Karen A. Clark
Monica Goodale, Ed.D.
Karen A. Clark
Karen A. Clark is the Multicultural Strategies Manager at City National Bank, creating marketing,
advertising and business strategies to win diverse clients. Internally she manages aspects of
diversity & inclusion programming, including the colleague resource groups and mentoring
program. Preceding City National, Karen established U.S. Bank’s multicultural marketing
She served as development director for non-profit Operation HOPE 5 years, instituting a dev.
department; raising $4-6mm a year, on a combined restricted unrestricted basis. She helped to fund and open 11 offices nationally. For a decade, she held several roles at BofA, from commercial real estate construction financing, to corporate diversity specialist internationally. In that role, for 4 years, she interfaced with and trained managers how to increase bottom line productivity by managing inclusion. Karen serves on 5 non-profit boards - president Educating Young Minds; financial ed. director Duke Media Foundation; treasurer Pacific Coast Regional SBDC; director, Streetlights; secretary LA Women’s Theatre Fest. She speaks frequently and coaches on personal branding and inclusive leadership.
She holds a certificate of strategic marketing management (Harvard Business School); BA in economics. A Vanguard award recognized Karen as one of “LA’s Most Influential African Americans” 2017; she received a Diversity Leadership award from the CA Diversity Council 2015; and named a “Top 20 Black Female Power Player in L.A. Business” by Focus Magazine 2012. She was instrumental in helping City National to achieve a Forbes “Best Employer for Diversity” in 2018 & 2019.
She is an actor, singer, songwriter, & producer. Her sophomore album, the Karen A. Clark Project, is available on iTunes, & CD Baby. The 3 rd album and a book are due early 2019. Her newest musical revue, “Love Stories - Tales of An African Queen”, utilizes a storytelling backdrop and relatable themes. She debuted the show to a sold out crowd in July 2018 and will be touring throughout the year and into 2019, gearing up for jazz season. Her 1 woman theatrical show “The Women” has been produced numerous times locally and out of state.
Jessica DeCanio is Head of Claims Training for Farmers Insurance. In this role, she is responsible
for leading the training team, which develops the technical expertise and leadership capabilities
for the company’s more than 11,000 Claims employees. Recently, Jessica led an initiative at
Farmers to use Virtual Reality (VR) to transform employee training, pioneering the practice in the insurance industry, to train new claims adjusters on how to evaluate claims within a VR experience.
Jessica joined Farmers Insurance in 2007 as a training consultant in Independent Agent Operations where she onboarded new account managers and changed the mindset around individual development plans. In 2011, she took on an enterprise learning role within the University of Farmers on the Learning and Organization Development team. In this capacity, she was focused on building professional, management and leadership development programs for the company.
With more than 17 years in the learning and development field, Jessica first started her career as a public relations manager for a training company. She specialized in developing communication and leadership skills where she got a deep immersion into learning and consulting by filling roles in marketing, operations, sales and coaching. Jessica was born and raised in West Michigan. She attended Grand Valley State University and earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in 2000 and a Master of Business Administration in 2004. In 2015, Jessica, her husband, Dave, and two sons, Jackson and Brady, made the move to Southern California where they enjoy an abundance of sunshine and year-round outdoor activities.
Monica Goodale, Ed.D.
Known as a highly effective leader in her own right for over 35 years, Monica Goodale holds
a Doctorate in Education specializing in Organizational Leadership from Pepperdine, where
she later served as an Adjunct Professor and guest lecturer. Her professional career spans
both military and civilian experiences, and she was profiled by the research group, Bersin &
Associates, as a “Best Practice Leader.” Monica regularly speaks and teaches at professional
conferences, including ASTD, ISPI, and APQC. Monica was invited to lead a pre-conference
workshop on designing leadership development programs at the 2014 ASTD Int’l.
Conference and Expo.
Most recently she has been working with the California AG Community – including the APMA and American Pistachio Growers. Monica has also supervised dozens of doctoral dissertations related to the development of leadership, organizational development issues, and bridging school-to-business needs. She is known for transforming traditional training and development teams into competitive assets, and for aligning learning efforts to directly support an organization’s business goals. Since 2011 Monica has been leading the national learning and development function for a specialty workers compensation insurance firm.
