Thank You for Celebrating Excellence in Workforce Development!

Thank you to everyone who attended the 3rd Annual Workforce Excellence Summit! Your presence and participation made the event truly special. Together, we are rising, igniting opportunities, and paving the way for a more equitable and prosperous workforce.




3rd Annual Workforce Excellence Summit
Thursday, May 16, 2024
8:30am – 1:00pm

Zoo Atlanta
800 Cherokee Ave SE
Atlanta, GA 30315

Congratulations to our 2024 Workforce Excellence Award Winners!

We celebrate the remarkable organizations and companies for your outstanding achievements, innovation, and dedication to help shape the future of workforce. You inspire us all to strive for excellence and continue making a positive impact in workforce development.

View All 2024 Nominees!

The Cinda Herndon-King Award for Excellence in Workforce Partnerships

The Cinda Herndon-King Award for Excellence in Workforce Partnerships award reflects the excellence of Cinda’s work and honors an organization that has demonstrated innovation in creating collaborative, employer-driven career training programs in our metro Atlanta region. The organization we honor creates family-sustaining wage opportunities and career pathways, and champions economic mobility.

2024 WINNER: The Coalition – Clean Energy Partnership

The Coalition is a partnership of over 15 organizations and companies working to prepare for clean energy transition and infrastructure that will result in thousands of jobs and ensure equitable opportunities are available for our residents and neighbors who have historically been marginalized and underrepresented in the industry. In January 2024, the first track of the pilot for Electric Vehicle Charging Station Field Technicians launched its first cohort of 15 participants to much fanfare at the Plugging In Event. After just 4 weeks, all 15 graduated, all 15 passed their certification, and all 15 were interviewed by 6 employers at the ready to hire on the final day of class. A 100% success rate starting out. The partners are ramping up and fully funded to train 235 more in Metro Atlanta over the coming years.


The Doug Hooker Award for Excellence in Workforce Equity

The Doug Hooker Award for Equity in Workforce recognizes businesses, organizations and partnerships bringing together employers, education and workforce development entities, and economic development organizations as a key economic driver to achieve a more equitable workforce.

2024 WINNER: The BIG Partnership – Business and Immigration for Georgia

BIG is the first and only partnership of its kind in Georgia that is working to address workforce gaps by maximizing the global talent in Georgia’s ever-growing refugee and immigrant communities. In a few short years, BIG has made remarkable progress, raising awareness about Georgia’s untapped global talent, building partnerships across parties, sectors, and the metro-rural divide. They have worked to advance needed policy change, including bipartisan legislation to expand access to in-state tuition for refugee and other forcibly displaced students and to streamline the pathway to licensure for experienced physicians from the state’s refugee and immigrant communities.

The Mike Kenig Award for Excellence in Quality Careers

The Mike Kenig Award for Excellence in Quality Careers recognizes high performing businesses that have risen to workforce challenges by implementing innovative practices and strategies in support of their employees to create high quality jobs and workplaces. The employers recognized with this award have a track record of strong engagement and interest supporting workforce initiatives through partnerships, career pathways, and professional development.

2024 WINNER: Elevance Health

Elevance Health has led the way as an innovative, equity-focused employer with its Information Technology Apprenticeship Program. The Elevance Health IT Apprenticeship program is a 5-year, paid, competency-based technical training program that provides professional development support for each apprentice and a direct career pipeline into the Elevance Health IT workforce. This impressive program creates paid on-the-job learning opportunities for foster youth to flourish in a high-paying career pathway. With a wide array of wraparound services and individual coaching, Elevance sets its apprentices up for success through human-centric HR practices and community partner collaboration.

Workforce Excellence Summit Program

Keynote Speaker

Igniting Opportunity for Strong Communities

Kechi Kwizera
Senior Vice President & Director, Workforce Development National Strategy and Execution at Bank of America

Blazing Pathways to Equity and Opportunity for Workers

Panel Discussion

Rudi Pangad
Director of Equity@Work
Dr. Alex Camardelle
Vice President of Policy and Research at the Atlanta Wealth Building Initiative
Bree O. Davis, MPA
Founder of CEO, Synergy Specialty Solutions, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Brown Logistics Solutions, Inc. and The BLS Foundation, Inc.
Carmen Seda
Vice President National Sales at Randstad US
Jenny Taylor
Vice President, Career Services and Chief Mission Officer at Goodwill of North Georgia

Fueling Potential: Insights on Inclusive Hiring and Support

Panel Discussion

Nate Futrell
Industry Partnerships Director
Tonya Alexander
HR Business Partner at Essendant
Jairo de Jesus
Senior Director of Operations at Sugar Bowl Bakery
Breezy Straton
Vice President of Economic Development at Elevate Douglas

Remarks from TCSG


Greg Dozier
Commissioner of the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG)

The Doug Hooker Award for Excellence in Workforce Equity

Award Presenters

Doug Hooker
Chief Executive Officer of Atlanta Connector Park
Ann Cramer
Senior Consultant at Coxe Curry & Associates

The Mike Kenig Award for Excellence in Quality Careers

Award Presenters

Mike Kenig
Workforce Development Advocate and Reformer
Patrick Smith
Regional Community Relations Manager at UPS

The Cinda Herndon-King Award for Excellence in Workforce Partnerships

Award Presenters

Cinda Herndon-King
Workforce Development and Economic Opportunity Advocate
Chris Pumphrey
President of Elevate Douglas Economic Partnership

Rising Together, Leveraging Connections

Closing Remarks

Beth Lowry
Board Chair - President at Holder Construction

Our Sponsor

Thank you to our 2024 Workforce Excellence Summit Sponsor!