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Diversity Spotlight: Strengthening an Inclusive Corporate Culture and Diverse Workforce

Level: Advanced
Runtime: 60 minutes
Recorded Date: June 22, 2017
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  • What is unconscious bias?
  • Warning signs
  • Creating a culture of inclusion
  • Top Diversity Initiatives
Runtime: 1 hour
Recorded: June 22, 2017


Diversity is more than just race, gender, and ethnicity. It’s about creating a workforce that embraces every language, age, sexual orientation, disability, background, culture and experience - and giving a voice to those differences is how we define inclusion. Companies who can embrace a diversity of perspectives throughout their organizations stand apart in their attitude towards people, but also in their innovative, forward-thinking products, decision making, and services.

The key to success is to forget the notion that diversity is a tactic, and instead recognize it as an organizational value - something that is embedded from the top down, through and through. Therefore, the big question shouldn’t only be, ‘how can we bring in more diverse employees?’, but also, ‘how can we change our organization’s culture so that it embraces diversity?’ Diversity goes beyond a statistic on the annual report and becomes something that is valued, desired and leveraged by the organization as a whole. In this program, the panelist will discuss how diversity in the workforce can strengthen your organization.

This program was recorded as part of the 17th annual SuperConference on June 22nd, 2017.

Provided By

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Derek Linde

Deputy General Counsel & Assistant Secretary
Illinois Tool Works

Derek Linde is Deputy General Counsel & Assistant Secretary at Illinois Tool Works Inc.

At ITW, Derek’s responsibilities include management and execution of Acquisition and Divestiture transactions across the globe, together with oversight of the Commercial Contracts team and Environmental, Health, Safety & Sustainability function. He also plays a leading role in managing the Legal Department’s internal operations.

Prior to joining ITW, Derek was a partner in the Chicago office of Winston & Strawn LLP, where he focused on merger and acquisition transactions, private equity, securities, corporate governance and other finance and business transactions.

Derek holds a J.D. from the Vanderbilt University School of Law and a B.A. from the University of Missouri-Columbia. He is a member of the bar of the State of Illinois.

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Thomas LaFrance

General Counsel
GE Transportation

Thomas LaFrance was named Senior Executive - General Counsel of GE Transportation in February 2012. From GE Transportation’s Chicago headquarters, he leads a global team providing legal, compliance, regulatory, government, and enterprise risk advice to the business and serves on the senior executive staff of the business. He also serves on GE’s Global Law & Policy team’s General Counsel Advisory Board and its Legal Corporate Executive Council. Tom began his career in General Electric Company in September 1999 in the role of Senior Counsel, Litigation and Compliance for GE Industrial Systems. He had responsibility for managing global litigation, investigations, and compliance programs. He subsequently was named Senior Counsel, Litigation and Compliance, for GE Infrastructure.

In March 2005, Tom was promoted to Senior Executive - General Counsel for GE Security, a security technology business providing homeland protection, commercial, and residential security and life safety products. In this role, Tom managed a global legal, compliance, risk, and government relations team and served as a member of the business leadership team. In connection with GE’s exit from the security technology business, Tom spent 15 months as Vice President and General Counsel for United Technologies Corporation’s Global Security Products business, where he was responsible for leading a global legal team while integrating the GE Security business into UTC.

Prior to joining GE, Tom was in private practice in Boston for 12 years, where he was a partner in the litigation department at Goodwin Procter and specialized in intellectual property, trade regulation, product liability, environmental, and commercial matters. He represented clients in trials and appeals before various federal and state courts and agencies, as well as arbitration tribunals. He was appointed as a Special Assistant Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in connection with certain election law and redistricting matters.

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Daniella Isaacson

Senior Analyst - ALM Legal Intelligence
ALM Media, LLC

Daniella is a Senior Analyst at ALM Legal Intelligence. Her experience includes advising law departments in relation to strategy, technology, market intelligence, and operations.

Prior to joining ALM Legal Intelligence, Daniella was an Analyst with Huron Consulting Group’s Law Department Management practice in the firm’s New York office, and as a secondee in London. Before attending law school Daniella spent three years in Beijing, China, where she worked in market entry consulting.

A member of the New York Bar Association, Daniella holds a Juris Doctor degree from The Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, and a Bachelors of Arts in International Affairs (magna cum laude) from The George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs.

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Oscar Romero

Former General Counsel
Bridgestone Retail Operations, LLC.

Oscar E. Romero was most recently with Bridgestone Americas, Inc., the largest global tire manufacturer, where he served in several capacities in multiple divisions: General Counsel of Credit First NA, the consumer lending division of Bridgestone; Division Counsel of Bridgestone Retail, operating 2300 auto repair shops nationwide; Lead Counsel of Bridgestone Original Equipment, negotiating with major automotive manufacturers; Lead Counsel of Bridgestone Consumer Motorcycle Tire Group; and Support Attorney for Bridgestone's Olympic TOP Sponsorship Program.

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