Changing the Game in Worcester
Not Business as Usual
Our annual business conference.
ABOUT THE CONFERENCE | The Chamber’s annual conference and expo brings together members of the Central Mass business community to learn about and discuss local innovations, business opportunities, hear keynote speakers, and network with other professionals.
The event is also an opportunity to congratulate recipients of the 2020 Game Changer awards. These members of the community have been a catalyst for change and are recognized for their work at this event.
This year, the conference explores how our business community can work towards a more diverse workforce, provide opportunity for people of color and other diverse groups.
Darla has a proven track record of building strategic recruitment partnerships, successfully launching employee resource groups, and facilitating diversity and inclusion professional development workshops. She worked to establish and nurture the relationship between Reebok and Howard University leading to the brand’s first formal partnership and internship program. She championed and launched Reebok’s first POC ERG leading to the development of several other resource groups including the LGBTQ and passport diversity ERGs.
Today, Darla serves as CEO, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Strategist for DeGrace Group Consulting LLC, a thriving diversity staffing and culture solutions firm she launched in 2017. DeGrace Group clients span multiple sectors including government agencies, global corporate and national non-profit clients. She was appointed by Governor Charlie Baker to serve as Commissioner on both the Black Advisory and the Plymouth 400 Commissions.
Work to Eradicate Racism and Oppression
and Promote Equity and Opportunity
Access to a seat at the table in the financial services industry is twofold. Fair access to capital in the form of loans, equitable interest rates is critical to building a business. And, banks, credit unions, and investment companies are looking for ways to diversify their c-suite. Hear from industry experts how regional banks and large corporate institutions are making strides in both lending and hiring paving the way for entrepreneurs and executives to grow and prosper.
Hear how a diverse workforce elevates a company’s status in the community, facilitates employee buy-in, and benefits the bottom line. Learn about developing and implementing diversity and inclusion strategies that provide opportunity in the workforce, in management, and in leadership roles. These CEOs will discuss their strategies to engage with underrepresented communities to recruit and retain talent in the workplace.
Moderator: Stacey Luster, General Counsel and Assistant to President for Employment and Equal Opportunity, Worcester State University
Patrick Lee is one of the founders and owners of Trinity Financial, Inc. and Trinity Management, LLC. Trinity Financial is a 31-year old development company, and with its management affiliate, Trinity Management, the two companies have more than 250 employees and central offices in Manhattan and Boston. He is the developer of the Courthouse Lofts in Worcester, a newly restored and imaginatively adapted historic structure in the heart of Worcester’s downtown. It’s modern residential space is developed for households at all incomes and honors Worcester’s proud heritage of diversity—bringing together industrious people from various walks to build a vibrant community.
The companies have developed more than 9,000 units of housing and 500,000 square feet of commercial space at a cost of $3+ billion. Prior to co-founding Trinity in 1987, Mr. Lee served as Special Assistant to the Secretary of Administration and Finance for the Commonwealth. Mr. Lee was the Secretary’s representative on a number of state boards and agencies including the Mass. Housing Finance Agency, Community Development Finance Corporation, Mass. Industrial Finance Agency, and the State’s Public Auditorium and Civic Center Grant Program.