Keynote Speakers 2018

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Key Note Speaker:
Chris Crosby, Author

Chris Crosby is a consultant, Emotional Intelligence educator, and author of two recent books, Strategic Organizational Alignment, published in 2017, and Strategic Engagement, out this year. He is first and foremost a practitioner with internal experience working as an Organization Development Manager and external experience running his own consultancy. He has also held an adjunct faculty position at Saybrook University/Leadership Institute of Seattle. Currently, he is the President of the Board of The Pacific Northwest Organization Development Network. He spends his time writing, doing consultant work, and serving on the board.

Chris is an expert in systems thinking applied to the workplace. He uses his unique understanding of systems thinking and authority in the workplace to create organization alignment, implementation structures, and people processes for various forms of organization change including mergers, large cross-functional projects, department redesigns, software implementations, and whole system transformations.

Chris also develops leadership programs for various clients. His programs utilize a unique industry adapted Skills Training Group (T-Group) as his primary experiential learning method to train leaders to engage their workforce in such a way that builds ownership, commitment, organization alignment and ultimately better business results.

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Key Note Speaker:
Raymond B. Johnson, MBA Harvard Business School

Ray Johnson is the President of Johnson Biomedical Capital and has over 30 years of experience as a CEO and Leader starting, funding, and building businesses. He has invested in 15 privately held companies, and raised over $50M in capital.

Ray has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan and an MBA from the Harvard Business School. He is currently a Doctoral Candidate at the University of Florida where his research focus is on small business exit success factors.

Ray has been studying “business success” for more than 30 years. He was one of the youngest people ever admitted to the Harvard Business School where he earned his MBA. His doctoral research at the University of Florida focuses on business exit success factors.


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Mercedes Martin

Mercedes Martin, Business and Leadership consultant, Leadership Development Coach, and international speaker brings verve and new light to the topics of business transformation, disruption, and innovation.

She is a native Spanish-speaking international consultant and conference speaker, and pioneer introducing leadership transformation and global diversity programs in Africa, European and Latin American countries, as well as in the United States and Canada.   With over two decades of Strategic Business Consulting, Leadership Development, Global Diversity and Inclusion Coaching under her belt, she brings a radically different approach to the table. She weaves the political, social and economic impact of these topics in order to establish a cultural context for the audience and work at hand.

Whether it’s through delving into Samba School as a way to analyze Brazilian business culture, teaching storytelling and personal narratives techniques to bring about connection and empathy or by facilitating a dialogue about race, class and gender in the work force, she draws upon her creativity to create synergy between the business and social culture of the group in order to bring about a collective sense of belonging, business success and social impact that has long lasting impact.

A sought after speaker and panelist, Mercedes has presented at Regional and National Conferences and Associations including Conference Board, National Organizational Development Network ( ODN), SIETAR (Society for Intercultural Education Training ), and NCORE ( National Conference on Race and Ethnictiy), and UC Berkley Conference on Diversity.

Before joining Ashton212 as EVP for Business Transformation and Innovation, Mercedes spent close to ten years at Ernst & Young (EY) as Talent Development and organizational change Consultant, and certified Executive Coach. There she consulted, facilitated and coached internal leaders across America’s to align Market and Talent strategies by building high performing global teams . Including global leaders brought together via mergers and acquisitions .

A graduate of the University of Miami, Mercedes holds a Masters Degree in Leadership Development from University of San Francisco. Her training also includes advanced study and research in Organizational Development, Diversity and Inclusion, cross cultural Conflict Resolution and Program Design and Development. certified as an advanced facilitator using the conflict resolution model of Powerful Non-Defensive Communication( PNDC) and executive coach using brain- based models.and multiple certifications, including in 360o Assessment Coaching from the Center for Creative Leadership, Diversity Facilitation from IBM, and Executive Coaching Certification from Results Coaching Systems and mindfulness coaching—a brain-based approach that applies discoveries in the field of neuroscience to develop personal communication and leadership skills.

