2021 Orlando Women in Leadership Symposium
March 30, 2021
8:30 AM - 11:30 AM (ET)
Women In Leadership
Theodorea Regina Berry serves as UCF’s Vice Provost of Student Learning and Academic Success and Dean of the College of Undergraduate Studies. She spearheads efforts to offer students in her college robust programs while supporting university-wide initiatives to advance undergraduate education, take learning beyond the classroom, and promote greater student success. Additionally, Dr. Berry leads DirectConnect to UCF, a program that guarantees admission to students who have earned an associate degree or articulated degree from one of six partner state colleges. Before joining UCF, she served as Professor and Department Chair of African American Studies, part of the College of Social Sciences, at San Jose State University. Prior to this appointment, Dr. Berry served as Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Director of Graduate Recruitment and Engagement in The Graduate School at The University of Texas at San Antonio. She previously served as Director of the African American Studies Program (2014-2016) and the Graduate Advisor of Record for the Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching program (2014-2016). Upon completion of her degree, Dr. Berry completed a three-year postdoctoral research fellowship at the University of Illinois at Chicago awarded by the American Educational Research Association (AERA). She is a pioneer scholar on critical race feminism in the context of education. She centers her work on critical race theory/critical race feminism, curriculum studies/curriculum theory, and qualitative research methodology (auto-ethnography, ethnography, historical/archival, and narrative). She is an accomplished scholar, and her research appears in such journals as the Review of Educational Research, International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, Journal of Curriculum Theorizing, Race, Ethnicity, and Education, Journal of Educational Foundations, and Urban Review. Dr. Berry is the author of numerous books and book chapters. Additionally, she is the lead editor of Latinx Curriculum Theorizing (Lexington Books, 2019) and lead editor and contributing author of From Oppression to Grace: Women of Color and Their Dilemmas Within the Academy (Stylus Publishing, 2006) as well as author of States of Grace: Counterstories of a Black Woman in the Academy (Peter Lang, 2018). She is also co-editor of The Evolving Significance of Race in Education: Living, Learning, and Teaching (with Sherick Hughes, Peter Lang, 2012). Additionally, Dr. Berry completed a Scholar-in-Residence appointment at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2016. Dr. Berry has received numerous awards, including the 2014 Critics Choice Award from the American Educational Studies Association for her work as co-editor and contributing author of The Evolving Significance of Race: Living, Learning, and Teaching (2012, Peter Lang, with Sherick Hughes). In 2016, she was inducted into the Professors of Curriculum Honorary Society and received the Derrick Bell Legacy Award from the Critical Race Studies in Education Association as a leading scholar in the field of critical race theory. Dr. Berry currently serves as Factotum, Professor of Curriculum Honorary Society, and AERA’s Secretary of Division B (Curriculum). She is also the founding senior co-editor of the International Journal of Curriculum and Social Justice. Dr. Berry earned her doctorate in education from National-Louis University and a Bachelor of Arts from Slippery Rock University. As an active member of the community, Dr. Berry is a Diamond Life member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Kimberly Dorsett is the Branch Banking Market Executive for SunTrust, now Truist, branches in Alabama and Florida. She serves as an Executive Vice President and manages over 4,200 teammates in 734 branches. She is responsible for the implementation and execution of the branch’s sales and service strategies, its financial performance as well as creating an engaging environment that empowers teammates to learn, grow and have meaningful careers. Mrs. Dorsett began her banking career in 1998 and joined SunTrust in 2014. Prior to assuming her current role, Mrs. Dorsett served as the Market Executive for SunTrust’s Central Florida Division and then later the North Florida Market. During these increased roles in responsibility Mrs. Dorsett has been the recipient of SunTrust Performance Excellence Awards for her leadership. Throughout her career, Mrs. Dorsett has held various leadership roles for Branch and Small Business both domestically in firms such as AmSouth Bank/Regions Financial Corporation, Royal Bank of Canada and PNC Financial as well as internationally with Lloyds TSB where she was based in London, England. Mrs. Dorsett serves as a member of the Steering Committee for Truist’s Women’s Inclusion Network as well as a Board of Director for the Boys and Girls Club of Central Florida and a Board Member of the Southeast Operation Hope. Prior to SunTrust she served as a Market Liaison for the Diversity and Inclusion Council for Florida with PNC Financial Services. Mrs. Dorsett was a recent graduate of SunTrust’s Advanced Leadership Program at Emory University and lives with her family in Orlando, FL.
