Conference Co-Chair

Candice Barnhardt
VP & Chief Diversity Officer







Lisa Smith
Director of Corporate Human Resources and Diversity
Premier Health Partners



On behalf of all Nationwide associates, welcome to the 2011 Ohio Diversity and Leadership Conference. We are pleased to be a co-title sponsor for the 4th consecutive year. I hope you will join the two-day conference for professional development, networking and to learn about topics that will inspire us all to do more as it relates to driving diversity where we live, work and play.

This year’s conference theme, DiversityFIRST™: Creating New Opportunities for Your Community, is a timely and relevant topic as organizations are being more diligent in finding ways to support their associates as well as the communities where they do business. It is important to create an environment where people can achieve their dreams and make sure that all voices are heard and valued in the workplace and in our communities. This requires an appreciation of both our differences and similarities. This year’s conference will help us better understand the importance of connecting with one another and will offer innovative ideas and creative solutions to help you better leverage the value of diversity and inclusion.

I’m proud that Nationwide has the opportunity to support the 2011 Ohio Diversity and Leadership Conference because we believe that it is through inclusion that we create new opportunities for all.

We look forward to another thought provoking and meaningful conference.



On behalf of Premier Health Partners, welcome to the 2011 Ohio Diversity and Leadership Conference. Premier is honored to be a co-title sponsor this year. As Director of Human Resources and Diversity at Premier, I know that a true commitment to diversity goes much deeper than percentage of people on a payroll. Genuine diversity is defined by the seamless inclusion of all people–and that is what we strive for every day. Conferences such as this help organizations incorporate that seamless inclusion into their day to day culture.

We’re excited about this year’s conference theme, DiversityFIRST™: Creating New Opportunities for Your Community. My employer, Premier Health Partners, believes attracting and retaining a workforce that mirrors its diverse community has a significant impact on it patients, employees and success as a health care institution and neighborhood change agent.  Premier Health Partners’ hope is that we begin to examine ourselves individually and collectively to be more inclusive. The journey of inclusion requires a serious look at an organization’s policies, procedures and practices that sometimes exclude, whether intentionally or not. Conferences such as this help us learn how to look deeper at providing a positive work environment which values, appreciates and respects all individuals. You will learn that differences are welcomed and employees should be encouraged to voice their ideas and be empowered to make decisions.

Premier Health Partners is delighted and proud to support the 2011 Ohio Diversity and Leadership Conference. Promoting diversity is and always will be a critical value and a high-priority business strategy at Premier Health Partners. 

We hope you take back to your respective organizations good information that fuels the necessary conversations that might widen perspective and help professional growth.