NEHRA's Virtual Talent Summit - February 11 & 18, 2021

Includes a Live Event on 02/11/2021 at 9:00 AM (EST)

Designed for professionals who handle some or all aspects of Talent Management in their organizations, NEHRA hosted its first-ever one-day Talent Summit in February of 2020. Our next summit is scheduled for February 2021, where we look forward to gaining insight from thought leaders and experts and walking away with ideas and tips to use back at the office. Among others, topics from the 2020 summit included hiring analytics, workforce planning, employer branding and campus recruiting.

Interested in speaking at the Summit? Click  here for details and to submit a proposal. Interested in sponsorship? Click here  for more information.

Click here for full session descriptions and here for speaker bios!

9:00 - 10:00am: Opening Panel - The Future of Talent Management
Moderator - Aaron Green, Co-Founder & CEO, PSG
Panelists - Melissa Brown, Director, Center for Workplace Development/Instructor - Talent Management, Harvard University 
Niles da Silva, VP, Talent Management & Development Manager - Americas, Wellington Management
Michelle La Fleur, Senior Director, Talent Development, Shawmut Design & Construction

10:00 - 10:15am: Transition Break (offline)

10:15 - 11:15am: Keynote Session - Accelerating Onboarding in Remote Work Organizations: The Virtual First 90 Days
Speaker: Michael Watkins, Co-Founder, Genesis Advisers & Author of the international bestseller, The First 90 Days

11:15am - 12:15pm: Lunch Break (offline)

12:15 - 1:30pm: Breakouts (choice of 2)
1 - The Business Immigration Landscape Under a Biden Administration

2 - Coming Soon! 

1:30 - 1:45pm: Transition Break (offline)

1:45 - 3:00pm: Breakouts (choice of 2)
1 - Supporting Employee Wellbeing through an Effective Benefits Plan
Speaker: Melissa Tobler, RN, Health Strategies - National Practice Leader, Hays Companies

2 - Coming Soon! 

9:00 - 10:15am: Interactive Theater with Ibis Consulting Group

10:15 - 10:30am: Transition Break (offline)

10:30 - 11:45am: Breakouts (choice of 2)
1 - Insider Lessons on Attracting Top Talent in Uncertain Times
Speakers: Jen Voss, Managing Director, FlexProfessionals
Bob Kinder, CEO, Signal 88

2 - Coming Soon!

11:45am - 12:30pm: Lunch Break (offline)

12:30 - 1:45pm: Breakouts (choice of 2)
Coming Soon!

1:45 - 2:00pm: Transition Break (offline)

2:00 - 3:00pm: Closing Session

Melissa Brown

Director, Center for Workplace Development/Instructor - Talent Management

Harvard University

Human Resources professional with over 30 years experience in the learning and organizational development field. Specializing in HR strategy, change management, leadership development, organizational/strategic planning and facilitation.

Strong leadership and managerial skills, with experience leading large teams of professionals.

Experience in both the private and non-profit sectors.

Specialties: Talent management, organizational consulting, facilitation, instructional design, program delivery, project management 

Niles da Silva

VP, Talent Management & Development Manager, Americas

Wellington Management

Experienced Talent Management professional with an extensive history in the financial and consumer services industries. Enterprise-wide, Service, Sales, Operations, and internal and external client organizations.

Scott Fitzgerald, Esq.

Managing Partner, Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP

Scott is the Managing Partner of the Boston, Massachusetts office of Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP, and a Managing Director of Fragomen Immigration Services India Pvt., Ltd.

He has practiced exclusively in the field of corporate immigration and nationality law for more than 25 years. Scott provides multinational corporations, including leading e-commerce and technology companies as well as financial and educational institutions, with strategic counseling on all matters of U.S. immigration and nationality law, regulation, policy and compliance. 

Scott is a Board Member of the American Immigration Council, the British American Business Council of New England, and the Council for Emerging National Security Affairs. 

Scott provides pro bono immigration advocacy to Project Citizenship, a nonprofit agency that helps immigrants apply for U.S. citizenship, and Partners in Health, a Harvard-affiliated world health nonprofit organization. 

Aaron Green (Moderator)

President & Founder

Professional Staffing Group (PSG)

Aaron Green is a recognized authority on staffing, recruiting, and retention. Aaron founded the temporary and direct-hire staffing firm Professional Staffing Group ("PSG") fourteen years ago and has achieved many successes, including steady growth, recognition as one of Boston’s Best Places to Work and awards for customer loyalty from recognized customer service firms. PSG’s customer and employee loyalty program was honored with Staffing Industry Review’s Gold Award for having the best loyalty program in the industry and with a Best in Staffing award from the Inavero Institute, a customer loyalty research organization. PSG was the only local staffing firm in Massachusetts to be named the Best in Staffing by Inverno, an honor achieved by less than one percent of all staffing firms in the country. Each year PSG puts more than 5,000 people to work in the fields of Office Support, Creative, Technical and Finance.

