Leadership in a Diverse World
Cincinnati is an increasingly global and diverse city, and as such, must intentionally encourage, celebrate and seek out diversity. Whether it’s gender or sexuality, racial or cultural, educational or socioeconomic, we’ll acknowledge the strides the city — and by extension, Give Back Cincinnati — has made in become a more diverse and welcoming place. And we’ll also take a candid look at ways we can continue to address and advance leadership to build a more diverse and inclusive world.
Our conversation will include distinguished local leaders who have embraced the value of diversity and inclusion in their career, workplace, and community. Learn more about our guest speakers below:
William Gipson – P&G
President, End-to-End Packaging Transformation and Chief Diversity Officer.
William Gipson serves as President, End-to-End Packaging Transformation and Chief Diversity Officer at P&G. He has held many leadership positions throughout P&G in his over thirty years of experience with the company. William’s journey at P&G has taken him to numerous brands, departments, and even regions of the world including Latin America and Asia.
William was born in Montgomery, Alabama. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa. William served in the United States Air Force between 1976 – 1980.
His affiliations and involvement also include:
- University of Alabama, STEM Path Advisory Board, Member
- United Negro College Fund, Board of Directors, Member
- Executive Leadership Council, Member
- Cincinnati Business Committee, Education Task Force, Member
- Cincinnati, Agenda 360, Diverse by Design Team, Member
- Cincinnati Economic Inclusion Advisory Council, Member
Mary Stagaman – Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber
Senior Inclusion Adviser
Mary Stagaman is Senior Inclusion Advisor for the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber. Mary is responsible for ensuring that the Chamber models inclusiveness and regional thinking in everything it does. Previously, Mary served as Executive Director of Agenda 360, a regional action plan, where she led the development of Diverse by Design, a groundbreaking regional initiative to increase the diversity of our workforce and grow inclusion in the region. Prior to joining the Chamber in 2010, Mary was the top marketing officer at the University of Cincinnati. She serves on the boards of United Way, ArtsWave, the Health Collaborative, Ensemble Theatre and the Corporation for Findlay Market.
Eric Avner – People’s Libery
Chief Executive Officer
People’s Liberty is a philanthropic lab that brings together civic-minded talent to address challenges and uncover opportunities to accelerate the positive transformation of Greater Cincinnati. People’s Liberty invests directly in individuals through funding and mentorship, creating a new, replicable model for grantmakers in other cities.
As CEO, chief ambassador and lead disruptor, Eric directs People’s Liberty’s vision and mission while overseeing investments throughout the urban core. Eric serves as Vice President and Senior Program Officer for the Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr./U.S. Bank Foundation.
Chris Seelbach – Cincinnati City Council
Cincinnati City Councilman
Chris Seelbach is a member of Cincinnati City Council and Vice-President & Chief Financial Officer of the nationally recognized marketing/consulting firm, The Seidewitz Group.
In his first year of office, Seelbach’s accomplishments include:
- Lead efforts that resulted in Cincinnati becoming the largest city in the country to have 100% of its electricity backed by renewable, clean sources;
- Supported an economic development deal with dunnhumbyUSA, resulting in 500 new Cincinnati jobs, averaging $90,000/job;
- Passed equal partner health and retirement benefits for all City employees, regardless of sexual orientation;
- Helped balance the city’s budget without laying off a single police or fire officer;
- Formed a task force to address re-entry services for ex-offenders;
In 2004, Seelbach helped lead the successful effort to repeal Article XII, the anti-gay law that cost Cincinnati over $25 million in lost revenue, according to the Convention & Visitors Bureau. The repeal effort was the only winning gay rights initiative in the country that year.
Cincinnati Magazine recently named Seelbach one of the “New Power Players” in the Cincinnati region and the Cincinnati Business Courier named him to their 2012 “Forty under 40” class, along with featuring him on their cover under the headline, “Taking on City Hall: Chris Seelbach Earning Reputation as Council Maverick.”
Seelbach, who also tutors at Rothenberg Elementary School and mentors business students at Xavier University, lives in Over-the-Rhine with his partner Craig Schultz and their four cats.
Bonnie Meyer – Northern Kentucky University
Director of LGBTQ Programs & Services
Bonnie is the founding director of the Office of LGBTQ Programs and Services at NKU. In less than four years, the Office of LGBTQ Programs & Services has drastically increased awareness, education, and advocacy efforts for the LGBTQA community on campus and throughout the greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky region, and NKU was named one of the top 50 institutions in the country for LGBTQ inclusiveness.
In addition to her work at NKU, Bonnie is engaged in a number of efforts around equity and community development. She has served as the President of NKY Fairness for the past six years, developing the annual NKY Pride Fest and advocating for local Fairness Ordinances in Northern Kentucky. Bonnie also serves on the Board of The Center for Great Neighborhoods of Covington, Friends of Steely Library at NKU, and is a founding board member of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) Cincinnati LGBTQ council.
Bonnie is an educator by trade and pairs that with her passion for LGBTQ inclusion through Allied Zone and Trans Ally trainings that she conducts across sector, throughout the Greater Cincinnati Region. She’s also teaches in the Women and Gender Studies Program and the Teacher Education Departments at NKU, where she also developed a LGBTQ focused study abroad program in Europe.
Bonnie holds a Bachelor of Science in Integrated English Language Arts Education and a Master of Arts in Teaching English, both from Miami University. She is in her final year of dissertation writing. Her dissertation, Queering Inclusive Excellence: The Role of a LGBTQ Office in Shaping Perceptions of Allyship, will examine the role LGBTQ offices have in creating allyship across identities and orientations in diversity centers.
Bonnie lives in Covington with her wife, Katie, and her daughter, Alyssa, as well as their three dogs. She also has an 18-year-old son, Kyle. In her free time, Bonnie is passionate about community engagement, running, gardening, and spending time with her friends and family.
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