2021 Sessions

Get ready for TWO FULL DAYS of amazing content!

Earn up to 16.25 credits!

The Symposium is approved for 8.25 SHRM Professional Development Credits over the full two days with the ability to earn an additional 8 credits. HRCI credits are pending. All sessions will be recorded so that you will have access to the full Symposium content.

Day 1 - Keynote Session - 9:00am - 10:00am

SPARK: Act like an Employee and Think like a CEO

SpeakerSimon T. Bailey

Speaker Simon T. Bailey

Simon Bailey, author of Be the SPARK: Five Platinum Service Principles for Creating Customers for Life, provides a keynote on a fresh way of thinking in 2020 and beyond. As CEO (Chief Execution Officer) of your life, you’re intentionally accountable to having a fluid career vision, high performance behaviors, positive habits, and consistent execution. You have the uncanny ability to produce uncommon results in uncommon times.

Men and Women with SPARK understand that a paycheck is given to people who show up, and opportunities are given to those who think and work beyond what they are paid to do. Are you that person that the organization cannot live without?

Team Members with SPARK are transformational thinkers that positively impact everyone else around them by raising the vibrational level to produce tangible results. When everyone else is saying NO! Team members with SPARK find a way to say YES!

Men and Women with SPARK are leaders without titles who leverage relationship capital to do what is common in an uncommon way.

Men and Women with SPARK stop waiting for human resources to assign a new role and pivot from a job description to doing meaningful tasks.

Men and Women with SPARK fire themselves from their jobs and re-hire themselves as “intrapreneurs” intending to take their organization to the next level.

While serving as Sales Director at Disney Institute, Simon learned when he sparked moments for those he was serving he also sparked something in himself. He realized that with all of the hours we spend at work, if we are going to revolutionize our lives, we have to leverage the moments we are on the clock. Simon is dedicated to helping others uncover their inner fire and grow it each and every day. In the session, he will teach the mental algorithm to be a SPARK so you can accelerate your results.

    • Learn how being an Influencer who understands what’s happening at 30,000 feet and can execute at 500 feet.
    • Develop knowledge on what proximity positioning is and how it can be used to help build relationships with the C-Suite.
    • Use financial intelligence to lead to rewards.
    • Gain an understanding on how to navigate the internal culture to get things done.

Sponsored by:

Day 1 - Breakout Session 1 – 10:30am-11:30am

What’s the Cost? A Discussion on Pay Equity

SpeakerMariann Madden

Speaker Mariann Madden

Organizations are at various points of the pay equity spectrum.  Some are just beginning to set their objectives for their analysis, while others have posted their findings to their website in an effort to be more transparent.  This session will provide insights into the current business and legislative landscape, key considerations in setting the overall objectives for your pay equity analysis, understanding how to structure your analysis and remediation strategies as well as what comes next.

Key takeaways:

    • Learn about the various stages of the pay equity process
    • Understand how legislation impacts pay equity
    • Gain knowledge to develop pay equity analysis strategies for your company

Sponsored by:

Dear Helga

SpeakerMichael S. Cohen, Esquire

Speaker Michael S. Cohen, Esquire

We’ve all said it: “I would write a book, but who would believe these stories are true?”  And, in this post-2020 environment, unfortunately many of the tales from are far too real!  Given the effects of all things 2020, including massive social unrest, the Covid-19 pandemic and the new realities of our “workplaces,” the legal workplace has become far more complicated to manage.  Designed for Human Resources professionals, this fast-paced session will focus on uncommon workplace issues and examine practical, business-focused solutions that you can use immediately to solve those problems.

Key Takeaways:

    • Identify and analyze potentially hidden HR issues existing in your organization
    • Recognize employment laws implicated in these difficult issues and discuss policies to mitigate risk when proactively implemented.
    • Provide practical, business-focused solutions that you can use immediately to solve those problems.

Sponsored by:

How Do You Show Up?

Speaker Laura Sicola

Speaker Laura Sicola

This session will help you to identify ways in which your current communication style – especially in a virtual environment – are reinforcing or undermining your leadership image, influence and overall success and clarify development priorities to project your best leadership image and get bigger and better results overall.

Key Takeaways:

    • Understand your verbal communication and how to influence it to impact your virtual communication.
    • Learn how to better clarify your development priorities to project your best leadership image and get bigger and better results.
    • Work on ways to balance your credibility and authenticity to operationalize your credibility for the best results.

Day 1 - Breakout Session 2 - 1:00pm-2:00pm

From Chance to Choice: Building Intentional Relationships

Speaker Sarah Noll Wilson

Speaker Sarah Noll Wilson

We know it feels amazing to work on a productive team that can not only meet goals, but support each other while doing it. When we don’t have that experience, it’s easy to feel that we were the victims of chance or to put blame on the other people. But what if there were a way to create powerful partnership by design instead of by chance?

