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TWIST Conference Speakers

Carmen Canales

Carmen Canales

Chief Human Resources & Inclusion Executive

Carmen Canales is a talent expert, dynamic leader, and three-time, multi-industry CHRO. She is an engaging and sought-after speaker and storyteller who connects with a wide range of audiences on topics related to talent, resilience, inclusion, leadership, and culture. Carmen is passionate about belonging and maximizing the potential of current and future talent by advising leaders on how to build a nimble and high-performing workforce. Her industry experience is diverse, including senior leadership roles in the healthcare, higher education, consumer goods, banking, and professional services industries. She previously served as the chief human resources executive at Novant Health, Wake Forest University and at an international law firm.

Laura Yates Clark

Laura Yates Clark

President & CEO, United Way of Central Carolinas

Community Impact Panel

As president and CEO of United Way of Central Carolinas, Laura Yates Clark leads the effort to build stronger neighborhoods, increase racial equity and improve the systems that serve our children and families across a five-county region. Under Laura’s leadership, United Way has increased its investment to expand two major community initiatives—United Neighborhoods to drive neighborhood transformation and revitalization and Unite Charlotte to improve racial equity and increase social capital.

Kathleen Connolly

Kathleen Connolly, Ph.D.

Adjunct Faculty, McColl School of Business, Queens University of Charlotte

Coaching & Reflective Listening

Dr. Kathleen Connolly’s approach to executive coaching is informed by humanistic and positive psychology, cognitive and psychodynamic theories, as well as an interest in emotional intelligence, particularly as it relates to leadership. Dr. Connolly is licensed as a professional counselor with national certifications. Her career in psychology, mental health, and counseling has spanned over 25 years. In 2011, Dr. Connolly joined the faculty in the McColl School of Business at Queens University of Charlotte as an adjunct professor.

Donna Dunlap

Donna Dunlap

CEO, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Carolinas

Community Impact Panel

Donna Dunlap joined Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Charlotte (BBBS) as the Chief Executive Officer February 16, 2016.  She has over 30 years of not for profit board and for profit leadership experience. As CEO for Big Brothers Big Sisters her mission is to enable the organization to provide purposeful one to one mentoring to youth who are facing adversity ages 5-18 to help change their lives for the better forever.  The organization’s measurable, positive outcomes such as elevated school performance, improved behaviors and enhanced self-confidence empower children to achieve success.

Janet LaBar

Janet LaBar

President & CEO, Charlotte Regional Business Alliance

Roundtable Discussions with Senior Women Leaders

Janet LaBar joined the Charlotte Regional Business Alliance as CEO in April 2019 through a national executive search. A seasoned regional economic development leader with strong communications, strategy, and operations skills, she is leading the CLT Alliance in a new direction to ensure the Charlotte region is the most vibrant, innovative, and healthy economy in the nation. Through collaboration, the CLT Alliance is advancing a region that creates economic opportunities and prosperity for all.

Diane (Di) Morais

Di Morais

President, Consumer and Commercial Banking, Ally Bank

Roundtable Discussions with Senior Women Leaders

As president of Consumer & Commercial Banking at Ally Bank, Diane (Di) Morais oversees more than $182 billion in client assets across deposits, brokerage, mortgage, personal lending, credit card and corporate finance. Additionally, Morais has oversight of customer care and operations as well as Ally’s Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) program. Morais joined Ally in 2008 and was instrumental in the creation and launch of the Ally brand the following year. Most recently under her leadership, Ally became the first major bank to eliminate overdraft fees. Prior to joining Ally, Morais served in senior roles at Bank of America for 12 years, and earlier spent nine years in a variety of roles at Citibank’s credit card division. A native of Pittsburgh, PA, Morais holds a bachelor’s degree from Pennsylvania State University.

Lou Solomon

Lou Solomon, MSOD

Founder & CEO, Interact Studio

Leadership & Executive Presence

Lou Solomon, MSOD, is an author, TEDx speaker, and the co-founder of TWIST. She CEO of Interact, a communications company she founded based on the idea that a speaking curriculum should teach more than technique—it should help people find their authentic voice, tell their stories, and grow their natural influence. Lou’s TEDx Talk on the Impostor Mindset is an intimate exploration of the human condition that causes us to feel as though we don’t belong. The talk has become a popular video on YouTube and inspired her second book Freeing Your Radical Hero: Fighting the Impostor Mindset.

Will Sparks

Will Sparks, Ph.D.

Dennis Thompson Chair & Professor of Leadership, McColl School of Business

Meeting Your Shadow & Maximizing Your Potential

Dr. Will Sparks has published numerous research articles and co-authored, with Peter Browning, the book The Director’s Manual: A Framework for Board Governance published by Wiley in 2016. He is the author of the book Actualized Leadership: Meeting Your Shadow and Maximizing Your Potential and the forthcoming book Actualized Teamwork. He holds a Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior and Development from The George Washington University.

Carson Tate

Carson Tate, MSOD

Founder & Principal, Working Simply, Inc.

Activating Your Productivity Styles

Carson Tate serves as a consultant and executive coach to executives at Fortune 500 companies including AbbVie, Deloitte, FedEx, Johnson & Johnson, Kraft Heinz, Synchrony and Wells Fargo. The author of Work Simply: Embracing the Power of Your Personal Productivity Style (2015) and Own It. Love It. Make It Work: How to Make Any Job Your Dream Job (2020) her views have been included in top-tier business media including Bloomberg Businessweek, Business Insider, CBS Money Watch, Fast Company, Forbes, Harvard Business Review blog, The New York Times, USA Today, Working Mother and more. Tate is cofounder of the TWIST Conference.