Every year, SOAHR showcases a diverse group of speakers that cover the most important trends and topics in HR, including technology, business, HR basics, legal, culture and more.
Alex Alonso, Ph.D, SHRM-SCP
Chief Knowledge Officer
Alexander Alonso, PhD, SHRM-SCP is the Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM’s) Chief Knowledge Officer and currently serves as the head of examination development and operations for SHRM’s Certified Professional and Senior Certified Professional certifications. He is responsible for all research activities including the development of the SHRM Competency Model.
During his career, he has worked with numerous subject matter experts worldwide with the aim of identifying performance standards, developing competency models, designing organizational assessments, and conducting job analyses across numerous professions.
Gavin S. Appleby advises and represents employers in a broad range of employment law matters, from defending single-plaintiff and class action employment cases to offering advice on difficult employment issues and labor relations matters.
Gavin has significant knowledge of drug testing and sports anti-doping matters. He has tried cases in 20 different states and regularly appears before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the National Labor Relations Board, and the Department of Labor as well as many state agencies. A member of the professional tennis Anti-Doping Review Board and the Anti-Doping Review Board for international cricket, Gavin co-authored professional tennis’ anti-doping rules and successfully defended sports federations in international drug hearings. He has also published numerous articles on employment and labor law issues, ranging from union avoidance to dealing with problem employees. Gavin counsels clients in U. S. and foreign ethics matters, codes of conduct and codes of social responsibility.
Renowned as an exemplary employment law and diversity trainer, Gavin is a featured training expert in employment law at the Institute for Applied Management and Law. He has developed legally-defensible diversity programs, created numerous interactive training programs and trained thousands of human resources professionals and operations managers across the country.
The chair of Corporate Audit Services, Gavin also serves as the chair of Littler Mendelson’s diversity practices. Previously, he worked for other law firms and as Chief Employment and Litigation Counsel at a consumer paper products company. He served as an adjunct professor of labor law at Georgia State University School of Law.
Chief Executive Officer
Jeanne Artime brings over 24 years of experience in leading organizations, programs and key initiatives in both the non-profit and for-profit business arenas. As CEO of SHRM-Atlanta, Jeanne leads a team of dedicated staff and volunteers to design and deliver quality member and resource partner experiences, drive business development and execute the organization’s mission.
Jeanne holds a B.S. in Computer Science and a B.A. in Art Design from Duke University. She currently serves on the PowerMyLearning-Atlanta Board of Directors, the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education Council, and is an Education Policy Fellowship Program Fellow.
Professionalism Matters, Inc.
After years of working as a business strategy consultant with top IT firms, in 2003 Dana Brownlee founded Professionalism Matters an Atlanta based corporate training company. An energetic and innovative speaker and trainer, Dana has thrilled audiences with speaking events in six countries and authored a course taught internationally. Her courses are specifically designed to provide best practices and techniques that participants can immediately apply in the workplace. She has been interviewed by (or published in) CNN, The Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Redbook, Working Mother, Forbes.com, and other notable publications. A nationally recognized speaker, Dana speaks to groups large and small on a variety of topics including tips for rescuing your meetings, dealing with the difficult boss, secrets of the “Thoroughbred Leader”, and discovering the keys to true work life balance. She holds a BIE, MBA, and PMP.
Volunteer & Outreach Manager
Mia Chester has served as the Volunteer and Outreach Manager with the Alzheimer’s Association since 2007. Over the last 10 years, Mia has educated diverse populations on the warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease and the benefits of early detection. Currently, Mia oversees volunteer engagement, community outreach, and clinical research participation for 29 counties.
She has been successful in leading the local efforts of the Alzheimer’s Association to engage faith-based organizations throughout Metro Atlanta. Mia holds a Bachelors of Science in Healthcare Administration from Albany State University and Masters of Arts in Health Promotion from The University of Alabama.
Jeff leads Zenefits’ go-to-market functions including sales, service, support, channels, alliances and growth organizations. Jeff is a technology veteran with an extensive Cloud HCM background and more than 20 years experience leading a variety of venture-backed startups and successful public companies. Prior to Zenefits, he was CEO at PeopleFluent, President of Saba, COO at Taleo, CEO at Motiva, President at RightWorks (President) and EVP at PeopleSoft.
Taylor English Duma LLP
Alisa P. Cleek is a frequently recognized attorney in labor and employment matters, and works with local and national clients to facilitate the employment relationship. Ms. Cleek’s practice focuses on defending companies in employment-related litigation including, but not limited to, class and collective actions, wage and hour matters and investigations, Davis-Bacon Act audits and compliance, restrictive covenants, discrimination and harassment, FMLA, ADA, Title VII, ERISA, USERRA, AAP, and other issues that evolve from the employee-employer relationship. Ms. Cleek also provides proactive counseling to organizations regarding the day-to-day employment decisions, including proactive training, pre-litigation audits and compliance strategies that must be considered in order to avoid litigation.
