Janis Robinson

Former Director of Diversity and Strategic Collaborations, Alzheimer’s Association

Janis Robinson served as the Director Diversity and Strategic Collaborations at the Alzheimer’s Association National Office in Chicago from 2009 to 2012.  In that position she provided leadership and strategic direction to the diversity and inclusiveness program to advance the Association’s mission. Working with thought leaders in all areas of the Association, they implemented diversity events, activities and new/modified programs to integrate diversity outreach in the Association’s public image and market strategies.  She also identified, developed, and stewarded strategic collaborations and initiatives to create opportunities to heighten the Association’s visibility and goals in new organizations and diverse populations.  Janis also provided leadership and coordination for the Association-wide Diversity Team, the Diversity and Inclusiveness Council, and the Diversity Interest Group.

Janis was the Director Corporate Initiatives at the Alzheimer’s Association from 2008 – 2009.  In that position, she developed the Alzheimer’s Early Detection Alliance, (AEDA) and conducted several National kick-off meetings which led to success in recruiting over 300 companies and organizations to the AEDA.  She also developed and executed Eldercare Workplace Strategy which included establishing the Alzheimer’s Association’s Eldercare Workplace Advisory Council, (EWAC), comprised of representatives from Fortune 1000 companies.

Janis held the position of Director of Diversity at Aon Corporation from 2001 – 2004 where she established Aon’s Diversity initiative which included establishing Aon’s first Diversity Council, training program and supplier diversity fair.  Prior to that, she was Director of Diversity Affairs at the University of Chicago, Graduate School of Business where she also served as first Director of LEAD/SBI Program.

She has over 10 years of combined experience in marketing, business consulting, sales, corporate human resources, recruiting/staffing and project management.

Janis received her MBA in marketing from the Krannert Graduate School of Business/Purdue University, Exxon Fellowship and her BA in Urban Studies/Economics from Barnard College/Columbia University, Sachs Foundation Scholarship

She currently is a member of Chicago Chapter of Links and has served on the boards of the YWCA Metropolitan Chicago, the Breast Cancer Network of Strength and Marwen.

Yuri E. Brown-Cruzat

CEO, Epic Consulting Group

Yuri Brown-Cruzat is the CEO and Founder of EPIC Consulting Group, LLC.  EPIC is a full service workforce and business consulting firm that serves Fortune 50, 100 and 500 corporations.  EPIC is uniquely positioned with alliance partners to deliver products and services that are fueled by solid methodology, research and measures of success.  EPIC has a client list which includes (but not limited to) General Dynamics, United Health Group, Gulfstream Aerospace, A&E Television Networks and Monster.  The breath of work ranges from global diversity/inclusion strategy development, human capital planning, emerging market consumer development and supplier strategic sourcing.

Yuri was the former National Director of Strategic Diversity & Inclusion for U.S. Cellular Corporation.  She designed and developed the strategic inclusion plan for U.S. Cellular with the intent of defining the business imperative, measures and customer experience.   She is an expert speaker on trends, processes and strategies for the diversity & inclusion industry domestically and abroad.  One of her featured speaking engagements was at the World Diversity Leadership Summit in Prague, Czech Republic.

She has over 20 years of combined experience in business consulting, sales, corporate recruiting/staffing and project management. She was Director of Consulting Services for Hudson Inclusion Solutions a division of Hudson Highland Group, a 4,000 person global executive search and human capital consulting firm where she was responsible for the leadership, design and development of Hudson’s Global Diversity Consulting Services Practice.  Yuri led and managed consulting engagements with sales targets ranging from 200K to $4M each.

While at Abbot Laboratories and Merck Pharmaceuticals, Yuri managed client relationships and business development goals upwards of $3M in annual sales.  As a HR professional she was Regional Recruiting Manager across multiple locations for both Blue Cross of California (now WellPoint) and Ernst & Young Consulting.  Yuri and her team were responsible for the design, implementation, metrics development and competitive analysis. Additionally, as a Director of Finance, she implemented Six Sigma driven, multi-million dollar finance process redesign projects, supplier diversity and organizational restructuring initiatives for CNA Insurance. She is a certified Black Belt in Six Sigma.

Yuri received her B.S. Degree in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley with contributing certifications from Oxford University, Education Abroad Program.  Yuri has served on several professional and nonprofit boards. She is a previous board member for Lawrence Hall Services, a child/family protective agency; a previous advisor for Women on Boards which works to prep and position executive women to obtain Board of Director positions for Corporate Boards; a previous advisor for the League of Black Women, a national research and professional networking organization focused on the advancement and empowerment of Women of Color.

Carolyn Nopar

 Director of Development and Communications, Family Focus, Inc.

Carolyn Nopar is the Director of Development for Family Focus, a local area nonprofit dedicated to nurturing children and strengthening families.  Carolyn oversees all marketing, branding and private fundraising efforts for the organization’s eight centers.  Carolyn’s early sales and marketing career included positions as a Key Account Manager for Del Laboratories, Senior Account Manager for AT&T and Chicago Commercial Sales Manager for Cort Furniture Rental.  After taking a break to raise her two daughters, Carolyn returned to the workforce to pursue a second career in the nonprofit sector.  Her philanthropic experience includes launching a social enterprise for Habitat for Humanity, Associate Director of Corporate & Foundation Relations for the Greater Illinois Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, Chief Development Officer at the YWCA of Metropolitan Chicago, and as the Executive Director of the Enterprising Kitchen.

