Diversity Forum - Tampa Bay

Diversity Forum - Tampa Bay

The Greater Brandon Chamber of Commerce and University of Phoenix (Central Florida Campus) co-sponsored a forum of discussion on Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace at our West Florida Learning Center on February 25, 2016. 


Mr. Brian Lucas (Campus Director - Central Florida) and Dr. Robert W. Robertson (DAA - Central Florida Campus & CWDR's Research Fellow) opened the event in which more than 75 attendees engaged in a very productive discussion, exploring how businesses and organizations are recognizing and embracing all dimensions of diversity, including race and ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, generations, and education.

A special thanks to Dr. Diane Berry and all the team from the Central Florida Campus that together with the Greater Brandon Chamber of Commerce organized and made this event a big success.

A panel composed of diversity experts led the discussion around managing and leading a diverse culture of employees and customers, building an environment of inclusion, and improving performance through strategic initiatives focused on inclusion. Dr. Carlos Tasso Aquino, University Research Chair and leader of the Center for Workplace Diversity Research was the panel moderator, that counted with the expertise of the following executives:


Michele Leo Hinston - Schumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP Bio MicheleLeoHintson.pdf


Dr. Leonard Mardis - Leonard’s Academy of Dance 

  Bio Leonard's Bio 17 Jul 2015.pdf


Kyle Blakeman - BMO Harris Bank 

Kyle Blakeman.pdf


Felix Bratlavsky - Tampa General Hospital 

Bio Felix Bratslavsky.pdf


From the audience:

"Dr. Aquino: Your expert facilitation of the University of Phoenix Diversity Forum last night produced a thought-provoking discussion and successful event.  The questions you asked and answers you elicited gave insight into this challenging topic.  I believe the participants left with a better understanding of the hidden biases individuals and organizations face and learn to overcome.


We truly appreciate you taking time out of your busy schedule to be lead the conversation.  Thank you!" 



From the Campus Leadership:



Thank you for your work as the chair and facilitator of our recent diversity panel at the West Florida Learning Center sponsored by the Brandon Chamber of Commerce and the Central Florida campus.


As you know, we had 75 students, faculty and local business men and women attend the event on February 25. The panel included representation from the Tampa General Hospital, BMO Harris Bank, Schumaker Loop and Heindrich (a large Tampa based law firm) and Mardis’s Dance Academy.


I have received many positive comments from attendees about the event. In fact, we are planning a similar event in Orlando later this year. We will be in touch to talk about this event soon.


Thank you for the great work.


Best regards,


Robert W. Robertson, PhD, PGDip

Director of Academic Affairs"





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