2018 Top 100 Under 50 Executive & Emerging Leaders

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Immediate Release
Contact: rhonda@diversitymbamagazine.com
July 17th, 2018

DiversityMBA names 2018 Elite TOP 100
Executive & Emerging Leaders
‘A category of One’


Chicago, IL – DiversityMBA, a national leadership organization integrating diversity and inclusion with talent management, has released its twelfth annual list of Top 100 under 50 emerging and executive leaders with advanced degrees.   This group is selected from a broad spectrum of companies with a global reach.  We selected only 100 from a pool of 352 nominees.  This award is uniquely special because you can only achieve it once and you must have an advanced degree or certification.

We continue to be in awe of the quality of candidates we receive for this recognition.  This recognition represents outstanding achievements in community, leadership and education. The honorees go through a screening process before they are selected by Diversity MBA.   The process is rigorous because more than 90 percent qualify.  Fortune 1000 companies and other organizations take great care in identifying their leaders for submission.  The nomination alone represents achievement and distinction for a lifetime. McElvane said this year’s list represents a more global list of nominees including non-Hispanic white males; so all champions and dimensions of diversity are celebrated and recognized through these individuals. We are proud that the business community champions leaders that are unselfishly putting it on the line every day.”

This list is separated into emerging and executive leaders.  This allows Diversity MBA to recognize both developing and seasoned leaders.  We see this as a process to bridge the gap in the talent pipeline by providing exposure to both groups.  The recipients are honored and will receive their official awards at Diversity MBAs 12th Annual Elite Business Leaders Conference & Awards Gala on September 19th and 20th at the Marriott Marquis in Chicago, IL.  The conference features expert speakers, seminars and engagement opportunities for building connections.

This conference also recognizes companies from our ’50 Out Front List:  Best Places for Women & Diverse Managers to Work, the only list of its kind.  This recognition celebrates companies that understand the intersection of diversity and inclusion in talent management.

DMBA Publishing publishes DiversityMBA Magazine, a bimonthly publication, Diversity Business Review (DBR), white papers and blogs. Our publications reach more than 1.9 million worldwide, print and online.  For more information, visit www.diversitymbamagazine.com or download our free mobile application DiversityMBA through Google Play. The app is available for all mobile devices.


Adam Rodriguez MBA
Vice President, Business
Development Strategy Medtronic
Ashleigh Hargrave MBA
Director of Women’s Health and Wellness
Novant Health
Brittain Bandura JD
Head of Talent Management
Zurich North America
Cedric Terrell Pharm.D., MHA
Senior Vice President, Pharmacy
Novant Health
Daniel R. Alex MBA
Chief Executive Officer
HEF Solutions
Daniel L. Morriss JD
Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP
Dante Allen MA
Executive Director
CalABLE (California Achieving
a Better Life Experience)
Danyelle Granger MPA
Vice President, Diversity & Inclusion Director
Old National Bank
Deepinder Ahuja MBA, PMP, CHFP
Vice President Service Line Integration
Advocate Children's Hospital
Demitrus Evans JD
The Evans International Law Firms LLC
Elizabeth Smith JD
SVP; Business Exec Ops
Bank of America
Felix Leshey MS, MRes
President and CEO
Fiona Carter MA
Chief Brand Officer
AT&T Communications
Gabriela Rodil MBA
Gabriela Rodil & Co.
Heather Chichester Ph.D.
Post-Irradiation Examination Div, Director
Idaho National Laboratory
Jane Oxley ESL
Jenifer Robertson MBA
Senior Vice President- Strategic Planning
Jessica Dang MS
Senior Director, Talent and
Organization Effectiveness
Blue Shield of California
Justin Irizarry MBA
Co-Founder & CFO
Kelly Abcarian MBA
SVP Product Leadership
Laura Marquez MBA, MPA
Head of Latino Community Engagement
Lillian Singh MA
Prosperity NOW
Lina Varela-Gonzalez MBA
Director of Nursing
Novant Health
MaCalus Hogan MD
Associate Professor of Medicine
Manuel Haro MBA
VP Brand Strategy & Planning
Giant Food Stores, LLC
Mary Chatman DNP, MS
SVP, WellStar Health
President, Wellstar Kennestone Hospital
Maurice Smith MBA
President Illinois Division
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois HCSC
Michelle Speller-Thurman JD
Division Counsel
Abbott Laboratories
Natasha Miller Williams MBA
VP, Talent Engagement & Development
Nicholas Bertram MBA
Giant Food Store, LLC
Nichole Wilson DPT
Vice President of Retail Health Services
Community Health Network
Nicole Wiggins MBA
Director of Supplier Diversity
Navistar Inc
Nikki Nissen MSN
Chief Nursing Officer,
Sr. Director NHMG
Novant Health
Nnamdi Njoku MBA
VP & General Manager -
Transformative Solutions
Olivia Bedi JD
Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg LLP
Omorlie Harris MBA
VP, Treasurer
VF Corporation
Paul Lopez MBA
Security Systems Division Dir
Idaho National Laboratory
Rasu Shrestha MD, MBA
Chief Innovation Officer
Rita Baranwal Ph.D.
‎Director of GAIN
Idaho National Laboratory
Ron Estrada ESL
SVP Corporate Social Responsibility & Community Empowerment
Ruchika Singhal MBA
VP, Global Health & Medtronic Labs
Saravanan Gurumurthy MBA
Chief Technology Officer
Shayna Schulz MBA
VP of Customer Care
Blue Shield of California
Smita Pillai MBA
Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer
Dow Jones
Snehal Doshi Pharm.D.
VP Pharmacy Services
WellStar Health System
Stacy Crook MS
Dir Investment Accounting
Asset Allocation & Management, LLC
Tanya Dansky MD
Chief Medical Officer
Care 1st Health Plan, an affiliate, Blue Shield of California
Ted Jackson MBA
Vice President Operations
Ted McElroy MBA
Chief Financial Officer
North America Asia Pacific
Mars Drinks
Toni L.Carter MS
Inclusion and Diversity Strategy Director
Idaho National Laboratory
Tracey Walker MBA
Vice President
Trent Johnson JD
Foley & Lardner LLP
Valerie Vargas JD
Senior Vice President of Advertising, Creative Services & HelloLab


