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senior executive of this private company in 1975 at age 30 when then 80-year-old business had $20 million in revenue, outdated technology and a very weak financial position.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, TrulyHumanLeadership.com, 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.
 



LUNCHEON KEYNOTE - Resiliency
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 Hammon & Melanie Moore, Monsanto Company

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

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.
 

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.
 

From HR Generalist to CHRO: What is Your HR Career Path?
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!
 

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
Josh Gang & Dorothy Gerner, Pinnacle Entertainment

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

Secrets of St. Louis’ Great Places to Work
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.
 

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.
 

Employee Resource Groups: Moving from Concept to Implementation
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.
 

Is Your Organization Taking the Pay Gap Seriously?
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.