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Association Member Trust
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Focus NJ
New Jersey Business Magazine
New Jersey Council of County Colleges
NJM Insurance
New Jersey Resources
Hybrid April 18 8:00 am - 12:00 pm $79.00 Holiday Inn Clark
36 Valley Rd, Clark, NJ 07066
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Elephants in Shifting Sands
The Changing Reality of DE&I

Employers who understand and embrace diversity also understand the opportunity to grow and better serve customers by expanding their demographic footprint. Studies show the most diverse companies at executive levels are now more likely to outperform peers in terms of profitability. Join us as we discuss today’s most challenging issues and hear from experts on how to best embrace diversity, equity and inclusion, making it a regular part of your day-to-day operations.

Join us to engage, learn, and be inspired through the power of community.

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This is a hybrid event.

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  • Summit Program
    8:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.
    Breakfast, Networking & Registration
    8:30 a.m. – 8:45 a.m.
    Opening Remarks with Award Presentation
    8:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
    Keynote Speakers, Panel Discussions, Networking & Closing Remarks.

    The Shifting Nature of Fairness & Equity: When it comes to non-traditional roles, businesses have had to play catch-up with hiring and training to ensure they’re not excluding people who aren’t the traditional candidate.

    Getting Real in Our New Reality: Finding stability in the continued shifting sands of the DE&I space can be difficult. From experiencing radical candor to understanding the changing nature of the language, hear from a panel of experts on how to navigate these waters.

Our Featured Speakers

More to be Announced!
Michele N. Siekerka, Esq. Michele N. Siekerka, Esq. President & CEO, NJBIA

Michele N. Siekerka, Esq., President and CEO of the New Jersey Business & Industry Association, leads the nation’s largest, most influential employers’ organization, advocating on behalf of New Jersey’s large and small businesses for policies that will make New Jersey more affordable and regionally competitive.

Being known as a collaborative leader, Siekerka is leading an NJBIA established coalition (New Jersey Business Coalition) comprised of more than 100 business and nonprofit associations across the state to tackle the tough economic and business challenges our state is facing during COVID 19.

Well versed on the ‘boots on the ground” issues affecting our state’s business community, Michele is often the “go to” resource for media and is sought after to share her expertise in public forums across the state.

Dr. Denise Anderson, Ph.D., MPH Dr. Denise Anderson, Ph.D., MPH Founder & CEO, Denise Anderson & Associates LLC

Dr. Denise Anderson holds a Bachelor of Science in Human Ecology with a concentration in Dietetics obtained from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. In 2002 (until 2013), she became a Registered Dietitian and received her Master’s in Public Health from Rutgers University, School of Public Health. She completed her doctorate in a joint (Rutgers and NJIT) Ph.D. program in Urban Systems – Health Track. Dr. Anderson is a National Center for Quality Assurance (NCQA), Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH), Certified Content Expert (CCE).

She has taught Human Resources Administration, Strategic Planning, and Health Systems and Policy as a part-time lecturer at Rutgers School of Public Affairs and Administration and worked as Adjunct Faculty at William Paterson University (WPU), School of Public Health, teaching Disparities in Health. She is a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Public Health Prevention Specialist (PHPS) fellow, and an Eagleton Institute of Politics fellow; she has over nineteen years of experience in public health as a generalist. Her recent work includes serving at the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) as New Jersey’s Primary Care Officer in the Office of Primary Care and Rural Health (OPCRH), overseeing programs and services for underrepresented and vulnerable populations. Before departing NJDOH, she served as Executive Director, Maternal Care Quality Collaborative (MCQC), and Founder and Principal for the Department’s first-ever Rapid Mobile Response Team.

Lastly, she briefly served at New Community Corporation as Department Head for Health and Human Services, overseeing mental health and substance use services, transitional housing, workforce readiness, and youth services. Dr. Anderson is the founder and CEO of Denise Anderson & Associates (DA&A), LLC, an independent public health and health care consultancy business.

