New signature program will build and empower the next generation of Diversity and Inclusion Leaders in Utah’s business and civic community. 

The 2022 Spring Cohort of the Diversity & Inclusion Leadership Training Series concluded with graduation ceremonies celebrating the completion of the Salt Lake Chamber’s new signature program. The Diversity & Inclusion Leadership Training Series, sponsored by the Semnani Family Foundation and Zions Bank, was developed to provide newly designated or seasoned professionals in the field of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion access to thought leadership and program development. 

“The inaugural cohort of our new Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Training Series represents a new chapter for leaders in our business community,” said Derek Miller, president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber. “They are committed to championing change within our communities and putting what they have learned into action at their organizations. The Chamber is honored to work with these talented leaders as they promote diversity and inclusion as a core value for business across our state.”

Cohort attendees learned from experts the business case for implementing a DEI program. This training will help participants develop a DEI playbook for their team, company or industry sector and infuse these strategies into their respective cultures. Implementing the strategy and tactics from the training will also build unity and relationships across organizations as they interact with other cohort attendees. 

The Salt Lake Chamber’s Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Training has enabled me to focus on people in empathetic, authentic, and impactful ways,” said participant Golda Dopp Ovalles, K-12 Educator at the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art. “By defining what diversity and inclusion mean in my own organization, I feel empowered to transform culture and programming in a way that leverages our differences and cultivates humility and accountability. I greatly enjoyed getting to know the other participants and learning from their experiences especially in the industries I don’t normally interact with. Everyone can benefit from training like this one.”

Participants were selected on a range of criteria that included work experience, a demonstrated commitment to D&I leadership and community engagement, Chamber affiliation, and future aspirations to serve on boards and advance diversity and inclusion within their organization.  

The topics covered included:

  • The WHY of DEI
  • Unconscious Bias: How to Wake Up and Heal the Divide
  • Recruiting, Retaining, and Promoting Diverse and Equitable Workforces 
  • Enhancing the Employee Experience 
  • Fostering DEI Policies and Strategies to Improve Business Performance and Employee Appreciation
  • The Journey – Diversity, Inclusion, and Beyond 
  • Corporate Roundtable

The Chamber is currently accepting applications until August 19, 2022, for the 2022 Fall Cohort.  To learn more or apply for the Diversity & Inclusion Leadership Training Series experience, click here.

Spring Cohort of 2022:

  • Jacki Arevalo, Human Resources Director, Sweet Candy Company
  • Justin Banks, Sales Assistant, Stadler US
  • Michelle Brester, Director of HR & Legal Services, INYO Broadcast Holdings LLC
  • Evelyn Cervantes, Director of Organizational Transformation and Belonging, YWCA Utah
  • Krystal Davis, Director of People/Culture/DEI, Nexus IT Consultants
  • Kristy Denlein, Regional Volunteer Services Officer, American Red Cross
  • Sue Devereaux, Business Performance Advisor, Insperity
  • Brian Epperson, CEO, Target River
  • Nichole Farley, Director of Community and Economic Opportunity, Visit Salt Lake, The Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Julie Hadlock, Director Talent and Operations, The Children’s Center Utah
  • Ruth Hajdarevic, Director of Strategy and Culture, Air and Sea International
  • Kuulei Hanamaikai, Director of Search, ThomasARTS
  • Traci Houghton, VP Finance and Operations, Penna Powers
  • Raelynn Longhat, Director Talent Acquisition & Onboarding, Valley Behavioral Health
  • Brad Manuel, CEO, RSG Performance
  • Golda Dopp Ovalles, K-12 Educator, Utah Museum of Contemporary Art
  • Kevin Perry, Head of Talent and Operations, Struck
  • Trisha Rhone, Founder, Urban Sunrise Initiative
  • Mike Seltenrich, Digital Content Creation Specialist, Loveland Living Planet Aquarium
  • Jarreau Smith, Associate Director of Corporate Partnerships, Loveland Living Planet Aquarium
  • Jeff Vanek, Director of Human Resources, Utah’s Hogle Zoo
  • Kirsten Ward, Employment Coordinator, Lagoon Amusement Park