Dr. Jeff Smith is the Director of the Best-Self Academy at 15Five, as well as a cognitive psychologist and foster dog enthusiast. Jeff’s mission is using science to help people, teams, and organizations thrive. Jeff has an eclectic background, including leadership roles in learning and development, performance, strengths-based assessments, product, design, UX, CX, and innovation. Jeff loves to translate qualitative research into what’s next – he has been named a Master Inventor (twice), co-invented the Aspirational Workplace Transformation Process, co-authored over 125 IP publications, and is a co-inventor on 15 issued US patents. Jeff received his PhD in Psychology with a minor in Design from North Carolina State University.
Emma Hardaker-Jones joined Legal & General as Group HR Director in 2017. Emma’s previous role was as Global HR Director and Board Director at PA Consulting, co-leading the successful sale of 51% of PA Consulting to The Carlyle Group in 2015. Prior to PA Consulting, Emma spent a number of years as Group Head of Talent and Resourcing at BP, driving change across the 100 countries in which BP operates. Emma has also held roles at Prudential and the Bank of England and was the co-founder of a dot com start-up, Skillvest.com. Emma has significant international experience having worked in Europe, North America, Asia and Africa.
Emma has three children and loves running, cycling and cooking; the first two are a necessity given the third.
Emma Maurer is the Vice President of Enterprise Health for Peerfit, the market leader in connecting employers and carriers with personalized fitness experiences. With nearly 15 years in corporate health promotion and population health management, Emma has authored a results-oriented implementation strategy that can be applied to all organizations regardless of size, industry or geographical location. Throughout her career, she has maintained that health promotion is not “cookie-cutter”, but rather needs to be tailored to the uniqueness of each organization. Her strategic approach is the holy grail for employers motivated to control costs related to employee health and productivity. At Peerfit, Emma leads the enterprise health team by developing goals and strategies to grow Peerfit’s enterprise health division. Prior to joining the Peerfit team, Emma was Director of St. Vincent’s HealthWorks, which provides corporate health and wellness programs to employers in Northeast Florida. She was also director of wellness services at GBS Benefits and wellness director for The Leavitt Group. Emma received her Bachelor’s degree in recreation from RMIT University in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
Erica Brandl brings over 20 years’ experience in Leadership & Team Development. She has worked with companies of all sizes across a variety of industries, giving her a deep understanding of organizational culture and team dynamics. Her “Building High Performing Teams” learning series won the Brandon Hall Excellence in Learning Award (gold medal), and she continues to share her passion for development by actively shaping the learning and leadership cultures throughout her organization.
The combination of her educational background in Psychology, her consulting experience, interest in neurodiversity, and accreditations in a variety of personality assessments has left Erica with a passion for understanding what makes people ‘tick’ and how to help them thrive in the workplace.
As a founding member of the Hive Learning team, Fred spent the last 5 years leading transformation efforts for the likes of Jaguar Land Rover, Dow Jones and Barclays.
Fred’s seminal work bringing Hive Learning’s award-winning digital inclusion program, Inclusion Works, to North America is the reason 88% of program participants take action against bias in under 2 months, and two thirds engage in learning at least once a week.
Hive Learning has a client NPS of 74 and is the 2019 Learning Technologies Learning Technologies Learning Organisation of the Year.
Frida Polli PhD is an award-winning Harvard and MIT trained neuroscientist turned AI-startup CEO. She is the CEO of pymetrics, a talent matching platform that uses behavioral science and AI to help companies like Unilever, Accenture, and LinkedIn match external and internal talent with their ideal jobs predictively and fairly. While an academic, Frida was an NIH fellow, a NARSAD Young Investigator, an MIT 100K winner, and a Life Science Fellow at Harvard Business School (where she earned an MBA). She has been featured on CNN, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Fast Company, and Inc.
Garrett Lord is the co-founder and CEO of Handshake, the leading career community for college students in the U.S. Handshake is ensuring college students have the support they need to find to find a great job and kick-off a meaningful career regardless of where they go to school, what they choose as a major, and who they know. Garrett is passionate about creating access and democratizing opportunity as he faced similar barriers to many college students today — he and his classmates at Michigan Tech were talented engineering students, but struggled to get noticed by employers. 8 hours away from Detroit and 6 hours away from Chicago, Michigan Tech is in the middle of nowhere in upper-peninsula of Michigan and lacks the name recognition. So they set out to create a product that would democratize opportunity for students across the country.
Today, the Handshake community includes 17 million students and young alumni at over 900+ universities – including 120+ minority serving institutions. The company connects up-and-coming talent across all 50 states with 500,000+ employers recruiting on Handshake – from every Fortune 500 company to thousands of small businesses, nonprofits, startups, and more.
Ged is the Managing Director of Q5 Americas. Ged has 25 years’ experience as both as management consultant and in senior line roles largely within organizations. His focus has been on designing and delivering large scale change in areas where there is a relentless focus on the client and on growing new business.
