HR Retail 2018

April 10-April 12, 2018

Rancho Bernardo Inn, San Diego, CA



Our Speakers

HR Practitioners

Aaron  Belville
Aaron Belville
Dollar General

Aaron Belville currently serves as Vice President of HR Operations for Dollar General, a Fortune 150 retailer based in Goodlettsville, Tennessee. He leads the Human Resources function for all of the company’s corporate and international employees and is also responsible for HR Shared Services, Administrative Services, HR Operations and Executive Staffing. Aaron joined Dollar General in 2008 and has held roles of increasing responsibility since that time in dispute resolution, employee relations, compensation and retail HR.

Aaron was previously responsible for all HR generalist activities for Comdata and Stored Value Solutions, both wholly owned subsidiaries of Ceridian, a global human capital management technology company based in Minneapolis. Before pursuing a career in Human Resources, Aaron was a licensed attorney in Michigan where his practice focused on representing employers in employment law matters. Aaron holds a bachelor’s degree in government and public administration from Lipscomb University, a law degree from the University of Tennessee and an MBA from the University of Mississippi.

Barbara  Busquet
Barbara Busquet
Sr. Manager, Corporate & Retail Training Leader
Perry Ellis International

Barbara is a learning & development professional whose career has spanned several businesses and industries (publishing, healthcare, technology and apparel).  Now with Perry Ellis International as the lead for corporate and retail training, Barbara has used her expertise in sales, marketing and technology to focus on deploying successful training programs that are scalable and meaningful, both for the associate and the company. Barbara also specializes in facilitating team workshops and communicating the value of coaching throughout all levels of the organization.

Barbara believes that lifelong learning and sharing expertise are the pillars of a successful life. She leads the school to work program for Perry Ellis in partnership with Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Miami. Now in it’s fourth year, the program has tripled in size and continues to grow every year. This allows at risk high school students to shadow Perry Ellis employees every month throughout the school year at their headquarters in Miami.  Eventually some of the students go on to work in the retail stores and join the Perry Ellis family.

Barbara earned an MBA from Barry University in Miami and a Bachelors of Science degree from the University of Miami. She is a member of ATD and SHRM.    

Patti Clauss
Patti Clauss
VP, Global Talent Acquisition
Williams Sonoma, Inc.
Patti Clauss has been helping companies evaluate talent and hire for over 25 years. Patti began her career in the staffing industry consulting with businesses on their immediate and future needs. After many years of being the top in her field in Seattle for a leading search firm, she was hired away by one of her clients, Eddie Bauer. After hundreds of successful hires of executives, designers, and merchants over several years with the company, she eventually moved to San Francisco to join Williams Sonoma Inc and their host of brands.
At Williams Sonoma Inc. Patti was brought in to support the Pottery Barn brands, with over a decade of time with the company she has hired executives and support staff for all facets of the overall business. She now heads up their entire Executive search globally. She is a contributor in the recently released book “Students in High Gear”, a member of the executive “TAG” group within the NRF and has served as Board of Advisors at SCAD, Atlanta campus.
Patti has a BA in English with a minor in Philosophy.
Carina  Cortez
Carina Cortez
VP, Human Resources, Global eCommerce

Carina owns the human capital strategy and Human Resources Business Partner (HRBP) relationship for US eCommerce and WalmartLabs – working closely with leaders to meet the growing needs of the business.  She and her team are focused on strengthening people manager capabilities, top talent acceleration, organization effectiveness and driving engagement and retention for their client organizations. 

Prior to joining Walmart in 2015, Carina spent almost 9 years at PayPal, where she held a variety of leadership roles, including: leading Global Learning & Organization Development, Director HR Strategy and Operations, and HR Business Partner.  Prior to PayPal, she spent several years at Visa in client facing roles including HRBP, HR Generalist, recruitment, training and benefits. Carina holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Human Resource Management from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.

