Conference Sessions

MORNING KEYNOTE - Truly Human Leadership
Bob Chapman, Chairman & CEO, Barry-Wehmiller

Bob Chapman imagines a world in which people leave work each day fulfilled by their work. He imagines a world full of caring work environments in which people can realize their gifts, apply and develop their talents, and feel a genuine sense of fulfillment for their contributions. And in this world, because their work is fulfilling, people go home happy and are better spouses, parents, neighbors, and friends. As Chairman and CEO of $2 billion capital equipment and engineering solutions firm Barry-Wehmiller, Chapman has championed fulfilling work and a compassionate work environment through his commitment to Truly Human Leadership. In his speech, Chapman challenges traditional thinking about how to run a business and how to be an effective leader. He offers simple, yet groundbreaking ideas on how to create meaningful work environments grounded in people-centric leadership. Attendees will leave inspired and equipped to implement Chapman’s concepts today to help build better organizations for tomorrow.

Recently named the #3 CEO in the world in an Inc. magazine article, Bob Chapman is very intentional about using his platform as a business leader to build a better world.

Chapman is Chairman and CEO of St. Louis, MO-based Barry-Wehmiller, a $2.5B global manufacturing business with 11,000 team members. The company began as a small pasteurizing and bottle washer business in 1885 and, through acquisition and organic growth, has grown into 12 business units (10 in the US) serving primarily the packaging, paper converting, sheeting and corrugating industries. Chapman became the senior executive of this private company in 1975 at age 30 when then 80-year-old business had $20 million in revenue, outdated technology and a very weak financial position. Despite the obstacles, Chapman applied a unique blend of strategy and culture over the next 40 years leading Barry-Wehmiller through almost 90 successful acquisitions.

Over the past two decades, a series of realizations led him away from traditional management practices to what he now calls Truly Human Leadership – a people-centric approach where his employees feel valued, cared for, and an integral part of the company’s purpose. At Barry-Wehmiller, they have a unique measure of success: by the way they touch the lives of people.

Chapman’s experiences and the transformation he championed were the inspiration behind his WSJ bestseller Everybody Matters: The Extraordinary Power of Caring for Your People Like Family, released by Random House/Portfolio in October 2015. The book is co-authored by Raj Sisodia, founder and co-author of Conscious Capitalism.

Chapman regularly writes about the powerful intersection of people-centric leadership and good business strategy on his blog,, and on LinkedIn, where he is an Editor’s pick. Recently, Harvard Business School released a case study featuring Barry-Wehmiller’s unique approach to business.

Chapman’s list of speaking engagements include Conscious Capitalism events, Fortune Scale Up Summit, TEDxScottAFB, the 2016 US Congressional Retreat, WorldBlu, CEO Global Leaders Forum, International City Managers Association, the AME International Conference, Institute for Healthcare Consumerism Forum, Shingo Prize for Manufacturing Excellence Conference, HERO Forum for Employee Health Management, and numerous others.

Chapman shares his leadership journey and the story of Barry-Wehmiller whenever he can as it is an example of the way businesses and organizations should be: focused on creating value for all stakeholders – team members, customers, communities and shareholders. Not only is it good for business, it leads to meaningful work and fulfillment for team members.

Rodney “Rocky” Sickmann, United States Marine Corps Sergeant and P.O.W., Iranian Hostage Crisis Author, Iranian Hostage: A Personal Diary of 444 Days in Captivity Retired U.S. Director, Military and Industry Affairs, Anheuser-Busch InBev. Senior VP, Budweiser Account, Folds of Honor

In 1979, just 15 days into his tour of duty with the U.S. Marine Corps at the American Embassy in Tehran, Iran, Rodney “Rocky” Sickmann became a player in one of the most terrifying events in U.S. history.

On November 4, 1979, after months of turmoil marked by the return of the exiled Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the American Embassy in Tehran was overrun by militants and its employees taken captive. Sergeant Rocky Sickmann, then just 22, was one of 65 Americans taken hostage. Sickmann remained a hostage for 444 days before being released on Jan. 21, 1981 following 14 months of diplomacy by President Jimmy Carter.

Three months later, Sickmann was Honorably Discharged after six years in the U.S. Marine Corps and began working in advertising for KMOX radio in St. Louis, Mo. Sickmann then entered the private sector for Anheuser-Busch InBev. He spent the next 34 years with the company, most recently as the Director for Military and Industry Affairs, until his retirement in July 2016.

As the Director for Military and Industry Affairs at Anheuser-Busch InBev, Sickmann oversaw all Military Special Events, Military and Industry Trade Media Publications, and National Industry Trade Shows. Throughout his career at Anheuser-Busch, Sickmann also played a key role in increasing Anheuser-Busch’s market penetration among the Military by training wholesalers, coordinating marketing and publicity, executing national sales promotions, and planning special military events. Sickmann helped coordinate the “Here’s to the Heroes Tour” which salutes the men and women of the armed forces, allowing Americans to show their support for the troops via recorded messages filmed on location at community events, celebrations, and festivals nationwide and shared with U.S. troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Prior to his roles in Military and Industry Affairs, Sickmann served the company in Draught Operations,  Wholesaler Training and Development, as well as other various corporate training capacities and in the field, working in retail sales in Southern Illinois and Lexington, Ky.

