EVP & General Manager, CENTRIC & President, BET Event Productions BET Event Productions
Paxton Baker is EVP and general manager of CENTRIC, BET’s complementary network targeting the African American and multicultural adult. Baker is also president of BET Event Productions, which produces music festivals, TV specials and concerts throughout the world. In 2006, he was appointed chairman of the Viacom Marketing Council, and for more than six years led more than 35 senior marketing and sales executives across all Viacom properties. In 2008, he co-founded the Viacom Programming Council, comprised of senior programmers from MTV and BET Networks, as well as Paramount Pictures. Prior to joining BET, Baker was president and founder of PKB Arts & Entertainment, which was purchased by BET in April 2000, retaining Baker as president of the newly formed company, BET Event Productions.
As general manager of CENTRIC, Baker has led programming initiatives that continue to win numerous awards, including more than 15 Telly Awards, a local Emmy Award, and in 2008, a GLAAD special recognition award for “fair and inclusive” programming. Baker is chairman of The U.S. Congressional Award, and sits on the boards of The U.S. Senate Preservation board of trustees, The Washington Performing Arts and The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz.
Author & Thought Leader Good Leadership Enterprises
Partner Aon Hewitt
Ray Baumruk is a partner with Aon Hewitt and leader in the firm’s next practices, employee research and insights group within the communication practice. This team focuses on identifying important workforce related trends, understanding evolving attitudes and motivators of the workforce, and testing new ideas to enhance the work experience and related organizational results. During his more than 20 years of experience, he has led the development and research regarding Aon Hewitt’s employee engagement model.
Baumruk has extensive experience in organizational culture, talent management, human capital measurement, human resource strategy, employee engagement and attitudes, total rewards, as well as benefits, compensation, and work and family. His experience prior to joining Aon Hewitt includes years of market research and strategic market planning positions with advertising and marketing consulting firms.
Baumruk is co-author of Aon Hewitt’s “Consumer Health Mindset,” “Inside the Employee Mindset,” and soon-to-be-completed “Financial Mindset” studies. He is a contributing author to The Compensation Guide, HR Strategic Review, Benefits News, and WorldSpan, and frequently quoted in numerous business periodicals.
Baumruk earned a B.S. in industrial engineering and an M.S. in marketing and strategic management from Purdue University, and is completing an M.S. in predictive analytics from Northwestern University.
SVP, Talent Management Services Buffalo Wild Wings
Andrew Block has served as leader of talent management services since 2010. Since joining Buffalo Wild Wings, he has expanded his leadership role by defining a strategic vision for talent and transforming the talent management organization into centers of excellence. In addition, he has aligned and integrated the organizational and team effectiveness area with the broader talent management services organization, launched the internal communication function and created a talent management service center. He plays a key role on the enterprise leadership team. He has made significant contributions to business strategy, while keeping the organization focused on creating an ultimate experience for all team members. He has worked to ensure organizational capabilities are in place to meet the company’s aggressive growth strategies.
Before coming to Buffalo Wild Wings, Block was director of HR at C.H. Robinson Worldwide. Prior to that, he was with Wells Fargo Home Mortgage as director of HR and with Ecolab as human resources representative and compensation specialist. He started his career with Sony Corp. of America in 1993.
Block holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology with an HR concentration from the University of Wisconsin-Stout and a master’s degree in industrial relations from the University of Minnesota.
SVP, Human Resources Valmont Industries, Inc.
Vanessa Brown is SVP of HR at Valmont Industries Inc. She is responsible for global human resources processes and programs within Valmont. She joined Valmont in 1973 in the HR department and has held progressively responsible positions within the human resources function in all divisions at Valmont. She was named VP of HR 2011.
Brown attended college at the University of Nebraska Omaha, majoring in business. Currently, she serves on the board of the Omaha Chamber of Commerce and the Nebraska Workforce Development board. She was past president of the Human Resources Association of Omaha and board member for the State Society of Human Resources.
EVP, Human Resources U.S. Bank
Jennie Carlson is EVP and director of human resources at U.S. Bank and has served in this position since 2002. She is a member of the U.S. Bank managing committee. Carlson has 24 years of experience in the banking industry. Before she moved to HR, she served as general counsel for Firstar and Star Banc Corp., predecessors to U.S. Bank. She joined the organization in 1991. Before joining U.S. Bank and its predecessors, Carlson was an associate at Taft, Stettinius & Hollister in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Carlson holds a J.D. from the Vanderbilt University School of Law and was the managing editor for the Vanderbilt Law Review. She also holds a B.A. from the Centre College of Kentucky and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. Carlson is currently on the board of YUSA, the Midwest affiliate of the American Heart Association, Augsburg College and the University of Minnesota Health Board.
