Alida Miranda-Wolff is the CEO and Founder of Ethos, a full-service diversity, equity, and inclusion transformation firm. By helping organizations and the people inside of them understand their relationships with power, how to use their power responsibly, and how to share their power, she helps create the conditions for everyone to thrive at work. As part of Ethos, Alida serves as the Program Director of the Women Influence Chicago Accelerator, which supports womxn-identifying technologists advance their careers through a structured four-month program combining coaching, forums, classroom learning, and mentorship. Alida is also the Executive Director and Founder of Embolden, a membership organization focused on scaling empathy through the power of female friendships.
Before Ethos, Alida headed up investors, partners, brand, and portfolio company growth at Hyde Park Angels. While at Hyde Park Angels, she helped grow the organization into the most active early-stage investor in the Midwest by developing a people-first approach to investing, one that focused on leveraging human capital as well as financial capital to drive positive outcomes.
Outside of Ethos, Alida is an Advisory Board Member at Prosper Strategies, a certified Mindfulness and Meditation instructor, classical guitarist, and working artist. Formerly, she served on mHub’s Venture Board and taught marketing and career advancement at General Assembly.
Lexi Brown is a Senior Associate at Ethos, working with clients to help bring their brand strategy and marketing initiatives to life, especially as they relate to their growth in DEI.
Lexi has over three years of advertising and marketing experience, with her main interests lying in branding, creative strategy, and social media strategy. Prior to Ethos, Lexi worked as a Social Media Specialist in the real estate and automotive industries. She is passionate about bringing ideas and people together and has enjoyed working in multiple areas throughout her career because it has solidified the importance of being able to adapt to and understand different stories and voices. Lexi attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for both her undergraduate and graduate years, earning a Bachelor of Science in Advertising and a Master of Science in Strategic Brand Communication.
Lisa Tomiko Blackburn serves as Vice President of Strategy for Ethos Talent, a full-service Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging consulting and transformation firm. Lisa optimizes delivery across Consulting, Programs, and Training practices and leads executive, C-suite, and Board of Directors service offerings.
Lisa holds a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Michigan Law School and an MBA (with dual concentrations in Strategy & Consulting and Entrepreneurship) from the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School.
Lisa’s multifaceted approach to DEIB blends leadership theory, business analytics, and soft skills, drawing on 15+ years of organizational leadership, legal, and business experience, in addition to psychology training (including Motivational Interviewing and multicultural counseling programs), NeuroLeadership Institute coaching credentials, and a Strategic Diversity & Inclusion Management Program certificate from Georgetown University’s Institute for Transformational Leadership.
Prior to Ethos, Lisa worked on a national and international platform as legal counsel to some of the world’s leading brands. Lisa has been recognized with awards such as Outstanding Minority Attorney of the Year (from the Dallas Bar Association), Super Lawyers (from Thomson Reuters), and the Grammy Foundation Entertainment Law Initiative Award (from The Recording Academy). Throughout their career, Lisa has advocated for racial justice and gender equity in the legal industry.
In addition to serving organizational clients, Lisa works with law firms and attorneys to engage Ethos as a subcontractor (for confidentiality and value-added services).
Outside of Ethos, Lisa works as an Adjunct Lecturer for Georgetown University’s “Advancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Workplace” certificate program, teaching DEI strategies such as Diversity Return on Investment and the Global Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion best practices Benchmarks for DEI initiatives.
Ethos Talent does not provide legal advice; subcontractor DEI services are available to law firms wishing to engage Ethos on behalf of their clients.
Pondharshini Sadasivam is a Training Associate at Ethos Talent, overseeing the company’s training practice operations.
A first-generation immigrant, Pondharshini’s interest in DEI stems from her personal challenges with identity and her observation of the unequal allocation of resources in the criminal justice system. She is also the founder and President of D&I Futures: a group intended to inspire and provide community members accessible discussions, educational opportunities, and career advice for emerging D&I leaders. Pondharshini attended the University of San Francisco for her undergraduate career, earning her Bachelor of Arts in Politics with a concentration in Law and Justice and a double minor in Psychology and Criminal Justice Studies. Learn more about Pondharshini and her DEI work through her blog.
Sonni Conway is a Project Manager at Ethos, overseeing team operations, resource management, and system architecture.
Sonni is passionate about process, organization, efficiency, and helping teams do their best work. She enjoys creative problem solving and iterating on her solutions until she finds the one that sticks. Prior to joining Ethos, she spent 9 years in the creative field as a graphic designer, branding director, and creative director. Sonni graduated with a B.A. in Graphic Design from Flagler College.
Walter Faro is a Consulting Associate at Ethos, using qualitative and quantitative research to bring affirmation to the experience of underserved people within organizations with an emphasis on enabling opportunity.
Walter believes in the potential that healing oneself has for contributing to healing within communities. As a writer and English teacher, he pursues language and narratives that embrace radical possibilities for relation and resist totalizing knowledge. As a person with a disability, specifically PTSD, he affirms the difference of what it’s like to occupy a specific body in space-time (and what happens when trauma and experience connect our bodies to moments in a personal and/or collective history). As a formerly homeless individual and high school dropout, he knows the power of community as a tool for overcoming gaps in knowledge and experience.
