Local Leaders. Global Impact.

10th Annual Local Leaders Global Impact Speaker Series

Thought Leadership is Back with New Topics

Northeastern University–Charlotte is celebrating its 10th Annual Local Leaders Global Impact Speaker Series. Since 2012, the program has highlighted important topics that have a local, national, and global impact. Join us this year for stimulating discussions featuring local experts and globally renowned Northeastern faculty and researchers.


2021-2022 Series Topics

Innovation Meets Healthcare: Reimagining Modern Health Services

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Our spring LLGI featured a thought-provoking discussion with experts in entrepreneurship and strategic innovation. Through creative approach, these leaders are transforming modern health care to deliver better access and quality service. They shared examples of how collaboration and creativity in the healthcare industry can improve lives, and they offered ideas on how partnerships can inspire a healthier community.

Angela Hosking, CEO and Dean of Northeastern University–Charlotte, gave welcome remarks, followed by a panel discussion with Becky Fox, Vice President, Chief Nursing Informatics Officer, Atrium Health; Paula Kranz, Executive Director, Novant Health Innovation Lab; Mike Vander Baan, Chief Strategy Officer, StarMed Healthcare; and Dr. Carmen Sceppa, Dean, Bouvé College of Health Sciences, Northeastern University. Caroline Hudson of the Charlotte Business Journal moderated the discussion.

Path Toward Healing: A conversation around building equity in Charlotte’s healthcare community

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

This fall, Northeastern University–Charlotte brought three leaders together for the “Path Toward Healing: A conversation around building equity in Charlotte’s healthcare community.” With the recent announcement of North Carolina’s first chief health equity officer as well as the healthcare challenges throughout the pandemic, there is a renewed focus on health equity. However, the question of what can be done to ensure everyone has a fair and just opportunity to attain their full health potential – regardless of their social position or socially determined circumstances – has been top of mind for Charlotte’s healthcare leaders for years.

On Wednesday, November 17, Northeastern University’s Senior Vice Provost and Chief Inclusion Officer Karl Reid was joined by Tanya Blackmon, EVP and Chief Diversity, Inclusion and Equity Officer at Novant Health; and Gibbie Harris, Mecklenburg County Public Health Director; to discuss health equity – what has been done, where we are now, and what the path toward healing looks like for all residents of the metro Charlotte community. The conversation was moderated by Mike Collins, host of WFAE’s “Charlotte Talks.”

The live event was recorded and aired the following day, Thursday, November 18, 2021, on “Charlotte Talks.” You can access the recording on WFAE’s website.


2020-2021 Series Topics

Women Who Empower: Mentorship & Mobilization

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

In celebration of International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, Northeastern University–Charlotte hosted a special Local Leaders Global Impact thought leadership event featuring Women Who Empower: Mentorship & Mobilization.

Panelists included Tiffany M. Allen, Executive Director of EmpowHERment; and Nicole Wild Merl, MS’16, Northeastern University Alumna and Co-Founder of Women Voters USA. From entrepreneurship to advocacy, these champions have worked with girls and women of all ages to create gender equality and opportunity. The discussion covered how they became involved in mentoring and mobilizing, and the many ways that women can empower their community.

Why Zip Codes Matter: The Pursuit of Economic Mobility in Charlotte

Thursday, October 22, 2020

In 2014, a Harvard study found that out of 50 major metro areas in the U.S., Charlotte ranked last for economic mobility. The research, led by economist Raj Chetty, determined that neighborhoods significantly impacted one’s education, health, and opportunity to rise out of poverty. More than five years later, have we made any strides toward improved outcomes in our community?

At this LLGI, Northeastern and local leaders discussed how they are helping individuals tackle the challenges that stem from racially and economically segregated neighborhoods. Panelists included Rodrick Banks, VP, Senior Community Relations Consultant, Social Impact & Sustainability, Wells Fargo; Elise Ford, Director, Year Up Charlotte; Molly Smith, PhD, Associate Dean, Opportunity Pathway Programs, Northeastern University; and Nicolette Aduama, Associate Director, Opportunity Pathway Programs, Northeastern University.

Breaking Barriers for Better Health

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Not all patients have access to their electronic health records, which hinders them from making informed decisions about their own health. Physicians and public health organizations are faced with similar obstacles that consume time and money, such as having to manually gather data from multiple sources. Healthcare Informatics seeks to reduce those delays and produce life-saving solutions.

Breaking Barriers for Better Health featured two leaders in this groundbreaking profession—Becky Fox, Chief Nursing Information Officer at Atrium Health; and Mary Kennedy, Healthcare Informatics Lecturer at Northeastern University.

As nurses, Fox and Kennedy both risked stepping out of the traditional clinical environment to meld with the world of technology, breaking barriers to improve healthcare outcomes. They shared their experiences of becoming change agents in the field and how the expansion of healthcare informatics can lead to a more informed patient and, ultimately, healthier society.