SVP, Human Resources Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis
Duane Carter is SVP of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis where he is a member of the bank’s executive team. He has responsibility for human resources, treasury services, cash services, facilities management and corporate security, and the learning management and support office. Carter also serves as director of the Office of Minority and Women Inclusion and the bank’s equal employment opportunity officer.
Carter has more than 20 years of broad, multibusiness leadership experience. He has a proven record of talent acquisition, talent management, employee relations, compensation, benefits and organizational development, and learning. He also has extensive experience leading and implementing organizational change, creating high performance teams, and building collaborative partnerships with internal and external clients. He began his career at the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank in 1990 as an account manager in business development. He was promoted to assistant vice president in 1998 and then vice president in 2001. In 2005, he was promoted to senior vice president.
Carter holds a bachelor's degree in agriculture business from the University of Minnesota and an MBA from the University of St. Thomas.
Walter Chesley, JD
VP, Human Resources Hennepin Healthcare
Walter Chesley, JD, joined Hennepin County Medical Center as VP of HR in 2013. Most recently, Chesley was SVP of HR and development at Universal Hospital Systems. Previously, he served as VP of HR and CAO at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics. He has a record of developing positive workforce and organizational cultures in healthcare organizations and has successfully aligned human resources strategies and programs to improve employee engagement. His community service includes board leadership roles with the Ronald McDonald House Minnesota, Community Health Charities Minnesota, YMCA and other organizations.
Chairman of the Board and CEO Target Corporation
Brian Cornell is board chairman and CEO of Target Corp. He is responsible for Target’s global business, including nearly 1,800 stores in North America, target.com, more than 361,000 team members and millions of guests. Cornell leads the retailer’s 10-person executive leadership team in accelerating Target’s performance, advancing its digital evolution and delivering on its “Expect More. Pay Less.” promise to guests. He joined Target in 2014 after more than 30 years in escalating leadership positions at leading retail and global consumer product companies, including three CEO roles and more than two decades doing business in North America, Asia, Europe and Latin America.
Cornell has served on the board of directors for Polaris Industries Inc. since 2012, and is a past director for several other public companies. He currently serves on the board for UCLA’s Anderson School of Management board of visitors, providing strategic guidance to the dean in advancing the school’s mission, as well as the boards of the Retail Industry Leaders Association and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Cornell earned a bachelor’s degree at UCLA and attended Anderson School of Management.
CHRO Essentia Health
Diane Davidson has been with Essentia Health since 2008 and is responsible for leading human resources for 12,800 employees, including 1,500 physicians and credentialed practitioners whose mission is to provide high-quality care while making patients feel known and understood. Since 2010, she has led the creation of an Essentia-wide human resources function by standardizing programs, benefits and policies, and consolidating functions to enhance the delivery experience for all employees. Davidson’s responsibilities include oversight of 42 collective bargaining agreements including 11 with USW Local 9460 covering approximately 2,200 East region employees.
Previously, Davidson was VP of human resources and organization development of Christian Hospital, a member of the BJC HealthCare System. Prior to her work at BJC, she held senior-level human resource positions at Panera Bread Co. and Bank of America. Davidson possesses expertise in all human resources functions, with emphasis in organizational transformation, proactive employee relations, balanced scorecards and Lean Six Sigma. Davidson received J.D. and B.A. degrees from the University of South Carolina.
Executive Director of Human Resources Regions Hospital
With more than 20 years of professional experience, Kim Egan enhances Regions Hospital’s human resources department by planning and implementing strategies that align with the organizations mission and vision. She leads a number of areas and currently enjoys finding innovative ways to engage leaders and employees, which has contributed to Regions Hospital being recognized as a best place work. She is responsible for recruitment, compensation, benefits, organizational learning and development, and employee health and well-being.
Regional Manager - Enterprise Solutions Castlight Health Inc.
Patrick Feit is Castlight Health's regional manager of enterprise solutions, based in Minneapolis. He has 23 years of consumer engagement marketing and technology experience and has been privileged to work with many of the world's largest employers. Prior to Castlight, he held senior leadership roles in corporate development, product, marketing and sales at Young America, Digital River, 500friends and Rainmaker Systems. Feit is a University of Minnesota alumnus.
Director, Human Resources, Global Projects Ecolab
Tina Grant is a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt and leads strategic projects within Ecolab’s HR function. Prior to her current role, she held positions within the company’s finance function, most recently as controller of human resources. In that position, she was responsible for several integration-related financial projects after the company’s 2011 merger with Nalco. She also served in several business unit controller roles, including textile care, during a time of business turnaround.