In August 2016, Sickmann’s military and professional experience, coupled with his passion for our armed forces, led him to pursue an opportunity with his favorite non-profit organization: Folds of Honor. In this new role, Sickmann will help advance the Folds mission: To stand in the financial gap of the more than one million dependents adversely affected by war, providing educational scholarships to the children and spouses of those killed or disabled while serving our nation.

Sickmann currently lives in St. Louis Mo. He and his wife (35 Years), Jill, have three children, Hannah (Hannah Wehrle, Granddaughter Lela, Grandson Rhett and husband Matt Wehrle), Chelsea (Chelsea Frese, Grandson Woodson and husband Kalen Frese, and son Spencer.

Integration of Talent Acquisition & Talent Management: The Do’s & Don’ts
Sarjeni Hammond, SHRM-SCP, SPHR, MBA, Director of HR Integration Planning & Melanie Moore, Director of North America Talent Acquisition, Monsanto Company

This presentation will provide guidance on global strategies for obtaining and retaining top talent.

Sarajeni Hammond is a Strategic Human Resources Professional with the ability to see broadly and understand the global industry. She defines strategic priorities and implements a plan with vision and strategy; while articulating evolving priorities for the business. Mrs. Hammond possesses strong business acumen and sound judgement to advance the business. Mrs. Hammond is highly successful at building and managing collaborative relationships, solicits expertise from others; asks questions, test assumptions and openly discusses issues. Currently, she works for Monsanto (NYSE: MON) a sustainable agriculture company as Director, HR Integration Planning.

Originally from St. Louis, MO, Sarajeni graduated from University of Missouri St. Louis with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Organizational Development and graduated with her MBA from Fontbonne University. Continuous growth and professional development continues to be a major priority for Mrs. Hammond and she constantly pursues continuing education opportunities and has taken numerous management and professional training courses. She earned her Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR ®) certification from HR Certification Institute and has achieved her SHRM-SCP from The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), both organizations have national and international recognition in certifying organization for their human resource profession.

Outside of her home and work life, Sarajeni remains active in professional and community organizations. She’s currently on the Board of FOCUS St. Louis as a member of the Executive Committee, Magic House-HR Committee, Council of Regents for Fontbonne University, CO-President of the National Association of African American in Human Resources (NAAAHR) of St. Louis and a member of the COCA HR Task Force and Regional Business Council, Social Venture Partners Board Member. Mrs. Hammond is also a member of the United Way Charmaine Chapman Society, Women’s Leadership Society and Multicultural Leadership Society recognized for her leadership giving and a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Sorority Incorporated; Omicron Eta Omega and has volunteered with many other community and civic organizations to help make St. Louis a better place to live, work, and play.

Sarajeni has participated in the St. Louis Businesses Diversity Initiative (SLBDI) which is the first Leadership Development Program focused on retaining and promoting professionals of color in the St. Louis region, completing the program with Cohort 5 (20010-2011). In 2012, Mrs. Hammond was selected for the LEADERSHIP ST. LOUIS® (LSL) Class of 2012-2013.  This program is one of the most highly-respected leadership development programs in the nation.

In 2015, YWCA Metro St. Louis, awarded Mrs. Hammond the distinction of a Leaders in the Workplace, the St. Louis American Foundation recognized Sarajeni in 2015 as a 2015 Young Leader. The St. Louis Business Journal recognized Mrs. Hammond for her professional and civic contributions with the 2013 Diverse Business Leader award and the 2012 with the St. Louis Business Journal 40 Under 40 leader award. These awards recognize an exclusive class of high-performing, aspirational individuals who are already making a positive difference in the community and making their mark on the local business community. Mrs. Hammond was inducted into the Regional Business Council’s Young Professionals Network Leadership 100 class once again, recognizing her for both professional and personal successes in the Region.

Mrs. Hammond’s most cherished role and accomplishment is being married to Arnel Hammond and mothering two wonderful twin daughters, Moriah and Miah.

Melanie Moore is currently Director of North America Talent Acquisition at Monsanto Company. In this role, Melanie leads the North America Talent Acquisition team and is responsible for attracting talent to the organization. She has held various roles of increasingly responsibility in the Human Resources, Talent Acquisition and temporary labor fields.  

Melanie began her career with Shelter Insurance Companies. She has held talent acquisition roles as a Senior Recruiter with Alert Staffing and Citigroup prior to joining Monsanto in 2008.

In her current role, she leads the strategy to ensure her team recruits talent that has a competitive advantage, which will deliver against Monsanto’s business goals utilizing leading edge tools and technology so the team can continue to be innovative and world class.  Her team is responsible for US and Canada.

Melanie is from St. Louis, Missouri, and received her BS in Marketing Education from the University of Missouri – Columbia, and MS in Human Resource Management & Development from Webster University. She is the Co-President for NAAAHR – St. Louis Chapter, serves on the Leadership Team for African and African Americans in Monsanto, Board Member for Annie Malone Children and Family Services, participates on the United Way Allocations Panel, is a member of the Leadership 100 Cohort of the Regional Business Council Young Professionals Network and is Director on the ALPFA Board. Melanie was recognized in February 2016 by the St. Louis American as a Young Leader and in November 2016 as a Distinguished Honoree for the 2016 Power100 List by Delux Magazine. Melanie resides in St. Louis with her son.

Summary of Business Legislation 2017 Regular Session of the Missouri General Assembly
Ray McCarty, CEO/President, Associated Industries of Missouri

Every HR professional needs to stay on top of ever-changing state legislation! Learn about the implications of new 2017 legislation on your HR practices and overall business strategies.

