Barbara Williams currently serves as HR Director of Diversity and Inclusion at Oracle Corporation. In this role, she oversees Oracle’s strategic approach to the development and advancement of a diverse workforce, which includes leadership development and employee engagement, internship programs and external strategic partnerships and relationships. She is also responsible for branding Oracle’s image as inclusive and diverse culture that drives innovation, and business success.
Prior to Oracle, Barbara was at Sun were she focused on creating innovative strategic programs and partnerships that required strategy creation, talent resourcing, development planning, and technology integration. She has also previously managed the compliance responsibilities for over $1.8 Billion dollars in government contracts. Barbara has also worked in variety of technical roles with increasing responsibility at SAP and in HR at National Semiconductor.
Barbara is readily sought after speaker and provides thought leadership on a variety of topics for organizations including Diversity Best Practices, Fountain Blue When She Speaks, Career Communications Group -Women of Color Conference and the Hispanic IT Executive Council.
She serves as a Vice Chair and Commissioner for the Alameda County Commission on the Status of Women; she is also on the Advisory Council for the IT Senior Management Forum, Nordstrom Scholarship Committee and is a member of Black Women Organized for Political Action (BWOPA) as well as the Women of Color Action Network (WCAN).
Barbara has previously served as President of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Oakland Bay Area Chapter, and on the Board of Directors for the Girls Scouts San Francisco Bay Area, Girls for Change and First Place for Youth and on the Board of Directors for the National Coalition of 100 Black Women.
Barbara completed her Bachelor of Science degree and Master’s Degree at Golden Gate University in San Francisco.
Melanie M. Shelby| Mistress of Ceremonies
Melanie M. Shelby is an award winning professional with a nearly 20-year track
record of exceeding business objectives for top tier organizations such as AEG,
Allstate, California Department of Insurance, Comcast, National Black Caucus
of State Legislators, PG&E, State Farm and others. She resides on the dynamic
leadership team at Gray, Greer, Shelby & Vaughn, a minority and womanowned
lobbying firm. GGSV specializes in government relations, outreach and
supplier diversity. The firm uses its platinum rolodex to create victories for
clients by influencing decision makers, mobilizing constituencies and shaping
public dialogue. In 2012, GGSV helped pass Assembly Bill 53, historic California
legislation that requires insurance carriers that write premiums of $100 million
plus to biennially report dollars spent with diverse firms to California’s Insurance
Commissioner. Melanie also serves on the Measure Y Oversight Committee,
Oakland’s $22 million violence prevention parcel tax, and the Board of Lincoln
Wilma Chan | 2013 Honoree
Alameda County Board Supervisor Wilma Chan has been a
strong advocate for children and families for 40 plus years. As
State Assembly member Chan served as the first Asian and
woman majority leader from 2000-2006. She authored numerous
groundbreaking bills including making California the first state to
ban toxic flame retardants and implemented a no-lead standard in drinking water
pipes and fixtures. Ms. Chan authored historic legislation to end the practice
of hospitals overcharging uninsured and underinsured patients and to cover
California’s 800,000 uninsured children. She won approval of $100 million to
expand State Preschool and fought successfully to maintain the state’s Master
Plan for college student access. It was her bill that in 2010 blew the whistle on
Anthem Blue Cross when they tried to implement a 33% rate increase in California.
The national attention to this issue helped propel national healthcare reform to
Cheryl Smith | 2013 Honoree
Cheryl Smith joined the Lennar Corporation’s Bay Area
division - one of the country’s leading home builders - in 2007,
and currently serves as the Director of Community Affairs.
In this role, her primary focus is to implement community
engagement strategies and ensure the social and economic
benefits of two of the most significant urban development
projects in San Francisco. Additionally, Smith manages the Division’s community
benefit obligations valued at nearly $100M, monitors the mandatory workforce
and contracting policies between Lennar Urban and the City & County of San
Francisco and manages most philanthropic activities.
Prior to joining Lennar, Smith served as the deputy director of First 5 Contra
Costa County and as the Bayview-Hunters Point YMCA first Executive Director.
Smith received both her Bachelor’s degree in Urban Studies and Masters in
Education from San Francisco State University.
Shefali Razdan Duggal | 2013 Honoree
Shefali is and has been an avid supporter of President Barack
Obama in numerous roles including a member of the Presidential
Partners, National Finance Committee (NFC) for President
Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign, a Co-Chair for Obama
Victory Trustees (OVT) and a member of the Northern California
Finance Committee for President Barack Obama.
Early in Shefali’s career, she worked as a Political Analyst at Staton Hughes, a
political strategy firm in SF, and also worked for the MA Democratic Party, NH
Democratic party, and Senators Ted Kennedy and Dianne Feinstein. Born in
India, Shefali earned her M.A. in Political Communication from NYU and a B.S. in
Mass Communication from Miami University of Ohio.
