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A Chat with Jason Daniels of JAYRAMON, LLC


Zahra Aprili (The Truth Reporter):           

I was there and I was very motivated by what went on during the conference. What are your and Kelli’s take away from the conference, things that you are looking forward to and just your overall impression of the conference and how JAYRAMON, LLC. was able to execute? 

Jason and Kelli Daniels


Jason Daniels:

Kelli and I were really pleased with everything from the attendance as well as what the speakers were able to deliver in terms of not just a conversation about diversity and inclusion, but a conversation about how African Americans can build upon their professional journeys. And how allies, people who are not African American but other races can assist us in moving forward professionally within our careers and our companies.


We are most excited about the support that we received from companies by way of sponsorships. We had well over 20 companies though out the region as well as throughout the state of Ohio who participated in this conference. I think those companies stand at the forefront of what it means to partner with the L.I.F.T. Conference and with JAYRAMON and at the end of the day we believe those companies support the idea that African Americans should be supported in moving forward professionally in their careers and those are companies to me that stand out as Leaders in the community and also serve as Allies.


We have a number of companies like O-I and The Blade, as well as, Marco’s Pizza, the Toledo City Paper, organizations whom I would call our anchor institutions in the community. They have been around for a long period of time and they have seen a lot and for them to partner with us is a tremendous opportunity for us and also a tremendous opportunity for the participants.


All of our speakers, who joined us, had a different message but a similar one. I think those messages were to keep investing in yourself professionally. Also making sure, for the people that were there, they [the speakers] were very real in sharing not only research and data, but they were also real in sharing their experiences about what it takes to be a solid standout professional at work and in the community.


We are really excited about is what we are going to do next. We are in the process, with the help of some of our current sponsors, of moving this conversation forward. This conversation about professionalism, professional etiquette and also leveraging data. Leveraging the research to create a solid career roadmap that is advantageous for anyone who wants to apply this work that we are moving forward in.


Professional development for anyone, the tools that we shared at this conference and that the speakers and the panelist shared, were tools for everyone. The ability for everybody to come to the table, a highly diverse crowd or group of attendees and participants. All of them, because it was not about race, but all of them coming to the table to say we learned something. Many people walked out and showed me multiple pages of notes that they had taken from various sectors both sponsors, as well as, individual attendees. I believe that they [ sponsor and attendees] learn a lot. I believe that we had a vision to create a conference that was heavy on really good content and we believe that we delivered on those results.


Z:         From what I took away, it was not just the conversation, but it was the cohesiveness of the conversation across all of the panels. I know that this presenter probably did not speak with this other presenter, but they filled in the blanks for each other so seamlessly. Then on top of that the participation of the sponsors that were there. The sponsors were not just there to say, we are here, they were active and participants in the conversation. I think that was really awesome for us, the young professionals that were in the building, that also we were able to sit down and have these conversation with people and feel a validation that our voice actually matters because they are listening as well.




We were highly intentional about the type of conversation that would take place. When we chose speakers, we chose speakers who were A+ in their professions and we chose individuals who have a heart for advocacy and for being allies for people of color and other groups that function within organizations. Part of why you witness some of that seamlessness, I call it the thread or line that kept running through every conversation, is because those are professional that understand the importance of what it means to make sure that we have a diverse and inclusive workforce. We created a conference that even though it says that it is for African-American professionals, the allies part is really the anchor to the conversations that took place and the heart of why the conference was successful and will be successful.


When you have an African-American conference yet a third of your speakers are not African American that says something. We wanted to create a conference that reflected what the workplace looks like today. It would not have been fair to bring just African Americans to the table to have a conversation, almost behind closed doors, about how we strategize to move forward.  We know that it takes partnerships to do that and it takes our other allies at the table, that can learn alongside of us and then when we get back to the office recognize, after having been given even more tools, how they can help advance a workplace culture that is, as you said, seamlessly diverse and inclusive and gives all of us the ability to work together and work toward an end result that is –We are all professionals in the workplace and we are all advancing and leveraging our gifts and our talents to do so.



            Can you give us a glimpse of what happens next, how do we advance this conversation?



The conversation will continue, we created the conference as a platform to move this conversation forward, not just in this area or this regional. But throughout multiple states throughout the United States. So conference is the beginning of a conversation that happens not just with the LIFT conference but with other leadership series opportunities. The biggest thing that I can say in terms of what’s next here is I invite organizations, people and corporations to contact us if they are willing to bring this type of dialogue to their workplaces. Our company has trained facilitators and presenters who can facilitate these conversations and create these dialogues in various workplaces for organizations. We welcome those opportunities.


We also want to be intentional about working with and alongside of leaders who are both leading organizations as well as those who are in the diversity/inclusion space, who want to have more of a dialogue where we can come together and share resources and figure out how we collectively drive this conversation in our [workplace] communities and also in communities or organizations where their sole purpose is to help advance African American, Latino American or LGBT groups throughout the community. Ultimately as those community groups grow and build, as we’re working together, we can help them have a voice, build coalitions within their work place and many companies are already wanting to do this, they just don’t know who to go about doing it. We would not say we are the end result to whatever their goal is, to create a diverse and inclusive workforce. We want to be the group that brings the conversation and brings other experts and folks who are willing to have the conversation, like we did at the L. I. F. T. Conference, to those places of work to begin the conversation, so they can do the real work.



JAYRAMONLLC leaders and conference hosts Jason and Kelli Daniels, president and chief operating officer and vice president of operations, have a defined record of leadership excellence, consulting with people and organizations to grow leadership effectiveness, scale impact, grow local and national partnerships and advance philanthropic effectiveness. JAYRAMON.COM @jayramonllc @LIFT2017Midwest




Copyright © 2017 by [The Sojourner's Truth]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 08/16/18 14:12:33 -0700.

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