Ray McCarty is president and CEO of Associated Industries of Missouri (AIM). McCarty previously served various employers of Missouri and trade associations as a governmental relations consultant and in various posts in the Missouri Department of Revenue ranging from revenue agent to legislative liaison. He has worked with the Missouri legislature since 1987.

McCarty works for the benefit of AIM members, drawing upon his wealth of experience in government and working with the business community, the public and the media.

Associated Industries of Missouri was founded in 1919 and is the oldest general trade association in Missouri. Associated Industries serves as “The Voice of Missouri Business”®, representing employers in the Missouri legislature, courts, and general public.

Apprenticeship Programs – Bridging the Gap for Returning Veterans & Individuals with Disabilities
Teresa Turner, President, Synchronized Resources, Inc.; William Weier, HR Director, Fives Machining Systems; and Kathleen Lee, Business Outreach Specialist, Cornell University

Since President Obama’s 2014 State of the Union address, when he challenged employers and educators to double the number of apprenticeships by 2019, the U.S. has had the largest growth in apprenticeships in nearly a decade.

For one organization, Fives Machining Systems (formerly MAG IAS), a global machine-tool manufacturer, operating a top-notch apprenticeship program is not a new initiative. In fact, it is a recruitment tool that has aided them in the recruitment and retention of qualified veterans for many years. In 2010, Tom Brokaw reported on the shift away from old-line manufacturing by the American worker towards information, science and technology. He asked, “How can the American worker acquire this new skill set for the next generation of quality jobs? One answer – a registered Apprenticeship Program in Kentucky and a company called MAG IAS” (now Fives).

Since 2014 the company has hired 20 former members of the various military branches at 10 field locations throughout the United States. As a result of their Apprenticeship Program, Fives recently participated in the White House Upskill Summit, a national initiative launched by President Obama aimed at equipping workers with skills they need to earn, and advance in higher-paying jobs.

This panel discussion will focus on the collaborations that have resulted in Fives award-winning apprenticeship model and how that model can be equally effective in the recruitment of individuals with disabilities.

Teresa Turner, President, Synchronized Resources, Inc.
Teresa Turner, Founder and Lead Consultant for Synchronized Resources, Inc., specializes in equal employment opportunity/affirmative action program administration. During her 27-year career, she has assisted many well know Fortune 500 companies in developing and implementing EEO/AA programs designed to align compliance functions with the core values of the organization. An energetic and engaging speaker, Ms. Turner’s strategic perspective on how to administer compliance programs that maximize the overall return on the compliance investment is well received by the audiences she addresses.

Ms. Turner earned her MBA with a concentration in Human Resources Management from Webster University, St. Louis, MO; an undergraduate degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Human Resources from Lindenwood College, St. Charles, MO, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude; and her Associate Degree in Management and Supervisory Development from the St. Louis Community College at Florissant Valley.

She is a member of the St. Louis’ Industry Liaison Group (ILG), the Diversity Awareness Partnership (DAP), the National Industry Liaison Group (NILG), the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the Human Resource Management Association of Greater St. Louis (HRMA St. Louis), and is a graduate of the National Conference for Community and Justice’s (NCCJ) Dismantling Racism Institute.

William (Bill) Weier, Manger Human Resources, Fives Machining Systems
Bill Weier is a seasoned Human Resources professional with over 20 years of hands-on experience in recruiting, succession planning, personal career development and workforce management. He has received national recognition for Fives’ Apprenticeship Program – state certified and supported by Gateway Community and Technical College. This highly successful program has been cloned by major manufacturers in Northern Kentucky including MAZAK and Mubea.

Bill continues to focus on and extend Fives’ outreach through his participation as a member of the Technical Advisory Board for The Brighton Center, Gateway Community and Technical College, the Veterans Board for Gateway, and as a participant with the Gateway Manufacturing Consortium. In addition, he serves on the Board of Directors for Holly Hills, a local Children’s Home, chairs their Human Resource committee, and is a Hospice patient care volunteer at St. Elizabeth in Northern Kentucky.

Kathleen Lee, Yang-Tan Institute on Employment and Disability, Cornell University – ILR School
Kathleen Lee is a Business Outreach Specialist at Cornell University’s ILR School and the K. Lisa Yang and Hock E. Tan Employment and Disability Institute. Kathleen provides technical assistance training and consultation for the business community on issues related to the employment of individuals and veterans with disabilities by sharing best employment practices and resources. Kathleen’s experience includes more than twenty years in job placement, human resources and disability inclusion to assist companies in diversifying their workforces. Kathleen has also administered federal employment and mentoring programs in multiple locations throughout the country serving individuals with disabilities, dislocated workers, students, and veterans. She is a member of both the Indy ILG and the St. Louis ILG Chapters. She has presented at multiple national conferences including the NILG from 2012-2015, SHRM, NACE, and DEAM.

Kathleen holds an Advanced Certificate of Strategic HR Management from Cornell University and is a graduate of the Rehabilitation Institute, Southern Illinois University where she received a Master of Science degree in Rehabilitation Administration and Job Development and Placement.

