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2024 Michigan Women in Leadership Symposium

2024 Michigan

WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP SYMPOSIUM

"Leading with Heart: Empathy, Ethics & Excellence"

2023 RECAP

March 19, 2024
7:30 AM - 12:30 PM (ET)

400 Monroe St #8th
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Theme
Leading with Heart: Empathy, Ethics & Excellence
More Information

#LeadWithHeart

Sponsored By

Allegis Global SolutionsComerica BankDetroit PistonsITC HoldingsLakeTrust Credit Union

The Michigan Women in Leadership Symposium is a dedicated event that brings together accomplished women leaders, aspiring leaders, and advocates for gender diversity in various industries. The primary objectives of the symposium are to inspire, educate, and empower women to thrive in leadership roles and to promote gender equity and inclusivity in the workplace. This year's symposium theme is, Leading with Heart: Empathy, Ethics & Excellence," which celebrates and explores the importance of compassion, ethics, and excellence in leadership, particularly as they relate to women leaders. Attendees will gain valuable insights, advice, and connections, making the Women in Leadership Symposium an essential platform for advancing women's representation and influence in leadership positions.


Panelists

Rebecca Colett
Rebecca
Colett
CEO
Calyxeum
Rebecca Colett
Rebecca Colett
CEO
Calyxeum

Rebecca is an Experienced Entrepreneur, Technology Professional, Cannabis Advocate, and Native Detroiter. She has worked alongside the Bureau of Cannabis Control in California and The Michigan Regulatory Agency during the development of their Social Equity Program. She has served on the National Board of NORML, Committee Chair for the NCIA and has written community plans for applicants in Los Angeles and Maryland. Rebecca has launched a successful gym franchise and a Cannabis technology consulting firm. Rebecca has also been featured at countless National Cannabis Conferences and has lobbied on Capitol Hill in DC, and the State Capitols for Michigan, Georgia, California, and Maryland for Equity in Cannabis as well as Veteran Access to Medical Cannabis. Rebecca holds a B.S in Business from Florida A&M University, a MBA from Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago as well as a Masters in Supply Chain from Georgia

Amanda Lewan
Amanda
Lewan
CEO and Co-Founder
Bamboo
Amanda Lewan
Amanda Lewan
CEO and Co-Founder
Bamboo

Amanda Lewan is an entrepreneur with a mission to move our region forward. As Co-founder and CEO of Bamboo, she leads the development and activation of Bamboo's portfolio of modern work spaces, serving 1,200+ entrepreneurs and creators across three locations. Bamboo specializes in spaces that foster innovation and community. Bamboo started in Detroit in 2013 as a space for new ideas to start and grow. The company has since expanded to open Royal Oak and Ann Arbor locations in Metro Detroit. Amanda’s leadership has been recognized by Crain’s Detroit, the City of Detroit, Fortune Magazine, and more. Amanda has a Master's Degree in English from Wayne State University, and a Bachelor's in Professional Writing from Michigan State. She has a decade of experience in operations and hospitality. She often consults for foundations and Fortune 500 companies on how to build inclusive startup communities, in the past supporting the work of New Economy Initiative, Backstage Capital, and Ford’s Michigan Central, helping to design and create inclusive programming. Amanda also co-leads the Detroit Writers Collective. As an award winning writer, her work is inspired by place, class, gender, and identity. She lives in Detroit with her husband Marc Hudson, their daughter and three rescue pups.

Maria Marin
Maria
Marin
CEO, President, & Founder
Unlimited Recycling
Maria Marin
Maria Marin
CEO, President, & Founder
Unlimited Recycling

Maria Marin is the CEO, President, and Founder of Unlimited Recycling, Inc., a “One-Stop-Shop” company specializing in waste disposal, recycling, and transportation for commercial, industrial, and institutional facilities. In addition, they offer equipment rental, including compactors, balers, and dumpster roll-off services. Established in 1999, the company has successfully served high-profile customers like the Selfridge Air National Guard, US Army TACOM, McNamara Federal Building, Wayne County Airport Authority, Android Industries, Walbridge, and Lear Corporation. Maria is an alumni member of the Stanford Graduate School of Business of Stanford, CA, and a mentor for the Stanford University Hispanic Entrepreneurship Program. She graduated from the Stanford Latino Entrepreneurs Leader Program in 2016, in which she won the first-place award for best video. She is an EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2023 Michigan and Northwest Ohio Finalist. She is also on the Board of Directors for the Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Unlimited Recycling has been recognized by the State of Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, and the Macomb Regional PTAC for her determination, efforts, and success. In addition, she received excellent ratings from the United States Army for completing a 5-year waste and recycling contract. Unlimited Recycling graduated with honors from the SBA 8(a) program in 2012 and is currently a member of MDOT, MMSDC, Wayne County Airport Authority, WEBNC, and Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Camila Noordeloos
Camila
Noordeloos
Partner
Grand Ventures
Camila Noordeloos
Camila Noordeloos
Partner
Grand Ventures

