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2016 Conference

San Diego - April 6-8, 2016

Our premier event, where over 1,300 executives from around the country convene to network and learn from leaders.

2016 Conference Agenda

Wednesday, April 6, 2016
12:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Best Company Site Visit
4:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Early Registration
6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Welcome Reception
Thursday, April 7, 2016
zumba-logo  eliza-stone
6:30 a.m. - 7:30 a.m.
Wellness Activity - (Sponsorship opportunity available for this event)

Great Place to Zumba!

Join famous instructor Eliza Stone for the class that started the dance-fitness revolution and changed the way we look at a "workout" forever. It's fun, effective and best of all? Made for everyone! Pretty much the most awesome workout ever. Dance to great music, with great people, and burn a ton of calories without even realizing it.
7:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
7:30 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.
Co-sponsored by Acuity and Regeneron
8:45 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.
Welcome and CEO Keynote

Great Place to Work
Marisa StoltzfusMichael C BushA Great Place to Work® For All
Marisa P. Stoltzfus, Partner, Talent Development will kick off this year's conference as emcee and introduce Great Place to Work®'s CEO Michael C. Bush.

Business is in the midst of a pivotal era, where a building a high-trust workplace culture should be a top strategic priority in order for a company to thrive. In this keynote address, Michael Bush, CEO of Great Place to Work®, will discuss what it means to be a Great Place to Work For All, as well as the inspiring ways Great Place to Work is working to help transform workplace cultures across the U.S. and around the world.
9:30 a.m. - 10:15 a.m.

Keynote Presentation

Edith CooperGoDaddy
Blake Irving, CEO and Board Director
Building Unity within Diversity
Track: Be Inspired
+ show description

A company at its best is a diverse set of individuals rallying behind a single unified cause. As businesses grow, however, it becomes increasingly difficult to scale the culture that sparked early achievements. Blake Irving, CEO and Board Director of GoDaddy, the world’s largest platform for small business, will share his strategy for successfully integrating new generations of employees to their well tenured base, giving employees a voice and role in expanding diversity of thought, and most critically, building trust at all levels—both with management and across teams to deliver uncommon outcomes for their customers and investors.

Dotted-Border10:15 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.
Morning Break
Sponsored by Cirrus LogicDotted-Border 10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

 Breakout Sessions

Read review Intuit Reviews
Rick Jensen, Chief Talent Officer
Catie Harriss, Group Product Manager for Assessing for Awesome
Awesome Hiring, Innovative Culture: How to Use Interviews to Make Top Talent Want to Work for You
Track: Innovate
+ show description

Intuit prides itself as a company where the world’s top talent do the best work of their lives. But in today’s competitive hiring market, how does Intuit ensure their new hires really are the world’s best? The answer: Assessing for Awesome (A4A).

Through this home-grown process, Intuit has rewritten the book on interviewing and hiring – and developed a measurable way to bring in innovative talent that can hit the ground running.

In this session, you’ll hear how Intuit has developed a select group of employee interviewers, or Awesome Assessors, with a proven track record of making great hires and excelling in their own roles.

Using a group interview format that includes a craft demonstration by the candidate, Awesome Assessors are able to make same-day decisions on hiring. In the first year alone using A4A, hiring quality and speed of hiring are faster and better than ever – and candidates love the opportunity to shine, too.

Join Rick Jensen, Chief Talent Officer, and Catie Harriss, Group Product Manager for Assessing for Awesome, to learn how innovating the hiring process has driven innovation for the whole company.

In this session, attendees will learn:

  • In a "candidate's market," what makes top talent want to work for you?
  • How can you use the interview to ensure that a candidate has the skills and values you're looking for? (Hint: It's not about culture fit!)
  • What are the outcomes for managers when they allow the Awesome Assessors to make their hiring decisions?

Read review Kimley-Horn Reviews
Barry Barber, Senior Vice President, Director of Human Resources
*Culture Drivers to Transform Your Workplace
Track: Collaborate + show description

The solution for many challenges that stand in the way of being a great place to work can be found in one word: culture. A strong culture can help your company weather the ups and downs of economic cycles and provide consistent experiences for employees and clients. It can help you do away with bureaucratic rules and regulations and achieve greater profitability. During this session, Barry Barber will share ways that Kimley-Horn has built a vibrant, passionate, and consistent culture in more than 80 offices across the country. He’ll explain how creating a foundation of trust has helped build a firm with lower turnover and higher profitability than peer companies. Kimley-Horn, a nationally-lauded design and planning firm, consistently celebrates stellar client satisfaction ratings as well as employee satisfaction scores that have landed the company on Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For® list nine times.

In this session, attendees will learn how to:

  • Articulate, communicate, and live your culture
  • Drive culture by helping your employees understand the “why” instead of the “what”
  • Align your rewards and recognition systems with your culture
  • Recruit people that fit your culture
  • Use culture to strike a healthy balance between entrepreneurism and teamwork

Insomniac Games, Inc.
Read review Insomniac Games, Inc. Reviews
Insomniac Games, Inc.
Carrie Dieterle, Chief People Officer
Ryan Schneider, Chief Branding Officer
*Trust, Transparency…Transformation
Track: Transform
+ show description

It is often said that you must earn someone’s trust. But what if you simply gave your trust to someone? And not just someone, but everyone? What if you shared every detail of your business with the very people who create, sustain and grow your business every day? You would transform your organization into something bigger, stronger and more resilient than you can ever imagine. It all starts with trust and the ability to vanquish any fear you have that secrets will leak out, that you’ll lose your competitive advantage, or that people will squander the very thing that you’ve given them.

