2nd Annual Virtual Destination Talent: Find, Showcase and Connect with Talent in Kansas City

Shape your organization's talent pool, gain critical insight into trending workplace topics and earn SHRM credit at this one-day, virtual conference.

Register for Free

Join us for a personalized experience as you choose from one of two unique tracks with the flexibility to move between them throughout the day. As an attendee, you can: 

  1. Connect with KU Edwards Campus graduate and undergraduate students completing their degrees to increase your talent pool: 

    • Engage in intentional networking and conversations throughout the day.

    • Share in professional development opportunities with students entering the workforce or professionals enhancing their workplace skills and knowledge. 

    • Enjoy student and faculty research presentations offered in one-hour sessions, allowing you to allocate your time per your interests. 
  2. Engage with essential skills training on critical workplace topics, including:
    • Introduction to project management
    • Diversifying Tech Talent through Apprenticeship
    • Organizational obliviousness: Understanding inequities in the workplace 
    • Navigating the Workplace: Perspectives from People of Color About Their Career Journeys (Keynote Panel Discussion) 

Who should attend?

All levels of employees are welcome. The session will be especially helpful for private and public sector organizations with a need to increase talent pools, professionals managing transitioning units, and individuals looking for affordable SHRM re-certification options. 

Event Details

WHEN: Friday, April 30, 2021
WHERE: Zoom - Instructions Sent Closer to Time
Keynote Panel Discussion: Navigating the Workplace: Perspectives from People of Color About Their Career Journeys
10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Register for Free

SHRM Recertification Provider Seal 2021 - PNG


Quality professional development ensures you're ready to take on the needs of your market. With one-hour concurrent training sessions, you are bound to leave with a broader understanding of best practices to apply in your everyday work. 


Topic: Navigating the Workplace: Perspectives from People of Color About Their Career Journeys 

Facilitated by Michael Gonzales, lecturer in the KU School of Business and founder of the Diversity and Inclusion Consortium, this panel will explore the daily workplace experiences of professionals of color across various industries and professions. Panelists will share their own experiences navigating often predominantly white workplaces, how they build relationships and address challenging situations. Lastly, they will discuss how their personal identities inform the work they do on behalf of their clients and customers.

Panel Moderator: 

MGMichael Gonzales

Diversity & Inclusion Consultant, Co-Founder, Diversity & Inclusion Consortium, Professor of D&I, Kansas University and the former Leader of Hallmark’s Corporate Diversity & Inclusion Work

Michael is the principal owner of NE&E consulting and travels the country as a consultant, executive coach, speaker, panelist and advisor on D&I topics impacting business and workforce imperatives. As the former corporate leader of Hallmark’s D&I department, he was responsible for Hallmark’s D&I’s strategies and objectives, their internal and external collaborations, partnerships and compliance. He was responsible for the execution of the D&I’s priorities regarding, workforce, workplace, marketplace and community. Michael was also responsible for the company’s seven Employee Resource Groups, (ERG’s). He is also the co-founder of the Diversity & Inclusion Consortium, a national organization of over 385 D&I practitioners and advocates hailing from 18 states 25 cities including three international cities, Toronto, Canada; London, England and Hanoi, Vietnam. The Consortium was created when he saw a need for collaborative thought and sharing. The main objective of the Consortium is to share best practice and to provide each other insights and support regarding D&I opportunities and challenges.

Michael is a frequent lecturer on university campuses advancing student knowledge and appreciation for D&I not only for their college experience but in preparation for their professional career. He assumed the role of professor teaching a course on diversity, inclusion and equity at Kansas University this past Spring semester 2020. He currently serves on 10 national, regional and local boards and councils


Panelist Info: 

Tahir Atwater Official Headshot (002)

Tahir Atwater

Director of Donor and Volunteer Engagement, Jackson County CASA

Tahir Atwater's professional and personal focus is supporting KC youth by creating, growing, and advocating for diverse, equitable, and inclusive communities. As the Director of Donor and Volunteer Engagement for Jackson County CASA, Tahir's focus is growing CASA's volunteer and donor base, while using intentional DEI initiatives in the agency's growth and outreach strategies. CASA's vision is to ensure every child that's faced abuse or neglect and involved with the Jackson County Family Court will end up in a safe and permanent home.