Grant is a summa cum laude graduate of Clark College, now Clark Atlanta University. She serves on the executive committee of the YWCA St. Paul board and also volunteers her time to Lundstrum Center for the Performing Arts and Jack & Jill Inc., Minneapolis chapter.
RJ Heckman, Ph.D.
Vice Chairman, Leadership and Talent Consulting Korn Ferry
RJ Heckman is vice chairman of Korn Ferry’s leadership and talent consulting business, based in Minneapolis. He has global P&L responsibility for the design and delivery of the firm’s solutions in areas of talent strategy, succession management and leadership development. His passion is to serve clients across industries ensuring that they transform their organizations through the optimal development and deployment of talent.
Prior to joining Korn Ferry, Heckman was president and CEO of Personnel Decisions International. He built assessment analytics solutions delivered through 30 offices worldwide and led the acquisition of Ninth House, which positioned PDI Ninth House to become a premier global leadership solutions organization. Heckman is a frequent presenter at both professional and academic venues such as the Harvard Business School, INSEAD, the University of Minnesota, New York University, the Human Resources Planning Society, HR Technology Conference, and the Bombay Management Association. His thought leadership has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Human Resource Management Review, HR Executive Magazine and Chief Learning Officer Magazine, among others.
Heckman earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin, and completed his graduate studies with master’s and doctoral degrees in industrial and organizational psychology from the University of Tulsa.
SVP & CHRO Land O'Lakes, Inc.
Loren Heeringa is SVP and CHRO of Land O’Lakes Inc., a $14B Fortune 194 food and agribusiness company. He has more than 30 years of HR and change management experience in multiple companies and industries. Prior to Land O’Lakes, Heeringa was VP of HR at Honeywell International’s global core business and VP of HR at the University of St. Thomas.
Heeringa has a B.A. in psychology from Hamline University and completed coursework for a Ph.D. in industrial and organizational psychology at the University of Minnesota. He is a member of several boards, including co-chair of the board of governors of the CHRO Leadership Summit.
SVP, Human Resources CHS Inc.
Adam Holton is SVP of CHS human resources. Holton directs CHS global comprehensive human resources strategy including talent acquisition and talent management strategies, compensation and benefits, training and leadership development, and overall HR strategies to ensure the company has the human capital to help its customers succeed.
Holton joined CHS in 2014 from GE Healthcare where most recently he served as a senior human resources executive, leading HR functions for GE global services. He held a wide range of HR leadership roles including leading global HR teams in seven different regions, and designing and delivering strategies to support service productivity, consistent performance and growth. He was also responsible for talent and organizational development and design. Holton also spent time at Bank One, acquired by JP Morgan Chase.
Holton earned a bachelor of science in political science from the U.S. Naval Academy. He served for six years in the U.S. Marine Corps as an infantry officer, spending three years at Camp Pendleton and three years at Quantico. In 2004—2005, he led a reserve unit that deployed to Al Anbar Province, Iraq, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Assistant Dean of Executive Education Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota
Karl Johnson advises CEOs, boards and senior leadership teams across numerous industries, countries and cultures. As assistant dean for Carlson Executive Education, his work with executives focuses on leadership effectiveness, strategy alignment and execution. He has held similar roles at the business schools of UC Berkeley and Notre Dame University throughout the past 15 years. In 2008, UNICON, a consortium of more than 80 business schools worldwide, chose one of Johnson’s client engagements to review and publish as a case example of the most innovative work in executive education.
Chief Administrative Officer The Gavilon Group, LLC
Robert Jones is chief administration officer of The Gavilon Group LLC, a leading commodity management firm, responsible for leading the company’s human resources, marketing and communications, facilities, administrative services, community relations, and charitable giving functions. Before joining the company in 2010, Jones was managing director and chief administrative officer of Enron Creditors Recovery Corp. His 29-year career at Enron included responsibilities for human resource matters associated with Enron’s global operations and restructuring following the 2001 bankruptcy. In addition to facilitation, problem-solving, crisis management and conflict resolution, his experience includes aligning human resource initiatives to achieve company objectives and leading organizations through aggressive growth and change.
Jones is a member of the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management executive leadership board, co-chairman of the Minneapolis CHRO Leadership Summit Governing Body and an advisory board member of Bellevue University.
Jones earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Bellevue University in Bellevue, Nebraska, and a master’s degree in human relations from the University of Oklahoma in Norman.