Selecting the Right HR Technology for Your Business
Nancy Heet, President, Workforce Management Strategies, LLC

You’ve decided to explore HR technology options for your organization. There are so many technology solution providers, offering a range of services and products with varying functionality all vying for your attention and budget. Additionally, the market for these solutions seems to be constantly changing with mergers, acquisitions and new entrants.

Nancy Heet, Principle of Workforce Management Strategies, LLC has been helping organizations through this journey for the past 20 years. Come prepared to learn what you need to know and do to make your selection process less overwhelming and result in the best-fit HR software solution(s) for your organization.

In this presentation, you will learn:
  • How the HR technology landscape has evolved, where it is today and the potential of where it will be moving in the future
  • How to gain market perspective using easily accessible third-party advisors and analyst research
  • The key steps and considerations when driving a selection process
  • What is IT’s role in your process
  • Options for building the business case to securing funding
  • Why change management and user adoption can’t wait until implementation
  • What to expect during and implementation

Implementing Diversity: A Program that Works
Ann W. Marr, Vice President, Human Resources, World Wide Technology

How can you move from simply discussing diversity to actually constructing programs that actively encourage diversity in the workplace? How can you build a culture where diversity is valued? World Wide Technology’s Vice President of Human Resources Ann Marr will share ideas and programs on how to move from the idea of diversity to implementation.

As Vice President of Human Resources, Ann Marr oversees all human resources functions, which include talent management, policy development, benefits administration, training, leadership development and employee relations as well as managing the company’s supplier diversity program. Ann has over 20 years of human resources experience and has held positions with Enterprise Rent-A-Car and Anheuser-Busch Companies. Ann is also chair of the WWT Charitable Foundation and is very active in the St. Louis community. Ann serves on the board of the St. Louis Minority Business Council, Focus St. Louis, the Urban League of Greater St. Louis and St. Louis Forum. Marr holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in human resources management from Webster University.

Sexting, Security & Social Media: Digital Dilemmas in the Workplace & How to Solve Them
Susan Bassford Wilson, Attorney and e-Law Practice Group Co-Chair, Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete, LLP

Allowing employees to use their own mobile devices for work (BYOD) has its benefits, but how can employers mitigate the risks to company data that it presents? Likewise, what can employers do to curb concerns over liability, confidentiality, and productivity presented by social media? The workplace opportunities for digital dilemmas are numerous and daunting. Please join us for a discussion of some of the challenges inherent in the ever-changing digital workplace as well as for practical legal advice on crafting effective policies and procedures to protect your company.

Susan Bassford Wilson specializes in management-side employment law, particularly focusing on counseling and litigation prevention for technology, transportation, healthcare and retail companies. She handles a wide range of employment matters in federal and state courts across Missouri and Illinois, as well as successfully representing employers in mediation and administrative matters before the EEOC, NLR, MCHR and IDHR.

Susan enjoys assisting employers in proactively addressing employee issues through policy development, audits and training. She frequently publishes, presents and provides training to human resources, trade and employer groups on a variety of employment law issues, such as digital workplace challenges, social media policies and wage and hour audits. Susan earned her law degree from the University of Michigan, and her undergraduate degrees in journalism and psychology from the University of Missouri.

Susan serves as co-chair of Constangy’s e-Law Practice Group, and is also a member of the firm’s Diversity Council.

Invisible Disabilities in Work Force
Michelle Blackwood, Challenge Unlimited, Inc.

Challenge Unlimited, Inc., a non-for-profit, who has hire people with disabilities for over 60 years, brings a wealth of knowledge to class participants regarding the many myths of hidden disabilities. In this session, professionals will gain insight, and important tips and tools on the most common unseen disabilities. Join Challenge for education and open discussion on valuable actions you can use each work day to strengthen recruitment and enhance your company’s inclusive culture.
Michelle Blackwood is the Director of Training & Development for Challenge Unlimited, Inc., a nonprofit and an AbilityOne provider. Through business partnerships, Challenge Unlimited is mission strong in providing competitive employment opportunities to individuals with disabilities and veterans which enable them to achieve their highest level of independence. Michelle is a Certified Professional in Learning & Performance, American Red Cross instructor, Crisis Prevention Institute instructor, and holds her Master’s degree in Communication. Michelle has spent her career as a university instructor, HR professional, and advocate for people with disabilities. Michelle is passionate about learning, leadership, and connecting with others! She offers education, insight, and awareness to corporations in order to help them effectively achieve their inclusion and employee development initiatives.

From HR Generalist to CHRO: What is Your HR Career Path?
Danielle Spieckerman, SHRM-SCP, System Leader, Talent Management, SSM Health; Angela Schaefer, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, VP of Human Resources & Employee Engagement, Safety National Casualty Corporation; Danielle Schroeder, PHR, SHRM-CP, Vice President, Human Resources, Midwest Employers Casualty; and Melva Pete, Vice President of Human Resources at SAK Construction

Are you wondering what the next step in your career path looks like? This panel of HR professionals will share their experience in a variety of HR roles and how each added value to their career. Learn what it will take to expand your HR experience!

Danielle Spieckerman is the System Leader for Talent Management at SSM Health. She has over 15 years of experience in Human Resources, with expertise across multiple functional areas including: talent management, leadership & staff development, employee relations, benefits & compensation administration, employee engagement, policy design & implementation, change management, diversity & inclusion, continuous quality improvement, workforce planning and performance management. She currently serves as the Immediate Past President for the Human Resource Management Association of Greater Saint Louis and is on the MO State Council of SHRM as the state Workforce Readiness Director. Additionally, Danielle serves on the Workforce Advisory Committee for the Missouri Hospital Association. Danielle holds a MA in HR Management from Webster University and a BS in Business Administration from the University of Missouri.

