ELEVATE - The Chicago SHRM Virtual Conference
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When: Thursday, September 17
7:45 AM
Where: Illinois
United States
Contact: Chicago SHRM Headquarters
(312) 368-0188

Online registration is closed.
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Putting the Pieces TogetHR - Reset, Renew, Reimagine

Chicago SHRM Members $199  | Non-Members $299
Special Pricing Offer $349

Non-Member Attendance plus a 1-Year Chicago SHRM Membership - $100 Savings)



The onslaught of COVID-19 has impacted employees and employers in many ways.  The workplace transformed and the transformation may be irrevocable. Employees and employers are facing varying challenges in this evolving landscape. How we work has altered and now more than ever HR has a critical role in monitoring and maintaining morale, fostering culture, and engaging a remote workforce.  Human Resources departments understand how to be resilient in the face of adversity.  Notwithstanding the challenges the pandemic has brought to the workplace, now is the time for HR to take a step forward in renewing priorities and resetting strategies.  This is the time for a culture shift conducive to recruitment, retention, and promotion strategies that are representative of equity, equal opportunity, and access.

The Chicago SHRM Online Elevate Conference will offer insights and solutions to help you setup your employees and organization for success.  As strategic HR leaders in your organization, we hope you will join Chicago SHRM online to discover concepts, approaches and solutions to strengthening your HR organization and supporting your employees.  Identify strategies to remove barriers to equal opportunity in recruitment, hiring, promotion, retention, professional development, and training.  

We have designed our full-day September Elevate Online Conference to help you meet and exceed your priorities.  We have a full line up of speakers eager to guide you through this changing landscape and to help you put the pieces together after the disruption of the pandemic and to promote diversity and inclusion.

7:45 - 8:00am | WELCOMING

8:00 - 9:00am | How to Maintain Company Culture Virtually and Keep Employees Engaged and Motivated  

Amid COVID-19, many states have enacted stay-at-home mandates, resulting in companies having a 100% virtual workforce for the first time. Not only are many employees telecommuting for the first time, but they’ve been faced with three crises (health, financial and social). Now more than ever, employees need effective leaders who are focused on maintaining company culture virtually.

Tom Gimbel will discuss:

  • How to identify what aspects of the company culture can be maintained virtually with replicable examples
  • How to identify what employees need during this stressful time, and how to deliver that virtually
  • How managers and leaders can effectively lead virtually

Tom Gimbel, Founder & CEO of Lasalle Network
Tom Gimbel is the founder and CEO of LaSalle Network, a national staffing, recruiting and culture firm. LaSalle Network has been named to the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing privately held companies for 12 years, Inc. Magazine’s “Best Workplaces” list, Fortune’s “Best Companies to Work for in Chicago” and “Best Medium Workplaces,” Forbes’ “Best Professional Recruiting Firms,” and Crain's Chicago Business' "Best Places to Work in Chicago.” With over 25 years of industry experience, Gimbel is source on hiring, corporate culture and management/leadership, contributing to Inc. on these topics.


9:00 - 10:00am | CHRO Panel: Business Strategy and HR Transformation in Times of Great Change

This year has brought a public health crisis, an economic downfall, a racial crisis, and uncertainty at every turn. To say the least, it’s been a challenging and complex year, and HR has been at the forefront of it all. There is no business or HR playbook for everything that has come our way in 2020. During this type of uncommon uncertainty, HR must be agile and transformative leaders of the business. How do you stay proactive and strategic as an executive HR leader even during the toughest times?  What skills, tools, and metrics are HR leaders using to align their human capital initiatives with business objectives?  What are the business bright spots that HR helped create this year? In this interactive and engaging panel, hear from top HR leaders to gain insights and perspective for the road ahead.

Participants leave this session with the ability to:

  • Be an influential thought leader and strategic business partner during transformative times
  • Drive business results through critical people strategies and HR metrics
  • Lead strong human capital decisions and strategies during high-pressure and uncertain times

Sirmara Campbell, Chief Human Resources Officer - Lasalle Network
Sirmara Campbell is Chief Human Resources Officer at LaSalle Network, a national staffing, recruiting and culture firm. Campbell has over 20 years of experience in the staffing and recruiting industry, starting her career at LaSalle Network shortly after its inception in 1998. She is an experienced human resource professional whose expertise has helped LaSalle Network be recognized by more than 100 culture and revenue-based awards including being named to the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing companies for 12 years, Fortune’s “Best Medium Workplaces,” Forbes’ “Best Professional Recruiting Firms’” and to Inc. Magazine’s “Best Workplaces” list. Campbell has been named among Crain's Chicago Business' 2020 "Notable HR Leaders," Workforce Magazine’s “Workforce Game Changers,” and among the 2018 “Women Worth Watching” by Diversity Journal magazine.