In this interactive workshop, Sarah Noll Wilson leads you to a new level of insight and thinking about how to design partnerships that are productive, supportive, and resilient.

Drawing on the work of Adaptive Leadership and Conversational Intelligence, combined with modeling and insights from thousands of hours of coaching teams, Sarah will share practical insights, grounded in science, to help build powerful partnership so you and your organization can thrive.

After this workshop, teams will have a dynamic combination of theory and tools they can use to create or deepen their connections. Together we will explore:

    • Shifting our focus on intentional relationship building “from chance to choice”
    • The process of designing alliances
    • Key ideas of healthy relationship
    • Four ways we damage relationships

The Opt-In

Speaker: Aurora Archer AND Kelly Croce Sorg

Speaker: Aurora Archer AND Kelly Croce Sorg

Through the raw and honest personal stories told from two distinct perspectives: an Afro-Latina and a privileged white friend – Aurora and Kelly share the impact of white supremacy culture and how it keeps us living in two separate realities and worlds. Our current times call for an immediate fast tracking of white people to develop racial literacy, increase stamina for discomfort and deepen self-introspection. The Opt-In is here to guide without judgement and share how to embark on a personal transformation journey that engages white people in the work of building stamina to stay in it and create positive change within and around us.

Learning Objectives:

    • Bridging the cultivating proficiency in engaging in difficult conversations about race into stamina to stay in it and create positive change.
    • Learn tools and frameworks for change to build stamina for developing self-awareness and becoming racially literate to meet the demands of a constantly evolving and multicultural workforce.
    • As a humanity-centric professional, step into being a changemaker to courageously model and lead in their organization.

Sponsored by:

Traumatic Stress in The Workplace: Leading Post-Pandemic Growth and Beyond

Speaker: Dr. Debra Lindh

Speaker: Dr. Debra Lindh

This engaging and experiential session will explore stress and trauma in the workplace providing participants an opportunity to understand various perspectives to answer the following questions: what does stress and trauma look like in the workplace, how might organizations acknowledge and respond to the lived experiences, how do innovative approaches of peer-led support communities help to reduce stress, improve resiliency, and provide safe spaces for employees to more effectively move through mental health and wellness challenges, and how can organizations use these resources to create and maintain space to create and maintain healthy and supportive workplace cultures that mindfully move through these challenges into healing and post-traumatic growth to align with overall organizational strategies and strategic initiatives. Through small group discussion, reflection, and whole group discussion, participants will gain a deeper understanding of “what” to create as well as explore the implications of “how” to implement these initiatives while gaining insight into new knowledge, opportunities of applied research, and practical interventions promoting a mindful approach to leadership that inspires post-traumatic growth and post-pandemic growth while building safe spaces for resilience and beyond.

Learning Objectives:

    • Learn about different perspectives on stress, trauma, and post-trauma growth and be able to craft your own point-of-view; Explore the variables within what is “resilience” and discuss their creation and integration
    • Understand the “why” the need exists, how to consider options for positive adaptations, and the implications of returning to a new “normal” through meaning and purpose
    • Describe how peer-led lived-experience interventions reduce workplace stress, increase employee well-being, and generate ROI outcomes linked to strategic initiatives

Sponsored by:

Day 1 - Closing Session 3:00pm - 4:00pm

Leading Imperfectly: Leading Through Uncertainty with Authenticity

Closing Session SpeakerJames Robilotta

Hey superheroes, take off your capes (but please leave on your mask). Hey leaders, let’s check our ego for a second. In this session, you’ll be asked to think critically about the way you communicate with others. When you lead authentically through your experiences, shortcomings, and lessons learned, you make yourself appear human to your co-workers, which boosts morale and trust. In the midst of a critical social justice movement we must focus on what is right, not the need to be right. In the global pandemic, we must preach and practice empathy for ourselves and others. It is during this period of ambiguity and uncertainty that leaders emerge, but not the ones who are trying to be perfect. No, it is the ones who recognize the power of authenticity and relatability that will inspire others right now. Learning Outcomes – By attending this keynote participants will:

    • Reflect on their desire for perfection and control in ambiguous times.
    • Apply the theory of Authentic Leadership to the way they lead
    • Analyze how they let others define what authenticity means to them, even if it makes them uncomfortable.

