Alana Karen is a veteran 17-year leader at Google and is long-recognized leader in the tech industry. She’s committed to growing people-focused leaders at Google and beyond, most recently with her series “Still Learning: 17 Years of Lessons Learned at Google” published on LinkedIn and Women 2.0 to hundreds of thousands of readers. Joining Google in 2001, Alana worked on the original Google AdWords product and eventually founded and grew a global team responsible for creating, implementing and maintaining product policies for AdWords and other products. As part of her responsibilities, she ran Google Grants as well, a program to give free ads to non-profits. Alana then joined Google Fiber, where she built the customer service and installs teams, ultimately earning a “Gold Stevie Award” for Customer Service Department of the Year in Telecommunications. She then designed, proposed and launched an internal job placement program, the first of its kind, for 800+ employees.
In her current role, Alana’s scaling program management for the Google Search infrastructure engineering, tackling growth and culture issues, and developing internal developer relations programs. Alana also is a mom to 3 children and a dog in Palo Alto with her husband, Mike, a former Googler and start-up leader. Alana’s route into Technology was non-traditional from the beginning of her professional career: she holds a B.A. in History from the University of Virginia.
Andrew Saidy is a Human Resources executive with more than 15 years of experience with public and private Multinationals and International Organizations. Specialized in leading Digital HR Transformations & Disruptions, Andrew has also held various roles in Talent Acquisition & Management, Executive Coaching, HR Business Partnering and Learning & Development. Andrew currently leads Schneider Electric’s ambitious Talent Digitization agenda, bringing digitization, AI and Machine Learning to Schneider’s HR ecosystem.
Harsha Jalihal is the Vice President of Human Resources for Unilever’s US Operations – she oversees HR for Unilever’s largest market, which includes an ambitious transformation agenda.
Prior to this, she was VP HR Future of Work at Unilever, and on secondment to the World Economic Forum (WEF). In this role, she supported the creation of Unilever’s strategy to build a sustainable future of work and contributed to the WEF’s own thought leadership in this space through her involvement in various projects which included re-imagining HR for the Fourth Industrial Revolution and as a member of the Consumer Industry Task Force of the Future of Work.
Harsha joined Unilever in 2014 after 15 years in the technology services industry in a variety of HR and business roles from HR Business Partner to M&A Specialist to Chief of Staff in the office of the CFO/COO.
Harsha’s career exemplifies her purpose to help people and organizations write and rewrite their stories by seeking experiences that push people outside their comfort zones.
Harsha has an undergraduate degree in statistics and an MBA. She lives in picturesque Randolph, New Jersey, with her husband, a 10-year-old son and a 6-year-old daughter. She loves books, food, wine and travel.
Jacqueline brings 20+ years of experience in HR, inclusion and diversity strategy and execution to Freddie Mac partnering with the senior team to mobilize and activate people to drive business results. As head of HR, Jacqueline leads a team of experts in the optimal delivery of HR functions such as talent management, compensation, total well-being, analytics and workforce technology along with emerging business drivers such as artificial intelligence. As Chief Diversity Officer, Jacqueline leads Freddie Mac’s inclusion and diversity strategy along with required diversity reporting to the Federal Finance Housing Agency.
Jill Christensen is a former Fortune 500 business executive, who led Global Internal Communications at Avaya and Western Union. She is a best-selling author, international keynote speaker, and holds a Six Sigma Green Belt. Jill was named a Top 100 Global Employee Engagement Influencer, and her popular weekly blog was named a Top 100 Corporate Blog alongside of Apple and Microsoft.
Jill has worked in 16 industries, partnering with the best and brightest leaders around the world to improve productivity, retention, customer satisfaction, and revenue growth by re-engaging employees. Her proven approach to increase engagement has led her to speak throughout the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Malaysia, the Czech Republic, Singapore and India.
Jill grew up in multiple U.S. states, but now calls Denver, CO, her home thanks to her pioneering spirit and love of majestic mountains, skiing, U.S. football, and live music.
