Meet Our Team
The Team Behind it All
We are who we are today because of our team members. Our team is comprised of diversity practitioners from corporations and organizations throughout Central Ohio. Each of our team members moves CODC forward in helping us achieve our vision of collectively advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion by collaboration and knowledge transfer across organizations throughout Central Ohio.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS & OFFICERS
Get to know Adrian
Adrian Sullivan is the Manager, Diversity and Inclusion for Cardinal Health, a $121 billion company with over 49,000 employees in 60 countries. His key responsibilities include the education and expansion of diversity and inclusion best practices throughout the organization. He also provides direction to Employee Resource Groups and Multicultural Councils within Cardinal Health.
Adrian works in concert with business segments on tactical programs and systems related to attracting, retaining and promoting a diverse workforce, while establishing an inclusive work environment in support of Cardinal Health’s corporate values, policies and practices. Adrian is also focused on creating a path forward for Employee Resource Groups in international locations. Adrian volunteers his time by serving as a Board Member of the Central Ohio Diversity Consortium and through his ministry with his local congregation. In addition to diversity and inclusion work, Adrian has a background in Affirmative Action Compliance and EEOC Governance as well as Supplier Diversity.
Get to know Jeffrey
Jeffrey L. Hammonds Sr. is the Inclusion and Diversity (I&D) Manager in the Talent and Organizational Effectiveness organization at NiSource. 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 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.
Jeffrey 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 married to Priscilla Hammonds and has one son Jeffrey Jr. and two grandsons, Jeffrey III and Joshua.
Get to know Priscilla
As Assistant Vice President, Priscilla is leading the development and execution of an enterprise diversity and inclusion strategy to drive initiatives that impact the workforce, workplace, marketplace and community. She has extensive experience in strategic planning, facilitation and the launching of and providing oversight to Associate Resource Groups and Diversity and Inclusion Councils. She’s also given numerous presentations on inclusive leadership, generational differences and unconscious bias.
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 is an ambassador for United Way of Central Ohio Project Diversity and founding member and President of the Central Ohio Diversity Consortium. Priscilla is a graduate of the African American Leadership Academy, United Way of Central Ohio Project Diversity, is a United Way Key Club Member and recipient of the Licking County NAACP Diversity Award. She enjoys mentoring college students and young professionals.
Priscilla served on the boards of the National African American Insurance Association, United Negro College Fund, Columbus Neighborhood Housing Association, American Red Cross, Wright Choice Intern Program and Licking County Food Pantry Network.
Priscilla received her Bachelor of Science degree from The Ohio State University and her MBA from Ohio Dominican University. She is also a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.
Priscilla is married to Jeff Hammonds Sr.; has one son and two grandchildren.
Get to know Allison
Allison is the CFO of the Ohio School Boards Association. Allison and her team are responsible for accounting, budgeting and tax return preparation. Her division is also responsible for human resources, payroll and benefits administration. Prior to working at the Ohio School Boards Association, Allison worked as an Audit Senior at RSM US, LLP.
Get to know Lenore
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.
Get to know Jodie
Jodie Engle is the Senior Director of Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility (IDEA) Initiatives at the Center of Science and Industry (COSI). Her role is to lead the organization in the planning, developing and executing of COSI’s comprehensive unified IDEA and Community Engagement Roadmap. She serves as a liaison both internally and externally to stakeholders of all backgrounds and levels.
Jodie’s passion for the community can be found throughout her 20+ years working in Ohio and Mississippi in roles that involve community engagement, outreach programming, professional development for educators, partnership development and strategic planning.
Jodie spends her time supporting many local initiatives to support LGBTQ communities, students who learn differently and artists with disabilities. You may often see her attending a community event (sometimes with her family), as a participant at a panel or workshop, or doing one of her favorite things-improvising onstage with her friends. She currently lives in Clintonville with her husband, 2 kiddos and a zoo’s worth of animals.
Get to know Ralonda
Ralonda Hampton serves as the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC’s), Diversity, Inclusion and Engagement Officer. In this position, Hampton is part of MORPC’s Communications & Engagement team and responsible for the agency’s diversity & inclusion programs and initiatives.
Hampton also develops, conducts and reviews MORPC’s outreach strategies to ensure compliance with branding, public involvement and diversity policies. She works on the agency’s diversity plan and assist with implementing public relations strategies that reflect MORPC’s commitment to diversity & inclusion.
Ralonda first began her career in public service at The Ohio Treasurer of State. As a Program Manager in the Economic Development Department, Ralonda served on an intimate team responsible for managing the Treasury’s $800 million portfolio.
Prior to joining MORPC, Hampton served as a Legislative Aide at Columbus City Council. Hampton worked on the Diversity and Inclusion, Small and Minority Business, Economic Development, Housing and Recreation and Parks Committees.
Hampton has more than 13 years of experience in the public and private sectors spanning in human resources, diversity, inclusion, economic development and community engagement. Her background includes facilitating critical conversations and solving complex issues while interacting with constituents, elected officials, business leaders and community organizations.
Ralonda holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, from Kentucky State University. She resides in Columbus with her husband Kenny and two children, Kennedy and KJ.
