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Lead With Your Authentic Self

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Event Details:

Date Thursday, May 23, 2019

Time: 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Venue: TIAA Campus, 8500 Andrew Carnegie Blvd. Charlotte, NC 28262

Admission: Free for Members | Non-members: $10

Attire: Business casual


Time to usher in the Year of the Pig! The Ascend Los Angeles chapter invites you to an exclusive Lunar New Year celebration at MARSH on Thursday, February 28, 2019 at 4:00PM PST.  


Stress and conflicts are common challenges in the workplace. It is important to acknowledge the headwind it creates, but also to manage it before it hinders your well-being and productivity. Our seasoned moderators will facilitate a thought-provoking discussion and encourage live peer-coaching among professionals who have experienced similar challenges.

Keynote Speaker

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Rahul Merchant
Senior Executive Vice President and Head of Client Services & Technology, TIAA

Rahul Merchant is Senior Executive Vice President and Head of Client Services & Technology at TIAA. Mr. Merchant has more than 30 years of public and private sector experience as a transformation leader, including expertise in business, technology, operations and private equity. 

Prior to joining TIAA in April 2015, Mr. Merchant ran his own advisory firm. Previously, he was Citywide Chief Information and Innovation Officer for the City of New York, Executive Vice President, Chief Information and Operations Officer and Member of the Executive Committee at Fannie Mae, and Senior Vice President, Chief Information Officer and Chief Technology Officer at Merrill Lynch. He also has served as a senior executive with Dresdner Bank, Sanwa Bank, and Cooper Neff and Associates. 

Mr. Merchant is a director of Juniper Network (JNPR), the privately-held AASKI Technology, and Altico Capital. He received his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Bombay University, a Master of Science in Computer Science from Memphis State University, and a Master of Business Administration from Temple University.


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Lauren Hood
Diversity & Inclusion Executive, Bank of America

Lauren Hood is Diversity & Inclusion Executive for multiple lines of business at Bank of America. In this role, she leads global strategies, programs and initiatives that actively support Bank of America’s diverse and inclusive workplace. Lauren joined Bank of America in 1989 as a Management Associate in College Park, Maryland. Prior to her joining the Global Diversity & Inclusion organization, she was Strategic Assistance Executive accountable for managing Bank of America’s strategic partnership with China Construction Bank. Lauren is Six Sigma certified and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and English with cum laude honors at Duke University. She lives in Charlotte with her husband and two sons.

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Laurie Vaughn
Southeast Tax HR Leader, RSM

Laurie Vaughn is the Southeast Tax HR Leader and has over 14 years of experience in Human Resources. She and her team are responsible for the human resource functions for ten offices across the Southeast. This includes compensation and benefits administration, performance management, employee relations, on-boarding, training and coaching. Prior to joining RSM, Laurie worked for Grant Thornton as a tax professional and then moved into human resources in 2005. 

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Vinod Kumar
Information Technology Enterprise Architect, TIAA

Vinod Kumar is an accomplished Information Technology Enterprise Architect at TIAA with over 22 years of experience in enabling and successfully implementing IT Solutions in diverse business domains. Vinōd kick started and spent his first 8 years in the Automobile Financial Services Industry in Detroit. For the last 14 years, Vinod has been with TIAA and is currently serving the needs of TIAA Participants and Business, leading the Product Strategy for Emerging Infrastructure Technologies. Vinod was born to a farming family and spent his childhood years in a small town near Bangalore, India. Vinōd is the Charlotte Chapter Lead for TIAA D&I Engage, The Asian American Professionals of TIAA. He currently resides in Concord, NC with his wife and two children.


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Kshama Jobanputra
Senior Vice President and Human Resources Manager, Bank of America

Kshama Jobanputra is Senior Vice President and Human Resources Manager for Bank of America. In this role, Kshama is responsible for providing HR Generalist support to the Enterprise, Social & Governance and Consumer Analytics Modeling & Data Management teams within the Global Marketing & Corporate Affairs organization. In this role, Kshama acts as the main point of contact for all HR processes and strategies for over 500 employees. Kshama also served as a member of the Bank of America LEAD for Women Charlotte Leadership Council.

Photos from the Event
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