Carolyn Nopar received a Master of Management from the J.L. Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois and her undergraduate degree from Michigan State University in Lansing, Michigan.

Catherine Sue (Cat Sue) Turner-Anderson

Recruiter, Chase RFS Staffing Team, JPMorgan Chase

Cat Sue Turner-Anderson has been with Bank One/Chase for 38 years. Cat Sue has had various responsibilities at Bank One/Chase as Corporate HR:
HR Staffing
Leadership/Diversity / Change Manager
Bookkeeper, NEO Deposit OPS
Manager, Sr Fraud Analyst, Risk Manager,
Manager for Chase UNCF Scholar Program,
Manager INROADS Intern Program
Manage Harper Englewood Project

Cat Sue is currently in a Consumer Banking Staffing Role JPMC. She has been in this role since April 2008. Cat Sue is Co-Chair of JPMC Chicago UJIMA & Women of Color Network and very involved as a Consultant to All Employee Networking Groups at JPMC.
Manages UNCF Intern National Placement
Manages Harper Englewood Intern Project
CAPS (Career Advancement Programs For ENG`s)
Partner with LOB`s for Diverse Hire Job Openings
Partner with Chase Medical and The American Heart Assoc. on Chase involvement in Current Events and Health Issues for Diverse Employees

External involvement includes
UNCF Planning Committee
UNCF Leadership Council
Salvation Army Angel Tree Projects and Toys for Tots Program.
Clerk of The Circuit Court Women`s Advisory Committee
2oo8 Planning Committee for Child Link Women Initiative Luncheon

diversity in the workplace


Tuesday, February 21, 2012


3:30 PM – Reception
4:00 PM – Program
5:00 PM – Adjourn

JPMorgan Chase
Chase Towers
57th Floor
21 South Dearborn Street
Chicago, IL 60063

The CR Group has brought together an excellent panel to explore some of the issues of diversity in today’s workplace:  Is there anything new in the area of diversity?  How important is diversity today?  What does diversity in your pipeline mean and why is it important?  What is the role of a Diversity Officer in corporate and non-profit settings?  What are the benefits to the corporation/organization?  How does this area impact CSR and non-profits?  How do you think your business/organization is perceived in regards to diversity?  We invite you to bring your questions and interested guests!

Panel Moderator:

Carolyn Nopar,  Director of Development and Communications, Family Focus, Inc.

Panel Members:

Yuri E. Brown-Cruzat,   CEO, Epic Consulting Group

Janis Robinson,   Former Director of Diversity and Strategic Collaborations, Alzheimer’s Association

Catherine Sue (Cat Sue) Turner-Anderson,  Recruiter, Chase RFS Staffing Team, JPMorgan Chase

Karen Rodriguez

Program Management Specialist, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Great Lakes National Program Office

Karen Rodriguez is a Program Management Specialist for the U.S.Environmental Protection Agency’s Great Lakes National Program Office (GLNPO). She administers grants, cooperative agreements and interagency
agreements and manages special projects for GLNPO such as working with partners on the Sustain Our Great Lakes grant program and remediation to restoration in Great Lakes Areas of Concern. She is currently the GLNPO Great Lakes Restoration Initiative’s lead for the Habitat and Wildlife Protection and Restoration Focus Area and the US Lead Negotiator for the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement Habitat and Species issue area.

Heather Loebner

Executive Director, USA Foundation and CR Governance Board and Manager, Corporate Responsibility, Americas, ArcelorMittal

Heather Loebner leads Corporate Responsibility (CR) for the Americas region of ArcelorMittal, the world’s leading steel company. Also a global team member, she drives strategy and implementation, sharing best practices across the group. Heather has oversight of ArcelorMittal’s CR pillars: sustainability, people (health + safety and education), enriching communities and governance. She guides regional and local CR reporting; directs stakeholder engagement; and supports corporate governance to include responsible sourcing and human rights.

Loebner is Executive Director of the ArcelorMittal USA Foundation, leading corporate giving and employee engagement programs. She manages the Sustain Our Great Lakes program relationship, a bi-national, public-private partnership; serves on the Corporate Committees for Chicago Wilderness. She also serves on the Corporate Committee of Council on Foundations where she participates as a research funder for Philanthropy 2012. Heather has spoken at many conferences, to include the Ethical Corporation, the Conference Board, and Interbrands Corporate Citizenship program hosted at Harvard, on such topics as environmental stewardship, governance models, and philanthropic partnerships. She graduated with a Bachelors in Business, emphasis in Marketing from St. Louis University and a Masters in Political Science from University of Illinois.

environmental stewardship: public-private collaboratives


Wednesday, January 11, 2012


3:30 PM – Reception
4:00 PM – Program
5:00 PM – Adjourn


Karen Rodriguez, Program Management Specialist, US EPA, Great Lakes National Program Office
Heather Loebner, Executive Director, Corporate Responsibility, Americas, ArcelorMittal

Environmental Stewardship Goals:  How Government and Corporations Can Work Together

 How do nonprofits, government and corporations all work together on what many perceive as a controversial issue?  A presentation of US EPA’s priorities and goals will be reviewed.  Then learn how government, the nonprofit community and ArcelorMittal came together to make significant impacts on water restoration goals, ultimately supporting climate change concerns in the Great Lakes basin, through the public-private collaborative Sustain Our Great Lakes.


One South Dearborn Street
13th Floor
Chicago, IL 60603

RSVP to Colleen Coughlin by Friday, January 6 at colleen@crgroup.org, or by calling 312-666-2776.