After spending 12 years at Accenture, Ged became Head of Change and then COO of Operations at Barclays Wealth. His Wealth Management experience continued at Coutts where he became Head of Client Experience during a period of digitization and brand refresh at this historic bank. In each of these organizations Ged has worked across the globe – with a focus on Australia, Singapore, New York and the UK.
Ged took the blend of his consulting and large organization experience and applied it to QuantumBlack (a data science organization) – joining as COO when the company was in its early stages of development. Ged was part of the leadership team that grew this start up and subsequently sold the business to McKinsey. Before joining QuantumBlack, Ged was the CEO of Stratagem, a UK-based strategic communications start up.
As the Managing Director of Q5 Americas, Ged’s focus is on building out the Q5 brand in the US, building relationships and overseeing the delivery of change programs.
Dr. George Vergolias is a trained Forensic Psychologist, currently serving as VP, Medical Director for R3 Continuum, overseeing all clinical services and leading their Clinical Risk, Threat of Violence and Workplace Violence programs. His work, teaching, and research over the past 20 years includes threat assessment for known and unknown suspects, behavioral assessment of workplace violence risk, stalking/domestic violence, suicidal risk, sexual harassment/crimes, lone-actor terrorist radicalization, civil commitment, law enforcement consultation, and fitness for duty and pre-employment evaluations.
He holds a doctorate in Clinical Psychology from The Chicago School, with internship training at Duke University Medical Center, and post-doctoral training in forensic psychology affiliated with the University of Notre Dame.
Dr. Vergolias has directly assessed or managed over 1,000 cases related to elevated risk for violence or self-harm, sexual assault, stalking, and communicated threats. Dr. Vergolias has consulted for the FBI, Secret Service, and BOP.
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.
Dr. Iris Ware is impact-focused Human Capital Strategist and Transformation Navigator with experience in senior-level leadership, managerial and consultant roles in domestic and international organizations as well as the public, private and non-profit sectors. With more than two decades of experience in building talent management capability, she is known for using a strategic approach, with extensive accolades for building collaborative relationships, leading change, designing accelerated learning and helping individuals improve their personal and professional effectiveness.
As a thought leader, Dr. Ware’s models and conceptual frameworks for strategic alignment, talent development, and change and transformation have been featured as conference keynotes, in publications, podcasts and research. Her primary goal is drive innovation and knowledge creation through applied research and experiential practices.
Dr. Ware holds a Bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University, Master’s and Doctoral degrees from Wayne State University, Lean for Office and Services certification from the University of Michigan, and Design Thinking Certification from Harvard University. She is a certified Human Performance Technologist (ISPI), Human Capital Strategist (HRCI) and a certified Change Management practitioner (Debis Academy, Berlin Germany) and is a state licensed Personnel Consulting Agent (State of Michigan).
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 Housing Finance Agency.
James Pritchard is a Strategic Account Executive at Sage People, and is based in Boston, MA. He was one of the original employees to join the organization when it was founded as Fairsail in the United Kingdom. Since then, James has helped to scale the organization from a small disruptor in the HR technology space into becoming a leading provider for mid-market software solutions on a global scale through its acquisition by The Sage Group in 2017. James has seen the HR space transform over the years and is excited to share how it is currently changing and what these changes mean for you and your organization.
Janine is the Owner/Chief Innovations Officer for Talent Think Innovations, LLC, a business strategy and management consulting firm. Her career spans fifteen years in HR and Talent Acquisition that has taken her through the world of pharmaceuticals, healthcare, staffing and R&D. Janine is a dynamic speaker, entrepreneur, and an important and respected voice bringing both a human touch and business savvy to the companies and businesses she works with.
It is through the trials and tribulations of her career travels and her passion for Business, Technology, Digital Transformation and Talent Management that she created Talent Think Innovations in January 2013. Her aim is to provide practical and sustainable solutions, programs and strategies that are a catalyst for innovation. Through her work she is using her experience to get businesses and individuals from surviving to thriving allowing them to succeed in an age of rapid transformation.
Janine doesn’t just preach innovation-she lives it. A globally-known figure in Human Resources and Business, she has contributed for: Performance I Create, Switch & Swift, TLNT.com, and IRIS.xyz and more. Janine is a rare professional who isn’t afraid to tackle the obstacles and issues facing us as a society and global marketplace. She has been quoted by HBR, Thrive Global, Bustle, The Cut, Atlanta BlackStar, Newsday, SHRM, USA Today and has been featured by Entrepreneur, Fast Company, Black Enterprise and Ebony Magazines. In 2013, Mrs. Truitt was also named one of the Top 100 Most Social Human Resources Experts on Twitter by Huffington Post and one of 50+ Unstoppable Women in HR Tech by Clear Company. Additionally, she was a part of the first-ever IBM + Purematter VIP Futurist Project. Janine is currently in the process of transitioning her knowledge and work in HR to focus on Future of Life and Total Wellness as well as sprouting a technology company that will address the challenges the differently-abled community has in becoming gainfully employed. She proves that humility, innovation and practical thinking has value and is fast becoming the new business imperative.
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