Ms. Cleek represents clients in traditional labor practice proceedings, representative cases, arbitrations and collective bargaining, and has worked with employers in a large variety of industries, including retail, restaurants, hospitality, manufacturing, staffing, and pharmaceutical. Ms. Cleek has represented employers before the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and various state entities, in various local, state, and federal courts throughout the nation, before the U.S. Supreme Court, and various state and appellate courts throughout the United States.
Ms. Cleek is an arbitrator and mediator with the American Arbitration Association, Resolute Systems, LLC, and the Georgia Commission on Dispute Resolution. Ms. Cleek is dedicated to facilitating the parties in achieving a mutually-beneficial resolution to the dispute at hand.
Ms. Cleek is a regular contributor of articles and materials related to labor and employment and the restaurant industry to media such as Restaurant Startup & Growth magazine, the Georgia Restaurant Association’s Legal Knowledge Center, and various other entities.
Ms. Cleek is married and has three young children.
Suzanne Deddish Taylor
Sr. Legal Counsel, Employment
Suzanne Deddish Taylor
Suzanne Taylor is Sr. Legal Counsel, Employment for Aaron’s, Inc. Aaron’s is a leading omnichannel provider of lease-purchase solutions, including the sales and lease ownership and specialty retailing of furniture, consumer electronics, home appliances and accessories throughout the United States and Canada. In her role at Aaron’s, Suzanne is a strategic partner to the business, providing daily advice and counsel on employment-related matters. She regularly collaborates with internal business partners on company initiatives and conducts training for various teams, including Associate Resources and Operations. Suzanne also manages the employment-related litigation, arbitrations, and administrative matters for Aaron’s, and is active in Aaron’s Women’s Leadership Network.
Suzanne received her J.D. from Wake Forest University School of Law, and her B.A. from Newcomb College of Tulane University. She lives in Acworth, Georgia, with her husband and their Aussiedoodle.
Year Up Greater Atlanta
Director of Recruitment & Admissions
Ryan Downey is the Director of Recruitment & Admissions at Year Up Greater Atlanta, an innovative National non-profit that is working to close the Opportunity Divide by providing urban young adults with the skills, experience, and support that will empower them to reach their potential through professional careers and higher education. Previously, he taught at institutions throughout Chicagoland, including city colleges, K-12 public schools, correctional facilities, and shelters. As a first-generation college graduate of the University of Georgia, University of Notre Dame, and Kansas State University, Ryan believes in helping Opportunity Youth reach their potential and re-framing Opportunity Youth as largely untapped assets in our communities and companies.
Global Leadership and Talent Development Executive
Karen Eber is a Leadership Development and culture expert focused on helping individuals, teams and organizations perform their best and make changes to be #betterthanyesterday.
Karen is an Executive within General Electric, responsible for Culture and Executive Development for the Power business with employees in over 150 countries. She focuses on developing leaders to deliver today’s strategies and building a rich pipeline for the future.
Karen uses a storytelling approach to point out examples in everyday life that inspire all people to reach their leadership potential. Often described as bringing “clarity to chaos,” Karen leverages performance consulting, change management, coaching, neuroscience, strengths-based development, strategic interventions and workshops to help strengthen leaders’ acumen and create high performing teams.
Karen’s roots are in psychology, communications, performance improvement, adult learning and instructional design. She is a four-time American Training and Development (ATD) award winner and eminent thought leader in various publications, including the January 2018 CLO Magazine article, Make Waffles, Not Spaghetti.
Muncie Power Products, Inc.
Sr. Executive Director, People Strategy & General Counsel
Damon serves as the Sr. Executive Director for People Strategy and General Counsel with Muncie Power Products. In this role, he is responsible for leading its people strategy, including human resources, strategic planning, succession planning, and adult learning. He is a member of the executive team, and also serves as in-house legal counsel.
He received his J.D. from the Emory University School of Law, and his B.A. from Savannah State University. Prior to joining Muncie Power, he was a Partner with the law firm of Nowell Sparks, LLC. He also served as Vice President of Human Resources with the Rayloc and Altrom Divisions of Genuine Parts Company, where he was responsible for rebuilding and leading the human resources function for the manufacturing, import parts and transportation divisions of the company in the U.S. and Canada. His additional responsibilities during his tenure with Genuine Parts included serving as the Director of Diversity and Employment Practices, and as Associate General Counsel with its legal department. He began his career with the City of Atlanta’s Department of Law (1996-1998) and Gorby, Reeves, Peters & Burns, P.C. (1998-2002).
