Honorary Chair

Welcome to the 12th Annual Diversity and Leadership Conference. We are excited to host the conference in Houston again this year. I have participated in every Texas Conference since the first one in San Antonio in 2005. Year after year I am impressed by the quality of the sessions, the speakers and the enthusiasm of the participants. I always learn something new and meet people who expand my perspective.

This conference is a great opportunity for you to learn from leaders in the business community and network with professionals from a variety of industries. Our goal is for you to leave the conference with valuable information that can help you with your career objectives and innovative ideas that will contribute to business success. And we have added several sessions that will award professional continuing education credits.

This year’s theme is “Diversity and Inclusion 2.): Aligning Purpose, People and Performance”, signaling the move beyond legislative requirements or making sure everyone feels good. It’s about the real value brought to the organization when everyone uses their unique perspective to contribute.

We know that budgets are tight given the financial challenges many employers are facing in this economy. I believe that the current environment makes the Texas Diversity and Leadership Conference even more valuable. In a period of workforce reductions, employers are trying to figure out how to do the same or more work with fewer people and to retain talent. That makes it more important that the people doing the work feel valued and included in the life of the organization so that they can do their best work. Therefore, I commend both your individual participation in the conference and the investment of employers who made it possible for their team members to attend.

I extend a special thanks to the corporate sponsors whose support help us keep conference fees as low as possible and to the staff of the national Diversity council and volunteers who have worked diligently to make this conference happen.

We all have something to learn and something to teach. The 2016 Texas and Diversity Leadership Conference is the perfect place to do both!


Paula McHam
Account Executive and Community Involvement Lead
Cigna, South Texas & Louisiana