Diana Domenech Diana Domenech Owner, Accelerate Consulting Experts

Diana Domenech is Owner of Accelerate Consulting Experts (ACE), advising and assisting large companies to strategize and execute global Diversity & Sustainability programs, and small and disadvantaged businesses to develop and execute against plans and strategies resulting in growth and development in the federal and private sector. She has had recent successes working with global organizations in the financial services and non-profit sectors, Native American tribes, and African American owned businesses.

Diana was formerly Head of Process, Technology, Governance, and Risk for Global Services & Procurement Services at AIG. In
this role she led a global team responsible for maintaining and improving upon the end-to-end sourcing process and applications, managed operational, as well as, strategic initiatives, liaised with audit, developed and managed policies, oversaw risk management activities, responded and monitored adherence to regulatory requirements, and drove firmwide efforts in Supplier Diversity and Supply Chain Sustainability. While at AIG she had also held roles in Process Transformation and Supplier Relationship Management, and was instrumental in fostering the company culture and behaviors that contributed to the growth and success of Supplier Diversity efforts.

Prior to AIG, Diana spent 14 years at JPMorgan Chase where she was Vice President of Supplier Diversity, responsible for leading the company global efforts for the $3 billion+ program. She also held various roles at the bank in operations, and before that was trained as an underwriter for the Executive Protection Practice at Chubb Group of Insurance Companies. Diana holds an MBA from NYU; B.S. from Cornell University; certificate from the University of Granada Spain; and is Six Sigma Green Belt Certified. She currently serves as the Chair Emeritus of the Financial Services Roundtable for Supplier Diversity and brings other experience serving on nonprofit boards and working with Supplier Diversity and advocacy organizations.

Diana serves as lead strategist around corporate supplier diversity programs and corporate procurement, corporate mentor-protege programs, private sector engagement and business development

Dr. Frank L Douglas Ph.D., M.D. Dr. Frank L Douglas Ph.D., M.D. CEO & Founder, Safe Haven Dialogues, LLC

An award-winning industry veteran with more than three decades of experience in healthcare, pharmaceuticals and entrepreneurship, Douglas has held leadership roles in both large and small biopharmaceutical companies. Prominent among these was his role as Executive Vice President and member of the Board of Management of Aventis SA (now Sanofi), where he was responsible for global research, development, regulatory affairs and marketing support. He led teams that were responsible for the development and marketing approval of many drugs, including Allegra, Lantus, Taxotere and Actonel. He was also Chief Scientific Advisor of Bayer Healthcare AG and served on the Boards of several Biopharmaceutical companies, including as Chairman for Alantos Pharmaceutical Inc. This company was sold to Amgen.

Douglas has also held academic positions including Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine and Director of the Hypertension Clinic at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine.  While at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Douglas was the Professor of the Practice in the MIT Sloan School of Management and also held similar appointments in the departments of biology, biological engineering, and the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology and was the founder and first executive director of the MIT Center for Biomedical Innovation. Douglas has introduced and implemented several innovative concepts in industry and academia. These include Value Driven Engineering, The Accountable Care Community, the i6 Process for transforming bedside observations into innovative products, and use of Chemical Biology in Drug Discovery. He was University Professor in the College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering, University of Akron, where, in collaboration with three hospitals and the Northeast Ohio Medical University, several of his concepts were implemented.

Douglas is the recipient of the 2007 Black History Makers Award and has been honored twice as the Global Pharmaceutical R&D Director of the Year, in recognition of his leadership and success in improving innovation and productivity in pharmaceutical companies.   He has also received the Medal of Honor and an Honorary Professorship from the Johann Wolfgang von Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany.  He was honored as one of Geoffrey Beene Gives Back® and GQ Magazine’s 2010 Rock Stars of Science™, and received the Caribbean Luminary Award from the American Foundation for The University of the West Indies and the Executive of the Year Award from the local affiliate of Sales and Marketing Executives International. Other awards include the NOBCChe Lifetime Achievement Award, Center for Medicine in the Public Interest’s Odyssey Award, and the Louis B. Russell Memorial American Heart Association Award.

