• Eric Salas, Montgomery Skyline, Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce, Montgomery Chamber, MGMChamber, Montgomery Alabama
  • Montgomery Leads the Way in Diversity and Tech

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    Montgomery, Ala. – October 3, 2018 – On the heels of the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual Diversity Summit, the Chamber today announced the addition of two significant leadership positions to further support Montgomery’s growing technology and cyber initiatives while diversifying its leadership team.
     
    Diversity Summit
    This week, top human resource professionals from across the country flocked to Montgomery for the Diversity Summit, which focused on diversifying talent and innovation while shaping the internal and external culture of organizations. Featuring panelists from across the country, the summit engaged leaders in conversation to improve diversity and inclusion to foster innovation. Breakout session topics ranged from the art of conversation to building a more inclusive tech culture, including a CEO session on the Millennial Mindset.
     
    “The solutions that emerged from the Diversity Summit will affect change in the areas of diversity and inclusion for Montgomery area businesses and beyond,” said Sheron Rose, Vice President of Community Strategies for the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce. “We were thrilled to once again host the greatest minds in this space at the summit and look forward to promoting better policies locally to attract and retain top tier talent in Montgomery.”
     
    The summit’s keynote speaker was Essye Miller, the Department of Defense Principal Deputy Chief Information Officer. As the primary advisor to the Secretary of Defense for Information Management/Information Technology and Information Assurance, Miller is a high-profile member of the Department of Defense and has roots in Alabama.
     
    Chamber and TechMGM Leadership Announcements
    To direct more capacity and focus on the opportunity to grow Montgomery’s technology and cyber initiatives, the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce announced the addition of two leadership positions.
     
    • Charisse Stokes, Executive Director TechMGM
    Charisse Stokes has been named Executive Director of TechMGM, the collaboration of local, industry, educational and governmental entities working to leverage Montgomery’s technology assets to focus on economic, workforce and community development. In this role, Stokes will further expand the program to maximize the community’s diverse talent pipeline and promote Montgomery as an emerging innovation hub to both enhance the workforce and grow the regional economy. Over the past 20 years, Stokes has held numerous IT and programming positions across the Department of Defense, industry and nonprofit organizations. Named a Power Leader in the State of Alabama by Alabama Power Company, Stokes is a recognized community leader, serving on several international, regional, and statewide boards, including the Armed Forces Communication and Electronics Association (AFCEA) and the Trenholm State Community College Computer Science Advisory Board.
     
    • Lora McClendon, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives & Federal Affairs
    Lora McClendon has been named Vice President of Strategic Initiatives & Federal Affairs for the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce. In this role, McClendon will spearhead the economic strategy for technology and innovation, two growing sectors with a significant impact on Montgomery’s economy. In addition, McClendon will lead the chamber’s federal affairs program, where she will work closely with the congressional delegation and staff on the key priority projects that will drive growth for Montgomery. McClendon previously served as the Director of Military and Federal Strategies at the Chamber.
     
    “The theme of this year’s diversity summit revolved around innovation and technology, so we couldn’t think of a more fitting way to punctuate the summit than by announcing TechMGM’s new diverse leadership team,” said Anna Buckalew, executive vice president of the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce. “From the U.S. military to start-ups to advanced manufacturing and more, we believe that Montgomery’s diverse technology industry is our most valuable asset to transform both our economy and entire community.”
     
    To learn more about the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce, visit www.montgomerychamber.com.
     
    Editor’s Note: For headshots and high-res photos, visit https://bit.ly/2RofldK.
     
    ABOUT MONTGOMERY
    Montgomery, Alabama USA fosters a business-friendly environment and understands that a healthy mix of large and small businesses constitutes the lifeblood of the city and region. A long history of trusted public-private partnership between the city, county, state and local business leadership creates an inviting business ecosystem. Montgomery is built on a dynamic history rooted in revolution as the center of both the Civil War and the Civil Rights Movement. On the forefront of cutting-edge development, Montgomery is attracting new businesses with its open internet exchange and opportunities for business growth, and new residents are coming for the city's work culture, transportation options and quality of life, including a revitalization of unique spaces in historic downtown with new attractions and diverse entertainment options. For more information, visit www.choosemontgomery.com.
     
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    Media Contacts:
    Meg Lewis
    Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce
    mlewis@montgomerychamber.com 
    334-312-2007 
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