Green currently serves as Vice Chairman of the American Staffing Association (ASA). The American Staffing Association is the national trade organization for the industry and represents 85% of the staffing business in this country. Aaron's involvement in the ASA provides him with immediate access to new developments and best practices in employment. Aaron is also a member of the Northeast Human Resources Association (NEHRA) and co-chair of NEHRA's diversity scholarship committee. Aaron is also the founder of PSG Global Solutions, which provides offshore recruiting solutions to staffing firms and HR departments. Prior to establishing PSG, Aaron founded a successful executive search firm in Boston. Aaron is a lifelong Boston-area resident, having grown up in Sharon and graduated from Tufts University.

Melissa James

Strategic Partnerships Lead

IBIS Consulting Group

Melissa James is the Strategic Partnerships Lead at IBIS. Over the past 10 years, she has successfully helped early stage companies grow revenue and scale their internal capacity. She is a seasoned HR professional with experience in strategic partnership development, a passion for increasing diversity and inclusion, and a proven strategist for effective diversity recruitment initiatives.

Melissa is also the author of  “When Are You Going To Get A Real Career: A Guide to Designing a Career You Would Be Proud Of!”,  a roadmap for millennials starting out in their career and experienced executives crafting their next move. Shared stories and experiences provide insightful knowledge and steps for anyone navigating different aspects of their career.

She is also the recipient of the U.S. Presidential Service Award, the UMass Distinguished Young Alumni Award, and the 2015 Pursuer Award from the African Youth Excellence organization for her relentless commitment to the community. Born and raised in Boston, Melissa graduated with honors from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst with a bachelors in journalism and legal studies. In 2019, Melissa was presented with the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters from Pine Manor College.

Bob Kinder



A retired military officer with over 24 years of service in both the U.S. Air Force and Army special operations communities, he has led some of our Nation’s most elite counter-terrorism forces during combat operations in Panama, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Bob is the owner and CEO of Signal 88 of New England, providing a full-suite of world-class and industry-leading security services for residential, commercial, retail and institutional customers. An accomplished communicator, Bob’s articles have been published in newspapers and journals nationwide and he is a regular analyst on television and radio stations across the country, providing expert commentary on America’s national security issues. He holds a B.S. in Professional Aeronautics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and a Masters-in-Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Michelle La Fleur, SPHR

Sr. Director, Talent Development

Shawmut Design and Construction

Committed HR professional, partnering with senior business leaders and employees to align people strategy with business goals; fosters a “culture of care” and creates positive employee engagement through open communication, coaching and consulting. Thrives in rapid-change, high growth environment. Specialties include: Employee Relations, Coaching, Change Management, On-boarding, Training & Development, Compensation and Benefits Implementation. 

George Lester



George has 25 years’ experience practicing in the field of U.S. immigration and nationality law. He advises diverse U.S. and multinational companies seeking to hire foreign professionals, scientists, business persons and artists and represents them in all procedures to obtain temporary or permanent immigration status before relevant U.S. government agencies.  

In Fragomen‘s Boston office, George manages a team of associate attorneys, paralegals and client service professionals working with clients in a wide variety of industries including technology, manufacturing, retail, finance, consulting services, academia and non-profit, of all sizes, ranging from start-ups to Fortune 50 companies.

In addition to providing immigration representation and account management services to corporate clients, George has extensive experience advising companies on immigration-related compliance, including representing clients in government investigations, and in assisting clients in Congressional advocacy for H-1B and H-2B visa programs.

Shilpa Pherwani

Principal, IBIS Consulting Group

Shilpa Pherwani, the principal of IBIS and a leading expert in diversity and inclusion, has been guiding global organizations for over 12 years on leveraging diversity as a business advantage. An organizational psychologist by training, she partners with organizations to effect sustainable organizational change by conducting cultural assessments, developing comprehensive strategic diversity action plans, and designing compelling and interactive classroom-based and online training.

Shilpa collaborates with key stakeholders to strategically plan, implement, and measure diversity initiatives. Shilpa has worked with global organizations to guide management and executives on being effective across cultural and geographical boundaries. She delivers outcome driven and systemic consultation to diversity committees, senior members of HR and business leaders. Shilpa’s clients include Aetna, Barclaycard US, Boeing, Campbell Soup, Framingham State University, Grainger, Genzyme, Microsoft, Nestle, Progress Software, Sun Life Financial, State Street Bank, Texas Health Resources, Thrivent Financial of Lutherans, Tredegar Corporation, and Williams Sonoma.

