2010 – the year we make contact

Wacker Chemie’s US CEO joins line-up of Key Panelists for Cleveland Diversity Forum

2010 will indeed be the year we make contact. “We” being the communities of Southeast Tennessee and especially the people in the Ocoee region. One of the key contacts to be made here is with one of the biggest future employers of the Ocoee region, Germany-based Wacker Chemie AG.

Today I am excited to announce that Wacker’s North American President & CEO, Dr. Ingomar Kovar, will be joining us as a panelist at the Building Community from Diversity Forum on January 22nd in Cleveland, TN.

Dr. Kovar will be part of a group of leaders from our area compiled by the Ocoee Region Multicultural Services (ORMS) and its operative arm, The Mosaic Center.

From the press release:

ORMS and the Mosaic Center are partnering with the Humanities Tennessee Council to host this free public forum and dialogue with the people of the Ocoee region of Tennessee. It will be held Friday, Jan. 22, 2010, at Cleveland State Community College from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The Building Community from Diversity program will feature leaders from four areas of the community. The forum will include panels with leaders from the areas of business, education, religion and community leadership. The goal of the forum is to create a dialogue on how diversity can build a stronger community.

Says Cleveland City Mayor Tom Rowland: “People should leave the dialogue with the understanding that not only is dialogue important, but it’s a vital part of the community development and it should be recognized in all aspects of community.”

People from more than 62 countries now call Cleveland and Bradley County home. “This diversity presents great opportunities for the city of Cleveland and Bradley County,” he said.

ORMS is an organization dedicated to promoting community awareness and the harmonious acceptance of ethnic and cultural diversity among its citizens. We work to provide the means and the tools necessary to build an empowered community that will embrace and utilize its own diversity.

Cleveland Mosaic Center is a proud 2010 partner of the United Way of Bradley County.

Here is the full list of panels, participants and moderators along with the schedule for the event:

Building Community with Diversity Forum Schedule
January 22, 2010 Cleveland State Community College Auditorium

9:00 AM Opening Comments

Prayer — Daniel Sylverston, President Cleveland Ministerial Association
Host Welcome — Carl Hite, President Cleveland State Community College
Welcome — Gary Ray, President Ocoee Regional Multicultural Service

Forum Purpose — Building Community with Diversity Forum Leader Ben Judkins
Opening Remarks — Mayor Tom Rowland, City of Cleveland
Opening Business Panel — Christian Höferle

9:15 AM Panel 1: Business and Diversity – The Globalization of the Economy



  • Moderator:  Christian Höferle, Höferle Consulting
  • Humanities Scholar: Richard Jones, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Lee University
  • Dr. Ingomar Kovar, President & CEO Wacker Chemical Corporation N.A.
  • Celia Schneck, HR Manager SIAG Aerysin LLC
  • Brenda Sheehy, Small Business Specialist, CLSCC Business Development Center
  • Hermilo Jasso, Assistant Professor of Business, Lee University
  • Esmerelda Lee, Director, Garden Plaza, Life Care Center
  • Robert Divine Immigration Attorney at Baker Donelson
  • Gary Farlow, President Cleveland/Bradley County Chamber of Commerce

11:00 AM Panel 2: Education and Diversity – The Importance of Diversity to Education

  • Moderator:  Carl Hite, President, Cleveland State Community College
  • Humanities Scholar:  Murl Dirksen, Department of Anthropology, Lee University
  • Brigitta Hoeferle, Montessori Kinder International School
  • Matt Ryerson, United Way, Bradley County
  • Lisa Eulo, Walker Valley High School
  • Bill Estes, Department of Education, Lee University (Cleveland City Council)
  • Aadyl Hamidi,  Whirlpool Cleveland Division
  • Johnny McDaniel, Superintendent Bradley County Schools
  • Rick Denning, Superintendent Cleveland City Schools

1:30 PM Annual Mosaic Awards for Community Leadership

1:45 PM Panel 3: Community Leadership and Diversity – The Voice of Social Change

  • Moderator: Tom Rowland, Mayor, City of Cleveland
  • Humanities Scholar: Donna Summerlin, Lee University, English Department
  • Lawrence Armstrong, President NAACP
  • George Vallejo, Manager, BB & T  Bank
  • Jana Pankey, Department of Social Work, CLSCC
  • Brenda Hughes, Director Bradley Initiative for Church and Community (BICC)
  • Rafael Lastra, Director, Cleveland Mosaic Center
  • Kevin Brooks, Tennessee House of Representatives in the 24th District.
  • Wes Snyder, Cleveland Police Chief
  • Avery Johnson, Vice Mayor of Cleveland

3:15 PM Religion and Diversity – A Moral Perspective

  • Moderator: Daniel Sylverston, President Ministerial Association and Pastor, All Nations Church
  • Humanities Scholar: Karen Mundy, Department of Sociology, Lee University
  • Rev. Mike Travis, Superintendent of Region for The United Methodist Churches
  • Dr. Dennis McGuire, Former COG General Overseer. Currently Director of International Multi-Cultural Ministries COG
  • Dr. Jamison Work, Senior pastor Candies Creek Baptist, Member of Exec. Committee Southern Baptist Convention
  • Dr. Michael Laney, Associate Pastor St James Cumberland Presbyterian Church of America / Lee University – Dept Chair, Communication
  • Rabbi Wayne Koman, pastor of Temple of Truth Messianic Jew in Cleveland
  • Sang Ehil Han , Overseer of COG in Korea – Asst Dean of Academics – Pentecostal Theological Seminary
  • Reverend Dwight Herod, senior pastor Bowman Hills Seventh Day Adventist church.
  • Dr. Victor Pagan, Assistant Director of COG World Missions
  • Bishop Benjamin Feliz, International Director of Finance Church of God Of Prophecy

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