ACG NY Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Roundtable Series: Do You Want to Actually be Successful with Your Diversity Initiative?


Event Details


June 16, 2021 5 PM - 6:30 PM EDT

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ACG NY Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Roundtable Series:
Do You Want to Actually be Successful with Your Diversity Initiative?

M&A leaders and dealmakers are actively seeking opportunities to improve portfolio performance whilst providing
meaningful opportunities to diverse and female executives. Data suggests the two are not mutually exclusive.

The ACG NY DE&I Roundtable Series for members and invited guests will provide a forum for investors, be they LPs, GPs, VCs, Strategics, Family Offices and others on how they are proactively demonstrating DEI success within their allocations/portcos whilst driving returns. We will also hear from private equity & other investor backed organizations, sell side providers and industry leaders on their in-house DEI representation initiatives.

This Roundtable will cover:
• Learn the important role senior leaders and managers play in DE&I driven organizations
• Learn about the growing candidate supply/demand imbalance
• Understand the impact of culture on diversity staying versus leaving
• Understand the impact of bias and microaggressions on diversity initiatives
• Hear about the key steps needed to achieve DEI success across the M&A ecosystem


Peggy Bud

Peggy Bud

Communication Coach, Trainer, and Speaker
Founder, Speaking Skillfully

Peggy Bud, Founder of Speaking Skillfully, is a Communication Coach, Trainer, and Speaker. She uses her knowledge of cognitive neuroscience to teach effective communication strategies and techniques to clients who come from a variety of industries including: private equity firms, CPA firms, law firms, and software companies. She educates her clients on how to up their executive presence across all platforms, strengthen their non-verbal and verbal skills, and understand the power of active listening. Her motto is “It’s more than what you say; it’s how you say it.”

In recent years the demand for greater understanding among generations and diversity, inclusion and equity has focused her work on teaching her clients how to bridge the gender and generational communication divide and how bias and the bias of others impacts communication, decision-making, and relationships. Peggy has spoken and provided customized trainings on topics including: Understanding Unconscious Bias in Yourself and Others; Bridging the Gender and Generational Divide; Managing Workplace Conflict; The Art of Listening; Attributes of Effective Communication, and The Dos and Don’ts of On-line Communication.  She has spoken at national conferences, women’s summits, and for profit and not-for profit organizations.

Peggy has a Bachelor of Science from Indiana University and a Master of Science and 6th year Certificate in Educational Leadership from Southern Connecticut State University. She is a licensed speech/language pathologist and school administrator. After 25+ years in public education, she launched Speaking Skillfully. Peggy is the Director of Recruitment for The Financial Executives Consulting Group, a member of the Leadership Team of The Financial Executives Networking Group and on the Board of Directors of Bridge Academy, a charter school in Bridgeport, Connecticut. 

Julia Karol

Julia Karol

Watermill Group
President and COO

Julia Karol is President and COO of Watermill Group. She is the founder of WMX, Watermill’s initiative to accelerate change by investing in gender diverse teams with a vision to build enduring businesses. She is responsible for overall firm operations and helping Watermill portfolio companies develop and implement their strategies. Previously, as a Watermill Principal, Julia helped guide the day-to-day operations of the firm, directed the firm’s investor relations and managed fundraising initiatives for acquisitions.

Prior to joining Watermill, Julia worked at Jumpstart, a national nonprofit organization. While at Jumpstart, she managed Boston-area fundraising, coordinated communication and marketing efforts, cultivated partnerships, developed alumni relations programming, and oversaw staff recruitment efforts.

Julia currently serves as a Partner with Social Venture Partners Boston, a venture philanthropy organization which connects Boston’s most promising nonprofits with the money and minds to fuel their success. Julia has served as a Mentor for Endeavor, a global high-impact entrepreneurship movement and that promotes economic growth and job creation. She also serves as a member for the Budget and Administration Committee for Combined Jewish Philanthropies. Previously, Julia founded and served as board chair for the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network in Boston. Julia is a member of ACG Boston and the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and has been named as one of the Most Influential Women in Mid-Market M&A by Mergers and Acquisitions Magazine for three consecutive years. In 2019, Julia received the Women of Influence Award from ACG Boston and was named one of Boston Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 honorees. In 2017, Julia was named an Emerging Leader by the M&A Advisor.

She received a M.A. in Education Policy, Organization and Leadership from Stanford University, completed the Owners, Presidents, Managers program at Harvard Business School, and the Summer Institute for Entrepreneurship at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and earned a B.A. from Tufts University

Joseph Logan

Joseph Logan

Pinnacle Group

Joseph Logan is the President of Pinnacle Group, an executive recruiting firm focused on serving the alternative investment community for over 30 years.  They source exceptional candidates for private equity firms, debt funds, family offices, asset management platforms, endowments, and foundations.  Pinnacle Group has developed long-term relationships with clients and candidates based on trust, confidentiality, integrity and professionalism.

Tanisha Wicker

Tanisha Wicker

Smile Brands Inc.
Senior Vice President, Human Resources

Tanisha Wicker is an undeniably dynamic force and leader widely recognized and respected by her peers for pioneering lasting transformation in Human Resources. Driven by her desire to be the change she hopes to see in this space, she combines her track record of strategic-planning excellence with an intrinsic ability to effectively execute impactful HR initiatives that help shape an ever-changing landscape.

In a career spanning over two decades, Tanisha has been a long-time champion of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). With renewed emphasis and enthusiasm regarding the importance of DEI in business, Tanisha is a highly sought-after thought-leader and expert in helping to redefine antiquated narratives that saw DEI only as an adjunct to organizational strategy as opposed to the centerpiece it unequivocally is.

Tanisha's thoughtful approach to identifying organizational goals and rallying her team around that shared vision speaks to the ineffable qualities that make her the charismatic leader she is. She has established a career and outstanding reputation around her capacity to create environments that help people bring out the best in themselves and each other. Tanisha has taken the traditional view of what it means to be a great leader and expanded it to include radical transparency through inclusion, compassionate advocacy, mentorship, and servant leadership. She has become one of the most prevalent names in discussions of change-makers leading the charge to ensure that Human Resources and DEI remain at the forefront of thriving and successful company cultures.


Moderator, Elise Chowdhry

Optimum Advisors
Managing Principal

Elise is the Founder and Managing Principal of Optimum Advisors LLC, a management and strategic consulting firm focused on partnering with senior leadership of middle market private firms and operating companies to create high performance cultures and achieve operational excellence. Prior to founding Optimum Advisors, Elise was a Managing Director at CIT Group, where she held both investment and management positions in Corporate Finance and at CIT Bank. Elise began her career at Arthur Andersen & Co. but soon launched into middle market private equity finance, where she spent over two decades working with and investing in lower middle market companies. Prior to CIT, Elise worked at institutions including Heller Financial, J.H. Whitney & Co., and Fleet Financial.

Elise received a M.B.A. in Finance from NYU's Stern School of Business, a M.S. in Professional Accounting from the University of Hartford, and a B.A. from Bates College. She is a Society for Human Resource Management Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP), a Certified Public Accountant (inactive), and Certified on Hogan Personality Assessments. She also serves as an ACG-NY Board Member and is the Chair of ACG-NY Marketing Committee.

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Hosted by: ACG
New York

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Please contact ACG New York with questions.

Pricing: Complimentary

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