Stacy Kraft, Chief People Officer - Enova
Stacey Kraft is the Chief People Officer at Enova International, a leading fintech company based in Chicago with 1,300 employees in offices across the US and Brazil. As CPO, Stacey helps Enova achieve its focused-growth strategy by maximizing the power of its most valuable resource: its people. Stacey joined Enova in 2018 from Groupon, where she served as Vice President of Global Talent Acquisition and HR Operations. Prior to Groupon, Stacey was the head of Human Resources for the Museum of Science and Industry (MSI) and held a number of HR leadership positions at Thomson Reuters and Hubbard One. 


Amber C. Kennelly, Chief Human Resources Officer - HUB International
Amber Kennelly is the Chief Human Resources Officer for HUB International, leading the strategy and delivery of core human resources functions across the company. Amber serves on HUB’s Executive Management Team. Prior to joining HUB, Amber served as vice president, total compensation at Allstate , driving executive, broad-based and sales compensation strategies and programs, and Allstate’s strategic planning and design for health, welfare and retirement programs.


Ronaldo Borger, CHRO - Faegre Baker Daniels
Ronaldo is an accomplished and innovative talent leader with international experience across all HR disciplines. He helps lead organizations with thoughtful and strategic perspectives, and deep expertise in talent management, culture, and leadership development. He was most recently the Chief Talent Officer/CHRO at Faegre Baker Daniels, and has previously worked at Seyfarth, Kearney and other leading consulting firms. Ronaldo is originally from Sao Paulo, Brazil.



10:00 - 10:15am | BREAK

10:15 - 11:15am | The Mind Matters:  Winning strategies to maximize workplace and personal success

Each day HR and Business Professionals face daunting and complex issues in the workplace.  These challenges can have a significant impact on job performance, workplace culture, and productivity.   Rarely do we learn how these daily challenges impact our mental and physical well-being as people.  Join us on a journey to explore why understanding the whole employee and yourself beyond status and title is imperative to stay afloat in choppy waters. Learn about the exchange relationship between the employee and employer and the implications of that relationship.  We will discuss self-care techniques that HR and Business Professionals can utilize to maximize personal and professional well-being.  Additionally, we will explore the concept of change on employees and its impact on the business and discuss how a sound change management plan can make the difference between frustration and success.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn why understanding the whole employee is the key to a positive employee experience.
  • Define and understand the psychological contract and its implications on HR and your workforce.
  • Identify strategies to foster employee well-being leading to organizational success.
  • Discover ways to look in-ward as a HR Professional to ensure you have the tools to be successful.
  • Explore the impacts of change in the workplace and how a sound change management plan reduces employee resistance.

Julie Devlin, MSHRD, SHRM-SCP, HCM Strategy Consultant - Kronos Incorporated
As a human capital management (HCM) strategy consultant for Kronos Incorporated, Julie Develin, MSHRD, SHRM-SCP, is well-versed in the impact of employee relations, workplace flexibility, and workforce development on business operations. An experienced senior HR leader, Develin works with organizations across the country on strategic workplace initiatives to enhance productivity, improve communication, and increase satisfaction across the workforce.

Teresa Smith, FPP-HRP, Senior HCM Strategy Consultant - Kronos Incorporated
As a senior human capital management (HCM) strategy consultant for Kronos Incorporated, Teresa Smith advises business leaders and their leadership teams on how to better maximize people-centric strategies to achieve long-term success. With deep expertise in change management process and business innovation, Smith is an advocate for the unmatched value of an empowered workforce, and helps organizations more effectively attract prospective employees, engage existing employees, and holistically develop and manage an exceptional employee experience.


11:15am - 11:45am | Legal Update - Issues Impacting HR Leaders

Bill Tarnow and Jason Kim will provide an update on the current legal landscape, discuss anticipated developments, and share practical tips for smart strategies by HR Leaders on trending legal issues.