Rebecca Kaplan | 2013 Honoree
Elected by Oakland voters to represent the entire City of
Oakland as their Councilmember At-Large, Rebecca Kaplan is
honored to have served Oakland for 10 years. Elected to the
Oakland City Council in 2008, Kaplan became the youngest –
and first openly-lesbian – Oakland City Councilmember. On
the council, Kaplan has works earnestly to improve quality of
life by enhancing economic opportunity, public safety and vibrancy in Oakland.
Rebecca is proud to have fixed long-standing legislative logjams to launch new
blight-fighting tools, has cut red tape and fees for small businesses, and has
generated new revenue without raising taxes on residents. Prior to her service
on the Oakland City Council, Rebecca served as At-Large Director on the AC
Transit Board of Directors. Councilmember Kaplan earned a Bachelor of Science
from the MIT, holds a Master of Arts in Urban & Environmental Policy from Tufts
University and a JD from Stanford Law School.
Ana Chretien | 2013 Honoree
Since 1989, Ms. Chretien has served as President and CEO of
ABC Security Service. During her tenure, she has steered her
company in a direction that demonstrated high quality of service
and financial sustainability. Her leadership is recognized in the
community where she and ABC have been honored as one of
the top 25 minority owned businesses in the East Bay Area, and
one of the top 500 largest Hispanic owned businesses in the United States. Ms.
Chretien is respected for her unfailing commitment to the community having
served on many local and state commissions and advisory committees. Having
received awards, Ana has excelled in turning ABC Security Service into one
of the largest minority woman-owned security services in California. Ana is
respected not by the business community, but also by the hundreds of residents
whom she has given employment opportunities over the past 30 years.
Denise Bradley Tyson| 2013 Honoree
Denise Bradley Tyson is Vice President of the San
Francisco Film Commission and has worked in
a variety of capacities from brand licensing and
development to film distribution and syndication for
powerhouse companies such as Warner Bros., Disney,
Viacom and QVC including developing the creative
brief for the licensing program for Michael Jordan’s movie “SPACE
JAM” and television home shopping giant QVC’s first African-themed
merchandising program. In her current role as a SF Film Commissioner,
she works closely with the Mayor’s office to enact legislation to increase
tax rebates to incentivize filmmakers to film in San Francisco. Denise
also leveraged her experience to lead the launch and establishment
of one of San Francisco’s newest cultural institutions, the Museum of
the African Diaspora (MoAD). Under her leadership, MoAD garnered
recognition nationally and internationally, including being featured as
the cover story in the New York Times Arts section.
Brenda Wade | 2013 C. DIANE HOWELL ENTREPRENEUR AWARD
You’ve Seen Her on Oprah, The Today Show, CNN, Good
Morning America, Essence Magazine, and Much More...
Psychologist, Keynote Speaker, Seminar Leader, Television
Host, Producer and Author Founder of Love, Money & Seva
Seminars “One of the most renowned psychologists in
America,” Dr. Brenda Wade is best known for her dynamic,
love-centered approach to transformation. She has earned
numerous awards as psychologist, keynote speaker,
workshop leader, author, television host and producer.
Dr. Brenda currently appears as an expert on NBC’s Today Show and CNN’s
Issues with Jane Velez-Mitchell and Headline News. She has appeared regularly
on shows such as Oprah and Good Morning America. In the San Francisco Bay
Area, Dr. Brenda hosts Black Renaissance on the CW network.
Dr. Brenda is both producer and host of the national PBS television pledge
special Power Choices. She also hosted the nationally-syndicated television
program “Can This Marriage Be Saved?” Based on the long running column
of the same name in the Ladies Home Journal magazine. The San Francisco
Chronicle described Dr. Brenda’s demeanor on the program as “...always
knowledgeable, selectively tough or sympathetic.” The Boston Globe stated
Dr. Brenda’s manner on the show mixed with “...the magic of television,
encouraged [people] to respond...,” and that the show had an “odd integrity”,
not often viewed in a TV talk/relationship program. Love, Money & Seva
Seminars was founded by Dr. Brenda to produce programs and live events that
focus on creating fulfilling lives.
Dr. Brenda, a clinical psychologist in San Francisco, California, specializes in
couples and family therapy, with a private practice that reaches internationally.
Her approach is both humanistic and practical.
A graduate of the University of Puget Sound, she received her Bachelor of
Science degree in Biology. Dr. Brenda completed her Ph.D. in Developmental
and Child Clinical Psychology from the University of Washington. Dr. Brenda is
former Adjunct Professor of John F. Kennedy University, San Francisco State
University, and Antioch University West.