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DEI, But Make It Latinx


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DEI, But Make It Latinx

Whats Working, What’s Needed

DEI is not one-size-fits-all, and Patricia Mota and Laura Birk can explain why. Join Leandro Antoniuk as he sits down with these business leaders to discuss the DEI needs and unique challenges of Latinx professionals. Patricia Mota is the CEO of HACE, The Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement, and was named as one of Crain’s Chicago Business Top 20 Most Powerful Latinos in Chicago in 2019. Laura Birk serves almost 1000 employees as the Head of Human Resources for the Americas at Barilla America.

Laura Birk

Bridget Finkeldey

Laura Birk is the Vice President of Human Resources for Barilla America, Inc. where she has been for over 15 years. Laura is responsible for all the talent management and people processes supporting the Americas business which includes Canada, U.S., Mexico and Brazil. She is a Board Member for the company and has the pleasure to serve almost 1,000 employees across the Americas.

Laura’s recently been recognized by OnCon as a 2020 Top 50 Human Resources Professional and Chicago Business Crain’s 2021 Notable Leaders in HR. She also leads a great team who has won several industry awards for diversity, wellness, employee benefits, and talent management and development activities including:

  • Catalyst-Workplaces that Work for Woman Winner
  • Human Rights Campaign:
    • 100% Corporate Equality Index, Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality
    • Corporate Equality Award
  • Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement (H.A.C.E.) Corporate Champion
  • Disability Matters: Steps to Success Award
  • Corporate University Best in Class (C.U.B.I.C.) Award Winner: Best Job Aligning Learning and Development with Corporate Goals
  • Talent Management Best In Class (TAMBIC) Award Recipient
  • American Society of Training and Development (ASTD) B.E.S.T. Award Recipient
  • Organizational Development Network (ODN)-Chicago Award Recipient
  • Dave Thomas Foundation and The Cradle for Best in Class Adoption benefits

Laura serves on the Board for Missouri State University Advisory Board, and former Board Member for the Tyler Clementi Foundation. She supports and volunteers at the Cradle Adoption agency, Special Olympic, Walter & Connie Payton Foundation, Hispanic Alliance Career Enhancement (H.A.C.E.), and several other Diversity and Inclusion organizations.

Patricia Mota

Arushi Grover

Patricia serves as the President & CEO for the Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement (HACE), leading strategy, fundraising & development, leadership programs, and expanding impact on a national scale. As an advocate for access and equity, Patricia strives to create a multi-generational, diverse, and inclusive support network to catapult the career growth Latinos across the country. Patricia leads with a diverse industry background, from co-founding a nonprofit, leading in community affairs for local government, marketing for corporate utilities company, to administration in higher education, to circling back to nonprofit at HACE as a Director in 2010, Sr. Director 2012, then CEO in 2015. Patricia has a strong history of serving the community, as reflected by her service on various nonprofit boards and committees, and several accolades, most recently appointed as a commissioner on the Illinois Hispanic Employment Plan Council and named Crain's Business Chicago Top 25 Most Powerful Latinos. Patricia earned a double Bachelor of Arts degree from Indiana University Bloomington in Spanish and Communication & Culture and a Master's in Public Affairs (MPA) in Public Management from Indiana University's School of Public & Environmental Affairs (SPEA)-Indianapolis. Patricia is also a certified leadership coach, Insights Discovery© licensed practitioner, and a proud Leadership Greater Chicago Fellow.

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