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Founder's Welcome

Dennis Kennedy, Founder, Florida Diversity Conference

Welcome to the 2nd Annual Florida Diversity & Leadership Conference.  The theme for this year’s conference is “Wind of Change.”  In the back drop of new national leadership that reflect the diversity of our country, I believe it behooves organizations and in particular the leaders of corporations to see “Change” as a business necessity.  That is, in order for organizations to be successful, there has to be a change in the way companies and organization attract, recruit, retain, develop and promote diverse talent.  It is essential for organizations to review their systems to ensure that diverse candidates have the same opportunities as everyone else. 

A review of the 2010 Florida Glass Ceiling Study reveals that both women and people of color are still devoid of opportunities to participate on both Corporate Boards and in the C-Suites.  I believe very strongly that Corporate Leadership should reflect the diversity of the community and its employee base.  Hence, the barriers that have for so long excluded some groups have to be literally torn down in order for us to see real and measure change in the demographics of leadership in corporations in the state of Florida.  The leadership pipeline has to be inclusive. 

The “Wind of Change” is blowing in Florida but it is going to require more than one individual writing a letter and placing it on a website.  It is going to require regular folks just like you and I to speak up and challenge the status quo of inequity that is unfortunately so prevalent in some of our workplaces in our communities.  In addition, we as a community have to hold leaders accountable; it is essential.

History teaches us that “Change” has always been difficult but I am very hopeful and encourage that the Community of Florida will usher in a new era of respect and acceptance for differences.  Please join me on January 14th in Orlando as the “Wind of Change” blows in Florida. 




Dennis Kennedy

Founder & CEO,
National Diversity Council



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