A native of Savannah, Georgia, Damon is a fan of community related activities. Out of his business attire, he completed a personal initiative between 2013 and 2015 to bike in every Georgia county (159) to raise money and awareness for a statewide nonprofit. On top of that, he leads a personal cycling initiative, Cycling for Good, a monthly ride in the City of Atlanta that provides fresh fruit, personal care, and other essential items for men and women deemed homeless. He is the proud father of two daughters, Ava and Simone.
Dan Erling, CPC
President & CEO
Dan Erling is the President of Accountants One. He is in the Georgia Association of Personnel Services (GAPS) Million Dollar Hall of Fame and was recognized as one of Atlanta’s Up and Comers by the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Under Dan’s leadership, Accountants One was named one of Atlanta’s Best Places to Work.
He earned a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from Georgia State University and his Masters from Emory University. While dedicated to working a recruiting desk, Dan spends a great deal of time consulting with companies on Hiring Best Practices. The result of this work led to his book: MATCH, A Systematic, Sane Process for Hiring the Right Person Every Time. The book was published in December 2010 by Wiley Publishing and is available wherever books and ebooks are sold. You can learn more about Dan’s philosophy of hiring as well as read his blog by visiting www.danerling.com.
Mike Figliuolo graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point where he was an honor graduate and a Distinguished Cadet. He graduated in the top 5% of his class. He served as an Armor officer in the U.S. Army in roles including Tank Platoon Leader, Company Executive Officer, Squadron Personnel Officer and ROTC Instructor at Duke University.
He next joined McKinsey & Co. and served clients on issues of strategy, M&A, cost reductions, and growth. Mike was also an executive at Capital One where he was responsible for over $1B in collections. Mike’s most recent roles were VP at Scotts LawnService where he led acquisitions, strategy, technology, customer service, and franchise operations. Previously, he was VP, Strategic Planning Scotts Miracle-Gro where he helped set the company’s strategic direction.
Mike founded thoughtLEADERS – a leadership development training firm – because he believes practitioners make the best instructors and because he has a passion for people development. He was named the Columbus, Ohio Small Business Leader of the Year, and was recognized as one of the Top 100 Leadership Experts in the world in Inc. Magazine.
He is the author of three books. One Piece of Paper: The Simple Approach to Powerful, Personal Leadership helps leaders define their personal leadership philosophy. Lead Inside the Box: How Smart Leaders Guide Their Teams to Exceptional Results shows leaders how to better allocate their energy across their team members to achieve great results. The Elegant Pitch: Create a Compelling Recommendation, Build Broad Support, and Get it Approved covers a tried and true method for getting your ideas across in an efficient and effective way.
Sage Learning Systems
David C Forman is the author of Fearless HR, the President of Sage Learning Systems and former Chief Learning Officer of The Human Capital Institute. The courses he has developed and taught for HCI have been taken by thousands of HR professionals all over the world. David has worked with many global organizations to improve the knowledge, skills and performance of their people. Major clients include FedEx, IBM, DuPont, Microsoft, SAP, American Express, PwC, Ford, and Apple. In 1984, David had the unique opportunity to work with Apple on the release of the Macintosh.
David has written more than 40 articles on talent management, analytics, strategic human resources, learning systems, high-performance cultures and leadership. He has spoken at many national and global HR and leadership conferences. He has both undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of California at Santa Barbara, where he has also served on the alumni board for eight years.
Lori Fiore is a HRIS Consultant, Advisor, and Program Manager with over 18 years of proven leadership in technology implementations for organizations large and small. Lori has managed and implemented solutions including Workday, PeopleSoft, and SAP.
If you are a small to mid-sized company looking for an HRIS consultant to help you navigate the realm of HRIS strategy and package selection, Lori Fiore can help you navigate this complex analysis from vendor assessment, HR and IT needs analysis, vendor selection, and implementation — ultimately fitting you with the best package for your short and long-term HCM objectives.
Lori holds a Bachelor of Arts from Georgetown University as well as a Masters of Information Technology from American Intercontinental University. Lori started her career with Ernst & Young.
As the CIO at OneSpring, Robert plays a key role in the company’s strategic direction and growth. Through his knowledge of human-centered design, technology, and customer experience, Robert leads the OneSpring consulting practice that develops innovative and compelling solutions for OneSpring’s clients. Robert has over twenty years of experience in design and visual communications with an emphasis in usercentered design and usability. From digital product design to customer experience strategy, his experience has helped companies such as The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, The Department of Homeland Security, ABC/Capital Cities, MasterCard International, InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, Toyota, and GRP/MCA Records achieve their business goals while also meeting the needs of their customers.
