Ashley T. Brundage
Founder & President, Empowering Differences
Ashley T Brundage is the Founder and President of Empowering Differences. While seeking employment at a major financial institution, she self-identified during the interview process as a male to female transgender woman and subsequently was hired. Starting as a part time teller she rose to VP, Diversity and Inclusion in less than 5 years. She captured this 4-step process of using empowerment to cultivate change in her new book and online course. Ashley credits her success to those closest to her for providing actionable allyship including her 2 teenage sons, Bryce and Blake.
Since beginning transitioning in 2008, she has worked tirelessly to promote awareness and acceptance of gender identity and expression. She works to accomplish this goal by volunteering in the community, and holding education sessions for corporations. She serves on the Corporate Advisory Council for the NGLCCNational LGBT Chamber of Commerce. Also is the immediate past chair for NGLCC’s global TGNC Inclusion Task Force. She chaired the successful bid to host the NGLCC convention in 2019, and Visit Tampa Bay named her their Tourism Champion. In 2018, she started serving on the board of the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts. In 2019, she was voted on the National Board of Directors for GLAAD, and since has become the Vice Chair of the board. GLAAD works to accelerate acceptance for the LGBTQ+ Community through media advocacy.
Ms. Brundage speaks locally and nationally about her transition, empowerment, workplace equality, leadership, and diversity & inclusion. She has also been interviewed in several publications and media outlets, including Tampa Bay Times, The Business Journal, The Miami Herald, Fox, ABC, CBS, Las Vegas Review Journal, Milwaukee Biz Times, the Daily Beast, Fairygodboss, InStyle Magazine, BBC World Service Radio, and a feature story with Bloomberg Businessweek.
Ashley has been recognized in many areas and has received numerous awards including: The University of South Florida 2014 Community Pride Award, 2015 St Pete Pride Grand Marshal, 2015 Commendation-City of Tampa, 2016 Tampa Bay Business Journal Business Woman of the Year, 2016 Voice for Equality Award from Equality Florida, and LGBT Leadership Award from the Florida Diversity Council. In 2017, she was awarded a Leadership Award from Metro Inclusive Health. Also in 2017 she was a winner of the Inaugural People First Award by the Tampa Bay Business Journal, and the TBBJ Power 100 list, the most influential and powerful people in business. In 2018, she was given the Champion Award from international non-profit Out & Equal as well as named one of Florida’s Most Powerful and Influential Women from the National Diversity Council. In 2019, she was named one of the Top 40 under 40 in the LGBTQ community nationally by Business Equality Magazine, TBBJ Outstanding Voice for the LGBTQ community and the Inaugural Transgender Rising Star by Trans New York.
Lillian Chaves Moon
Partner, Akerman LLP
With a diverse labor and employment practice, Lilly Moon represents employers in federal and state courts, administrative forums, and arbitration, in actions of harassment and discrimination, retaliation and wrongful discharge, whistleblowers, wage and hour, breach of contract, tortious interference, non-compete, and state tort matters arising from the employment relationship. Clients rely on Lilly’s keen insight of workplace privacy policies and practices, including data breach, security issues, and written information security programs.
Lilly’s practice is further deepened by her extensive knowledge of workplace safety and health issues. She represents and defends employers during all aspects of OSHA inspections, investigations, citations, settlement negotiations, and hearings. Lilly also assists employers with preventative practices such as conducting compliance audits, creating and revising safety policies and OSHA compliance programs, and creating workplace safety programs.
Focused on providing the most practical solutions companies can implement to avoid litigation and minimize risk, Lilly provides advice and training to help clients address complex employment issues including extraterritorial application of U.S. employment laws, workplace investigations, independent contractors, joint employer relationships, disability accommodations and leave management, discipline and performance review, severance agreements, reductions in force, and policy and procedure review. She represents companies in the construction, manufacturing, insurance, utilities, education, restaurant, retail, hospitality, mortgage, and healthcare sectors, among others.
Darrin G. Finley
Senior Training Consultant, Dynamic Corporate Solutions Inc.
Darrin is a Senior Training Consultant with Dynamic Corporate Solutions Inc. (DCSI). He began his consulting career in 2004 based on his passionate belief that management and leadership excellence are essential for organizational success across all industries.
Guided by the principles of noted business thought leaders such as Drucker, Deming and Covey, Darrin provides management and leadership consultation and training focused on leveraging leadership skills as a competitive advantage. These offerings include organizational development and design, operational improvement, and performance management with an emphasis on improving organizational productivity, management and leadership effectiveness, diversity, and customer service.
In the area of diversity, equity, and inclusion, Darrin’s work has reached thousands of participants where he has been recognized for his ability to create a safe and open environment to explore all facets of diversity to include deep dives into racism, sexism, religion, as well as unconscious bias, diversity of thought, and cultural sensitivity. Darrin’s non-judgmental approach considers the individual perspectives of all participants and the cultural uniqueness of each organization while ensuring clear alignment between diversity, equity, inclusion principles and overall strategic objectives.
Prior to forming his consultancy, Darrin served as a senior executive in industries ranging from banking to hospitality with both private and public companies. He has been recognized for his leadership and his expertise in operations improvement, organizational development, financial management, and diversity.