Portia James is the director of leadership and organizational development at Paychex, a
leading provider of HR, payroll, benefits, and insurance solutions for small and mid-sized
businesses. In her role, Portia is responsible for creating a culture and developing programs
that maximize the potential of more than 14,500 employees across the company. Such
programs include leadership and development and diversity and inclusion, both of which
offer employees and leaders the tools they need to succeed today and are keys to leading
Paychex into the future.
With nearly 25 years of HR experience, Portia came to Paychex in April 2016 and spent her first two years as the director of human resources. Other previous roles included VP of HR at St. John’s Senior Living and senior director of employee relations and performance coaching at Unity Health System/Rochester Regional Health. Portia began her HR career at Wegmans, a popular grocery chain headquartered in Rochester, N.Y. She spent 12 years rising through the Wegmans rank and eventually served as its director of workforce planning and diversity.
Portia earned her undergraduate degree in HR Management from the State University of New York at Fredonia and later completed a master’s degree in management from Nazareth College in Rochester, N.Y. She holds professional certifications as a PHR and SHRM-CP.
Brian Mulliner is the Director of Organizational Talent Development for Raymond James
Financial, where he directs and manages the strategy and execution of learning and
development processes across the organization including: key talent/high-potential
development, leadership and professional development, change management, learning and
Brian is an inspirational leadership coach who holds multiple coaching, leadership and learning certifications. Brian earned his Masters of Science in Organizational Development from the University of San Francisco and has served as a talent development leader within the financial services industry for over 17 years. Brian is passionate about leadership development, promoting a culture of learning and transforming organizational effectiveness. Brian’s extensive experience, lessons learned and best practices for developing leaders have made positive impacts at several fortune 500 companies, including Wells Fargo and Raymond James. As one senior leader wrote, “Brian is an influential, energetic, enthusiastic and empowering leader. He fosters a collaborative environment that encourages brainstorming, outside-the-box solutions and innovation. Such an environment allows individuals to stretch and share best practices to continue to hone their skills.”
When Brian is not coaching, consulting or leading strategic learning design and implementation, you will find him enjoying a round of golf with good friends, playing tennis and/or walking on the beach with his wife of 27 years, Linda Sue.
Jenny Orr is the Director of Training Technology and Infrastructure at Discover Financial Services. She has close to 30 years’ experience in the financial services industry with 25 of those years devoted to training and development. During this time she has led teams of 10 to 100 training professionals specializing in establishing learning strategies, improving curriculum design, and facilitating training delivery. Her work has largely focused on enabling the success of call center employees. Jenny’s new and current passion is working with technologies to create a Discover-wide integrated learning eco-system that enables a personalized experience for each employee.
Denia Pelayo is the Director of Talent and Development for the Private Client Group for
Raymond James Financial, where she serves as a strategic partner and coach in the areas of
talent management, learning and development, change management and organization
In her current role, Denia has worked with her senior leaders to elevate the leadership skills
of branch managers throughout the United States, bringing development to the field and tailoring the content to meet the often challenging needs of the learners. Prior to joining Raymond James, Denia held similar roles in fortune 500 companies in the utility and hospitality industries, along with non-profit organizations. She earned her Master of Science in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from the University of Central Florida and has over 15 years of experience consulting on and leading Human Resources practices.
Jeff has been in the financial industry for approximately 20 years working with clients,
partners, vendors and leaders. Through his tenure he has been part of numerous mergers,
acquisitions, implementations, project launches and strategy changes. Over all of this time
the one constant is that people want to be productive, develop their skills and help the business succeed. Jeff works with E*Trade’s retail leaders to provide solutions that empower our workforce with the tools they need to make every client relationship better.
As their first Head of Diversity and Inclusion, Maeve Richard joined SoFi to implement
infrastructure and organizational logic that transforms culture. Previously, while serving as the
Assistant Dean and Director of the Career Management Center at Stanford Graduate School of Business she leveraged emerging technologies to improve and scale career development programs. Maeve’s corporate career including overseeing strategic planning, finance, accounting, information technology, operations and human resources functions as CFO and COO for several entrepreneurial enterprises. Further, Maeve held executive and management level positions in relationship management, change management, corporate finance, planning, and treasury at McAfee, Sun Microsystems, Levi Strauss & Co., JPMorgan, and SRI International. Maeve earned an MBA from Stanford and a B.A. with high honors in Political Economy from the University of California at Berkeley. Her favorite tip is ‘be yourself, everyone else is taken’ attribution Oscar Wilde.