Day 2 - Keynote Session - 8:45am - 10:00am

Leading Through a Pandemic – A CHRO Panel Discussion

Speakers Clayton Fitzhugh, Charity Hughes, Margaret Dinneny
Moderator Jackie Linton

Attendees will have the opportunity to hear from leading CHROs in the Philadelphia region. During the session we will explore the events over the past year and the impacts on the HR organization including their talent ecosystems. Attendees will hear how the panelists dealt with the challenges within their organization and learn innovative ways they were addressed. Lastly the panelists will discuss their outlook for the future of work in the area.

Key Takeaways:

    • Learning from leading CHROs on how they have overcome business challenges associated with the pandemic
    • Obtain knowledge on the impact these strategies had on their companies
    • Use the knowledge to incorporate strategies in their organizations for the future.
    • Understand the implications for HR organizations in the Philadelphia region

Day 2 - Breakout Session 1 - 10:30am - 11:30am

Masks, Vaccines and Social Distancing, Oh My! – Navigating the Return to Work from COVID

Speakers: Mary Tiernan, Larry Dunivan, Erica Kaufman
Moderator Kena Sears-Brown

Speakers Mary Tiernan, Larry Dunivan, Erica Kaufman
Moderator Kena Sears-Brown
As we head into year two of the global pandemic, leaders are continuing to make quick adjustments and pivots, while starting to make big decisions on the future of work and their workplace. What steps are HR professionals and their businesses taking to adapt to the new world of work and what decisions are being made on reopening the offices?

Join a panel of leaders as they provide their perspectives on how companies are navigating the future of work. They will provide best practices on returning to the office safely and shed light on some future trends we should start talking about. The session will review topics such as vaccines, safety protocols, flexible work schedules as well as impacts to the leadership team. Lastly, they will provide insight on how to develop and implement change management strategies to help address concerns with returning to work.

Key Takeaways:

    • Learn from industry leaders to help inform policies and procedures for companies to return to work
    • Understand how managers should engage, develop, and recognize our employees during these times
    • Incorporate learnings to develop strategies to prepare their companies for the future of work

Global Talent Trends 2021

Speaker Jennifer Bagley

Speaker Jennifer Bagley

The pandemic has affected the way we will move forward into the future of work. In many cases it has accelerated seismic shifts that were beginning before 2020. The concepts of enhancing technologies to support working remotely has been rapidly advanced to accommodate government restrictions. Companies have increased their focus and attention on the health and safety of their people and enhancing benefits to meet a new set of requirements. These changes will help companies to the prepare their workforce. During the session, attendees will discover four key themes that executive leaders, HR teams and employees are betting will shape how we interact, engage and deliver in the future of work. This knowledge will help HR prepare their organizations to act.

Key Takeaways:

    • Gain knowledge on the ways work is changing for the future
    • Explore the four key themes to better prepare your organization for what is ahead
    • Discover how leading organizations are responding to some of the most significant issues of our time

The F-word in the Workplace: Feedback

Speaker Harrison Kim

Speaker Harrison Kim

The Art and Science behind Effective Feedback workshop aims to help HR/talent professionals understand (i) what makes feedback effective, (ii) how we should deliver it, and (iii) tactical steps to affect the culture of feedback at work. Feedback is a powerful tool that develops and retains our employees; however, it is a double-edged sword. When done incorrectly, it can seriously hurt employees’ productivity and morale. Using established research and principles, such as growth-mindset, radical candor, and pack mentality, we discuss how to truly enable a culture of feedback at work. Our workshop is interactive and educational.

    • Attendees will understand what makes feedback more meaningful – behaviors-based, effort-based, and forward-looking.
    • Attendees will be able to host a similar workshop for their organizations to educate their employees on how to share effective feedback.
    • Attendees will develop tactical steps to enable the culture of feedback and transparency for their organizations.

Day 2 - Breakout Session 2 - 1:00pm - 2:00pm

Retention 911: Reviving, Inspiring, Engaging, Retaining!

Speaker Christopher Ridenhour

Speaker Christopher Ridenhour

No more “churn and burn!” No more wishing, hoping, teeth-gnashing, or crossed fingers to keep folks from rushing to the exits! Are you ready to make this the “Year of Retention?” While our websites paint perfect pictures of teamwork and World Class Customer Care, does everyone really, I mean, REALLY, appear as engaged as they do on the home page? Imagine a corporate culture defined by every team member embracing change, owning problems, and taking personal accountability for their part in creating an EXTRAORDINARY organization. Organizations that fail to fully appreciate, coach, and inspire team members, lose the battle to retain them! Haphazard, nonspecific retention strategies result in negative outcomes including loss of productivity, debilitating workplace stress, high accident rates, no-call-no-shows, pervasive overtime costs, elevated team dysfunction, and low accountability. GREAT NEWS AHEAD! This session promises to transform the energy traditionally reserved for handwringing, complaining, and worrying into strategies that create inclusive, positive, and cooperative work environments. Come prepared to receive countless ways to kick this “workforce crisis” in the tail!