AJ Ghasham MPA
Manager BCN Project & Reporting
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
Alton Brooks, Jr. MHA
Assistant Vice President
WellStar Health System
Amber Thomas-Hutson MBA, MHA
Assistant Vice President Operations
WellStar Health System
Anthony Pazcoquin Pharm.D., MBA
Floater Pharmacist
Giant Food Stores, LLC
Arlene Lim JD
Divisional Vice President Corporate Legal & Transactions
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois HCSC
Bridget Hayman MA
Communications Director
Access Living
Chris Fecke MBA
Supervisor, Unified Communication
Tech Data Corporation
Corey Wilson MBA
Special Advisor to the President
for External Relations
University of Indianapolis
Crystle Johnson MBA
Diversity & Inclusion Strategist
Robert Bosch LLC
Daniela Vieira MBA
Associate Director of Social Strategy
We Are Unlimited
Danielle Alexander MS
Senior External Affairs
Baltimore Gas & Electric
David Alfini JD, MA
Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP
Denise Wellander MBA
Director of Sales
The Clorox Company
Desmond Whitney MBA
HR Business Partner
Tech Data Corporation
Eduardo Marcos MBA
President AA Vacations
American Airlines
Fumilayo Mitchell MBA
Major Gifts Officer
Georgina Fabian JD
Managing Member
The International Law Group
Hao Truong MBA
Media Monetization Manager
Retail Business Services
Janet Harding MBA
Vice President
Northern Trust
Jennifer Scott MBA
Category Manager, Bakery & Breakfast
GIANT Food Stores, LLC
Jennifer Ingram MS
Director of Diversity and Inclusion
Mayo Clinic
Jeremy Williams MA
Senior User Experience
We Are Unlimited
Jovanka Rodriguez MA
Director, Human Resources - Latin America
Tech Data Corporation
Justice Waidner-Smith MA
Diversity and Inclusion Manager
Kendra Burris-Austin MBA
Director Supplier Diversity
Express Scripts
Kenney Baker ESL
Director, Internal Audit,
Global Business Practice, HR
Ethics & Compliance
VF Corporation
Lashan Green MBA
Organizational Dev and
Learning Manager
Volkswagen Group of America, Inc.
Lauren Guthrie EL
Sr. Director, Regional
Merchandising (TNF)
VF Corporation
Manny Espinoza Jr. MPA
Director, Global Strategy & External Partnerships, Diversity & Inclusion
Manoj VarugheseMBA
Senior Area Director –
Strategic Accounts
Marcela Aldaz-Matos MBA
Director, Diversity & Inclusion
Partners HealthCare
Maria Calderon JD
Hinshaw & Culbertson
Martin Swindell MBA
Senior Director,
Corporate Development
VF Corporation
Monifa Drayton MPA
Assistant Vice President
Atrium Health
Nicole Gould JD
Hinshaw & Culbertson
Nicole Thomas MBA
Associate Director of Marketing, Data and
Technology Enablement
The Clorox Company
Ofonedu-Ime Goodwyn JD
Hinshaw & Culbertson
Rebecca Lupfer MBA
Director Merchandise Planning
GIANT Food Stores, LLC
Robert Reaves MBA
Director of Strategic Planning, Accreditation and Assurance
Wayne State University School of Medicine
Ruth Ann Paige MS
Director, Service Operations
Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey
Salwa Rahim-Dillard MA
Senior Manager Diversity & Inclusion Strategies & Planning
U.S. Cellular
Shane McIntosh MBA
Sales Planning Team Leader
The Clorox Company
Sharnell Weathersby MBA
Brand Manager
Smithfield Foods
Sofia Reed MS
Director of Training, Development
& Regional Operations
National Diversity Council
Taneka Tucker MBA
VP, Senior Project Manager
BMO Harris Bank
TaVashané Brown MS
Instructional Designer
Rakuten Marketing
Vincent Williams MBA
Director of Membership and
Business Development
The Executives Club of Chicago

View last year’s awardees

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