Perry Sholes, SPHR, SHRM-SCP
Perry Sholes, President of Progressive HR Strategies, Inc., is a certified talent optimization consultant and business executive who successfully creates economic value through Human Resources leadership. He helped drive profitability as a corporate leader both domestically and internationally at industry-leading consumer products companies, including Nabisco and Kraft Foods, where he recruited MBA talent from some of the country’s best schools and led internship summer programs for several corporate functions. He also represented both companies at National Black MBA initiatives.
Perry has a legacy track record of transforming HR departments, improving processes, and creating a service-oriented culture in many areas, including talent acquisition, training design and facilitation, leadership development, talent management, employee engagement, diversity and inclusion, and more.
Perry received an executive MBA from the University of South Florida and a B.S. in Marketing from Tampa College. He is a certified HR professional (SPHR and SCP), Myers-Briggs and DISC Practitioner, and Certified Talent Optimization Consultant. He has held board positions across multiple associations, including the New Orleans Regional Black Chamber, and is active as a business coach for the Urban League of Louisiana Scale Up! Program and Women's Business Resource Center. Perry is a 2019 graduate of NORLI and Urban League's ULead Program.
Gretchen McKinney, SHRM-SCP, SPHR
CILI Lead Coach
Gretchen McKinney, Founder and Chief People Strategist of incHRement, LLC and DEI Director for the Northshore Society for Human Resource Management (NSHRM), leads CILI’s coaching team. Gretchen is an experienced business professional with strengths in human resources risk management, investigations and case management, Louisiana employment law, and organizational strategies. She has worked for both for-profit and not-for-profit organizations across government, retail, military, and financial services. Today, Gretchen is on a mission to "mentor the next generation to do great things for our community", while she leverages her years of experience and expertise to help her clients develop and harness organizational agility to achieve business success.
Gretchen holds a Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Psychology from Texas A&M University and maintains both the SHRM Senior Certified Professional and Senior Professional in Human Resources certifications.
A recent Communications major graduate of Southeastern Louisiana University. Jeremiah brings a unique perspective and high energy to the administration of the program.
Jessica brings to CILI years of experience in mentorship, higher education, and marketing. She is the owner of Word of a Rebel Marketing, which provides marketing and design across digital and print mediums, while also working as a real estate agent in New Orleans and Baton Rouge. As CILI’s Marketing Director, Jessica aids in outreach and communication efforts across fellows, universities, and corporate partners.
Jessica has a long history of mentorship, including years with Americorps, Project SOUND, I Am My Sister, and, currently, through her partnerships with Gracefully Mindful and CILI. "We are all a product of our connections," she says. "That is why an organization like CILI is so vital, as it is providing those important connections to budding leaders at a critical stage in their transition from university to career."
Community Relations Coordinator
Jadon is a proud CILI alumnus who recently received his Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resource management at Southeastern Louisiana University. As CILI’s Community Relations Coordinator, Jadon visits universities, community events, and youth organizations to talk about CILI’s fellowship program and assist in the recruitment of diverse and high-achieving young professionals such as himself.
Between being an officer of the SHRM student chapter at SELU, volunteering, joining local DEI summits, and working with CILI, Jadon exudes a passion for extending opportunities to professionals who are otherwise overlooked. He intends to pursue SHRM-CP certification to further support his goal of diversifying the workforce through DEI work.