William Tarnow, Partner - Neal Gerber Eisenberg
Bill is Chair of the firm’s Labor & Employment practice group and a member of the firm’s Executive Committee. He is a litigator who manages employment-related disputes before federal and state courts and administrative agencies throughout the country, and he also serves as a strategic partner to companies and executives concerning the broad spectrum of critical business and employment matters that impact their operations. Bill’s litigation practice encompasses the full spectrum of employment matters. He litigates and advises clients daily on noncompete and nonsolicitation agreements, trade secrets, breach of fiduciary duty, and breach of contract matters. He also has deep experience counseling on, investigating, and litigating all manner of complaints and claims of discrimination, harassment and retaliation regulated by federal and state counterpart statutes such as Title VII, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) and the Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Bill also advises clients on compensation issues, and defends class action cases across the country involving wage & hour and overtime pay claims regulated by state and federal laws.

Jason Kim, Partner - Neal Gerber Eisenberg
Jason is a litigator and strategic counselor in all aspects of labor and employment law. He litigates unfair labor practices before the NLRB, arbitrates labor grievances, negotiates and administers collective bargaining agreements, and develops long-term labor strategies to maximize the value and effectiveness of each client’s workforce. He also litigates and provides daily counsel on matters arising out of the numerous federal and state counterpart statutes governing employers, including FLSA, Title VII, the Family Medical Leave Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act. He has extensive experience defending collective and class action wage and hour disputes and conducting wage and hour audits to proactively identify and minimize potential sources of liability.


11:45am | LUNCH

12:00pm - 1:00pm | Economic Outlook, Financial Wellness, and Reimagining Your Organization's Retirement Plan

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced organizations to reimagine how they conduct business. Cerity Partners will discuss how the pandemic has changed the broader economic outlook for individuals, and the practical steps employees can take to improve their financial wellness in light of these changes. Now is an opportune time for organizations to take a strategic look at their retirement plans as part of the reimagining process. 

Cerity Partners’ presentation is a guide for human resources professionals to elevate their understanding of retirement plan design strategies that can mitigate the impact of potentially systemic issues such as COVID-19 and consider longer-terms trends that are reshaping the Defined Contribution marketplace.  We’ll focus on plan design initiatives that will help participants weather market volatility as well as reduce corporate risk by focusing on prudent plan governance processes.  We’ll demonstrate how human resources professionals at all levels, by making simple changes today, can dramatically alter the arc of most participants’ retirement readiness ten or twenty years from now.  We’ll show you how your employees can achieve retirement security or, at the very least, significantly improve their overall financial wellness.

After the presentation, you’ll be able to implement these best practices related to your retirement plan:

  • Understand the broader economic outlook to inform reimagining your organization's retirement plan
  • Attract and retain talent through automatic plan design concepts that create a modern savings plan
  • Reduce corporate risk through Simplified Fiduciary Governance best practices
  • Improve employees' overall retirement readiness through financial wellness initiative

Neal Smith, Principal - Cerity Partners
Neal is a Principal in the Chicago office and a member of the Retirement Plan Services Group. He has more than 17 years of experience working with executives and investment management committees to develop efficient and effective retirement plan strategies. Neal specializes in creating healthy retirement plans for all types of institutional clients. Prior to joining Cerity Partners, Neal was an ERISA Consultant for Blue Prairie Group, helping thousands of employees at all stages of their careers and across many industries implement more effective retirement savings practices. Earlier in his career, he worked in both relationship management and sales for Voya Financial and Nuveen Securities, giving him unique insights into developing retirement plans that produce healthy outcomes for employees. Neal earned his Master of Business Administration from Loyola University Chicago and his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Iowa.

Matt Gnabasik, Partner - Cerity Partners
Matt is a Partner in the Chicago office. He is a well-known speaker, author and innovator in the retirement plan industry with more than 28 years of experience. Matt specializes in simplifying complex retirement plan issues for his clients by utilizing his deep experience and expertise to drive better outcomes for participants and reduced liability for plan sponsors. His areas of expertise include strategic plan design, fiduciary best practices, employee financial wellness, stable value investments, fee analysis and negotiation and multinational savings plans. Prior to joining Cerity Partners, he founded Blue Prairie Group, a leading ERISA-focused RIA firm serving hundreds of corporate, not-for- profit and government clients throughout the country. Matt holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Bachelor of Science from the University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management. He is the author of the award-winning book, Smart Choices: Selecting and Administering a Safe 401(k) Plan. Written for plan sponsors and advisors in the field, Smart Choices remains a classic guidebook for navigating the confusing world of retirement plan choices.



