Allyship in Action
This week we have two guest hosts in the house, Dr. Kristin Lee and Tom Foley, Esq. to discuss ‘Allyship in Action’ with our guests. We’ll talk through their personal experiences with allyship ‘ah-ha’ moments, the education they sought out, and ways for all of us to put allyship into action every day.
Dr. Kristin Lee
Virtual Learning Manager, NextUp
Dr. Kristin Lee is the Virtual Learning Manager at NextUp. Her background includes a Doctor of Education degree in Global Training and Development, master’s degree in Counseling, and bachelor’s degree in chemistry, coupled with 10+ years’ worth of learned and acquired knowledge and skills delivering optimal learning experiences virtually and in-person have enabled her to build a successful brand and career.
Having spent most of her career designing curriculum and learning strategy, Dr. Lee is equipped to understand the needs of the most discerning audiences, delivering an experience rooted in service, integrity, and expertise. Specializing in translating business outcomes to build a value-based culture, she brings a much-needed difference to a terminal generation. Some of Dr. Lee’s key competencies include accreditation programing, compliance, technical, DEIBA, allyship, and leadership development, among others. Dr. Lee has published research focusing on the attainment of 21st century skills in the workplace and uses it to educate learners on how hiring managers evaluate these skills.
Tom Foley, Esq.
Founder, Indigo Group LLC
Developing, launching, and strategically building businesses is the common thread tying together Tom’s 25 years of professional work.
Tom started his career practicing law in New York, handling large civil litigation, mergers & acquisitions, as well as real estate and land use matters. After actively practicing law for 15+ years, Tom decided to become a “recovering attorney” and founded Indigo Group, LLC, a business consulting practice. This transition was more than a new business opportunity though – Tom founded Indigo on the belief that businesses must drive social impact.
In 2017, Tom made the strategic decision to shift Indigo’s primary focus from business consulting to business ownership, focusing on social entrepreneurially business models that drive social justice.
Tom regularly speaks and facilitates workshops for corporations aiming to advance their diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. Tom is an adjunct professor in the entrepreneurial program at Paul Quinn College, an HBCU in south Dallas, and has served as an adjunct at Southern University Law Center and Dallas College.
Tom is a Fellow for the Dallas Economic Leadership Academy through the Aspen Institute and Of Counsel at Wright Connatser.
Tom earned his J.D. from the Villanova University School of Law and his B.A. from Colgate University. Tom lives in Dallas, TX with his wife, Roopa, and two children.
EVP & CIO, Acosta
Sharon Hart is the Chief Information Officer and Executive Vice President for the Acosta Sales & Marketing Company. With more than 20 years of experience and as an established transformational leader in both the CPG and retail industries, Hart is focused on transformational initiatives to deliver omnichannel technology and digital solutions to drive business growth at Acosta.
Hart served as the CIO and Senior Vice President of Information Systems for Stein Mart. She optimized the company’s IT operational and strategic investments by focusing on business operations and growth. Her keen focus included leveraging technology to transform digital customer-centric solutions such as endless aisle, mobile point of sale, and smart fulfillment. She also led efforts to implement a hybrid cloud strategy and created a cyber security roadmap.Before Stein Mart, Hart spent 15 years at PetSmart, ultimately serving as interim CIO and Vice President of Information Systems, where she spearheaded the transformation of numerous technology functions. She previously held leadership roles with Accenture and the Department of Transportation.Hart earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics from the University of Texas and completed the Stanford Executive Program through Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business.
Omnichannel Business Development, General Mills
James Evans has built a 20+ year career at General Mills across a variety of roles and functions. In his current position, he is responsible for developing, deploying, and tracking execution against General Mills omnichannel strategic plan with Kroger. He is an authentic, purpose-driven leader with extensive experience building and coaching teams that deliver superior results. At work he is passionate about investing in people: creating a vibrant, inclusive culture, collaborating across functions, and rewarding risks. He has been recognized as an influential, resilient, and forward-looking business partner who operates with a sharp curiosity. Outside of work, James challenges himself to be an ally and advocate by serving as the Operations Officer on the NextUp Twin Cities Board of Directors. He lives and works in Minneapolis, MN.