Inclusion by Instinct: The Financial Impact of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion for Small and Medium Sized Businesses

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Inclusion by Instinct : The Financial Impact of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion for Small and Medium Sized Businesses

Presented by Baldwin Wallace & Cuyahoga Community College

This virtual series is designed to help small and medium sized business owners, professionals, and HR staff learn about the financial benefits of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. The series will look beyond internal strategies for HR, recruitment/hiring and thought leadership, and dive into how inclusive practices can help businesses attract a diverse community of customers. Attendees will get tangible tools for implementing inclusive practices as well as vital resources and community connections for professional growth.

The series will take place over 5-parts with each session featuring speakers who represent a diverse community. Through their personal and professional experiences, they will help provide tangible practices you can implement to help be part of the solution in encouraging an inclusive environment for all people.

Each session will cover areas such as:

  • Buying power and economic trends of different communities
  • Values, cultural competencies, accommodations, and other factors that can help create a more inclusive environment
  • Things to keep in mind for physical and digital spaces to create an environment of inclusivity
  • Talent attraction and retention for members of diverse communities
  • Appealing to diverse customers – putting your business where they are instead of waiting for them to come to you
  • Improving the diversity of your suppliers and vendors
  • Resources and organizations that can help you further connect with different communities

Join us for the conversation, connection and education from an esteemed group of speakers who are working diligently to promote DE&I in the workplace and to improve our community as a whole.

Thanks to the generous support of our sponsors, this series is FREE and open to all. In order to receive the Zoom link for each session, pre-registration is required.





Series Schedule (Additional speakers to be announced):

Session 1 – Thursday, September 29: 8:00-9:30am

Focus: What is Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and How Does It Affect Small and Medium Sized Businesses? High Level Panel Discussion with group of DE&I Professionals


  • Cathy Belk – President and Chief Executive Officer, Deaconess Foundation
  • Magda G√≥mez, Ed.D. – Executive Director, Diversity & Inclusion, Cuyahoga Community College

Session 2 – Tuesday, October 11: 8:00-9:30am

Focus: LGBTQ+ Community


  • Amanda Cole – Executive Director, Plexus LGBT + Allied Chamber of Commerce

Session 3 – Thursday, October 27: 8:00-9:30am

Focus: People with Disabilities


  • Krista Allison – Ms. Wheelchair Ohio 2022
  • Connor Kobilarcsik – Realtor, Russell Real Estate Services
  • Sera Nelson – Executive Director, W.A.G.S. 4 Kids
  • Nick Walczak – Chardon High School Shooting Survivor

Session 4 – Thursday, November 10: 8:00-9:30am

Focus: BIPOC Community


  • Cynthia Connolly – Director of Programming, The City Club of Cleveland & Executive Board Member, Lake Erie Native American Council
  • CJ Harkness – Director of Spiritual Life (former Chief Diversity Officer), Baldwin Wallace University

Session 5 – Thursday, November 17: 8:00-9:30am

Focus: Women+


  • Dani Esperanza – President, Athens Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Cindy Torres-Essell – Chief People Officer, Heinen’s

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