Published on April 7th, 2015 | by Millennium Magazine Staff


Greenville Chamber’s ACE Leadership Symposium to Promote Leadership Diversity

Pictured above Natalie Madeira Cofield

(GREENVILLE, SC) The Greenville Chamber’s third annual ACE Leadership Symposium will be held at the TD Convention Center on Thursday, April 23 with workshops from 10:00 to 11:15 am, and a lunch from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm featuring keynote speaker Natalie Madeira Cofield, President and CEO for the Greater Austin Black Chamber of Commerce, founder of the Austin Black Technology Council, and founder of Walker’s Legacy, a national minority women in business collective established in 2009.

According to Cofield, “Diversity is no longer a conversation confined to human resources.  Diversity today is the defining factor for market growth and maintained relevancy for businesses and brands that is highlighted by the nation’s increasing number of consumers of color.”

The Greenville Chamber actively supports talented women and professionals of color in our community in achieving leadership positions in greater numbers. The mission of the ACE Leadership Symposium is to send the strong message to the community that in order to advance minority leadership including mid to senior level appointments and nonprofit/corporate board service, there must be a concerted effort to advocate for this cause and collaborate to ensure minority leaders are successful so that they can excel personally and in their endeavors to contribute to their organizations.

ACE Leadership Symposium Schedule of Events

10:00 – 11:15 am Concurrent Workshop Sessions

Workshop A: Charting a Path Forward: Addressing Career Challenges for Multicultural Professionals – Panel Discussion


Judith S. Prince, USC Upstate, Panel Moderator
Annette Allen, Vice President, Sales , Marketing & Strategy, Fluor
Clarence Kegler, Retired, Michelin North America
Wilfredo Leon, Publisher and Editor at El Latino Newspaper
Martha Scott Smith, Retired, AT&T, Inc.
G. T. “Toby” Stansell, President and Chief Operating Officer, Acumen IT

Overview: Workforce diversity will become increasingly important as the competitiveness of our economy continues to grow. Both external and internal barriers can be equally detrimental to the advancement of diverse groups. Drawing on the expertise and experiences of five diverse panel members, participants will be given pragmatic advice on maximizing their opportunities in the corporate and professional world. Mentoring, recognized as one of the most effective diversity strategies, will also be explored. Additional topics include increasing your organizational intelligence (your OQ , not IQ), cultivating feedback about your work, developing an adaptable strategic plan for success, recognizing opportunities, setting a forward trajectory for your personal and civic life, and more. Participants will have opportunities to ask questions of the panel members.

Workshop B: “Are Good Intentions Enough? Avoiding Unconscious Biases and Cultivating Inclusion-Minded Leaders” Facilitated by Dr. Kinneil Coltman, Chief Diversity Officer, Greenville Health System

Overview: Most of us have good intentions to be fair and consistent in our work lives and how we relate to others. What if good intentions aren’t enough, though? What if biases affect our behavior and decision-making, and we never realize it? Biases within our unconscious minds are a natural reality of the human condition, and they can pervade nearly every aspect of our lives. Yes, we are often reluctant to acknowledge our biases for fear of being thought of as a bigot or racist. This interactive workshop led by Dr. Kinneil Coltman, will help participants gain a deeper understanding of the nature of unconscious biases and how they can impact our interactions and ability to lead. Participants will be given tools and suggestions for surfacing and managing our unconscious biases in order to optimize interpersonal interactions.

11:30 am – 1:00 pm – Lunch “Collaborative Relationships to Advance Multicultural Leadership” Keynote speaker, Natalie Madeira Cofield, President & CEO for the Greater Austin Black Chamber of Commerce, founder of the Austin Black Technology Council, and founder of Walker’s Legacy, a national minority women in business collective established in 2009

Collaborative relationships in business can be valuable and can boost you and the organization beyond your expectations. The main goal is to join alliances with two or more individuals and organizations to give you a more competitive advantage. Collaboration can greatly enhance an individual and organization’s chances of success. Although, collaboration can refer to families, neighbors, schools, etc., this session will discuss collaboration among professionals and businesses. To create that partnership, minority professionals must adhere to key obligations and majority counterparts or those senior leaders that have the ability to open doors and create opportunities have a responsibility. The lunch session will also include a 20 minute Q&A with Cofield.

The deadline to register for the Chamber’s ACE Leadership Diversity Symposium is April 17th.

Individual Luncheon Registration: $25 each for Chamber Investors/$35 General Public

Individual Workshop Registration: $15 each for Chamber Investors/$25 General Public
Individual Luncheon & Workshop Registration: $35 for Chamber Investors/$45 General Public

Details and event registration are online at www.GreenvilleChamber.org.

About Keynote Speaker Natalie Madeira Cofield

A millennial that found inspiration at the nexus of business, community and politics, Cofield has carved a niche for herself as an entrepreneur, advocate, and speaker on all things business and diversity. Her work has spanned continents, communities and corporations and can currently be found impacting lives and bottom-lines at organizations in cities including Austin, New York, DC, LA, Sao Paulo, Johannesburg, Nairobi and beyond.

Cofield is currently the President & CEO for the Greater Austin Black Chamber of Commerce, founder of the Austin Black Technology Council, and founder of Walker’s Legacy, a national minority women in business collective established in 2009. Her work has resulted in award winning, case-studied initiatives including founding: the CCAACC/South by Southwest African Diaspora Fellowship, the Austin Black Technology Council, and a $100,000 VC-backed business plan competition, among others. She has presented on the topic of minority business development for universities including: Harvard University, Howard University, Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Texas at Austin, among others. In 2013 Cofield provided an intensive international course on the history of minority business development in the United States for Zumbi Dos Palmares University in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

A thought-leader on the topic of diversity and business, Cofield has provided testimony before the US Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship and has contributed featured columns to Forbes. For her work on technology eco-system development Cofield was named one of the 2013 Top 10 Black Innovators at South by Southwest and received the Technology Diversity Evangelist Partner of the Year by Google in 2013. Cofield serves on the board of directors for the CleanTX Foundation, on the corporate advisory board of BioDrill, was the former chair of the DC Commission for Women Economic Development Committee, and has been named a Top 40 Under 40 alum by Howard University where she earned a Bachelors in Information Systems. She received her master of Public Administration as a National Urban Fellow from the Baruch School of Public Affairs in New York. Cofield’s work has been featured on the cover of Black Enterprise and has been covered by Forbes, Ebony, C-Span, and BusinessInsider, among others.

Click https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o8qJYyBnrd0&feature=youtu.be to view a promo video.

About the Greenville Chamber

The Greenville Chamber, now in its 127th year of operation, is the largest business organization in Upstate South Carolina with over 2400 investors supporting the vision to build one of the premier business communities in the world by driving economic growth and prosperity, serving as an advocate for business interests, training future leaders and facilitating the workforce of tomorrow. For more information, visit www.greenvillechamber.org or call 864-242-1050.



About the Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

2 + ten =

Back to Top ↑

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!