Video games developer Insomniac Games made a conscious decision from the top down to share anything and everything possible unless contractually obligated not to. In doing this, Insomniac created an atmosphere of opportunity, understanding and respect that emboldened an entire workforce to do more, push themselves creatively, ask questions and deliver amazing results. To trust meant to eliminate fear. As a small, independent, privately held company where trade secrets, technology, and IP all add to the secret sauce that has allowed them to stay independent and grow for over two decades -- this wasn’t a quick or easy decision. Join Chief People Officer, Carrie Dieterle and Chief Branding Officer, Ryan Schneider as they share why they felt it’s worth it!

Read review Regeneron Reviews

Ross Grossman, Vice President, Head of HR
Joshua Mitchell, Associate Director of Culture and Communication
Journey to 2020: Millennials, Culture, and Leadership
Track: Culture
+ show description

2020 marks a new normal for companies across the world. For the first time, millennials are anticipated to be the majority of the workforce. What implication does this have on each of our organizations?

40% of the demographic population at Regeneron are millennials, and, for some time, millennials have taken on highly-visible and key decision-making roles across the company. For a company that still has its two founders leading the company, a focus on culture enabled the organization to take this leap.

Culture was an intentional strategy to be timeless and purposeful, connecting the long-term needs of the organization with the day-to-day realities of operating the business. Like any good culture, it evolves and changes over time – but it always meets the changing needs of people and business.

In this session, Ross Grossman, Vice President, Head of HR, and Joshua Mitchell, Associate Director of Culture and Communication will discuss the method used to create and nurture their culture to support the company’s 20-year survival before the first product was ever launched. The session will explore how Regeneron is passing this culture on to new generations of leaders and thousands of new employees while not forgetting about those who stay with the organization for decades.

In this session, attendees will learn:

  • Why free snacks and perks aren’t enough and the importance of creating the business case for connecting business strategy around culture.
  • Millennials will be increasingly in leadership roles in our organizations and will be making decisions on behalf of the company en masse. What do millennial leaders need to know (from a millennial) to succeed and deliver value for your organization?
  • Mechanisms, tools, and tactics you can use to give words to culture to intentionally spread culture to the next generation of employees.

Great Place to Work

Great Place to Work®
Kim Peters, Executive Vice President, Recognition Programs
Validating Greatness: Understanding Great Place to Work's Certification and List Methodology
Track: High-Trust
+ show description

Understanding how Great Place to Work® evaluates companies is key to appreciating and participating in our certification and Best Workplace lists. Kim Peters, who oversees these Great Place to Work Recognition Programs, will address commonly held questions on what it takes to be certified as a great workplace and speak to the business case for doing so. Peters also explains the methodology used to select Fortune's 100 Best Companies to Work for list, Best Small and Medium Companies to Work for list, and several other new industry and demographic Best Workplace lists published with Fortune.

Peters will provide an overview of the models used to understand these organizations, share the basic tenets of Great Place to Work's methodology, and provide tips on how to complete the Culture Brief(TM) and Culture Audit©. She will share examples of how certified and ranked companies have used these credentials to strengthen their employer brand as well as how they've used data and reports to continuously improve.

In this session, attendees will learn:

  • An overview of Great Place to Work®’s Model and Methodology and how companies are evaluated for certification and lists
  • Key changes in our list and certification approaches this year - and what opportunity this creates for you
  • The business case for seeking recognition -- what you get out of it and why you may fare better than you think

Dotted-Border11:45 a.m. - 1:15 p.m.
Lunch & Networking Session
Co-sponsored by Aflac and CarmaxDotted-Border1:30 p.m. - 1:45 p.m.
Main Stage RemarksDotted-Border

1:45 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Keynote Presentation

Read review Goldman Sachs Reviews

Edith CooperGoldman Sachs
Edith W. Cooper, Global Head of Human Capital Management
The Goldman Sachs Experience
Track: Be Inspired
+ show description

For the past 146 years, Goldman Sachs’ ability to serve clients, grow the franchise and advance its culture has been driven largely by its efforts to recruit, develop and retain the best, most diverse people. In planning for the future, having an inclusive work environment that powers the extraordinary talent and potential of all Goldman Sachs’ people remains critical to sustaining the health of its businesses and generating long-term value for shareholders.

In this session, Edith Cooper, global head of Human Capital Management, will share how she has led the recruitment, development, well-being and promotion of Goldman Sachs’ 35,000 people. For Goldman Sachs, hiring the best people is not enough – the firm aims to create an experience in which each individual’s talents and distinct perspectives contribute to personal and professional development and the continued progress of the firm. Goldman Sachs’ team-driven culture is founded on the idea that by bringing great people together who challenge, mentor and inspire each other, the firm will achieve growth, drive innovation and make an impact with clients all around the world.

Dotted-Border2:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.
Afternoon Break
Sponsored by Cirrus LogicDotted-Border2:45 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.
Breakout Sessions

Read review dPOP!, a member of the Quicken Loans Family of Companies Reviews

dPOP!, a member of the Quicken Loans Family of Companies
Melissa Price, CEO of dPOP! and Consulting Director of Facilities for Quicken Loans
If You Build It, They Will Come: How Overhead Costs Can Increase Your Bottom Line
Track: Innovate
+ show description

Since 1985, Quicken Loans has been helping American families finance their homes. Today they are America’s largest online lender, ranked consistently by clients for the services they provide, and by their Team Members as one of the best companies to work for in the country. But did you know that five years ago, the Detroit-based company was losing potential Team Members to cities like New York, Chicago, and San Francisco?

