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Chamber News Release

Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce Announces 16 Finalists for 2023 Colors of Success DEI Leadership Award

August 10, 2023
Award showcase on Thursday, September 14 at the Floreano Riverside Convention Center

ROCHESTER, NY (August 10, 2022) –– Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the 16 finalists for the second annual 2023 Colors of Success DEI Leadership Award. Created in 2022, this award celebrates 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.  

Greater Rochester Chamber will celebrate the finalists and present the award at an in-person celebration on Thursday, September 14, 2023 from 3:15 to 6:00 PM at the Riverside Conventions Center’s Lilac Ballroom. The ceremony will also include a keynote presentation from the inaugural Colors of Success DEI Leadership Award recipient, Dr. Keith Jenkins. 

Bob Duffy, President and CEO, Greater Rochester Chamber said, “The Greater Rochester region's diversity is undeniably one of our greatest strengths. We extend our heartfelt appreciation to the exceptional finalists of the second annual Colors of Success DEI Leadership Award for their unwavering dedication to cultivating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive Greater Rochester. Their remarkable efforts have impacted the lives of those around them and our community, fostering an environment where everyone can thrive. We look forward to celebrating these individuals and all the outstanding work they have done in September.” 

The 2023 finalists are as follows: 

  • Sady Alvarado-Fischer, Vice President, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer, Excellus BCBS 
  • Alana Barend, Talent + DEI Manager, Partners + Napier 
  • Darrell Bell, Vice President, Advancement, Nazareth University 
  • Sydney Bell, Manager, Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion, ESL 
  • Kesha Carter, Chief Diversity Officer, Coordinated Care Services Inc. (CCSI) 
  • Jahmar Elliott, Director, Staff DEI and Engagement, University of Rochester 
  • Denise G. Herrera, Founder, Program Lead Preceptor, Randleman Program at RIT/NTID 
  • Cynthia Herriott, Deputy Executive Director, Rochester Housing Authority 
  • Jazzmyn Ivery-Robinson, Assistant Director, Community & Belonging, Rochester Institute of Technology 
  • Melissa James-Geska, President, US Ceiling Corp 
  • Dr. Celia McIntosh, Nurse Practitioner, Owner, Chief Advocacy Officer (CAO), McIntosh Advocacy and Consulting 
  • Evelyn Parker, Head of Diversity and Inclusion, Stride/K12 
  • Stephanie Pennington, Director of DEI & Supplier Diversity, LeChase Construction Services, LLC 
  • Candyce Singletary, Mission Advancement Coordinator, YWCA of Rochester & Monroe County 
  • Dr. Sheila Strong, Director of Leadership Development & Equity, United Way of Greater Rochester and the Finger Lakes 
  • Sesha Yalamanchili, President, On the Mark Consulting, LLC 

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

Registration and sponsorships for the celebration in September are now available. Please see the event registration page and Sponsorship Opportunities booklet for more details. For questions, please contact 



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