2023 Orlando Women in Leadership Symposium
March 09, 2023
8:00 AM - 12:00 PM (ET)
Women In Leadership
Luz Aviles Vice President of Customer Service & Sales Luz Aviles is Vice President of Customer Experience & Sales for the Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC—The Reliable One). She is responsible for revenue generation and growth through the full sales lifecycle, with a continued focus on sustainability and unsurpassed customer service. Since joining OUC in 1994 Aviles has held several leadership roles, including Vice President of Customer Service, Director of Sustainability, a position with authority over conservation and renewables’ efforts, and Manager of Community Relations. Aviles was appointed by Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried in 2020 to serve on the Florida Advisory Council on Climate & Energy. Since 2019, she has served on Statewide Board of Directors for Prospera, a nonprofit organization focused on providing assistance to Hispanic entrepreneurs as they establish or expand their businesses and is currently the chair. Aviles formerly served on Prospera’s Technical Advisory Committee. Aviles’ past community involvement also includes serving on several boards, including the Advisory Board of the Florida Solar Energy Center, the Sustainability Advisory Board for Orange County, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando, National Entrepreneur Center, and the Orlando Day Nursery. Luz graduated from the University of Central Florida with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. She also earned a Master of Business Administration from Crummer Graduate School of Business at Rollins College.
Jessica Brazier is a Human Capital executive with a passion for helping organizations achieve mission performance through their most important asset: their people. She currently serves as Vice President and Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer for AdventHealth, where she is responsible for building a meaningful, motivational and sustainable approach for attracting, developing, and retaining a diverse workforce and strengthening the health system’s ability to deliver the best care to a diverse patient population. With over 15 years of leadership experience, Brazier previously served as a management consultant with Deloitte’s Government & Public Services Practice, where she helped government and nonprofit leaders implement transformational agendas. Brazier earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and English from Oakwood University, in Huntsville, Alabama. She obtained a Master of Science in Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University. Brazier is actively involved in the community and serves on several boards, including Crossing Party Lines, which facilitates nationwide conversations with diverse Americans who see the world differently. In her free time, Brazier enjoys singing, traveling, and spending time with her big, boisterous Caribbean family.
Shawn Burnett is Vice President of Legal Services for Holiday Inn Club Vacations. Shawn Joining the company in 2017, Shawn is responsible for licensing, privacy, telemarketing and advertising law for the organization. Shawn is also Chair of the company’s Diversity Council. Prior to working for Holiday Inn Club Vacations, Shawn spent 12 years in the public sector, most recently as Deputy General Counsel for City Colleges of Chicago, the third largest community college district in the United States. Shawn attended the University of Oregon, where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics and Juris Doctorate degree.
Avani Desai is a Partner and Chief Executive Officer at Schellman, the largest niche CPA firm in the world that focuses on technology and security assessments. She also sits on the board of Cogent Bank, a Florida based community bank, as a Director and the head of the Technology Committee. Avani started her career working at a Big 4 accounting firm (KPMG) for over 10 years, where she led a team and oversaw IT Risk Management and Privacy across national service-lines. In addition, Avani managed the development of internal and external privacy programs and related practices, leveraging her deep knowledge with healthcare and emerging technologies, such as blockchain, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, internet of things, and virtualization. Now at Schellman, Avani has been focusing on growth strategies, strategic client and market development, industry analysis, and new services for the last seven years. She has been featured in Forbes, CIO.com, and the Wall Street Journal, and is a sought after speaker as a voice on a variety of emerging topics, including security, privacy, information security, future technology trends, and the expansion of young women involved in technology. In 2017, Avani, a crypto enthusiast, launched MyCryptoAlert, an app that provides a mobile solution for the alert and portfolio problems crypto investors face and a tool to buy and sell coins on arbitrage. Also passionate about strategic philanthropy, Avani sits on the board of Arnold Palmer Medical Center, Philanos, Audit Committee chairwoman at the Central Florida Foundation, and is the co-chair of 100 Women Strong, a female-only venture capitalist based giving circle that focuses on solving community-based problems specific to women and children by using data analytics and big data. Avani is also an avid runner, always looking to sign up for the next Disney marathon. With all that being said, Avani still considers her greatest accomplishment to be personal rather than professional—she is the proud mother to her 10 year old son, Sahil, 7 year old daughter, Sareena, and newborn son, Hastin.