VP, HR Global Businesses Ecolab
Mary Kaul-Hottinger is VP of HR global businesses for Ecolab, the global leader in water, hygiene, and energy technologies and services that protect people and vital resources. With 2014 sales of $14B and 47,000 associates, Ecolab delivers comprehensive solutions and on-site service to promote safe food, maintain clean environments, optimize water and energy use, and improve operational efficiencies for customers in the food, healthcare, energy, hospitality, and industrial markets in more than 170 countries around the world. Prior to stepping into this role, she was VP of HR for global institutional. She joined Ecolab in 2007 and brings 25 years of HR experience and expertise to the organization.
Prior to joining Ecolab, Kaul-Hottinger worked for General Mills and Pillsbury for 12 years in various HR positions supporting their foodservice and retail business divisions, information systems, Canada, and supply chain. She began her human resources career at Minnesota Mutual Life Insurance Co., now Securian, in 1986.
Kaul-Hottinger is a summa cum laude graduate of St. Thomas University. She is on the board of the local Tubman organization.
VP, HR Otter Tail Corporation
Paul Knutson is the top human resource officer at Otter Tail Corp., parent company to Otter Tail Power Co., BTD Manufacturing, TO Plastics, Northern Pipe Products, Vinyltech Corp. and Foley Construction Co. He has an extensive background in human resource transformation, HR strategy, leadership development and executive compensation. He has held senior leadership roles as VP of HR, corporate communications, and facilities at Oriental Trading Co. and as SVP of HR and organizational development at Pamida Inc., now part of Shopko. His additional experience includes leadership roles at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, Lands’ End and owning his own human resource consulting business.
Knutson has a B.A. in psychology from Concordia College and an M.S. in industrial and organizational psychology from the University of Nebraska, Omaha.
Frederick S. Koury first joined Pentair in 2003 as SVP of HR and executive officer reporting to Pentair’s chairman and CEO. He is responsible for all human resource functions, communications and the Pentair foundation. Prior to Pentair, he was VP of HR for Limited Brands. He held a range of global human resource leadership roles during a 15-year career with PepsiCo Inc., and began his business career with The Chase Manhattan Bank in New York.
Koury received a bachelor of science in industrial and labor relations from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. He is a member of the HR Policy Association and the Human Resources Executive Council of the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota.
EVP & Chief Human Resources Officer Target Corporation
Jodee Kozlak is EVP and CHRO for Target and a member of its executive committee. She sets the strategy for enterprise talent management and organizational design and alignment as well as team culture and employment brand. Her responsibilities support the corporation’s retail and credit card segments including stores, supply chain, headquarters and international operations.
Kozlak joined Target in 2001 as director of employee relations and employee relations general counsel. She was named VP of HR and employee relations in 2005 and EVP of HR reporting to the CEO in 2006. She is also a trustee of the Target Foundation. Prior to joining Target, Kozlak was a partner in the litigation practice of Greene Espel, PLLP. She also previously served as a senior associate at Oppenheimer Wolff & Donnelly and senior auditor at Arthur Andersen & Co. She is president of the board of directors of The Guthrie Theater and a member of the board of overseers for the Carlson School of Management. She is also on the board of OneVillage, a nonprofit focused on microfinance.
Kozlak received a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the College of St. Thomas and a J.D. from the University of Minnesota.
VP, HR Taylor Corporation
Sheila Kramer is VP of HR for Taylor Corp., one of the largest privately held companies in the United States and a premier provider of powerful and intuitive products, services and expertise for more than half of the world’s Fortune 500 companies and millions of small businesses and consumers around the globe. Many of Taylor’s diversified family of companies develop interactive business, printing and marketing solutions, in addition to a host of business identity and loyalty programs.
Prior to joining Taylor, Kramer served as a VP of HR for a number of Lifetouch companies. Earlier in her career, she had a variety of HR roles at Twin Cities organizations including Pillsbury and Carlson Companies.
Kramer has a master’s degree from the University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management.
Human Resources Director Minnesota Vikings
Lisa Larson begins her 10th season with the Vikings in 2015 and directs the employee relations, benefits, staffing, performance management, compensation, compliance, workers compensation and safety for the Vikings staff. Larson’s responsibilities cover the Vikings players and coaches, full-time staff and more than 400 seasonal and part-time employees. She has more than 20 years of experience in human resources in varied industries, from insurance to printing and manufacturing. Before joining the Vikings in 2006, Larson spent 2004—2006 in human resources at Minnesota-based power sports giant Polaris.
A native of Minnesota, Larson attended Robbinsdale Cooper High School. She captained the North Hennepin Community College softball team before transferring to St. Cloud State University where she earned a bachelor’s degree in management with an emphasis in human resources.
