Empowering Voices and Breaking Barriers: Speakers and Panelists Bios

Luke-Matthew Iveson

Luke-Matthew_Iverson_Headhshot_PRINT_copy.jpgLuke-Matthew Iveson (they/them) is the Director of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Centre of Excellence at Forty1, an employee engagement agency. They harness the power of diversity, equity and inclusion to create better employee experiences, working with clients to turn DEI commitments into action.

Their experience includes DEI communication campaigns, engagement programmes, leadership and employee development, global strategy development and activation. Luke-Matthew works with clients across various industries, including Capgemini, Nissan, AstraZeneca and GSK.

Prior to joining, Luke was an Associate Lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University, delivering lectures on queer and gender studies, alongside their further studies.

Kim Clark

Kim_Clark_studio_copy.jpgKim Clark has focused her career on messaging, audiences and how communications shape people's experiences. Her career spans documentary filmmaking, agency partnerships with the Discovery Channel, and leading global internal communication teams at KLA, PayPal, GoDaddy and GitHub. She is known for her ability to facilitate sensitive and yet urgent conversations to make meaningful progress in creating inclusive workplaces. She speaks at conferences, runs custom workshops and consults with companies on all things diversity, equity and inclusion communications related. She lives in California with her two cats, two kids, and one girlfriend.  

Lili Gil Valletta

LiliGilValletta_2023_ByDawinRodriguez_05_copy.jpegLili is a former corporate executive turned entrepreneur, Cultural Intelligence® expert, and television business commentator known for her analysis of data and cultural trends impacting our economy and businesses. As an immigrant from Colombia, who came to the U.S. at the age of 17 without speaking English, she embodies the American Dream going from corporate executive turned entrepreneur. After a successful corporate career, including a 10-year tenure at Johnson & Johnson, where she pioneered multicultural marketing efforts for the Pharma sector and co-founded the Hispanic employee resource group “HOLA”, Lili co-founded the marketing agency CIEN+ and the A.I. market research tech firm CulturIntel.

Lili is one of less than 1% of Latinas serving on a Fortune 500+ public board, as an independent director for the global youth retailer Zumiez (NASDAQ: ZUMZ) and RCN Television (BVC: RCNTELEVI). She also serves as Chairwoman of the FRIENDS of the National American Latino Museum and is an investor and operating executive board member for AUA Private Equity Partners, an investment firm that has deployed over $475 million in capital to scale family-owned and Hispanic-focused businesses.

J.L. Grayson

Grayson-Julia-LeCounte-JL-scaled.jpgJ.L.  Grayson is a brand strategist and analyst with nearly twenty years of synthesizing consumer data, blending analytics and marketing to create practical strategies to build brand equity.

J.L. collaborates with the best and brightest within organizations across disciplines, she holds a core belief that “when we all contribute to the conversation, a more holistic story emerges”.

In her current role as Director, Brand Strategy, many of her efforts are centered around consistently delivering differentiating messaging and creative, that will continuously result in the identification and preference of treatment and care.

Steve Jones

Steve JonesSteve is the Founder & CEO of pocstock, a global diversity stock media company that unapologetically focuses on positive images of people of color.  Steve is a serial entrepreneur who has spent over 20 years leading marketing and technology companies to solve everyday problems.

Prior to founding pocstock, Steve founded an award-winning digital agency recognized for creating innovative digital creative, marketing, and technologies for hundreds of companies including Colgate Palmolive, Cartoon Network, NBC Universal, 9/11 Memorial, NYU, Rutgers University, Pfizer, Whole Foods, Pepsico Frito Lay, Port Authority of NY & NJ, and more.

Steve started his first entrepreneurial venture at the age of 16 and since has owned an independent record label, recording studio, social network, and a video game company.  He also gained valuable corporate experience working at large companies like Chase Manhattan Bank, Cardinal Health, Barnes & Noble, and Morgan Stanley.

Steve was born in Barbados, raised in Brooklyn, NY and now resides in NJ with his lovely wife Marie, five beautiful children, organic vegetable garden, and his Xbox One.

Claire Riggs

Claire_RIggs_2.jpgA driven and accomplished professional, Claire has more than 25 years of experience in developing, implementing and managing strategic communications, as well as relationship and reputation management, in corporate, regional and independent site settings. She has specialized talent in internal and external communications, crisis management, government affairs, media relations, brand development and marketing strategies.

Claire hold a Master's degree in Public Relations and her Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) from the Public Relations Society of America, and is a graduate of Leadership New Jersey.

She currently serves as Managing Partner at Riggs Creative Group and teaches Advertising and Public Relations courses at Rowan University's Ric Edelman College of Communication and Creative Arts. She also serves on the Board of the United Way of Gloucester County and Women Empowered International.

Lilly Cortes Wyatt

Lilly_Wyatt_700px.jpgLilly is the founder of SociosPR, a Latina-owned, full-service multicultural creative communications company with a deep fluency in the nuances of cultural competence. Lilly and her team work with diverse communities for private enterprises and public agencies.

Lilly has extensive experience in media, having worked in journalism, marketing communications, and public relations for both general and multicultural audiences. She spent nearly 20 years in news broadcasting as Executive Producer, Host, Producer, and Assignment Editor for NBC Universal, ABC, Univision, and Telemundo affiliates in the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento regions. Her bilingual skills in Spanish and English were instrumental in connecting important sources to community members for creating powerful feature stories. Lilly firmly believes teamwork is essential in providing strategic integrated communication plans that utilize existing media relations and establish new contacts to secure high-level placements in print, broadcast, and online media. 

Adena White

adena-white-headshot-2-jason-masters_copy.jpegAdena J. White is an accredited public relations professional and social-impact storyteller with more than 15 years of experience leading communications efforts for place-based nonprofit organizations. In 2017, she founded Blackbelt Media to tell the stories of changemakers working to make the South a better place for all. Blackbelt Media produces the Blackbelt Voices podcast, which tells stories from and about Black folks down South that honor Black history, celebrate Black Southern culture, and shape the future of the region.

Adena obtained a bachelor’s degree in speech communication and journalism with an emphasis in public relations from Arkansas Tech University and was inducted into ATU's Hall of Distinction in 2021 as an Outstanding Young Alumna. She completed a master’s degree in applied communication studies from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and, in 2022, received the department’s “Alumni Making a Difference Award.” She was selected as a 2023 Arkansas Business 40 Under 40 honoree.

Adena achieved her Accreditation in Public Relations through the Public Relations Society of America and earned a Certificate in Social Impact Storytelling from Georgetown University. She is a highly requested speaker on storytelling and has presented at industry and association conferences, including PRSA ICON, the Arkansas Governor’s Conference on Tourism, the Kentucky Travel Industry Association, and the Mid-America Cable Telecommunications Association’s Mid-America Cable Show.