Jamilla Greely, MSHRM, SHRM-CP, PHR
Learning and Leadership Development Consultant
Jamilla Greely is a Learning and Leadership Development Consultant at NCR, who partners with business leaders to build, develop and grow next in class learning and leadership development experiences. She knows aligning talent strategy to overall business objectives is critical to an organization’s success. Jamilla is a certified professional in human resources, change management, and executive coaching. She has extensive experience in talent development, performance management and program design. Jamilla holds a Master’s degree in Human Resource Management from Troy State University.
Gregory Hare, JD
Ogletree Deakins Law Firm
Greg Hare has been an employment lawyer with Ogletree Deakins for 25+ years. He is the Managing Shareholder of Ogletree-Atlanta. His practice focuses on assisting companies with government investigations and litigation claims involving wrongful termination, harassment and discrimination, wage and hour disputes, and employment contracts. He advises clients on human resources topics like severance agreements, employee discipline and discharge, layoffs, family and medical leave, and use of independent contractors. He also handles traditional labor relations matters involving union avoidance and grievances. Mr. Hare encourages companies to develop proactive human resources strategies that minimize exposure to costly litigation and disputes, which includes providing structured management training programs. Mr. Hare has been recognized as: a Super Lawyer by the Georgia Law and Politics publication; Best Lawyers in the USA in the Employment Law category; a Leading Lawyer for Business by the Chambers USA Attorney Guide; AV Preeminent Rated by Martindale-Hubbell Legal Professionals.
Danielle Humphrey, JD, CELA
Hurley Elder Care Law
Danielle Cefalu Humphrey joined Hurley Elder Care Law in 2010 as an attorney specializing in the field of Guardianship and Conservatorship. She attended Louisiana State University and graduated magna cum laude from the University of New Orleans with a B.A. in Communications. Danielle is also a cum laude graduate of Tulane University School of Law.
Danielle was admitted to the Louisiana State Bar in 1990 and the Georgia State Bar in 2010. In Louisiana, she practiced extensively in the area of commercial litigation and employment law for a large New Orleans firm, and then as In-House Counsel for a privately held company. Danielle became a Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA) in January 2014, making her one of only eleven certified elder law attorneys in Georgia — and one of approximately 400 nationwide.
Danielle lives in Atlanta with her husband, Larry Humphrey, and has two sons. Danielle serves on the Board of ELM in Marietta and is Vice President of the Georgia Chapter of NAELA. Her hobbies include hiking, scuba diving and running.
Robbin Jorgensen, CPCC, PCC
Women Igniting Change
Founder & CEO
Robbin Jorgensen is the Founder and CEO of Women Igniting Change – a global, purpose driven organization geared toward unleashing the contribution of women around the world.
She is a highly successful businesswoman with 20+ years experience in sales/marketing, training and business development. A sought after speaker and women’s leadership strategist, Robbin is a staunch advocate for the advancement of women and girls throughout the globe. She believes every woman has the power to ignite change in the world.
Women Igniting Change supports forward-thinking organizations committed to fully leveraging the strategic potential of their women leaders by creating integrated initiatives that drive actionable change. They create and execute comprehensive solutions without ever losing sight of the business case and imperatives around doing it. Their client list includes top organizations such as Microsoft, Bank of America, Deloitte, Vanderbilt and Cisco.
Women Igniting Change reaches women in 46 countries around the world.
Jennifer Kahnweiler, Ph.D., CSP
Global Speaker and Author
“champion for introverts.” Her bestselling books The Introverted Leader, Quiet Influence, and The Genius of Opposites have been
translated into 16 languages and have helped introverts throughout the world expand their leadership capacity. She has worked as a learning and development professional contributing to leading organizations like General Electric, FreddieMac, NASA, Turner Broadcasting, the US Centers for Disease Control, and the American Management Association. Jennifer has been invited to deliver keynote speeches and seminars in Australia, Vietnam, Japan, Germany, the Netherlands, and Paraguay. She has also been featured in Fortune, Forbes, Time Magazine, The New York Times, The Huffington Post, and The Wall Street Journal. She has served on the boards of Berrett-Koehler Authors, Inc., the BK Global Task Force, the National Speakers Association of Georgia, and is a mentor to many professional women.
Ryan has an MBA from Southern Utah University and specializes in web-based marketing which provides him with a unique perspective when it comes to hiring optimization and management.
Ryan’s the CEO of JobMatch LLC, makers of iApplicants and ApplicantPro, easy to use hiring software that has simplified and optimized the hiring process for over 2000 companies and HR Professionals. He also provides employment consulting specializing in the service industry.
