JENNIFER BRASE, Northwestern Mutual | Vice President, Diversity & Inclusion
I am honored to have received the Courageous Leader Award. I have been afforded an incredible opportunity at Northwestern Mutual to drive change in our organization by leading our Diversity and Inclusion strategy.
While the work can be challenging, we are making meaningful progress toward building diverse and inclusive cultures where all unique talents and perspectives are valued. People are the enablers to strategy, and I have had the opportunity to influence and witness first hand great leaders transforming and embracing the full impact of diversity and inclusion! –Jennifer
Jennifer is responsible for developing and executing the company’s diversity and inclusion strategy.
She is responsible for corporate diversity inclusion initiatives, multicultural market strategies, and developing strategies to build inclusive cultures in our career distribution system. During her career, she has served in several roles within the Field and Home Office.
From 2003 to 2008, she served as managing partner in Kansas City, MO. During Brase’s tenure, her network office saw increases in financial representative productivity and had a Top 10 College Internship Program. In 2008, she joined the Home Office as regional vice-president and then, in 2009, was responsible for business consulting to Field leadership thought regional teams. Brase graduated from the University of Nebraska —Lincoln with a B.S. in Business Administration.
It has been my privilege to know and work with Jennifer Brase for over 20 years. Jennifer has always been a valiant D&I warrior: challenging systems, methodologies and mindsets. In all steps of her career, she sees the value of how diversity can maximize both the business’s bottom line and employee engagement. — Paul J. Steffen, CLU, ChFC | Northwestern Mutual
Brase is on the Conference Boards’ Council of Diversity & Inclusion Executives, she serves on the advisory board of the Granum Center of the American College, and is an active Junior Achievement volunteer. Brase is marred to Kent and they have a son and daughter. She enjoys boating, attending University of Nebraska football games, and spending time with her family.
RICHARD LOCKWOOD Lockheed Martin | Vice President of Business Performance, Rotary and Mission Systems
At Lockheed Martin, we understand the importance of maximizing the potential of each employee. Our business depends not only on our diverse experiences, talents and perspectives, but being able to utilize them in a cooperative and innovative environment.
We strive to create an inclusive culture where all individuals do what’s right and feel valued and appreciated. I’m honored to receive this award on behalf of Lockheed Martin. –Richard Lockwood
Richard is responsible for the program performance for RMS’s portfolio spanning programs including the Aegis Combat System, Littoral Combat Ship and MH-60 helicopter avionics, as well as military and commercial training systems including F-35 Lightning II. Previously, he served as vice president of Business Integration and Program Performance. In this role, he was responsible for program performance of Mission Systems and Sensors (MS2) programs and the integration of the heritage MS2 and Systems Integration-Owego business units.
Rich is an instrument of change, successfully driving our diversity and inclusion efforts throughout our 36,000-employee organization. Since Rich was appointed as the Executive Champion for our Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) Council in 2010, his efforts have helped us create a more diverse and inclusive environment where all employees feel valued and free to bring their whole selves to work every day. — Dale P. Bennett, Executive Vice President, Lockheed Martin
Prior to that role, he was responsible for the New Ventures line of business, where he identified new customers and technologies in non-traditional, non-core and white-space areas. Richard joined Lockheed Martin in 1982 as a systems engineer and has spent a large portion of his career in Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance technical leadership.
He has held both domestic and international leadership roles in program management, business development and engineering including. He holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the University of Delaware. An active member of Moorestown’s community, he is a member of the Burlington County YMCA’s Board of Directors and the Network of Volunteer Associates.
AIDA SABO, PAREXEL | Vice President, Diversity & Inclusion
I am honored to receive this 2016 Courageous Leader Award from such a distinguished organization. At PAREXEL, we value all people and are focused on inclusion. We also believe that having and including a wide variety of employee perspectives and experiences strengthens our ability to successfully compete in a global marketplace. For many years, we have admired the work of WMFDP. I am pleased to have the privilege of experiencing the workshops and labs as these programs on engaging men and other allies are transformational and what we need in our organizations to create more inclusive environments. –Aida
As Vice President of Diversity/Inclusion, Aida Sabo is responsible for finding creative ways to execute PAREXEL’s global diversity and inclusion strategy. The strategy consists on building D/I awareness and launching a culture change to ensure D/I is part PAREXEL’s DNA.
Some elements of this strategy include, Gender Partnership –promoting an inclusive environment so that all genders flourish in the company, Engaging Men as advocates and champions, empowering the diverse workforce, and identifying and addressing institutional blind spots and possible barriers.
Born in Mexico, Aida moved to the United States when she was three years old. With a passion for learning, she excelled and earned a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of California at Davis. She then completed engineering graduate work at the University of California at Berkeley and at Georgia Tech.
Aida and her team elevated diversity and inclusion awareness to the next level. Aida skillfully included men in the discussion too and during our ongoing journey, she is guiding all people involved to better understand the unconscious bias and privilege. The outcome of her work through inclusive leadership strategies sharpens awareness of inequalities. — Ubavka DeNoble, M.D., Corporate Vice President | PAREXEL International
She has participated in programs in Executive Education at Harvard’s JFK School, Harvard Business School, Stanford University, and UCLA. In 2006 Aida was selected as a Fellow with the National Hispana Leadership Institute and received the Santiago Rodriguez Diversity Award from Hispanic National Engineers Association. In 2012, the National Association for Female Executives recognized her as a Women of Excellence.