Carina will tell you that she’s known since her first entry level Human Resources Management course in college that she was destined for a career in HR; not because of her love for people, rather driving to understand the Human Capital implications to achieve an overall business strategy.  She’s passionate about addressing business and strategic challenges head on with leaders to come up with innovative, yet practical, sustainable solutions.

She currently resides in Pleasanton, California with her husband and 2 daughters.  When not at work, Carina enjoys hiking, baking, volunteering at her kids’ schools, and travelling.  

Jami  Delaney
Jami Delaney
VP, Talent Development

Jami Delaney is VP Talent Development at Macy’s. Her work is focused on developing and overseeing key talent practices for Macy’s Inc. that enable performance. This includes career framework, succession strategies, and new approaches to performance management. 

Jami brings over 15 years of diversified experience in retail including Merchandising and Product Development, Strategy and Process Improvement. She has worked on large scale project management, process design and change management for Macy’s Private Brands which led to significant improvements in our overall Speed to Market.

Jami joined HR in 2012 as an HRBP and gained additional responsibility including Talent Acquisition and College Recruitment. Prior to her current role, Jami was the VP-HRBP at Macy’s Private Brands, and led key initiatives and new performance models with a test and learn approach.  She is a champion for talent and passionate about the work she is leading for Macy’s Inc.

Brynn  Diaz
Brynn Diaz
Manager, Talent Resource, North America
LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics

Brynn Diaz has been with Lush North America since she opened their 3rd US location in Santa Monica as a keyholder. Working her way up through management and new shop opening in LA and Bay areas, she joined the recruiting efforts in 2007 as Lush USA went through their first big wave of expansions. Brynn now manages a team of recruiters for retail, manufacturing and HQ, and is responsible for the talent acquisition strategy, employer branding, support systems; and aligning closely with people and culture operations to find, hire, develop and retain top talent for Lush North America. 

Melissa  Enbar
Melissa Enbar
VP, People & Culture

Melissa Enbar is the VP of People & Culture at Birchbox, a beauty and grooming retailer redefining the way people discover and shop for new products. Today Birchbox has operations in six countries, two brick-and-mortar stores, more than a million subscribers and 350 global employees. Melissa oversees the HR function, which includes hiring awesome, talented people, building initiatives to strengthen management, driving clear growth and employee development, and fostering a strong culture. Prior to joining Birchbox in 2011, she oversaw staff recruiting at Harvard Business School, worked in Human Resources at Oliver Wyman, and managed the Human Resources function for a 300-person Target store. She graduated from the University of Maryland, where she earned a BA in Psychology. Outside Birchbox HQ, Melissa loves to cook (but hates following recipes), practices yoga, and is on a constant quest for creative ways to entertain her toddler and infant daughters. 

Carolyn  Fischer
Carolyn Fischer
VP, Global Talent Management
TJX Companies
Jim Gorenc
Jim Gorenc
Five Below
Lindsay Grim
Lindsay Grim
Manager, Talent Acquisition, West Coast
Best Buy
Cory  Gundberg
Cory Gundberg
SVP, Business Engagement and Strategy

Cory Gundberg is the Senior Vice President of Business Engagement & Strategy for WalmartLabs, the technology division of Walmart. Cory is responsible for ensuring WalmartLabs is working on the right priorities across eCommerce and Stores for the company and our customers. He and his team consult with the business to identify needs and provide scalable solutions using technology, data, analytics and insights. Cory also has management responsibilities for the 1,200 WalmartLabs associates in Bangalore, India.

Cory joined Walmart in 2010 and has served in leadership roles across three separate operating divisions. He previously served as Vice President of Strategic Planning for Walmart Technology. In this role Cory was responsible for developing and delivering Walmart’s technology strategy, leveraging technology innovation and governance practices. Prior to joining Walmart Technology, Cory held leadership roles in Walmart US, focusing on developing process and technology solutions with a global mindset. 