In 2011, Quicken Loans took a chance. After battling constantly with America’s premier urban centers for the talent that was emerging from Michigan universities, Quicken Loans leadership decided to relocate to downtown Detroit. Gambling on a city that was on the heels of bankruptcy (and has since declared and subsequently emerged from it), they went all in by relocating their entire suburban headquarters workforce to downtown Detroit. Today Quicken Loans is no longer competing for in-state college graduates, and former Michigan residents are returning to the city just to be a part of its resurgence.

How Did Quicken Loans Do It?

When Quicken Loans moved downtown, they didn’t just change where they worked; they changed how their offices functioned. Now basked in a world of bright colors, low cubicle walls, and 100,000 square feet of breakout space, Team Members are part of a corporate community that values individuality and embraces different ideas. Quicken Loans is now the cornerstone employer of Detroit’s Central Business District with a presence in seven different buildings.

In this session Melissa Price, the Consulting Director of Facilities, will share best practices and how Quicken Loans improved the way Team Members conducted business by improving the environment in which they worked.

  • How to leverage a physical space so it supports company values
  • How innovation failures can lead to successes
  • How to create a dynamic work environment without sacrificing productivity
  • BONUS: How just one company can have a tremendous impact on a community… say, Detroit.

Read review Atlassian Reviews

Jeff Diana, Chief People Officer
Open Company, No Bullshit: How transparency and trust drive collaboration, innovation and real business results
Track: Collaborate
+ show description

Team members everywhere want to provide input, collaborate and share ideas in a frictionless way. This is true across industries, cultures and even different generations. So why do so many companies restrict access to information and create barriers to getting work done?

Atlassian provides the tools and the technology for teams to collaborate, aligning with the software they make. Atlassian also works hard to create a culture of trust that inspires people to speak up and contribute, and even take risks without fear. Perhaps most critically, they default to sharing information wherever possible, and provide unique ways for Atlassians globally to share their voice and their ideas. It's a key part of their culture, which is guided by five core values (including Open Company, No BS) that collectively enables them to differentiate their business, the way they innovate, and the way they get work done.

Be warned-they plan to learn from all of you too (translation: this will be a highly interactive session!)

In this session, attendees will learn:

  • Creative channels and tools to drive greater levels of teamwork and idea sharing
  • How values can serve as the foundation that enables real business results
  • The benefits of an open approach for leaders (including founders/CEOs) and team members

Read review Atlantic Health System Reviews

Atlantic Health System
Brian Gragnolati, President & CEO
*5,000 Handshakes: Building Trust During Times of Transformation
Track: Transform
+ show description

Atlantic Health System’s CEO Brian Gragnolati began his tenure in May after the retirement of the organization’s 15-year leader. Brian recognized the need to build immediate trust. During this session, he will share the actions he took within the first seven days and then within the first 90 days to ease what can be a stressful transformation for all. This session will explain how Atlantic Health System’s new leader immediately began setting a tone of transparency and openness. He will share his ‘quick wins’ such as a “Getting to Know You” tour of the organization, “Food for Thought” sessions led by the CEO to foster two-way communication, and even a fun, employee-centered video about the correct way to pronounce his name. The tour and a survey not only resulted in employees reaching a first-name level with their new CEO but also in their suggestions already seeing the light of day (for example, a focus group for millennials). Five thousand handshakes is not an exaggeration, as Brian has personally touched more than 5,000 employees while walking through the halls and units within each facility, asking questions about their work and themselves and sharing his own experiences. Despite his degrees, experience and professionalism, Brian has a down-to-earth, comfortable demeanor that audience members will find approachable. He will leave the audience with specific takeaways that any organization facing change can easily implement.

In this session, attendees will learn:

  • Creative and innovative ways for leadership to build trust during any transformation
  • How to promote transparency between leadership and all employees
  • How to identify ways to foster system-thinking and collaboration within an organization

Read review Workday Reviews

Greg Pryor, Vice President, Leadership and Organization Effectiveness
A Data-Driven Approach to Empowering Employees
Track: Culture
+ show description

Workday is a company best known for its commitment to helping its customers unleash the power of their people, as well as for having a workplace culture focused on empowering its employees.

With a unique obligation and opportunity to lead by example, Workday has been using advanced data science methodologies to research and pioneer HR practices aimed at enabling greater personal and organizational success. The goal is to enable employees to work the way they want to work by leveraging data-driven approaches for recruiting, learning, and retention.

In this session, Workday’s internal Talent Leader Greg Pryor will share how advanced analytics will impact the entire talent lifecycle, providing a sneak peek into the work currently being incubated by the company’s internal People & Purpose team (the artist formerly known as HR). Attendees will learn:

  • How to build a profile of what “great looks like” to use throughout the talent lifecycle – illustrated with Workday’s Results-Based Selection practice
  • The simple but powerful “5 Factors” that every manager and employee should consider for better performance and increased engagement
  • Real-world examples detailing how Workday applied a fabric of data and insights to its HR processes to empower its employees
  • Contemporary approaches to creating and curating learning insights

Great Place to Work

Great Place to Work®
Anil Saxena, Executive Culture Consultant
How to Position Human Resources to Drive the “Business of the Business”
Track: High-Trust
+ show description

The Human Resources function is the nexus of where a business and its people meet, and is in a unique position to be a powerful force in driving organizational performance by increasing market share, driving customer loyalty, enabling positive public perception, and much more.