Her particular areas of expertise for consultations and presentations:

  • Business and Leadership Transformation and Innovation
  • Leadership transformation at the personal, team, organization and community level
  • Business transformation and social impact
  • Women and Leadership Programs
  • Women and People of Color Leadership Development
  • Mentoring and Sponsorship Programs
  • Executive coaching and consulting
  • Building high performing global teams
  • Cross-cultural communication, conflict resolution and coaching
  • Global Skills and cultural Globalization programs to diversity efforts

Alonzo's IOD Conference Photo

Alonzo Johnson, Ph.D.

Alonzo Johnson, Ph.D., is the Managing Partner of The OASYS Group, a talent
management consulting company. With experties gained from over three decades honing his skills in staffing and organizational development, Dr. Johnson has helped organizations manage the talent and performance of their employees.

He is the author of the Made Easy Series, which features books titled: Leading Made Easy,
Hiring Made Easy as PIE, and forthcoming, Coaching Made Easy. He is the developer of various assessments, including the LEAD 360, a companion leadership development tool for his book: Leading Made Easy.

Dr. Johnson specializes in creating and conducting leadership development programs that leverage assessments as the foundation on which to build. He has used this approach to help leaders at all levels around the globe increase
their effectiveness. 

Catarina Moreno

Catarina Moreno, Co-Presenter

Catarina Moreno is currently based in Jamaica and works with a number of nonprofit organizations as Organization Development Advisor. She has 15 years of leadership and management experience in social profit organizations and brings an international background of having lived, worked and studied in Europe and across the Americas. In addition to a BA and an MA in the areas of Peace and Development Studies, she holds a Graduate Certificate in Organizational Design and Development from Royal Roads University (Canada).

Abrahim Simmonds

Abrahim Simmonds, Co-Presenter

Abrahim Simmonds is the co-founder of Jamaican Youth Empowerment through Culture, Arts and Nationalism (JAYECAN). Through this movement, Abrahim has inspired and motivated hundreds of young people in Jamaica. The group tackles a number of social issues using the performing arts, culture and various media forms. In 2017, Abrahim received the prestigious Queen’s Young Leader Award for his work with this organization. Abrahim is currently a graduate student at the University of the West Indies, pursuing a Master of Science in Sociology: Social Policy and Administration. He currently works with Family Health International (FHI360) on a USAID Project.


Jennifer Hooks, MBA (HR)

Jennifer is the Manager of the Performance Improvement Department at the Medical University of South Carolina and a retired Air Force E9 Chief Master Sergeant with 26 years of clinical, administrative and performance improvement experience in hospital, ambulatory care and dental facilities in a variety of settings worldwide.

Jennifer is an accomplished trainer and her practical experience has taken her into many types of industries including healthcare, supply chain, service organizations, aerospace and manufacturing. She is an invited speaker to numerous conferences, webinars and symposiums.

She supports MUSC’s executive leadership in the deployment of Lean Six Sigma, Design Thinking and Change Management throughout the organization. Jennifer manages Six Sigma Black and Green Belts, develops and teaches curriculum for Lean Six Sigma education, drives system-wide projects and customizes Lean Six Sigma methodology to best suit MUSC’s needs.

She is an adjunct faculty member in MUSC College of Health Professions and College of Nursing.

Jennifer has a MBA in Human Resources and BS in Occupational Education Health Administration. Jennifer is a certified Six Sigma Master Black Belt and also holds a LEAN Sensei Certification from Villanova University. Jennifer is a member of the American Society for Quality (ASQ), the Institute of Industrial and System Engineers (IISE), Society of Health Systems (SHS), Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) and American College of Medical Quality (ACMQ). She also serves on the American Quality Institute Green Belt International Standard Technical Committee.

Roselea Hammilton, Vice President, Development and Community Service at University of Technology of Jamaica

Eleanor Jones, Owner, ESL Management Solutions LTD - Kellogs Foundation


Ilsa duVerney, CARI-CODE

She holds degrees from the University of the West Indies (BA 1985) Communication with Social Sciences and the University of Cincinnati (MA 1995) in collaboration with National Training Laboratories (NTL) –Institute for Applied Behavioural Sciences, Psychology and Human Resources Development. Mrs. duVerney also served as an adjunct Instructor/Lecturer at three Universities in Jamaica (UWI and CAST now UTECH) and University College of the Caribbean. She also trained at the island’s leading Training Institutions, The Institute of Management and Production, The Jamaica Institute of Management & JAMPRO.

