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Concurrent Session Speakers
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Concurrent Session Speakers


Velma Knowles Sherri Sutton
Paula Humber Courtney Berg
Cheryl Gowdie Justin Libak Suzi Lemen Angie Brown
Liz Weber Richard Kropp Patricia Marmon Lisa Grago


Velma Knowles, MBA, CME

 TOPIC: “Uncovering the Valuable Leader in You” 

Session Time: 9:45AM - 10:45AM


Session Information:
I’m sure you have read more than enough leadership books and taken enough courses that, well you
could write a book on it. Yet, as a leader, you are faced with more challenges than anyone should have
to shoulder. Leading in today’s environment, well, let’s just face it, it’s hard work. After all, being a
leader is about leading people, influencing followers, achieving results and so much more. Leaders who
value others gain greater growth, value and influence themselves. Whether you are a seasoned leader
or an emerging one, you’ll be able to find your inspiration and energy to be the leader everyone wants
to follow (not has to follow) – after all, that’s really what leadership is all about. Learn the seven (7)
easy steps to become the Valuable Leader!

Workplace Application:
Attendees will learn the practical steps for enhancing and improving their leadership skills in an
interactive fun and easy to understand format.

Learning Objectives:
Attendees will:

  • Identify the 7 steps to leadership 
  • Define your gaps in leading others 
  • Learn how to respond to leadership challenges 
  • Learn ho to apply each step for greater growth  

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Sherri Sutton, CPLP

 TOPIC: “Performing with Purpose”

Session Time: 9:45AM - 10:45AM 
Session Information:
Human Capital is what makes companies great. The product or service the company offers is only
available because of the people who deliver it, yet a Gallup study (Jan-June 2018) identified only 34% of
US workers are engaged, and that is the highest percentage in Gallup’s history. If we want employees to
connect to our vision and mission, we need to train them to Perform with Purpose. When we focus on
giving the employees the tools necessary to truly understand how and why their critical job functions
matter, and we have leaders who know how to lead them, then we can move the whole-system to
success. The EARN Method: Perform with Focus will be published in March, 2019, and is written to help
employees and HR Professionals learn to focus not only on EARNing higher wages, but also to create
better relationships, have fulfilling work, and connect with the vision/mission of their organization.

Key learning objectives or key "tak-aways' for the Presentation:
Importance of training front-line employees how to manage:
• Critical functions
• Critical relationships
• Training and documentation of their job functions
• Evaluation of their performance All forms discussed are available on our website.

Three core areas that this presentation addresses:
• Whole-system learning and development
• Performance evaluation and metrics
• Empowered employees
• Buy-in from all levels  


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Paula Humberg, MBA, SHRM-SCP

 TOPIC: “Peace Talks: Navigating Through the World of Conflict in the Workplace”

Session Time: 9:45AM - 10:45AM

Session Information:
As HR professionals, conflict is inevitable. Whether it exists between employees, with
managers, with executives or even internally, conflict left unresolved can lead to lost production,
absences, attrition, violence and even law suits. This interactive talk will:

1. Teach participants to recognize the causes of workplace conflicts.
2. Explain how differences in communication styles can produce tense situations.
3. Suggest solutions for managing cultural expectations and differences.
4. Provide multiple tactics for better listening.
5. Give participants an arsenal of techniques for managing tough conversations.

Key Learning Objectives:
1. Dealing with conflict effectively requires a shift in mindset. Turn conflict into collaboration.
2. Develop a win-win framework for negotiating a resolution.
3. Recognizing your reactive behaviors and how they are triggered will keep you ahead of the
4. There is value in diverse relationships and healthy conflict has a role to play in it.

Core Areas Addressed:
Conflict Resolution
Diversity Communication


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Courtney Berg, SHRM-SCP, SPHR

TOPIC: “The 5 Keys to Building Trust with Your Operations Partners”

Session Time: 11:00AM - 12:00PM  

Session Information:
Organizations lack trust.  A survey revealed that less than 50% of employees trust their companies. Price Waterhouse Coopers found 55% of surveyed global CEO’s were concerned about the lack of trust within their organizations. And at the Women in the World Conference, the audience was told they should not trust HR when it comes to sexual harassment. This presentation will identify five keys to building an atmosphere of trust and teamwork within your organization.

Speaker Info: Ms. Berg  the author of “Enjoy the Ride: What My Bike Taught Me About Managing People” and has been published in national magazines, including being featured Inc. Magazine.   She has over three decades of Human Resource and Operations Management and for the past 10 years she has run a successful HR management and consulting practice working for- profit, not-for-profit clients in a myriad of industries.   In addition, Courtney has spoken at the 2018 HR Florida Annual conference.

This session has been submitted for (1) Business credit. 

