Session Speakers

July 28, 2021

May 27, 2021

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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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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