ATLANTA/MACON – Mercer University’s Center for Executive Education will launch a free, virtual Summer Leadership Series, beginning May 4, to explore key and emerging issues in business and industry.

Building on the success of last summer’s Women in Leadership series, co-organized by the College of Professional Advancement and School of Business, this year’s series, titled “Leading Through Change,” is free and open to all.

Registration is available online for each of the five sessions, which will take place May 4, May 18, June 1, June 15 and June 29, from 6:30-7:30 p.m. each evening. Participants who attend four of the five sessions will receive an exclusive digital badge to share with their online networks.

“The Summer Leadership Series offers the opportunity for people across the region to hear from professionals on the biggest topics impacting business today,” said Dr. Jeremy Bennett, associate dean and associate professor of management. “These webinars also touch on important programs that Mercer has developed at the graduate level if participants want to continue their educational journey.”

Each session will feature a moderated discussion by a panel of experts on the topic at hand.

The May 4 session, titled “Trends and Change in Fintech,” will include Joe Radest, managing partner at Radest Ventures Inc.; Ananya Bhattacharyya, director of product management for MasterCard; and Richard Fraher, founder and principal of Payment Innovation & Regulation LLC and retired vice president and counsel to the Retail Payments Office at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. The discussion will be moderated by Dr. Vijaya Subrahmanyam, associate dean of Mercer’s School of Business.

The May 18 session, titled “Changing the Landscape for Women in Leadership,” will include Joann Herold, chief marketing officer of Honey Baked Ham; Petrina Bloodworth, director of the Office of Internal Compliance at Atlanta Public Schools; and Kathryn Brooks, CEO and certified master coach at She’s Her Own CEO. The discussion will be moderated by Dr. Kelly Holloway, assistant vice president for enrollment management at Mercer.

The June 1 session, titled “Unlocking Lasting Change with Diversity, Equity and Inclusion,” will include Melanie Herrington, senior director for affiliate organizational management, equity and inclusion for the American Civil Liberties Union; Dr. Matthew S. Harrison, senior vice president for talent and development at Jackson Healthcare; Dethra U. Giles, chief bridge architect for ExecuPrep; and Leti Ramirez, branch chief of workforce development for the United States Department of Defense. The discussion will be moderated by Dr. Ansley Booker, director of diversity and inclusion initiatives at Mercer.

The June 15 session, titled “Making the Career Change to Full-Time Entrepreneur,” will include Joe Briner, managing director of Vertical Capital Advisors LLC; Chitra Patel, CEO and founder of WealthWorth; and Sibyl Steverson Slade, financial advisor for LifePlan Financial Advisors Inc. The discussion will be moderated by Dr. Briana Stenard, associate professor of management and entrepreneurship in Mercer’s School of Business.

The June 29 session, titled “Changing the Narrative on Mental Health and Social Services,” will include Dr. Dina Schwam, assistant professor of human services and psychology in Mercer’s College of Professional Advancement; Dr. Nadia Barnett, assistant professor of human services and psychology in Mercer’s College of Professional Advancement; and Dr. Cameron Miller, associate professor of psychology in Mercer’s College of Professional Advancement.

The Center for Executive Education, housed in Mercer’s School of Business, aims to help organizations meet the need for practical and useful knowledge that facilitates critical thinking by maximizing human capital through innovative and state-of-the-art programs. The Center offers a portfolio of customized corporate and open-enrollment certificate programs developed by the most forward-thinking minds in academia and industry.