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Cheryl Gowdie, MBA 

TOPIC: “Influence: The Human Resource Leader's Companion”

Session Time: 11:00AM - 12:00PM    

Session Information:
Influence is an important skill at every level of the organization. However, it is critical for
human resource practitioners who can no longer rely on policies and procedures alone to achieve
compliance. There is an increasing need to collaborate with individuals of various disciplines across the
company/organization to deliver business-centric outcomes. Research shows that leaders with
influence achieve exceptional outcome and perceived as subject matter experts; while those without
lack of credibility and are perceived to be ineffective. With increased awareness and intentional actions,
human resource practitioners can become very effective influencers in their organizations. The aim of
this session is to support them to achieve this outcome.

Learning Objectives:
During the session the participants will:
1. Explore what it means to be influential
2. Consider different influencing styles
3. Review influential frameworks and strategies
4. Evaluate their current sphere of influence
5. Discuss strategies to become more influential
6. Discuss key points arising

Three Core Areas addressed:
1. Increase awareness of personal influencing style
2. Evaluate effectiveness of current sphere of influence
3. Consider strategies to become more effective


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Justin Libak 

TOPIC: “Hiring Brand Advocates, not just employees: Using Storytelling to Recruit Top Talent”

Session Time: 11:00AM - 12:00PM   

Session Information:
Storytelling for Recruitment will show how companies can use the power of story to influence
their employment brand and improve recruitment and retention. We will examine the steps that
USA TODAY takes to write their stories and how you can do it for your organization to
differentiate your organization from the sea of sameness.

Learning Objectives:
1. Why employer branding matters
2. How to develop the story
3. Ways and Where to tell your story


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Suzi Lemen, SHRM-SCP, SPHR 

TOPIC: “How to Be A True Business Partner”

Session Time: 1:45PM - 2:45PM  

Session Information:
Are you a business partner or do you desire a promotion to business partner? What does that really
mean? This highly interactive session explores the key attributes and competencies for true business
partnership. Take you relationships to the next level and have the influence you deserve by attending
this exciting session.


Learning Objectives:

  • Describe the role and competencies of true business partnership
  • Determine action steps to build credibility with the business you support
  • Learn how to align HR priorities with strategic business partners

Skills Learned:

  • Approaches to understanding the supported businesses
  • Relationship building techniques
  • How to align priorities with the business

HRCI Body of Knowledge:

  • Business management and strategy
  • Leadership concepts and applications
  • Communication skills and strategies

SHRM Body of Competency and Knowledge

  • Relationship management
  • Business acumen
  • Consultation

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Angie Brown 

TOPIC: “Your Brain Is Amazing... Oh, Don't Forget to Tame The Lizard”

Session Time: 1:45PM - 2:45PM 

Session Information:
We often offer Executive Coaching to the C-Suite or executive leadership team. It's good for them and in
theory, it should be good for the team and their morale. What if we could offer leadership coaching to
all leaders? In most organizations, it's the first line supervisors, middle leadership and even project
leaders that have the most influence over the workforce. What if we could challenge them to consider
their mindset? What if we could coach them long before they get to the C-Suite? What if, we could offer
a new skill, a new technique that would allow them to look at their current situation or issue with a new
lens? What if we could give them a simple five-step process to help cement other leadership training
offered? In this presentation, I will offer the 5-step leadership coaching model I use with front line and
middle leaders. This coaching model has been highly effective and is based in neuroscience which says
we absolutely can rewire our brain for more effective outcomes.

Key learning objectives or key 'take-aways' for the Presentation:
In this session, each participant will learn the five steps and walk through the leadership coaching
model. Come prepared to work on your own amazing brain.

Three core areas that this presentation addresses:
The three core areas this presentation address is:
1. Retention of talented employees.
2. Better communication and highly functioning teams.
3. Continued professional development of all leaders.
4. Higher morale and employee engagement.

Oops, I have four but it's difficult to address only three outcomes of this amazing coaching model. What
I have found is that when we are better leaders, not only do we feel better and have more productivity,
our teams do as well. It all starts with the leader. Leadership is not a title, it's a mindset.


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Liz Weber, MBA, Certified Executive Business Coach & Author

President of Weber Business Services LLC

 TOPIC: “Becoming Influential HR (Because you’re not influential enough now)” 

Session Time: 1:45PM - 2:45PM

Session Information:
Are strategic and personnel decisions made without your input? Do other members of the management team treat you as an adversary instead of an advisor? Would you like to learn why you are NOT viewed as an influential voice and respected HR Professional?  Liz will share answers to these frustrations far too many HR professionals face regularly. Liz will share how savvy and strategic HR professionals can build credibility, highlight their value, and become the trusted and respected influential HR professionals their organizations need.  