He became an HRCI Approved Provider in 2013 after he realized the value in empowering HR Professionals to become more technical by teaching them to think more like an Internet Marketer and to apply those skills to hiring. He uses this knowledge and experience to help make HR more strategic by conducting weekly, free webinars that provide HRCI Continuing Education credit and by presenting at SHRM events around the country.
Sarah Lamar is a partner with the law firm of HunterMaclean in Savannah and practices in the area of employment law. Sarah has experience representing employers in employment litigation in state and federal courts regarding discrimination and employment laws such as Title VII, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, Family and Medical Leave Act, and Fair Labor Standards Act, among others. She also represents employers in breach of contract actions, including non-competes, and tort claims, and in agency investigations brought by the U.S. and Georgia Departments of Labor, the EEOC, OFCCP, and U.S. ICE. She conducts in-house training for employers and advises clients on a variety of human resource issues, including their federal affirmative action and immigration law obligations.
Jim Levine practices U.S. immigration and nationality law with an emphasis on business and professional immigration issues. He represents clients in industries that rely on human capital, particularly from abroad, for the sustainability of their businesses. Jim provides his clients with complex strategic advice concerning their short- and long-term immigration law alternatives so they can make informed decisions about issues that have significant business and personal consequences. He monitors legislative and agency activities to forecast, and advise clients on, the changing immigration environment and its potential impact on U.S. business operations.
Mr. Layman is the President of Health & Life at Gilsbar. He is responsible for Gilsbar’s corporate direction, vision, marketing and sales strategy. During his tenure with Gilsbar, Mr. Layman has shifted the organization’s direction to provide thought-leading solutions that focus on people, create healthy business and validate results. Mr. Layman shares his expertise in human resources strategy, creating a culture of health, employee engagement and population health management at conferences across the country. Mr. Layman’s speaking resume includes events such as the World Health Care Congress, SHRM, the International Institute of Research, and the National Business Group on Health. He has published articles in CDHC Solutions and Human Resource Executive Magazines and has been interviewed by NPR and National SHRM. Mr. Layman currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Louisiana Association of Health Plans. He earned his degree at Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama.
Atlanta Career Office Business Leader
Sean is a Principal consultant and the Office Leader for Mercer’s Atlanta Career team, with over 16 years experience in compensation consulting. Sean assists local, multi-national and global clients with a variety of executive and broad based compensation issues including: strategic pay and reward program design, competitive assessments, job evaluation, and pay structure evaluation and development.
From 1998-2007, Sean managed his own boutique compensation consultancy in Dublin, Ireland, focusing on client consulting opportunities in Executive Compensation, across both public and private sectors in Ireland. He published a number of highly respected compensation surveys on executive compensation in Ireland and Europe, including “Executive Salaries & Fringe Benefits in Ireland” (1999-2006).
In 2007 he joined PricewaterhouseCoopers in Ireland, and managed a variety of human resource and compensation projects, for major clients of the firm across pharmaceutical, financial services and manufacturing sectors, including Coca-Cola, Pfizer, Eli Lilly, Boston Scientific and Allianz Insurance. He also developed PwC’s human capital metrics offering and launched the first survey of its kind in Ireland.
Sean has a BA in English and History from University College Dublin. He is a member of WorldatWork and the Atlanta Area Compensation Association. He has also been guest lecturer on executive compensation issues to the Human Resource Management module in the Michael Smurfit Business School, Dublin, Ireland.
Americas Managing Director
Jeanette Maister is the former chief operating officer of Global Campus Recruiting at Credit Suisse. Prior to Credit Suisse, Maister spent eight years in a variety of campus recruiting leadership roles at Lehman Brothers. She also held positions at IBM in HR, and Gartner, an IT advisory company, as director of Global Talent Acquisition. Maister is passionate about data and metrics. At both Credit Suisse and Lehman she revamped the collection, analysis and presentation of global campus recruiting metrics, which were presently yearly to the Executive Committee and Board of Directors. She is currently the U.S. managing director at WCN, a best-in-class global talent acquisition solutions firm and also serves as a career advisor and coach to MBA and EMBA students at Columbia Business School’s Career Management Center. Maister graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a BA in psychology and earned her MBA from Columbia Business School.
Martenson, Hasbrouck & Simon LLP
Marty N. Martenson is a native of Tacoma, Washington. He attended North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North Carolina, graduating in 1986 with B.A. degrees in both Business Management and Economics. Mr. Martenson attended Mercer Law School, graduating cum laude in 1989.
Mr. Martenson is currently the managing partner of Martenson, Hasbrouck & Simon LLP and is involved in representing management in all areas of labor and employment law.