Angela Schaefer is the Vice President of Human Resources for Safety National where she provides strategic and operational oversight of the human resources department.

With close to 20 years of human resources experience, Angie is active in several industry organizations. She currently serves on the executive committee for the Missouri State Council of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), is the President for the St. Louis Affiliate of HR People & Strategy, SHRM’s Executive Network, and previously served as President of the Human Resource Management Association of Greater St. Louis. Angie is also an Advocacy Captain for SHRM’s Government Affairs team (A-Team) representing corporations and HR professionals on federal and local public policy issues impacting the workplace.

Throughout her career, Angie has received much recognition for her work in human resources and diversity. Her peers awarded her the Missouri State Council SHRM LEAD Award for her professional and community contributions and achievements, and she was awarded the St. Louis Community Awareness Award by the Bar Association of Greater St. Louis for her commitment to diversity in the legal profession. She was also accepted into the FOCUS St. Louis Coro™ Women in Leadership program and the inaugural FOCUS St. Louis Diversity Fellowship Program.

Angie earned a Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Studies from the School for Professionals Studies at Saint Louis University, a Masters in Human Resources Management from Webster University, and has obtained certifications as a Senior Professional in Human Resources.

Her community involvement includes serving as a member of the Saint Louis Zoo Association Board of Directors, and as President of the Gateway Pet Guardians Board of Directors.  Angie is also an active member of Alpha Sigma Alpha national sorority.

Melva Pete is currently Vice President of Human Resources at SAK Construction, one of the fastest growing pipeline infrastructure companies in the country. She has oversight of all aspects of SAK’s human resources function which includes locations in Baltimore, Nashville and Sacramento.

Prior to joining SAK, Melva has served in Human Resources executive and leadership roles at Bi-State Development Agency, Monsanto, Angelica Corporation, and Spectrum Brands. Melva holds a B.S. Degree from the University of Missouri-St. Louis and a Master’s Degree from Webster University. Melva has served as a guest lecturer at universities, keynote speaker for HRMA and panelist at universities and business forums. She also serves as a mentor to HR professionals. Melva is a past recipient of The Most Influential Women in Business award, and was most recently named Corporate Executive of the Year by the St. Louis American Newspaper. Her community service includes serving on the Employment Connection’s Board of Directors and on the Employer Advisory Council at Concordance Academy. A believer in second changes, Melva’s volunteer commitments include conducting job readiness workshops for ex-offenders in transition. Melva is a member CHUMS, Inc. whose focus is enriching the lives of children and college-bound students through educational programs and scholarships.

Reality HR - The Unfolding of a Reasonable Accommodation Request Right Before Your Eyes
Andrew Metcalf, Associate; Erin Williams, Shareholder; Meredith Lopez, Associate; and James M. Paul, Shareholder
Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.

This fast-paced skit and role-playing exercise will demonstrate for attendees how job performance discussions, reasonable accommodation requests, and discipline/discharge decisions can interact...and lead to good, bad or ugly results for employers and employees. The legal framework is easy enough to describe, but the real-world practical application of these concepts is a little trickier. Participate in this session and leave with additional skills and tools that you can take back to your workplace...and achieve better (or at least more defensible) results in your organization.

James Paul is a Shareholder in the St. Louis office of national labor and employment law firm Ogletree Deakins.  Jim has extensive experience in handling labor and employment law litigation in federal and state courts and claims/investigations in various governmental agencies.  Jim also regularly advises employers on all labor and human resource management issues.  Jim holds Labor Relations and Economics degrees from Saint Louis University and his law degree from Washington University. He has received the top "AV Rating” by Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, has been named since 2010 in the annual editions of The Best Lawyers in America as a top labor and employment lawyer and litigator (including “The 2016 St. Louis Employment Litigator of the Year”), and has been listed in Super Lawyers Magazine since 2008.

Andrew Metcalf is an employment law attorney with Ogletree Deakins. Andrew represents businesses of all sizes in all aspects of employment law, including both litigation and human resources counseling. He assists clients facing lawsuits and administrative charges alleging employment discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and violations of other workplace laws and regulations, including the FMLA and FLSA. He has guided clients through investigations by the EEOC, Missouri Commission on Human Rights, the Department of Labor, and OSHA. Andrew also helps businesses and human resources professionals minimize risk by offering practical strategies and legal counseling on workplace policies, including the preparation and review of employee handbooks and employment contracts. He regularly speaks to business groups about best practices and litigation avoidance, and he is a frequent author about developments under Missouri law. In 2016, he was included on the Missouri Lawyers Weekly list of “Up and Coming” attorneys. 

Meredith A. Lopez represents employers in state and federal court against discrimination, harassment, retaliation,
wrongful discharge claims and labor matters. She also represents employers in pre-litigation matters before state and federal administrative agencies. Ms. Lopez advises employers regarding workplace policies and procedures and counsels them on compliance with applicable federal and state labor and employment laws.

Ms. Lopez graduated magna cum laude from Saint Louis University in 2012, where she earned her J.D. with a Certificate in Employment Law. During law school, Ms. Lopez was an editor for the Saint Louis University Law Journal and completed a judicial externship with the Honorable E. Richard Webber in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri.

