President, PRISM International, Inc.
Prism President Ancella Livers is a skilled diversity and leadership development professional. She is the co-author of the book, Leading in Black and White and the HBR classic "Dear White Boss." She has also written numerous articles, chapters, and reports on equity, diversity, and inclusion. In addition, for several years, she has written a blog focused on women of color in corporate America. In her TEDx talk, she discussed mutuality, which offered a new view of diversity and begins to chart an original way forward.
In 1995, Ancella moved to the Center for Creative Leadership® to build and manage their African-American Leadership program. She later also managed the Center's Women's Leadership program. In her first 12 years at the Center, Ancella managed numerous leadership programs and left the organization as the Director of Global Open Enrollment programs.
In 2007, Ancella became the Executive Director of the Institute for Leadership Development and Leadership for the Executive Leadership Council (ELC). The ELC is a membership organization for many of corporate America's highest ranking African American executives. While there, she not only built the Institute's facilitation infrastructure, but she also oversaw detailing research. In particular, she helped craft a report that detailed the difficulties African-American women executives faced in reaching the C-Suite. During this period, she also worked on several reports that shed light on the issues facing white women and men and women of color as they worked to achieve corporate board positions.
In 2011, Ancella returned to the Center for Creative Leadership where she designed and facilitated leadership development initiatives for national and global organizations. She also continued her passion around equity, diversity, and inclusion through continued writing on the topic and designing and facilitating programs for the deaf and hard of hearing, and well as for leaders of color. Further, also helped develop the content for elf-paced e-learning course "Inclusive Leadership."
Prior to her work in the diversity and leadership development field, Ancella was an assistant professor at the West Virginia University School of Journalism. She also spent a decade as a newspaper journalist and held roles as acting business editor and Capitol Hill reporter for Gannett News Service.
Ancella holds a B.S. in Mass Communications from Hampton University, a M.S. in Journalism from Northwestern University, and a M.A. and PH.D. in History from Carnegie Mellon University. She is also an executive coach and has served on several boards.
Founder, PRISM International, Inc.
Linda Stokes is the Founder of PRISM International, Inc., an international consulting and training firm that helps organizations build inclusive and culturally competent teams by providing a comprehensive, strategic, enterprise--relevant diversity and inclusion process that benefits the organization, their employees and their customers. She leads a unique team of dedicated D & I professionals that apply their organizational and business experience, knowledge and passion for creating an inclusive workforce, workplace and marketplace.
She founded PRISM in 1992 with the mission of increasing organizational performance by creating more inclusive workplaces that value the contributions of all employees and that connect D&I strategies and tactics to the business of the organization. Under her leadership, PRISM has provided D&I consulting services, training and products to millions of employees in hundreds of organizations around the globe.
Linda is co-author of Multicultural Customer Service: Providing Outstanding Service Across Cultures, author of numerous journal articles, media contributor on topics of organizational strategic and tactical D&I, and a curriculum developer of over 120 cross cultural and D&I consulting and training programs. She is a recognized leader in the field of D&I and coaches and mentors Executives, CDOs and diversity professionals at several American and European global firms. As a women-owned certified business headquarter in Central Florida, Linda's leadership and success was recognized by the Women's Executive Council of Orlando when she was awarded their Women's Achievement Award for Business.
In 2006, she recognized the special needs of Diversity Councils and Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) and created the Association of ERGs & Councils. That was followed in 2008 with the launching of the annual ERG & Council Honors Award™ and in 2012 with the first annual ERG & Council Conference™.
In 2014, Linda responded to the growing healthcare needs of providing exceptional service and care by increasing cultural and language competencies by developing a special suite of healthcare skills and tools.
In 2016, she took confronting our unconscious biases, micro-inequities, and cultural misunderstandings to the next level by creating The Elephant We Can't See™- a unique workshop that uses storytelling followed by interactive, engaging, skill building training to help begin a dialogue about any difference that makes a difference in the organization.
In 2017, in being proactive and promoting civil and respectful behaviors, she developed the ground-breaking, Choosing Respect in the Workplace™- a 3-hour training session that is unique in its approach, by helping employees develop a mindset for choosing respectful behaviors and develop the skills needed to address disrespectful behaviors when confronted with them.
