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Chamber announces first cohort for new DEI program  

Chamber announces first cohort for new DEI program  

The Greater Rochester Chamber recently announced the first cohort of its newly launched annual DEI Leadership Exchange program, which is made up of 17 diversity leaders in the Rochester area.  

The virtual program provides an exclusive space for the group to share ideas, skills and strategies to shape business practices and create meaningful differences in their organizations and community. 

It is based off a framework provided by Buffalo Niagara Partnership and in collaboration with Sesha Yalamanchili, a facilitator who has been running a successful program in Buffalo for the past four years.  

“This confidential and convenient virtual exchange of ideas will allow for candid, meaningful conversation around the issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion in our business community,” said Bob Duffy, Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce president and CEO. “We believe that bringing together some of the most courageous leaders of our region to support each other and find synergies will help create a more equitable region for all.”  

The Greater Rochester Chamber DEI Leadership Exchange Class of 2023 includes: 

  • Sady Alvarado-Fischer, CDP, Vice President, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield; 
  • Sydney Bell, Manager, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, ESL Federal Credit Union; 
  • Kellie Burns, Global Director, Talent and Culture Development, Carestream; 
  • Kesha Carter, Chief Diversity Officer, Coordinated Care Services, Inc.; 
  • Sylvia David-West, Project Engineer/ President of the L3Harris Employees of African Descent Resource Group, L3Harris Technologies; 
  • Damita Davis, Chief Diversity Officer, SUNY Brockport; 
  • Natalie Grigg, Esq., Partner and DEI Committee Chair at Woods Oviatt Gilman, Woods Oviatt Gilman; 
  • Britt Lui, Vice President, Human Resources, DePaul; 
  • Molly Nutting, Manager of Human Resources and Summit’s DEI Council Leader, The Summit Federal Credit Union; 
  • Stephanie Paredes, Department of Surgery, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Advocate, University of Rochester Medical Center; 
  • Stephanie Pennington, Corporate Diversity Manager, LeChase; 
  • April Purdie, CPA, Director, Diversity & Inclusion, Wegmans Food Markets; 
  • Jessica Savage, President, DS+Co; 
  • Erica Scorpio, Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Planned Parenthood of Central and Western New York; 
  • Joseph Searles, Jr., Vice President & Chief Community Engagement Officer, Trillium Health, and 
  • Christine Whitfield, Vice President/Manager of Talent & Development, Canandaigua National Bank & Trust. 

For more information and registration for 2024, visit the DEI Leadership Exchange program page. 

[email protected] / (585) 653-4021