In his practice, Mr. Martenson focuses on employment discrimination, labor law, collective bargaining and union contracts, wage and hour law, affirmative action, policy drafting and counseling and preventive maintenance.
Mr. Martenson also presents and participates in numerous seminars throughout the country for many of the firm’s clients, as well as groups such as the State Departments of Labor, local Chambers of Commerce and numerous other industry associations.
Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete, LLP
Jonathan Martin is an equity partner with Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete, LLP.
Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete, LLP has counseled employers on labor and employment law matters, exclusively, since 1946. With more than 160 attorneys, and with 30 offices, the firm has been designated as a “Go To” Law Firm by both Corporate Counsel and Fortune magazines. The firm is top-ranked by the U.S. News & World Report/Best Lawyers Best Law Firms survey.
Jonathan is a graduate of the Terry School of Business, University of Georgia, (B.B.A.- Banking & Finance, cum laude), and a graduate of the Walter F. George School of Law, Mercer University, (J.D., magna cum laude), where he served as the administrative editor of the Mercer Law Review.
Prior to being in private practice, Jonathan served as a military lawyer in the Air Force Judge Advocate General (JAG) Corps, where he also served as a Special Assistant United States Attorney. Jonathan currently serves as an officer in the Georgia Air National Guard.
Jonathan focuses his practice in employment discrimination litigation for management, defending corporations in law suits arising under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as well as related state laws. Jonathan also represents management in traditional labor law issues under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and in wage & hour issues under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
The former chairman of the State Bar of Georgia’s Employers’ Duties & Problems Committee, and the former state-wide Chairman of the Georgia Department of Labor’s Georgia Employer Committee, (a public-private partnership representing over 1,600 employers) Jonathan conducts extensive management training on labor and employment law subjects for corporations and government agencies throughout the United States. Jonathan also serves on the FMLA Subcommittee and the Labor Relations Committee of the United States Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C.
Jonathan is a contributing co-author to the Mercer Law Review publishing an annual article on Labor & Employment Law for the Annual Survey of Georgia Law, and he is a Chapter Editor of ABA/BNA publication, The Developing Labor Law (7th Edition). Recently, he co-authored an article on Labor & Employment Law for Mercer Law Review’s Eleventh Circuit Survey (GA, AL, FL).
In 2006, Jonathan was selected as a “Rising Star” in the SuperLawyers® Edition of Atlanta Magazine.
In 2007, Jonathan was named one of Georgia Trend Magazine’s “40-under-40,” which recognizes “Georgia’s Best and Brightest – rising stars in business, politics, the arts, nonprofits and education.”
In 2012, Jonathan was awarded the Martindale-Hubbell® AV Preeminent® rating, the highest possible rating for an attorney for both ethical standards and legal ability. The pinnacle of professional excellence, the rating is achieved only after a recommendation by members of the bar and the judiciary.
In 2013, Jonathan was named a “2013 BTI Client Service All-Stars.” Of 307 lawyers nominated nationally by in-house counsel, Jonathan was identified as one of 28 labor and employment attorneys who were “Client Service All-Stars,” an honor reserved for those that set themselves apart by keeping a close eye on changing trends in the regulatory and legal landscape, and by paying attention to clients’ needs, according to the BTI Consulting Group Inc. (Wellesley, Mass.).
Justin McWhorter is an expert in how the intersection of technology and HR is changing work trends. He is a self-proclaimed People Geek at Sage People, a global cloud HRIS that helps mid-sized organizations apply new ways to acquire, manage and engage their workforce. He has over 15 years-experience in helping companies identify, recruit and retain the best talent in the marketplace with firms including SAP, PWC and Workday, while equipping business leaders to understand their people better through workforce and people analytics.
Lepora Menefee, SHRM-SCP, SPHR
Dr. Lepora Menefee, SHRM- SCP, SPHR, Prosci, Six Sigma Black Belt, PMP
Dr. Lepora Menefee is a well- sought keynote speaker on People and Process topics worldwide. She is the Managing Director of Nextgen People, a cutting edge firm that specializes in Talent Management Next Practices in a multigenerational environment.
Dr. Menefee has partnered with many global business leaders and organizations to be more effective in their transformations and efficient in process operations. She is especially passionate about elevating leader performance and seeing individual and organizational potential realized. She also has a special focus on Intentional Culture and Intergenerational Employee Engagement.
Dr. Lepora Menefee has worked and led teams as an internal leader and consultant in Fortune 500 companies to achieve positive transformational change in people and processes. Some companies, with which Dr. Lepora Menefee has partnered include ManpowerGroup, Randstad, Capital Blue Cross, Deloitte, Coca- Cola and Equifax.
