Press Releases

JEDCO, Jefferson Chamber to host webinar on diversity, equity & inclusion in the workplace

(Avondale, LA) –  This year, businesses and organizations across the country have re-examined their workplace policies and taken important steps forward in their commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. There has been a renewed movement to understand and develop strong, actionable strategies that will create safe, equitable working environments for all employees. JEDCO and the Jefferson Chamber of Commerce want to deepen conversations about race and inclusivity in the workplace as we head into the New Year.

That’s why JEDCO and the Jefferson Chamber of Commerce teamed up with The Slone Group to host a Prosper Jefferson Panel on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Workplace.  The event will be held via Zoom on Wednesday, December 9th, at 10:00 am. This panel of local experts will dissect this essential subject matter and offer their expert advice and unique perspectives to help your business create safe, inclusive workplaces that provide opportunities for all. Moderated by The Slone Group Founder and President Ronnie Slone, this panel will provide information on the following:

  • How to implement best practices, policies and procedures to ensure racial equality, inclusivity and diversity in the workplace
  • How to ensure that you are creating a safe, open workplace
  • How to create equal opportunity for all employees
  • How to make our community more equitable and inclusive moving forward


After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. This seminar is free and open to the public. It will be recorded and shared on the JEDCO and Jefferson Chamber websites following the event.


MODERATOR: Ronnie Slone, Founder and President
The Slone Group

Ronnie Slone is the founder and president of The Slone Group, an organizational development and training consulting firm based in the Greater New Orleans area. Ronnie has over 30 years of experience in operations management, human resources, training and professional staffing with Fortune 500 companies and small businesses alike.

Ronnie is also a faculty member of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program at Delgado Community College and the national cohorts at Babson College.

A passionate community leader, Ronnie strives to develop organizations , support a ready workforce by preparing youth for life after graduation and help create communities where citizens can live, work and raise a family. He has contributed to numerous organizations in the Greater New Orleans area as a community volunteer, including Jefferson Chamber of Commerce, GNO, Inc., City Park New Orleans, CASA Jefferson, River Region Chamber of Commerce, and Louisiana Board of Commerce and Industry. Most recently, he served as the Interim Director for Trinity Community Center located in Hollygrove New Orleans.

Germaine Townsend, Diversity Director
NOLA Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM-CP)

Germaine Townsend is a Certified Professional with the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM-CP) and an active member of both national and local SHRM organizations. Her professional career started in sales and marketing and after 10 years, she made a career change. With over 6 years of experience in a variety of HR functional areas, she successfully uses her human resources background and a blend of experience in various industries to affect positive change in the organizations where she works.

She is passionate about promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace and serves on the NOLA SHRM Board as Diversity Director. She launched the organization’s first Diversity and Inclusion Book Club with the intent to proactively engage HR Professionals in dialogue that will prepare them to facilitate conversations around sensitive topics.

Germaine lives in Houma, Louisiana and has been working in the New Orleans area for 6 years. The diverse culture, local atmosphere, and genuine hospitality of the city have captured her heart.

Dr. Monica R. Sylvain, Founder & CEO
Monica Sylvain Consulting LLC

Monica is the Founder and CEO of Monica Sylvain Consulting LLC, a management consulting firm and trusted advisor of diversity, equity and inclusion strategy and execution. She has nearly 30 years of proven experience leading in financial services, commodity chemicals, higher education, and the not-for-profit sector. In her prior role as the inaugural Chief Diversity Officer at IBERIABANK, Monica was the strategic thought leader for the enterprise-wide diversity, equity, and inclusion vision that she expertly integrated into business objectives and operational cadence. Over the course of her career, she has honed expertise in corporate social responsibility, ESG, board diversification, inclusive culture transformation, and identification & retention of diverse talent.

Sylvain has won numerous awards and is a highly sought-after consultant, speaker, and coach. Most recently, she has been a featured speaker at the Women Empowerment Conversations – River Region Chamber of Commerce, Leadership River Region, NOLA Association for Talent Development, Consumer Bankers Association, American Bankers Association, and the Louisiana Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Diversity and Inclusion Summit. In 2019, she was honored by Savoy magazine as one of the Most Influential Women in Corporate America.

Dr. Sylvain earned her Analytical Chemistry Ph.D. with honors from Louisiana State University and graduated at the top of her class receiving her B.S. in Chemical Engineering magna cum laude from Howard University.


Karl Weber, Vice President of Public Affairs
Louisiana Division of Atmos Energy Corporation

Karl Weber is Vice President of Public Affairs for the Louisiana Division of Atmos Energy Corporation, the nation’s largest fully regulated, natural gas-only distributor of safe, clean, efficient and affordable energy. An S&P 500 company headquartered in Dallas, Atmos Energy serves more than 3 million distribution customers in over 1,400 communities located in eight states. In Louisiana, he acts as the division’s strategic leader in building relationships, and engaging community, business, and governmental stakeholders throughout the state.

Karl is active in various corporate initiatives, industry and community associations, and at his church. Locally, he is a board member of the New Orleans Regional Leadership Institute (NORLI), and the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce.

A native of New Orleans, Karl grew up on the West Bank and attended West Jefferson High School.  He has a Bachelor of Applied Science in Organizational Behavior from Loyola University of New Orleans, and master’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication, with a concentration in public relations from Kent State University.

When not being “public,” Karl enjoys photography, astronomy, cooking, music, and spending time with his wife, Latishia, their four children and six grandchildren, and their dog Mocha.