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Keynote presenters announced for Spark Summit in Watkins Glen

The Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce has announced Sady Alvarado-Fischer and Dr. Malika Carter as keynote speakers for the 2022 Spark Summit.

The Summit will be held on March 9, 2020, from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm at the Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel. This day-long event offers a fresh take on leadership and management development and is designed for leaders and shakers from all industries. The program includes two keynote presentations, several general sessions, and two moderated panel discussions: Communicating about Diversity: A Small Business Perspective and Women in Wine. Registration is open and online at

Finger Lakes Partners (Billboard)

Alvarado-Fischer is the Corporate Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, the 2022 Spark Summit presenting sponsor. In her keynote address, “Shake It Up – One Intentional Step at a Time,” she will offer tools and practical take-aways for assessing your organization’s internal capacity, readiness and culture for beginning diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) work, knowing that many organizations want to do the right thing, are committed to implementing DEI strategies, and are looking for ideas to start the process and find their “why.”

Alvarado-Fischer, CDP is known for her energy and passion around social justice issues. At Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, she develops, leads and executes the company’s DEI strategy. Alvarado-Fischer is entrusted with challenging the status quo and creating a welcoming and equitable work culture. Under her leadership, DEI went from one department’s job to everyone’s responsibility to apply what she calls an “I.D.E.A. Mindset.”

Carter is the Chief Diversity Officer at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. Her keynote address, “Centering Relationships & Self for Systems Change – Deeper Dive Discussion & Resource Share,” will consider how people and the relationships they foster drive systems, daily interactions, and can serve as barriers to equity and inclusion.

Carter has nearly two decades of experience developing policies and initiatives that address inclusion, diversity, and equity. She is the current chief executive officer of Passion4Pivot, a social justice consulting firm. Dr. Carter’s newest scholarly contribution is included in the book “Black Women and Social Justice Education: Legacies and Lessons.” She has earned awards for her efforts toward promoting equity, including the Harriet Tubman Freedom Fund Award on Juneteenth 2021, recognizing her extraordinary leadership and efforts to eradicate racial injustice, promote social equity, and advance and improve the community at large.