Ascend North Texas Inspiring Across Generations (IAG Conference)
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Speaker Bios:

Toyota Welcome Remarks

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Tellis Bethel

Group Vice President and Chief Social Innovation Officer

Toyota Motor North America

Tellis Bethel is group vice president and chief social innovation officer for Toyota Motor North America
(TMNA). Bringing his personal passion for advancing equity to the role, he oversees TMNA’s strategic
partnerships, philanthropic efforts, and diversity and inclusion activities. With the goal of ensuring mobility for
all, Bethel directs initiatives to expand access to opportunities and create a culture of inclusion that strengthens both communities and TMNA.

 

With over fifteen years of experience with Toyota Financial Services, Bethel’s background in finance and
analytics enhances his current position, connecting the dots between data and market share and substantiatingthe impact of TMNA’s social innovation efforts on business and relationships.

 

Bethel began his career with Toyota Financial Services as a Graduate Management Team Member (GMTM) in
risk management planning with an emphasis on financial hedging activities. He subsequently served as financial
risk manager, analytics manager, sales finance manager, business marketing manager, credit risk senior
manager, and general manager of Finance and Business Analytics. Most recently, Bethel was vice president of
Voluntary Protection Products, where he led the business unit responsible for $300M+ in operating income
annually from the origination of optional products when financing Toyota, Lexus, and Mazda vehicles.

 

Bethel holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree from Clark Atlanta University and a
Master of Business Administration degree from the Kelly School of Business at Indiana University.

 

With a commitment to enhancing accessibility for everyone and making inroads for future generations, Bethel
devotes his time and resources to marginalized groups, including the Boys & Girls Club of America, Junior
Achievement USA, North Texas Food Bank, TutorMe, and HBCUs (including his alma mater), as well as HSIs.
Within Toyota, Bethel participates in affinity groups focused on women and LGBTQ+ segments and has been
recognized with the Diversity Champion Award for 2022 and the president’s award for his community
involvement.

 

In his free time, Bethel enjoys following the financial markets, exercise and travel. He and his wife Crysti are
the proud parents of two children, Myles and Nia.

 

Favorite Quote: “Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to.” – Richard Branson

 

Opening Toyota Panel
"Accelerating A Culture of Inclusion in a Hybrid Environment"

 
 

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Pocha Bromiley

Senior Manager, Finance Transformation Consulting Practice

PWC

Pocha is a Senior Manager for PwC Finance Transformation Consulting Practice. Pocha works with Executive Leadership Teams to develop and achieve their Finance organization's vision and strategy. Pocha is a proven leader who empowers Finance to operate as a valued business partner; identifies areas where Finance can drive meaningful outcomes outside of traditional reporting and compliance. She leads national accounts in finance transformation, finance integration, due diligence, and operational finance. Prior to Financial Transformation, Pocha had extensive audit and technical accounting knowledge serving clients across all multiple sectors and industries.

 

Pocha is passionate about mentoring, empowering people and promoting culture of belonging. She serves as a PwC PACIN North Texas Leader. Pocha was born and raised in Bangkok, Thailand. She is married and raising 3 children.

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Sandra "Sandy" Ahn

General Manager, Dealer Lending Practice

Toyota Motor Credit Corporation

Sandy Ahn is the General Manager – Dealer Lending at Toyota Motor Credit Corporation.  In her role, she leads an operation that supports the commercial financing needs of the dealers, including underwriting credit requests, operations, servicing, portfolio management and projects & systems implementation for a multibillion-dollar dealer wholesale portfolio across the US. 

 

Sandy is a proud sponsor of the Toyota Asian Americans in Philanthropy (TAAP) Giving Circle since 2018.  She currently serves as a board member of On The Road Sustainability Funds, whose mission is to assist low-to-moderate income individuals obtain reliable transportation so that they can get to work, avoid predatory lending practices and lead healthier lives.  She has also participated in the 2021-2022 Kizuna mentorship program as a mentor.