Retention 911: Reviving, Inspiring, Engaging, Retaining! promises to take you into the hearts and minds of your colleagues to reveal what inspires and motivates them to truly LIVE your organization’s Mission, Vision and Values. This unique offering will serve as the Train-the-Trainer for anyone interested in becoming a “Certified Staff Whisperer.”


    • Participants will identify the root causes and conditions that create lack of morale and stifling turnover as well as review the latest research, theories and practices focusing on engagement and retention. The tools used are derived from the works of Daniel Pink, Brene Brown, Simon Sinek, Kouzes and Posner, the Gallop Survey resources, among many, many others.
    • Participants will assess their professional skillset against research-based competencies necessary to coach and inspire colleagues and direct reports to greater loyalty and a healthy sense of belonging. We will identify the hallmarks of a vibrant and inclusive culture and the leadership accountabilities that create such environments.
    • Participants will analyze and evaluate critical touchpoints occurring across the entire organization including: New Team Member Orientation, The Onboarding Process, Performance Evaluations, Standards of Supervision, Write-Ups/Discipline, and Team Member Recognition.
    • Lastly, participants will develop a 30-day plan designed to create departmental cultures characterized by an elevated commitment to external and internal customers as well as the organization’s mission, vision, and values.

Journey to the Unknown: Lessons learned on embracing a growth mindset

Speaker Rachel Vennitti, Assoc. VP, People Success at Odessa

Speaker Rachel Vennitti, Assoc. VP, People Success at Odessa

This session will provide a real life example of how an HR professional learned growth mindset principles and used that knowledge to make an impact on her company. In the session, Rachel will provide an overview of the key concepts of Growth Mindset that were first introduced to her by the Harvard Business Review. The concepts are based on the principle to drive a high growth culture by creating a safe learning environment focused at the individual and team level. Each employee touchpoint and interaction is seen as an opportunity to develop, and each “fail” is viewed as a chance to learn. With this mindset change, they are creating a continuous learning environment and one that drives a high growth organization. This will be a working session where participants will evaluate their own understanding and adoption of a growth mindset as well as the organizations they support.

Key Takeaways:

    • Learn the key concepts of what drives a growth mindset
    • Develop strategies on how to incorporate a growth mindset in your company culturally and operationally
    • Observe the impacts the growth mindset has on business results, employee productivity, engagement, and revenue growth

Sponsored by:

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion – Where do we go from here?

Speaker Kelley F. Cornish
Moderator Jameel Rush

Speaker Kelley F. Cornish
Moderator Jameel Rush

It has officially been one year since the killing of George Floyd and the resulting reckoning around racial justice that has gripped the world ever since. Many organizations used the moment to double down on their diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives and made commitments to drastically change the representation in and culture of their company. During this fireside chat with Kelley Cornish, EVP and Head of Diverse Segments at Wells Fargo, we will discuss what organizations should be considering in this next era of DEI and what employees, customers, community members, and even shareholders will be looking for moving forward. Lastly, the session will provide insight on the business case for developing an integrated diversity strategy that is incorporated throughout the processes and operations of the organization.

Learning Objectives:

    • Discuss what outcomes organizations should see as it relates to DEI and how change management should be incorporated into the work.
    • Identify ways to engage and inform key stakeholders about what your company is doing as a way to drive outcomes.
    • Explore how organizations can maintain momentum and what stakeholder expectations might be moving forward.

Sponsored by:

Day 2 - Closing Session - 3:00pm - 4:00pm

Dare On! How HR Can Get It’s Groove Back

Speaker Lu Ann Cahn

What doesn’t end up on your desk? Recruiting? Hiring? Evaluating? Caregiving? Squabble settling? Culture creating? Crisis managing? Morale Boosting? And all that in the middle of this pandemic, not to mention the needs of your own family.

You are expected to lead, dare, and inspire everyone else to try new things, move in new directions with your organization, but that’s hard to do if you aren’t taking care of YOU.

Lu Ann Cahn is the author of I Dare Me, based on the year she did one new thing a day, 365 days in a row to get her life unstuck. This 8x Emmy Winning Journalist and two time cancer survivor will inspire and motivate you to resist your “”no”” voice and say “”yes”” to “”Dare On and Get Your HR Groove Back””.

You’ll learn:

    • The science that makes us happier and more productive when we are trying things for the first time
    • How to take steps that will make you more resilient, and
    • How to adjust to the dramatic changes we are facing now, giving yourself the HR treatment so you can be there for the people who depend on you.