Douglas is senior partner emeritus of PureTech Ventures. He is former member of the Battelle Memorial Institute Board of Directors, National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) Advisory Council (NIH), BioOhio Board of Directors, Governor Kasich’s Ohio Medical Corridor initiative, national chairman of the Value-driven Engineering and U.S. Global Competitiveness initiative, and was a member of the Lehigh University Board of Trustees.

Douglas holds a BS in Chemistry from Lehigh University, Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry and a M.D. from

Cornell University.  He did his internship and residency in internal medicine at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institution and a fellowship in neuroendocrinology at the National Institutes of Health.

Perry Farhat Perry Farhat Director of Diversity & Inclusion, RWJUH Somerset & Administrative Director, Babs Siperstein PROUD Center

Perry Farhat serves as Director of Diversity and Inclusion at RWJUH Somerset and is also the Administrative Director of the Babs Siperstein PROUD Center.  Perry has also been tapped to lead the PROUD Gender Center of New Jersey (RWJUH New Brunswick) as its Interim Director.

The Babs Siperstein PROUD Center is the first primary care facility in New Jersey specializing in the health care needs of the LGBTQIA+ community.  During his tenure, the PROUD Center received the NJBIZ HealthCare Heroes Award in “Innovation,” and was honored as the National Association of Social Worker’s 2022 New Jersey Organization of the Year.  Further, the PROUD Center’s patient panel increased by 50%, increasing access to affirming healthcare to the LGBTQ community.  Perry serves in Governor Murphy’s LGBTQ+ Taskforce and has been included in both ROI-NJ’s 2022 Healthcare and Diversity & Inclusion influencer’s list.

Prior to joining RWJBarnabas, Perry served as an Assistant United States Attorney (“AUSA”) at the United States Department of Justice. Perry was assigned to the Government Fraud Unit where he prosecutes various white-collar crimes.  Perry also served as the Office’s LGBTQ Special Emphasis Program Manager. Prior to serving as an AUSA, Perry prosecuted a wide-range of criminal cases at the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office, also serving as community outreach liaison working with Somerset County’s most vulnerable communities.

Before these posts, Perry clerked for the Honorable Deborah Silverman Katz, A.J.S.C., in Camden. Perry is a graduate of Rutgers Law School, received a Master of City Planning from Boston University. While in Boston, he served as an outreach and advocacy coordinator with the Boston Redevelopment Authority, where he coordinated financial literacy and education programs, free tax preparation and free healthcare enrollment initiatives to Boston’s low- and moderate-income families.  Perry obtained a Bachelor of Arts from Rutgers University–New Brunswick.

Catherine Frugé Starghill, Esq. Catherine Frugé Starghill, Esq. Vice President of Strategy & Partnerships, New Jersey Council of County Colleges

Catherine Frugé Starghill, Esq. is the Vice President of Strategy and Partnerships for the New Jersey Council of County Colleges (NJCCC) and the former Deputy Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL).

Starghill was on the list of New Jersey’s 25 Most Influential African Americans by South Jersey Journal in 2017 as one of the “State’s leaders who stand head and shoulders above others and boldly reflect the rich diversity and excellence of the African American community throughout the Garden State.”

As Vice President of Strategy and Partnerships for NJCCC, Starghill leads the statewide coalition of industry and education partners for the New Jersey Pathways to Career Opportunities initiative aligning education to build an innovative workforce for a stronger state economy.

Starghill was named Deputy Commissioner of the NJDOL in October 2016. As Deputy Commissioner, she led many of the Department’s program areas including Research and Information, Income Security, and Labor Standards and Safety Enforcement. She started with the NJDOL in 2012, previously serving as Executive Director of Workforce Operations and Business Services where she oversaw the day-to-day operations of the One-Stop Career Centers and the integrated business outreach of workforce field staff with other state and local workforce partners. In that role, she was responsible for more than 300 employees and a $45 million budget.

