In Past Events

Fueling Innovation with DEI

Thursday, February 23     12pm PST | 3pm EST

A panel of experts will discuss diversity, equity, and inclusion and how they are essential factors for fostering creativity and driving innovation.

Join us for a thought-provoking virtual panel to explore the connection between DEI and innovation. Discover how creating an inclusive and equitable environment within an organization can lead to improved performance, increased productivity, and higher profitability, and how diversity in thought and perspective can drive creativity and innovation within teams.

Our expert panel will delve into the benefits of DEI and examine the strategies that companies are using to drive innovation, establish an inclusive brand image, and maintain a competitive edge in today’s market. They will also share their insights on how organizations can implement comprehensive and explicit policies to address discrimination and bias. Don’t miss this opportunity to gain valuable insights and best practices on DEI implementation. Join us to learn how DEI fuels innovation and how you can benefit from it!


Sara Fuentes

Founder and President, SmartWaste

Sara Fuentes is the Founder and President of SmartWaste. With 10 years of experience in the Waste and Recycling Industry, Sara is a leader in abating commercial waste. A passionate advocate for women and a tenacious leader, Sara is setting out to alter the cleantech landscape and finding her own niche. Sara draws on her experience working as an educator and Vice-Chair of the Women in CleanTech and Sustainability organization, where she is an impactful mentor and friend.

Smart Waste is a Minority Women-owned and operated start-up with a focus on Waste Technologies, Waste Systems and Vendor Management for Zero Waste programs. Our core values are Transparency, Circularity, and People. Transparency to establish trust. Circularity to explore and validate the downstream community.  People are the heart of sustainability. Our Impact will influence our communities to practice a zero-waste lifestyle. We are looking to work with companies that are in alignment with our values and goals.

Keally DeWitt

VP of Marketing & Public Policy, Gaf Energy

Keally comes to solar with the conviction that carbon-neutral is the new black. She started in renewables as the Head of Marketing for the largest solar company in the Northeast before moving into marketing and public policy leadership roles at Sunrun and SunPower. As the National Organizing Director of The Alliance for Solar Choice (TASC), Fortune magazine described the netroots work she pioneered as “radically changing” political advocacy through digital technology. Prior to joining GAF Energy, she served as Head of Marketing at Mosaic. She has a BA from Brown University. Her favorite roof is the one she used to sit on as a kid, listening to the cicadas, outside her bedroom window in Southwest Ohio.

Jerri Taylor

Director, Diversity in Career Pathways, Project Learning Tree and Sustainable Forestry Initiative

Jerri leverages successful tools and resources to build support programs for diverse young people as they navigate green careers. She leads the career pathways programming, the Green Mentor program, and the Green Jobs employer training efforts. Jerri will also support the Chief Sustainability and Diversity Officer in diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts across all SFI pillars. She is an experienced K-12 professional school counselor and has dedicated her professional life to connecting youth with resources and opportunities. Jerri holds a Masters of Education and Human Development, with a concentration in school counseling from George Washington University, and a Bachelors in Family and Consumer Sciences from the University of Maryland.

Lorenzo Jones

Vice President of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging, Eden Housing, Inc


Lorenzo Jones is a professional Executive business coach, speaker, facilitator, trainer and executive with more than 20 years experience that is solidly grounded in creating a positive learning environment by building a high degree of connection and trust with his clients. 

Lorenzo has partnered with hundreds of individuals and organizations across the US, helping C-suite leaders, board members and teams reach new levels of achievement.

His clients come from government, nonprofit, telecom, financial, transportation, tech and other industries. They range from Levi Strauss and Nike to the County of Marin and LA Metro.

He is a compassionate and intuitive communicator, with an ability to truly hear, connect with and motivate clients.

“Fear or limiting beliefs can be the biggest barrier to success,” says Lorenzo. “My passion is unlocking a client’s greater potential by helping them identify, break through and discover new beliefs about themselves. Everyone needs someone cheering them on.”

  • Virtual event. 
  • Ticket price: $15. This event is complimentary for all WCS members. No promo codes needed.
  • Refer to the membership options here. Become a member here.
  • All registrants will receive access to a recording of the event.