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Chamber News Release

Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce Recognizes 27 Nominees for Inaugural Colors of Success DEI Award

August 10, 2022

Award showcase on Friday, September 16 at the Hyatt Regency Rochester


Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce is excited to announce the 27 nominees for the first annual Colors of Success DEI Award. This award was newly created this year to celebrate individuals who have demonstrated exemplary leadership in advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in the greater Rochester community with clear positive impacts as a result of these efforts. This year’s nominees represent a diverse pool of changemakers in the Greater Rochester region working to better our community and increase diversity, equity, and inclusion in their broad array of industries and in the region as a whole.


Greater Rochester Chamber will celebrate the nominees and present the award at an in-person celebration on Friday, September 16, 2022 from 3:30 to 6:00 PM at the Hyatt Regency Rochester’s Grand Ballroom.


This year’s nominees are:

  • Sady Alvarado-Fischer, CDP, Corporate Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield
  • Haris Arshad, Director of HR, CleanCraft
  • Talethea Best, Sr. Vice President of People & Culture, YMCA of Greater Rochester
  • Ajaleah Bobowski, Residential Director, People Inc.
  • Dan Butler, Equity and Advocacy Division Director, Urban League of Rochester
  • Kesha Carter, Chief Diversity Officer, Coordinated Care Services, Inc. (CCSI)
  • Greg Constantino, Managing Director, Northwestern Mutual/Constantino Financial
  • Marlene Cortés, Senior Program Manager, Empire Justice Center
  • Sylvia David-West, Project Engineer, L3Harris Technologies
  • Mike Evans, Executive Director, South East Area Coalition, Inc.
  • Jeiri Flores, Advocacy Specialist Associate Director, Diversity & Inclusion, Strong Center for Developmental Disabilities
  • Dr. Donna M. Harris, Associate Principal & Chief Diversity Officer, CGR
  • Mona Isler, Executive Office Administrator, WXXI
  • Dr. Keith Jenkins, Vice President and Associate Provost for Diversity and Inclusion, Rochester Institute of Technology
  • Julio Jordan, Director of Diversity, Equity, Justice, and Inclusion, Ibero-American Action League
  • Dr. Deanna Kimbrel, Chief Diversity Officer/Director, Department of DEI, Monroe County, New York
  • Dr. Shaun Nelms, Professor & Superintendent, University of Rochester/Rochester City School District
  • Stephanie Paredes, Assistant Director, Community & Belonging, Rochester Institute of Technology
  • Annette Ramos, Monroe County Board of Elections Recruiter, Monroe County Board of Elections
  • Denise Reed Lamoreaux, Director Equity & Belonging, Zillow
  • Joseph Searles, Jr., Vice President & Chief Community Engagement Officer, Trillium Health
  • Frank Staropoli, Member, Exploring Racism Groups and United Christian Leadership Ministry
  • Joe Starling, Faith Community Inclusion Specialist, Heritage Christian Services
  • Sara Taylor, Community Liaison and Training Specialist, Eleversity
  • Nicole VanGorder, COO, Upstate Special Needs Planning
  • Julio Vázquez, Sr., Chair of the Board of Trustees, Eugenio María De Hostos Charter School
  • Rev. Dr. Marlowe V.N. Washington, Senior Diversity Officer, St. John Fisher University


A selection committee consisting of a diverse group of professional leaders from the Rochester and Finger Lakes business community will determine the recipient based upon submitted nominations.


Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Bob Duffy said, “The Greater Rochester region’s diversity is one of its biggest strengths and we have these nominees to thank. While our region has had its issues with equity and social challenges, these individuals in our community are working tirelessly to move the needle in the right direction and we all owe them a debt of gratitude. Each of these individuals has had a massive impact on the lives of those they work and live within our community and have helped others reach their maximum potential. We look forward to celebrating these individuals and all the outstanding work they have done in September.”


Registration for the first annual Colors of Success DEI Award ceremony is currently open and sponsorships are available. Learn more on our website here.


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