Elkhart Culture Series: Thought Leadership Conference has ended


Registration Directions:  (1) Review the event details, sessions and speaker information; (2) Click "Tickets" or register on Eventbrite HERE; (3) Once you register, your Sched account will be created and you’ll be able to make a personal agenda.

**American Sign Language services available for all general sessions through Goshen College and interpreting services. 
avatar for Tessa R. Sutton, Ph.D. *

Tessa R. Sutton, Ph.D. *

South Bend Community School Corporation
Assistant Superintendent, EDI, Conference Executive Producer
South Bend, Indiana

Tessa is a connective leader who helps others create inclusive environments that break silos, build teams, and engage talents to reach organizational outcomes for a sustainable future. Tessa’s passion is to serve the global community—promoting, creating, and sustaining an inclusive society through education.

Sutton serves as the Assistant Superintendent and Civil Rights Title IX Coordinator at South Bend Community School Corporation. She oversees the Student Services Department and is an executive member of the Superintendent’s Cabinet, providing strategic leadership for systemic diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in internal and external efforts. As a DEI organizational development expert, she coaches, designs, facilitates, and delivers specialized professional learning targeted at the individual, administrative, and organizational levels.

Tessa’s comprehensive educational leadership and intercultural relations background connect the business, education, and community sectors in conversations and professional learning development. She is the founder and executive producer of the National Thought Leadership Conference and amplifies the infrastructure to achieve key common goals – including a more equitable, diverse, and inclusive society. She is a certified GROW coach and diversity expert, integrating Personal Leadership and Connective Leadership methods and models. Tessa earned a Master of Science degree in education from Indiana University and a Master of Arts degree in Intercultural Relations from the University of the Pacific, in conjunction with the Intercultural Communications Institute. She received her Ph.D. in educational leadership from Indiana State University. Tessa serves on the Sister Cities Association Board and as a member of the International Leadership Association.

Tessa’s maxims to live by every day are “Increase your capacity to be effective with everyone” and “Don’t pledge allegiance to the clique.” Her favorite quote is, “Culture hides more than it reveals, especially from its participants. The real challenge is not to understand foreign culture but to understand one’s own, to make what we take for granted stand out in perspective. This can be achieved mainly through exposing oneself to foreign ways, through the shock of contrast and difference.” ~ Edward T. Hall (1959).”