Manju Palakkat is the Chief Transformation & Technology Officer (CTTO) for OUC—The Reliable One, the 14th largest public power utility in the United States. She is responsible for corporate strategy, emerging technology, enterprise architecture, data analytics, business optimization, organizational change management and technology delivery to drive efficiencies across all lines of business while modernizing operational and information technology. With more than 25 years of experience in technology and digital operations, Manju served as Vice President and Deputy Chief Technology Officer for Caesars Entertainment prior to joining OUC. She started her career in application development and has held roles of progressive responsibility that include driving large-scale digital transformations, enabling global operations and solving complex business problems through cutting-edge technologies. Her experience spans high-tech, hospitality, gaming, financial services and manufacturing industries. Manju holds a bachelor’s in Computer Engineering from Bangalore University, a master’s in Computer Science from Florida International University, a master’s in Business Analytics from the New York University Stern School of Business and a Master of Business Administration from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Additionally, she holds certifications in enterprise architecture, business process design, project management and agile methodology.
Adriana Torres is a transformational leader and a global operations visionary, with more than 30 years of experience in operations management, customer service, and customer experience. Ms. Torres was brought on board in June 2016, in her current position, to develop and lead the implementation of a new support model for point-of-sales and property management solutions for the Hospitality industry customer base. During her tenure with Oracle, Ms. Torres has been the recipient of the Powerful Women of Bay Award for 2018; was awarded the Hispanic Engineering National Achievement Award (HENAAC) for Executive Excellence from Great Minds in STEM (GMiS); was named the HITEC 100 list of most influential and notable Hispanic professionals in the technology industry for 2019, 2020, and 2021; and was recently appointed the Chair of the Diversity & Inclusion Committee for the International School of Management. Previously, she was the Senior VP of Global Customer Care Services at Visa, Inc. There, she led the organization’s credit, debit and digital consumer products for 2.2 billion Visa cardholders. Prior to that, she spent 18 years with Citigroup. She launched her professional career at British Petroleum in Brazil, working her way from trainee, to the lead in Quality Management & HR. Ms. Torres holds an MBA from Florida Atlantic University, a Master’s Degree in Computer Science from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Campinas, in Sao Paulo, Brazil. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Philosophy, with an emphasis in International Business from the International School of Management in Paris, France. She is fluent in English, Portuguese and Spanish.
Katrona Tyrrell is the Chief People Officer for FARO. Prior to joining FARO, Ms. Tyrrell was employed at IDT Corporation. Serving as the Global Senior Vice President – Human Resources, she led a team that was responsible for global succession planning, leadership development, performance management, employee engagement and organization effectiveness. Prior to joining IDT in 2006, Ms. Tyrrell held leadership and management positions at Towergate Partnership, Ltd. and Roberts & Partners Managed Services in the U.K. Ms. Tyrrell holds a post-graduate diploma in strategic management from Crawley College and the Chartered Institute of Management in the U.K.
Andrea Freeman is responsible for facilitating Darden’s commitment to developing an inclusive workforce and culture that reflects the diversity of our guests and the communities where we live and work. This focus includes consulting all operating brands on methods to integrate inclusion and diversity into their people strategy with a strategic focus on hiring, training, development and workforce planning. She also leads the company’s six Employee Resource Groups and serves as the liaison for external Inclusion & Diversity partnerships. Darden owns and operates more than 1,700 Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen, Yard House, The Capital Grille, Seasons 52, Bahama Breeze and Eddie V’s restaurants in North America, employing more than 180,000 people and serving nearly 390 million guests annually. Andrea joins Darden from L Brands, Inc., in Columbus, Ohio, where she served as Manager, HR Strategy – Diversity & Inclusion where she developed and implemented an enterprise-wide inclusion and diversity strategy — including minority recruitment, talent management, and employee and community engagement. Before joining its parent company, L Brands, Andrea held successive HR roles at Victoria’s Secret, most recently as a Regional Human Resources Manager supporting more than 8,000 associates and two Regional leadership teams spanning 150 stores in 14 states. During her time there, she implemented HR strategies supporting inclusion and diversity, talent acquisition and development. Andrea earned her Professional in Human Resources Certification (PHR), National Diversity Council Certified Diversity Professional (CDP) designation, and a Bachelors of Arts in Business – Human Resources from Capital University.
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