting, Inc. in Chicago, IL.

Pranika earned a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering at Northwestern University and an MBA at Rice University, and is also a graduate of Leadership Houston – Class XXXIV. She is based in Houston, TX.




Amanda Scott

Specialist, Diversity, Inclusion, and Talent Acquisition Strategy


Amanda started her career working on US Political campaigns, in 5 different states, focused on electing women at all levels, from Presidential down through all levels to local city government races in Houston.

Amanda has experience in the Healthcare, Construction and Energy industries. She has expertise in many facets of HR, including Employee Relations, Talent Acquisition, Workforce Analytics, Management Strategy, and Organizational Development. A native Houstonian, she loves living here with her husband, two kids, and three fur-babies.


Jai Collier, JD, SPHR (She/Her)
Program Manager, Diversity & Inclusion
Harris Health System

Jai Collier, JD SPHR is a 14-year civil litigation attorney and Diversity Equity and Inclusion practitioner, speaker, and author. She currently manages the Diversity and Inclusion program at Harris Health System and serves as  Co-Chair of the Houston Chapter of Diversity First Coalition, a subset of the Texas Diversity Council, and the National Diversity Council.  She is also a  wife and mother of three and a proud UT Law graduate. "Hook em!" 


Mike Fernandez
SVP, Public Affairs, Communications & Sustainability (PACS)
and Chief Communications Officer


  • Mike has served as the chief communications officer for several large companies, including Cargill, Cigna and State Farm – prior to joining Enbridge in March.  He’s also served as the US CEO of Burson-Marsteller (one of the world’s largest PR firms) and as a Professor at Boston University.

  • Early in his career, he was press secretary to a US Senator who chaired the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee and the Senate Budget Committee. 

  • He earned a B.A. in government and M.S. in accounting from Georgetown University. 

  • Mike and his teams have won numerous honors for their work in marketing, crisis management, sustainability and communications – his work, in fact, earned Cargill a place on Fortune magazine’s first list of “Change the World” companies.  

  • Mike himself has a number of distinct honors, among them: he was the youngest press secretary in U.S. Senate history at 23, and he was the first U.S. born Latino to serve as a chief communications officer of a Fortune 500 company.



Melissa Garza Garrison

Director of Talent

Bridgeway Capital Management


Bridgeway is a Houston, Texas based asset management firm that fosters a culture that is purposely focused on our clients. Bridgeway is a leader in relational investing which bridges the gap between investment results and returns for humanity by taking an innovative approach to asset management. It is a statistical, evidence-based investment approach motivated by a passion for servant leadership and global impact which we accomplish by donating 50% of our firm profits to organizations making a positive impact for humanity.

As Director of Talent, Melissa leads culture and talent development, recruiting, rewards initiatives, and other human resource elements at Bridgeway. Currently, Melissa is advancing the organizations Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiatives by continuing the implementation of Bridgeway’s three-year DEI plan and leading DEI communication and education within the firm. Before joining Bridgeway in 2010, she was the Deputy Director of Children At Risk, where she oversaw communications, administration, and finance.


Melissa earned both an MA and a BS in Behavioral Science at the University of Houston-Clear Lake. Passionate about improving the lives of socioeconomically disadvantaged youth, Melissa mentors local youth, exposing them to college and career options early in life. She also advocates for public policy that supports long-term positive outcomes for youth in Houston and Texas.



Gayla Wilson

Program Manager

Volunteer Houston - Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston


Gayla joined Volunteer Houston in 2018 after a 30-year career as Regional Sales Manager for various companies in the foodservice industry. As program manager, she manages the corporate volunteer program, working with organizations and companies to develop, manage and meet their Corporate Social Responsibility goals.  

Originally from Oklahoma City, she relocated to Houston in 1996 and now calls the Bayou City home. She is a lifelong volunteer having served in various organizations to include Child Advocates, Dress for Success, Children @ Risk and Bel Inizio. A lover of music and live concerts – the smaller the venue the better and there is always a song in her head!  Her loves of life include her husband, family and friends, great food which includes finding great recipes to try at home, early morning runs, a suitcase – passport welcomed but not required and finding ways to be a changemaker in the most diverse city in the country.

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July 28, 2021

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August 26, 2021

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September 24, 2021

March 24, 2021

Kelly Kleinkort

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Catalyst is a global nonprofit working with leading companies to create inclusive workplaces. She has worked with Fortune 500 companies, foreign governments, nonprofits and institutions of higher education to build bridges of understanding across cultures and peoples and create inclusive environments. She frequently presents on unconscious bias, inclusive leadership and courageous conversations.


Kelly holds a Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communication from Texas A&M University, a Master of Public Administration degree from UNC-Chapel Hill and a language certification from Inner Mongolia University of China, where she lived and worked for three years. She is a Fulbright Scholar as well as a Young Sinologist, a fellowship awarded by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.






























Director of Corporate Engagement


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Director HR Strategy

Growth Division

BHP Petroleum

Jason Limerick

Jason is an HR and DEI professional with 16 years’ experience working in and supporting the energy sector.  He specializes in Culture Planning, Inclusion and Diversity strategy, and Change Management. 



























Jeanele received her degree in Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Speech Communications from Houston Baptist University and a Masters of Arts in Human Resources Management from the University of Houston – Clear Lake.

Jeanele started her career in the Human Resources department in 2015. Her focus shifted to Inclusion and Diversity in 2018. Since this time she has been instrumental in implementing several I&D programs and initiatives to include, Employee Resource Groups, Women’s Conferences, and I&D target metrics. Jeanele is a native Houstonian, a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and the proud mother of a 2-year-old baby girl, Destiny Marie.

Jeanele Davis

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Talent Management Specialist

SCI Shared Resources, LLC