A Certified Diversity Executive, visionary leader and entrepreneur, Bhakta was born in Gujarat, India and raised in the American Midwest. Adjusting to the American culture was extremely challenging for Bhakta inspiring her life’s mission of helping people identify their authentic self to be successful change agents and leaders in today’s ever-changing global economy. She is a seasoned and multi-faceted executive who has over 20 years of experience empowering diverse talent and population groups to maximize their leadership potential while increasing their cultural competency and global perspective.

Prior to launching her consulting firm, Bhakta worked in both the for-profit and non-profit sectors across the US, with several entities who had significant international presence. She applied her expertise in leadership management, strategic planning, talent attraction/management, resource acquisition, business development, program design/delivery, community/economic development, event planning and parking management.

She is a sought-after consultant, speaker, trainer and community engager due to her high energy, interactive and inspiring style. In each presentation she brings the diversity pendulum back into balance in a positive, refreshing and authentic perspective affirming everyone is diverse. Bhakta transforms organizational cultures enterprise-wide by utilizing Equity, Diversity, Inclusion & Engagement business solutions driving innovation and sustainable outcomes.

Bhakta is also a co-investigator/research collaborator for a national study assessing women’s leadership progression in the workplace while conducting a deeper exploration on challenges and opportunities impacting Asian Pacific Islander women’s leadership trajectory. She is also co-authoring an anthology book on women’s empowerment to be published in 2019. Bhakta is a proud recipient of Corridor Business Journal’s “Forty Under 40” award.

Achievements

  • ● Certified Diversity Executive ● Led and responded to the 5th largest disaster in U.S. at that time (Iowa Flood of 2008) receiving national recognition on service delivery (as part of regional Red Cross executive leadership team - COO) ● Honored as Corridor Business Journal’s "Forty Under 40" recipient in 2013 ● Led project management of award-winning Master Development Plan (2014 American Planning Association of Iowa’s prestigious award for Urban Design) ● Spearheaded annual AsianFest in Iowa (~4000 attendees) to promote equity, diversity, inclusion and engagement

What Others Say

  • “"Sarika is a very engaging speaker, with much knowledge about Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity. The Greater La Crosse area, businesses and organizations really enjoyed her energy and incredible ability in bringing the audience together, and processing a true change in culture, towards a more inclusive community. We would have loved having extra time to learn more from her expertise.””

    Arlette Rodriguez-Miller
    Executive Director, The Greater La Crosse Area Diversity Council

  • “"I heard your keynote at the Greater La Crosse Area Diversity Council's Annual Conference and was just really blown away by your passion, your clear message, and your practical framework for improving diversity and inclusion within organizations. I just tagged you in a post to a recent blog article I wrote, which you inspired."”

    Caitlin Wilson
    Director of Corporate Communications, Marine Credit Union

  • “Sarika Bhakta gave a very energizing and informative presentation to our National Association of Women in "Construction Midwest Region conference as well as at our chapter meeting. You could tell she really took the time to tailor her presentations to our industry. Her interactive format spurred great thought-provoking discussion long after the conference and meeting were both over! Sarika is passionate about diversity, inclusion and engagement and that is obvious by the level of expertise and enthusiasm she brings to every presentation. I highly recommend having Sarika speak at your next conference as she is knowledgeable, refreshing and engaging!"”

    Darby Winger
    President, National Association of Women in Construction, Chapter 160 Midwest Region

  • “"Huge thanks goes to you, Sarika, you did an outstanding job presenting yesterday! Great information and super delivery with dynamite personality. My guess is that it will be a good probability that I'll be reaching out to you in the future. I'll definitely keep you on my radar!"”

    Thomas Harris
    Assistant Director, University of Wisconsin - La Crosse, Office of Multicultural Student Students

  • “I would like to acknowledge and thank both Sarika, for her empowering expertise and education, and the back-up excellence of my managers. When faced with an immediate presentation of full-frontal physical strength, I remembered Sarika's training - regarding difference in communication styles -and the language base from which they operate. I, therefore, responded to strength with strength. This correct response caused the advancing individual to pause and think. Once in this mode, I used police de-escalation technique, learned from prior 9-1-1 experience, to calm and work with my subject.”

    Laura Purcell
    Park Cedar Rapids

  • “I had the privilege of participating in a workshop called Diversity & Inclusion facilitated by Sarika Bhakta. Sarika taught the class to truly open your eyes and hearts to appreciate the many differences in each of us. She brought excitement to the idea of inclusion and everything we could gain by embracing each other’s ideas, perspectives and experiences. Sarika teaches with passion. Sarika has a gift for listening and helping others find the answers. Sarika is a leader by nature, and she has the desire and skills to lead all of us to a greater level of understanding, inclusion, trust and respect.”

    Jody Donaldson
    Scholarship & Alumni Officer, Kirkwood Community College

Services

  • Speaker
  • Consultant
  • Facilitator
  • Trainer
  • Executive Coach

What I Offer

  • Inspiring diverse leaders to deliver empowered results. From leadership development/mentoring; holistic Equity, Diversity, Inclusion & Engagement solutions; facilitator; community engager to public speaking engagements (keynotes, presentations, workshops, podcasts, webinars). By consistently including and engaging your diverse talent within an equitable environment/culture, it empowers them to take calculated risks driving creativity, innovation, growth and sustainable results.™