How Diversity Helps Startup Companies

December 17, 2019

Speaker Slides

Everyday Inclusive Practices

Gwendolyn McCoy, MBA. Senior Consultant at Diversity@Workplace Consulting Group | Principal at MS Creative Group/Make Scents Floral Design

The Business Imperative of Diversity & Inclusion: How Diversity Helps Startups?

Macey Russell, Partner, Complex Trial and Appellate Group, Choate, Hall & Stewart LLP

How Diversity Helps StartUps: Diversity & Inclusion in Practice

Julia Bonarrigo, Global Senior Manager, Diversity, Inclusion & Corporate Social Responsibility, Akamai Technology

Donuts, Helicopters & Unicorns: Optimizing You and Your Start-up

Camille Preston, Ph.D., PCC, Business Psychologist, Leadership Expert, Author, Executive Coach

As a startup, it is great to have a singular goal but it is not a good idea to have a single mindset.  The goal is what every team member needs to focus on, but it is good to have different perspectives to implement the company’s product or service, speed development and create a more robust company. Having a diverse team increases innovation, productivity, performance, and reduces fear.  The more diverse your workforce, the larger your talent pool and your company network will become.  At the end of the day, everything above makes it easier to conduct business, all while setting your company up for global success.

Our panel consists of a practitioner who will enlighten us on the benefits of diversity and real-life examples of its benefits, a Diversity and Inclusion consultant to help us understand how to implement diversity in the workplace, an award-winning attorney to tell us about personal diversity success stories and how we might think of diversity from a legal perspective, and a business psychologist and business consultant to educate us on how people make decisions and the personal effects of diversity.


6:00-7:00 PM – Registration & Networking

7:00-7:10 PM – ENET Chairman’s Announcements

7:10-7:25 PM – eMinute PITCH – up to 3 startups give a 90-second elevator pitch

7:25-8:15 PM – Expert speakers on the night’s topic

8:15-8:30 PM – Q & A

8:30-9:00 PM – Final networking, including meeting speakers


Julia Bonarrigo

Global Senior Manager, Diversity, Inclusion & Corporate Social Responsibility, Akamai Technology

Julia is a strategically-minded, operations-savvy people leader focused on making the technology industry more inclusive and more diverse.

Expertise in: Execution of Diversity & Inclusion strategies and initiatives, design and delivery of custom talent acquisition and recruitment programs, employee engagement, corporate citizenship, project management, communications, training, change management, event management, creative thinking, and operating in a matrixed environment. 

Gwendolyn McCoy, MBA

Senior Consultant at Diversity@Workplace Consulting Group | Principal at MS Creative Group/Make Scents Floral Design

Gwendolyn’s talents include; diversity, inclusion, training and facilitation, public speaker, panelist, instructional design, technical writing, web design, program/project/event/talent management, marketing, business start-up, floral design. Before joining Diversity@Workplace, Gwendolyn was Enterprise Inclusion Leader – Corporate Diversity and Inclusion at Blue Cross Blue Shield, and a Dell Specialist and Web Master at Perot Systems.

Macey Russell

Partner, Complex Trial and Appellate Group

Partner in Complex Trial and Appellate group at Choate with over 30 years of experience advising Fortune 500 corporations and businesses in corporate and litigation matters from consumer class action lawsuits, equity, and debt investments, commercial and real estate finance, environmental, labor and employment, and commercial disputes. Mr. Russell is also listed in Best Lawyers in America.

Experienced and trusted leader appointed by Governor of Massachusetts to Chair the Commonwealth’s Judicial Nominating Commission responsible for recommending judges at all levels, including the Supreme Judicial Court.

Experienced business leader appointed by the Treasurer of the Commonwealth to Chair a Task Force charged with recommending changes to the 1933 laws governing the marketing and sale of alcoholic beverages with a focus economic development and public safety. See

Experienced and recognized national diversity and inclusion thought leader relating to diversity in corporate law firms and law departments. The Burton Foundation and Library of Congress honored Mr. Russell with a 2011 Burton Award for excellence in legal writing for his co-authored article Developing Great Minority Lawyers for the Next Generation. He has authored seven and lead author on four published articles on diversity and inclusion in the legal profession for the Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession, Association of Corporate Counsel Magazine, Defense Research Institute, and Practicing Law Institute. He has made over 30 presentations and lectures on diversity and inclusion, including diversity symposiums at the corporate headquarters for Bank of America, Starbucks, Procter and Gamble, HSBC, Vertex Pharmaceutics, and AT&T, and SIFMA, Securities Industry, and Financial Markets Association.

Camille Preston, Ph.D., PCC

Business Psychologist, Leadership Expert, Author, Executive Coach

Dr. Camille Preston is the founder and CEO of AIM Leadership. Camille founded AIM leadership to help individuals, teams, and organizations accelerate business results by optimizing their human capital. A psychologist by training, Camille’s past and present clients include Fortune 500 companies, government and military organizations, hospitals, and nonprofits. A recognized thought leader on virtual effectiveness, Camille is also a sought-after speaker and the author of two books: Rewired and Create More Flow. Camille holds a Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Virginia and advanced training in leadership from Georgetown University.

Co-Organizer and Moderator:

Dan Skiba, President & CEO GOT Interface, Vice-Chair Boston ENET

As a Product Development Company Executive, I provide strategic leadership in product innovation and managing global teams, delivering award-winning products to the international market.  My ability to problem solve, direct the entire product development lifecycle and gain commitment to a common goal have driven faster release of products and market penetration.  By building synergies across all Product Life Cycle disciplines, we have delivered products that result in 100% product utilization and seamless integration into customer environments. My skills in optimizing international resources have significantly reduced costs and streamlined production, delivering product excellence.

Robert Adelson, business and tax attorney, partner @ Engel & Schultz LLP (Boston) and Chair Emeritus @ Boston Entrepreneurs’ Network (ENET). 

Rob has been an attorney for over 30 years specialized in business, tax, stock and options, employment, contracts, financing, trademarks and intellectual property.  Rob began as an associate at major New York City law firms before returning home to Boston in 1985 where he has since been a partner in small and medium sized firms before joining his present firm in 2004.  Rob represents entrepreneurs, start-ups and small companies, independent contractors and employees and executives. Rob is a frequent speaker on business law topics and author of numerous articles published in Boston Business Journal, Mass High Tech and other publications. He has been named among the “Top 20 Boston Startup Lawyers” by, a website that provides tools for entrepreneurs. Rob has been on the ENET Board since 2002, was Vice Chair 2005-2009, and ENET Chairman 2009-2019.  He was also a Co-Founder and Board member of the 128 Innovation Capital Group (2004 -2015). In 2016, he received the IEEE USA Professional Achievement award for “extreme dedication to the entrepreneurship community.” He holds degrees from Boston University, B.A., summa cum laude, Northwestern University (Chicago), J.D., Law Review, and New York University, LL.M. in Taxation. His website –

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