 

Sandy has been with Toyota Motor Credit Corporation for 19 years.  She grew up in Southern California and moved to Texas 6 years ago.  She has a bachelor’s degree in Business from California State University Fullerton and earned her MBA in Corporate Finance from University of Southern California.  She currently resides in TX with her husband and 2 daughters, ages 13 and 16, and enjoys hiking, biking, and spending time with her family.

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Anna Hung

Chief of Staff to the CFO

Toyota Motors North America

Anna Hung is the Chief of Staff to the Toyota Motors North America CFO and also leads the Innovation Office within Accounting and Finance.  In her role, she drives the North America A&F strategic direction, cross functional transformational initiatives, communications, recruiting supporting, talent development and team member engagement.  

 

Anna is strongly committed to advocating for young women and diverse voices. She currently serves on the Executive Committee for Orchid Giving Circle with Texas Women’s Foundation. She is also part of the POWER Leadership Planning Committee, something that Toyota sponsors.  She is part of Toyota’s Asian ERG Marketplace and Community Committee that supports community philanthropies initiatives such as the Toyota APIA Scholar program and APIA Scholar Mentor / Mentee Program. She was recently selected for Toyota Asian American Society in Alliance (TAASiA) North American Advisory Council (NAAC). She previously served as the Co-Director of Fundraising in a non-profit that support orphanages and underprivileged children in Asia, who also provide scholarships to talented Asian American student, and inspire leadership and mentorship within our community.

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Julia Wang

Senior Manager, Organizational Effectiveness & Business Initiatives

Julia Wang is senior manager of organizational effectiveness and business initiatives in the Human Resource department at Toyota Motor North America. She is responsible for creating the One Toyota Hybrid return to campus strategy as well as the Hybrid Out-of-State policy that creates location flexibility for its current and future team members.

She has over 23 years of Automotive experience working across multiple Toyota affiliates (Toyota Motor Sales, Toyota Financial Services, Toyota Connected and most recently Toyota Motor North America). Wang also did a brief stint in consulting at Ernst & Young as a Manager in the People Advisory Services pillar between her time at Toyota Connected and Toyota Financial Services.

Since joining Toyota in 1999, Wang has worked in both the Toyota and Lexus Division and collaborated with the Scion Division to launch the youth brand. She has worked in various functional groups such as Information Systems, Long Range Market Planning, Strategic Planning, Product Planning and Pricing, Distribution, Sales & Marketing, Enterprise Transformation and most recently in Human Resources.

Some of Wang’s major accomplishments during her tenure at Toyota has been working on Toyota’s Corporate Strategy, launching the all—new Toyota Venza in November 2008, creating the pricing strategy for the Toyota Camry to shift the core grade mix to a more profitable price point, and running the enterprise—wide Innovation Fair in 2014.

Wang has a Master of Business Administration in Organizational Development with a concentration in Change Management from Pepperdine University and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing and Supply Chain Management from the University of Southern California.

 
 
 

Ascend Morning Panel
"New Models of Growth & Innovation"

 

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Lana  Tran

Human Capital Transformation Leader

Baker McKenzie

Lana is a Human Capital Transformation Leader with Baker McKenzie.  She is a current Board Director and Past President for Ascend North Texas.  Lana is also an Ascend lifetime member.

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Jun Anderson

Region Business Development Manager

Liberty Mutual

Jun has 20+ years of sales and management leadership experience. He has distinguished himself by
achieving multiple sales & leadership awards throughout his career from DEI to management. In addition,
he has lead and developed regional strategy across Sourcing, Prospecting, and Effectiveness to achieve
best production results across the U.S.. He has inspired, influenced, and managed a team of sales agents
through significant corporate innovation as a result of COVID-19 by adopting continuous improvement
philosophies, and leveraging a growth mindset to embrace change that resulted in significant increases in
Centers of Influence referrals for the US Market.


