Wellness Summit Schedule | HBA

Wellness Summit Schedule

Please note this schedule is preliminary and will be updated as the program is finalized.

All times listed are in Eastern Time.

12:20–12:50 PM - Opening Reception

In celebration of the inaugural Women of Color Wellness Summit, participants will have opportunities to interact with industry executives, colleagues, and sponsors, and participate in icebreaker activities to gear up for an affirming and supportive summit experience.

1:00–1:25 PM - Welcome and Keynote


Nikki Jones
, Head, DE&I and People Ops, HBA

Trudy Bullard
, WOC Wellness Summit Co-Chair, Senior Therapeutic Nutrition Specialist-Oncology and Bariatric, Abbott Laboratories, Nutrition Products Division

Shelina Ramnarine, PhD
, WOC Wellness Summit Co-Chair, Product Director, Payer Marketing Cardiovascular and Metabolism, The Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson

Gathering with Purpose and Intention: Opening Speaker

Rina Shah
, Group VP, Pharmacy Operations and Services, Walgreens

As women of color who are part of the United Force for Change movement, we are often on the frontlines of efforts to increase diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging within our organizations. Rina Shah will challenge us to recognize the significance of holistic wellbeing as a strategy for success and challenge us to engage in this inaugural summit with the intention – a determination to act in a certain way – of disrupting unhealthy coping strategies and replacing them with strategies that help us activate our strengths and talents in the fulfillment of our purpose.

1:25–2:00 PM - Women of Color: Lived Experiences

Karen Dindial
, Co-Founder and Executive Partner, DKI Health

Thao Marzullo
, Group Product Director, Immunology Access Marketing, Johnson & Johnson

Gabrielle Roberts
, Senior Global IT and Compliance Auditor, Abbott

The data on how women of color fared during the past 18 months are well documented in recent global reports. This session will offer insights into the lived experiences of women of color behind the data and how they found uplifting ways to cope with some of the issues they faced. Gabrielle Roberts will share her experience with developing a yoga event in her hometown of Minneapolis, MN, as a way to bring awareness to and provide healing spaces for people of color in the aftermath of the George Floyd incident. Thao Marzullo will share her journey of organizing a stop-the-hate campaign in the wake of violence against people of Asian descent. Karen Dindial will highlight what it was like to be an entrepreneur and woman of color in the midst of the pandemic and how her company thrived.

2:00–2:10 PM - Elevate Through Joy: Wellness Break

Hannah Davis of Elevate Wellness will engage participants in low-impact dance moves to stimulate our minds, lower our stress, and experience a burst of joy!

2:10–2:35 PM - Recognizing the Signs of Trauma and Stress: A Mental Check-Up

Hannah Davis
, LMSW, LGSW, RYT, Founder and Executive Director, Vikara Village, Owner, Elevate Wellness

In survival mode, it can be difficult to take time out to assess the toll that juggling multiple priorities at home and work while also processing microaggressions and larger social justice issues can take on mental health and wellbeing. Hannah Davis, licensed social worker and certified yoga instructor, will share her own journey through trauma and stress and offer strategies for making mental health and wellbeing a priority.

2:35–3:00 PM - How Trauma and Stress Impact Physical Wellness: A Physical Check-Up

Veronica Mallett,
MD, MMM, President and CEO, MMC Ventures, Executive Director, Center of Women’s Health Research, Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Meharry Medical Center

In addition to affecting mental health and wellbeing, trauma and stress also take a toll on physical health and wellbeing, which contributes to health disparities in communities of color. Situating her presentation within the data pertaining to women of color, Dr. Mallet of Meharry Medical Center, an HBCU (Historically Black Colleges & Universities), will challenge participants to prioritize their own wellness, not just that of their customers, and will offer a checklist of procedures and actionable takeaways. 

3:00–3:05 PM - Energy Break

3:05–3:30 PM - Addressing the Wealth Gap: A Financial Check-Up

Jen Auerbach-Rodriguez
, Managing Director, Head of Strategic Growth Markets, Merrill Lynch Wealth Management

Although seemingly unrelated, the wealth gap experienced in communities of color is an outcome of systemic issues of trauma and stress. Financial expert, Jen Auerbach-Rodriguez, will highlight this connection, emphasize the importance of financial literacy among women of color, and provide strategies and resources for making financial health and wellbeing a priority.

3:30–3:45 PM - Affirming Our Value, Prioritizing our Wellness, Leveraging Our Difference: Closing Inspiration

Mary Stutts
, MHA, Global Chief Inclusion and Health Equity Officer, Real Chemistry

Coping with inequities and microaggressions in the workplace can subconsciously make us feel that we are not valued and make us push even harder to prove that we belong, at the expense of prioritizing holistic wellbeing.  We will close out the inaugural Women of Color Wellness Summit with an inspirational reminder that our diverse experiences and backgrounds uniquely equip us with qualities that are of value to businesses and the populations they serve.

3:45–4:30 PM - Sister Circles (Reflection Breakout Groups)

“She is a friend to my mind.  She gathers me.  The pieces I am, she gathers them and gives them back to me in all the right order.  It’s good when you got a woman who is a friend of your mind.” This quote by Toni Morrison exemplifies what we hope will be accomplished during this time of reflection in sister circle breakout groups. It is a time to reflect on mental, physical, and financial wellness, the ways in which to prioritize them, and opportunities for connecting with other women of color for support and accountability.

Thank you to our exclusive HBA Women of Color Wellness Summit sponsor!