Before joining Walmart, Cory was a consultant with Accenture in the retail practice. He has experience with business and technology strategy, improving business capabilities, change management and application delivery. Cory has worked with companies like Best Buy U.S., Best Buy Canada and Coles Myer, a large Australian retail conglomerate.   

Cory holds a B.S. in Management Information Systems from Minnesota State University. He and his wife Devina have four children, and they currently reside in Bentonville, Arkansas.

Claudia  Healy
Claudia Healy
VP, HR Operations
Verizon Wireless

Claudia is Vice President – Wireless HR Operations. She is responsible for providing national HR business partner support to 78,800+ employees.

Prior to her current role she was Vice President – Global Talent Acquisition & Development, HR Operations & Administration at Verizon Communications. This is a role she has held since January 2012. In this role, she is responsible for working closely with the Executive Team to design and manage talent acquisition and development strategy and translate business objectives into programs and solutions that support the enterprise. Healy also leads the Center of Excellence for Human Resources shared services supporting the full employee lifecycle administration from hire to retire including – new hire administration , pre-employment screening, tuition assistance, relocation, immigration, unemployment administration, employee referral program administration among other processes.

She also was VP – HR Business Partner – Verizon Services & Verizon Communications Corporate Staff functions. In this role, she was responsible for managing a team of HR professionals around the globe who focused on proactively providing advice and consulting services to line business executives on the planning, application and management of human capital required to deliver the business unit strategy and operational performance.

Healy joined Verizon in 1997 in the Learning/Workforce Development Function in human resources and later held a variety of positions of increasing responsibility and authority with the company’s Wireless division including Executive Director level positions. As Executive Director, south area HR Field Operations, Healy had responsibility for a field organization of 10,000 employees including staffing, employee relations, compensation, performance management, learning and development and culture/employee engagement. In 2002 Healy was appointed VZW Director of Sales Compensation and in 2003 the Executive Director of Sales Compensation & Broadbase Compensation reporting directly to the SVP of HR for Verizon Wireless. This included responsibility for the design, implementation, and administration of the business unit’s merit pay plan, short term incentive plan, sales commission plan, employee recognition program and oversight and governance of the area and corporate quota review

boards of the wireless business unit. With the Verizon acquisition of MCI in 2006 Healy was appointed to the position of Executive Director HR – employee and labor relations, culture, communications and the Head of the unit’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion. In 2009 Healy was appointed VP HR – Business Partner for Verizon Business and Verizon Services Organization, a role she held up to her current position. In this role, Healy supported an enterprise wide client group of 40,000+ including the Corporate staff functions, Verizon Services Organization, the Latin America region and the company’s IT operations of 6,000+ employees based in Asia Pacific.

A native of New Jersey, she holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Management and a master’s degree of business with a minor in Human Resources both from Fairleigh Dickinson University – Madison Campus. Healy became a member of the Seton Hall Leadership Development Program – Executive Advisory Council for the Stillman School of Business in 2011, became a member of the Hackett Leadership Advisory Council in 2012, joined the Corporate Executive Board’s Talent Management Customer Advisory Board in 2013, and was selected by Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Silberman College of Business to their Top “50” Under “50” in 2015. Healy lives in New Jersey with her husband, Chance, and is a working mother of four.

Donna Heiden
Donna Heiden
Senior Director, HR Business Partner for Global Retail
Levi Strauss & Co.
Alan Langford
Director, Broadcast & Media Productions
JC Penney
Dwight  Lavender
Dwight Lavender
Head of Human Resources, West Area

Dwight Lavender, talent strategist, inclusion advocate and HR visionary, leads HR for Sprint Corporation's West Area. In this capacity, he is responsible for providing HR leadership to the employee population of the Western half of the US for Sprint’s company-owned retail, indirect retail, and dealer-owned retail businesses. Prior to his current role, Dwight spent time with YUM Brands - KFC, Macy's and Target Corporation, in a number of roles and in a variety of markets, including leading Field HR for KFC across the US; leading Macy's executive talent development efforts within the Mid-Atlantic Region; and leading Target's national field diversity & inclusion efforts. 

