Bloomfield College held a panel of diverse business leaders on Thursday, October 5, 2017 at the Forest Hill Field Club in Bloomfield. The second annual Diverse Business Leaders Luncheon brought together esteemed professionals in related fields for networking, lunch, and discussion.
This year, the panel consisted of Alison Banks-Moore, Chief Diversity Officer, Horizon BCBS; Michele C. Meyer-Shipp, Vice President & Chief Diversity Officer, Prudential Financial; Marvin K. Pettus, Partner, Pettus and Williams; Lourdes Tango, Consultant, Global Leadership, Intercultural Communication and Diversity and Inclusion; and Ralph Albert Thomas, CEO and Executive Director of the NJ Society of CPA Officers.
The panel was seamlessly moderated by Deborah E. Collins, Esq. Collins, an educator-turned-lawyer. Collins is Deputy County Administrator, Director of Small Business Development, and the Affirmative Action Officer for the County of Essex, New Jersey. A Labor and Employment lawyer by background and training, Collins worked in private practice, corporate America, and on Wall Street for 15 years prior to entering County government in New Jersey. She participated in the Women’s Leadership Forum last winter at the College.
Abisole Adewolu ’18, Student Government President, opened the event.
“As a Bloomfield College student, I know I can speak for the majority of students, when I say Bloomfield College is an institution that offers hope,” she told the crowd, before introducing President Richard A. Levao. “It inspires young minds and brings us one step closer to achieving our professional, personal and academic goals.”
Following a brief video on the College, a plethora of engaging topics were discussed during the panel. Meyer-Shipp took the lead on how the current political environment on both the state and national level has impacted diversity initiatives. Tango was the first to dive into how organizations manage unconscious bias. The panelists also debated performance measurement tactics and diversity audits.
Toward the end of the panel, it was brought to all the panelists’ attentions that the majority of students the College enrolls are minority students. The panelists weighed in on what the College can do to best prepare its students to enter, compete, and succeed in a diverse workplace. The panelists touched on the importance of mentors and role models.
The floor was then opened to guests, including College trustees, faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends and partners of the College.