But, how does that happen? How does HR become an integral tool to drive overall organizational performance in measures that matter most to business leaders: increased revenue, increased sales per customer, lower customer acquisition costs, and other measures that senior leaders make decisions based upon?

The answer is: By leading the effort to become a High-Trust Culture that drives performance. In this session, we will explore how to shift your company’s HR function from an internal, program-based focus to a market based, system focus.

In this session, attendees will learn:

  • How to leverage your current people programs and the data they generate into business-driving tools.
  • The key skills necessary for HR to be seen as driving the “business of the business.”
  • How to help connect everyone to their “line of sight,” and focus on helping people understand how they gain/retain customers.
  • How to shift your organization to a high-trust “Culture of Performance."

Dotted-Border4:00 p.m. - 4:45 p.m.

Keynote Presentation

St. Jude Logo
Read review St. Jude Reviews

James Downing MDSt. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
James Downing, MD, President & CEO
*Commitment is everything: Generating employee pride and sense of purpose
Track: Be Inspired
+ show description

For more than 50 years, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital has brought talented and dedicated individuals together to lead the way the world understands, treats and cures pediatric cancer and other life-threatening diseases of childhood. As one of the largest health care charities in the country and the only National Cancer Institute–designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children, St. Jude is a unique workplace that blends clinical care with scientific research all under the auspices of a nonprofit operational model.

James R. Downing, M.D., St. Jude president and chief executive officer, will discuss his approach to engaging employees across a multi-layered culture by creating a sense of purpose and pride for every individual. His efforts are rooted in the realization that everyone, no matter title or position, plays a part in fulfilling an organization’s mission. That message must be renewed daily across the institution by celebrating employees’ roles, sharing successes and investing in the future of every employee. Dr. Downing will also discuss how to manage employee engagement and focus during times of rapid growth and change.

Through these leadership efforts, St. Jude is creating a great workplace that is more than a list of perks and benefits—it’s a community where people want to work and where they can do their best work. In fact, 97 percent of St. Jude employees say they are proud to tell others where they work, and 94 percent say their work has special meaning and is more than just a job. St. Jude exemplifies what extraordinary feats can be accomplished when creative, compassionate and committed people come together.

Dotted-Border6:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
Social Event at U.S.S. MidwayDotted-Border 

Friday, April 8, 2016

 7:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
RegistrationDotted-Border7:30 a.m. - 8:45 a.m.
Co-sponsored by Baird and HyattDotted-Border9:00 a.m. - 9:15 a.m.
WelcomeDotted-Border9:15 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.

Keynote Presentation

Read review Build-A-Bear Workshop Reviews

sharon-john-smlBuild-A-Bear Workshop
Sharon Price John, CEO
*The Truth about Turnarounds – It Starts with Trust
Track: Be Inspired + show description

With today’s uncertain business environment and evolving consumer preferences, it’s no wonder the mastery of turnarounds has become a hot commodity. However, be it a dying brand, an unstable business unit, or an unprofitable company, why do so many “change agents” fail?

The truth is that turnarounds often have less to do with changing the business itself and more to do with changing the behavior and attitudes of the people running the business.

Clearly, the development of a great strategy coupled with core business skills like expense management, process improvement and the creation of the right organizational structure are important. These efforts alone won’t do the job, as none of these business initiatives work without excellent execution. Execution that takes dedicated, passionate, motivated teams of people and an inspirational leader who understands how to evolve the culture based on trust, while simultaneously activating a process of personal and organizational behavioral change.

In this keynote, CEO Sharon Price John will take the audience on the journey of how Build-A-Bear Workshop went from a multi-year performance decline—culminating with a $49 million loss in 2012—to turning things around by 2014 with a $14 million net income using a tried and true approach to behavioral change that can generate remarkable results.

Dotted-Border10:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.
Morning BreakDotted-Border10:15 a.m. - 11:15 a.m.
Breakout Sessions

Read review Cisco Reviews

Francine Katsoudas, Senior Vice President and Chief People Officer
Ashley Goodall, SVP, Leadership & Team Intelligence
Making People Leaders Your Biggest Bet
Track: Innovate
+ show description

Where does performance live in an organization? What impact do you leaders have? Historically organizations have focused on individuals—on measuring their skills, supporting their development, and evaluating their contributions. But does this traditional approach square with what we know about innovation, creativity, and agility in a complex world? While companies focus on the “best” environment and competitive offerings, true transformation will come from those people who deliver business results from and through their teams. Today’s talent management trends will push us to drive more transparency and trust, and these trends will require us to bet on our people leaders. People leaders will be the catalyst to creating amazing environments and experiences. Cisco will share that by looking anew at what drives excellence, organizations are led to a very different set of priorities for investments in learning, performance management, succession, and measurement.

In this session, attendees will learn:

  • Why teams are the true home of performance in an organization
  • What characterizes the best teams, and how to measure it
  • How Cisco is building an entire organization focused on team and team leader excellence

Hyland, Creator of OnBase
Read review Hyland, Creator of OnBase Reviews

Hyland, Creator of OnBase
Sarah Coakley, Director, Employee Experience
Kathleen Vegh, Manager, Employee Engagement
The Power of Feedback: How to Get It and What to Do With It to Make an Impact and Transform Your Organization
Track: Collaborate
+ show description

Many organizations ask for feedback from employees in an annual survey. Some get the survey feedback but never act on it. The power of feedback comes not only in getting it, but in circling back to the employees to say what you have done with it. When you close the loop with employees and illustrate you are listening, you are more likely to get feedback from them the next time they have it.