Jun is passionate about Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and has devoted a lifetime advocating for his
community by founding several non-profit organizations and mentorship programs. In addition, Jun is a
board member of multiple organizations. At Liberty Mutual, Jun is one of the original founders of
L.E.G.A.C.Y. (Leaders Engaged in Growing African Americans Careers & You) and is also a Co-Director of
LEAAP (Leading & Empowering Asian & Ally Professionals) where he has collaborated on Bon AppéLEAAP which was created to spotlight & drive revenue back to the DFW AAPI community. Jun believes
allyship is a "verb" and is a promoter and collaborator among all other ERG/BRGs. Jun was a recipient of
the highest Liberty Mutual DEI honor; The 2021 Diversity Equity & Inclusion Award for his work in
L.E.G.A.C.Y. and LEAAP.


Prior to joining Liberty Mutual, Jun was a former NFL player, a successful entrepreneur, and was a member
of the Executive Committee & Sales Leadership Team for a Fortune 75 company. Jun is a graduate of
McDonough School of Business (Executive Education), has an Undergraduate in B.A. in Sociology and a
B.A. in Communications as well as a Masters in Human Development from Boston College.

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Shuba Balasubramanian

Principal Risk & Financial Advisory

Deloitte

Shuba is a principal with Deloitte Transactions and Business Analytics LLP and has 18 years of experience in leveraging advanced analytics to deliver deep insights to her clients through innovative and transformational solutions that help them address their most pressing issues on enterprise risk management. Shuba helps lead the digital initiatives for advanced analytics and cognitive intelligence for Energy & Resources industry. In prior roles, Shuba lead operations for off-shore forensic analytics practice.

 

Shuba has authored numerous articles and serves as a speaker for various events that are industry, technology and leadership oriented. She has served in numerous leadership roles that allowed her to continue her passion for developing talent in a diverse multi-generational workforce. She is an advocate for Women in Technology and supports the growth of STEM skills with young scholars through her voluntary services at school districts. She currently serves as an Advisory Council member for MS in Business analytics program at McCombs School of Business at University of Texas - Austin.

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John Lee

Partner, Business Tax Sevices

RSM

As a Partner in Business Tax Services at RSM US, John advises public and privately held companies, private equity funds, partnerships, and foreign-owned corporations. John also serves as the national leader of the South Korea practice with a focus on foreign direct investments. Having started his career at a global law firm, John later worked for “Big 4” accounting firms before joining RSM. Prior to his current role, John was the national leader for U.S. Tax Services at RSM Canada.

 

John has advised clients on a wide range of U.S. domestic and cross-border issues including business expansions in and into the U.S., financing and refinancing structures, tax due diligence for mergers and acquisitions, state income and franchise tax, sales and use tax, credits and incentives, treaty qualification, repatriation of funds, withholding, and FATCA, among others. His experience includes a broad range of industries and he currently serves on the Los Angeles leadership team for the technology, media, and telecommunications (TMT) industry and is the West Region tax leader for the healthcare industry.

 

John is a firm believer in diversity and inclusion efforts and serves as the national leader of RSM’s InspirAsian employee network group. With a membership of 1,500+ across the U.S. and Canada, InspirAsian seeks to uplift and support RSM employees and clients of Pan-Asian background.

 

John is a licensed attorney in New York and New Jersey and is admitted to the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey. He is a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center, Rutgers University, and the University of Toronto.

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Puneet Newaskar

Managing Vice President, Head of Performing Loans

Capital One

As Managing Vice President and Head of Performing Loans at Capital One Financial Services, Puneet leads global customer care operations and technology platforms serving over 4 million customer accounts. He is responsible for driving an end-to-end digital and business transformation of customer care operations for the largest auto finance company in the US.

Puneet is also the Accountable Executive for the DFW Origins Business Resource Group for Asians and Pacific Islander associates of Capital One. Prior to joining Capital One in 2016, Puneet was at McKinsey & Company. Puneet has a Bachelors of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from CalTech, Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from MIT, and an MBA from MIT’s Sloan School of Management.