Passionate about community involvement, Dwight is a past board member of Pillsbury United Communities in Minneapolis, MN. He is also a past board member of Community LINC, the Gillis Center and Destination Kansas City. He is a past Captain of Target’s local community efforts within two Midwest markets and helped lead two large library makeover projects in the Kansas City area. Knowing the importance of “giving back,” Dwight encourages others to participate in local volunteerism and community engagement.

Dwight received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Missouri – Columbia. He holds an MBA in Finance and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Missouri – Kansas City. In addition, Dwight is certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) by the HR Certification Institute and as a Senior Certified Professional (SCP) in HR by the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM).

A gifted speaker and workshop facilitator, Dwight’s expertise spans numerous disciplines. To be noted, within his specialty areas, he is available to facilitate workshops/sessions or speak on the following topics:

Diversity & Inclusion

Positive Employee Engagement and Team Culture

Leadership Development

A native of Cleveland, OH, Dwight grew up in Kansas City, MO and still considers the Kansas City area “home.” Enjoying the newlywed life, Dwight and his beautiful wife, Adrina, recently relocated to the Phoenix, AZ area and are enjoying the perfect weather and beautiful scenery! 

Chris  Lawler
Chris Lawler
Sr. Training & Development Specialist, Retail
Perry Ellis International

Chris Lawler’s background includes ten years of experience in retail, managing stores with a proven track record in leading teams to sales success by translating company values and vision into actionable strategies for the customer experience.  

Chris is also known as a dynamic trainer who is passionate about teaching others to perform their best in the retail spectrum. She is currently at Perry Ellis in Training & Development where she has designed and implemented a training program that aims to teach a simple but effective sales methodology to the sales force.   

Previous to that, Chris worked at AutoNation in an HR capacity working on the implementation of a performance management process for a multi-site automotive brand.

Susan Lee
Susan Lee
VP, Head of People
Warby Parker

Susan Lee is the VP of People at Warby Parker. She is an HR Executive committed to the constant challenging, improving, and innovating of the talent function in companies. Her approach is to meld her experience at technology and media startups at various stages of growth, with her passions for employee branding, organizational development, social consciousness, and an entrepreneurial spirit, to make meaningful impact to the landscape of how work is being done.

Susan is an avid snowboarder, romance reader, bourbon drinker, and reality TV watcher… all of which she firmly believes makes her better at her job.

Brandy  Lindsey
Brandy Lindsey
Director, Talent Acquisition, Supply Chain Network

Brandy Lindsey is the Director of Talent Acquisition for Nordstrom’s Supply Chain Network. She has 21 years of experience in Human Resources, and has an extensive history of innovation in her field and project management, including leading the startup team that supported the launch of Nordstrom’s East Coast Fulfillment Center in (year – 2015?) and has created and implemented a successful Early in Career development program for new leaders. She consolidated the hiring structure for Nordstrom’s Fulfillment network, resulting in the successful hiring of 1600 employees in the first year that new hiring structure was implemented, and currently supports HR teams in Illinois, California, Iowa and Pennsylvania. Outside of work, Brandy has served on the Board of Directors for Boys and Girls Club as well as volunteering as a Big Sister, has chaired the United Way Campaign for the Nordstrom facility, and is an active member of the Society of Human Resources.

Myke  Mansberger
Myke Mansberger
VP, People

Myke Mansberger is the Vice President of People at Bombas, a fast growing, energetic e-commerce apparel company. He has an extensive background in technology, human resources, and marketing and has studied both digital media and organizational development at New York University and Colorado State University. With his experience working with high growth startups including LivePerson, Magnetic and Bombas, he has had the opportunity to transform the HR landscape to meet the expectations of our modern day workforce.

