Linda Akutagawa, President and CEO, Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics

Linda Akutagawa is the President and CEO of Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics Inc., where she is responsible for LEAP’s fund-raising, business development and oversight of program design, development and delivery. As chief fundraiser, she develops and executes strategies focused on increasing earned and contributed income, building interest among clients and donors to support and participate in LEAP’s leadership programs.

Linda bridges her development and program design and delivery roles through her consulting with LEAP’s diverse range of clients, which include nearly 500 nonprofit, community and student organizations; federal, state and local government agencies; colleges and universities; and Fortune 1000 companies. She works with clients locally, nationally and globally to determine the best programs and services to support their Asian talent development needs and brings together the resources needed to deliver a solution. In addition, she collaborates with LEAP’s consultants to co-design and customize new and existing programs.

Linda is certified to facilitate LEAP’s Leadership Development Program as well as to deliver several of LEAP’s foundational courses, including the 21st Century Leadership, Understanding Your Cultural Values, and Effective Work & Communication Styles. She previously was vice president of resource and business development for Los Angeles-based LEAP, developing and implementing fund-raising, marketing and sales strategies for its programs and services.

A beneficiary of LEAP’s leadership training, Linda first began as a volunteer for the 501(c)(3) entity. Now in her 20th year there, she speaks and presents globally on topics such as leadership, Asian cultural values and influences, employee kohls coupon code resource groups, diversity, networking and branding to a range of audiences such as corporations, student groups and community and professional organizations. Prior to joining LEAP, she was the marketing manager for Japan & Orient Tours Inc., a travel operator specializing in Asia and the Pacific.

Linda serves on the Board Directors of the Asian Women Leadership Network and Japanese American Community Services of Southern California Inc. (JACS), a provider of grants with a focus on community service, leadership development, cultural arts, and health and human services. Linda received her Bachelor of Science in international business with a minor in economics from California State University at Los Angeles. Married, she is auntie to six nieces and nephews ranging in age from one to 21 years old.

Deborah Gillis, President & CEO, Catalyst

Deborah Gillis is President & Chief Executive Officer of Catalyst, the leading research and advisory organization working to change workplaces and improve lives by advancing women into business leadership. She is the fourth President in Catalyst’s 52-year history—and the first from outside the United States. She is also the first internal successor from within Catalyst’s ranks to hold this office.

Ms. Gillis brings a unique blend of strategic vision, operational savvy, and advocacy to her position. Her distinguished career at Catalyst includes roles as Chief Operating Officer and Senior Vice President, Membership and Global Operations, where she led Catalyst’s global growth strategy and expansion into India and Australia. Ms. Gillis joined Catalyst in 2006 to lead Catalyst Canada and became Vice President, North America, in 2008, introducing a new global membership model which enabled Catalyst to support members and their operations around walmart coupon code the world. She initiated Catalyst Canada’s signature event, the Catalyst Canada Honours, paying tribute to champions of women’s advancement to leadership in corporate Canada, and she instituted the Catalyst Connects series of events, in which senior executive women share their inspiring stories. In anticipation of the current attention to board diversity challenges in Canada, she led Catalyst’s initiative to increase women in the boardroom, resulting in the successful launch of the Catalyst Accord and Catalyst’s first acquisition, Women On Board®.

As a breast cancer survivor and a woman who has successfully overcome the challenges inherent in high-pressure, male-dominated environments, Ms. Gillis is a recognized advocate and expert on expanding opportunities for women and business. She is frequently quoted in the media globally, including The Wall Street Journal, BBC, CNBC, CNN, The Globe and Mail, and Economic Times, on issues related to talent and women’s leadership. She regularly addresses senior leaders around the world in a variety of business, academic, and public policy venues.

Ronald C. Parker, Interim president and CEO, The Executive Leadership Council (ELC)

As a member of ELC the organization representing senior African-American executives at Fortune 500 and equivalent companies since 1994, Parker has served on both the Council and Foundation Boards. He recently retired from his post as senior vice president for human resources, labor relations and global diversity and inclusion for PepsiCo, and is focused on assuring that the ELC's brand, programs and overall impact remain strong as the organization launches its aspirational goals.

As senior vice president with PepsiCo, Parker was responsible for directing the company's global labor relations and diversity and inclusion strategies and its efforts to become a premier company of the 21st century. His involvement with succession planning, workforce analysis and developing the cultural competency of PepsiCo's leaders form a base of experience that complement ELC's aspirational goals to place more African Americans in C-suites and on the boards of Fortune 500 companies.

Parker is a board member of Baylor Regional Medical Center – Plano, Texas, and the Y.W.C.A. of Metropolitan Dallas. A native Texan, he earned his undergraduate degree in political science from Texas Christian University where he now serves on the International Board of Visitors and the Board of Trustees.

He and his wife Paula reside in Plano, Texas, and have three children; Jonathan, Michael, and Lauren.

Patrick M. Prout, Managing Director, Diversified Search

Patrick Prout is Managing Director with responsibility for the Financial Services practice of Diversified Search. He is also a member of the industrial/manufacturing and corporate board practices.

Prior to joining Diversified Search, he had launched his own executive search organization, The Prout Group, with responsibility for developing and managing the strategic direction and the daily operations of the firm, as well as providing leadership for the firm's financial services practice. Additionally, he conducted senior level search assignments in the industrial/ manufacturing, non-profit, corporate board and corporate infrastructure practices.

Pat also served as a partner in the Cleveland office of Heidrick & Struggles. He was a member of that firm's financial services, diversity, chief financial officer and industrial practices. He also conducted successful searches for clients in the insurance, manufacturing, telecommunications, entertainment and sports fields.

Previously Pat was president and chief operating officer, then vice chairman of Bank One, Cleveland, NA, a $2.5 billion assets affiliate of Banc One Corporation. His career in financial services also included positions with Bank of America in Los Angeles, Rainier Bank in Seattle and Chase Manhattan Bank in New York City. He also held sales and marketing positions with IBM, Miller Brewing Company and American Petroleum.

Pat received a B.S. degree in engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy and an M.B.A. in general management from the Harvard University Graduate School of Business. He took his commission in the U.S. Marine Corps and served two tours of duty in Vietnam.

Cid Wilson, President and CEO, Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility

Cid Wilson was named HACR's President & CEO on July 14, 2014.

Wilson is a graduate of The Ohio State University and has worked in the financial services industry since 1993. In 2006, Forbes ranked him the top equity financial analyst in his field.

In Sept. 2009, President Barack Obama appointed Wilson to serve on the National Museum of the American Latino Study Commission with the mission of presenting a plan to the president and Congress on the proposed creation and construction of a new Smithsonian Museum on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. In Nov. 2012, he was named chairman of the board of Friends of the National Museum of the American Latino, which advocates for Congressional support for the authorization and creation of the new Smithsonian American Latino Museum.

A lifelong resident of Bergen County, New Jersey, Wilson is a dedicated community leader, serving as the vice chairman of the board of trustees at Bergen Community College, chairman of the board for the Bergen County Relief Center, and a board member of the New Jersey Council of Community Colleges.

Wilson also serves on the ethnic advisory board for PepsiCo and the consumer advisory board for Verizon Communications. He has also been a board member of leading minority advocacy groups such as LatinoJustice PRLDEF (formerly the Puerto Rican Legal Defense & Education Fund), the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) and Dominicans on Wall Street. He is the former nat.

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