Our Team

 
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Officers

 

Board

Priscilla Hammonds, president

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As Assistant Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion at Grange Insurance, Priscilla leads the development and execution of an enterprise diversity and inclusion strategy to drive initiatives that impact the workforce, workplace, marketplace and community. Prior to joining Grange Insurance, Priscilla held leadership roles at State Farm and Nationwide Insurance in the areas of diversity & inclusion, underwriting, and agency operations. Priscilla also serves on the board of the United Negro College Fund, is an ambassador for Central Ohio United Way Project Diversity, and is a co-founder of the Central Ohio Diversity Consortium

Donnie perkins, Vice President

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Donnie Perkins joined the College of Engineering at The Ohio State University as the first Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer on January 5, 2015. Mr. Perkin leads the College’s Office of Diversity, Outreach and Inclusion and provides strategic leadership for K-12 STEM initiatives, undergraduate recruitment and retention, the Minority Engineering Program, Women in Engineering Program, partners with the graduate education and recruitment program, leads diverse faculty recruitment and advancement programs, climate initiatives, diversity leadership development programs, corporate relations, university and community engagement. Mr. Perkins has more than 25 years of higher education and healthcare leadership and proven experience promoting the value and benefits of diversity, inclusion, inclusive excellence and equity.

lenore winfrey, secretary

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Lenore is co-founder and chair of the Diversity & Inclusion Committee for the Ohio School Boards Association (OSBA). As Chair, she is committed to building a workplace environment in which everyone feels valued, respected and included, and is treated with dignity. She is also a member of OSBA's Diversity and Equity Committee where the goal is to increase the public's understanding of poverty and its impact on student learning, reducing the achievement gap and increase our members understanding about the barriers in education. Prior to joining OSBA in 2003, Winfrey directed the Speakers Bureau for the American Heart Association and she has held other political, management and diversity roles within the Franklin County government.

Michael bowman, treasurer

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An expert in campus recruiting, employee resource groups, and accounting, Michael is a senior manager in the tax practice of Schneider Downs. Michael provides consultation to his clients to assist them in understanding the complexities of federal tax law and its impact on financial reporting and compliance so that his clients can make informed decisions for their business. He routinely advises clients on matters including accounting methods and periods, tax credits, and IRS examinations.

Shayne Downton, president emeritus

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Shayne Downton is the Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer for the United Way of Central Ohio. With the United Way for 13 years, he has served in this role for the past two months. Included in his work portfolio is the daily oversight of staff which oversee diversity and inclusion, volunteerism, community engagement and accountability. Shayne has led the United Way of Central Ohio’s diversity work for 10 years that include the procurement of minority and women businesses; board leadership development for people of color and the LGBTQ community; eliminating racial disparities; oversight of an internal diversity committee; and ensuring the United Way of Central Ohio has a strategically aligned approach to diversity and inclusion.

Toby chambliss, board member

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Toby Chambliss is the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Officer and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Coordinator for the Department of Public Safety (DPS). Toby is responsible for implementing and overseeing the Department’s EEO and ADA Compliance programs. She ensures the Department’s compliance with all equal employment opportunity laws, guidelines, and policies, and serves as the subject matter expert in the areas of EEO and ADA compliance, providing consultation and advice to administrators, supervisors, employees and applicants.

Tim harman, Board member

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Tim is an experienced HR professional with a successful track record of implementing talent acquisition, college recruiting and diversity & inclusion strategies. Known for his ability to build highly effective cross-functional teams and contributing to business growth and development, Tim has consistently enhanced the recruiting and retention areas with multiple Fortune 500 companies. 

As a business leader with over 15 years of experience, Tim has been recognized in Recruitment and Diversity & Inclusion for delivering exemplary results with Lbrands, Ashland Inc, Quantum Health and MGM Resorts International. Tim most recently joined Columbus 2020 as the Director of Customized Workforce and Training. 

jackie merkle, board member

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Jackie Merkle is the Supervisor of Equity and Inclusion for Olentangy Local Schools. As supervisor, she is primarily responsible for supporting professional learning and community outreach for the district. Annually, Jackie oversees the implementation of the community-wide ONE COMMUNITY Conference, which hosts nearly 450 attendees for conversations around equity, diversity, mental health, and social justice. Jackie is in her third year at Olentangy and recently finished her Ph.D. in Multicultural and Equity Studies from The Ohio State University. 

adrian sullivan, board member

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Manager, Diversity & Inclusion at Cardinal Health

Jeffrey HAmmonds, board member

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Jeffrey L. Hammonds Sr. is the Inclusion and Diversity (I&D) Manager in the Talent and Organizational Effectiveness organization at NiSource.  He has over 15 years of I&D and compliance experience. He is currently responsible for the design and operations of the I&D strategy and tactical plans.  This includes providing direction to seven Employee Resource Groups, 7 State I&D Councils with over 30 regional councils, as well as driving the I&D initiatives for the organization.  Jeffrey is also responsible for developing and supporting strategic relationships that aid NiSource in the attraction, development and retention of a diverse workforce.

Jeffrey has been employed at NiSource since July of 2014 serving in an I&D capacity.  He comes to NiSource from Battelle Memorial Institute where he served as the Diversity Consultant managing the diversity and inclusion efforts as well as the compliance of their Affirmative Action Programs.  Prior to joining Battelle Jeffrey accumulated over 28 years of managerial experience with AT&T, Bell Laboratories and Lucent Technologies where he held mid to senior management positions. He spent 7 years in Human Resources where he was responsible for Diversity, Training, Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action Programs.  He spent 12 years in manufacturing operations, and 9 years in supply chain operations.

Jeffrey earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from Franklin University and is a member of the National Associations of Black Accountants, National Association of African American in Human Resources, and American Association of Blacks in Energy.  Jeffrey currently serves on the advisory board for the African-American Leadership Academy and is a member of the Fundraising committee for Center for Healthy Families. Jeffrey is also on the board of Central Ohio Diversity Consortium. Jeffrey is married to Priscilla Hammonds and has one son Jeffrey Jr. and two grandsons, Jeffrey III and Joshua.

 

Communications Team

Sydnee Crews

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Sydnee Crews is currently working for a natural gas company in Ohio where she works with low-income customers to receive assistance on their gas bills. She also serves as a leader for Diversity & Inclusion, creating initiatives and plans to encourage a more inclusive and diverse work place.

Outside of her day job, Sydnee is a screenwriter and director. She premiered “In Our Bed” at Gateway Film Center in Columbus, Ohio, which is also available on YouTube, along with her second film “Immunity”. Her focus in film is to provide representation for people of color, specifically in areas of love, education and mental health.

Sydnee is also an ambassador for Zora’s House, a coworking space for women and femmes of color in the Ohio area.