Tricia Mansfield
VP, Human Resources
Fresh Direct
Stacey  Miller
Stacey Miller
Diversity & Inclusion Program Manager

Stacey is a dedicated Diversity and Inclusion professional with Giant/Martin’s Grocery Retailer and experienced professional across the CPG, Retail and Building Products industries.  Stacey devotes her energy to supporting the associates and business leaders to drive Diversity & Inclusion Initiatives.  She draws upon 25-plus years of corporate business experience and 29 years of military service.  She is a former Professor of Graduate Studies from Delaware Valley College and today continues her passion to support students through her college outreach work for Giant/Martin’s and Network of Executive Women’s (NEW) Greater Philadelphia Chapter, supporting partnerships across local universities.   She received her BA in Economics from Millersville University, her MBA from Lebanon Valley College, and her Associates in Force Management from the Community College of the Air Force.

Stacey earned the distinction of one of the Top Women In Grocery in 2015, and accepted the award on behalf of NEW Greater Philadelphia as College Outreach of the Year 2016.  

Stephanie Miller
Stephanie Miller
Director, Employee Relations
Walgreen Co.
Rob  Ollander-Krane
Rob Ollander-Krane
Director, Talent Planning & Performance
Gap Inc.

Rob Ollander-Krane is the Director of Talent Planning and Performance at Gap Inc.  Gap Inc. is comprised of 5 brands (Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Athleta and Intermix) and employs 140,000 people in over 40 countries.  Rob’s passion is performance.  He has spent most of his career in Learning and Development, Talent Management and most recently Performance Management and Talent Planning.  His last four years have been focused on reinventing Gap Inc.’s performance management process.  As he describes it, changing our process to focus more on performance and less on management.  

Brandon Raasch
Brandon Raasch
Director, Human Resources
West Marine
Johnny Sanchez
Johnny Sanchez
Head of Recruiting
Hot Topic
Ronda  Sheffield
Ronda Sheffield
VP, Human Resources

Ronda J. Sheffield, Ph.D. is Vice President of Human Resources – Lowe’s Home Improvement.   As Vice President for Lowe’s…Ronda is helping to accelerate Lowe’s transformation through leadership, differentiated talent models, attracting and developing the best talent and building a culture of engagement, agility and innovation. 

Under Ronda’s leadership, companies have instituted ground-breaking solutions for optimizing global workforce outcomes through talent analytics and data, with special emphasis on predictive analytics as a cornerstone of how human resources are managed.  In addition to human resources responsibilities like compensation and benefits, compliance, training, and employment policies, Ronda has an expansive strategic talent management philosophy. She had supported strategic board-level initiatives and is a thought leader and major contributor to HR leadership teams.  In her over 20 years in Human Resources, Ronda has had extensive experience leading organizational transformations.

Prior to her current role, she was Head of Human Resources for Sprint – East Area where she integrated Sprint’s talent functions to deliver faster end-to-end solutions in the areas of skills, careers, succession, performance management, attraction and retention. Her other roles have included HR Leadership positions for Starbucks Coffee Company, Sheffield Consulting Group, Inc, Rite Aid Pharmacy, Walmart Stores and Management Consulting Group.

Ronda earned a Bachelor of Science from University of West Georgia, a Masters of Arts degree in Psychology from University of West Georgia and a PhD. from Georgia State University. She is a certified facilitator for the Benchmark 360 assessment by the Center for Creative Leadership and is a qualified facilitator for the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and HOGAN Assessment. 

Currently she is a board of director member for the University of West Georgia, a member of SHRM Atlanta, a member of Human Resource People & Strategy (HRPS), and a member of Human Resource Leadership Forum (HRLF). 

Ronda lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband Dr. Marcus E. Brooks, MD, her two sons and her 103-year-old grandmother.

