DT | Commerce Bank: Creating Value in our Community through Women Diversity and Leadership
While many organizations still lag in the drive for gender and diversity equality, others are models for how to drive change today. Join Central Exchange and Better KC Series sponsor, Commerce Bank, for a panel discussion featuring women leaders who have forged their own paths, and who are helping pave the way for others. Hear their unique stories of how inclusion can drive innovation, create actionable strategies to transform business or achieve personal results.
What is "A Better KC" program series presented by Commerce Bank? Kansas City continues to grow through great sources of innovation and creativity, but what could we do to create a greater impact for the community? Sponsored by Commerce Bank, this series focuses on the rich base of philanthropic support in the city that thinks every day about how they can help make a Better KC.
Derrick Nelson is the Assistant Vice President, Corporate Inclusion & Diversity (I&D) Manager for Commerce Bank. Derrick drives the I&D strategy through education on key topics, such as inclusive leadership and unconscious bias. He leverages a strong network of diversity professionals and organizations, such as the Kansas City Diversity & Inclusion Consortium (which he helped co-found), COCAbiz, and Diversity Awareness Partners (DAP) to stay current on trends impacting business communities. He is responsible for guiding and leading Employee Resource Groups and Inclusion and Diversity Councils at Commerce Bank. These initiatives are designed to improve diversity representation while growing a culture of inclusion throughout the organization by advancing education, awareness and celebration objectives. Derrick engages collaboratively with leaders and team members at all levels across the organization to advance an inclusive and diverse culture, energize the workplace, and ignite innovation. Additionally, Derrick leads many of the company's internal and external outreach efforts by representing Commerce Bank at diversity and cultural events throughout Commerce Bank’s multi-state footprint.
Derrick currently sits on three non-profit boards: Center for Developmentally Disabled, Disability: IN Greater Kansas City, and Workforce Partnership of Kansas
Maki Moussavi is a transformational coach, speaker and author who helps high achievers create lives driven by their desires rather than societal standards of success. Maki facilitates the discovery of the personal programming and patterns in which they operate in order to break through to a life where they unapologetically live according to their own expectations, not those of others. She specializes in providing a process around transformation to streamline the path to change. Maki has a Master of Science degree in genetic counseling and counseled patients before embarking on a 13 year corporate career prior to becoming a coach.
Keely J. Schneider is the Executive Director for Workforce Partnership, the local workforce development board for Johnson, Wyandotte and Leavenworth counties in Kansas. She directs federal and state funds for workforce development programs for adults and youth including classroom training, on the job training and other work-based learning experiences. In addition, she assists the Workforce Partnership Board in its strategic and fiscal oversight of the comprehensive workforce system under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act which, in addition to the adult and youth programs, includes programs for adult basic education/ESL, employment services under Wagner-Peyser Act and vocational rehabilitation services. Prior to assuming the role of Executive Director in October 2016, Ms. Schneider was Associate Director for the Civic Council of Greater Kansas City, a member organization comprised of CEOs of the largest companies and partnerships in the greater Kansas City region. There she directed all human capital development initiatives, including both higher education and workforce, as well as directed the Civic Council?s ?Kansas City Tomorrow? leadership program. Ms. Schneider began her second career in non-profit over 9 years ago as the development director for a charter school serving at-risk youth in Kansas City, MO. Before making the leap to the non-profit arena, Ms. Schneider practiced law in the areas of transactional and regulatory healthcare and commercial real estate.
Kiona Sinks is a community-minded connector who strives to empower others to become socially aware of their community and serving. With 8+ years , consistent volunteering, and serving hands on in the community, she is both mission-driven and passionate about Diversity & inclusion, while promoting social & civic engagement. Kiona most recently spearheaded forming and founding Central Methodist University African American Student Union, which purpose is to promote positive images of African Americans and to stimulate the cultural, intellectual and social growth of all CMU Students, faculty, and staff. Kiona also during her collegiate career was selected within the top ten selected by the Jefferson City, Mid Missouri Higher Education Board, as a Student Ambassador to promote her story & path to attaining her college degree and being the first to graduate college in her family. In short time, her work today in Kansas City has began to make a impact, and make impact where she serves on the Board of the Heartland Black Chamber of Commerce, serves in the community, at local KC community wide events. Kiona has a variety of hobbies, and serves on many community initiates but is most passionate about empowering, and educating this next generation of leaders of issues concerning the importance of D&I, civic and social justice.
Gillian M. Power is the chief information officer for Lathrop Gage LLP, a national law headquartered in Kansas City. She has served the firm for 10 years. She is responsible for the strategic direction of the firm?s technology, information governance and information services. Gillian holds a master?s degree in technology from the Durban University of Technology in South Africa and an executive MBA from the Henry W. Bloch School of Business at UMKC.
In 2014, Gillian came out as a transgender woman and transitioned in her role as CIO with the full support for her firm and family. She lives in Overland Park where she and her wife are raising two spirited daughters.