Before joining Ogletree Deakins, Ms. Lopez worked as a Human Resources professional where she provided advice and counseling to employees and managers.

Erin E. Williams represents a wide range of companies in all aspects of employment law, including both litigation and advice work. Ms. Williams’s practice includes representing clients in state and federal courts and before various administrative agencies, including charges of discrimination brought by students before the Department of Education. She has extensive experience with employment litigation matters including employment discrimination, sexual and other harassment, retaliation, wrongful discharge, whistleblowing, wage and hour litigation, restrictive covenants and reductions in force.

Why Community Matters: The Role of Civic Leadership in Employee Productivity
Julie M. Lawson, MA, CCMP, President & CEO, Sentient Strategy

Good leaders understand the integral relationship between community and organizational success. Awareness of community composition, current issues, and potential growth helps employees make sound business decisions and improve customer relations. Strong companies understand the communities they are members of, the needs of its people, and ways they can directly improve their community. Identifying, understanding and engaging in community improvement efforts improves employee productivity and morale.

In this session, we will discuss:
  • The role of civic leadership in organizational success
  • The importance of HR knowledge of community as it relates to employee productivity
  • Key strategies for increasing awareness and engagement of community across the organization
In addition to actionable strategies, participants will learn how strategic issues, such as community culture, have a direct impact on employee productivity.

Julie Lawson has 20 years’ experience as a CEO, leadership trainer, strategy consultant and certified executive coach.

Julie formerly served as Vice President of Programs at FOCUS St. Louis where she served as the initial Executive Director of the Missouri Supreme Court’s Commission on Racial and Ethnic Fairness. Prior to FOCUS, Julie served for 10 years as CEO of the Crime Victim Advocacy Center, the nation’s oldest victim service agency and as the first Executive Director of the Women’s Foundation of Greater St. Louis.

Her career has been dedicated to advancing women in leadership as well as strengthening the community footprint of more than 30 nonprofit and socially-conscious companies. She has trained more than 500 leaders in leadership programs and customized workshops.

Julie holds a Master’s degree in Organizational Leadership and is certified in Change Leadership through Cornell University. She is a certified trainer in Diversity and Inclusion with the U.S. Department of Justice and a certified Terrorism Victimization Expert by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Julie has been recognized by the City of St. Louis, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the U.S. Committee on Armed Services for her work with victims of violence and trauma.

As an entrepreneur, Julie founded and sold three businesses, leading to a deep commitment to women’s entrepreneurship initiatives and served as a founding committee member of Prosper Women’s Entrepreneurs.

Julie is a frequent speaker on women’s leadership, issues of unconscious bias, emotional intelligence and leadership strategies. In her spare time, she loves to sing, read, write, battle with craft glue on several unfinished craft projects, and, of course, spend time with family and friends.

Interaction Between Human Resources & Legal
Stacy Lutgen, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, Vice President of HR, Ameristar Casino Resort Spa & Dorothy Gerner, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, Vice President Human Resources, Pinnacle Entertainment; and John Marino, Jr., Partner, McMahon Berger , PC

This presentation will provide solutions to common pitfalls and best practices for positive, productive exchanges and decision-making between HR and Legal.

Stacy Lutgen has experienced all aspects of the human resource profession in her 15-year career with Ameristar/Pinnacle Entertainment. Stacy began her career with Ameristar in 2002 as a Food and Beverage Training Manager. She quickly rose through the ranks to become a Team Member Relations Manager, Training Manager, HR Manager, and Director of Human Resources. In 2016, Stacy was named Vice President of Human Resources at Ameristar. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Human Resource Management from Lindenwood University and is a Master’s degree candidate in Human Resource Management at Washington University.

Dorothy Gerner is currently a Vice President of Human Resources for Pinnacle Entertainment working out of River City Casino in St. Louis, Missouri. She is a strategic human resources executive with extensive and broad-based experience working with companies such as Colgate-Palmolive, Dial Corporation and Covidien. Ms. Gerner is recognized in her field as a strategic advisor/partner in developing and implementing key organization goals and initiatives operating in both union and non-union environments.

Ms. Gerner received a bachelor’s degree from the University Missouri, St. Louis and a Master’s of Arts, Human Resources Management from Webster University.

John J. Marino, Jr. represents the interest of management in all facets of Labor & Employment Law. Mr. Marino’s experience prior to joining McMahon Berger includes insurance defense litigation representing corporations in a variety of interests. Mr. Marino has argued both in trial and before the Missouri Appellate Court. He has also served as associate in-house counsel, handling a variety of employment and general business issues. Mr. Marino received his juris doctorate from Saint Louis University School of Law where he earned a Certificate in Labor and Employment Law.

Mr. Marino’s employment practice includes all facets of employment law, including employment discrimination claims under Title VII and the Missouri Commission on Human Rights, the American with Disabilities Act, and the Family and Medical Leave Act. He is involved in litigating employment discrimination claims as well as investigating and responding on behalf of management to employee claims before administrative agencies. Mr. Marino also represents management before the National Labor Relation Board in charges of unfair labor practices, challenges to elections and post-election conduct. In addition, he advises clients on employment-related matters such as employment contracts and daily human resources issues.

