United States of America
President and CEO - HenderWorks, Inc.
Previously, Chief Diversity Officer for Weyerhaeuser Company, Federal Way, Washington where he advised the CEO and senior management team on diversity, inclusion and affirmative action related matters. He is an internationally recognized diversity thought leader and has been invited by numerous companies and organizations to share his expertise.
United States of America
U.S Center for Citizen Diplomacy & President AOS International
Ann Olsen Schodde - Founder, President Emeritus and Senior Advisor
Ann Olsen Schodde has held leadership positions in higher education and international non-profit organizations for over 35 years during which she has consulted or managed educational and international programs for more than 21 private foundations, professional associations and government agencies, including the Stanley Foundation, World Food Prize Foundation, National Council for International Visitors, Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs, World Affairs Councils , Sister Cities, USAID, U.S. Departments of State and Education, and the U.S. Ukraine Foundation. Her work has involved managing and directing educational exchange and technical assistance programs in Tunisia, Ukraine, Malaysia, the Peoples Republic of China, Russia, France, the Middle East, Japan and Mexico.
Schodde has served on numerous boards and commissions including the National Continuing Education Association, Association of American Community Colleges, the Coalition for Citizen Diplomacy, the National Council for International Visitors, now Global Ties and has Chaired the Greater DM Sister Cities Commission. She has testified before Congress on behalf of continuing education and citizen diplomacy, worked with embassy staff from over 60 countries, and garnered financial support from the U.S. government and the private sector for citizen based international programs including the Johnson Foundation, Coca Cola Foundation, American Express, Gallup, and VISA. In 2007 Schodde founded the U.S. Center for Citizen Diplomacy and currently serves as President Emeritus and Senior Advisor for the Center which is a separate division of Pyxera Global, Washington, D.C. Her most recent article on citizen diplomacy occurred in the 2012 winter issue of the USC Public Diplomacy Journal. Currently as President of AOS International, she is a frequent speaker and consultant for non-profit international organizations in the United States and throughout the world. Concurrently she serves on the boards of CultureAll, TaiInitiative, AEP Project and Hopeful Africa. Schodde holds a B.A. degree from the University of Wisconsin and M.Ed. from Cornell University. She resides in Des Moines, Iowa, is married to Dr. Stephen Schodde, J.D. and has three grown children.
United States of America
Unity in Diversity Peace Garden
Kiran Thawardas - Project Manager
Kiran began to work on the project at age 14, bringing the peace garden project to America, eventually creating the first inaugurated Unity in Diversity Peace Garden in the world at age 17. Thawardas has a great passion in the Unity in Diversity project and its mission with the hope of encouraging intercultural dialogue and understanding around the world and in his hometown of Nashville, Tennessee. Volunteerism plays a great role in his life, being the service coordinator of his school’s National Honor Society and a chair member of his school’s Service Club. Graduating high school in May of 2015, he plans on pursuing a degree and career in engineering.
Diversity, inclusion and mitigating bias is a full-time focus for Lenora Billings-Harris. Whether through keynotes, workshops, or organizational consulting, Lenora partners with clients to help them leverage diversity to increase inclusion, employee engagement, customer satisfaction, community and corporate relations that accelerate bottom-line results.
She has presented to audiences in over 37 countries and six continents. Lenora recently keynoted at the Inclusion Conferences in Cape Town, South Africa and in Tel Aviv, Israel to share best practices with leaders within business, government, education and NGO communities.
Billings-Harris co-authored TRAILBLAZERS: How Top Business Leaders are Accelerating Results through Inclusion and Diversity, and is the author of The Diversity Advantage: A Guide to Making Diversity Work, 3rd Ed. She serves on the adjunct faculty of the business schools of Averett University and the University of North Carolina-Greensboro.
Billings-Harris has lead leadership positions with several non-profit organizations. She is a past president of Win-Win Resolutions with a mission to reduce bullying, violence and prejudice in schools and communities, and was a founding charter member of the Maricopa County Black Chamber of Commerce. She is a past president of the National Speakers Association, and past president of the Global Speakers Federation. In 2016 she was the Cavett Award recipient, the highest honor bestowed upon professional speakers in the USA.
Before launching her business in 1986, she held management positions at two Fortune 100 companies, and managed executive development seminars for the Graduate School of Business, University of Michigan.