Dinner- Candid Conversations on Diversity, Equity &Inclusion

The focus on diversity, equity and inclusion is changing significantly how we interact with each other, and the role we play as a socially responsible individual/organization.

In this continued journey of growth and awareness, Project Management Institute Minnesota invites you to join a very fun and lively discussion on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. This virtual event will be in the form of a panel discussion, with advocates and leaders from different backgrounds representing their journey and how they have been able to navigate and exemplify an equitable and inclusive environment in their interactions at home, work and in their community.

Consumers now expect a lot more from businesses beyond the delivery of quality goods and services. With the growing call on businesses to be socially responsible and equitable not just in their workforce but in leadership roles, a new nuance to the way programs and projects is executed and delivered is emerging. The focus is shifting to incorporate elements of diversity, equity and inclusion, rather than just the bottom line. How do we then navigate conversation around diversity, equity, and inclusion? One way is to engage in candid conversations, laying a safe environment to ask questions and learn from the experts.

PDUs: 1.00 - Leadership



Manish Kalra, MBA, PMP, CSM, AHPP President, CEO for PMI Minnesota and Diversity Advocate

Manish Kalra is the current Chapter President of PMI Minnesota. He has been an active PMI MN member and volunteer since 2014. Prior to being elected into presidency in 2021, Manish held several positions including President Elect, Director of Finance, Committee Chair and Seminars Manager. Manish works on fostering a culture of learning within the Project Management Institution and strives to build a stronger, more resilient organization that can better support the members and the community.

As a passionate, hands-on information technology professional, Manish has over 15 years of experience in leading all phases of diverse projects, programs and cross functional teams across the organizational and global spectrum. He is currently working as an IT Program Leader at Fairview Health Services.

Manish is also a passionate Diversity champion and a vocal LGBTQ advocate within his organization and the community, serving on several non-profit boards in Twin Cities, including Quorum and One Heartland. Due to his advocacy and community service, Manish was awarded the prestigious Minneapolis St Paul Business Journal "Business of Pride Honoré" in 2019.


Michael R.S. Hill, PhD, MBA - Global Head Science, Technology, and Innovation, Science Innovations, LLC

Dr. Hill is a global-minded, skilled entrepreneur and authentic leader, inspiring and enabling the creation of patient-inspired, medical device innovations from discovery to scale. With almost thirty years of experience at Medtronic, plc in research and technology, product development, clinical research and regulatory, global and leadership roles, he continues his passion to share knowledge, improve decision-making and accelerate the cycle of innovation in healthcare. Dr. Hill has BSEs [BME/EE], BS [Math] from Duke; MS and PhD [BME] from CWRU; and MBA from Univ. of St. Thomas.  He is an American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering Fellow, Distinguished Engineering Duke Alumni, Medtronic Bakken Fellow, and recipient of the Biomedical Engineering Society and Wallace H Coulter award in Healthcare Innovation.


Mumtaz “Taj” Mustapha, MD, FACP, FAAPChief Equity Strategy Officer, M Health Fairview & Assistant Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, University of Minnesota Medical School

Dr. Mustapha received her MD from the University of California San Francisco, and completed her combined internal medicine and pediatrics residency training at the University of Minnesota.  She has served as the Clerkship Director for Internal Medicine, the Associate Program Director of the Med-Peds Residency Program, and was recently the inaugural Director of Clinical Coaching for the Medical School, as well as the Lead for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Clinical Learning Environment at M Health Fairview.  She was just appointed Assistant Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at the University of Minnesota Medical School and as the Chief of Equity Strategy for M Health Fairview.

Her research focus is on equity and inclusion in assessments – from the way we assess learners and educators in the clinical learning environment, to the way we assess care systems. She has presented internationally on the topic of bias in medical education, and has been the recipient of several teaching awards including the Distinguished Mentoring Award for the University of Minnesota Medical School.


Geraldine Marks, MBA, PMP, CSPO, CSM, CPPM, 6 Sigma Principal/Program Manager, Optum

Geraldine Marks, has a master’s degree in Business and PMP as well as Scrum certifications and Agile training (MBA, PMP, CSM, CSPO). She has been a member of PMI-MN Chapter since 2015. In 2020 she finished serving her second term as the Director of Governance/Board Secretary for PMI-MN Chapter. She started out as a volunteer with the IT committee then went on to take the role of IT Chair then onto the board. She also served as the Board Liaison for the Volunteer Committee. As the Director of Governance, Geraldine invested a lot of time and effort updating PMI-MN Chapter policies to meet the changing needs of the chapter and to gain back the trust of its members. Today she is the DE&I Chair for PM-MN Chapter focusing on supporting PMI MN chapter goal in being an organization of choice, a diverse and inclusive organization.

Professionally, Geraldine had been working as a program/project Manager in the Twin Cities in various industries: CPG, Ag, Health, and Insurance companies. She is currently a principal/program manager at Optum supporting the Architecture team’s strategic efforts, bringing deep experience in delivering projects and programs at scale. Outside of work, she enjoys mentoring young professionals and volunteering within her community. Geraldine lives in Minnesota with her husband and 5-year-old son.


Manvendra Singh GohilCrown Prince of Rajpipla

Manvendra Singh Gohil is the Crown Prince of Rajpipla, an erstwhile princely State of Gujarat and the 39th direct descendant of the 650 year old Gohil Dynasty. He is the first member of a royal family to openly come out as gay to the world. He is the only Indian to be interviewed by Oprah Winfrey three times and has been featured on the show "Keeping up with the Kardashians ". He is the Chairperson and Co founder of Lakshya Trust dedicated towards Empowerment of LGBT community. He is also the Brand Ambassador of AIDS Healthcare Foundation India Cares, the world's oldest and largest non profit organization for HIV testing and treatment. Currently he is developing his dream project, A LGBTQA community campus at his royal establishment of Hanumanteshwar for the social and financial empowerment of LGBT community. 



Mercedes E. Jaime Founder & CEO, ENTER~ENTRA LLC

Mercedes E. Jaime, Supplier Diversity & Inclusion Professional, is a power connector with over 30 years of experience strategizing, establishing and managing B2B relationships. Her passion
and expertise have resulted in improved access by leveraging successful business practices to ensure equitable opportunities and growth for organizations of all sizes.

Mercedes is an active leader in numerous national and international organizations that represent and support the causes of women, minority, LGBT, veteran and diverse business entrepreneurs. They include but are not limited to, The National Diversity Advisory Board University of Minnesota (NDAB), National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC), The Network of Executive Women (NEW) and the Food Marketing Institute (FMI). Due to Mercedes' unprecedented contributions to the field of supplier diversity, she has been honored with such awards as the “America’s Top 100 Leaders in Corporate Supplier Diversity” by Women’s Enterprise USA in 2014, "Diversity in Business Award 2015” by the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, and the “Top 25 Women in Power Impacting Diversity” by DiversityPlus Magazine in 2015.

Mercedes is committed to a strategic procurement process that meets the diverse needs of customers and retailer businesses. Her deep desire to engage and support women, minority, and diverse business entrepreneurs, while fostering a sense of belonging and power, is an integral part of her Supplier Diversity & Equity Inclusion business goal.



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6/20/2022 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Central Daylight Time

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