-Professional Lynetta is a Senior Vice President and the Central Florida Market President for Valley Bank, which includes the greater Orlando area, Brevard County, and Vero. She has over 33 years of experience in the banking industry. Her knowledge spans many areas including commercial, retail, government and institutional, as well as business banking and community banking, where she served as the corporate division head for 16 states. She is a dynamic leader, national spokesperson for the banking industry, and is passionate about inspiring the professional advancement of others. She currently manages a team of commercial and business bankers who are committed to delivering a superior client experience. Lynetta’s commitment has earned her various awards such as a nine-time recipient of Chairman’s Club for being in the top 15% producers and Chairman’s Performance for excellence in sales and service. -Education University of Central Florida Bachelor’s in Marketing, Magna Cum Laude -Personal and Civic Lynetta is also passionate about service. She served as past chairman and current member of the Small Business Committee for the Consumer Banker Assn’s National Trade Association in Washington, DC; current member of the National Entrepreneur Center Board of Directors, headquartered in Central Florida (also part of the inaugural board); current member of the Florida Chamber of Commerce, current board member of the Central FL African American Chamber of Commere, current Executive Leader of the Orlando Economic Partnership, current member of FL Executive Women (FEW) Scholarship Committee, current board member for Shepherd’s Hope; current member of the Amerian Heart Assn’s Leadership Executive Cabinet, past member of U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Council (Washington, DC); past corporate executive board member of Think Tank for Banking Industry; 2017 Chairman of the Cattle Barons’ Ball - American Cancer Society’s top fundraising event in Central FL; 2014 Chairman of the Board and Treasurer and current board member of Orlando’s West Orange Chamber of Commerce; graduate of Central Florida Leadership Law Program; graduate of Leadership Orlando; past mentor for Central Florida’s “Girls Going Places” Entrepreneurship Program; and chairman of the West Orange Committee 101 to support non-profit organizations in Central FL.
Kristen Stone has many years of experience in Talent Acquisition and Diversity & Inclusion. In her current role, Kristen leads a Talent Acquisition team in shaping organizational development and hiring top talent across the Southeast for a Fortune 500 company. She is also a long-standing member of the Orlando Chapter Advisory Board for the Florida Diversity Council and Vice Chair for the Board of Directors of the Mustard Seed of Central Florida. Kristen was born and raised in Central Florida. She began her career in Human Resources, with a focus on Talent Management and Organizational Development, while working in the field of Education. Kristen managed a local branch of a tutoring company for many years before she accepted a role in Human Resources leadership with Florida Virtual School. From there, she transitioned to working in the waste and recycling industry in 2015 with Republic Services, a garbage and recycling company that is known as one of Forbes Most Innovative Companies and Ethisphere World’s Most Ethical Companies. Kristen has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Central Florida, as well as a Master of Science in Psychology from the University of Florida. She also holds certification as a Black Belt in Recruitment and a Black Belt in Diversity & Inclusion through the Social Talent Network. Kristen is an amateur artist, a foodie, and an avid at-home chef who loves to entertain family and friends. She lives in Winter Park with her husband Justin, Humanities and Philosophy Professor at Valencia College, their precocious daughter Reagan, and their rambunctious pets Steve and Finnley.
Bobbi Henson is president of Jackson Therapy Partners and Jackson Pharmacy Professionals. Jackson Therapy Partners provides highly skilled therapists and allied healthcare professionals for short and long-term contracts, contract-to-hire, direct hire and teletherapy needs – and Jackson Pharmacy Professionals is a full-service pharmacy staffing agency that connects highly skilled candidates to pharmacy settings nationwide. In her role, she shapes and guides the companies’ overarching strategies for recruitment, sales, business development and client services. With more than 30 years of staffing experience, Bobbi’s progressive leadership style is the guiding force behind a dynamic culture that fosters leadership development, longevity and an inclusive, supportive and results-driven team environment. Prior to her current position, Bobbi was senior vice president of operations for Jackson Healthcare’s nurse, allied and healthcare staffing and technology brands. In this role, she spearheaded initiatives for shared service teams, including IT, finance and accounting, credentialing and compliance, marketing and housing. Other leadership roles she has held include vice president of recruitment for Healthtrust, formerly Parallon Workforce Solutions, and vice president of operations for Nursefinders Travel, part of Nursefinders, Inc., providing sales and operational leadership for three travel brands: Nursefinders Travel, National Healthcare Staffing and Medfinders Travel. Driven by a commitment to giving back, Bobbi serves on the board for the National Association of Travel Healthcare Organizations (NATHO) and volunteers for several nonprofit organizations, including One-Heart, Great Oaks Village and Second Harvest Food Bank.
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