Marcy Axelrad is Head of Talent Management and Talent Operations at Wayfair, one of the world’s largest online destinations for the home. She is responsible for maintaining the company’s strong culture and driving the creation of an exceptional employee experience across the company’s rapidly expanding global footprint. Through an employee-centric lens, Marcy ensures Wayfair is a sought after employer for top talent and a recognized leader in workplace culture. She oversees performance management and employee calibration, data and analytics, operational excellence, immigration, benefits and wellness initiatives, and DEI programs. With the tremendous growth at Wayfair, every day she looks at ways to build Wayfair’s team with the best people and how to recognize, reward and retain great talent across the organization. Marcy joined Wayfair in 2011 as Director of Talent Management when the company had approximately 700 employees in 4 locations. Wayfair now has more than 14,500 people with locations across North America and Europe.Prior to joining Wayfair, Marcy practiced employment law within two New-England based firms (Hinckley Allen and Gesmer Updegrove) counseling companies on all aspects of employment law, employee relations, compensation, benefits and employment related business strategies. She then went in-house at Corporate Realty Investment Capital as Managing Director and Head of Talent where she focused on both the acquisition of real estate assets across the US and rapidly growing the company through recruiting and training employees in all aspects of the business.Marcy is a graduate of McGill University and holds a JD from Boston University.
Melissa Karp is the Director of Staffing & People Operations at Waymo, where she leads both the recruiting function as well as an operations team that supports major HR programs and employee life-cycle events. Prior to joining Waymo in 2019, Melissa was the Director of Staffing Services at Google, which handles global recruiting logistics for all business areas, along with owning recruiting related training. She also oversaw internal mobility at Google with a focus on delivering a positive employee transfer experience. Melissa’s earlier Google tenure included evolving Google’s HR technology stack, along with building the company’s early HR operations and reporting teams. Prior to joining Google, Melissa held positions in both HR consulting and industry. She holds a M.A. in Organizational Psychology from Columbia University.
Omari Jahi Aarons joined Liberty Mutual Insurance Group in June 2016 and is the Director of Customer Experience and Manager, Employee Experience Enablement. His responsibilities include celebrating employee’s career-level achievements and designing a workplace culture that enables employees to do their best work for Liberty’s customers and meets their needs. Omari started his career in Macy’s Executive Development Program, and has spent over 10 years in the customer loyalty space as a human resources and learning leader.
In 2013, Omari was one of the first two recipients of the Advancing the Profession – One to Watch Young Leaders Award from the Association for Talent Development and was twice awarded by the YMCA of Greater Cincinnati for his leadership and volunteerism. He completed a two-year term in 2017 as a mayoral appointee to the Southwest Ohio Region Workforce Investment Board. He is a proud and active mentor in the mentor2.0 program for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay and with Year Up Boston, which supports young adults moving into meaningful careers. Omari is also a member of the Senior Board of Stewards at the Historic Charles Street AME Church in Boston’s Roxbury neighborhood.
A strong champion of inclusion, Omari was appointed national co-chair of the Liberty Employees of African Descent and Allies employee resource group in January 2018, leading an organization of over 1,000 Liberty employees. He is also an ambassador for Liberty Torchbearers, a program that enables employees to volunteer, serve and give to causes around accessibility, security and opportunity. Most recently, Omari received the Names You Should Know Award from the Alliance for Business Leadership and was accepted to the YW Boston’s LeadBoston 2020 cohort.
Omari is a graduate of Xavier University in Cincinnati, OH with degrees in public relations and theology, and is the President of the Greater Boston Alumni Chapter and a founding member of Xavier’s Black Alumni Association. He is also the founding president of the National African American Insurance Association Boston Chapter.
Learn more about Omari’s background by visiting his LinkedIn profile: http://linkedin.com/in/omarijahiaarons or following him on Twitter @omariaarons.
Willard is Vice-President, Human Resources and Global Head of Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) for Pfizer. He is responsible for leading the development and execution of Pfizer’s global, enterprise-wide Diversity & Inclusion strategies. Willard’s approach to D&I emphasizes value-creation and enabling business strategies by leveraging best practices, benchmarking, goal setting, and a focus on Inclusion to accelerate Pfizer’s D&I efforts.
A banker and strategist by training, Willard uses his experiences leading businesses to operationalize D&I for maximum impact and sustainability.
He is currently a member of the Dean’s Diversity Advisory Council (DDAC) at the University of Virginia’s Darden Graduate School of Business Administration, a member of the Executive Leadership Council (ELC) and sits on the Business Advisory Council for the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve LGBTQ equality.
Prior to joining Pfizer, Willard was the Global Head of Inclusion & Diversity for Cargill, Inc. based in Minneapolis where he spent fourteen years in functional and business leadership roles with the company.
He holds a bachelor’s degree magna cum laude in Economics from Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia where he was an Oprah Winfrey and Merrill Scholar. He received his Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Virginia’s Darden School. He is a former Luce Scholar who has lived in Asia, Europe, and worked on six of seven continents.
You may follow Willard on Twitter @willardmccloud.
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