NEHRA's Virtual Talent Summit - February 11 & 18, 2021
Designed for professionals who handle some or all aspects of Talent Management in their organizations, NEHRA's Talent Summit will be held virtually on February 11 & 18. Participants can look forward to gaining insight from thought leaders and experts and walk away with ideas and tips to use back at the office. Click here for the schedule at a glance, and here for a list of speakers.
Click here for full session descriptions and here for speaker bios!
DAY ONE - THURSDAY FEBRUARY 11, 2021
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
Speakers: Scott Fitzgerald, Fragomen
George Lester, Partner, Fragomen
Anne Roskum, Associate, Fragomen
2 - Facilitating Effective Planning Sessions
Speaker: Kerry Unflat, CHRO, HealthcareSource
1:30 - 1:45pm: Transition Break (offline)
1:45 - 3:00pm: General Session - How Inclusive Recruitment Empowers Selection
Speaker: Michelle Michelle Waters Ekanem, Director of Diversity and Civil Rights, Mass Dept. of Environmental Protection
DAY TWO - THURSDAY FEBRUARY 18, 2021
9:00 - 10:15am: Opening Session - Addressing Bias in Talent Management: From Siloed to Sustainable
Speaker: Shilpa Pherwani, Ibis Consulting Group
10:15 - 10:30am: Transition Break (offline)
10:30 - 11:45am: Breakouts (choice of 2)
1 - The Surprising Benefits (and Dangers) of Performance Ranking Your Employees
Speaker: Dave Weaver, President, CHRG
2 - Insider Lessons on Attracting Top Talent in Uncertain Times
Speakers: Jen Voss, Managing Director, FlexProfessionals
Bob Kinder, CEO, Signal 88
11:45am - 12:30pm: Lunch Break (offline)
12:30 - 1:45pm: General Session: How to Navigate Your HR Career While Helping Your Organization Navigate the Unknown
Speakers: Laura Poisson, President, ClearRock
Piper Sheer, Managing Director and Chief People Officer, AEW
1:45 - 2:00pm: Transition Break (offline)
2:00 - 3:00pm: Closing Session - Energizing Your Talent – Creating Proactive vs. Reactive Changemakers
Speaker: Jason Alexander, Managing Partner, BANKW Staffing
Jason is Managing Partner of BANKW Staffing, LLC and its portfolio companies Alexander Technology Group, KBW Financial Staffing & Recruiting, The Nagler Group, and Sales Search Partners. BANKW companies were represented in the 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016 Inc. 5000 lists. His passion for client service and dedication to the local community have resulted in rapid growth and multiple awards for his businesses in recent years. Jason was named by Business NH Magazine as one of the state’s top 25 leaders for the future and received the New Hampshire Business Review’s Business Excellence Award for Technology in 2010. Prior to co-founding Alexander Technology Group and BANKW Staffing, LLC, Jason held management and director roles for multiple international services, staffing, and software companies.
Jason also serves as a director, advisor, or trustee on the boards of local organizations such as the New Hampshire High Technology Council, NHTI, Granite State College, and Pinkerton Academy. He speaks frequently at college campuses and professional events throughout New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Jason also earned his Bachelor of Science from Keene State College in Keene, NH.
Specialties: - Recruiting Expert - IT industry
- Senior Business Development/Sales Professional
- Relationship Building & Client Management
- Public Speaker
- Career Services/Development Lecturer
Director, Center for Workplace Development/Instructor - Talent Management
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
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
President & Owner
As President and owner of ClearRock, Laura guides the strategic direction, evolution and growth of ClearRock’s three practice areas. She values the unique strengths of each member of her team and cultivates an environment of inclusivity, collaboration and transparency. Laura continues to strengthen ClearRock’s unparalleled reputation by remaining focused on delivery excellence, implementing infrastructure and expanding capabilities that allow ClearRock to grow, while remaining high-touch and relationship-focused. Laura has an unwavering belief that the cornerstone of success in business and in life is human connection.
With over 20 years of experience in talent management and talent acquisition, Laura is a trusted advisor to leaders across many industries as they navigate sensitive and complex business challenges. She is a sounding board and thoughtful listener who understands the needs of her clients, thereby employing an integrated approach that respects both the individual and the organization. Whether the goal is to improve hiring outcomes, manage staff reductions, build leadership capabilities or handle employee separations with care, Laura is a true partner in creating positive outcomes and optimizing talent.
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.
Managing Director and Chief People Officer
Piper Sheer directs the activities of AEW's Human Resources Group. She has more than 27 years of broad-based human resources experience. Prior to joining AEW in April 2018, Ms. Sheer served as the Managing Director for the Global Human Resources Group at State Street Bank. Prior to that, she spent 15 years in Human Resources at IDG. Ms. Sheer is a graduate of University of Vermont (B.A.).
Health Strategies- National Practice Leader
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.
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.
Director of Diversity & Civil Rights
Mass Department of Environmental Protection
Michelle Waters-Ekanem is the Director of Diversity and Civil Rights for the Department of Environmental Protection [MassDEP] in Boston, MA. MassDEP is the state agency responsible for safeguarding the environment through research, policy, compliance, enforcement, and public participation. Ms. Waters-Ekanem is responsible for Governor Charles Baker’s equal opportunity mandate, Executive Order 529.
Michelle’s experience includes working with protected group members based on disability, race, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, and religion. Through this experience, she utilizes an inclusive process that has assisted in increasing hiring opportunities for diverse applicants and challenging to fill positions.
Michelle’s expertise includes strategic planning, coaching, organizational assessments, facilitation, cultural competency, mediation, and investigations. She also manages MassDEP’s Internship Program to equally accommodate internships for women and men of different backgrounds, and to assist with succession planning.
Ms. Waters-Ekanem is the recipient of many awards of distinction, including the Massachusetts Equity Award, the Dow Landrum Award for legal services to underrepresented groups, the National Lawyers Guild Award, and the Diversity Coalition Award. In her diversity work, she commonly says: “You have to do more than offer a seat at the table. Making sure that everyone is included at the table is the true art of cultural dining.”
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.
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.
Kerry is the Chief Human Resources Officer for HealthcareSource, a software organization that specializes in talent management software for healthcare. Kerry has over 25 years of experience providing HR support and leadership in academia, entertainment, and software. Her broad experience includes organizational development, talent management, employee and labor relations, benefits, compensation, technology, and talent acquisition. Prior to joining HealthcareSource, Kerry served as the Managing Director of HR Operations at WGBH Educational Foundation. She served in various finance and human resources leadership roles at Harvard University for ten years, working for the General Counsel’s office, the Police Department, and the Office for Sponsored Programs. Prior to joining Harvard University, Kerry was the HR Manager for Clear Channel Entertainment - Broadway in Boston and was the local HR leader and management representative for four of Boston’s largest theaters. Kerry earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY and possesses a Senior Certified Professional certification from SHRM (SHRM-SCP) and a certification from ODDP in Executive Coaching.