She has over 25 years experience in Human Resource Development. Mrs. duVerney trained as a trainer through the Industrial Society (England), Training House (USA) and JIDC, (JAMPRO) and NTL. She is a certified Work Team Coach and is trained in Extended DISC behavioural assessments. She has designed and facilitated several workshops for educators and trainers in the Caribbean region and has been given an award for creating opportunities in HRD by the University of Cincinnati/NTL/JATAD for bringing the first HRD Masters programme to the Caribbean.

She is the 2012 recipient of the Woman of Excellence Award from her Alma Mater Convent of Mercy Academy – Alpha High. Mrs. duVerney was also the driving force behind the formation of the Jamaica Association for Training and Development (JATAD) now the Human Resource Management Association of Jamaica (HRMAJ).

She is a former JATAD Board Chairman and is a recipient of the JATAD Pioneer Outstanding Contribution Award. In 2001 she founded the Jamaica Customer Service Association (JaCSA) and was a pioneer facilitator in the Association’s offering of the International Certification Programme with a Caribbean Perspective through the International Customer Service Association, Rockhurst University and JaCSA. She has served on the Boards of Stony Hill HEART Academy, Convent of Mercy Academy Alpha and the Churches Co-operative Credit Union (now First Heritage Cooperative Credit Union). She served as Chairman of the JaCSA Board from (2003-2014). She has successfully facilitated strategic retreats and processes and has developed several Managers, Supervisors/Leaders, Trainers, Facilitators, Customer Service and other Personnel.

For years she wrote on HRD issues in the Business section of the Daily Gleaner. She has worked in several islands in the Caribbean and has led proactively, the gamut of Human Resource Projects in several organisations. She has facilitated sessions in Florida for the Institute of Organization Development and has been a presenter at their International Conference. She is a Certified Organisation Development Consultant and has given several motivational talks. She spent many years as a volunteer and also served for years on the Council of the Association for Children who were mentally challenged now Jamaica Association on Intellectual Disabilities (JAID). She is committed to works of Mercy and is a Mercy Associate. Ilsa enjoys having the opportunity to serve. She considers her work to be “worship.” She is very family oriented, enjoys gardening and is passionate about national development.

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Professor Musa O. Nyakora, PhD, GIOD, SHRM, IHRM, DIM

Professor and Director of PhD in Leadership – Adventist University of Africa – Nairobi , Kenya. Prof. Musa Nyakora, holds a PhD degree in Organization Development
and Transformation (ODT) from Cebu Doctors’ university – Philippines.
 Prof. Musa brings to us a wealth of experience drawn from diverse fields of
Action Research, Strategic Management consultancy, Business/Entrepreneurship Trainer and consultant in Strategic HRM. Prior to joining the academia field,

Musa has worked in different international NGOs.
He has been involved in policy formulation and strategic planning programs for various international organizations. 
Musa is currently the Program Director for MA & PhD in Leadership at Adventist University of Africa, Nairobi -Kenya.

Photo Dr. Miriam

Dr. Miriam W. Gichung'wa, PhD
Director of Quality Assurance- At the Presbyterian Church, University of East Africa - Kenya

Using David Ulrich’s HR Transformation Model, participants will realize their full potential as HR Leaders, to link their strategies and actions to the expectations of all their stakeholders. Participants will identify and assess organization-wide gaps of staff competencies, to link strategies & actions with client expectations, and to evaluate whether current HR strategies are matching with business strategies delivered as per organization’s capabilities, and to create a forum for addressing business trends and how HR orgs around the world are responding.

Dr. Anne P. Crick, Senior Lecturer VWI MSBM/Co-Owner at Jamaica Culinary Tours