Liz is President of Weber Business Services LLC, a management consulting firm which provides strategic and succession planning, executive coaching, and comprehensive leadership training programs to business owners, leaders, executive teams, and boards of directors.   Liz is fewer than 100 people in the U.S. to hold a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) and Certified Management Consultant (CMC) designations. 

This session has been submitted for (1) Business credit. 

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Richard Kropp, EdD, CAGS, Med, SHPR, SHRM-SCP 

TOPIC: “Organizational Storytelling as a Means to Influence and Connect for Success”

 Session Time: 3:15PM - 4:15PM 

 Session Information: 

Dick’s session will introduce participants to the concept of using storytelling in organizations to influence and shape behavior and to build networks that can be used to achieve both individual and system wide success.   

Dick is a Senior Professional in Human Resources in acute care hospitals, academic medical centers and health plans.  He holds a Doctorate in Humanistic Psychology from Boston University and a Masters in Employee Relations from Penn State.  Dr. Kropp is a published author writing in the fields of business communication, team building, and human resource management in healthcare.  

This session has been submitted for (1) Business credit. 

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Patricia Marmon 

TOPIC: “Emphasize (the term Diversity & Inclusion is more than a checkbox item and policy statement)”

Session Time: 3:15PM - 4:15PM 

Session Information:
The term "Diversity & Inclusion" is more than a checkbox item and policy statement. Employers too often look at the surface metrics instead of focusing on the workplace culture. My presentation will focus on steps and strategies that employers can take to make a more "Inclusive" workplace by fostering dignity and respect. I will discuss how the concept of dignity and respect can increase employee engagement, increase retention and improve a culturally inclusive workforce.

Key learning objectives or key 'take-aways' for the Presentation:
Strategy for creating an inclusive workforce by fostering dignity and respect. 
Strategy for creating a management engagement program to drive diversity and inclusion, improve employee engagement and retention. 


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Lisa Grago, SPHR, ICF Certified Coach 

TOPIC: “Change the Conversation - Coaching Skills”

Session Time: 3:15PM - 4:15PM 

Session Information:
Overview: Coaching is a proven, powerful way to increase productivity and engagement in your team. If you have experienced a leader who believed in you, supported you, and nurtured your abilities, you
know the difference coaching can make to the success of your team and organization. By giving
employees the satisfaction of creating solutions for themselves rather than being told, we provide them
with a way to connect, learn and grow within our companies, increasing their portfolio of skills and
career opportunities. We also know as leaders how tough it is to get into “coaching mode” particularly
when the pressure is on to get the job done. As a result, we give our people a fraction of the
development coaching they need to grow and perform at their best. Our program, Change the
Conversation: Coaching Skills will teach leaders to build coaching into daily interactions with staff,
improving the quality of dialogue and increasing accountability and engagement in their team. Leaders
will see the profound impact on performance when employees know their leaders are invested in their
personal success and career development.

Key Learning Objectives:
Outcomes That Change the Conversation: Coaching Skills program will provide: • A common leadership
language, based on shared values and purpose; • A strong leadership team equipped with tools to unite,
engage, and inspire staff; • More effective communication, collaboration, and creativity – yielding better
decisions and better results

Key Takeaways:
1. The GROW Coaching Model: Endorsed by the ICF (International Coach Federation) Global Coaching
Model, the GROW Model is a simply structured and highly effective tool for employee development,
including: • How to build trust and rapport • Generous listening skills to improve awareness of language,
vocal tone and pace, and body language • Use of powerful questions to generate ownership of issues
and co-create options with employees • Designing actions and creating an action plan and meeting
cadence for focused execution

2. Powerful Questions: Successful coaching depends on one’s ability to ask open-ended exploratory
questions in the right order. Change the Conversation: Coaching Skills provides over 100 top coaching
questions for use in a wide range of situations.

3. Peer Practice: Participants will strengthen their coaching skills in real time, using real time, real life
issues drawn from their business. Format Our proven experiential workshop format is highly interactive,
using a blended learning approach comprised of: • Valid, reliable coaching techniques and tools, based
on the ICF Global Coaching model; • Individual and small group activities, to apply and practice new
leadership skills in real-time; • Reflective Learning, including key takeaways and action, plans to
continue development post workshop

Three Core Areas Addressed:
In accordance with the HRCI/SHRM Body of Knowledge:

1. HR Expertise (i.e. "HR as Leader -Coach" advances HR as a Strategic Partner to the business by
modeling coaching techniques for leaders and contributes to helping leaders and Staff take initiative and
ownership of issues and solutions.)

2. Training and Development of leaders and Staff (i.e. Improve Staff's ability to grow and develop in their
role, as well as foster greater engagement through conversation.)

3. Relationship Management (i.e. More robust, effective conversations with Staff lead to an improved
culture, positive relationships built on collaboration.) Additionally,

4. Consultation (i.e. Designing actions that forward the goals of the organization. leading to better
business results.)


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