In this session, Sarah Coakley and Kathleen Vegh will discuss how they solicit feedback from Hyland employees year round from a variety of sources including: the Great Place to Work® Trust Index© Survey, a perpetual eNPS survey, retention interviews, exit interviews and turnover analysis as well as how they combine all of the feedback to transform and maintain their employee-centric culture and create a high-trust environment.

In this session, audience members will learn how to leverage employee feedback to:

  • Increase employee retention and loyalty
  • Position employee engagement and HR as strategic business partners
  • Promote a culture of transparency
  • Effectively gather feedback from your employees

ATVIBLIZ Logo Black NoLine
Read review Activision Blizzard Reviews

Activision Blizzard
Julie Machock, Vice President, HR Operations & Effectiveness
Jeremy Soule, Senior Manager, Employee Communications
*A Culture of Creativity: How Activision Blizzard’s founding principle of embracing and cultivating inspired talent has prevailed over time
Track: Transform
+ show description

Activision Blizzard’s 35 year history begins with the story of how four video game designers left Atari to create a company where creativity could flourish and be recognized. The organization’s founders built an environment based on entrepreneurialism, creative and business excellence, and high doses of fun in their daily work. Today, Activision Blizzard has grown from four employees to 7,500, and is the company behind the most iconic franchises in all of interactive entertainment – Call of Duty®, World of Warcraft®, and Destiny® to name just a few.

Through a prolonged period of growth in a creative industry like video game publishing, building an environment of passion, vision, creativity, and a commitment to excellence is paramount to their continued success. Their strong culture is not just a nice-to-have, they consider it a business strategy and competitive differentiator to attract, onboard, retain, and engage the world’s best talent. As their core value states: “We Make Fun for a living, and we make sure our new hires know it on their first day.”

Join the session as Activision Blizzard shares their strategy to cultivate and inspire great talent as their company has transformed over the decades, and find out how fostering a great culture has unlocked the best innovation in an industry.

In this session, attendees will learn:

  • How to embrace unique subcultures into the larger organizational culture, while also maintaining the rich culture of creativity and innovation of each individual group
  • Strategies to ensure the original founding principle of embracing and cultivating inspired talent prevail during times of growth and disruption
  • How specific programs, practices and values across the Activision Blizzard organization are all tied together by a shared sense of passion and purpose

Read review Centro Reviews

Shawn Riegsecker, Founder and CEO
Creating a Culture that Drives Happiness in the Workplace
Track: Culture
+ show description

Companies shouldn’t exist with a goal solely to increase shareholder value or drive revenues and profitability. They should be driving happiness for their employees. In turn, employees spread that sentiment to each other, customers and vendors, which positively affects the bottom line. This session explores the role that business leaders have in spreading happiness in the workplace. Centro's founder and CEO, Shawn Riegsecker, will make the case for why companies who focus on employee development and happiness will experience more business benefits than the ones who don’t. Shawn will outline how he has applied and maintained this principle in his company amid rapid growth and change in its business and in the industry. Centro has been recognized by multiple organizations for its workplace, including No. 8 in Great Place to Work’s 2014 Medium-Sized Business list.

In this session, attendees will learn:

  • How senior leadership can leverage their role to affect employee happiness in their companies
  • Practical approaches for driving physical and physiological wellness in organizations
  • Tips for rewards and incentives to motivate employees

Great Place to Work

Great Place to Work®
Wendy Edgar, Americas Director of Human Resources, EY
Richard Gough, HR Leader, W.L. Gore
Jennifer Schulte, Global Vice President, People & Organization, Mars Drinks
Ed Frauenheim, Director of Research and Content, Great Place to Work®
Global Company Communities: Panel on How the World’s Best Scale Great Cultures
Track: High-Trust
+ show description

More and more organizations of all sizes are becoming global in scale. But as you open operations in multiple countries with different national cultures, how do you build, preserve and strengthen a great workplace experience for all employees? The challenge of creating a consistent, unified company culture takes on even greater importance in light of recent Great Place to Work® research showing that a fun, inclusive sense of community is a central to workplace greatness at the World’s Best Multinational Workplaces.

Who better to answer the question of how to scale a great culture than leaders from those World’s Best workplaces? Join us for a panel discussion with executives from companies that earned a place on the 2015 list of the World’s Best Multinational Workplaces. Senior Leaders from the World’s Best and Great Place to Work®’s Director of Research and Content Ed Frauenheim will explore the importance of world-wide camaraderie and other findings from our latest report. The panel also will discuss issues such as striking a balance between central control and local autonomy, navigating different national customs and interpreting company values effectively across the globe.

In this session, attendees will learn:

  • An understanding of the key drivers to great cultures at the World’s Best Multinational Workplaces
  • How to overcome challenges to creating a consistently great workplace experience across countries
  • In-depth best practices and solutions for scaling a high-trust culture globally

Dotted-Border11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Breakout Sessions

Read review Perkins Coie LLP Reviews

Perkins Coie LLP
Tracy Laurie, Director of Staff Training and Development
Building Across the Generations: Crafting Engagement in the Multi-Generational Workplace
Track: Innovate
+ show description

In today’s workplace there are four distinct generations, each vying for the attention of the organization they work for. As workplace leaders, our responsibility is to motivate each generation on its own terms so that we not only preserve and embrace the best qualities that they have to offer, but we also embrace the needs of the future. Our goal is for young and old alike to happily come together and accomplish amazing results engaging each individual in ways they understand.