Prior to joining the NJDOL, Starghill was the Acting Director of the Division of Housing and Community Resources and Equal Employment Opportunity Officer at the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (NJDCA). Much of her state government career was spent at NJDCA as the state’s expert on the Open Public Records Act serving as Executive Director of the Government Records Council and the Privacy Study Commission.

Before joining the public sector, she spent many years in the private sector, working in Tax and Legal Services at PricewaterhouseCoopers and on the Corporate Finance Staff of Ford Motor Company.

Starghill simultaneously earned a Bachelor of Business Administration and Master of Accounting from the University of Michigan. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from Wayne State University Law School and a Six Sigma Black Belt Certification for Project Management from the New Jersey Institute of Technology.

She was married to the late Rev. Dr. Britt A. Starghill and is the mother of two children, Britt Andrew and Brie Alexandra.

Jackie Lue Raia Jackie Lue Raia President, ALEXENA Consulting, LLC

Jackie Lue Raia is the president of ALEXENA Consulting, LLC, a firm focused on Workforce Development and Employee Engagement. As a certified Minority/Women Business Enterprise, we are an essential and important partner to businesses and stakeholders across all industry sectors. Our goal is to ensure the creation of the strongest, most engaged and satisfied workforce possible.  

Jackie served as the CEO of the Partnership for Community Health, Inc., a not-for-profit organization focused on the health and well-being of the residents and workers of New Jersey.  She then joined Bergen Community College as the Project Director of a U.S. Department of Labor – Education and Training Administration grant, where she, in collaboration with Kessler Foundation, founded the MOSAIC Center for Disability Employment and the Employment Pathways Initiative. Most recently, as the Director of Corporate Outreach and Training at Fairleigh Dickinson University, her main focus was workforce training and development. 

Jackie currently sits on the Leadership Committee of NJ Business and Industry Association’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Council; Board of Directors of the Bergen and Essex County Workforce Development Boards; Leadership Council for the New Jersey Statewide Network for Cultural Competence; Board of Directors of the American Red Cross – Northern NJ Chapter; Advisory Board Member of NJ Association for School Resource Officers (NJASRO); and is the Goodwill Ambassador of the Blue Knights NJ Chapter VIII law enforcement motorcycle club. She is also a member of the Tri-State Diversity Council. She was awarded a certificate for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Workplace by the University of South Florida. 

Casey Moes Casey Moes Director of Business Development in North America, CWT

Casey Moes is a Director of Business Development in North America for CWT. She has over 20 years of experience leading diverse teams in identifying and mitigating risk to people, facilities, and information through her service in the U.S. Army. Casey served in various law enforcement, protection, or emergency management capacities overseas in Italy, Korea, throughout Africa, Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan.  Casey was privileged to lead Soldiers in Iraq and at Fort Bragg, North Carolina where they served as first responders.  She was also fortunate to develop cadets at the United States Military Academy while serving as the special assistant to the Commandant for Respect where she mentored cadets in areas of equal opportunity and prevention of sexual harassment.

After serving in key operational roles for the military police in Hawaii, Casey was selected for a one-year fellowship with the Department of State (DoS), Bureau of Diplomatic Security.   Casey’s work with the Diplomatic Security team enabled DoS political and governance experts access to austere locations in Syria and critical human capital during their humanitarian crisis.

While stationed in Italy, Casey served as the director of a team that planned, assessed, and managed risk in areas of counterterrorism, emergency management, personal recovery, travel risk management, and safety on the continent of Africa.

Prior to working at CWT, Casey was the chief of force protection for First Army.  The highlight of this assignment was assisting in developing and implementing the control framework for safety and security of the Afghan evacuees at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin.

She holds a Bachelor of Science from the United States Military Academy at West Point, a master’s degree in Security Management from Webster University.

Casey lives and works in Andover, NJ, is married to Ms. Laurie Morano, and takes pride in her toughest assignment as the mom to twin boys, Levon, and Judah.

