An event interview series for the
Collabor8 Employer Collective community
with insightful leaders sharing
their perspective and knowledge.


Karen Wilkins-Mickey
Seattle Seahawks

Our fourth installment of Collabor8 Conversations was with Karen Wilkins-Mickey, Vice President of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion for the Seattle Seahawks. Karen shared through her experience the importance of having a seat and a voice at the table, how to bring others along in your DEI journey, and how helpful stay interviews can be in revealing the needs of your employees and retaining talent.

Cheat Sheet:

  • If you really want DEI to show up in your organization, make sure the people doing the work are at the table.
    TIME STAMP 12:37

  • "Everyone will not be on the same page, but I can get you to come with me on the journey."
    TIME STAMP 18:52

  • How can an organization get started in their DEI journey?
    TIME STAMP 24:42

  • Don't wait for the employee exit to learn the lesson.
    TIME STAMP 45:59


Brian Blake

Our third installment of Collabor8 Conversations was with Brian Blake, Senior Director, Diversity & Inclusion at National Hockey League (NHL). We spoke with Blake about the importance of leadership buy-in, how essential learning is in setting the groundwork towards action, and the opportunity and responsibility that comes with being a sports industry employer. 

Cheat Sheet:

  • Data: Numbers never lie, but do they always tell the truth? 
    TIME STAMP 06:18

  • DEI Efforts: What is an essential component for getting everyone at your organization on the same page?
    TIME STAMP 16:20

  • Social Justice: How are NHL teams authentically connecting with the communities they serve?
    TIME STAMP 24:13


Marty Pisciotti, Part 1
MOD Pizza

Our second event in the Fall 2020 Collabor8 Conversations series was with Marty Pisciotti, Senior Vice President, People for MOD Pizza. We spoke with Pisciotti about his new role and  what happens when you put people first for your employees and community.

Part 1 Cheat Sheet:

  • What is authentic purpose and what drives you and your organization towards that purpose? 
    TIME STAMP 08:43

  • 'Culture eats strategy for breakfast everyday' reasonings and what is a say-do gap?
    TIME STAMP 11:44

  • What is impact hiring and why should talent acquisition relook at strategies that exclude entire groups of individuals?
    TIME STAMP 18:38


Marty Pisciotti, Part 2
MOD Pizza

Part 2 Cheat Sheet:​

  • How can companies look at Resource Groups for their employees as a two-part strategy - both highlighting resources needed for underrepresented groups and bringing education and awareness for allies?
    TIME STAMP 03:55

  • How has COVID-19 impacted your business plans and strategy and how has it also given you another moment to put people first through programs not often first in mind from employers?
    TIME STAMP 10:00


James Thomas
Ste. Michelle Wine Estates

Our first of four events was with James Thomas, Director/Head of Inclusion, Equity and Diversity for Ste. Michelle Wine Estates. We spoke with Thomas about his new position, his previous roles and what's ahead. 

  • What challenges - seen and unseen -  come with being the first in your role for your organization and your industry? What opportunities does it also present?

  • How can a consumer's experience be impacted by a company's commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion?

  • What can leaders do to improve disability inclusion in the workplace in an authentic way?


Collabor8 Employer Collective is a cohort of employer organizations focused on learning and sharing through valuable collaborative partnerships, conversations, and up-to-date data. There are 8 stages of an employee's life cycle and we view that as 8 opportunities to infuse diversity, equity, and inclusion into your practices in order to foster a sense of belonging in the workplace. We welcome all employer types, industries, and sizes to our table.