Partner and Research Director
Dan Schawbel is a Partner and Research Director at Future Workplace and the New York Times bestselling author of two career books: Promote Yourself and Me 2.0. His new book is called Back to Human: How Great Leaders Create Connection in the Age of Isolation. Through his companies, he’s conducted over 40 research studies, interviewed over 1,800 successful people, written over 2,000 articles and spoken at over 150 conferences, companies and Universities. Schawbel has worked for several major brands including American Express, Virgin, Coca Cola and Oracle, and has been profiled or quoted in over 1,200 media outlets, such as NBC’s “The Today Show”, Fox News’s “Fox & Friends”, MSNBC’s “Your Business”, The Steve Harvey Show, The Wall Street Journal, People Magazine, Wired Magazine, GQ, The Economist and NPR. He has been recognized on several lists including Inc. Magazine’s “30 Under 30”, Forbes Magazine’s “30 Under 30”, Business Insider’s “40 Under 40”, BusinessWeek’s “20 Entrepreneurs You Should Follow” and as one of Workforce Magazine’s “Game Changers”.
Geoffrey Scheer began his training career with Access Communications in 2004, playing the role of “George” in training seminars on sexual harassment awareness and diversity conducted across the country for such clients as AIG, HSBC, Merrill Lynch and many others. Prior to becoming Managing Director, Geoffrey enjoyed a successful career in the performing arts as an actor, director, playwright and producer. He was co-founder of the theater company Write Club NYC and Company Manager for The Water Coolers, an award winning comedy troupe that specializes in providing customized entertainment for large-scale corporate events. As a playwright, Geoffrey’s works have been published by Samuel French, reviewed in the New York Times and performed in theaters and colleges across the country.
Taylor English Duma LLP
Ann Schildhammer is an experienced litigator whose practice concentrates in general business/commercial litigation, employment litigation and HR counseling, personal injury defense, and real estate and title litigation. Utilizing her experience as former general counsel for a top-40 home building company, she also provides general business advice in the areas of legal and regulatory compliance matters, risk management and the supervision/management of outside legal counsel. Ms. Schildhammer has extensive experience handling employment discrimination claims, wrongful termination, and claims involving nondisclosure/noncompetition agreements. She provides management and employee sensitivity training on various HR issues, including sexual harassment; conducts internal employment audits; and prepares and provides advice on employment contracts and separation agreements. Ms. Schildhammer also has handled numerous real estate/title litigation matters, several of which have resulted in published opinions.
Upon graduation from law school, Ms. Schildhammer joined Morris, Manning & Martin LLP, where she practiced as an associate and then a partner for 18 years. Thereafter, she held the role of executive vice president and general counsel for McCar Homes Inc., one of her longtime clients. Before joining Taylor English, Ms. Schildhammer chaired the litigation practice group for Perrie & Associates LLC.
Ms. Schildhammer has served as a Commissioner for the City of Alpharetta Recreation & Parks Department and has been a longtime youth sports coach. She started the fast pitch softball program at Mount Pisgah Christian School, served as head coach of Mount Pisgah’s Varsity Girls Basketball team, and also coached basketball at Kings Ridge Christian School. Ms. Schildhammer currently coaches both JV and Varsity Girls Basketball at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School, and is proud to have been a part of Holy Innocents’ 2016 2A State Championship season.
When she’s not practicing law, spending time with her two college-age sons, engaging in community service, or coaching, Ms. Schildhammer enjoys golf, tennis, scuba diving and other water sports, and riding her motorcycle.
Robert Shindell, Ph.D.
Intern Bridge, Inc.
President & CEO
During the past 20 years, Robert Shindell has successfully held a variety of professional leadership roles in higher education, as well as the private and public sectors. He has developed career centers at The University of Toledo’s College of Engineering, Midwestern State University and the Rawls College of Business at Texas Tech University. Robert’s innovative approach to career services led The Rawls College of Business Career Management Center to achieve the ranking of 28 in BusinessWeek’s national ranking of College of Business career centers in 2007.
Robert earned a Ph.D. from Texas Tech University a master’s degree in training and development from Midwestern State University, and a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Toledo.
Robert is a Certified Facilitator of The Leadership Challenge and a frequent speaker at conferences across the country.
“The Workplace Therapist”
Brandon Smith is a highly sought-after expert who combines humor, research and practical steps to help audiences overcome some of the biggest challenges facing workplaces today. Known as “The Workplace Therapist,” he’s been interviewed by NPR, Fox News, The New York Post, The Wall Street Journal, and the Today Show for his leadership and communication expertise. He’s created one of the foremost online resources for professionals trying to make the most of their work and is the host of the podcast “The Brandon Smith Show.” When he isn’t out fighting workplace dysfunction, he is an award-winning business instructor at Emory University. He lives to cure workplace dysfunction and set leaders and workplaces free.
