Director, Speaking and Training, O.C. Tanner Institute
With a mission to instill in others a passion for personal and professional excellence, Kevin Ames is one of the highest-ranked speakers at various local, state, national and international conferences. He’s spoken to thousands of people and leadership groups at conferences and companies such as AMEX, Bank of America, Capital One, Dow Chemical, and FedEx, to name a few. An expert in the areas of workplace culture, engagement, great work, teambuilding, leadership and personal development, his presentations have been called “dynamic, insightful, clear, honest and informative.”
VP, User Adoption, SAP SuccessFactors
Kerry Brown, SAP SuccessFactors evangelist and thought leader, helps companies achieve organizational competency with SAP SuccessFactors to create value while becoming a best-run company. An international speaker on change management, learning, social and collaboration, she interacts with diverse global occupational cultures and industries, including many Fortune customers. Previously she has worked directly for Coca-Cola Enterprises, Baker Hughes and CSR.
President & CEO, ENGIE North America Inc.
Frank Demaille is president and CEO of ENGIE North America Inc., which manages a range of energy businesses including electricity generation, natural gas and liquefied natural gas distribution. ENGIE Energy also focuses on LNG sales, retail energy sales and optimized services to help its customers run their facilities more economically and efficiently.
Prior to this role, Demaille served as EVP of ENGIE’s international division of its energy services branch, in charge of business development and its activities in the Pacific, Asia and the Americas. He has also worked as CEO of CPCU, the district heating system of Paris, and worked in Dubai and Santiago for ENGIE’s Energy International business.
Before joining the company in 2009, he held various positions in the French Ministry of Finance and as an advisor of the French Prime Minister.
Demaille graduated from the Ecole Polytechnique and the Corps des mines in France. He has also earned a master’s degree in Finance.
VP, Central Sales, Globoforce
Walter Derebeew consults across multiple industries to drive strategy and develop solutions for deploying social recognition programs in the world’s largest corporations. In his role as VP of central sales at Globoforce, he leads central and southern sales teams with responsibility for clients’ success and satisfaction in delivering strategic and social recognition to its employees.
Derebeew has worked with HR executives for the last 20 years optimizing business processes ranging from recruitment to retirement and executing complex end-to-end HR outsourcing procedures. Prior to joining Globoforce, he led large account sales teams at ADP and Ceridian. He is passionate about driving measurable results for his business partners.
VP, HCM Transformation & Thought Leadership, Oracle
Bertrand Dussert serves as human capital transformation and strategy advisor to Oracle’s executive clients. In the last two years, he has consulted with HR leadership from over one-third of the Fortune 100.
Before joining Oracle, Dussert served as the global leader for HR shared services, recruitment operations, workforce planning and human resource information systems at American Express. He has also served as executive director for UBS Investment Bank’s HR function, led a 125-person global field operations team in the HR software industry, and served as a partner in an HR consulting firm that is now part of Korn Ferry.
Dussert has been a guest lecturer at University of South Carolina’s graduate program in HR Management and has served as opening keynote speaker for University of Minnesota’s HR for Tomorrow conference. In addition to his speaking arrangements, he is a regular Forbes contributor.
He holds both bachelor’s and master’s degrees from University of Ontario.
SVP, Human Resources, Academy Sports & Outdoors, Ltd.
Bill Ennis joined Academy® Sports + Outdoors in April 2008 and serves as SVP of HR. In this role, he oversees training and development, compensation, employee relations and benefits for all team members in the company. Prior to joining Academy® Sports + Outdoors, Ennis spent over 19 years with Stage Stores, May Department Stores and Federated Department Stores in multiple capacities, including HR, stores, buying group, store operations and finance areas.
Outside the office, Ennis sits on the advisory board for the Texas A&M Center for Retailing Studies and the Texas Retailers Education Foundation.
He graduated with a B.A. in economics from the University of Texas.