Shilpa Pherwani graduated from Kanpur University (India). She received her Master’s from Springfield College in Industrial/Organizational Psychology where her focus was on Organizational Development.

Anne Roskum



Anne is an Associate at Fragomen’s Boston office, where she counsels clients on a variety of employment-based visa categories.

Anne has experience representing foreign nationals and employers in a range of immigrant and nonimmigrant matters, including H, L, O, TN, J, K and E filings and all stages of the PERM process. She applies her legal research and writing skills to develop and implement strategies to solve complex immigration issues for clients.

Anne also has experience drafting legal briefs and assisting clients with other complex processes, such as responses to Requests for Evidence, Notices of Intent to Deny, PERM audits and Motions for Reconsideration.

Anne has provided pro bono legal services through Catholic Charities.

She speaks English and Spanish.

Melissa Tobler

Health Strategies- National Practice Leader

Hays Companies

Melissa’s position at Hays Companies draws on her career as a registered nurse, during which time she has actively been involved in developing and overseeing case management, utilization review, quality assurance/improvement, and disease management strategies for insurance plans, vendors, and employers. Melissa is a patient advocate who has created win-win solutions for groups and employees, balancing the needs of the individual with the fiscal responsibilities of the group. In her role at Hays Companies, Melissa partners with employers to understand the impact of health on their productivity, absenteeism, health plan costs, and ultimately profitability. She works with clients in strategically designing and implementing health related programs to support individual health and well-being as well as organizational growth and development. 

Jen Voss

Managing Director

FlexProfessionals, LLC

Jennifer Voss is the Managing Director of FlexProfessionals, a niche recruiting and staffing service, specializing in part-time and full-time-flex professionals. She oversees all Boston operations, including business development, sales, account management, and recruiting. During her nearly 4 years in this role, Jennifer lead the Boston team in year-over-year 3-digit growth, a key contributor to the company's winning a spot on the Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Companies list for the 4th year in a row.

Prior to FlexProfessionals, Jennifer was General Manager, New Markets at reacHIRE, spearheading growth into new markets. There, she initiated sales to several large Fortune 500 corporations. Prior to this, Jennifer filled a key role at Veritude, a Fidelity-owned staffing firm, focused on making sure the company was aware of, reacted to and anticipated the ongoing changes in the temporary staffing business. 

Overall, Jennifer has more than fifteen years experience in the staffing and consulting industries, specializing in business growth, entrepreneurial marketing, and sales. Jennifer graduated from Williams College with a BA in Economics and received her MBA from Harvard Business School. She lives outside of Boston with her husband and two children. An active member of the community, Jennifer has held leadership positions in her children’s school PTAs, Minuteman National Park and several Harvard Business School alumni organizations.

Michael Watkins


Genesis Advisers

Michael has spent the past two decades working with leaders, both corporate and public, as they transition to new roles, negotiate the future of their organizations, and craft their legacy as leaders. A recognized expert in his field, he ranked among Thinkers50’s top fifty management influencers globally in 2019. He is the author of the international bestseller The First 90 Days, Updated and Expanded: Proven Strategies for Getting Up to Speed Faster and Smarter, the globally acknowledged handbook for leadership and career transitions, which recently earned the accolade of Amazon’s Top 100 Leadership Books. He is Professor of Leadership and Organizational Change Management at the IMD Business School in Switzerland and previously served on the faculty at INSEAD and Harvard University, where he earned his PhD in Decision Sciences.

David Weaver

President, Compensation and HR Group

David is President of the Compensation & HR Group and is responsible for all consulting functions within the organization. He is the Author of the bestselling HR book Pay Matters: The Art and Science of Employee Compensation.

Prior to joining the Compensation & HR Group, David spent 20 years managing a human resources membership and consulting organization. He has also held positions with industry leaders Liberty Mutual, Honeywell and Hewlett-Packard as a corporate human resources professional. During this period, he gained essential hands-on experience in compensation program development, marketing and internal communications.

A graduate of The University of Massachusetts at Amherst, David has also made his mark in academia, having served as adjunct faculty member for both Northeastern University and Newbury College where he taught courses in Compensation Management and Human Resource Management. He also worked as an instructor for the certification courses at the Compensation Analyst Academy, WorldatWork and the Society for Human Resource Management.


Thank you to our 2021 Talent Summit Sponsors!