Get to know Jim
At Sarnova, Jim serves as the Senior Vice President of Human Resources and guides the company culture toward the attraction, retention, and development of top talent aimed at supporting the sustainable, profitable growth of the organization. He wears many “hats” and helps lead the organization in DEI, acquisitions & integration, talent management, talent acquisition, succession planning, learning & development, employee relations, legal compliance, and compensation & benefits.
Throughout his career, Jim has held positions of increasing responsibility in multiple industries including medical device, distribution, and retail. Over time, he has had the honor of working for many great companies to include Venture Stores, Toys “R” Us, Gap (Old Navy), RVI (Value City), Shiseido Brands (Bare Minerals), and Sarnova. As part of the Sarnova family of companies, Jim also works internationally with Patricia Industries and Investor, AB.
Jim holds his Master of Business Administration – Human Resources Management/Personnel from the University of Phoenix, and his Bachelor of Science – Marketing from Indiana University Bloomington, with a minor in Sociology. Jim is a 2006 transplant to Central Ohio, and prior to joining CODC, he held a Board position with GETDOT; a professional networking organization which worked to serve Franklin County Children’s Services and other local children’s charities.
Get to know Jackie
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.
Rhonda Talford Knight, PhD
Get to know Rhonda
Rhonda is the founder and CEO of The Knight Consulting Group, LLC with over 20 years of experience in diversity, equity and inclusion work. As a consultant and small business owner, she believes in building
relationships, understanding who her clients are and learning about their specific needs in order to provide them with the best products and services. She works with companies small and large, public and private to build and implement strategies to support diverse, inclusive and equitable workplaces that foster a sense of
belonging in the communities they serve.
Focused on DEI, with a natural skill for strategizing and leadership, it has led Rhonda to spaces where she is the expert in the room with an expectation to provide transparency, truth telling and guidance on the DEI journey. Rhonda is focused on closing gaps for underrepresented populations and creating spaces of equity,
inclusion and belonging. In her work, she finds great meaning in being able to coach and support her clients in using data to develop sustainable DEI practices through strategy that reaches across their organization.
Rhonda holds a master’s degree with an endorsement in technology and a doctoral degree in Social Studies and Global Education, both from The Ohio State University. She spends some of her spare time serving on the board of The Childhood League Center and Women In Technology International (Columbus), Central Ohio
Diversity Consortium and serves on the Otterbein Alumni Council and the President’s Advisory Council on Race at Otterbein University. A few of her most recent acknowledgments include, being highlighted for her work in DEI in Columbus CEO Magazine (April 2021), 2019 receiving the Pacesetter Award from Otterbein University, her undergraduate alma mater, and being invited to join an elite group on Forbes Coaches Council.
She is the proud mother of two strong, intelligent and entrepreneurial minded teenage girls.
Get to know Tariq
Tariq Tarey is currently the Director of Refugee Social Services at Jewish Family Services in Columbus, Ohio. He serves on Ohio’s New African Immigrants Commission and the Franklin County Board of Commissioner’s New American Advisory Council.
Tariq is also a documentary photographer, skilled in both still photography and filmmaking.
He currently has exhibitions showing at the Rutherford B. Hayes Museum in Freemont, Ohio and at Otterbein University. Several of his images now belong to the permanent collection of the Columbus Museum of Art.
Tariq directed “Women, War and Resettlement: Nasro’s Journey,” which was aired on WOSU Public Television in 2012. Moreover, Tariq’s film, “The Darien Gap,” was shown in the 2nd United States Conference on African Immigrant and Refugee Health.
Currently, Tariq is working on a book project documenting representative refugee populations in Central Ohio.
Get to know Almar
Almar serves as Mayor Andrew Ginther’s director of Community Affairs (City of Columbus) where he is responsible for conceptualizing, developing, and implementing the Mayor’s initiatives related to community engagement. Previously Almar was the director of Diversity and Inclusion at Capital University where he served on the president’s senior leadership team; and, led the development of the university’s first strategic vision and multi-year operational plan for advancing diversity and inclusion initiatives throughout the institution.
For over a decade, Almar has led several diversity/multicultural departments within the higher education field. As a respected authority in the field, he has presented on various diversity topics at numerous conferences and universities as far as Kibi International University (Okayama, Japan). He earned his B.S. degree with a double major in Business Management and Human Resource Management; an M.B.A in Organizational Leadership; and a M.A. in Education from The University of Findlay.
As a man of faith, he is committed to a lifestyle of service and enjoys volunteering time to the Columbus community. Almar is a 2019 Columbus Business First Forty Under 40 honoree, a graduate of the African American Leadership Academy, and a United Way Key Club Member.
In his free time he enjoys international travel and coaching his son’s little league soccer team.
Get to know Ashley
Ashley has over 13 years of experience working in the non-profit sector as an Executive Assistant. She is extremely passionate about business, processes and systems, mental health, and serving the community, which is why the Central Ohio Diversity Consortium’s mission is so important to her.
Ashley grew up having a unique perspective on life and from that she became very independent, fierce, and resilient in adversity. She has turned her focus to her passion, which is, being a servant leader. Ashley is committed to furthering this necessary work in everything Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
She resides in Columbus, OH with her life partner of thirteen years, Jason Cosby, and her five beautiful children.