Author, "Step Up: Lead in Six Moments That Matter"
Author of the best-selling “Winning With Accountability: The Secret Language of High-Performing Organizations” and co-author of the Amazon Top 10 leadership book, “Step Up: Lead in Six Moments that Matter,” Henry Evans has been featured in The Washington Post, Forbes Inc., Fast Co., Entrepreneur, The Huffington Post, Christian Science Monitor, Men’s Health, as well as other publications and news outlets. He has more than 2,000 hours of strategic planning time with C-suite leaders and more than 10,000 hours of coaching at the executive level. Evans engages his audiences in an interactive way, makes them laugh and always delivers takeaway tools for audience members to apply in their very next business interaction. A five-time CEO with one failure under his belt, he shares his experience in powerful key notes, leadership sessions, one-on-one coaching and workshops.
Evans has been leading a global strategy and organizational development firm, Dynamic Results, since 2003. As managing partner, he recruits talent, develops new I.P. and faces the same challenges in running a business that all of his clients do.
Juan Diego Gallegos
Chief Human Resources Officer, Cenergy International Services
Juan Diego Gallegos is an HR professional with more than 16 years of experience working in private and public multimillion-dollar companies. He is CHRO for Cenergy International Services, a global leader in workforce solutions.
Previously, he led the HR function for Ignite Restaurant Group, as the company’s VP and head of HR. He is also a U.S. Army veteran, with time served as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Noble Eagle. In 2016, he was named one of Houston Business Journal’s 40 under 40.
Gallegos holds two bachelor’s degrees, one in management and another in international business, from Florida International University. He earned an SPHR designation from the Human Resources Institute and CCP designation from World at Work.
CHRO, Memorial Hermann Health System
Jim Garman is EVP & CHRO at Memorial Hermann Health System in Houston. The organization employs over 24,000 employees, including over 300 physicians. With revenues close to $5B, Memorial Hermann is the largest integrated, nonprofit health system in southeast Texas, operating 14 hospitals, including three in the Texas Medical Center. The system also operates 143 specialty institutions and 70 medical group facilities.
Garman brings more than 30 years’ experience in building and implementing progressive human resource strategies and practices across a broad range of industries, including technology, engineering, financial services and manufacturing. His knowledge of best practices across other industries has been valuable as Memorial Hermann repositions itself under current and ongoing healthcare reforms.
Previous to Memorial Hermann, Garman served as VP and chief administrative officer for the Dresser-Rand Group in Houston. His prior experience includes leading human resources and organizational change at leading companies such as American Honda, TRW Automotive, Northrop Grumman and Jacobs Engineering.
Garman holds a master’s degree in HR management from Chapman University and a bachelor’s degree in communications from California Lutheran University.
EVP, Human Resources & Internal Communications, Direct Energy
Melinda Guerra-Reeves has more than 25 years in human resources in the energy, financial services, insurance and high-tech industries. Guerra-Reeves is currently the executive vice president of human resources and internal communications for Direct Energy.
Her experience cuts across multiple HR disciplines with deep technical expertise in employee relations, talent acquisition, talent development, and culture and organizational transformations. She is on the board of LiftFund, a designated community development financial institution whose mission is to provide credit and services to small businesses and entrepreneurs who do not have access to loans from commercial sources, and to provide leadership and innovation to the microlending industry.
Prior to Direct Energy, she was with USAA, an integrated financial services firm, where she last served as the executive VP of people services. Before that, Guerra-Reeves held key HR leadership positions with Compaq Computer Corporation and American General Life Insurance. She also previously served on the board of the Boys and Girls Clubs of San Antonio.
Guerra-Reeves holds a bachelor of journalism from the University of Texas at Austin and is a certified senior professional human resources.
President and CEO, Greater Houston Partnership
Bob Harvey joined the Greater Houston Partnership as president and CEO in September 2012. He is committed to enhancing the partnership’s mission of making Houston one of the world’s best places to live, work and build a business.
Previously, Harvey was active in the Houston business community, first as a management consultant in the Houston office of McKinsey & Company for 17 years and then as EVP and vice chair with Reliant Energy for six years.
Harvey has served in a variety of community volunteer leadership roles, including board chair of United Way of Greater Houston from 2007 to 2010. Harvey serves on the community foundation council of Greater Houston Community Foundation and on the boards of St. John’s School, Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau, Center for Houston’s Future, Alliance for I-69 and Houston Technology Center.
