Read biographies of feature guests for the 2019 Championing a Diverse Workforce Networking Forum

Read biographies of feature guests for the 2019 Championing a Diverse Workforce Networking Forum to be held Tuesday, November 19 at the media and conference lounge at the University of Phoenix. 


Anayeli Ruiz, Bilingual Reporter, NBC & Telemundo Chicago

Anayeli Ruiz is a bilingual news reporter who joined NBC 5 and Telemundo Chicago in October of 2017.

Ruiz came to Chicago by way of Corpus Christi, Texas where she worked for the local NBC and Telemundo affiliate for 3 years.

Anayeli was born in Mexico City but was raised in Houston, Texas. She graduated from the University of Houston with a bachelor’s degree in Communications and Spanish.


Carlos Butler-Valle, Director of Diversity & Inclusion, McDonald's

In August of 2019, Carlos Butler-Vale joined McDonald’s to serve as Director in the company’s Global Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Engagement team. In his role, Butler-Vale supports Latinx partnerships, oversees operations of the company’s global employee business networks, and supports the work and focus of the U.S. Diversity Council. Prior to this, Butler-Vale served as Global Inclusion & Diversity Program Manager at Groupon, where he oversaw diversity recruitment and employee engagement, and multicultural customer outreach and merchant development. Butler-Vale is an advocate for inclusive corporate culture built on transparent and consistent talent and business practices.

Butler-Vale has served as a board member of the Chicago chapter of ALPFA (Association of Latino Professionals for America), the Illinois Technology Foundation, and the Illinois Diversity Council. Butler-Vale is involved with the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, where he has received recognition as an emerging leader. Butler-Vale is a Senior Certified Professional through the Society of Human Resource Management, has earned a certificate in Human Resources from Northwestern University and a certificate in Change Management from the Human Capital Institute, holds an MBA in Management and Human Resources, and served as the co-chair of the George Washington University Alumni Association network in Chicago for six years, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in International Affairs.

As a native of Puerto Rico, Butler-Vale’s passion for advancing diverse top talent comes from his own experiences, and he credits his career progression to incredible people who have supported his growth, exposed him to great opportunities, and encouraged him to take on new and different challenges.

Karina Mendez, Learning & Development Senior Consultant, Allstate

As the Leadership Development Program (LDP) manager, Karina aims to develop the pipeline of versatile leaders for Allstate, by designing and executing a rotational experience for early career professionals. She is dedicated to propelling their professional careers by creating an experience that exposes them to the meaningful tools, resources and leaders that enable them to seize successful futures. Karina has been with Allstate for six years and has always been a champion for Diversity and Inclusion. Karina is actively involved in Allstate’s Professional Latino Allstate Network, is a Posse Scholar, Mujeres de HACE candidate, and sits on the advisory board of the HighSight foundation. Her purpose in life is to inspire and enable other to chase after their dreams and live into their highest potential - personally, and professionally.

Meredith Morales, Senior Program Manager, Inclusion Recruiting, Innovation & Solutions, LinkedIn

Meredith Morales is a Senior Program Manager on LinkedIn’s Inclusion Recruitment Team, and has nearly 12 years of industry experience in the HR space as a dedicated Talent Acquisition Diversity and Inclusion Recruiter and Strategist. Prior to joining the LinkedIn Team, Meredith worked for the 5th largest wireless- telecom provider as Diverse Talent Manager, where she guided the organization through Diversity Recruitment Strategies externally and had a dual focus on enabling diverse internal succession slates for internal talent. Meredith also has experience in Financial Services and Consulting through her time with Aon Hewitt where she led a team of 12 and was accountable for Diversity & Campus Talent Strategies across North America. Prior to consulting, Meredith served as Senior Diversity Recruiter for The Federal Reserve System. Outside of her role with LinkedIn, Meredith serves as Vice President on the Executive Board of Chicago SHRM (Society of HR Management) , and also serves on the DePaul University MSHR Advisory Board. Prior to her career in HR, Meredith spent time in the Finance industry on Wall Street's New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

Meredith holds a B.A. cum laude from Adelphi University in NY, and an M.A. from Northwestern University in Chicago.

Jacqueline Rodriguez, Chief of Staff, Groupon

Jackie is the Chief of Staff to the Chief Operating Officer at Groupon. As a Chief of Staff, Jackie works together with the COO on critical global priorities and works closely with leadership team to facilitate their execution. Aside from her role as Chief of Staff, Jackie is the Chair and Co-Founder of Groupon’s Latinx Business Resource Group, Groupon for Latinos. In this role, Jackie and her team have helped facilitate Groupon’s first Super Bowl ad in Spanish and assisted in the execution of Groupon’s Discover Pilsen campaign, where businesses in the Pilsen neighborhood were highlighted for an entire week on email, app, and social media to encourage Chicagoans to support local businesses and communities.

After graduating from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a BA and Masters of Accounting Science and before beginning her career at Groupon, Jackie became a Certified Public Accountant and went to on to work as a Senior Auditor at Ernst & Young LLP--a professional services company specializing in auditing, technology and security risk.

In her free time, she volunteers as a Wish Granter at Make a Wish Foundation, serves as a Big Sister for the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America program. Jackie also loves to try new restaurants in the city, travel abroad, and watch social documentaries.


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