Zuleika  Sgro
Zuleika Sgro
VP, Retail
Saje Natural Wellness

Zuleika Sgro is the VP, Retail at Saje Natural Wellness in beautiful Vancouver, B.C., Canada. Prior to her most recent appointment she was the Sr. Manager of Talent Services and HR business partner at Questrade Inc., in Toronto for over seven years. She has over 10 years of extensive experience in progressive People and HR practices focusing on talent management, international recruitment, strategic talent acquisition and HR compliance specifically within rapid growing organizations. Zuleika is a Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP). She graduated from the University of Waterloo with honours degree in business and communications, specializing in HR. She also holds a post-graduate diploma from George Brown College in human resources management. She also contributes to the Globe and Mail within the Nine to Five column on a regular rhythm providing career advice to the Nation. Zuleika was also recognized for her work in Diversity inclusion by winning the 2011, TRIEC Canadian HR Award for Individual Achievement. Zuleika has a passion for wellness and pushing the mark in talent management in innovative talent practices and is currently working towards her U.S. HR certification with the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM). Zuleika loves exploring the outdoors and is a true believer in the power of yoga and meditation.

Jennifer Sullivan
Jennifer Sullivan
Manager, Human Resources, Retail Stores, West Coast
Kiehl’s Since 1851, L’Oreal LUXE USA
I started my  career in cosmetics as a part time Beauty Advisor for CHANEL.  Prior to that, I’d held numerous upper level management positions such as Store Manager for Pac Sun, Claire’s Boutiques and Wet Seal; Department Manager of handbags, hosiery and accessories for Harris’ Department Store; and Safety and Compliance Officer for Inland Empire Composting. But when I was able to really choose where I wanted to go next in my career, I knew I wanted to get into the beauty world...and there is no better place to start than at the beginning.
After working as a Beauty Advisor for about a year, I became a Makeup Artist and eventually worked my way up to Account Executive for CHANEL. After 11 years with the brand, I was approached by a recruiter to take over the Los Angeles market as Account Executive for IDC – International Designer Collections for L’Oreal LUXE – representing Yves Saint Laurent beauty and fragrances, Giorgio Armani beauty and fragrances, and designer fragrances for L’Oreal LUXE.  Two quick years later, I moved to Kiehl’s Since 1851 as Manager of Retail Sales for Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, South Bay and Palm Desert. In this role I really began to stretch my wings regarding talent development. With 37 direct-report employees in 5 retail stores along with 15 wholesale accounts within a multi-million dollar territory, I realized very quickly that my strongest return on investment was to  develop my people.
Today I am humbled to serve as the Manager of Human Resources for Kiehl’s Since 1851 to the West Coast Retail Stores. Every day I get to help people find their passion and set it into motion toward a meaningful career path. I’ve been very fortunate to have had strong leaders and mentors throughout my career, and as such I have a compelling need to do the same for others.
A job isn’t just a job – it’s who you are. It is no small task to find that job that is you…and so I look forward to growing the family of Kiehl’s Since 1851 with other enthusiastic people who can bring their skills and uniqueness to the brand to keep it alive and well for another 166 years!
Justin Taylor
Justin Taylor
SVP, Human Resources
Charming Charlie
Gaurav Valani
Gaurav Valani
Head of Talent

Gaurav Valani is the Head of Talent at Overstock (NASDAQ: OSTK). He is responsible for leading a robust talent acquisition team tasked to help Overstock build and implement strategic global recruiting initiatives which will help them attract, retain and empower the best talent in the marketplace.

In addition to being an Entrepreneur, Career Coach and Professional Speaker, Gaurav is also an official member of the Forbes Coaches Council and Forbes HR Council,. Gaurav is also the Founder and President of CareerSprout. CareerSprout is dedicated to empowering millennials, young professionals and executives to build a purpose-driven career, through finding meaningful work.

Prior to Overstock and CareerSprout, Gaurav was the co-founder of TrueBridge LA and helped grow TrueBridge to $72M in annual sales prior to acquisition. Gaurav has been in the staffing and recruiting industry for 10+ years and has helped over 5,000 people land jobs at top companies such as, Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Disney, Kaiser, Coca-Cola, Boeing, Mattel, Snap Inc., Beach Body, Space X, and many more.