Shelley R. Smith, Esq. Shelley R. Smith, Esq. Partner & Chief of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Archer & Greiner P.C.

Shelley R. Smith is Archer’s Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer and a partner in the firm’s Business Litigation and Labor and Employment Groups. She counsels clients in commercial litigation and labor and employment matters. Shelley has experience litigating a wide variety of cases before federal and state courts and administrative agencies. Shelley has handled cases involving discrimination and harassment allegations, including Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act. In addition, Shelley has represented clients in matters regarding unlawful discipline, wrongful discharge, unfair labor practice issues, and whistleblower claims. Shelley also handles collective bargaining issues, including private and public sector union negotiations and grievance arbitrations.

Shelley also provides day-to-day advice and counsel to personnel and human resource departments with respect to the numerous labor and employment matters which arise from daily operations. Shelley is often called upon to review employee handbooks and manuals for Pennsylvania businesses, not only from a legal, but also from a human relations perspective. She assists such professionals in establishing and implementing policies, procedures and decisions regarding all aspects of the employment relationship, including hiring, firing, promotions, compensation, benefits, leaves, reasonable accommodations, and the investigation of harassment and discrimination claims.

Shelley counsels employers regarding compliance with federal and state disability laws, Civil Service Rules and Regulations, Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), and state and local employment practice acts. She also assists clients with hiring and termination processes, as well as purchasing and procurement matters.

Shelley joined Archer following a distinguished career in public service for the City of Philadelphia, most recently serving eight years as City Solicitor during Michael Nutter’s mayoral tenure. She represented the Mayor, City Council, all City elected officials, all City employees, Agencies, Boards, and Commissions. Shelley is the City of Philadelphia’s longest-serving City Solicitor. During her tenure with the City’s Law Department, she handled nearly every facet of the Law Department’s practice in some capacity, including managing the City’s Labor & Employment Unit. Matters under her supervision involved the defense of labor grievances and employment discrimination cases initiated in state and federal courts and administrative agencies, as well as managing the City’s collective bargaining and labor negotiations.

As a trial lawyer, Ms. Smith tried more than 60 federal civil jury trials to verdict, as well as hundreds of other litigation and policy matters. Significant matters included the 39th Police District litigation, NAACP v. City of Philadelphia, and the jury trials of Joseph Frazier v. City of Philadelphia, Estate of Shannon Schieber v. City of Philadelphia, and Robert Mitchell v. Mayor John F. Street.

Professional and Community Involvement

  • Member, Philadelphia Bar Association
  • Member, Pennsylvania Bar Association
  • Board Member, Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania
  • Member, Archer Women Lawyers’ Network
  • Member, Board of Directors, Women’s Law Project
  • Member, Board of Managers, Moore College of Art and Design
  • Past Member, Southeastern Pennsylvania Advisory Board of Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts (2005-2019)
  • Past Member, Board of Directors, Support Center for Child Advocates (2017-2020)
  • Former Chair, Commission on Judicial Selection and Retention, Philadelphia Bar Association (2007 & 2016)
  • Past Member, Commission on Judicial Selection and Retention, Philadelphia Bar Association (2003-2016)
  • Former Chair, Board of Directors, Legacy Youth Tennis and Education Center (2013-2015)
  • Former Member, Board of Directors, Legacy Youth Tennis and Education Center (2010-2015)

Articles and Presentations

  • “Thinking Outside The Box – Perspectives and Practices for Legal Departments to Retain Minority and Women Lawyers as Outside Counsel,” Minority and Women Lawyers’ Business Development Forum, Pennsylvania Bar Association (October 2018)
  • “The #MeToo Movement Meets the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017,” OGC University, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (September 2018)
  • Panelist, “Women’s Leadership & Breaking the Glass Ceiling,” African American Chamber of Commerce (May 2018)
  • Presenter, 19th Annual Personal Injury Practicum, Dispute Resolution Institute (April 2017)
  • Presenter, 2nd Annual Economic Forecast, Philadelphia Business Journal (January 2017)