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Opening Remarks & Panel: The Future of Talent Management
02/11/2021 at 9:00 AM (EST)   |  60 minutes
02/11/2021 at 9:00 AM (EST)   |  60 minutes Join us as we open the summit with a panel of Talent leaders moderated by Aaron Green, Co-Founder & President of Professional Staffing Group (PSG). Gain valuable and relevant insight as the panel discusses the latest trends and developments in talent management including acquisition, retention and management.
Keynote: Accelerating Onboarding in Remote Work Organizations: The Virtual First 90 Days
02/11/2021 at 10:15 AM (EST)   |  60 minutes
02/11/2021 at 10:15 AM (EST)   |  60 minutes Even amid the current crisis, you need to bring new hires into your organization and transition leaders to new roles internally. Regardless of whether they are onboarding or making inside moves, transitioning leaders face heightened uncertainty and unforeseen complexity. With many organizations still operating in virtual work mode, it is even more challenging to provide the right support to accelerate leader transitions. Fortunately, there are concrete things you can do to accelerate transitions in entirely virtual work environments. But you have to start with the right mindset about “virtual onboarding” – seeing opportunities and not just problems. In this session, Michael Watkins will explore what it takes to accelerate leaders’ transitions to new roles in virtual work environments, exploring the mindset, frameworks, and tools that have the greatest impact. He also will provide insight into how we can expect onboarding to evolve as we move past the COVID-19 crisis.
Breakout 1 - The Business Immigration Landscape under a Biden Administration
02/11/2021 at 12:15 PM (EST)   |  75 minutes
02/11/2021 at 12:15 PM (EST)   |  75 minutes The new year brings a new Presidential Administration and hopefully a relatively swift end to the COVID pandemic. What will this mean for business immigration in the US? Our panel of experts will review the changes to expect and not to expect from the Biden administration as it inherits 4 four years of an unprecedented growth of restrictive policies. Our panel will also discuss the current state of COVID related travel and mobility restrictions worldwide, as well as strategies for planning once they are lifted. In addition, they will provide an update on litigation combatting the various Trump Administration initiatives against business immigration and discuss strategies for addressing the most recent rules concerning the H-1B cap selection process. Attendees will review: 1. Immigration related legislative, regulatory and policy priorities in the first year of the Biden Administration 2. Strategic planning for post-COVID return to global mobility, including a discussion of anticipated consular backlogs 3. Insights on how to navigate the current H-1B Registration rules and new selection process
Breakout 1 - Supporting Employee Wellbeing through an Effective Benefits Plan
02/11/2021 at 1:45 PM (EST)   |  75 minutes
02/11/2021 at 1:45 PM (EST)   |  75 minutes Coming soon!
Welcome Back & Interactive Theater with Ibis Consulting Group
Select the "View On-Demand Recording" button to begin.
Select the "View On-Demand Recording" button to begin.
Breakout 1 - The Surprising Benefits (and Dangers) of Performance Ranking Your Employees
02/18/2021 at 10:30 AM (EST)   |  75 minutes
02/18/2021 at 10:30 AM (EST)   |  75 minutes If you’re interested in integrating performance ranking with other existing processes, such as identifying high potential employees, learning and development opportunities, succession planning, and total rewards determination, then this session is for you. Key Takeaways - Learn about the different types of relative performance ranking - Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of employee ranking - Review the process of employee performance calibration
Breakout 2 - Insider Lessons on Attracting Top Talent in Uncertain Times
02/18/2021 at 10:30 AM (EST)   |  75 minutes
02/18/2021 at 10:30 AM (EST)   |  75 minutes As HR leaders, we’re all facing continued challenges stemming from the Pandemic, even as we are emerging from it. Many New England businesses are seeing an uptick in business, but times are still uncertain. One of the new challenges is how to plan and hire for anticipated growth. In this presentation, we will engage in a discussion about how HR leaders can hire key, high-quality talent, despite limited budgets and resources, while maintaining “micro-agility.” Topics covered will include: -alternative hiring engagement methods (part-time, project, contract etc.) -the benefits of finding and sourcing from untapped channels -tips on the best tools for hiring, including effective job descriptions and interviews. -insider knowledge on how flexibility in roles has become a critical benefit for many job-seeking professionals -how to avoid the “bad hire" and the most effective tool to use to ensure fit -the 10 “absolutely do not hire” red flags Want to know how other actual companies are hiring during the Pandemic to attract the best talent, to position themselves for growth, or gain an edge on their competitors? Jen Voss of FlexProfessionals will be joined by Bob Kinder, CEO of Signal88 to share how they successfully and uniquely approached hiring in the last few months, and will illuminate a way you can acquire top talent as we emerge from uncertain times.
Breakout 1 - How to Navigate Your HR Career While Helping Your Organization Navigate the Unknown
02/18/2021 at 12:30 PM (EST)   |  75 minutes
02/18/2021 at 12:30 PM (EST)   |  75 minutes Coming soon!