Alexis  Warren
Alexis Warren
Director, People, Stores
Charlotte Russe

As People Director for Stores at Charlotte Russe, Alexis has the privilege of leading the field organization in all things development. Starting her career in the military she realized early on that she had a passion for helping people become their best selves. After trading in her camouflage for red and khaki she entered the world of retail and eventually HR working at Target, Old Navy and now Charlotte Russe in multiple generalist capacities. Supporting multiple business partners and processes, no role is more fulfilling than her work in Leadership Development. With a strategic lens, she works to identify road blocks and challenges and leads the development solutions from conception to execution. Traditional approaches to learning are challenging with limited resources so innovation is a must. Come work through an interactive workshop where Alexis will share some cost neutral development solutions that will engage top talent at all levels!

Robert  Weber
Robert Weber
VP, Human Resources
Rob Weber is the Vice President, Human Resources for Sears Holdings, Corp. a $15B omni-channel, integrated retailer, where he is responsible for leading the HR Business Partner function for over 90,000 employees across the US, India, and Hong Kong, in addition to leading the Compensation and Benefits organization. Over a 20+ year career in operations and Human Resources for global organizations including Groupon, PepsiCo, Western Union, Qwest, Janus Capital, and LSI, Rob has developed and delivered programs in partnership with business leaders that have helped these businesses achieve better results through a focus on knowing their people, using data to drive better talent decisions, and identifying ways they can accelerate growth within their teams. Rob holds a Bachelors of Arts degree from the University of Arizona, where he studied Economics and Humanities before moving to Colorado to ski and live on a ranch (it didn’t quite work out…). He presently resides in Illinois with his wife and two children, and hopes to find time between work and family activities to sit down with a good book.
Elizabeth Wolfson
Chief People Officer
Casper Sleep

Industry Thought Leaders

Evan  Armstrong
Evan Armstrong
VP Government Affairs
​As a member of RILA's Government Affairs team, Evan Armstrong leads advocacy efforts related to workforce and employment issues before Congress and federal agencies, including the Department of Labor (DOL), the EEOC and NLRB.​
Adam Godson
Adam Godson
Vice President, Technology Solutions
Melissa Hassett
Melissa Hassett
Vice President
ManpowerGroup Solutions

Melissa Hassett is Vice President of Client Delivery at ManpowerGroup Solutions. With more than 18 years of experience, Melissa is a strategic leader with a passion for helping clients succeed in the changing world of work.  Her key strengths include streamlining processes and launching and managing large scale talent acquisition strategies. Melissa’s specialty is in high-volume recruiting for call center, retail, sales, warehouse, technicians and other repetitive positions.

Chris Hogan
Chris Hogan
VP, Retail Solutions
Chris has 20 years’ experience in the Recruiting and Staffing industry, with heavy specialization in Talent Acquisition Technology and Strategy.

He heads up the Retail vertical for Avature, an enterprise Talent Acquisition platform offering Solutions such as; ATS, CRM, In Store Manager, Employee Referrals, Campus/Events, and Onboarding.

In his 6 years at Avature, Avature is proud to currently have over 100 of the Fortune 500 as clients.

