Kenyatta Brame is Chief Administrative Officer and Group Services Senior Vice President at Cascade Engineering. Cascade is a manufacturer and marketer of products and services supporting a variety of industries including the automotive, industrial and solid waste industries – a leading proponent of sustainable business practices, and a widely recognized employer of choice.
Brame is responsible for directing Cascade’s cross-organizational services, which include the Company’s engineering, legal/risk management, human resources, benefits, marketing, talent management, IT, corporate quality and ESS (environmental, safety and sustainability) functions. In addition to ensuring the alignment of those services with Cascade’s business objectives and sustainability focus, Brame also has oversight for the Company’s IWS (Invisible Waste Services) Cascade Consulting, and Triple Quest business units.
Prior to joining Cascade, Brame served as Senior Vice President of Operations and Merchandising, Employee Relations & Legal Services at SYSCO Food Services of Grand Rapids, a Midwest-based unit of the largest distributor of food service products in North America. In this position, Brame had responsibility for an array of operational areas including warehousing and transportation, merchandising and marketing, and all employee relations functions. He also served as legal counsel for the company.
Brame’s extensive community affiliations include serving as a board member of Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park; the Floyd Skinner Bar Association; Wabash College; and Alternative Directions, a probation residence service that offers an alternative direction to non-violent felony offenders. He is also a past chair of the City of Grand Rapids Civil Rights Commission. Brame holds a J.D. degree from the University of Michigan Law School, an MBA from Michigan State University and a bachelor’s degree from Wabash College.
Mercedes Barragan is the Senior Consultant on the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion team at Spectrum Health. In her role she is focused on consulting, working with Internal Resource Groups and is also responsible for creating (I&D) communication strategies.
Prior to her current role, Mercedes started her career at Spectrum Health in June 2015 as a Community Manager in Information Services where she created and implemented the communication strategy for the Information Services department and managed the internal website. Prior to her career within Spectrum Health, Mercedes jump-started her professional career as a Marketing Communications Specialist at Cascade Engineering focusing on internal communications, design and event planning. She also was involved in the development and implementation of Cascade Engineering’s diversity and anti-racism activities and policies.
Mercedes holds a Bachelor of Arts in Advertising and Public Relations from Grand Valley State University and a Master of Business Administration from Cornerstone University. Barragan also serves on the BL²END Advisory Council (Business Leaders Linked to Encourage New Directions) after serving as the Marketing Communications Co-Chair from 2011 to 2014 and President from 2015 to June 2017. She is also a member of the Society of Latino Professionals and Latinas of West Michigan Network and a graduate of the Latino Talent Initiative from Ferris State University Latino Business and Economic Development Center. Since 2012 Mercedes has helped launch and spearhead the Young Professionals of Color Conference (YPCC) touching hundreds of young professionals in Grand Rapids. Through her work with BL²END and YPCC, Mercedes lives her passion of helping advance professionals of color in their careers and in their communities.