2019-2020 Series Topics

Beyond the Game: Reimagining the Sports Fan Experience in 2020

Wednesday, July 22

As the sports world contends with a season in flux, one thing remains constant: fans are ready to engage. Yet without a live audience, how can sports teams deliver quality entertainment and keep consumers connected this year?

At this event, Kate Hussmann, Senior Director of Strategy and Innovation, Hornets Sports and Entertainment, and Jeff Konya, Director of Athletics and Recreation, Northeastern University, offered their plans to reimagine the fan experience, respectively, from a professional and collegiate sports perspective. Our discussion covered the Charlotte Hornets’ 2K League: Hornets Venom GT, building a 360-degree fan experience through virtual reality, Northeastern’s Division 1 Esports Varsity Program, and the future of competitive gaming.

Through innovative technology, such as VR, AR, and esports, the next generation of sports entertainment aims to keep fans engaged from any location.

AI for Home & Personal Improvement

Wednesday, April 29

Advances in smart technology allow us to run the vacuum, change the temperature, or lock our front door miles away from home. And without lifting a finger, we can turn on lights or play our favorite song with a simple voice command. From FaceTime to Fitbits, technology has enabled consumers to live more convenient lives and access vast amounts of data that keep us informed.

In this virtual forum, we learned about types of Artificial Intelligence and what’s next in its evolution with our featured speaker, Seemantini Godbole, Executive VP and CIO of Lowe’s Home Improvement. Our discussion covered consumer trends in AI, how companies are using AI to predict consumer patterns, how Lowe’s is advancing technology in the home improvement sector, and the ethics of AI in home and personal use.

AI in Today’s Workplace

Wednesday, April 15

A recent study found that 60% of U.S. companies expect to be using AI or advanced automation to support efficiency in operations, staffing, budgeting or performance by 2022 (Genesys). As AI tools and bots continue to become more commonplace in the office, it is more important than ever that these machines and humans work together to accomplish daily tasks.

In this webinar, technology experts helped us explore how AI is being used to refine business processes—from deeper customer insight to driving employee productivity—as well as inform and keep workspaces secure. Panelists included Brian Cesca, Senior Director, East Region, IRONSCALES; and Uwe Hohgrawe, PhD, Faculty Director Analytics & Enterprise Intelligence, Professor of the Practice, College of Professional Studies, Northeastern University.

Women Who Empower Mind & Body: Experiencing the Heart in Artificial Intelligence (Video)

Wednesday, February 26

In celebration of International Women’s Day, Northeastern University–Charlotte hosted a special Local Leaders Global Impact thought leadership event with Women Who Empower. We heard from a distinguished panel of women who are modernizing how we experience health care. These trailblazers express the “heart” in digital technology and artificial intelligence by creating thoughtful, resourceful ways to manage our health. Participants learned about innovative technologies that can improve their personal experience—from transforming patient engagement and healthcare systems to promoting wellness and healthy aging.

Panelists included Angela Yochem, Executive Vice President, Chief Digital & Technology Officer at Novant Health; and Holly Jimison, PhD, FACMI, Director of the Consortium on Technology for Proactive Care and Professor in the Khoury College of Computer Sciences/Bouvé College of Health Sciences at Northeastern University.

Charlotte 2040: How the Queen City Is Planning for Growth Over the Next Two Decades (video)

Tuesday, September 24

From greenways and ballparks to housing and transit, Charlotte is regarded as a well-planned City and that’s not by chance. Beginning with the Odell Plan in the 1960s, the Queen City has a 50-year tradition of a creating a new Center City plan every 10 years to provide a blueprint for long term growth and development. The last was adopted in 2011.

To ensure the Queen City continues on the right development path, Charlotte Center City Partners and the City of Charlotte have embarked on 2040 vision planning efforts. Panelists Michael Smith, CEO, Charlotte Center City Partners; and Taiwo Jaiyeoba, Assistant City Manager and Planning Director, City of Charlotte; discussed what’s next and how the community can engage. Dan O’Brien, PhD, Associate Professor of Public Policy and Urban Affairs, Northeastern University, offered ways that researchers, policymakers, and practitioners can work together to leverage Big Data to better understand and serve cities.

FinTech Success: The LendingTree Story (video)

Wednesday, October 30

Well known as the second largest banking center in the U.S., Charlotte has also earned the reputation of a FinTech and entrepreneurial hub, thanks to incubators and success stories born here. Perhaps one of the greatest examples is LendingTree.

In a fireside chat, our featured speaker, Doug Lebda, CEO of LendingTree, discussed the company’s journey and Charlotte’s FinTech community. After experiencing the frustrations and complexities of getting his first mortgage, Lebda envisioned a way to empower consumers in the loan process where banks compete for the customers’ business. In 1996, he founded LendingTree, which revolutionized how consumers shop for loans and how lenders reach new customers.

