Breakout Session: DEI: The Value of Certification
While corporate contracts are one of the most effective ways for companies in the promotional products industry to grow their profit and impact, too many are profoundly struggling to start or scale their corporate work. Unclear about how to get in the door or turn an initial contract into a recurring one, many often find themselves hustling for introductions and networking with the wrong people. Learn how diversity certification can help a diverse business owner (i.e., woman, minority, LGBTQ, veteran, or disabled) accelerate their business success if they understand how to get certified and leverage their certification once they are certified. If you are a company who is not able to become certified, learn how you can partner with those who are and benefit from those relationships.
Speakers: (click image for details)
Elise Lindborg Brandpride View speaker details
Chief Executive Officer
Prior to starting Brand|Pride, Elise was the United States National Rowing Team Manager from 1987 to 1996. She was responsible for all training, travel, drug testing and competition logistics for Olympic, Pan Am, World University and National Team activities. Elise culminated her career in amateur sports by managing the 1996 U.S. Olympic Rowing Team. Elise is married to Kelli Henderson – the co-owner of Brand|Pride. They celebrated their 32nd anniversary this year! Born and raised in Missoula, Montana, Elise is a scandihoovian mutt with equal parts of Swedish, Danish, Norwegian and Finnish. Elise holds a B.F.A. and a K-12 Teaching Certificate from Pacific Lutheran University and has a Graduate Certificate in Public Health from the University of Washington. Elise has also attended the Tuck Executive Education Minority Business Program at Dartmouth College.
Heather Cox Certify My Business View speaker details
Co-Founder and President
A born business matchmaker who’s as comfortable on a stage as she is in a boardroom, Heather Cox helps diverse business owners get diversity certified and leverage the power of their diversity certification to secure more corporate contracts, increase their revenue, and make a more lasting impact – so they can create the time and freedom to do more of what brings them joy and meaning. In addition, Heather helps corporations understand how to leverage their diverse supply chain to maximize their revenues. As the Co-Founder and President of Certify My Company, Heather Cox’s deep knowledge, personable and fun speaking style, paired with her business acumen and vast network of key players in the corporate and entrepreneurial space make her an ideal choice to speak to a variety of business audiences. The winner of numerous prestigious awards including a Women’s Business Enterprise Council (WBEC) West’s 2021 Supplier of the Year Award, Heather serves on the national and regional forums for WBEC-West and she is the Chair of Disability:IN Nevada. Heather has held leadership roles with the Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO), Women’s Business Enterprise National Council, the Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Nevada, the National Association of Women Business Owners, and the Advisory Board for Super Bowl XLVIII. A former acro-gymnast, tightrope walker, and juggler, Heather knows how to balance her hectic life as a seasoned entrepreneur, wife, and mother of five with weight lifting, wine tasting, bourbon drinking and impromptu dance parties. To learn more about Heather and Certify My Company, visit CertifyMyCompany.com.
Kathy Cheng Redwood Classics Apparel View speaker details
Kathy Cheng is the President of WS & Co., one of Canada’s leading full-service apparel manufacturers, and the Founder of Redwood Classics Apparel, its in-stock apparel line which provides promotional and retail distributors with garments handcrafted in North America. She also lends her time and expertise to a number of not-for-profit organizations and spearheads charitable causes in her community in collaboration with partners across a variety of industries. In 2022, Kathy was honoured with the inaugural Ascend Canada Woman of Distinction Award, recognizing her work in helping advance the careers of other Pan-Asian women through leadership, sponsorship, and by making a significant contribution to the community. 2021 saw Kathy receive three prestigious honours: She was named to the Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI) Power 50 List as one of only a handful of women; she made the Bay Street Bull Magazine inaugural Women of the Year List, alongside luminaries such as Olympian Penny Oleksiak; and she received the George Brown College Sustainable Production Post-Grad Honorary Credential. Kathy’s other recent achievements include being named to Inc. Magazine’s 100 Female Founders List for 2020, receiving the Canadian Aboriginal and Minority Supplier Council (CAMSC) Special Recognition Award for her philanthropy and inclusive local procurement during the COVID-19 pandemic, receiving the WBE President’s Award for her commitment to Supplier Diversity, and receiving the LGBTQ+ Ambassador of the Year Award from Canada's LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce in recognition of her continued championing of diverse voices in her community. Kathy was also selected to appear on the front page of the 2020 Annual Financial Report for the Royal Bank of Canada - Canada’s largest bank - to represent all of the small businesses across the country focusing on diversity and inclusion in a very challenging year. Previous honours have been presented to Kathy by the Advertising Specialty Institute® (2016 Counselor Supplier Woman of Distinction Award) for her positive influence in the promotional products industry. In 2014, Kathy was one of only three Canadians inducted into The EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women™ program and, in 2013, she was named by the Women’s Executive Network as one of the Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada. Kathy's steadfast commitment to diversity and inclusion has found her serving on the Board of Directors for CAMSC and an Ambassador for Canada’s LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce (CGLCC). She proudly lends her time, voice, and talents to ensure supplier diversity is not just a talking point, but a reality. In 2021, she became a member of the PPAI DEI Task Force to help educate others in the promotional products industry about the importance of diversity and uplifting marginalized voices. Building on her passion for mentorship, she also participates as a “Sous-Chef'' for PromoKitchen, a non-profit organization that promotes education and networking within the industry.
Rhoda Hassad MGM Resorts International View speaker details
Supplier Diversity Manager
Rhoda Hassad is the Supplier Diversity Manager, in Global Procurement, for MGM Resorts International. In her role she is focused on building an inclusive environment to increase the participation of diverse suppliers in procurement contract opportunities and to develop a competitive supplier base that represents the communities they serve. By continuing to build external partners, increasing community engagement, and enhancing awareness, she works to expand MGM Resorts International brand in diverse and procurement settings. Rhoda brings more than two decades of experience in Hospitality; most recently, as a Hotel Operations Manager at New York-New York, an MGM Resorts International property in Las Vegas. During her tenure, she maximized occupancy, rates, and revenue, as well as managed the daily operations of the Front Desk, Guest Services and VIP Lounge departments. Her experience includes various positions within Hotel Operations at Mandalay Bay and Delano Las Vegas, also MGM Resort International properties. Currently, Rhoda serves as Chair of the Professional Women’s Employee Network Group for MGM Resort’s International, a member of the Nevada Hotel & Lodging Association and a member of the Women’s in Lodging in Nevada Association.
- When: Monday, January 09, 2023
- Time: 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
- Where: Breakers E
- MAS/CAS: CAS 1.0