Prior to PRISM, Linda's professional experience included management and executive experience in education, healthcare, banking and international customer service consulting and training. She received her B.A. in Psychology from Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida and her M.A. in Educational Leadership from Stetson University in Deland Florida.
"Each person must live their life as a model for others." - Rosa Parks
Inclusion & Involvement is one of the six PRISM Values developed and written by PRISM team members. This value challenges PRISM team members to incorporate their various perspectives, skills, experiences, backgrounds, knowledge and talents to improve and expand team thinking and enrich products, services and lives. PRISM team members demonstrating these traits include Mr. Sam Smith, former Manager of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action at IBM; Dr. Harold Belcher, former Corporate Diversity Consultant at SBC; and Ms. Kelly Thayer, formerly with the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI).
"Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself." - Chief Seattle
Community is another of the PRISM Values. Living the Community Value, PRISM team members give back their money, time, interest and talents to their community. On the right, the PRISM team provided labor and donations to The Foundation- a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that raises funds and in-kind donations for the Seminole County (FL) Public Schools.
"The future belongs to those who can blend passion, reason and courage in a personal commitment..." - Robert Francis Kennedy
Customer Focus, Quality, Respect and Honesty & Integrity conclude the remaining four PRISM Values. PRISM team members pledge a personal commitment to ensure that relationships demonstrate professionalism and caring and that communication with each other and with customers is clear and correct. PRISM team members exemplifying a high commitment to these values include Dr. Darshana V. Nadkarni, Dr. Christine A. King and Mr. Miguel Valenciano.
"It's not what you know, it's what you do with what you know." - Anonymous
PRISM's customers know that they are doing business with more than just a company. They are partnering with the PRISM Team - 40 Plus dedicated professionals who have demonstrated organizational diversity and cross cultural knowledge and experience, compassion and commitment to be the change that makes the difference.
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What our clients say...
"First and foremost, thanks again for the wonderful job you did in leading us through this difficult time. The feedback that I have received include (paraphrased): 'Linda is awesome!' 'I really appreciated the opportunity to reconnect on what happened in that April meeting and Linda did a great job in preparing us for similar situations that might happen in the future.' 'I am happy that we had this session.' 'The session exceeded my expectations!' 'The exercises were great and created a buzz.'"
"PRISM is a firm that works hard to actively listen to the needs of their customers. They realize that every organization approaches their diversity/inclusion efforts in a way that makes good sense for them. PRISM seeks to understand organizational goals and objectives, culture, business/ industry opportunities and challenges, and strategic priorities. This allows them to offer solutions that fit the unique environment and overall needs of each organization. They have the consulting expertise and integrity that makes them an excellent business partner"
"We partnered with PRISM to take our organization to the next level. It was a great decision. The PRISM team is extremely professional and we look forward to using their services again as we strive to increase workforce, workplace and marketplace performance"
Deutsche Financial Services
"I have found the PRISM team to bring a tremendous value through partnership that is built on trust and integrity when I need them. What I really value about PRISM is their professionalism coupled with seamless customer service and a great deal of flexibility to make working with them a very pleasant and rewarding experience!"
New York Life Insurance
"PRISM's emphasis on customer service and high quality facilitators has and will continue to have a positive impact on the work that we are doing."
"It has been a professional breath of fresh air to work with your organization."
Browne & Company
"PRISM delivers! The session materials, the facilitators, the overall quality, experience and professionalism of the entire PRISM team is why we have been a customer for over 5 years."
"During both our Women's Leadership and Multicultural Leadership Forums, PRISM's senior facilitators brought relevant messages delivered at the right energy level to engage, motivate and educate attendees. Their subject matter knowledge and flexibility supported our event managers' objectives. We think the forum attendees left with knowledge and skills they can use to continue to develop their careers with us."
"PRISM brought focus and alignment to our diversity process."
Siemens Business Services
"We wanted you to have one of these since you played such a big role to help Conectiv make great advances."
Conectiv Diversity Subcommittee "I Made A Difference" award given to a PRISM Project Manager