The Value of Diversity: Advantages C-Suite and Marketing Teams Have in Cultivating a Winning Environment

January 13, 2021
1:00 PM EST - 3:00 PM EST
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Virtual Program
Registrants will receive the access link in the bottom section of their registration confirmation email, and a reminder email the morning of the virtual program.


As a business leader, you might be considering a (D&I) program for your firm, or you may be wondering why you should consider it at all.  As a marketing professional, you may realize the need for such programs due to new requirements you have identified with clients, and the overall demand for more inclusivity in the workplace and on jobsites. Cultivating a diverse work environment starts at the very top of the company.  In this panel discussion, you will hear from top executives from different industries around the country who will address the value of diversity, how it affects your bottom line and how you should approach such significant change in your organization.


Vaki Mawema, Managing Director & Principal | Gensler

As Co-Managing Director of Gensler Baltimore, Vaki has created a team-based design culture that embodies creative passion, innovation and rigor. His work focuses on experiential, branded environments for retail centers, mixed-use, hospitality and food and beverage projects. Vaki is well-known within the commercial real estate industry as an expert and thought leader in retail center and mixed use design as well as business leadership. He was named one of the Washington Business Journal's 40 under 40 business leaders in 2016. Vaki has a bachelor’s degree in Architecture from Newschool of Architecture and Design.

About the Panel

Priscilla Chavez, MCA, Business Development Manager | PCL Construction

Dynamic. Engaging. Business focused. These are the words that describe Priscilla Chavez. A 10+ year veteran of building relationships within the Los Angeles business community, Priscilla embraces the value found at the intersection of strategic owner relationships, small and diverse business engagement, local community investment. As Manager, Business Development for PCL Construction, Priscilla’s day-to-day efforts are focused on driving business development initiatives and building industry relationships, while establishing market presence and visibility, creating opportunities for PCL and securing partnerships with all stakeholders with an emphasis on diverse business inclusion.

In her role, Priscilla also oversees and manages PCL’s diversity and inclusion efforts in Southern California including community outreach, supplier diversity, workforce development, as well as labor relations.

Currently, Priscilla serves as a board member for the L.A. Trade Technical College Foundation, and Women Business Enterprise Council, and is an active member of many other professional organizations.

Peter G. Smith, FAIA, President/CEO | BWBR

Peter G. Smith, FAIA, is president and CEO of BWBR, a multifaceted design firm helping organizations perform better through exceptional environments. He has been leading BWBR through a journey of greater gender and racial equity, starting with an equity taskforce and a comprehensive staff awareness and education campaign. This has led to an ongoing effort to retool company operating procedures and policies, paired with robust advocacy with clients and professional networks.

JoAnn H. Price, Co-Founder and Managing Partner | Fairview Capital

Ms. Price is Co-Founder and Managing Partner, a member of Fairview’s investment committee and manager of all Fairview-sponsored funds. Prior to co-founding Fairview, Ms. Price served as president of the National Association of Investment Companies headquartered in Washington, D.C. Ms. Price serves on a number of national advisory committees and private equity advisory boards.  Ms. Price is currently on the Howard University Board of Visitors and the YMCA of Greater Hartford Board of Trustees. Ms. Price is on the board of the Apollo Theater Foundation in New York City and is the former Chairperson of the Amistad Center for Art & Culture in Hartford, Connecticut.  Ms. Price also serves as Chairperson of the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving and is on the Executive Committee of Trinity Health of New England. Ms. Price is a graduate of Howard University.

Damon A. Carter, M.A., Senior Vice President & Chief Human Resources Officer | CATIC

Mr. Carter is responsible for developing and executing the company’s human capital strategy.  He is responsible for cultivating a winning culture, building a compelling employee value proposition and leveraging workforce analytics to drive organizational effectiveness.  Given his past experience in LEAN/Six Sigma manufacturing environments, he is also responsible for establishing continuous process improvement as a core competency for the organization.  A business leader with over 20 years of diverse experience in both union and non-union environments, he has held HR leadership roles with several Fortune 50 companies including DaimlerChrysler, United Technologies Corporation, General Electric, Express Scripts and Aetna.  He graduated magna cum laude from Wayne State University with a B.S. in Psychology and received his M.A. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology, cum laude, from the University of Detroit-Mercy.  He also serves as an Adjunct Research Analyst for International Data Corporation’s global IT Executive Program and provides HR thought leadership to the information technology, telecommunications and consumer technology markets.

Yvonne Alston, Founder and Principal | Indelible Impressions Consulting, LLC

Leveraging her 21+ years in corporate marketing and communications ― with a dabble in PR ― Yvonne Alston offers organizations key diversity, equity, and inclusion strategies and programming. What makes her a unique and results-driven DEI partner is her years in strategy, delivering the right messaging, and executing programs to help organizations achieve their goals. Yvonne strongly believes that being inclusive and creating a culture of belonging brings out the best in individuals, boosts innovation, increases team/community cohesion and productivity, and ultimately strengthens an organization’s workforce and bottom line.  To make maximum impact, Indelible Impressions Consulting takes a root-cause problem solving approach, identifying the gaps and opportunities, and then tailoring solutions and a long term culture strategy. Yvonne does this work as a servant leader; with empathy and candidness (aka unapologetic authenticity) to effect real change in minds, hearts, and organizations for the better. And, that’s the ultimate ROI−for her, the organizations she serves, and the greater good of society.

Thank you to our Program Sponsor!


Event Details: January 13, 2021  | 1:00 PM EST - 3:00 PM EST

1:00 – Welcome

1:05 – Keynote Address:  Vaki Mawema, Managing Director & Principal | Gensler

1:25 – Panel Discussion

2:35 – Q & A

3:00 – Closing Remarks


The comfort of your home, office or mobile device.

Continuing Education Units (CEUs):

This program is eligible for 2 SMPS CEU credits in Domain Management.


Register by January 12, 21, 1:00 PM EST. Registrants will receive an access link in the bottom section of their registration confirmation email and via email the morning of the program.

Please note:
  • If registering after 12 PM on 01/13/2021 please email [email protected].
  • Cancellations must be made 24 hours in advance to receive a refund.
  • No shows are responsible for payment in full.
  • Unauthorized sharing of the program's access link may result in higher registration costs.



$25.00 SMPS CT Member

$35.00 Non-Member

$0.00 Member Sponsor

$0.00 Non-Member Sponsor

$25.00 SMPS Other Chapter Member

$0.00 Principal/Executive Ticket

$250.00 2/24/2021: LinkedIn Company Page Management Sponsorship