1:00 - 1:15pm | BREAK



1:15 - 2:15pm | ChicagoTalks. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Strategies for our Organizations and Community

Hear three, power-packed 15-minute keynotes by movers and shakers in the Chicago community. Take a deep dive with an expert on these critical topics to learn insights that will propel your DEI strategy within your own organization. This is a unique opportunity for HR professionals to connect and brainstorm DEI initiatives that will impact our city for the better. To end, each speaker shares one piece of advice for how HR professionals can practice self-care and be resilient through challenging times.

Recognizing the Superpower Within: Recruiting and Retaining Black & Brown Talent

When you come from a humble beginning and are the first to do many things like graduate from college, it can elicit so many emotions like fear, shame and doubt. Dominique believes that those attributes typically seen as deficits are actually the qualities that help you go from good to great. Those qualities are your superpowers! She teaches first-generation professionals how toactivate them and employers how torecognize them. Adapted from her TEDx Talk:Poverty is a Superpower, Dominique will share how lived experiences typically seen as deficits translate into core competencies sough after in key leaders in your workforce. This reframing will ultimately help companies to increase the retention of Black and Brown talent. 

Dominique Jordan Turner, CEO - Chicago Scholars
Dominique Jordan Turner is a recognized speaker, coach, and expert in leadership development with an emphasis on supporting first-generation and marginalized communities to achieve their collegiate and professional goals. She coaches highly talented individuals at the intersection of leadership and identity and helps them to secure their dream job, navigate challenging work situations, and prepare for high stakes conversations and presentations. She is passionate about speaking and using her voice to create change in the world. She has taken the stage at TEDx, SXSW, and ComplexCon to name a few, and has been featured on major networks such as CNN, FOX, and ABC.

What Comes Next: How HR Leaders Can Continue the Work of Racial Justice

After George Floyd's murder, organizations across America made renewed (and new) commitments to racial justice in the workplace. What should a commitment to racial justice in the workplace look like? How can HR leaders continue to get buy-in from management so that the priority of an equitable and inclusive workplace stays at the forefront? And, crucially, how can we center the work on the experiences of our Black professionals? Join culture change expert, Michelle Silverthorn, Founder & CEO of Inclusion Nation, for this thought-provoking discussion on what the other side of a changed world looks like, and the work we all need to do to get there together.  

Michelle Silverthorn, Founder & CEO - Inclusion Nation
A recognized expert in organizational inclusion, Michelle Silverthorn has worked with Fortune 500 companies, tech start-ups, non-profit organizations, universities, and numerous companies across every industry. As the Founder & CEO of Inclusion Nation, Michelle equips all of her clients with the knowledge and skills to finally move forward on diversity and inclusion. A graduate of Princeton University and the University of Michigan Law School, Michelle practiced for two large law firms in New York and Chicago. She then transitioned into the education field where she has trained thousands of professionals, in-person and online, about racism, bias, equity, belonging, and inclusion. She is a TEDx speaker and the author of the book, Authentic Diversity: How to Change the Workplace For Good. Michelle previously worked as an arts and entertainment journalist in Trinidad and Tobago, a researcher in Puno, Peru and Geneva, Switzerland, and a volunteer teacher in Gaborone, Botswana and Almaty, Kazakhstan. Michelle grew up in the Caribbean and now lives in Chicago with her husband Daniel and their two daughters.

Empowered Engagement: Get In Where You Fit In

Relationships matter. Showing up as your authentic self makes a difference. Bridging the divide among diverse employee populations is critical to increased and meaningful professional relationships, improving an organization’s bottom line and helping employees achieve balance in their lives. Overall engagement platforms, including employee resource groups, employee engagement, and corporate social responsibility, are critical to meeting communities’ needs in a timely fashion. UCAN has addressed these outcomes in a way that is deeply felt by its workforce. Learn more about the overarching strategy and tactics implemented to achieve these increasingly important workforce goals. How flexible are you really? How does an organization perform in the midst of chaos? How does inclusive leadership show up during a crisis?