Rayellen Smith has been with PwC over 28 years as both an auditor and a L&D professional. Rayellen's methods of making learning unique and new have won numerous awards and accolades in the industry. She's led teams from measurement and analytics, instructional design, program management and strategic initiatives. In Rayellen's current role as L&D Innovation leader, she's spending her time building and designing learning solutions that take people by surprise, inspire and prepare for a new and digital world.
Gabriel Urrea has always been passionate about working with people. Most of his
professional career has been in the area of organizational development as principal of his
own company and as a consultant in management and leadership development.
Gabriel has lead projects in cultural transformation and business process redesign. This includes a three-year project involving 22,000 employees and a human resources change management reorganization.
Today, Gabriel’s challenge, as the head of corporate learning is to help Esurance meets its performance goals while providing the right learning philosophy and strategies that retain, develop and promote Esurance’s human capital.
Gabriel was born and raised in Colombia and is married with four children.
Kacie joined Northern Trust in April 2015 as VP, Strategic Programs, in Enterprise Learning
& Development. She has 18 years’ experience in the fields of Learning, Organizational
Development and Knowledge Management. Kacie leads a small, global team and is
responsible for building a global corporate university to organize all learning across
Northern Trust along with implementing a new Learning Management System, managing
our global Onboarding strategy, leading our client education efforts for our top-tier clients
and creating global Mentoring and Career Development programs.
Prior to coming to Northern Trust, Kacie spent her career leading Learning & Development,
Knowledge Management and Communication teams for Forsythe Technology, GE
Healthcare Advisory Services, Aon Hewitt and General Growth Properties. Most notably, she
built 4 knowledge management functions from the ground up, launched 3 enterprise-wide employee portals, led many technology change management efforts to increase adoption and managed the creation of countless sales, business and management training programs to help groups achieve their goals.
She has consulted with a wide variety of organizations and cultures including private, public and start-up corporations, government, and non-profit organizations and has built learning and knowledge-sharing strategies that have global reach for groups from 200 – 25,000 employees. She is passionate about ensuring people have the skills, tools and desired culture they need to work effectively and collaboratively and stay engaged. Kacie graduated from Indiana University with a B.A. in Political Science and from University of Illinois with a M.A. in Communication. She is certified in Organizational Development, Instructional Design, Knowledge Management and Project Management. She supports a number of local Chicago non-profits focused on building community through storytelling.
Esayas Wureta is the Inclusion and Belonging lead at CSAA Insurance Group, a AAA insurer.
Esayas leads the creation, development, and execution of the company's diversity, inclusion and
belonging strategy aligned across their four pillars: Workforce, Workplace,
Communities/Marketplace and Members. The company has been recognized for their diversity
efforts by numerous national organizations including the Human Rights Campaign and the
National Association of Female Executives, and was named one of the 50 most community-
minded companies in the United States by Points of Light.
Prior to joining CSAA Insurance Group, Esayas served as the Supervisory Training Specialist for intercultural competence, diversity and inclusion (ICD&I) at Peace Corps headquarters in Washington, DC. Esayas led a department that advised global leadership on intercultural competencies, creating more inclusive organizational cultures, supporting staff and Volunteers, and responding to crises. Esayas also led the development, delivery, and evaluation of ICD&I learning events in the agency’s 65 countries. In addition, Esayas served as the Diversity Outreach Specialist where he developed and implemented ongoing diversity and inclusion strategies and trainings for more than 100 recruiters in 8 locations, established and maintained external partnerships and contributed to a 3% increase in diverse applicants across the organization. Esayas has more than a decade of experience in diversity and inclusion and enters the work at the intersection of youth development, training, social and organizational change and intercultural competence. Esayas is a Sudan-born Eritrean-American and has lived in multiple
countries. Esayas received his B.A. in International Studies with a concentration in globalization and culture from Frostburg State University in Maryland and a Master’s degree in International Development and Social Change from Clark University in Massachusetts.