Darrin received his Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Management from the Georgia Institute of Technology and his Master of Business Administration from Jacksonville University. He also completed the advanced management program for executive development at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.
A native of Birmingham, Darrin was raised in Atlanta. He currently lives in Jacksonville, where he has served as a board member for organizations such as Learn to Read, The Jacksonville Public Library Foundation, We Care Jacksonville, and Level The Playing Field Leadership Academy. He has also served as a coach for Jacksonville First Coast Soccer Association.
Speaker, Leadership Trainer, HR Coach & Consultant, 357 Solutions
Sam has spent 24 years in law enforcement as an officer, investigator, trainer, administrator and Chief of Police, focusing on the Power of People, and the Power of Enthusiasm.
He was later hired as Chief of Operations for a leading wireless internet company.
In 2005 he opened his own consulting and seminar company, 357 Solutions, Inc. In 2014 he began helping organizations by providing Leadership Seminars, HR Coaching and Facilitating Organizational and Cultural Change. He recognizes the worth of the individual employees’ contribution in the workplace and a failure to foster their contribution is like waiting for a wrecking ball to dismantle your organization.
Sam Challenges Processes and Improves Your Organizational and Professional Development, saving you money, and time.
Sam is a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) certified by the HR Certification Institute (HRCI) he is also a SHRM Senior Certified Professional in Human Resources (SHRM-SCP) and has a certificate in Risk Management for Public Entities (RMPE).
Sam helps you to Bridge the Gap that exists between employees, coworkers and YOU their employer.
He is also the author of the Amazon Best Seller “WORKJOCKEY” - Work Less, Live More, Accomplish More and Be Happy!
Michelle Tatum-Bush provides advice and handles disputes for employers in Florida and with operations throughout the US.
Her clients represent a wide variety of industries, including construction, brokerages, medical practices, management, insurance, and not-for-profit organizations. Michelle has particular expertise in FMLA and ADA accommodations matters. She is also passionate about helping clients throughout their litigation matters, whether the cases involve discrimination and harassment in the workplace, retaliation against whistleblowers, WARN Act claims or violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Age Discrimination in the Employment Act.
Michelle understands the challenges facing employers first hand. Prior to joining FordHarrison, Michelle was a judicial staff attorney for the Fourth Judicial Circuit in Jacksonville, Florida, where she oversaw the operation of the Criminal Division and was responsible for hiring, firing, managing, and disciplining attorneys as well as interns. Michelle also served as the Capital Judicial Staff Attorney, appointed by the criminal judiciary to attend all phases of capital murder trials to assist judges with instantaneous research and recommendations on issues that arose during hearings and trials.
Prior to joining FordHarrison, Michelle also served as a Special Master, appointed by the Chief Judge of the Fourth Judicial Circuit on a per case basis to preside over evidentiary hearings regarding petitions for belated appeal filed in the First District of Appeal. In this role Michelle issued written orders to the First District Court of Appeal setting forth findings of fact and conclusions of law regarding a petitioner's entitlement to a belated appeal.
Michelle served eleven years on the Board of Directors for the University of North Florida Alumni Association, serving as its President for two years. During her time serving as Board President Michelle was honored to give graduation commencement speeches at each graduation ceremony, awarded monies raised by the Alumni Association to the first-generation scholarship fund, served as an Ex-Officio board member on UNF's Foundation Board, and was selected to be on the committee leading the Foundation in developing the University's ten-year strategic plan. Michelle remains very involved in UNF.
Michelle also speaks frequently to groups of HR professionals, brokers and other audiences on a wide range of employment-related topics.
Louis D. Wilson
Louis Wilson is the Managing Partner of the Melbourne office. He regularly assists employers on a wide range of matters, from providing advice and guidance on day-to-day labor and employment law issues to representation in complex employment litigation matters.
Louis has extensive experience assisting organizations with drafting employment contracts and non-compete agreements, developing personnel policies and practices, conducting workplace trainings and investigations, and carrying out separations and reductions-in-force. Louis also regularly represents employers in federal and state court and before administrative agencies, with a particular focus in breach of contract, discrimination, FMLA, wage/hour and whistleblower matters. Additionally, Louis has a broad range of experience representing management in traditional labor matters, including providing legal advice in connection with union organizing campaigns and representation in labor arbitration and unfair labor practice charge proceedings.
Over the course of his legal career Louis has advised and represented clients involved in a variety of industries and sectors, including companies involved in the financial services, healthcare, hospitality, manufacturing, restaurant and retail industries, as well as a number of public employers and government contractors. He is a member of the firm's Global Legal Services practice group, as well as its Healthcare and Restaurant practice groups. Earlier in his career Louis was an attorney in the labor and employment practice group of a large international law firm based in New York City where he worked extensively with employers on a variety of labor and employment matters, including complex corporate restructurings and mergers and acquisitions. He also spent several years in London, England where he qualified as a solicitor in England and Wales and studied UK employment law. While in law school, Louis served as an Articles Editor for the George Washington University Journal of International Law and Economics and was a member of the George Washington University Law School Moot Court Board.