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Fourth Annual Employee-Resource Group Summit

The National Society of Hispanic MBAs Connecticut chapter held its Fourth Annual Employee-Resource Group (ERG) Summit at Travelers’ Claim University in Windsor, Conn., on Sept. 7. The theme was “Energize Your ERGs: Delivering Value to Your Members and Organization,” and the focus was on inspiring Connecticut’s ERG leaders and promoting the sharing of best practices in their organizations.

More than 80 attendees from 20 organizations attended the event, which was hosted by Travelers, Pepperidge Farms and Prudential Financial, No. 32 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity¬® list. Luke Visconti, CEO of DiversityInc, delivered the keynote address and challenged the ERG leaders to reach across the aisles when collaborating to further the work of diversity in their organizations. “ERG leaders attending the summit indicated that their organizations shared many of the same successes and challenges and that it was refreshing to learn that they were not alone,” said Katherine Sisa-Lamb, ERG summit co-chair.

The interactive workshops, developed and led by ERG leaders, centered on relevant topics, such as developing and nurturing the talent within ERGs, implementing ERG metrics and building effective networks.

Aida Calvo, NSHMBA’s vice president of ERG Relations and national adviser to her employer’s Hispanic ERG, said: “We have found that the key to this event’s success from year to year is that this event is created and delivered by the ERG leaders from the participating organizations. Who knows best about the challenges we face today in our organizations and in leading ERGs than those who are doing the work? It creates and fosters a close-knit network among ERG leaders. This type of network is highly valuable throughout the year as we continue to share best practices in our companies.”

Joelle Murchison Hayes, second vice president of diversity at Travelers, added: “It is not an easy task to create an environment in which you can both share best practices and be inspired at the same time. Luke Visconti issued a call to action to the group, reminding us all of the impetus for the work we do and the increasing importance of ERGs in this new reality. The workshop leaders expertly demonstrated how to move from history to action. There was no one who left that evening who was not empowered, asking the question: ‘What more can I do?’ That outcome is surely more than we ever expected.”

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