So how do we more effectively work with others and create an environment that engages and learns from all of the generations? How do we preserve our history while still breaking ground towards the future? Our interactive presentation will show you how Perkins Coie LLP, one of Fortune 100’s Best Companies to Work for® in the last thirteen consecutive years, has created an environment that meets the wide-ranging needs of a multi-generational workforce. Learn how, through focusing on our similarities, rather than our differences, we will improve our programs, our communication, and our interactions at work and across all generations.

In this session, attendees will learn:

  • A greater understanding of generational theory and the four generations of today’s workforce
  • Specific strategies for identifying and addressing intergenerational conflict
  • Ideas for crafting a workplace that builds engagement across all generations

Read review SAS Reviews

Becky Graebe, Senior Manager Communications
The Real Reason Employees are Tuning Out and 7 Ways to Win Them Back
Track: Collaborate
+ show description

Right now someone in your organization has an idea that would make your business remarkably better, but they don’t know how to share it. At the same time, a good chunk of your employees are in the dark about something pretty important. That’s bound to lead to personal frustration, not to mention organizational inefficiency. If employees are tuning us out perhaps it’s because we’re out of touch with the way they want to connect today. In this session, you’ll learn how SAS – No. 4 on the 2015 Fortune list of Best Companies to Work For in the US and in the top 10 of Fortune’s 100 Best Workplaces for Millennials – is taking some powerful steps to turn that around, not just by turning up the volume but by offering communications that speak louder than words.

In this session, attendees will learn:

  • Ideas to help loosen up the suits and set the right tone at the top
  • How to plan a tight communication strategy…so you can be spontaneous and why it’s important to keep the social in social networking
  • Why real-time is the new turnaround time
  • How to encourage employees to talk back
  • How to win back their hearts as well as their minds
  • New ways to celebrate good times (c’mon)!

Read review O.C. Tanner Reviews

O.C. Tanner
Gary Peterson, Executive Vice President of Supply Chain
*Becoming a Great Workplace: Developing, Trusting and Empowering Team Members
Track: Transform
+ show description

O. C. Tanner is an 88 year old business services organization that provides solutions to clients to enable employee engagement everywhere. As a company, O.C. Tanner helps organizations appreciate people who do great work, because appreciation leads to innovation, inspiration, engagement, which leads to growth. O. C. Tanner is now made up of teams of technology gurus, creative designers, and artists, but it started as a manufacturing organization. As a manufacturing organization, it began with a traditional management approach, where leaders took care of people by solving their problems. In the last twenty years the traditional manufacturing approach has transformed with the use of lean principles, increased trust, and the desire to be a great place to work. Instead of taking care of people in the traditional sense, it now empowers people to innovate, solve problems, provide great customer service, and touch lives everywhere. The transformation story involves change management, communication, employee development, and taking the lean principles beyond manufacturing to all parts of the organization.

The session will include real-life projects of changing manufacturing lines in ways that increased productivity while making the work more interesting and safer for employees, and the challenges and rewards in those changes. The story includes moments of doubt, critical points where leaders had to believe in themselves and employees. The story continues with the manner in which employees embraced and led change, and continue to do so today. Some of the specific programs that will be described are strategy deployment, cascading of communication, and continual alignment of the teams to customer value. The story also includes creating an environment so that employees can take time away from their regular jobs to talk about the company’s strategy, what makes the company a great place to work, how to create better communication, and how to serve clients better. Providing an environment where employees can learn, become technologically savvy, and be independent and grow is critical to the foundation of success and a great workplace.

In this session, attendees will learn:

  • How to connect team members to corporate strategy
  • The importance of focusing on learning rather than results
  • The power that comes when your people think more systemically

Read review Yext Reviews

Brooke James, HR Business Partner
*From Startup to Global Company: HR Strategies to Manage a Successful, Rapidly Scaling Company
Track: Culture
+ show description

When you’re managing a rapidly scaling tech business, how do you protect your unique culture and maintain a productive work environment that continues to boost company success as well as individual career growth? That’s the challenge Yext has faced over the past three years, as it has added over 250 employees, representing an employee growth rate of 275%, and achieved a revenue growth rate of 2,026%.

Yext’s story is unique in that the majority of the executive team, including the CEO, CTO, and COO, have all been friends since high school, which has instilled a strong dynamic since day one that it’s not just a business, but also a family. The founder’s strong relationship formed since their teens along with them being so young when they founded Yext, established a culture that empowers young talent and promotes individual career growth. While the leaders are passionate about maintaining this close-knit, entrepreneurial dynamic, this gets difficult in the rapidly evolving tech world as the company has scaled quickly from true NY startup to high-growth global company in just a few years. As Yext’s business has expanded and massive employee influx has diluted the core executive team and larger workforce, the HR department has had to come up with innovate ways to keep the unique culture intact and implement new organizational structures that help to preserve it while supporting rapid expansion.

In this session, Yext’s HR Business Partner, Brooke James, will explain the challenges and obstacles Yext has faced through the company’s transformation, and the efforts her team has made to support the booming success of the company while protecting the cultural identity and core values and ensuring individual employees continue to feel empowered and that their contributions are making a difference. Through the company evolution, Brooke has led her team in implementing new processes and systems to streamline communication, new onboarding and training programs to make sure new employees understand Yext’s core mission and how they can add value and personally benefit, and new organizational structures to ensure that Yext’s culture values are always the anchoring force keeping the company true to itself as it continues to expand at a dizzying rate.

