Inclusive Leadership Impact Awards
We are honored to present the esteemed judges for our first annual
SME Inclusive Leadership Impact Awards
Meet The Judges
Nancy Di Dia
Di Dia Diversity Consulting Group
Nancy J. Di Dia is a PCC certified executive and life coach with more than 30 years of leading and developing talent globally in Fortune 100 Businesses. Nancy’s career spans Financial Services, Pharmaceuticals, Manufacturing, Retail Banking, Sales, Marketing and Operations as well as Information Technology.
Nancy’s main focus is facilitating solutions and insights for her clients. She is a certified diversity and inclusion executive and the former chief diversity and inclusion officer for a global pharmaceutical firm.
Nancy is also an active Board Member on the Connecticut Governor’s Prevention Partnership which builds statewide capacity to prevent underage drinking and substance use while building strategic alliances to promote the overall well-being of Connecticut’s future workforce.
One of Nancy’s key focus areas is helping organizations and executives to harness their talents across the divides of gender, generations, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression as well as geography and culture. She has coached executives for more than 25 years with clients ranging from the C-suite to middle managers.
Nancy is a sought-after coach based on her ease of interacting with others and her diverse global experiences. She is a true model of authenticity. Nancy holds a variety of board positions at a national and local level in the northeastern United States.
Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer
City of Norwalk, Connecticut
Educator, Activist, and Community Leader, LaToya Fernandez, dedicates her career to teaching students and communities equity and justice. As a Restorative Justice Coordinator, LaToya has served in schools supporting students, educators and families through cultural responsiveness, restorative practices and community engagement.
LaToya continues to serve the community in various roles supporting cities re imagine commissions, boards and policies. Specifically during the George Floyd protests LaToya was called upon to lead re-imagine public safety and policing, re-imagine juvenile justice, and re-imagine equitable transportation working directly with the Mayor's office and other local officials
Alongside these roles, Latoya continues to be a community advocate who is passionate about creating platforms for youth. Just one of these platforms is Youthhype, a community based organization that empowers youth from marginalized communities to rise up. As its Founder, she facilitates workshops in self esteem, confidence, awareness and identity. Youthhype also actively participates in numerous community events, while pairing empowerment with activism, agency and leadership.
Latoya is also the author of the book
"Truth- An Empowerment Guide For Youth and Allies" a book that educates and empowers youth with their self confidence and identity, navigating social justice issues and establishing and maintaining healthy relationships. Latoya also hosts a number of conversations, panels and workshops around community building all over the country.
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) leader
Brian Klecatsky (he/him/his) is a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) leader and corporate professional who has worked across a variety of industries including Fashion/Retail, Hospitality, Health Insurance, Consumer Goods, Financial Services, Biotech and Telecommunications. Early in his career he was a brand marketer at Kraft Foods, MasterCard International and Pepperidge Farm. Sixteen years ago, he launched an LGBTQ+ Employee Resource Group while leading Brand Equity & Design at Pepperidge Farm/Campbell Soup Company which launched his Diversity & Inclusion leadership journey.
By partnering with executives, human resources and associates in organizations like Wyndham Worldwide, Aetna, Ascena Retail Group, Samsung Electronics America and SpringWorks Therapeutics, Brian spearheads enterprise D&I strategy from assessment to program implementation. Brian is a seasoned collaborator with a keen interest in leadership commitment and change management who has designed culture shaping programs in support of women and underrepresented groups while increasing engagement through the lens of Diversity & Inclusion best practices.
Brian has worked extensively with Employee Resource Groups, Diversity & Inclusion Councils and Executive Leadership teams to advance D&I efforts in three domains: Workforce, Workplace and Marketplace. He speaks on a range of topics from microaggressions and intent vs. impact to civility in the workplace as well as the role White [Male] Allies play in DEI initiatives. As a certified facilitator he leads learning experiences centered on Unconscious Bias, Inclusive Leadership and Allyship at Work.
Brian has a Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership,
Certificates in Diversity & Inclusion Management from Cornell University School of Industrial Labor Relations as well as USF Muma College of Business. In the summer of 2022, he attended Stanford University Graduate School of Business LGBTQ+ Executive Leadership program.
Founder, CEO & Chief Creative Officer
As Founder, CEO, and Chief Creative Officer at Peralta Design, Ramon Peralta has assembled a multicultural, multi-disciplined, team that brings your brand and business to new heights. Ramon creates an atmosphere of teamwork and success by leading his team with vision and encourages risk-taking while ensuring final projects are approved and meet sky-high design standards.
Peralta Design’s slogan, “We Launch Brands®, demonstrates their commitment to elevating entrepreneurs and businesses through comprehensive digital strategies. Ramon and his team work with clients to analyze what improvements could be made to their businesses from branding to digital and how they can get a fast return on their investment.
Ramon holds a BFA from the University of Bridgeport and is a two-time TUCK Minority Business Enterprise Executive program graduate. He also accepted a Doctor of Humane Letters from his alma mater, the University of Bridgeport, and he was honored to give the commencement address in 2017.
Ramon represents Peralta Design in the community and proudly waves the PD Flag as he attends networking events, participates in professional affiliations, and serves on nonprofit boards. He serves on the Board of Directors of McGivney Center, HHC Foundation, Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce, Greater New England Supplier Development Council, and Workplace Ventures. He
Is also the Chairperson for the Minority Business Enterprise Input.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Futurist
Joseph Santana is a Futurist helping to shape the future of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI).
He is also a sought-after keynote speaker, author, and the Chairman of the CDO Power Circle,
where he's at the forefront of helping Chief Diversity Officer in highly respected organizations to
prepare to address the emerging challenges and opportunities of the 21 st century. He is also the
host of the ERG PowerTalk podcast, a program where he develops and motivates ERG leaders to
prepare them to meet today’s increasing demands. To date, the ERG PowerTalk podcast has
given over a quarter of a million US dollars worth of education and inspiration to ERG leaders
free of charge.
Joe is also a member of the Forbes Business Council and the Fast Company Executive Board and
a frequent contributor of articles to both organization's magazines. These articles, written for
senior business leaders, aim to help CEOs and investors understand why their support of DEI is
vital to their current and future success. His expertise in the post normal evolution of DEI has
also been covered in interviews with media outlets such as ABC, PIX, Fox, Ticker News, and
The Black List, a streaming business interview show. His two most recent DEI books, "The New DEI and ERG Frontier"; and "Super Charge Your ERGs"; are available on Amazon, offering invaluable guidance to those ready to embark on the journey toward 21st-century DEI-fueled
Founder & CEO, LiveGirl
Sheri West is a founder & CEO, career-readiness expert, podcast host, speaker, and champion for equity and inclusion. She is a former management executive turned social entrepreneur with over 25 years of corporate and leadership development experience. She founded LiveGirl in 2014 to pay it forward to the next generation of diverse female leaders. (LiveGirl has served over 16,000 girls since its founding.) Sheri regularly speaks on a wide range of topics relating to women’s leadership, co-hosts the Confident Podcast with her college daughter, and publishes a LinkedIn newsletter on career readiness, “If Only”. She advocates loudly for policies and practices that open doors for girls and women.
Sheri was recently featured in The New York Times and at the Yale Women’s Leadership Launch. Her honors include being named “Best Friend to Girls” by Moffly Media and a Community Champion by the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. Her education includes BA Finance and Masters of Leadership Development from Michigan State University and Executive Women’s Leadership Certificate from the Yale School of Management. Originally from Michigan, she is married with three children and now lives in New Canaan, Connecticut, where she is actively involved in the community and served nine years on the Board of Education. She also serves on various nonprofit boards.