Event Moderator Jonae Harrison brings over seventeen years of legal and policy experience in government, non-profit, corporate and private practice. She is the Equity and Inclusion Manager for the City of Tempe, focusing on both internal and external initiatives and policies. Prior to joining the City of Tempe, Jonae was the Director of Equity and Special Finance Services for Chicanos Por La Causa (CPLC). At CPLC, Jonae designed and implemented a program division for leveraging new federal tax legislation (Opportunity Zones) with the goal of promoting social good in the community.
Jonae has a Bachelor of Science in Languages – double major in Spanish and English – from Georgetown University and a Doctor of Jurisprudence from Tulane University. She also attended Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra in the Dominican Republic.
Jonae is passionate about making waves in the desert together!
Carla Mahnke has over 14 years of experience in Higher Education. She is currently an Assistant Director at Arizona State University (ASU) in the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion where she provides support and assistance with equal opportunity and diversity initiatives. Carla received her Doctor of Education and Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies from Arizona State University, and her Master’s of Education from Northern Arizona University. Prior to joining the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Carla worked as a student advocate and student conduct administrator responding to Title VII and Title IX incidents.
Carla has experience developing and presenting trainings, which include:
• Title IX (Gender-Based Discrimination / Harassment, Sexual Violence)
• Title VII (Civil Rights)
• Implicit Bias
• Workplace Discrimination / Harassment
Training audiences include faculty, staff, students, and visiting scholars at Arizona State University, along with higher education human resources and public service professionals across the state of Arizona.
Emely Sanchez brings over 20+ years of Talent Acquisition and Sourcing experience in Healthcare, Government, Banking and IT industries. Emely joined Dignity Health 11 years ago and is responsible for partnering with hospital leaders throughout the Arizona market to develop strategic talent pipelines that align with the critical growing needs of the organization. Proven professional with creative and proactive sourcing approaches to talent solutions that maximize hiring strategies and deliver cost saving results to business partners.
Previously held similar roles with NY Presbyterian Hospital, Mount Sinai Medical Center, NYU Medical Center, IBM, and Robert Half International. Emely has a Master’s in Human Resources, Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, SHRM PHR certification and various recruitment certifications including Certified Diversity Recruiter and Elite Certified Recruitment Expert. Emely is also a passionate advocate for humanitarian initiatives and has volunteered for multiple charitable programs throughout the world. Emely is bilingual in Spanish and certified to teach English to Adults of Foreign Languages. She is also a member of the Latina Strong Foundation, Diversity Leadership Alliance, NBMBAA, TESOL, and SHRM.
Mel Jones is a nationally known Inclusion Specialist with recognized Diversity Professional Credentials from Morgan State as a Certified Compliance Administrator (CCA), Master Compliance Administrator (MCA) and Executive Certified Master Compliance Administrator (ECMCA).
With over 25 years of experience in construction from Diversity & Inclusion all the way to being a Civil Engineering small business owner, Jones has supported a collaborative and innovative culture throughout his career. He is passionate about fostering an open and inclusive environment that enhances project outcomes. Jones has developed new strategies and implemented quality processes to achieve success with inclusion at all levels of the design and construction process. Most recently, Jones was responsible for supporting talent management, ensuring compliance and driving community engagement as the National Director of Diversity and Inclusion for one of the largest construction companies in the United States. ROI for the D&I program in 2017 alone was over 2 billion dollars.
Jones is now investing his talent in another National construction firm with goals of sharing his methods and growing the inclusion of another large Prime General Contractor. As Senior Diversity & Inclusion Manager for JE Dunn Construction, based out of the company’s Portland office, Jones leads initiatives throughout the company.
Jones also sits on the National Board for American Contractors Compliance Association (ACCA), an organization dedicated to ensuring equitable employment and contracting practices within the public and private sectors.
Jones feels most passionate about his position as Chairman of the Board for Constructing Hope. A pre-apprentice program, offering second chances to ex-offenders in the construction trades. This program couples construction training with social services to help provide for those extra unknowns that always seem to happen in life.
Finally, Jones has invested at least one week per summer to the Royal Family Kids Camp, supporting foster children. Running logistics for 50 foster children with 50 counselors and another 30 support staff in the woods of Oregon. This is a first time experience for most of these kids; camping, horseback riding and fishing. “There is nothing that brings a bigger smile to my face than this program”.
Dr. Tina Drews is the Director of Talent Management at Salt River Project (SRP). She leads organizational and leadership development, skills training and apprenticeships, diversity and inclusion, education, and talent strategy. Dr. Drews advocates for innovative workforce solutions, is passionate about employee development, continuous learning, and the advancement of our workforce. She has extensive experience in public and higher education and serves on numerous community boards including the Arizona Career and Technical Education Quality Skills Commission, Diversity Leadership Alliance, and the Maricopa County Workforce Development Board.