Camila is a General Partner at Grand Ventures. Based in Grand Rapids, MI, she joined the team in 2019.As a Partner, she identifies promising investment opportunities across Grand Venture’s sectors of interest and works closely with portfolio companies driving strategy development and implementation. She also leads the firm’s operations and is responsible for managing all stages of the investment process from fundraising through portfolio management and exit. Camila has 12+ years of consulting, corporate and venture capital experience. Prior to joining Grand Ventures, Camila worked at General Electric holding management positions within finance, portfolio management and business strategy. She spent six years at GE Ventures, playing a crucial role in building the foundation for it to become one of the most active corporate venture capital firms in the country, and managing a portfolio of over 150 investment companies. She has also held operational roles in startups, including an extensive project with Zinc, a GE Ventures portfolio company acquired by ServiceMax, and Imaginare Studios, a company she co-founded with two MBA colleagues. She is a class 27 Kauffman Fellow and currently serves as a Board Member of the Michigan Venture Capital Association. Camila earned a BBA from the Universidade Federal da Bahia in Brazil and received her MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Donyale Padgett
Dr. Donyale
Padgett
Interim Associate Provost, D&I/ Chief Diversity Officer Associate Professor of Communication
Wayne State University
Dr. Donyale Padgett
Dr. Donyale Padgett
Interim Associate Provost, D&I/ Chief Diversity Officer Associate Professor of Communication
Wayne State University

Donyale R. Padgett is an educator and communications professional with 20 years of progressive industry experience and over 15 years of teaching experience at the college level. In addition to her role as Interim Associate Provost for Diversity and Inclusion / Chief Diversity Officer, Donyale is a WSU Associate Professor of Diversity, Culture, and Communication in the Department of Communication, where she has worked since 2002. She has been an active partner in institutional diversity at Wayne since 2015 as a member of the GRAD Taskforce. She was also appointed in 2020 by President Wilson to lead one of seven workgroups as part of his Social Justice Action Committee (SJAC). Dr. Padgett describes herself as a “Scholar/Practitioner”. She has published numerous articles in academic journals and presents her work at regional and national conferences. Much of her research focuses on issues of race and culture within the context of crisis communication. Her most recent work is a focus group study of the factors contributing to low consent rates among underrepresented populations on the organ donor registry and the communication strategies necessary to bridge this gap. Dr. Padgett is also a very active practitioner, a sought-after trainer and speaker on topics of diversity and inclusion, and works with leaders across the industry to help them create more inclusive spaces and improve communication with diverse stakeholders. Dr. Padgett holds a doctorate degree in rhetoric and intercultural communication from Howard University. She also holds a master’s degree in organizational communication/public relations and a bachelor’s degree in journalism – both from Wayne State University.

Lindsay Verstegen
Lindsay
Verstegen
Chief Diversity Officer
Detroit Lions
Lindsay Verstegen
Lindsay Verstegen
Chief Diversity Officer
Detroit Lions

For over a decade, Lindsay has been helping scale organizations and championing winning cultures in technology — and now, inside of the NFL. What began as a curiosity about recruitment turned into a high-velocity adventure at early days Groupon which segued into early days and then later days Braintree and Venmo (eventually acquired by PayPal) and then into an adventure leading the people function at ShopRunner which was acquired by FedEx at the close of 2020. She now works as Chief People + Diversity Officer for the Detroit Lions where she’s leading a quest to build an open, equitable and transparent organization where everyone feels he/she/they belong. She’s spoken at the Grace Hopper Conference in Houston, The Best Places to Work Conference in San Francisco and occasionally guest lectures at the Chicago Booth School of business on “scaling the new venture” and speaks to entrepreneurs training at the Kellogg School of Management. She’s always fiercely advocated for women and underrepresented folks inside and outside of the workplace, but now as a mom to two young boys (aged 6 and 8), her quest is emboldened. Her personal purpose is to shift the scales to create a world where all are welcome to live and thrive. She does this by building work systems that are equitable, examining systems and people as they are and doing all she can to support folks toward their highest potential. In February of 2021, she was recognized as one of Crain’s Chicago Business’ Notable Leaders in HR. She moved to Detroit in 2021 but spent 18 years in Chicago after graduating from University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point with a BFA in musical theatre in 2004.

