LaTonya is a coach, speaker and author who specialises in leadership, empowerment and inclusion. Her vision is that people connect better across differences, and that workplaces become more equitable and psychologically safe. Her book, Leading Below the Surface: Building Real (and Psychologically Safe) Relationships with People That Are Different from You, was released in October 2021, hitting multiple Amazon best-seller lists.
LaTonya is currently the President of the True Star Youth Foundation board, which is a digital marketing social entrepreneurship company run entirely by youth of colour that recently received a Google Impact Award. She is also a board member of the LGBTQ+ Alumni Association at Indiana University and a Leadership and Teams Instructor at the Gies College of Business at the University of Illinois. LaTonya also won a peer-nominated award for most inclusive HR influencers in 2019. She is also a board member (and co-chair) with the Leadership Forum Community.
LaTonya lives in Chicago with her partner and dog. In her spare time, she is always trying out a new recipe and is particularly interested in expanding vegetarian cooking in a pressure cooker! She also loves the outdoors so is always finding a place to hike, bike, run or stroll.
“LaTonya is a very engaging presenter. [We] hired LaTonya to conduct a session on how to be an amazing ally during our Pride month celebration. She was absolutely fantastic and kept the energy going in the room through exercises, sharing facts/data, Q&A, and inspirational messages.”
“I can’t say enough great things about LaTonya! I have a nonprofit organization and LaTonya has spoken at two of my events…. Each event, we received so many compliments on the content and presentation LaTonya put together! She is such an amazing speaker and engages with the audience, so there’s never a dull moment.”
“I met LaTonya at the UIC Business conference “Women Rising Together” on International Women’s Day. She delivered a keynote speech about “Three Steps to Your Ridiculous Rise.” LaTonya passionately encouraged us to trust ourselves and be who we are. I was very inspired by her. LaTonya was also very kind and patient answering all my questions after the conference.”
“LaTonya was opening speaker for the ICF Midwest Regional Conference in October 2020. Her topic, Coaching People Who Are Different From You, focused on issues of DEIBI (diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, intersectionality) and in today’s world that’s a topic that can arouse deep passion and discomfort. In that context, I highly recommend her speaking services for four reasons: My first bit of applause is for how well and quickly she built a safe space for this conversation in a virtual (Zoom) mode. She had people sharing personal stuff w/in 15 minutes! Second, her content and the overall quality of the presentation were top-notch. The learning points were well-organized and clear, and in an era when we’ve had to return to slide decks a bit more, hers were clean and crisp and visually compelling. Third, her energy and enthusiasm were high from the start — an excellent Stage Presence in a virtual setting! Finally, when I compare her mastery of the Zoom room and technology in general (use of polling, chat, and interaction to keep people engaged, managing the slides, varying her delivery, etc) to the dozens and dozens of virtual presentations I’ve witnessed since the Pandemic began, I place her in the top 10%, at least. She’s bad*** good! You should hire her to speak at your event — she’ll make you look good (my assessment).”