 
 

"ERG/BRG Lunch"

 
 
 
 

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Linda Bohnert

Managing Director, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Deloitte

With more than twenty years of experience as a Talent Leader,  Linda Bohnert brings deep subject matter expertise in the area of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). Linda is instrumental in developing Deloitte’s DEI strategy and executing key priorities. In addition, Linda leads the Inclusion & Belonging pillar focused on strengthening an inclusive culture of allyship, authenticity, and advocacy.

 

Throughout Linda’s career, she has led cultural transformation, driven innovation in the DEI space, and developed award-winning practices. She has spearheaded initiatives across the DEI spectrum—pioneered talent analytic efforts that transformed Deloitte’s approach to transparency, designed leadership development and awareness sessions, re-engineered Inclusion Councils and launched the National and Hub Community structure, led supplier diversity efforts, and managed strategic marketplace relationships. Linda’s breadth and depth of DEI experience and knowledge, combined with her innovative mindset, analytical approach, and strong interpersonal skills has led to a reputation for delivering valued ideas and as a trusted advisor.

 

Linda is a member of the Harvard Kennedy School’s Women’s Leadership Board and represents Deloitte on the Conference Board’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council. 

 

Afternoon Panel
"Career Tune Up: Fueling for Success"

 

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Lisa M. Ong

President and Founder

Wishing Out Loud LLC

Lisa is based in Plano, Texas. She is an award-winning diversity and inclusion strategy consultant., speaker, and professional certified executive coach. As a widely-known “talent gardener” and “inclusion connector,” CEOs and CHROs hire her to co-create their diversity, equity, and inclusion strategy to cultivate cultures of belonging as great places to work.

 

Before launching Wishing Out Loud LLC, she was a national diversity director in PwC’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion, HR director, and a financial audit senior manager. She graduated with her BBA in Accounting from the University of Texas at Austin and her MS in Management and Professional Executive Coaching from the University of Texas at Dallas.

 

Lisa is one of Dallas Business Journal’s 2022 Leaders in Diversity. D CEO Magazine named her to The Dallas 500 in their 2020 and 2021 directories as “one of the most powerful business leaders in DFW” in the “Corporate Diversity Officer” and “Consultant” categories.

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Latoria "Tori" Farmer

Managing Director, Diversity, Equity & inclusion

KPMG

Latoria J. Farmer is a Managing Director, Diversity, Equity & inclusion with over 20 years of experience leading enterprise strategies to attract, retain, develop and advance underrepresented talent. Tori is a strategic advisor to business leaders and other key stakeholders on identifying and addressing unique workforce opportunities, and current supporting the business integration of the KPMG’s Accelerate 2025 strategic priorities. Partnering with HR business enablement teams, her work includes establishing firmwide goals and DEI key performance indicators, conducting root cause analysis to inform strategies, and mitigating bias in talent processes.  As a key contributor to the talent life cycle, Tori has been involved with persona development, needs assessments, sponsorship, leadership development and succession planning. She has developed programmatic solutions and integrated best practices to continually enhance the growth and progression across underrepresented groups.  Tori also serves as a subject matter professional on client engagements assisting with DEI strategy development.

Her previous role as an HR Business Advisor have included workforce management, compensation planning, learning and development, total rewards, and employee relations. As a Workplace Solutions Leader, experience included initiatives across work life effectiveness, employee engagement, mentorship, diversity and corporate responsibility.  Tori is a national instructor for milestone leadership development as well as diversity and inclusion programs, including unconscious bias training. 

She has been recognized as a national KPMG Chairman’s Award for Excellence in Volunteerism and the local KPMG Chairman’s Award for High Performance. She was also previously recognized by the Anti-Defamation League as a Rising Star.  Tori currently serves as a Board member for Resource Center serving the LGBTQIA+ community.

