LGBT Executives Gather to Advance Workplace Equality

March 23, 2015 — San Francisco
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The eighth annual Out & Equal Executive Forum will convene 50 high-ranking and emerging lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) corporate leaders from around the world to discuss best practices for advancing LGBT workplace equality.

During the three-day event, held March 24-26 at the Nikko Hotel San Francisco, participants will focus on building their strengths as executives in the world’s largest corporations and furthering their skills as LGBT leaders.

“The Executive Forum brings together key people who are working within their companies to build workplace equality for LGBT people,” said Selisse Berry, Founder and CEO of Out & Equal Workplace Advocates. “Their work as global business leaders gives them a unique perspective on what is needed to further workplace equality here in the United States and globally.”

Improving employee diversity, especially among tech companies, has been in the news. But it is important that LGBT employees are included in the definition of diversity.

“If we aren’t being counted, then the message is that we don’t count,” Berry said.

To solve this issue, Executive Forum participants will focus on ways for corporations to effectively implement a new trend: Self-ID programs to know how many LGBT employees they have in order to provide more inclusive policies.

In addition to Self ID, the forum discussion will include transgender benefits and global policies. There will also be a special emphasis on the importance of allies who can ensure that inclusivity and acceptance permeates throughout the culture of their company.

The forum will also include a “State of the LGBT Union” presentation by Tim Sweeney, former program director of the Evelyn & Walter Haas, Jr. Fund and former CEO of the Gill Foundation. Sweeney’s talk will update executives on the status of the current LGBT movement.

Those in attendance include:

Krystianne Avedian — Hewlett-Packard
Vice President Hewlett Packard Strategic Alliances & Partners

Jeff Bharkhda — PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

Renee D. Brown — Wells Fargo
SVP, Director of Social Media

Zach Buchwald — BlackRock Solutions
Managing Director

Gary Butkus, RPh — Eli Lilly and Company
Director, Alliance Management

Noel Peter Delgado –3M
Latin America Talent Development COE Leader

Klayton Fennell — Comcast
Sr. Vice President of Government Affairs

Paula Getz — Oracle
Vice President, Global Risk Management

David Isljamovski — Intuit
Business Development Manager

George A Kalogridis — Walt Disney World Resort

Justin R. Knepper — Bank of the West
Vice President, Mass Affluent Program Manager

John R. Lake — Wells Fargo
VP/LGBT Segment Manager

Christopher K. Lee — HSBC Bank USA, N.A.
Vice President, Premier Relationship Manager

Megan Marino — BASF
Strategy Director, Process Catalysts

V. Edward Martinez — Bank of the West
Vice President, Banking Services

Brian McComak — The Walt Disney Company
Director, Enterprise Human Resources

Gregg McConnell — Cardinal Health, Inc.
Manager, Legal Operations
Co-President, Equality Network

Jon G. Muñoz — Hilton Worldwide
Senior Director, Diversity & Inclusion

Gary Murakami — MGM Resorts International
Director, Global Sales

Cara A. Pellegrini — Genentech Inc.
Director, Managed Care Marketing

Kimo Pokini — Varian Medical Systems
Technical Training Manager

Kevin Potter — Deloitte Tax

Reza Rahaman — The Clorox Company
VP, R&D Specialty Division

Dan Smith — Cardinal Health
Senior Specialist, D/I

Howard Solomon — Oracle
Channel Sales Representative

Joshua Stewart — The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc.
Vice President, Leadership Delivery Manager

Steven Tallman — Bain and Company, Inc.
Partner and VP of Global Operations

David Thornton — Bank of America
Social Media Servicing Executive

Trish Trolley — Oracle
Senior Director, Product Management

Denise M. Visconti — Littler Mendelson

Bobby Wilkinson — Out and Equal Board Member

Rod Wingfield — The Walt Disney Company
Director, Global Diversity & Inclusion

Lance Wolf — Freddie Mac
Vice President & Deputy General Counsel

Shone E. Zachariah — Dell Inc.
Project Manager & Pride Co-Lead

Bernie Zanck — The Walt Disney Company
Operations Manager, Disney Institute

Company affiliation is listed for identification purposes only.

About Out & Equal

Out & Equal Workplace Advocates is the world’s premiere nonprofit organization dedicated to achieving lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) workplace equality. Out & Equal collaborates with Fortune 1000 companies and government agencies to provide a safe, welcoming and supportive environment for LGBT employees. Since 1996, Out & Equal has worked with executives, human resources professionals and Employee Resource Groups to provide leadership and professional development, education and research.

Out & Equal hosts the annual Workplace Summit, where employees and experts from around the world gather to share strategies and best practices to create workplace equality, inclusive of all sexual orientations and gender identities. Visit for more information.