Power Moves: Uva Coles launched an inclusion-focused consulting firm to 'meet the moment' - Technical.ly Philly

Growth

Aug. 27, 2020 12:44 pm

Power Moves: Uva Coles launched an inclusion-focused consulting firm to ‘meet the moment’

Plus, an addition to Venture Café's team and two moves within the local dev community.
Uva Coles recently launched inclusion-focused consulting firm Inclusiva Global.

Uva Coles recently launched inclusion-focused consulting firm Inclusiva Global.

(Courtesy photo)

Power Moves is a column where we chart the comings and goings of talent across the region. Got a new hire, new gig or promotion? Email us: philly@technical.ly.


Uva Coles, the former associate VP of civic and global engagement at Widener University, has taken on a new venture this summer — the launch of her inclusion-focused boutique consulting firm, Inclusiva Global.

“Early on, I recognized my identity played a role in my career navigation and I began to pay attention to what that relationship looked like more systemically,” Coles told Technical.ly via email. “That personal interest became a professional curiosity and eventually the focus of my career.”

The consulting firm is focused on designing inclusive workforce solutions that align with a company’s goals and values. The realization that a “triple pandemic” of healthcare, race and social equity issues were severely impacting business practices inspired Coles to open the firm, she said.

“I could wait to transition to do this work more fully, as I initially envisioned, later in my career, or I could accelerate my transition and rise to meet the moment,” she said.

The firm offers services like on-demand executive advising and coaching, inclusion training, team development and framework building for companies looking to make impactful progress toward diversity and inclusion in their workplace. Launching the company is Coles’ personal contribution toward the D&I space right now, the founder said.

Coles said she realizes that a key requirement for this work is that senior leaders at companies be committed and engaged. Without those commitments, “the work cannot become a part of the culture,” she said. Often, there’s a gap between where leadership of a company thinks they stand with inclusion and the experiences of their workforce.

“I am most excited about client-partners (we lock arms in this work) who begin by saying, ‘we’re not quite sure how to get there, but we understand the importance of committing to this journey,'” Coles said.

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University City Science Center welcomes Garry Johnson to its team as the new Venture Café Philadelphia program manager and experience designer. Johnson is a Philly native, entrepreneur, and the founder and director of the First Founders Accelerator in Delaware, which is designed to boost underrepresented founders with a free 12-week program of educational sessions and mentoring. (The first fintech cohort launched this year.)

Besides being a regular attendee of the Thursday event series, Johnson spoke on a panel about funding for small businesses — aka “hack your hustle” — during a Venture Café event in July 2019.

“With the type of renewed insight into the magic of Venture Café that can only come from having the unique perspective of being an attendee and now a part of the team, we couldn’t help but notice how his VC journey mirrors his background in entrepreneurship, and his connection to this city,” the Science Center said in a statement.

Left to right: Julie Zeglen, Garry Johnson, Maura Shenker, Jamaine Smith

Venture Café’s July 2019 “Hacking Your Hustle” panel; Johnson is center-left. (Photo by Paige Gross)

Johnson said he’s excited about Venture Café’s global network, which has broadened his worldview, now with colleagues in Sydney and Japan he can collaborate with.

“In the near future, I can see Philly being a go-to destination for entrepreneurs and innovators of all types,” Johnson said in the announcement. “I think we’ve got a unique opportunity to build a more inclusive and equitable ecosystem that other cities have historically, and in turn can serve as an example of what other regions can be.”

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And two big moves were spotted in the developer community recently — Miguel Guerreiro, formerly of Jornya, and Max Pollack, formerly of LeagueSide, have both moved into new roles after holding critical positions at their respective companies. Both were 2019 RealLIST Engineers honorees.

Guerreiro is now a senior software engineering manager at goPuff, per LinkedIn. The dev is known as someone who “walks the walk” as the leader of Jornaya’s engineering team and technical meetup organizer, his RealLIST nominator wrote.

Pollack confirmed his new role of staff software engineer to Technical.ly, saying he loves Guru’s product and is excited to work for a company that has focus on “being a good citizen.” Pollack has been with Guru since February, after most recently holding the CTO title at LeagueSide.

“In the current environment, honestly, it’s really reassuring to be a part of a company that’s socially aware and doing its best to do good beyond just shipping an awesome product,” he said.

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