Landing Pad

/Landing Pad

Discussion Event

Landing Pad

Friday May 4th - 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Record North

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This panel will explore how companies can create, implement, and support programs to assure diversity is celebrated and inclusion is the norm within their businesses. We’ll explore the idea that one can not exist without the other, and how each can help to generate a productive and vibrant workforce under the company’s umbrella.


Dr. Steve L Robbins

A powerful storyteller with a powerful story to tell, Dr. Steve L. Robbins has an uncanny ability to inspire people even in the midst of disrupting and challenging the way they think about the world. Born in Vietnam, Dr. Robbins immigrated with his mother to the United States where they faced many challenges during a time when there was much anti-war and anti-Vietnamese sentiment.

Working through and rising out of the challenges of poverty, discrimination and the tough streets of Los Angeles, Dr. Robbins now brings insightful perspectives on issues of inclusion & innovation, leadership, and the power of caring. Drawing upon a compelling life journey, his talks and workshops are filled with intriguing stories, laugh-out-loud humor and a keen understanding of human behavior.

Dr. Robbins uniquely knows how to simultaneously challenge and motivate people with a dynamic use of storytelling, humor and extensive knowledge of pertinent issues and concepts. The inclusive power of his message are why organizations like Disney, Walmart, Coca-cola, NASA, Caterpillar, Boeing, Microsoft, Gap Inc., Michelin, Toyota, Daimler-Benz and numerous others call on Dr. Robbins to inspire, educate and prepare their people for the exciting challenges of dynamic and diverse environments.
A thought leader and innovator, Dr. Robbins' unique, science-based approach to inclusion and diversity has captured wide acclaim from numerous audiences and organizations across the United States. His approach does NOT blame or point fingers. It uses neuroscience and the science of human behavior to encourage individuals and organizations to be more open-minded, mindful and intentional about inclusion and valuing people for their unique gifts, abilities and experiences.
His new video training series called “Inclusion Insights” is already being talked about as a much-needed and effective tool for cultivating and maintaining conversations on pertinent inclusion and diversity related issues. He describes the short, two to three minute videos as “burst-learning” opportunities that help to create inclusive mindsets and encourage the practice of inclusive behaviors. His book, “What If? Short Stories to Spark Diversity Dialogue,” is used by numerous organizations and schools to invite people into deeper conversations about diversity, inclusion and the power of caring.
Dr. Robbins earned an undergraduate degree in Communication from Calvin College, and his masters and doctorate in Communication Science from Michigan State University. His background in communication, socio-psychology and cognitive neuroscience drive his work with individuals and organizations – the core of the work is about understanding human behavior and leveraging human differences in an ever-changing, fast-paced 21st world.

Laurie Gaskins Baise

Prof. Laurie Baise graduated with a BSE from Princeton University in 1995. She then received her PhD and MS at the University of California at Berkeley in Civil Engineering. She started at Tufts University in 2001 and was promoted to Professor in 2015 and Chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering in 2017. Prof. Baise's research is in the field of geotechnical earthquake engineering and engineering seismology. Prof. Baise’s research has been funded by the U.S. Geologic Survey and the National Science Foundation. She served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Seismological Society of America from 2011-2017. Prof. Baise has been honored by numerous awards including several teaching and mentoring awards at Tufts and the Casagrande Professional Development Award in 2008 from the American Society of Civil Engineers. While at Tufts, Prof. Baise has been involved in recruiting and retaining undergraduate students in Civil and Environmental Engineering through her role as Director of the Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering degree.

Lori Flees

Lori Flees is Senior Vice President, Next Gen Retail and Principal, Store No 8. In this role, Lori leads the incubation of new businesses (via Store No 8) and builds strategic partnerships that will help Walmart define, enable and win the next generation of retail. Lori is also responsible for our growth strategies and partnerships in digital media/entertainment (including day-to-day leadership of our VUDU platform) and in Health and Wellness in close collaboration with the Walmart US Stores leadership.

Lori joined Walmart in 2014 as SVP, Corporate Strategy and had responsibility for Corporate Strategy, Corporate Financial Planning & Analysis, Mergers & Acquisitions and Integration (Acceleration). In this role, Lori worked with Walmart’s senior leadership to define the company’s priorities. This included an aggressive corporate development agenda which comprised the acquisition and integration of, several additional eCom acquisitions as well as key strategic or joint-venture partnership agreements in healthcare and supply chain.

Prior to joining Walmart, Lori spent over 17 years at Bain & Company where she was a partner in the global strategy consulting firm. While at Bain, Lori worked with clients to develop strategies to deliver growth and drive performance improvement. Prior to Bain, Lori held roles at Intel Corporation and General Motors.

Lori has a bachelor's degree in management systems from Kettering University (formerly General Motors Institute) and a master's degree in business administration from Harvard Business School. Lori is married to James King and has two children (Oliver and Lucy).

Sarah Bettman

Sarah Bettman is Talent Development Manager for Wine & Spirits and is leading Diversity and Inclusion efforts at Constellation Brands. She has two decades of experience designing and implementing organizational and leadership development solutions in a variety of industries. She is passionate about and known for her work in the areas of leadership development, advancing women leaders, and inclusive leadership with clients from around the world.

Prior to joining Constellation Brands, Sarah served as a Principal Consultant with Linkage, Inc. where she created customized solutions by collaborating with multiple stakeholders on large scale projects to ensure that her clients ultimately achieve their strategic objectives. Sarah effectively blends facilitation, team development, and executive coaching to create engagements that have impact and get results.

She was also a Director of Leadership Development for Kaiser Permanente. In this role, she managed a multifaceted leadership initiative, in addition to focusing on team development, executive coaching, and strategic consulting efforts including a comprehensive business performance review process. Her work helped drive statistically significant increases in customer satisfaction and quality scores. At Sutter Health, she worked as an internal coach, managing over 300 individuals and teams responsible for driving growth at all levels of the organization.

Her experience as a firefighter and paramedic taught her first-hand about the power of effective leadership and high-performing teams—and shaped her passion for leadership development and management. She has worked extensively in a variety of industries including healthcare, energy, technology and finance.

Sarah holds a BS in Business Administration from the University of Colorado and an MBA in Strategic Leadership from Dominican University of California. She is certified in individual coaching through the Coaches Training Institute, in Organization and Relationship Systems Coaching from CRR Global.