Secrets of St. Louis’ Great Places to Work
Margot M. Gruenewald, Director of Human Resources, Crane Agency; Alison Casler, Vice President & Chief Human Resources Officer, Drury Hotels; and Kim Grbac , Director of Compensation and Benefits, Edward Jones

Every year the St. Louis Post-Dispatch publishes a list of “Great Places to Work” in our area. This is your opportunity to hear from the HR professionals leading these organizations. Learn about their best practices, strategies and emerging trends in creating award-winning work environments.

Margot Gruenewald joined the Crane Agency in 2002 as an Executive Assistant to the Chief Operating Officer.
Margot has held a variety of positions at Crane including Compensation, Benefits, and Surplus Lines Manager, Assistant Human Resources Manager, Human Resources Manager, and is currently the Director of Human Resources.

Margot served 5 years in the United States Marine Corps after graduating from high school and has always been passionate about helping people. Margot began working in the human resources field while employed at Howrey and Simon in the Washington, DC area.

Margot obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Business with an emphasis in Human Resources Management from Webster University. She is an active member of the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM), as well as the Human Resources Management Association (HRMA) – St. Louis Chapter. Margot also holds a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) designation.

Alison Casler joined Drury in 2001, and is the Vice President & Chief Human Resources Officer. Alison is responsible for human resources, including staffing, employee relations, training, benefits and compensation. She is a graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia with a B.A. Degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management, and Washington University Olin School of Business with an M.B.A. Degree. Prior to joining Drury, she was with Hyatt Hotels for three years.

Through a team of twenty, Kim Grbac oversees the design and administration of compensation and benefit programs that support the firm’s aggressive growth objective by strengthening its ability to attract, engage and retain associates. She works to ensure programs meet the unique needs of diverse, widely distributed associate groups including financial advisors, branch office assistants and home office associates. Kim designs and directs health and welfare programs for 50,000 participants and dependents. Her team promotes and administers 401(k)/profit sharing program with current assets of $2.5 billion. Kim is responsible for supporting the firm’s compensation philosophy by designing and managing market competitive base pay and incentive programs that focus on pay for performance and success sharing principles. She ensures all programs continue to strategically align with the firm’s position as a career destination and consistent ranking on Fortune’s Best Places to Work list. Kim holds a Bachelor’s degree from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville and a Master’s degree in Human Resources from Washington University.

Handling FMLA: Seven Policies & Seven Strategies Every Employer Should Know
Rex Fennessey & Dean Kpere-Daibo, McMahon Berger

This presentation will address best practices concerning FMLA leave and interaction/impact of related state and federal laws.

Rex P. Fennessey represents the interests of employers in all areas of labor and employment law. Prior to joining McMahon Berger, Mr. Fennessey served for six years as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Missouri, where he defended the interests of the State, its agencies, and its elected and appointed officials in civil rights, employment discrimination, education law, and professional licensing matters. Mr. Fennessey has litigated before administrative agencies, Missouri circuit courts, the Missouri Court of Appeals for the Eastern and Western District, the Missouri Supreme Court, both United States District Courts in Missouri, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.
Mr. Fennessey routinely counsels clients nationwide on a wide range of employment, labor law and pre-litigation issues. His practice includes all facets of employment law, including employment discrimination cases under the Missouri Commission on Human Rights, Title VII, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family Medical Leave Act, Fair Labor Standards Act, and in representing management before the National Labor Relations Board. He is involved in litigating employment discrimination claims as well as investigating and responding on behalf of management to employee claims before administrative agencies. In addition, he assists in advising clients on day-to-day employment-related matters.
Dean Kpere-Daibo represents the interest of management in all areas of labor and employment law. Dean is responsible for representing management interests in state and federal court, as well as before state, local, and federal administrative agencies.
Dean’s employment practice includes all facets of employment law, including employment discrimination claims under Title VII, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, and the Missouri Human Rights Act. He also advises employers on matters, such as employment contracts, severance agreements, employee handbooks, non-compete agreements, employment-related matters, personnel policies, and workplace investigations.
Within the traditional labor arena, Dean advises and represents employers in a variety of matters, including proceedings before the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) throughout the country. He also represents employers in collective bargaining, as well as provides legal advice regarding strikes and work stoppages. His labor practice also includes representing management in arbitration proceedings, such as disciplinary and contractual interpretation issues.
In addition to Dean’s practice, he is actively involved in professional organizations and community service. He is a member of the Human Resource Management Association of Greater St. Louis and the Society for Human Resource Management. In 2016, Dean was named “Top 40 Under 40” by the National Black Lawyers. He also gives back to the St. Louis community by serving on the Board of Directors of Epworth Children & Family Services and the Young Professionals Board of Safe Connections.

Employee Resource Groups: Moving from Concept to Implementation
Angela Cody, Manager, Inclusion & Diversity, Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals

Many companies have been successful leveraging Employee Resource Groups as a key component of their diversity and inclusion efforts. Getting started can be challenging! This session will show you how to leverage best practices and avoid pitfalls of getting ERGs started within your organization.

Angela Cody is the Manager of Inclusion and Diversity at Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals. In this role, she leads and manages Mallinckrodt’s Inclusion & Diversity strategy, programs and the company’s 13 Business Resource Groups across two Chapters. Mallinckrodt is a global business that develops, manufactures, markets and distributes specialty pharmaceutical products and therapies.
By effectively building and leveraging business resource groups, Angela led the Mallinckrodt Inclusion and Diversity Council to a top 10 Council in the nation through a well-crafted, integrated strategy focused on professional development, cultural intelligence, community outreach and wellness. In addition, she has personally developed, designed and facilitated workshops on topics such as unconscious bias, micro-inequities, building inclusive teams, and how to measure the ROI of diversity and inclusion.