Mai Xiong
Mai
Xiong
County Commissioner
Macomb County Board of Commissioners
Mai Xiong
Mai Xiong
County Commissioner
Macomb County Board of Commissioners

Commissioner Mai Xiong was re-elected to her second term on the Macomb County Board of Commissioners in November 2022. Commissioner Xiong represents the residents in parts of Warren where she has lived for over 20 years. Commissioner Xiong earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the College for Creative Studies and attended Macomb Community College. She is also a graduate of the Senior Executives in State and Local Government at Harvard Kennedy School and the Michigan Political Leadership Program at Michigan State University. She is a volunteer Board Member for the Macomb Food Program, a member of the Sierra Club and a Green Michigan and Adopt-a-Road coordinator. She was previously appointed to the Tri-County Partnership for Broadband Infrastructure and Equity and currently serves on the Southeast Michigan Council of Government’s Legislative Task Force and Water Infrastructure Task Force. Commissioner Xiong is committed to ensuring the County’s budget remains balanced while meeting the needs of all residents. In some of the highlights of her first term (2021-2022), Commissioner Xiong led the Board in appropriating $300,000 in the 2023 budget for the purchase of food for Macomb Community Action’s food pantry distribution program. She worked with her colleagues and identified funding gaps to help increase funding for Turning Point, a nonprofit that supports victims and survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. She helped secure funding for Martha T. Berry to sustain its longstanding partnership with the County and to ensure continuous care for our vulnerable senior population. Commissioner Xiong participated in town halls and discussions that helped secure funding for public transportation and safeguarded the Animal Control department’s budget as recommended. Her top priorities include working to care for our senior citizens and most vulnerable populations; continuing to support small businesses; fighting for our fair share of road funding and improvements focused on populated and distressed areas, and being accessible to her constituents. Commissioner Xiong speaks fluently in her native tongue, Hmong and is a language interpreter for a translation and interpretation services organization. She is also the founder of Mai&Co, a modern Hmong-American apparel and accessories brand, based in Warren.


Moderators

Darlene King
Darlene
King
Executive Director
Michigan Diversity Council
Darlene King
Darlene King
Executive Director
Michigan Diversity Council

Darlene King began her career with the Michigan Diversity Council-MIDC, a division of the National Diversity Council, in 2015. As the executive director, her charge is working with corporations and organizations in developing diversity and inclusion initiatives, programs, processes, and procedures. She also oversees the growth of the council in the area of business development throughout the entire state of Michigan. Prior to her tenure with the MIDC, she held the role of director of events, consultant services, training and development for all 34 school districts under the Wayne County Regional Educational Service Agency for over 10 years. Her territory covered implementation and execution of all workshops and conference as well as maintaining CEU’s for teachers and administrators within Wayne County MI. She managed more than 60 consultants as well as county-wide, signature events such as the Teacher Job Fair, County K-12 Art Fair and the Cultural Collaborative for Learning. Darlene was also an inaugural member of the Diversity Strategic Planning Committee, which rolled out a county-wide diversity plan for all districts. Darlene’s background is widespread. She spent six years as a national concert promoter, traveling around the world with some of today’s most popular artists in the industry. She has produced and promoted shows at every concert venue in Detroit and beyond. In 2008, she launched her consulting company, Life’s Journey Training and Consulting. Competing in today's global market, Life’s Journey offers services in industries ranging from education to automotive, medical, non-profits and manufacturing. Its area of expertise consists of diversity and inclusion, leadership development, marketing, and public relations. Life’s Journey has provided service deliverables to Wayne County Head Start Programs, Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency, The Order of the Fisherman, The Detroit Medical Center, Revival Home Health Care, RTM Music Group, Real Times Media, Stonecrest Behavioral Health, Detroit Area Agency on Aging, Universal Studios, Detroit Community Schools, MASCO Corporation, Diversity Lansing and many more. Darlene is a native of Michigan and enjoys spending time with her family, nephews and niece. She says her faith in God, family, passion for people and her love of traveling and gardening are the drivers which keep her on a Life’s Journey. Darlene has a passion for people and earned a bachelor’s degree in public relations and marketing from Wayne State University in Detroit. She has been operating in this capacity as well as in education and organizational development for 25 years. Darlene earned her National Certification as a Certified Diversity and Inclusion Professional in 2018.

Amanda Sweet
Amanda
Sweet
Community Director
Bamboo
Amanda Sweet
Amanda Sweet
Community Director
Bamboo

Amanda Sweet is the Senior Program Director for Corp! Magazine and MichBusiness. Her responsibilities include developing award programs, educational sessions, and relationships with the Michigan community through marketing and client services. She is honored to be able to impact minority communities in Michigan by producing the Salute to Diversity Conference, the Women Thrive Conference, and the Racial Justice educational series. Amanda is passionate about building an inclusive community. In her free time, she is an avid community volunteer and collaborator. Amanda spent the last three years in Texas, during which time she sat on the Board of Advisors for Scrap Denton the Creative Reuse Center, was Director of Photography for the Denton Black Film Festival, and founded an organization called The ReVamp. The ReVamp created sustainable clothing alternatives for the community and donated contributions to Denton County Friends of the Family, a non-profit supporting families affected by domestic violence. Amanda holds a Bachelor of Science in Media Communication with a concentration in Film, Television, and Video Production from Lawrence Technological University.









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