ENCOURAGE, ENERGIZE, AND ENGAGE TO RETAIN YOUR EMPLOYEES

Kira Kimball Headshot

Kira Kimball –

Marsh McLennan Agency

Kira Kimball serves as the national Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer for Marsh McLennan Agency, where she provides strategic and tactical leadership to advance efforts to attract and celebrate diverse perspectives while promoting and protecting a level playing field for all colleagues. Creating a workplace culture where everyone can be their authentic selves, an environment that fosters a strong sense of belonging, and a business strategy that harnesses the power of diversity are her energy drivers.

As a committed business leader in her community of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Kira serves on the board of directors for Southeast Tech Foundation, Levitt at The Falls, Sioux Falls Development Foundation, 100+ Women Who Care Sioux Falls, Sioux Empire Women Connect & Pathways to Inclusive & Equitable Workplaces, a nonprofit she founded. Kira is a member of the Greater Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce Leadership Sioux Falls Executive Committee, volunteers as a Sioux Empire United Way Impact Team member and as an EmBe women’s leadership program mentor, greatly adding to the purpose with which she lives her life. Kira is the first person in both SD & ND to earn the National Diversity Council Certified Diversity Professional designation and she is a Qualified Administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory. Kira was recognized in Sioux Falls Woman and received an EmBe Tribute to Women Community Services Award for her abounding passion for diversity, equity & inclusion.

Prior to Kira’s sixteen years in the insurance industry, she spent a decade in higher education teaching, advising and counseling students at Purdue University and The Ohio State University with a focus on leadership & organizational development, career exploration and diversity equity & inclusion. Kira studied English and philosophy at Minnesota State University Moorhead as an undergraduate and received graduate degrees in both counseling & development and English at Purdue. Passionately believing everyone’s self-esteem and potential are worth supporting, Kira commits to living this belief both in and outside the workplace.


Paul Ellis

Paul Ellis –

Smithfield Foods

Paul Ellis is a Associate Human Resources Manager with Smithfield Foods in Sioux Falls where he oversees the Talent Acquisition program. He joined Smithfield in August of 2021 upon retiring from the United States Navy after 23 years of active duty service. During his Naval career he served as an Electronic Warfare Technician, Cryptologic Technician, and Command Senior Chief. He holds an Bachelor of Arts Degree from Columbia College and is a graduate of the U.S. Navy Senior Enlisted Academy and Command Master Chief Course. Paul’s decorations include five Air Medals, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, three Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals, two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, and various unit and campaign awards.


Pattie Hawkey

Patti Hawkey – Midco

Patti Hawkey serves as the Director of Talent Acquisition and Employee Planning for Midco.  As an experienced human resources professional with more than 15 years of experience leading and developing people, she is very committed to helping individuals align their professional values with organizational values.