Is Your Organization Taking the Pay Gap Seriously?
Lori Wisper, Willis Towers Watson

The topic of pay equity has been top of mind over the past few years. Is your organization taking it seriously enough? Human Resources will need to be at the forefront of these conversations. Are you prepared for the discussion? This session will discuss the risks companies’ face and the best practices for addressing the issues.

Lori Wisper is a Director in Willis Towers Watson’s Rewards line of business, and Reward Line of Business Leader for the Chicago Office, as well as Rewards Leader for the Midwest. She has over 25 years of experience both in consulting and corporate HR, primarily focused on Compensation and total rewards strategy, program design and processes. She has consulted with clients on broad based compensation and talent management issues including global total rewards strategy and program design, global job leveling and career frameworks, compensation and pay for performance strategy, wage and hour regulatory compliance assessments, incentive plan and base salary design, sales effectiveness and sales compensation, performance management and compensation processes and administration. She is also the firm’s thought leader on the topic of pay for performance in which she has also consulted, written and spoken publicly.

In addition to consulting experience with two other national compensation consulting firms, Lori spent five years working as the Head of Global Compensation within the corporate HR function of several companies. The combination of strategic thinking, technical expertise and practical experience has enabled her to advise companies on how to effectively design and implement new reward programs, processes and technologies. Prior to coming to Willis Towers Watson, she was the Director of Compensation and Benefits for Discover Financial Services and Global Head of Compensation for Underwriters Laboratories Inc.

Prior to embarking on her consulting career, Lori worked for a major consumer packaged goods company in sales. She has worked with clients in a variety of industries including heavy equipment manufacturing, insurance and banking, pharmaceutical, consumer packaged goods, utilities (both regulated and non-regulated), healthcare, and transportation.

Lori has a B.S. from University of Illinois and an MBA from Loyola University of Chicago. She has written articles for World at Work’s magazine, WorkSpan, and the World at Work Journal and is a frequent speaker at HR organizations around the country. She has authored studies on Pay for Performance, Performance Management, Variable Compensation Programs, Broad Based Severance Plans and Economic Trends in Compensation and has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Crain’s Chicago Business, and other publications and has appeared on the television show “First Business”.

Making (and Winning) the Case for HR Transformation
Mark Stelzner and Kimberly Carroll, IA HR

HR has historically made due with limited investments in technological enablement and infrastructure, yet the grow digitization of the consumer experience has fundamentally shifted employee expectations. From the moment they first apply for a job through the entire employment lifecycle, employees expect HR to support them where we are and through whatever medium they prefer. Having secured approval for every single business they've ever written, HR thought leaders Mark Stelzer and Kimberly Carroll of IA HR will walk attendees through five proven steps to funding your mission critical investment in HR transformation. Joined by Amy Meyers of Ameren, attendees will also benefit from lessons learned during the activation of your HR transformational initiatives. If you believe, "This won't work for my organization!", think again. This is a session you won't want to miss.

Mark Stelzner is the Founder and Managing Principal of IA-HR, applying over twenty years of experience in the implementation of internal and external HR transformational initiatives for public and private sector clientele worldwide. Over his career, Mark has brought over $3.5 billion worth of value to his clients and employers.
Prior to IA-HR, Mark co-founded and served as Executive Vice President of Marketing and Business Development for EquaTerra Public Sector, a leading sourcing advisory and consulting firm. Previously, Mark was Senior Director of Global Alliances and Channel Management for Convergys Employee Care. Mark’s prior experience includes Business Development Director positions at Workscape and Workstream (formerly Kadiri), as well as advising to organizations such as WebMD and Biogen Idec. Mark also successfully co-founded a workforce effectiveness firm, whose platform was applied to Department of Energy labs, Federal contractors and strategic Department of Defense assets.

A highly sought-after voice in the industry, Mark has been featured by the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Forbes, CNN and NPR. Mark is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and resides in San Francisco, CA.

Kimberly Carroll is a Principal with IA, bringing over twenty years of experience in finance, accounting, HR business analysis, HR/payroll operations and product management for complex multi-national entities.
Prior to IA, Kimberly spent thirteen years supporting a variety of programs for the 40,000+ employees of Fidelity Investments worldwide. Whether as the Program Director for Fidelity’s Benefit Plan Services, the Director of Product Management for HR Access or the Senior Quality Control Manager for all HR and Payroll Operations, Kimberly applied her domain expertise in human resources, payroll, health and welfare, talent management and data enterprise services to achieve timely and successful outcomes on behalf of her internal and external clientele. Kimberly is a proven expert in process improvement, having served as a Kaizen subject matter expert in projects that resulted in a significant reduction in processing errors while improving productivity and customer satisfaction across payroll, health and welfare, defined contribution and stock plan services.

Having started her career in finance and accounting, Kimberly has accumulated and monitored multi-billion-dollar initiatives and has a tremendous body of knowledge in budgeting, financial reporting, and long-range planning and capital expenditures. A highly respected expert in her field, Kimberly has spent her career supporting the needs of high growth and ever-changing enterprises.

Kimberly is a graduate of Florida State University and resides in Orlando, FL.