Latino Talent Development Program

Open House

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Join us at an informational session about this new and exciting program. We will share with you the reasons why every young Latino professional should attend this program.

The program will further develop those innate skills of young Latino professionals and expand their knowledge in a cohort-type experience delivered by experts in their field. Guest speakers, throughout the course, will support the program by sharing personal experiences and success stories.

If you are a young Latino professional, you don’t want to miss this opportunity. If you are not, join us in this new experience.



      • Allison Lugo-Knapp
      • Professional Development
      • Allison Lugo Knapp brings over ten years of experience working in the philanthropic and nonprofit sector. She has worked nationally with a broad spectrum of foundations and organizations in the areas of training strategies and design, organizational and process development, and best practices for grantmaking models and operations.  Ms. Knapp was formerly the Program Director for Philanthropic Services at the Johnson Center for Philanthropy at GVSU where she oversaw a nationally recognized professional development program for grantmakers, and worked with foundations nationally and internationally to provide consulting and customized grantmaker education. Prior to her role at the Johnson Center, she was a program officer at the Battle Creek Community Foundation in Battle Creek, Michigan, where her work focused on arts and culture, youth, and neighborhood grantmaking. She is a former member of the national board of advisors of Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy (EPIP) and is a founding member of the EPIP Michigan chapter. She currently serves on the Ethics and Practices committee and as co-chair of the Next Generation Task Force of the Council on Foundations. Locally she is a member of the Grand Rapids Community Foundation Advisory Council, and on the organizing committee of the Grand Rapids Latin American Film Festival. She has also served on the board of directors of the UICA and as a mentor in the Cook Leadership Academy at GVSU. Allison holds a bachelor of arts in international relations from James Madison College at Michigan State University and masters of public administration in urban and regional planning from Grand Valley State University.

        Allison is an adjunct faculty member at the School of Public, Nonprofit and Healthy Administration and Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies at GVSU. She resides in Grand Rapids with her husband Tobin and son Santiago, and currently works as principal of Knapp Consulting.

      • Kristin Ekkens
      • Cultural Awareness
      • Kristin brings a unique perspective to leadership and talent development specifically in multinational and domestic multicultural companies. Serving as executive director of a national nonprofit focused on closing the workforce skills gap, senior consultant and corporate intercultural trainer, and workplace language and literacy program director, Kristin has extensive experience designing, implementing, and evaluating workplace learning and performance initiatives. Her area of expertise is bridging cultural and linguistic gaps in culturally diverse companies.

        Since 2002, Kristin has provided cross-cultural leadership skills, global team building, and global talent development (including customized English language and literacy training) to over 75 companies with diverse workforces. Her practical experience, passion for workplace inclusion and cultural intelligence, and her interest in evaluating ROI inspire Kristin as she works with clients to build a stronger, more competitive and innovative workforce. Her workplace learning initiatives have received multiple awards for quality and innovation including international exposure in a 2008 broadcast of ABC World News Tonight with Charles Gibson and recognition in 2011 as a best practice by Singapore Workforce Development Agency.

      • Raul Alvarez
      • Civic Engagement
      • Working hard. Working smart. Having fun. Grit. Conviction. Passion. Tenacity. And zest. That's what drives me.. There's only one speed in which to operate today in the communications and PR realm - ludicrous speed - because today's fast-paced society dictates it, and customers/clients demand and expect it. GTSD (Getting the Stuff Done) is the only attitude. In my twenty-plus years in marketing, communications and PR I have learned how to get things done – through diverse practical experience, making mistakes and learning from them, a proactive approach, and continuous education/training. I create and tell stories to promote a cause/organization/company, sell products/services and make things happen. I develop messages/campaigns/promotional plans, then explore and utilize the most effective delivery channels for them.  I have managed and supervised marketing teams, and have lead cross-functional project teams in diverse settings. A synopsis of my career: *Twenty-plus years of diverse communications, marketing & PR experience  *Corporate, higher education, non-profit, causes/events, PR firm work  *Strategic planning and visioning *Marketing campaign planning, execution and management *Extensive media relations, including serving as spokesperson for various organizations *Crisis communications management *PR counsel to all levels of organizations *Writing and message development *Public speaking *Earned and social media experience and engagement  *Relationship-building attitude and approach *Proactive and vision-driven approach to marketing, communications and public relations Running is a necessity for me: it allows me to think, plan and take out the mental trash that sometimes accumulates, but I have no need for, in my brain. And I enjoy the 'high" from it every time.

      • David Luna
      • Leadership
      • I am a Health Equity leader who does, serves and learns.

        I serve as a member of various Health Equity organizations at the regional & national levels, such as:

        --The Regional Health Equity Council, HHS Region V, National Partnership for Action to End Health Disparities (Chair, Public Policy Committee; Chair, Strategic Planning Committee)

        --The National Forum for Latino Healthcare Executives, which champions diversity in healthcare leadership (board President-Elect).

        Additionally, I am strongly invested in learning so as to maximize my ability to lead Health Equity initiatives and to lead in the healthcare space generally. Examples of learning programs completed include:

        --Graduate Certificate in Ethnic and Rural Health Disparities, Brody School of Medicine, East Carolina University;

        --The Disparities Leadership Program, Disparities Solutions Center, Mass Gen Hospital (program project won an award; served as presenter for subsequent cohort); 

        --Advanced Leadership Program in Healthcare Mission and Ministry, Aquinas Institute;

        --The Executive Program, ACHE.

        Specialties: Health Equity, disparities in health and healthcare, cultural competence in the delivery of health care, diversity strategy, talent development, coaching.


5:45PM Welcome
6:00PM Instruction Tracks
6:30PM Questions
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