The Avature Solutions that have been deployed globally are changing the way the Retail vertical engages with their applicants/customers. Chris is excited to share some of these innovations and best practices in the market.
Ashley Kaplan
Ashley Kaplan
Sr. Employment Law Attorney
Ashley H. Kaplan, Esquire has practiced labor and employment law for more than 20 years. In her current role as Sr. Employment Law Attorney for HRdirect®, the nation’s leading provider of business compliance services for employers, Ashley manages the Legal Research and Content teams responsible for developing business compliance solutions to help employers manage personnel issues. She is also the Director of Legal Content and Labor Law Compliance, overseeing a team of attorneys and human resource professionals responsible for researching, developing, and maintaining Poster Guard® services and compliance products for HRdirect customers. Prior to her current role, Ashley practiced law with a national firm, exclusively representing employers in labor and employment-related matters. Ashley has successfully defended businesses of all sizes in federal and state court and government agency proceedings. She has also published dozens of how-to guides for HR professionals, presented numerous employment law seminars, and trained thousands of employers and front-line supervisors on how to manage HR compliance matters to avoid legal trouble.
Scott LaFrenz
Scott LaFrenz
Market Director
CEB, now Gartner
Scott LaFrenz is a Market Director at CEB, now Gartner and is also a member of the America’s Leadership team for SHL Talent Assessment. Scott has worked for over 10 years with SHL’s Talent Assessment team. During his career he has worked directly with Fortune 50 clients, middle market accounts and ATS partnerships to successfully align measurement programs to client’s business outcomes.
Nathan  Mondragon
Nathan Mondragon
Chief I/O Psychologist

Dr. Nathan Mondragon is Chief I/O Psychologist at HireVue and responsible for the Assessment product and practice. In this role, Nathan and his team work with our customers to custom create Interview/Assessment content driven by our Artificial Intelligence algorithms. He has over 20 years of extensive experience blending Talent Management and Technology solutions and is a recognized expert in the blending of recruitment and selection into a seamless integrated solution.

Angela  Romei
Angela Romei
Director, Paid Leave

Angela Romei is a global strategist who helps corporations develop and implement programs that benefit people, business and the economy. She is a passionate advocate for equality in all aspects of our culture. 

For more than 20 years Angela created and executed global marketing, thought leadership and employment brand campaigns for large corporations, including Microsoft, Accenture and Avanade. She has led executive communications for CEOs, CIOs, CTOs and human resources leaders, helping companies accelerate growth, rebrand and expand business. As a management consultant, she navigated the complexities of acquisitions and geographic expansions through thoughtful and deliberate change management and communications. 

Keith  Ryu
Keith Ryu
CEO & Founder

Keith is the CEO and cofounder of Fountain, a hiring platform built for speed and scale, that is backed by over $11M in venture capital. Fountain is designed specifically to help address the challenges around high-volume, high-velocity, and high-turnover recruiting within retail, delivery, food/beverage, manufacturing, hospitality, etc. The world's most forward-thinking companies, including Uber, Safeway, Deliveroo, John Lewis, Grubhub, rely on Fountain to power its large-scale employee hiring and contractor vetting operations. Since inception, teams across 50 countries have used Fountain to save millions of work-hours, communicate with more than 4MM+ applicants, and provide 400,000 real people with jobs. 

Keith is native to the Bay area, though he spent most of his childhood in Korea and Arizona. He's passionate about the future of work, operations, and tech. Also a self-proclaimed champion at FIFA. 

Mike Tippets
Mike Tippets
VP, Digital Media
Mike Tippets is vice president of the Hughes Global Media Group, a product and solution division of Hughes. Mr. Tippets assumed this position in January of 2010 and in this capacity he is responsible for the development of managed services, software applications and other solutions based on Hughes digital media products and technologies.
Kevin Walker
Kevin Walker
Senior Director, Global Field Marketing
As Director of Employer Insights at, Kevin Walker works directly with employers to deliver actionable insights through recruitment data analysis, best practice sharing and industry trend exploration. Prior to joining Indeed, Kevin spent time in the hospitality and technology industries. He holds a Bachelors Degree from the University of Washington and a Masters of Business Administration from Booth School of Business at The University of Chicago.
Zainab Hayat
Zainab Hayat
Program Director
HR Retail 2018

Zainab is the program director for WBR’s HR events portfolio. As such, she is the project leader and editorial director developing market leading events for senior HR leaders across industries such as retail, healthcare, and government. She builds programs addressing top industry trends and concerns, including recruiting senior executive thought leaders to provide insight and experiences, to create meaningful and productive event and learning experiences. Prior to this role, Zainab supported the WBR production team in running 40+ large-scale conferences.