In this session, attendees will learn:

  • The most challenging obstacles young tech companies face as they scale the business
  • How to filter out the key elements of your company’s culture and mission that you want to preserve as the company grows
  • With massive employee influx, what steps can you take to ensure the unique culture is not diluted
  • What are the pitfalls to avoid as you implement HR systemization
  • With a constant demand for new hires to help support growing operations, what strategies can HR implement to ensure the quality of talent remains high

Great Place to Work

Great Place to Work®
Amy Bernstein, Editor, Harvard Business Review
Adam Davidson, NPR's Planet Money
David Streitfeld, Reporter, New York Times
Christopher Tkaczyk, Senior Editor, Fortune
Jonathan Becker, Partner, Great Place to Work®
The Future of Work: Notes from the Front Line
Track: High-Trust
+ show description

That the work experience has changed and will change is beyond question, but much less clear are the forms these ongoing changes will take in the years ahead. What effects will the big forces like global trade, generational shifts, and technology have? What management practices are proving effective amidst those changes? Which higher-level corporate strategies are proving effective, and which are simply wishful thinking?

Drawing from their experience reporting from the front lines of business and economy, a panel of journalists including David Streitfeld of The New York Times, Adam Davidson from NPR’s Planet Money and Amy Bernstein from Harvard Business Review, will speak to these questions and more. In a wide-ranging and dynamic discussion, the panelists, moderated by Great Place to Work® consulting partner Jonathan Becker, will make sense of the transformational changes in the workplace that affect all of us as workers as well as in the other roles we play in the modern economy.

Attendees of this session will learn:

  • The major trends affecting the future of work and their impact
  • How management at all levels are both shaping and reacting to changes in the work experience
  • Strategies and resources to continue to stay current and informed about the future of work

Dotted-Border12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Sponsored by Alston & BirdDotted-Border1:45 p.m. - 2:45 p.m.
Breakout Sessions

Read review Peckham, Inc. Reviews

Peckham, Inc.
Scott Derthick, Chief People and Culture Officer
Justin Walworth, Director of Human Resources
The Tidal Wave Of Millennials Is Here. Now, How Do We Bring Out The Best In Everyone?
Track: Innovate
+ show description

The workplace is in the midst of a cultural and demographic shift as the Millennials take over as the largest generational cohort in the workforce yet many of these organizations are still being led by Baby Boomers who are trying to motivate their employees the way the Boomers were motivated. While 10,000 Baby Boomers are retiring per day, there are still five generations sharing the workplace. This presentation will look at the different generations and their unique contributions to the workplace and what motivates each group. They will also tackle the common stereotypes and struggles between the Boomers and those dang Millennials. Scott (the “outdated Boomer”) and Justin (that “entitled Millennial”) have worked together for over 10 years and they bring their experiences and (at times ‘inappropriate’) humor and knowledge to help understand how to get the most out of a generationally diverse workplace.

In this session, attendees will learn:

  • A greater awareness about generational differences and how these differences impact habits, expectations, and communication methods.
  • A reinforcement of the idea that generational differences can offer positive diversity in the workplace that bring about better ideas and innovative solutions.
  • Innovative tools and ideas to strengthen their own company culture. Examples of initiatives from Peckham that will be shared in this session will be:
    • ‘MEe’ (Mission Engagement Experience) goals and bonus system,
    • ‘WE Believe (Committable Core Values) project,
    • How revamping 360’s, annual evaluation and anytime feedback can bring your team together,
    • What it means to be a ‘Peckham University Professor’ and how ‘Mini-Grants’ encourage and empower ideas and sharing ‘passions’ and ‘purpose’ with others (including a budget of up to $10,000 per grant),
    • ‘OFI’ (Opportunities for Improvement) goals and how they bring the best ideas forward in an organization, and
    • How to incorporate Work-Life flow in the office and transfer knowledge transfer to those ‘new kids’ before the ‘old people’ leave.

Read review VMware Reviews

Betsy Sutter, Corporate Senior Vice President and Chief People Officer
Creating a Business-Led Initiative to Embed Diversity and Inclusion within a Global Company
Track: Collaborate

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In this presentation, VMware Chief People Officer Betsy Sutter will illustrate the process she took to establish VMwomen, a business-led women’s initiative within VMware which is helping to drive systemic change and business outcomes through a more inclusive and diverse environment. She will describe the moment when she realized that a company of VMware’s size needed a more formal initiative than the grassroots employee groups throughout the organizations. She will explain how she partnered with the CEO and other company leadership to task executives across the company with driving measurable results for VMwomen in their respective organizations. Attendees of this session will understand how members of each VMware leadership team are represented on the VMwomen Leadership Council, which is responsible for keeping the focus on business actions and behaviors that increase the representation of women. Next, Ms. Sutter will explain how this process is working to increase companywide representation of women through the business cycle of recruiting, hiring, developing and promoting talent. She will review the research-based initiatives that support the VMwomen effort of raising awareness and challenging assumptions. Summarizing the initiative’s goals, Ms. Sutter will detail how VMware benchmarks against those goals each year. Finally, Ms. Sutter will outline the steps attendees can take to establish structured efforts to improve diversity conversations and representation within their own organizations. These include:

  • Establishing executive buy-in across the company
  • Obtaining feedback from employees
  • Creating a formal council to coordinate enterprise-wide resources/programs
  • Integrating council decisions into the fabric of the company
  • Benchmarking progress and sharing results with all stakeholders

In this session, attendees will learn:

  • How to establish a business-led initiative to promote diversity and inclusion
  • To understand how to use diversity and inclusion programs as assets that strengthen your company culture and stimulate innovation.
  • Steps you can take to involve male employees in your diversity and inclusion initiative to ensure that it is truly a collaborative effort.

