D&I Summit

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The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council is organizing a key event in August: The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Summit.

Why Attend the DEI Summit?

Attendees will interact with peers and discuss DEI issues facing organizations today. Sessions will address
DEI concepts in relation to the Employee Resource Groups and aspects of workplace safety such as safety
culture, psychology, training, and performance. After attending the Summit, you will be able to:

  • Define key concepts related to DEI.
  • Describe how DEI impacts safety in organizations.
  • Identify concrete actions to create a more inclusive safety culture.
  • Gain a better DEI network in the Houston community.


Maria Alejandra Azar
Host Committee
IHCH Board Member

Carmen Herrada

Carmen Herrada
Host Committee
IHCH Board Member

Janell Zeug
Host Committee
IHCH Board Member



Martha Araujo-Barrera

Johana Lopez
Employment & Training Centers, Inc.

Christian Avalos
Diversity Matters


Madhuri Kumar
VP and Global Head of Talent Management
Champion X

Katherine Sowa
Sr. Manager of Employee Experience

Tristan Locks
D&I Program Lead
Southwestern Energy

Objective: Companies today are focused on ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) which is an investment strategy that considers a business’s environmental and social risks as part of a broader financial analysis. A large part of the ESG focus is on Diversity and Inclusion which calls for companies to build a strategy to integrate diversity in the workplace. Benefits companies can realize from D&I efforts include broad workforce representation of talent, increased customer insights and improved company results. This panel will discuss their D&I strategy and its effect on decision making, business results and financial performance.


Munirat Tam-Balogun
Houston MADE Leader

Katherine Warren
ESG Strategy Partner

Suzan Kedron
Partner and D&I Committee Chair
Jackson Walker

Sofia Frommer
Producer Employee Benefits

Objective: Moving from ‘nice to have’ to growth generator, D&I has become a focus for companies working to improve or further develop their programs by reviewing the organization’s current demographics and pinpointing key areas that need to be enhanced or changed. This panel will address policies and programs that support D&I including benefits, hiring and promotion, rewards and recognition and employee resource groups.


Angel Rua
Advisor / ERG Global Lead

Kattya Distefano
Business Development Manager

Lauren Harris
DEI Leader / People Developer / Talent Strategist / Culture Change Advocate

Objective: We agree that diversity and inclusion is the right thing to do, and many companies have put resources towards a variety of programs to support this. In doing so, companies can feel challenged to deliver on programs they put in place and may struggle with having D&I embedded in the business strategy. Addressing these challenges with structure, data, and rigor, can clarify understanding and the path forward for delivering stronger outcomes. This panel will discuss issues and challenges in implementing D&I strategies and programs.


Katherine Sowa, Sr. Manager of Employee Experience - Oceaneering

Kate Sowa is the Sr. Manager of Employee Experience (D&I and Employee Relations) at Oceaneering International with experience in the government & defense and energy industries. Kate’s experience teaching in public schools and working in frontline HR has given her insight into the powerful impact that inclusion and representation have on performance, innovation, and business success.

Tristan Locks, D&I Program Lead - Southwestern Energy

Tristan Locks is the Diversity & Inclusion Program Lead for Southwestern Energy. Tristan joined SWN in the middle of 2022 and brought a track record of challenging the status quo, engaging talent, and implementing scalable processes that positively impact the bottom line. Since joining SWN, he has transitioned into leading D&I across the enterprise. Prior to joining Southwestern Energy, Tristan worked in various roles throughout the Construction industry. Tristan holds a bachelor’s degree in Technology Leadership & Innovation Management from the University of Houston. He also has a Blue Belt in Innovation Engineering and a Corporate Entrepreneurship Certificate from the University of Houston, enabling him to further enhance an organizations operational / leadership capacity.

Suzan Kedron Partner and D&I Committee Chair - Jackson Walker

Suzan Kedron is the Chair of Jackson Walker’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee and former Chair of the Dallas office’s Business Development Committee. Suzan focuses her D&I efforts on the Committee’s Pillars of Success. Suzan is also Chair of the firm’s Land Use practice group and helps to build our cities, making them a better place to live. Suzan represents real estate developers, landowners, and public entities in various land use and real estate development issues. Suzan’s practice focuses on the following issues: zoning, development, planning, emerging technologies seeking municipal support/approval, due diligence, public-private partnerships, economic development incentives, tax increment financing, green building, permitting, affordable housing, special districts, and litigation.

Sofia Frommer Producer Employee Benefits - USI

Sofia Frommer graduated Presidents List from College of Charleston with a dual degree in Anthropology and Business Administration with a focus in Leadership, Change and Social Responsibility. Her passion for the symbiotic relationship between people and business organizations lead her back to Houston and into the Human Resources and Benefits profession where she is directly able to impact change and diversity in the work force. She currently works for USI Southwest as an Employee Benefits Consultant that advocates for employers building strong culture and programs that attract and retain top and diverse talent. Sofia is advocate for the empowerment of women in the workforce and is an active member in numerous organizations that aim to elevate women across different industry sectors including LOGIC, Women in Energy and Greater Houston Women’s Chamber of Commerce.

Upcoming Events

October 2024
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