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2018 May 8th Lunch Meeting - Developing an Integrated Diversity Strategy
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2018 May Membership Meeting

When: May 8th
From 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM
Where: Weber's Inn
3050 Jackson Road
Ann Arbor, Michigan  48103
United States
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May 8th 2018 Lunch Meeting


Creating a Cross-Functional Team to Develop an Integrated Diversity Strategy


The May Diversity meeting will showcase two member organizations and their steps in creating a cross-functional team to develop an integrated diversity strategy and implementing it through organizational operations. Our two speakers will present on the original origins of their Diversity program, how their cross-functional team got executive level sponsorship and determined their budget and return on investment (tangible and intangible). Determining what means success and how to reach an audience reaching further than the Human Resources Department. The speakers will provide insight from a public non-profit organization and a private for-profit company. A guide will be produced for members to take with them to help them build a business case for Diversity in their workplace.



Presented by: Denise Williams and Rita Kananen


Denise Williams - Performance Consultant at Michigan Medicine


Denise Williams is a Performance Consultant at the University of Michigan’s Michigan Medicine.  In this role, she creates meaningful and transformational learning experiences for her customers.  Her 30+ years of experience have included a variety of leadership and consulting roles within complex organizations, predominantly health care and higher education, including operational leadership of numerous interdisciplinary teams, change management, consulting, project leadership, culture architecture, organizational effectiveness coaching and translational research.  

Rita Kananen - Curator of People Experience at Pillar Technology

Rita Kananen is the Curator of People Experience at Pillar Technology, having worked here for 13 years. When she started at Pillar in 2005, she managed finance and HR for Pillar's two owners and 25 employees. With a rapid growth rate of 35% per year, Pillar's software development teams have grown to become a consultancy of 350 employees in multiple states.


Rita’s servant leadership philosophy influences the company and sets a very high standard. For the past seven years, Rita has focused exclusively on People Experience at Pillar. What Rita considers most important is the culture of valuing our people and caring for their needs and the needs of their families with genuine concern.


It is Pillar Technology's mission to make sure that all employees understand that their leaders are there to support them and help them grow in their career. As part of her role Rita enjoys the many opportunities she has had to mentor, coach, and encourage women and men, both in their business and technical roles at Pillar and within their families.

Meeting Sponsor: Ann Arbor Spark




  This program has been approved for _ Professional Development Credits (PDCs) related to the SHRM Body of Competency and Knowledge (SHRM BoCK) toward SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP Certifications.

This program has been approved for _ credit hours toward PHR, SPHR and GPHR recertification through the HR Certification Institute.

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