The Harwood Institute Welcomes New Board Members

We are pleased to welcome three new members to The Harwood Institute's Board of Directors: Sharon Orlopp, Amy Lazarus and Gaurdie Banister. 

Each new board member brings with them experiences that are crucial in supporting The Harwood Institute's commitment to helping individuals and organizations produce greater impact and relevance in their community.

Gaurdie E. Banister Jr.
Fmr. President & CEO, Aera Energy LLC

Gaurdie Banister recently retired after serving eight years as president and CEO of Aera Energy LLC, an oil and gas exploration and production company jointly owned by Shell Oil Company and ExxonMobil, headquartered in California. Banister has 35 years of oil and gas experience, and prior to Aera served in executive level positions at Shell including technical vice president Upstream Asia Pacific and technical vice president Upstream Americas. Read Gaurdie's Bio

“I'm delighted to join the board of an organization like Harwood that is committed to helping communities across America and around the world. I look forward to helping where I can in our quest to assist communities as they try to come together to face the challenges of the 21st  century.”

Amy Lazarus
Founder & CEO InclusionVentures

Amy Lazarus is the founder and CEO of InclusionVentures, LLC, making welcoming and effective spaces the norm in workplaces and communities toward faster systems change. Amy served as Executive Director at the International Institute for Sustained Dialogue for the past five years, first as the inaugural ED for the Campus Network and then for the Institute. Under her tenure, programs grew from serving 11 to 45 college campuses in the United States, Latin America, and Africa; expanded into workplaces focused on talent development, inclusion, and leadership; and earned revenue increased from 6% to 33%. Amy also founded PULSE, a neuroscience-based leadership retreat to catalyze inclusive talent.  Read Amy's Bio

“I'm honored to join the board of the Harwood Institute. The Institute does critical work with a refreshing yet proven approach of enabling everyday leaders to co-create the communities they envision and deserve. To work with Rich, the dedicated staff, and the visionary leaders on the board gives me hope for the impact the Institute will continue to have during this important moment in our nation’s history.”

Sharon Orlopp
President, Orlopp Enterprise

Sharon Orlopp, served as Global Chief Diversity Officer and Senior Vice President at Walmart, and was responsible for advancing a diverse workforce with 2.1 million associates worldwide. Her former responsibilities include overseeing and leveraging global diversity and inclusion efforts, associate relations, and HR policy for the world’s largest retailer.  Read Sharon's Bio

"I am very honored and humbled to be on the Board of The Harwood Institute. The Harwood Institute's values and mission closely align with my personal values. Together we can solve complex issues and create stronger communities."