Harper Slade, is named in honor of our CEO’s paternal grandmother, Lenora Harper Robinson and maternal grandmother, Ernestine Johnson Slade who were both trailblazing women in their communities, in their workplaces and in their homes. Both of these stalwart mavericks were VERY much about the business of being black and assured their children, our CEO’s parents, were similarly focused. The lens through which our CEO views racial equity is very much derived from the legacy of her grandmothers and her parents.
Ernestine Johnson Slade
Lenora Harper Robinson
Nikki’s experience includes serving as senior vice president –Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, Personnel Cabinet Secretary for the Commonwealth of Kentucky (youngest and first black female gubernatorial appointee to this post), Chief Human Resources Officer for Charter Schools USA (FL), Vice Chancellor of Human Resources for Maricopa Community Colleges (AZ), Senior HR Executive, Philip Morris USA (VA) and Georgia-Pacific Corp. (GA) and other positions in both the health care and legal fields.
Having eighteen years as an HR executive and employment attorney, Nikki is experienced in driving accelerated cultural change in public and private sectors, creating and implementing innovative organizational development, inspiring commitment to vision, experience in OD, Leadership Design and Delivery, EEO/AA, Labor Relations, Employment Law, Employee Relations, Training and Development, strategic planning, recruitment and retention, and labor negotiations.
She has worked in more than ten (10) sectors including manufacturing, consulting, consumer goods, health care, media, law, government, higher education, and banking, and has led organizations in both the public and private sector. Through her work and strong local and national board memberships, Nikki is recognized as an accomplished thought leader in progressive HR strategies and in advancing diversity, equity, inclusion and anti-racism, corporately and civically.
She enjoys a strong and credible personal brand where she exudes relatability, accessibility, and diplomacy in her engagements with stakeholders from varied backgrounds.
Jerese loves to apply responsive design principles to every facet of her human capital work. She is fueled by impactful work that will yield transformational results for organizations and generations that will come after. With a Bachelor’s in Management and a Master’s in Adult Education, her specialties include training, coaching, employee engagement, employee skill assessment and enhancement, programming, problem solving, responsive design principles, system optimization, change management, conflict resolution, and business model conceptualization. Jerese is a HR Professional who thrives on helping others, paying it forward and going above and beyond with each and every task. Enthusiastic about growing and gaining new skills along the way, Jerese values learning from others, forging genuine connections, and hearing about other people's passions and how to help. She also believes in getting stuff done but smiling, laughing, and even dancing along the way! Jerese believes that DEI, especially racial equity, is integral part of an organization’s success.
Jaeden Thomas joins the Harper Slade Team with a background in education and curriculum development, non-profits and community-driven work, farming, food, environmental and land justice work, and multiculturalism. Jaeden was raised in San Antonio, Texas, a city with a long and culturally rich and diverse history. Prior to her undergraduate studies, she took her love of people and education with her to Monteverde, Costa Rica where she fell in love with the Spanish language and the idea of garden-based education and land stewardship for young students. She holds a bachelors in Spanish from Berea College, where her studies also held an emphasis in Education and Public Health. Shortly after completion of her undergraduate studies, she went on to receive a Masters of Science in Education from the University of Pennsylvania, where she was able to student teach in multicultural schools as well as received racial literacy training, helping her to tune her heart and mind more to this line of work.
After teaching in both private and public schools, in Louisville, KY, Jaeden shifted her education focus to the non-profit sector where she lead young students in garden-based education with an emphasis on cooking and holistic health, but also worked with community partners to advocate for land access and food sovereignty. The work of the non-profit was also focused on managing a local urban farm where young people and community members learning about sustainable practices, the environment, and employed regenerative farming practices, highlighting the voices of other local farmers and emphasizing the work of farmers of color.
She dives into her work with Harper Slade with an understanding of the intricate intersection of these seemingly disparate areas of study and interest, but understanding that equity and the pursuit of justice are at the heart of each.
Pamela is an experienced human resource professional, with more than thirty years of progressive human resources experience. In 2015, she founded CorpEx, LLC, a management consulting firm. Pamela relocated back home to Louisville in 2016, after living in the Washington, DC area for more than 28 years. Prior to leaving the East coast, Pamela served as the Sr. Executive Director of Human Resources and Organizational Development with IMRG, Inc., a federal government outsourcing firm in Lanham, MD. After relocation to Louisville, Pamela continued her professional career in human resource management to include DEI, serving in HR Executive roles to include Director of Human Resources for Rudd Equipment, Volunteers of America Mid-States and served as the Program Director for the Muhammad Ali Childhood Home Museum.
Pamela possesses a Master of Science degree in Human Resource Management from the University of Maryland, University College and a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Western Kentucky University.
Pamela provides contract leadership services to Harper Slade and maintains her role as the owner and founder of her own firm, CorpEx, LLC.
Carmen comes to Harper Slade with skills in compliance, organization, strategic communication, and problem-solving from years of work in the insurance field. Stemming from her degree in General Dietetics from Eastern Kentucky University, she also has a background in food and catering services. With a passion for DEI and Harper Slade, Carmen brings a fierce energy to her work, dedicated to managing finances, schedules, contracting, and anything else needed.
Marian is a contract consultant with Harper Slade in our Advisory Services and Coaching portfolio. She is a Diversity and Engagement Practitioner who is passionate about creating environments that are more inclusive and equitable for all. She is the CEO of The Sankofa Experience a DEI practice that includes conceiving, facilitating, and evaluating workshops and dialogues designed to create environments that are more inclusive and equitable for all, in a non-threatening and engaging environment. Currently pursuing her Ph.D., Marian holds a BA in Sociology and MA in Higher Education Administration from the University of Louisville.
Alesha Arscott a contract consultant with Harper Slade providing support for Harper Slade Assessments and DEI for DEI services. She is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer for Unleashed, a coaching and consulting firm dedicated to implementing strengths-based practices with individuals, teams, organizations, and students to achieve breakthrough results. Alesha holds a BA in visual arts from Williams College and an MBA from Nova Southeastern University.
Dr. Jamar Wheeler
Dr. Wheeler is a contract consultant with Harper Slade providing services in support of our DEI Data on Demand offering. Dr. Wheeler is the CEO of Kiaspo Research Services where he delivers premium research that is action-focused and aligned with the people-serving ethos of various organizations. He has extensive experience delivering end-to-end research services for multiple organizations. Dr. Wheeler’s private sector experience and academic training has fostered a deep familiarity with best practice applications of qualitative and quantitative research methods. He holds a Ph.D. in Applied Sociology and a MA in Sociology, both conferred from the University of Louisville.
Logan is a sophomore at the University of Louisville and is a member of the prestigious McConnell Scholar program. She studies sociology, political science and Spanish. Logan is a graduate of DuPont Manual High School, where she earned valedictorian honors and served as vice president of the executive council and senior class historian.
Renley is a senior in high school currently receiving a classical education at Great Hearts Monte Vista North Academy in San Antonio, Texas. In her time at Great Hearts, she has been a student athlete on both the Varsity Volleyball and Track teams, is a member of the chess and yearbook clubs, is a part of Science Lab (where students assist science teachers with experiments), and was the lead, Viola, in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night her junior year.
Renley is eager to join the Harper Slade team and use her interests to tell important stories and connect with audiences who share a desire to make the world a more just and equitable place.