Lisa Mei is a Marketing Intern at Ethos, helping to build and drive Ethos’ marketing strategy, especially as these initiatives relate to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging.
Lisa is a rising senior at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, studying Advertising with a minor in Business. She is passionate about brand strategy and content curation, and her interest in DEIB stems from her struggles with her own cultural identity. She is motivated to work towards creating change in underrepresented communities.
Amalia is a junior at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign studying Industrial/Organizational Psychology with a minor in Leadership Studies. She has a passion for DEI and wants to work either as a DEI consultant or DEI lead in the future. Since her sophomore year of high school, Amalia has been involved in organizations focused on racial equality such as Students Organized Against Racism and co-founded an organization called Evanston Fight for Black Lives.
Strother is a business and personal coach for creative entrepreneurs and those who want to become one. He is a multi-passionate entrepreneur with a background in theatre, public speaking, education, sales, management, leadership, and segway-tour-guiding. His private practice is called But I’m a Unicorn, Dammit!, where he passionately works to help as many people as possible own up to the fact that they’re a unique snowflake. He is the producing artistic director for DC’s only immersive theatre company, TBD Immersive. His TEDx Talk has been viewed over 30,000 times, and his work has been seen in person by over 30,000+ audience members.
She is currently the Talent Advisor for Relativity after having served as Chief People Officer during a period of rapid global growth. She helped build a company culture based on core values, continuous learning, commitment to inclusion, diversity & belonging, and positive social impact. Her passion is helping leaders create values-based sustainable culture change, building corporate universities and leadership development programs and designing and supporting wholistic DEI initiatives. With expertise as an executive coach, she provides a variety of assessments and development tools in EQ, communication/work styles, strengths, and conflict management styles.
Francine is an attorney with over a decade of experience as a contract wrangler. She breaks complex concepts down into smaller pieces to assist individual employees and corporate business partners to make smart decisions. From employment agreements to vendor contracts, Francine has successfully negotiated on behalf of her clients for over a decade.
Because she has a lot of experience and a lot to say, she also shares her knowledge as a facilitator in trainings, podcasts, and on stage. From sexual harassment to conversations about diversity, she’s the person you go to if you need a straight answer or a guide through tough conversations.
Khalilah is a results-driven career and talent strategist devoted to advocating for underrepresented and untapped talent in others. Her HR experience ranges from Fortune 500 corporations and manufacturers to digital start-ups. She has successfully developed and executed initiatives around diversity & inclusion, strategic planning, and workforce management.
She currently drives diversity and inclusion at Discover Financial Services. In addition to her corporate role, Khalilah aligns her passion to disrupt exclusive narratives and create opportunities for inclusion and diversity for various groups across Chicagoland. She serves as a D & I expert for several nonprofits, sharing inspirational and actionable messages as a keynote speaker, mentor, advisory council member, thought leader, board member, and volunteer. Her purpose, experience, and zeal drive her to present compelling stories, facilitate workshops, influence youth, and create spaces for courageous — and often provocative — conversations.
When not working, she spends time with her two children being inspired by their approach to and perspective on life. She lives life fully as a dedicated mother, sister, friend, and disruptor.
For over 12 years, Kirsten has motivated individuals to look within themselves to work more effectively with others. She has led learning and development activities for smaller, post-startup organizations to a Fortune 500 company. Her passions include assisting participants with presentation skills, emotional intelligence, leadership and management skills enhancement, and working with early-career team members to develop them for maximum, positive impact within organizations.
Founder of The Change Coaches, LLC, LaTonya specializes in coaching executives on leading “below the surface” to build psychologically safe relationships with their teams across differences. She is a sought-after keynote speaker and has inspired audiences all over the world. Through highly customized coaching, culture academies, consulting, and human-centered design services, LaTonya and her team work with executives, upwardly mobile professionals, and teams to create cultures of belonging and motivating environments. She built her career working in HR, talent management, and learning & development at Fortune 500 companies before teaching and taking on progressive leadership roles at the University of Illinois’ Gies College of Business. LaTonya was rated an “excellent” teacher by her undergraduate business students, and she is also a board member of the LGBTQ+ Alumni Association at Indiana University.
Michelle Bess is a Facilitator at Ethos, specializing in diversity, equity, and inclusion and management.
Michelle Y. Bess serves as the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Director at Sprout Social, focusing on efforts to ensure all people feel a sense of belonging and that their voices are heard. Prior to Sprout Social, Michelle worked in college persistence at OneGoal and Posse Chicago. Michelle attended Whitworth University, earning a B.A. in Biology and completed Georgetown University’s Executive Certificate in Strategic Diversity & Inclusion Management. She was recognized as a 2018 AdWeek Rising Brand Star, serves as the Board Chair of Degrees of Change, and is the Founder and Co-Lead of The Brave Space.
Trevor Jenkins a Facilitator at Ethos, specializing in racial equity and anti-racism.
Trevor is the Sr. Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging Manager at ServiceNow. He has over a decade of experience in multi-ethnic churches and is passionate about helping people understand the severity of racism and inequality in America.
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