Dr. Karthik Krishnan, Northeastern University associate professor of finance in the D’Amore-McKim School of Business, also offered insights into the world of entrepreneurial and corporate finance.

The discussion was moderated by Dan Roselli, co-founder and managing director of QueenCity Fintech. Both QueenCity Fintech and Carolina Fintech Hub were sponsors of the event.

Progressive Companies that Drive Innovation (video)

Thursday, November 21 

Innovation is inspired by a need to transform or change the way we do things. It’s why companies develop new products or aim to update an old process. To achieve these goals and more, businesses are creating innovation centers–a space for reinventing themselves, to test ideas, and stay at the leading edge.

On November 21, leaders from Duke Energy, EY, and Northeastern, explored the advantages of Innovation Centers, both locally and abroad, including the impact of AI and digital transformation on innovation. They further advised how companies use innovation as a driver for every aspect of the workplace, including talent acquisition, productivity, R&D, and retention.

Panelists included:

  • Richard Donaldson, Managing Director of Digital Transformation, Duke Energy
  • Bermon Painter, Director of Innovation & Strategy, EY wavespace™
  • Jody Porter, Director of Nuclear Organizational & Leadership Development, Duke Energy
  • Dr. Raj Echambadi, Dunton Family Dean, D’Amore-McKim School of Business, Northeastern University


2018-2019 Series Topics

Everything I Know About Leadership I Learned From Sports (Video)

September 2018 – Northeastern University–Charlotte

Kendall Alley, Regional President, Wells Fargo

Robert Prior, Associate Teaching Professor, Master of Sports Leadership at Northeastern

Cyberthreats, Ransom, and a Community’s Choice (Video)

October 2018 – Northeastern University–Charlotte

> Dena Diorio, Mecklenburg County Manager

Craig Froelich, Chief Information Security Officer, Bank of America

> Mike Holland, Executive Vice President of Client Relations, Fortalice Solutions

> John Manferdelli, Executive Director of the Cybersecurity and Privacy Institute at Northeastern

Weathering Storms: Economic Shifts and Natural Disasters (Video)

October 2018 – Northeastern University–Charlotte

Stephen Flynn, Founding Director of the Global Resilience Institute at Northeastern University

Authentic Learning in the Workplace: Upskilling Employees

November 2018 – Northeastern University–Charlotte

> Rashid Mosley, Assistant Teaching Professor at Northeastern University’s Graduate School of Education

The Role of HR Professionals in Employee Career Advancement (Video)

November 2018 – The Employers Association

> Martha Seidel, Life Long Learner

> Bruce Johnson, Associate Dean, CPCC

> Kemi Jona, Lowell Institute, Northeastern University

Value of Educational Credentials in the Workplace (Video)

January 2019 – Northeastern University–Charlotte

> Theresa Tommey, Learning and Development Human Resources Learning Executive, Bank of America

> Tom Mathews, Human Resources Consultant

> Laura Hampton, Vice President, The Employers Association

> Sean Gallagher, Center for the Future of Higher Education and Talent Strategy, Northeastern University

Women Who Empower (Partnership with Pride magazine) (Video)

March 2019 – Northeastern University–Charlotte

> Philly Mantella, CEO Lifelong Learning, Northeastern University

> Regina Wharton, Senior Vice President, Human Resources, Fifth Third Bank

> Corliss Thompson, Associate Teaching Professor, Graduate School of Education, Northeastern University

> Dee Dixon, President and Publisher, Pride Communications

Top 10 Trends in Data Privacy (Partnership with Carolina International Arbitration Society)

March 2019 – Northeastern University–Charlotte

> Woody Hartzog, Professor of Law and Computer Science, Northeastern University

> Allen O’Rourke, C0-Chair of the Privacy and Cybersecurity Team, Womble Bond Dickinson LLP

Building and Sustaining Innovative Businesses

April 2019 – Northeastern University–Charlotte

> Raj Echambadi, Dunton Family Dean, D’Amore-McKim School of Business, Northeastern University

The Future of Nursing: Optimizing Healthcare Access and Quality

May 22 – Northeastern University–Charlotte

> Janet Rico, Assistant Dean of the School of Nursing at Northeastern University

> Colleen Hole, Vice President of Clinical Integration in Population Health at Atrium Health

Speakers From Past Series Include

Fred Whitfield, President and Vice Chairman of the Charlotte Hornets

Michael Dukakis, Former Presidential Nominee and Governor

Ron Kimble, Former Deputy City Manager

John Silvia, Wells Fargo Economist

Michael Vaccaro, Chief Nursing Officer, Novant Health