A Houston native, Harvey attended Texas A&M University, graduating with a B.S. in mechanical engineering. He obtained his MBA from Harvard Business School.
SVP, Human Resources & Administration, National Oilwell Varco, Inc.
Bonnie Houston, SVP of HR and Administration at National Oilwell Varco, is responsible for developing and executing the HR strategy in support of NOV’s business plan and strategic goals. She has primary responsibility for all global HR functions, including leadership development, organizational development, performance management, talent acquisition, talent review, succession, benefits and compensation. She also leads the physical security, travel and fleet teams at NOV.
In 2005, Houston joined NOV as part of its Next Generation Program and has since held various roles in HR, spending the first part of her career in HRIS and project management. Previously, she was director of organizational development for global talent and learning at NOV.
Houston graduated summa cum laude from Texas A&M University with a B.S. in economics and holds an MBA from Rice University. She serves on the Partners’ Advisory Council for Harvard Business Publishing.
VP, HR & Admin Svcs, Marathon Oil Corporation
Deanna L. Jones is the vice president of human resources and administrative services for Marathon Oil Corporation since 2014.
Jones most recently served as vice president of human resources and chief commercial officer for Newfield Exploration Co. Prior to that, from 2008 to 2010, she served as human resource director for Reservoir Production Group of Schlumberger. Between 2006 and 2008, Jones held the position of vice president of North America for Schlumberger Information Solutions, and in that role, was responsible for leading software, information and the company’s related infrastructure organization in the U.S.
From 2003—2006, she served as vice president of personnel for Schlumberger Information Solutions, and was responsible for leading all human resource-related activities for Schlumberger's worldwide workforce from its London office. During the period of 1993—2003, she worked in a variety of managerial assignments of increasing responsibility for Schlumberger in Canada and the U.S.
Jones holds a bachelor of commerce from the University of Calgary, Canada, and has completed executive business courses in human resources at the University of Michigan and in finance at the IMD Business School in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Greg Kayata is a 20-year HR professional specializing in mergers and acquisitions, talent management, international HR, compensation and business partnerships. He brings this expertise into his role as CHRO at Acelity.
Previously, Kayata held senior leadership roles at Covidien, including VP of HR and corporate functions. Earlier in his career he worked for nearly 15 years at Invensys, managing a number of HR facets.
Kayata is also a board member at Sturdy Memorial Hospital and a mentor at Year Up, an organization dedicated to closing the skills gap for thousands of young adults across the country.
He earned a B.A. in psychology from Providence College and an M.S. in industrial relations from University of New Haven.
President and CEO, Direct Energy
Badar Khan is the president and CEO of Direct Energy, with overall responsibility for the company’s operations in North America. CEO since April 2013, he has spent more than three years leading Direct Energy’s vision to leverage technology, fundamentally transforming the way homes and businesses engage in and use energy.
Khan has served in multiple leadership roles at Direct Energy and its parent company, Centrica, including SVP — U.S. North; managing director — British gas business; and president — upstream and trading. Previously, he was a senior officer at a start-up private retail energy company in the U.S., and has worked in management consulting with Deloitte, in Boston, and KPMG, in London.
Khan serves on the board of directors of the Greater Houston Partnership, the Houston Technology Center, the University of Houston Energy Advisory Board, and the Houston Advisory Council of the Tahirih Justice Center. He also serves on the executive council of TechNet, a group of leading technology CEOs advocating for the innovation economy. Khan holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering from Brunel University London, and an MBA from the Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania.
Vince Molinaro, Ph.D.
Global Managing Director of Strategic Solutions, Lee Hecht Harrison
Vince Molinaro is a New York Times best-selling author and global managing director of strategic solutions at Lee Hecht Harrison. As a senior executive and leader of a global company, Molinaro sets the leadership bar high for himself and his team. He doesn’t just preach leadership accountability — he works hard to live it.
His passion is helping senior leaders and executives create compelling organizations that drive sustainable growth, by building strong leadership cultures where every leader demonstrates personal clarity and commitment to execution of the business strategy.
