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Successful DEI Initiatives in Action: A Community Conversation

June 22, 2021 @ 4:30 pm - 7:00 pm

Join us virtually or in person to talk about the tactics to move the needle on diversity, equity and inclusivity in the workplace.

Florida’s top companies are making a measurable impact to bring greater equity and inclusion to their business. Our featured guests will share specific tactics and measurable impacts in key areas like leadership development, supplier diversity, pay equity and diverse hiring. Hear from leaders at PwC and Connectwise in this session facilitated by faculty from USF Muma College of Business, which just completed the inaugural Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Workplace Certification for more than 130,000 participants.

Community leaders will share reflections on recognizing June as LGBT Pride Month and Juneteenth, a historic day in the African American experience, and the role of innovators in advancing equity.

Synapse connects, organizes and celebrates Florida’s dynamic and diverse innovation community. Synapse’s Inclusion Lives Here Committee supports in our mission to promote a truly diverse, equitable, and inclusive ecosystem throughout Florida that will provide more equitable access to opportunities leading to more success for the entire community.


This community conversation will be hosted virtually and in person in downtown Tampa. Virtual attendees will receive a Zoom link; in person attendees are invited to join us for the program with networking to follow.


Dr. Doreen MacAulay is a facilitator, author, university instructor with 20+ years of experience in organizational and personal development.

Doreen is passionate about creating equity in the workplace, as well as helping people develop their authentic and effective selves. Using her background in organizational behavior, she facilitates the professional development people so that they can realize their goals and aspirations.

MacAulay is an award-winning instructor at the Muma College of Business, University of South Florida, where she teaches in the fields of leadership, organizational behavior, and management to undergraduate, graduate, and executive students.

With a PhD in Management from St. Mary’s University in Nova Scotia, Canada. Doreen’s research focuses on gender equity, organizational change, and organizational history. She has taught at St. Mary’s University and the University of New Brunswick. MacAulay is a member of the Academy of Management Association and both the Southern and Mid-West Academy of Management. She has served as a reviewer for several academic conferences and journals.

Niki Watson is the Learning and Development Manager at ConnectWise in Tampa, FL. She obtained a Master of Science Degree in Instructional Design and Technology from the University of Tampa in 2014. She is currently completing her Ph.D. studies in Instructional Design and Technology at Old Dominion University. Her research interests focus primarily on failure-based learning as well as scenario-based learning and computer-based instruction in adult education. Her completed projects demonstrate tasks ranging from needs assessment and job/task analysis through systems design and evaluation including the use of computers in performance improvement.

Andrea Barrow joined the ConnectWise team in 2010 and is a dedicated member of the IT solution provider community. Driven by her desire to help partners succeed, her role as an Invent Program Manager has led her to work with vendor partners to extend the functionality of the ConnectWise platform through integration for the success of mutual partners. She’s worked with hundreds of vendors and thousands of partners over the years, giving her a unique perspective on how to bring the very best integrations to market and close gaps through systems integration.

Joel Howell serves in the Office of Diversity at PwC where he influences transformational change by creating a sense of belonging where all feel empowered to bring their authentic self to the forefront. Others have expressed their joy in working with him and feel that he brings a level of creativity, innovation, and style to any opportunity that comes his way.Joel’s array of skills include expertise in HR leadership, employee engagement, talent development, diversity & inclusion (local/global), coaching for high performance, motivational speaking, and advanced facilitation. Joel has over a decade of experience as a Human Capital professional and finds fulfillment coaching, developing, and mentoring others to reach their utmost potential. He is a husband and a father of three boys. He enjoys spending time with his family, traveling, reading, and anything that involves good food. His goal in life is to live full on purpose and to pass this energy on to everyone he comes in contact with. You see for him this more than just a career–it’s a calling.

Justice Gennari (He/Him/His) is the current President & CEO of the Tampa Bay LGBT Chamber. Since joining the Tampa Bay LGBT Chamber, the organization has grown in recorded numbers and achievements. From hosting the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce International Business and Leadership Conference in 2019, being awarded the first ever Challenge Grant from NGLCC, and growing membership by 880%.

Justice is responsible for the vision, strategic direction and overall operations of the Chamber. Justice leads the Chamber’s mission to “advance common business interests, economic growth, and equality in the workplace and society.” In 2019 Justice founded the Chamber’s Foundation. The mission of the Foundation is to raise funds for scholarships for LGBTQA students, to educate our members, and the community at-large.

In addition to his role, Justice is also the Founder and Managing Partner of Justice Gennari & Associates, a certified LGBTBE. JGA is a public strategies firm that focuses on media relations, non-profit management, start up, corporate strategy, strategic planning, fundraising, & organizing.

Justice is a current board member of City of Tampa’s Equal Business Council, Tampa International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, Synapse Florida, YMCA, Advisory Board Member of the NFL Business Connect Program and Equality Florida’s Equality Mean Business. Justice is a past board member of the Ybor Chamber of Commerce and the Ybor City Development Corporation.

Justice grew up in Tampa, Florida after being born in Ohio. Justice presently lives in Tampa, FL with his partner Eric & their dog Tucker.

Ebony Vaz is the Founder and CEO of Above Promotions, a marketing technology, and public relations company in the Tampa, FL area. She is also the author of the book titled “Because You’re Small: Effective Marketing Strategies for Immediate Implementation” and a marketing instructor for various professional training and accelerator programs.

Ebony interweaves her engineering background and government research in virtual reality and information security with her public relations and marketing expertise to help implement science and technology into storytelling for public awareness campaigns, growth strategies, new products, and in-person events. For over 15 years and 100+ brands, she has worked on campaigns for businesses such as AT&T, AAA, AOL, Cold Stone Creamery, and Verizon Wireless to smaller national and international organizations and public-funded organizations, like the University of South Florida.

While many of her clients are beyond the Tampa Bay area, Ebony continuously gives back by volunteering throughout the year with the following organizations InfraGard Tampa Bay, Techstars Startup Week Tampa Bay, Pasco EDC Global Coalition Committee, Tampa Bay Association of Black Journalists, Synapse Florida, as well as various startup pitch competitions.

Emmanuel “Manny” Stinson is the founder and president of emSite Solutions, a customer-focused software firm who solves frustrations utilizing technology. He is a board member of Black In Technology Tampa Bay Chapter and a proud alumnus of the University of South Florida.

Prior to starting emSite Solutions, Manny worked as a sr. solutions architect, software architect, developer, and hiring manager for both start-up and large corporations. Manny has experience in educational, insurance, PEO, retail, automobile, and pharmaceutical industries.

Manny is passionate about learning and understanding disparate systems and designing and creating sound solutions that would optimize speed, provide secure data, integrate systems, and promulgating a user experience that captivates audiences while driving a team to greatness.

*Additional speakers will be added


Virtual on Zoom or In Person at Sparkman Wharf (In-person at capacity)
615 Channelside Side
Tampa, FL 33602 United States
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