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Jennifer Jao

General Manager ITx, Design, Manufacturing, and Supply Chain (DMSC)

Toyota Motors North America

Jennifer Jao is a Toyota Motor North America’s IT Executive leading the mobility production systems transformation in R&D, Manufacturing, Vehicle and Parts Supply Chain. Jennifer is responsible for delivering world class IT solutions to enable Toyota to run the core business operations and exceed customers’ expectations in the highly competitive automotive market. She leverages the Toyota Way foundation, combined with modern technology, data analytics, AI/Machine Learning, and talented people to produce happiness for all.

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Anish Shah

Partner, Energy, Utilities & Mining

PwC

Anish is a partner in the PwC Energy, Utilities & Mining sector with experience in audits of public and private companies serving regulated power and gas utilities, power generation, commodity trading, wholesale and retail energy clients.  He also has financial services audit experience serving bank, asset management and consumer finance clients.  He has over 27 years of experience and networking across several offices in the US and abroad. 

 

Anish serves as an engagement partner for audit and non-audit clients in the greater Texas region and as a national office partner where he provides consulting advice and supports our regulated utility audit teams on PCAOB inspections.  He has expertise in dealing with relevant industry issues in areas such as rate regulation, leasing, financial instruments, derivatives and internal control matters.  He has a “plain English” communication style and has helped clients evaluate accounting and reporting implications for commercial deals, including solar and battery projects, regulatory enforcement and legal matters and public debt offerings.  Anish has extensive experience with audit committees and boards of directors and has led industry education training sessions. 

 

He previously completed a two-year tour of duty in the PwC National Office, consulting across the regulated utilities practice on accounting, FERC and SEC reporting matters and a two-year international assignment in Mumbai, India, where he was responsible for performing group and statutory audit work over shared service centers for US global banking clients.

Anish currently resides in McKinney, Texas.  He was admitted to the partnership in 2007.  Anish is married with three children and enjoys traveling, golf and exercise.

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Chintan Thakkar

Director, Risk & Compliance

Protiviti

Chintan joined Protiviti in 2021 and is a Director in Protiviti's Risk & Compliance solution, specializing in internal audit services related to consumer protection regulatory requirements and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) in the financial services industry.  His experience includes working with large banks in developing and operationalizing Compliance and AML audit teams with coverage responsibilities of 2nd line Compliance programs as well as 1st line compliance with regulations. He has over 17 years of banking experience, including experience with leading and executing variety of compliance audit engagements.

 

Prior to joining, Protiviti, Chintan was an Executive director at a large Texas based Bank, where he was responsible for standing up a compliance focused audit team with responsibilities to audit consumer and Safety & Soundness regulations. He was also responsible for standing up an Issue validation program that covered Regulatory Matters Requiring Attention (MRA), Consent Order and Remediation/Restitution activities.

 

Chintan holds the Certified Regulatory Compliance Manager (CRCM) and Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS) designations.  Chintan has a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Rutgers State University and MBA in Finance from Ellis University.

 
 
 
 
 

Closing Ascend Talk

 

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Shiv Shivaraman

Managing Director

Alix Partners

Shiv guides business leaders to manage through disruption and increase enterprise value. His distinguished track record of performance improvement and turnarounds for both healthy and distressed companies draws upon more than 27 years of global engineering and consulting experience across numerous sectors, with an emphasis on automotive, industrial and chemical companies

 

Shiv’s functional expertise spans the performance value cycle, including large-scale transformation programs, merger integrations, and cost management, as well as SG&A and operations optimization (strategic sourcing, supply chain, manufacturing and logistics, and product development)

 

He has worked with clients across US, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Germany, UK, Italy, France, China, South Korea, Japan, Australia, Singapore, Indonesia and India. He earned two master’s degrees in the United States, an MSME (University of Florida) and an MBA (Carnegie Mellon University)

 

Shiv co-leads the Asia region for AlixPartners and is also the local market leader for Greater China & Singapore