Everyone wants to feel like they belong and your staff is no different. A big part of a healthy workplace culture where your employees can thrive is dependent upon creating an atmosphere where employees feel valued, safe and free to be their authentic selves. During this session, attendees will learn how that kind of office atmosphere can be fostered via a series of discussions around how to create an environment that cultivates a sense of belonging for everyone; a case study focused on this concept; and best practices related to how to effectively manage workplace conflict.

Belonging Panel:


Marcia Moreno, President, AmMore LLC. - Moderator
Marcia is a self-driven, proactive and creative talent management professional with 10+ years of experience developing environments for a more diverse and inclusive workplace by leveraging a unique blend of skills from corporate and non-profit. She recently founded AmMore LLC, the first Cleveland based company dedicated to attracting, recruiting, and retaining Hispanic professionals to succeed and thrive in the Greater Cleveland area.


Magda Gómez, Director, Diversity & Inclusion, Cuyahoga Community College
Magda Gómez serves as Director of Diversity & Inclusion at Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) where she works on multiple initiatives related to inclusivity, diversity training and awareness of national diversity-related issues, with a special focus on valuing employees by encouraging mutual respect and honoring the unique perspectives each person brings to the table regardless of age, race, ethnicity, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability.

Mike Rios

Mike Rao, Partner, DS Benefits Group 
Mike enjoyed a successful career as a senior level leader, employed by world’s largest chemical company for over 15 years. In 2011, Mike decided to leverage his corporate experience and passion for people by starting and developing his Organizational Development firm. Today, Mike is a partner in DS Benefits group. DS Benefits is one of the most successful Human Capital firms in Ohio. The firm specializes in Organizational Development, Group Benefits and HR services. Mike credits his team for the success of the firm and thanks his clients for entrusting DS Benefits Group with the honor of developing their most valuable assets.

Jeremy Short, Director, Talent Management and Development, The MetroHealth System
Currently, Jeremy serves as the Director of Talent Management and Development for more than 7,800 employees at The Metrohealth System.  In 2015, he joined Baldwin-Wallace University, as an Adjunct Professor, teaching Human Resources Management.  Jeremy has recently served as the President of the Advisory Board of the Cleveland Diversity Council and The Northeast Ohio Military Employers Consortium. Currently, Jeremy is the Vice Chair of the board of the Elimination of Prejudice Foundation.

Managing Cross Cultural Conflict:

Heather Steranka-Petit, Manager, Learning Programs, YWCA 
Heather is a certified diversity professional with more than 14 years of international business experience in management, sales, customer service, and training. She has led multicultural teams of managers both virtually and face to face. She has been fortunate to work successfully with colleagues, customers, employees, and managers from
more than 50 countries around the world. Heather understands how cultural values influence behavior and affect business decisions. She translates this experience into accessible practical information which clients and students can use to develop culturally competent leadership skills.


7:30  – 8:00 a.m. - Registration, Networking & Breakfast
8:00 – 10:00 a.m. - Program 


Cuyahoga Community College
Jerry Sue Thornton Center
2500 East 22nd Street, Cleveland, OH  44115
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