Read review PwC Reviews

Kimberlee Washington Barr, Leadership Development Experience Leader
*Upping Our Game: Accelerating Our People’s Development, Progression and Performance through a Culture of Real-Time Development
Track: Transform

+ show description

As the world continues to change in unprecedented ways, we need to do more to help our people stay ahead. PwC’s innovative talent strategy is designed to help people continuously develop their leadership skills, grow their careers and consistently deliver extraordinary results to clients, each other and the firm.

PwC’s new Leadership Development Experience (LDE) is an integrated and personalized approach for growth and development. It emphasizes real-time development through frequent, in-the-moment feedback against the dimensions of The PwC Professional -- global career progression framework -- to maximize strengths, quickly close gaps and drive continuous learning in real time throughout the year. Through innovative technology and tools, their people can monitor their progression, identify development opportunities and drive meaningful developmental conversations every day.

In this session, attendees will learn how PwC is making learning more accessible and embedding it in every aspect of people’s work every day. Participants will also learn how LDE helps people fulfill their potential and be agile and effective in these fast-changing times.

In this session, attendees will learn:

  • How PwC has defined a leadership development experience that helps them achieve their purpose to build trust in society and solve important programs for clients. Their approach is designed to help people continuously develop their leadership skills, grow their careers and deliver leadership thinking and results – regardless of level or role
  • The five key components of PwC’s integrated LDE and how they drive employee learning, growth and performance every day
  • How to enhance the development culture of your organization, regardless of size, and in turn, how it can increase employee engagement

Read review Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI) Reviews

Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI)
Rhonda Stickley, Division Vice President, Human Resources
Culture of Community
Track: Culture
+ show description

REI is the nation's largest outdoor retailer. It is also an independent, member-owned co-op dedicated to helping people experience life outside. As a co-op, REI measures success differently. It’s not about driving shareholder value, but standing up for the shared values of 6 million members and 12,000 employees who love the outdoors.

REI has been on the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For® List nineteen years running, thanks to a consistent focus on culture. In recent years, to show that the co-op leads with values, REI has increasingly engaged its workforce and its membership in conversations that blur the lines that usually delineate a company from its consumers.

From purpose to policies and procedures, REI puts people first. For example, on Black Friday REI closed the doors of all 143 of their stores, distribution centers and headquarters and paid their 12,000 employees to #OptOutside. More than 1.4 million people and 175 organizations stood up in support of the position REI took.

In this session, REI will share how it approaches building culture from the ground-up.

Attendees will learn:

  • How the co-op business model and measures of success allow an organization to think differently
  • The value and challenges of remaining connected with your past while thinking ahead to the future
  • How a "culture of community" can serve as a powerful foundation for employee engagement

Great Place to Work

Great Place to Work®
Ed Frauenheim, Director of Research and Content
Julian Lute, Organizational Culture Consultant, Advisory Services Practice
The Trust Mindset: High-Trust Cultures Start with You
Track: High-Trust
+ show description

People bring different mindsets about trust to the workplace, including naiveté, cynicism and a calculated willingness to trust. At the best workplaces, employees tend to have an advanced attitude toward trust, where they give colleagues the benefit of the doubt and are grateful for the trust given to them to perform their best.

You have a choice when it comes to your Trust Mindset. You can extend trust to co-workers and foster an encouraging environment, or withhold trust and contribute to a climate of fear and uncertainty. The High-Trust Mindset, defined by generosity and gratitude, is a foundation for a high-trust culture, where people typically collaborate more effectively, innovate more boldly and are resilient amid adversity.

In this workshop, Julian Lute and Ed Frauenheim of Great Place to Work® will explore the importance of The Trust Mindset and demonstrate how great cultures are built, one mind at a time. You will reflect on your own attitude toward trust, assess the collective Trust Mindset in your organization and take part in activities that show you how to improve trust in teams. This session will feed your head, warm your heart and inspire you to choose trust as a belief you can build on.

In this session, attendees will learn:

  • An understanding of The Trust Mindset and its different stages
  • How your Trust Mindset influences your ability to trust others and, as a result, build trust in your organization
  • Best practices for creating a high-trust culture

Dotted-Border2:45 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Afternoon BreakDotted-Border3:00 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.

Closing Keynote Presentation

Hyatt Logo
Read review Hyatt Hotels Corporation  Reviews

Robert W. K. WebbHyatt Hotels Corporation
Robert W. K. Webb, Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer
Cultivating Contagious Humanity
Track: Be Inspired

+ show description

It's no secret that a bad apple can spoil the bunch, but that laughter spreads. So, in a world where decades of scripts and procedures have ruled, how can workplace environments can be shaped to unleash viral emotions and spread contagious humanity? Chief Human Resources Officer Robb Webb says the key is a combination of leadership and simply allowing people to be themselves. For Hyatt, digging into the company’s purpose has led to a culture that is not only a great workplace, but a great place to be for its 97,000 colleagues worldwide.

Dotted-Border3:45 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

hrci afc preapprovedseal 2015 This program has been approved for 8.75 (HR (General)) recertification credit hours toward California, GPHR, HRBP, HRMP, PHR and SPHR recertification through the HR Certification Institute. Please be sure to note the program ID number on your recertification application form.

* These programs are pre-approved for HRCI Business Credit

For more information about certification or recertification, please visit the HR Certification Institute website at

The use of this seal is not an endorsement by the HR Certification Institute of the quality of the program. It means that this program has met the HR Certification Institute’s criteria to be pre-approved for recertification credit.