Throughout his career, Molinaro has worked in several key sectors, including energy, pharmaceutical, professional services, technology, financial services and the public sector.
Molinaro is regularly called upon by the media for his innovative opinions on the future of leadership. An engaging speaker, he conducts keynote presentations for corporations and conferences. He is the author of the New York Times best-selling book, “The Leadership Contract,” now in its second edition. He has co-authored two books, “Leadership Solutions” and “The Leadership Gap.”
Molinaro received his doctorate from University of Toronto, where he conducted pioneering research in holistic leadership.
VP, Human Resources, Houston Astros
Vivian Mora joined MLB’s Houston Astros organization in 2013 as VP of HR. In her role, Mora is responsible for all HR functions, including aligning strategy with business objectives, talent and performance management, succession planning, talent acquisition, compensation and benefits, training and development, and employee engagement.
Prior to joining the Astros, Mora was founder of and managing partner at Mora & Associates, an executive search and human capital consulting firm based in Katy, Texas. Before launching Mora & Associates, she served in various leadership roles, including almost eight years as VP of HR for the NBA’s Houston Rockets and Toyota Center, a multi-purpose entertainment venue and home of the Houston Rockets.
Mora has also served as a conference speaker for HR Houston, TLNT, the International Ticketing Association, the Greater Houston Area Ticketing Association and HR Southwest.
She received a master’s degree from University of Mississippi and a B.S. in marketing from Jackson State University. She holds the highest level of human resources certification as a senior professional in HR and SHRM-SCP, and serves as an expert source for Reuters Insight Community.
VP, Human Resources, Diamond Offshore Drilling, Inc.
Aaron Sobel has been VP of human resources for Diamond Offshore Drilling since February 2015. Diamond Offshore is a $3B company and provides offshore oil and gas drilling services through a global fleet of rigs and its 5,200 employees. In this role, Sobel is responsible for developing and implementing the HR strategy for the company as well as leading all worldwide compensation, benefits, talent management, learning and employee relations programs. He also works with the board on significant matters concerning pay, benefits and performance practices. Sobel leads an international team of 70 HR professionals based in the U.S., Brazil, Mexico, Scotland and Australia.
Before this role, he was a corporate director of HR for Diamond, overseeing all non-U.S. locations as well as companywide HR projects around performance management and compensation.
Prior to Diamond, Sobel was a group HR director for Dean Foods with responsibility for a 5,000 employee group across the U.S. Southwest and Mountain regions. He also held several HR leadership positions with Honeywell in their mergers and acquisitions group as well as oil and gas and aerospace divisions.
Sobel holds a bachelor’s in computer science and history from Trinity College as well as an MBA from Vanderbilt University.
Chief Human Resources Officer, NCI Building Systems
Katy Theroux is CHRO for NCI Building System, a position she has held since 2014.
Previously, she was employed by 1WORLDSYNC, where she served as chief marketing and administrative officer. As CMO and CAO, she was responsible for the integration of two multinational technology services companies into one global product data management firm.
Prior to that, Theroux served as SVP of customer engagement and solutions for its parent company, GS1 US and 1SYNC. She was responsible for customer support, marketing, human resources and facilities shared services for all operating units.
Theroux previously served as chair of the board at Peirce College. She holds a B.S. from Syracuse University and an MBA from Saint Peter’s University.
VP & CHRO, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
Shibu Varghese sets the strategic direction of human resources based on the institution’s vision. He is responsible for the overall management and direction of human resources programs including organizational development, benefits, compensation, recruitment, employee development, the generalist organization, employee health and well-being, worklife programs, employee programs and the HR service center (myHR). He guides the development of short and long-term strategies to hire, develop and train a highly qualified workforce.
In addition, Varghese serves as human resources consultant to Dr. Mendelsohn, members of the management committee, the President’s Advisory Board and participates in strategic planning and decision making for the institution.
Varghese holds both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in health care administration and human resources management and has significant experience in customer-focused environments and leading hospitals through periods of rapid growth, redirection, acquisition and divestiture.