Azani Fitten Headshot-1

Azani Fitten

Recruiter, Polytainers

Azani Fitten is a human resource professional with three years of recruiting and hiring experience across multiple industries. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies in 2017 from the University of Missouri – Kansas City as a Trustees’ Scholar recipient. Post-graduation, Azani commenced her HR career in talent acquisition where she served as the Recruitment and Retention Chair for the Disability Inclusion Group and was involved in a variety of company-wide diversity and inclusion initiatives. She is currently a recruiter for Polytainers where she hires top talent and develops strategies to improve employee retention and engagement. With a natural zeal for leadership and people development, Azani is also the owner of Career Uncaged, a black and female-owned resume writing business that helps professionals elevate their resumes and inner selves to achieve professional growth. Outside of her professional endeavors, Azani enjoys bike riding, hiking, traveling, and serving at her local church.



Olivia Law-Delrosso

Assistant Dean for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging - College of Business Administration, Kansas State University 
Instructor, Principles of Mngt, D&I in the Workplace

Dr. Olivia Law-Delrosso (she, her, hers) is a facilitator of learning who helps individuals and organizations develop intercultural consciousness.

"Our institutions, businesses, and community benefit when we celebrate diversity and learn from, and with, each other. Building intercultural consciousness as individuals and organizations is a lifelong journey. As a college, we both welcome and enjoy the challenge of continuous learning and view this work as critical to our success."

Dr. Law-DelRosso's work experience includes International Programs, experience founding and directing a business school/corporate careers program, and teaching expertise in Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace. She is a Qualified Administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI), a cross-cultural assessment of intercultural competence.


Kayla ReedKayla Reed

Digital Marketer, Burns & McDonnell

Kayla Reed is a Kansas City based digital marketer with Burns & McDonnell. She is passionate about building engaging web and mobile experiences. Originally from a rural town in Southeast Missouri, it wasn't until starting her professional career that she was able to embrace her Korean culture and identity. She's especially passionate about diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace and ultimately just wants to make the world a better place. 



HongHoang-Anh L. Tran

Chief of Staff - Administrative Pillar, UMB Financial Corporation

Hoang-Anh L. Tran is responsible for project management supporting the successful integration of strategic organizational initiatives, processes, and communication strategies throughout UMB's Administrative pillar in partnership with Administrative leadership. Prior to her arrival at UMB in 2015, Tran served as Assistant Chancellor and Chief of Staff at Syracuse University, and has over 15 years of experience in administration and academia, from theological education to legal education as well as Division I higher education, and previously worked at Syracuse University, Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, and Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley, CA. She has a bachelor's degree in arts and literature from Southern Methodist University, and a master’s of fine arts in creative writing from the University of North Carolina - Wilmington.


John_Bricklemyer_OPT Low Res (002)John Bricklemyer, CPEM

Topic: An Introduction to Successful Project Management

John has more than 31 years of progressive experience in a variety of industrial settings. His experiences include positions in general management, operations management, engineering management, purchasing, product engineering, and project management. He has worked for a Fortune 500 company as well as a small privately-held company and has managed mid-sized departments, multiple-location operations, and small entrepreneurial subsidiaries. He holds a master’s degree in international management from the American Graduate School of International Management (Thunderbird), a master’s degree in industrial engineering (engineering management option) from Rochester Institute of Technology, and a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from The Pennsylvania State University. John has taught at KU in Engineering Management since 2009 and Project Management since the program began in 2013. John is currently a Professor of the Practice and Director for Engineering Management and Project Management Program.


Portillo_Shannon-web2Shannon Portillo, Ph.D

Topic: Organizational Obliviousness: Understanding Inequities in the Workplace

Dr. Portillo takes an interdisciplinary approach to her work pulling on organizational theories rooted in Public Administration and Law and Society to explore how rules and policies are carried out within public organizations. To date she has done work in a broad array of organizations including the military, courts, policing, higher education, and city management. Using a variety of methods, she collects empirical data to assess how social, cultural, and legal factors influence the day-to-day operations in these organizations. Teaching and research interests include social equity, organizational theory, and law and public management. Her work has appeared in the Journal of Public Administration Research & Theory, Law & Policy, Public Administration Review, Administration & Society, Law & Social Inquiry, and The Huffington Post, among other academic and popular outlets.


Erin ChristensenErin Christensen 

Topic: Diversifying Tech Talent through Apprenticeship

Erin is the Program Manager for the KC Tech Council in which she is responsible for implementing and leading a top tech apprenticeship program in Kansas City, Apprenti. Prior to joining KCTC, Erin was with UMKC managing employer outreach and relationships for the Bloch School of Management. She received her bachelor’s degree in Organizational Communication and master’s in Higher Education Administration from Northwest Missouri State University. Feel free to connect with her through her LinkedIn, https://www.linkedin.com/in/erinfchristensen/, or via email at erin@kctechcouncil.com


Register Today!

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend University of Kansas sponsored events. If you require a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in an event, please email edwardsinfo@ku.edu or call 913-897-8530 at least three weeks before the first day of the event.