Claude A. Robinson, Jr., Executive Vice President, External Affairs & Diversity - UCAN
Claude was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. To beat the negative ills of the inner city, he attended St. Johns Northwestern Military & Naval Academy in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin for most of his high school years. At SJNMNA, Claude excelled as a student-athlete and leader. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin at Whitewater where he successfully earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. He was also captain of the 1989-1990 NCAA Division III men’s basketball championship team. Claude went on to earn a Master’s Degree of Science in Counseling at Chicago State University. His interest in sports education turned into a passion for serving youth. He currently serves as an AAU basketball coach for The Athlete Within and Kenwood Academy High School. Claude specializes in the personal development, education and motivation of youth and children. A staunch advocate for youth, Claude continually challenges adults to examine their perspectives and diligently strives to build positive youth and adult partnerships. Claude currently serves as the Executive Vice President of External Affairs & Diversity at UCAN. Claude’s work has yielded numerous accolades, including awards from former city of Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, Miss Illinois Leadership Award 2001, and WGN-TV Channel 9’s 2000 “Unsung Hero” award. In 2008 Claude led a U.S. delegation on a four city “Best Practice” exchange to the United Kingdom to assist policy makers and community leaders on positive youth development.


Ashanti Morgan, Senior Manager, Global Learning & Development - The Kellogg Company
Ashanti has been working in the Learning & Development (L&D) space for 15+ years in a variety of sectors ranging from public to private. Her unique perspective, having touched nearly all industries, equips her with the ability to approach L&D strategy and learning design innovatively. She’s developed and honed niched expertise in the Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) arena supporting her passion for the betterment of all people.  Currently, Ashanti is Senior Manager, Global Learning & Development at The Kellogg Company; she focuses primarily on formulating the vision, strategy, and execution for global D&I learning efforts ensuring equity for stakeholders at all levels throughout the organization. Prior to joining The Kellogg Company, Ashanti spent nearly three years at Hyatt Hotels Corporate office. In her initial position, she managed the Global L&D teams’ strategic initiatives and ultimately, global D&I learning. In her final role, she worked alongside the VP of D&I and was charged with managing data analytics, L&D strategy, collaborating with the Executive Leadership Committee, and advised and supported HR leaders with global D&I initiatives to sustain a globally diverse workforce.


2:15 - 3:15pm | The Future for Workers, By Workers: Making the Next Normal Better for All

A dramatic workforce transformation is happening in front of our eyes. COVID-19 began as a health crisis and is playing out as an economic crisis and a social crisis. Work literally left the building and whole industries are disrupting at speeds never seen before. In these unpredictable times, one thing is certain – this crisis should be a catalyst for a new future of work, that is more flexible, more diverse and more wellbeing-oriented than we could ever have imagined.

To find out how this crisis is accelerating What Workers Want, ManpowerGroup asked 8000 people in 8 countries about the future for workers. ManpowerGroup VP Operations and Sales Rebecca Croucher will share the findings and what this means for HR leaders.

Key takeaways include:

  • How to bring people back to the workplace in a way that is planful and fair
  • How to prepare for the emergence of new skills
  • How to ensure flexibility is the benefit of the many not the few
  • Why health and wellbeing is the new health and safety
  • The importance of building resilience in a post pandemic workforce  

Let’s take this opportunity to go back to the future of work and create more opportunities for the many not the few.

Rebecca Croucher, VP Key Accounts - ManpowerGroup
In April 2019, Rebecca Croucher joined ManpowerGroup Enterprise Sales as the Vice President of Key Accounts and North American Sales Operations.  Rebecca is also a member of the ManpowerGroup Supplier Diversity Executive Steering Committee. Before joining ManpowerGroup, Rebecca was the Vice President of the Sales & Marketing solutions vertical in the Enterprise sales organization at Dun & Bradstreet. In addition, she launched D&B’s Digital Marketing sales consulting practice during D&B’s entrance into the digital B2B marketplace. In her early career, Rebecca led some of D&B’s largest clients; Verizon and Comcast and had multiple successes introducing new technology to her clients while delivering custom-designed marketing, technology, data and analytics solutions. Prior to her success at Dun & Bradstreet, Rebecca held a variety of senior marketing leadership roles at Verizon and MCI in the Commercial business units. Her experience in these roles included building and leading an innovative marketing, data and analytics organization.  

3:15pm | CLOSING 




Event cancellations must be received 3 full business days in advance of the event to qualify for a refund.
If you have any question or need any further information, please contact us at chicagoshrm@gss.net or (312) 368-0188.