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Leadership Activism: the Inside Story

  • January 18, 2022
  • 4:30 PM - 6:00 PM
  • Virtual via Zoom

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The pandemic and social justice movements in 2020 have changed how many Leadership teams think about diversity, equity, and inclusion and the impact on their people, place in the community and role within their markets.

With more frequency Leaders find themselves needing to make bold decisions that are sure to receive positive and negative responses from their stakeholder groups. Representing a multi-market organization who has and continues to face these realities, our talented panel will share perspectives, ideas and considerations for any organization exploring how to navigate new market realities.  

Panelists include:

Patricia Jesperson, CEO, EmployeeExp and HREF Board Member, Moderator

Patricia consults, speaks and delivers education in the areas of Inclusive and Ethical Leadership Development; Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI); and Total Rewards. Independently or combined, these are critical practices that enable organizations to both create Employee Experiences that attract, retain, and engage a diverse array of talent and drive innovation.

Miguel Ramos, Senior Director, Diversity, & Inclusion Strategy for the Minnesota Twins

Miguel Ramos is Sr. Director of Diversity & Inclusion Strategy for the Minnesota Twins Baseball Club. Since coming on board in 2008, he has leveraged his wealth of multicultural marketing experience to develop more culturally diverse programming, integration and stronger relations with diverse communities.

Prior to joining the Twins, Ramos, a native of Puerto Rico, worked at Nestle before leading his own consulting firm with clients in the professional sport industries, Corporations and Nonprofits organizations.

Ramos knows first-hand the knowledge and perspective that diverse groups bring to the table when they are included and engaged. When he moved to the US with his family 30 years ago, his opportunities for professional roles were limited because he didn’t speak English. Despite being successful sales supervisor in Puerto Rico, he would have to start from scratch.

Starting from the bottom, Ramos struggled through learning a new language and other challenges, to build a network of like-minded people who believed in his philosophy of hard work and community. He would go on to serve as a guest writer for the St. Paul Pioneer Press, become an invaluable source of perspective and marketing expertise to organizations, and an inspiration to Latinos and communities of color facing similar challenges.

Ramos is a tireless community champion. He currently serves on the board of the St. Paul & Minnesota Foundation, a network of almost 2000 foundations, funds and organizations including St. Paul Foundation, that share knowledge and services to make charitable giving thrive and benefit all Minnesotans. Billed by Minneapolis / St. Paul Magazine as one of the 100 to Watch, he has served on the Governors Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee, the board of the Greater Minneapolis & St. Paul United Way, Science Museum of Minnesota and Casa de Esperanza, a national organization dedicated to preventing domestic violence. Ramos was chosen a finalist for “Premio Cortes” recognizing excellence in his work with Latino radio in Minnesota — competing on a national level with businesses such as Clear Channel, CBS, NBC, and Davison Group. He was recognized by Lavender magazine for work in the LGBTIA+ community, and the Minneapolis & St. Paul Business Journal also recognized Ramos with the Diversity Business Award.

Cecilia Lettner, Director, Inclusion and People Development, Minnesota Twins

Seasoned human resources professional Cecilia Lettner currently serves as the Minnesota Twins’ first-ever Director, Inclusion and People Development, a position she’s held since February 2021.

Lettner’s work entails traditional human resources efforts – with a focus on the continued growth and development of employees – as well as the guidance of the Twins’ (and the Pohlad Companies, as a whole) continued emphasis on improving diversity and inclusion. This includes posing important questions to help the organization navigate the nuance of the modern workplace, especially in the wake of the events in Minneapolis the last several years.

Cecilia has experience across several different industries, from sports and entertainment, higher education and the nonprofit sector to professional services. Her well-rounded, modern skill set includes recruitment and people development, along with experience as a diversity and inclusion consultant. She plays a key role in the development of the Twins’ overarching human resources-based plans and strategies, recently leading the organization’s launch of business resource groups to empower employees with shared experiences.

Lettner earned her bachelor’s degree in international relations and affairs from Winona State University, with her original goal to work in the political sphere. She also holds a master’s degree in human resources management and services from Concordia University-St. Paul, which she obtained after beginning her trek down the HR path. Cecilia began her career with a front desk job at the Greater Minneapolis Crisis Nursery, a role that paralleled her collegiate desire to help people and change the world. She ascended from there, serving as a human resources generalist at the William Mitchell College of Law and later joining Xcel Energy as a human resources generalist. At Xcel, she began what felt, to her, like a natural progression from traditional human resources work to the people development and diversity, equity and inclusion sides of the field. Her final title with Xcel prior to joining the Twins was inclusion and diversity consultant.

Lettner equates the work that she does in DEI with her original aim of working in politics, as she navigates the nuances of the relationship between management and employees, and strives to maintain a balance that is best for the organization within the desires of both sides. She is passionate about the opportunity to enact change through open discourse within organizations, and truly loves what she does.

A native of Winona, Minnesota, Cecilia is the oldest of four children, including three younger brothers – one of whom played basketball at the University of Minnesota. Her mother, Liz, imparted upon her a deep love of sports that spurs her passion for her current role with the Twins. In addition to baseball, Cecilia is also a big fan of basketball, football and hockey.

Erryn Williams, Chief Talent & Diversity Officer at Pohlad Companies

Erryn Williams joined the Pohlad Companies in 2021 as Chief Talent and Diversity Officer, leading DEI Strategy and key talent practices across the organization. She has more than 20 years of experience in human resources and diversity and inclusion roles in both public and private companies, including May Company, Target, Best Buy and Ryan Companies. Most recently, Erryn led global inclusion and diversity strategy for Cargill.

She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology from the University of California, Los Angeles and currently serves as Chair of the Human Resource Committee on the Board of Directors for Bridging, whose mission is to improve the lives of those transitioning out of homelessness and poverty. Erryn is married with two sons and enjoys spending time participating in parent’s groups and sporting activities.


Event Schedule
4:30 - 5:00 p.m.   Networking
5:00 - 6:00 p.m.   Program

Cancellation Policy
We understand that sometimes you are not able to attend an event that you have paid for. All attendees are factored into our event expenses and therefore, we are not able to offer refunds, but would be happy to move your registration to the next event for you. Please contact our office for additional details.

Photography/Video Policy
The Human Resources Executive Forum (HREF) reserves the right to use any photograph or video taken at any event sponsored by HREF, without the expressed written permission of those in the photograph or video.

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