Special Agent (Retired)
Matteo Valles retired as a Special Agent with the FBI in 2017 after 30 years of service. He served in 7 field offices and held leadership positions for 14 years, to include 5 years leading FBI activities in 14 countries throughout Central Europe and East Africa.
Matteo has experience in all FBI investigative programs, with emphasis on Counter Intelligence, Complex Financial Fraud, and Violent Crimes. He devoted his final 2 years of service as Outreach Coordinator responsible for educating and presenting various topics of expertise to Defense Contractors and Fortune 1000 companies. His extensive experience around the world positioned him to increase awareness on matters such as Trade Secret Thefts, the Insider Threat and the Essentials of Creating a Mitigation Program, and Maintaining Situational Awareness in Today’s Active Shooter Environment.
Matteo is a Certified Public Accountant, and prior to joining the FBI he worked with a “Big-Four” public accounting firm focused on independent audits and internal control evaluations.
IHG (Intercontinental Hotel Group)
Director of Global IT Services & Support
Scot Whigham is the Director of Global IT Services and Support for Intercontinental Hotel Group. He has worked in IT Operations since 1998 managing IT Service Desk Support, Network/Telecommunications, database administration, software development, and data center operations. His current focus is on technology organizational strategy, digital workforce technology, and operational excellence through data analytics.
Scot earned an MBA from The Georgia Institute of Technology focused on strategy and analytics. He is a Six Sigma Black Belt, ITIL Practitioner, and was named Intercontinental Hotel Group CIO’s 2016 Carpe Diem award winner, 2017 Delivery Excellence award winner, Technology Association of Georgia’s 2017 Excalibur award winner for Most Creative Solution, Technology Association of Georgia’s 2017 Product Launch of the Year award winner, and named by CIO Executive Council and CIO Magazine as 2018’s One To Watch winner.
Scot currently resides in Atlanta, GA with his wife and 2 sons.
In House Counsel / VP of Human Resources
Katherine Williams has been growing her career with Diaz Foods for the past 12 years, and currently serves as In House Counsel and VP of Human Resources. Diaz Foods is an ethnic food importer distributing to restaurants and supermarkets in twenty-six states. In her capacity, Katherine oversees the day to day human resources needs of 400 employees throughout 12 states as well as advising the other companies that fall under the Diaz Group. Additionally, she is responsible for the management of all legal issues that are presented to the company. With her personal experience and institutional knowledge of the company, Katherine brings a unique perspective to the company as well as community that they serve.
Katherine received her JD from Georgia State University and a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and International Business from GSU. Although not an Atlanta native, Katherine has lived in Atlanta most her life. In her free time, Katherine enjoys exploring the city she calls home, as well as traveling abroad.
Monica Wofford, CSP
Contagious Companies, Inc.
Monica first began her speaking career in 1989 with a keynote to 8600 fellow college students. In27 countries and all 50 states, she has since provided keynote addresses and training through her firm Contagious Companies, Inc., for the last 25 years. Monica has earned both an MBA and the honor of Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) through National Speakers Association (NSA). She has served her community in the role of President of the Board for Freedom Ride, President of NSA Central Florida, and NSA National Strategic Planning Committee Member, Editorial Advisory Board Chair of SPEAKER Magazine, NSA National Treasurer and member of the NSA Board of Directorssince 2011.
A former corporate executive, recently selected to serve on the Leadership Advisory Board of Crummer School of Business Leadership Center of Rollins College, Monica has become known as a leadership development expert who writes, speaks, trains, coaches, and consults on how to become a better leader in life and work. She is the author of six books, including Contagious Leadership and Make Difficult People Disappear, and has written and interviewed for many media outlets.
Yet, when she is not volunteering, speaking, or training, Monica leads her life, manages to maintain her entertaining and contagious sense of humor, and corrals the voices in her head, either from the back of one of her horses or when spending time with her amazing family.
Nancy Wolk, MBA
As an avidly recognized and requested expert in the field of coaching and leadership development, Nancy draws on her diverse experience to provide clients with effective solutions to drive retention, engagement, recruitment and results that are critical to an organization’s success. Her passion for linking the fundamentals of leadership to people development is a critical component of eMentorConnect’s success. She is an active board member of charities that positively impact our children and our future. Prior to launching eMentorConnect, she was a senior sales leader, director of operations and marketing product manager at Pfizer, Inc. Nancy earned a BA from the University of Rochester and an MBA from Loyola University. She is certified in Situational Leadership and works extensively with many Fortune 500 clients addressing their talent management challenges more effectively through technology.