Phyllis Barajas

Phyllis is the Executive Director of Conexión and a lifelong Latina activist and social entrepreneur committed to developing and advancing Latino leadership. Ms. Barajas’ unprecedented career spans industries and roles. She served as the first Latina assistant dean for human resources at Harvard Kennedy School of Government. She is a former deputy assistant secretary in the U.S. Department of Education appointed by President Clinton.

In 2005, she founded Conexión to help shape the next generation of Latino leaders. In 2009, she was recognized by the Boston Business Journal as one of The 20 on the Move. For four consecutive years, El Planeta Newspaper has acknolwedged her as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the Latino community in Massachusetts. The Boston Chapter of the National Society of Hispanic MBAs recognized Ms. Barajas and Conexión with a Leadership Award in 2009.

Most recently, the Association of Latinos in Finance and Accounting (ALPFA) honored her visionary leadership by granting her the Excellence in Contribution to the Latino Community Award. Growing up in Omaha, Nebraska, the daughter of Mexican immigrants, she sees helping others as a legacy handed to her from her father as part of the payback for the opportunities America represented to him.

Bob Edwards

Bob Edwards Conexión Board Member

Bob is the Managing Partner at Edwards and Associates. He has made a lifelong commitment to talent management and inclusion. Throughout his career, Bob has designed diversity initiatives and succession planning strategies that benefit all as part of his work in organizational development and change management.

He has a broad background in project management, strategic organization change, human resources operations and managing line organizations. Before establishing his consulting practice, Bob served as Vice President of Administration at Xerox Corporation.

Edward Melia

Edward Melia is Chief Talent Officer at Exemplar Companies and Managing Director at Exemplar Consulting.  In this role Edward works as strategic partner with boards and senior executive teams to align human capital and business objectives. He brings significant experience in organizational development, corporate leadership, global management, and entrepreneurship. His past successes as entrepreneur, executive, board member and business owner afford him a unique perspective and insight into the most valuable assets of any organization– its people.

Prior to Exemplar, Edward served as SVP/Human Capital Advisor at P3 Ventures Group. Here he worked with venture-backed startups to ensure the right talent was in place as high-growth companies prepared for major milestones – from capital infusion to hyper-growth to Mergers & Acquisitions to IPO.

Prior to P3VG, Edward was Senior Partner at HR CyberQuest, Vice President at Monster.com and Managing Director for London-based Saville Holdsworth.

Edward has lectured for graduate-level academic programs in organizational development, HRIS and entrepreneurship.  He is an active volunteer, mentor and board member for various non-profit and community organizations.Melia

Frank McCarthy

Frank is the Founder and President of Diverse Workplace, Inc. He is a diversity-recruiting pioneer. In 1973 he founded Xavier Associates and in 2004 Diverse Workplace, Inc. The mission of both companies is to assist clients to create and maintain a culturally diverse and inclusive workplace that values differences.

Frank has knowledge, skills, networks and resources to help diversity executives identify and recruit highly qualified candidates and foster inclusive work environments. He served as President of Massachusetts Professional Placement Consultants and is a board member of the Brockton Neighborhood Health Center, where he previously served as President of the Board of Trustees.

Inez Stewart

Inez currently serves as Vice President of Human Resources, Children’s Hospital Boston. Inez is one of the area’s leading Latinas in business. She has an extensive record of achievement, spanning diverse industries in North America, Latin America and Asia Pacific. She has held executive-level positions in numerous organizations as is seen as one of the “go to” people when companies seek Latino talent in the region.

Jean Hood

Jean is the Senior Vice President of Human Resources at the University of Texas at Arlington. She is very active in her profession and is a member of the Society of Human Resources Managers. Currently she is a member of the Advisory Council for the Master of Science in Human Resource Management in the College of Business at the University of Texas at Arlington. She also serves as an Advisory Board member on the North Texas Diversity Council.

Jesse Treviño

Jesse is a writer, blogger and social critic whose foremost interest is the impact of the demographic changes transforming the United States and the world. A former journalist, speechwriter at the White House and television producer, he believes the development of visionary leadership within American society, specifically among HispanicLatinos, is central to how the country survives in the future.

His new thinking forms the basis for a new Hispanic political and strategic perspective gaining resonance within a widening circle in the Latino and mainstream community. Jesse helps leaders in government and in the private sector examine the ramifications of Hispanic population growth on companies, organizations, government, institutions and markets.Latino demographics, new demography, Jesse Treviño

Robert Martínez

Robert is the Manager of Diversity and Inclusion at Princeton University. He is known for his work in diversity and inclusion management and talent acquisition. Prior to his appointment at Princeton, he served as Recruitment and Diversity Specialist for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Employee Relations Specialist and Recruitment Supervisor for United Parcel Services, and International Regional Manager for the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York.

Robert holds certifications as Missionary and Minister from the Ministerial Training School of the Watchtower Bible School of Gilead and as Senior Professional in Human Resource Management from the Society for Human Resource Management. The son of Mexican immigrants from the state of Sonora, he was born and raised in Los Angeles and lived in Ecuador for ten years.Latino leadership, Conexion, Robert Martínez

Sue Cann

Sue was formerly with Aon Hewitt for over 18 years, where she was a Senior Vice President in the Boston office. She is also a former member of the Northeast Region business development team and served as Local Market Leader for two years. Her primary responsibilities were sales and client relationship management. Prior to moving into business development in 2005, Sue was member of the Communication Consulting Practice. As a business developer, she received the Million Dollar Club award in 2006 and 2008.

Prior to joining Aon, Sue served as the manager of human resources communications for Raytheon Company. She also served as a marketing associate for Coopers & Lybrand, a technical writer for Stone & Webster Engineering Corp., and as a legislative aide for a former Massachusetts State Senator and State Representative.Sue Cann Conexión board member

Manny Correia

Manny is currently the Founder and Principal Consultant for Inclusive Coaching. Manny drives exceptional performance by creating and fostering an inclusive culture that inspires individuals to fulfill their potential and contribute to superior business outcomes. He has a particular passion in assisting those from “traditionally” under-represented groups in business – women, people of color, LGBT, differently-abled and mature workers as well as new entrants to the workforce and returning veterans.  Manny has held leadership roles on numerous nonprofit boards and committees. Prior to his current work, he was the Managing Director and Chief Administrative Officer at Harvard Management Company, Inc. responsible for all corporate functions.