Thursday, October 13 | 10:45am - 11:45am
Business organizations are instrumental in reshaping the world of work. Three leaders from nationally recognized companies — Michelle Gadsden Williams (BlackRock), Sue Lam (Coca Cola), and Bentina Chisolm Terry (Georgia Power) — will discuss through personal experiences how to create inclusive professional environments and transformative change.
Michelle Gadsden-Williams is the Managing Director and Global Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for BlackRock. She is an award-winning global diversity executive, author, activist, producer and philanthropist with more than 25 years of experience as an advocate for equality within corporate America and a thought leader around diversity and inclusion. Michelle is a seasoned diversity practitioner with experience working in the consumer goods, pharmaceutical and financial services industries before transitioning to professional services in 2017.
Michelle is the former, Managing Director of Inclusion & Diversity for Accenture North America. She provided strategic direction, thought leadership and championed the development of an inclusive environment by integrating diversity practice into all aspects of the business.
She has held positions of global responsibility in the diversity management arena by living in Switzerland for close to 10 years of her corporate career and managed staffing functions for large multi-national corporations such as Credit Suisse, Novartis and Merck & Co, Inc. Prior to her tenure at Merck & Co., Inc, Michelle has also held positions in Human Resources and Product Development at Philips-Van Heusen Corporation and Wakefern Food Corporation, both headquartered in New Jersey.
Michelle has acquired a multitude of community service awards and accolades for her work as a diversity practitioner. She has been recognized by Diversity Women Elite 100 and Black Enterprise as one of the Top Executives in Corporate Diversity for 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017. The Reverend Al Sharpton recognized Michelle as a 2016 honoree at the National Action Network “Woman of Power” Luncheon, an honoree at the Black Institute Awards Gala in NYC and a 2015 Ebony Magazine Power 100 honoree. Throughout her career, Michelle has been profiled in Black Enterprise Magazine, Diversity Inc, Diversity Executive, Ebony, Essence, Fortune, History Makers, Heart & Soul, Jet, New Vision, Science Magazine, Sister to Sister, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Target Market News and was recognized as one of 40 Outstanding Executives Under 40 in America in 2006 by the Network Journal. Her other notable tributes include: being named the 2010 recipient of the Maya Way Award for Diversity Leadership by the incomparable Dr. Maya Angelou, receiving the 2008 Harvard Black Men’s Forum Businesswoman of the Year Award, accepting the Rainbow Push Coalition’s Bridge Builder Award by the honorable Reverend Jesse L. Jackson and also being recognized with an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters degree from Kean University for her outstanding personal and professional accomplishments in the field of diversity and inclusion. In 2013 Michelle was appointed as a member of the Global Advisory Council on Gender Parity for the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Michelle earned a B.S. in Marketing, a B.A. in Communications from Kean College of New Jersey and an M.S. in Organizational Dynamics from the University of Pennsylvania.
Sue Lam is the VP, Global Head of People Insights, Strategy & Culture at the Coca-Cola Company (TCCC). Reporting to the CHRO, she is responsible for leading the center of excellence and shaping the future of TCCC’s workforce by developing and executing the company’s long-term people, analytics and engagement strategy. Sue works closely with the leadership team to develop and lead global culture and change management efforts on the company’s journey to emerge stronger as a networked, agile organization. Additionally, Sue drives the creation and implementation of the people analytics vision and strategy. She is developing HR’s capabilities in using data and evidence to support more effective decision making to ensure the business delivers on its promises to shareholders and the communities in which it operates.
Prior to joining the company, Sue was the global head of HR diagnostics for Shell, based in Houston, Texas. In her role, she managed a global center of excellence in HR strategy, learning and organizational effectiveness. Sue was responsible for the overall development and execution of the company’s assessment and analytics strategy to accelerate the change in people and their business with the goal of creating more and cleaner energy solutions.
Throughout her career, Sue has held additional roles with various organizations, including APQC, where she led HR and human capital management projects with a focus on best practices, benchmarking, organizational surveys, strategy formulation and development, and thought leadership. Sue has also held leadership roles with other organizations, including Psychology Beyond Borders and University of California at Irvine.
Sue received dual Bachelor of Arts degrees in Psychology and History from UCLA. She also received her Master’s in Social Ecology and a Ph.D. in Social and Personality Psychology from UCI. Sue holds SHRM-CP, PHR and various assessment certifications.
In her spare time, Sue enjoys hiking, traveling, dancing and spending time with her two dogs, friends and family. Sue is currently based in Atlanta and is a native of California.
Bentina C. Terry currently serves as senior vice president of Customer Strategy and Solutions for Georgia Power. In this role, she creates solutions to help the company better align with its customers to meet their needs in today’s dynamic and evolving energy landscape. She leads efforts to evolve and lead Georgia Power’s strategy to best serve the company’s 2.7 million customers and oversee efforts across customer service and satisfaction, metering services, electric transportation, the Customer Care Center, customer operations, new product development, sales and marketing, energy efficiency and resiliency solutions. She also serves on the company’s management council.
She began her career with Southern Company in 2001 at Georgia Power as the Workplace Ethics manager. She then served as a senior executive at Southern Nuclear and Gulf Power before returning to Georgia Power in 2017.
During her career, she has held roles in External Affairs, Legislative and Regulatory Affairs, Community and Economic Development, Corporate Communication, Sales and Marketing, Customer Service, Compliance and Ethics, Corporate Services and Power Delivery. She also served as General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of Southern Nuclear.
Prior to Southern Company, Terry supported Georgia Power and Southern Company at Troutman Sanders (now Troutman Pepper) as a labor and employment lawyer. She also served as the Associate General Counsel at Progress Energy in Raleigh, NC. In the community, she serves on the board of directors for the International Women’s Forum – Georgia, the Atlanta Beltline, Inc. and the Atlanta Beltline Partnership as the 2021-2023 chair. She is also chair-elect for Leadership Atlanta.
She was selected as one of Atlanta Magazine’s 500 Most Influential Atlantans in 2021 and 2022, one of the National Diversity Council’s 100 Most Influential Women in Energy, one of the Greater Atlanta YWCA’s Women of Achievement in 2020 and has been named one of Atlanta Business League’s 100 Most Influential Women for several consecutive years. She is a member of the North Carolina State Bar and the Georgia State Bar, Leadership Atlanta, Leadership North Carolina, Leadership Florida, the International Women’s Forum, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and The Links, Incorporated.
She has received various awards and recognitions for her contribution to the state of Florida including being named one of Influence Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in Florida Politics (2015), and one of the Florida Diversity Council’s Most Powerful and Influential Women (2012). She was also an International Women’s Forum (IWF) Fellow in 2012 and a 2017 graduate of the Atlanta Regional Commission’s Regional Leadership Institute.
Terry earned a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Michigan Law School and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from North Carolina State University.