Senior Vice President, Global Client Services Korn Ferry
Karin Lucas is SVP of global client services for Korn Ferry leadership and talent consulting and office managing director for the firm’s Minneapolis office. An expert in succession management, leadership development, and talent supply chain management, she has worked in and consulted with clients in the financial services, life sciences, and professional services sectors. She has more than 20 years of general management and leadership consulting experience. She has been at the helm of leading significant business transformations including launching new lines of business, engineering turnarounds, integrating acquisitions, improving employee engagement, and accelerating overall business performance.
Lucas joined PDI Ninth House in 2007. Prior to that , she was at Allina Hospitals and Clinics as director of patient care services with responsibility for the operations of eight patient care units and the emergency departments at Mercy and Unity Hospitals. Prior to Allina, Lucas was VP and general manager of personal trust services at American Express Financial Services and director of national office operations for American Express Tax and Business Services.
Lucas received her MBA from the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in business administration from Wittenberg University.
EVP, Human Resources Ecolab
Laurie Marsh is EVP of HR for Ecolab Inc., the global leader in water, hygiene and energy technologies and services that provide and protect clean water, safe food, abundant energy and healthy environments. Ecolab’s 47,000 employees deliver comprehensive programs and services to the food, energy, healthcare, industrial and hospitality markets in more than 170 countries. Previously, Marsh served as VP of total rewards and HR service delivery and technology.
Prior to joining Ecolab in 2011 through a merger with Nalco Holding Co., Marsh was Nalco’s EVP of HR. During her 20-year career with Nalco, she held several positions within the company’s human resources function, including manager of employee benefits, director of workplace planning and staffing, and division vice president of compensation. Marsh also was president of the Nalco Foundation, a role she assumed in 2003 and held until 2012 when the Nalco Foundation was merged with Ecolab.
Marsh has a bachelor of science in interior architecture and design from the University of Wisconsin.
SVP, Human Resources 3M Company
Marlene McGrath focuses on employee engagement, diversity and inclusion, and leadership development in her current role as SVP of HR. Under her direction, 3M has consistently placed on the Best Companies for Leaders list compiled by Chief Executive Magazine and climbed the ranks of Aon Hewitt’s Top Companies for Leaders and Hay Group’s Best Companies for Leadership lists. McGrath began with 3M more than 20 years ago, as a lawyer in the company’s legal department. She also served as a director and VP of HR before being named to the organization’s top spot two years ago.
VP, Enterprise Services Andersen Corporation
Nancy Merritt is VP of enterprise services. She is responsible for the functions of the enterprise total rewards, compensation and benefits, design and administration, safety and disability management, facilities and security, internal communications, and HR technology services and workforce analytics.
Prior to joining Andersen, Merritt spent nine years with Honeywell and five years with Alliant Techsystems. She held a variety of roles in training and development, staffing, college relations, and compensation. She joined Andersen in 1995 and has held a series of progressively responsible positions in compensation, benefits, mergers and acquisitions, and employee relations.
Merritt has a bachelor of arts in communications and sociology with an emphasis in human resources management from Augsburg College.
Associate General Counsel Employment Ecolab
At Ecolab, Joanne Mullen manages all aspects of employment law issues including litigation, EEOC, Department of Labor and other charges, union and labor consult, job classification issues, policy development and implementation, long-term strategic human resources planning, and other employment-related issues. She works closely with and manages outside counsel from around the country and is accountable to senior leadership regarding the health of Ecolab’s employment policies and practices.
Mullen has practiced in the employment law field for more than 25 years, first in private practice and then in her own business where she worked with large and small corporations, colleges, and universities on varied issues including policy development and implementation, employment-related issues, workplace satisfaction training, mediation facilitation, and compliance reporting. She’s been recognized by her peers as a Leading Minnesota Women Attorney and has been honored by the Minnesota State Bar Association as Attorney of the Year. She is a frequent speaker around the country regarding current employment law issues. Mullen has served on many nonprofit boards including her alma mater, St. Catherine’s University, where she is vice chair.
Managing Partner Aon Hewitt
Mark Oshima is managing partner of Aon Strategic Advisors and Transaction Solutions. He has global responsibility for leading the human capital division of ASATS while continuing to consult with clients on some of their most strategic people and HR challenges. He is a member of Aon Hewitt’s executive committee. Prior to his current role, Oshima has served in a number of leadership roles at the firm including global head of talent, SVP of business integration — office of the CEO, change management practice leader, and West region leader for the performance, rewards and talent practice.
Oshima has advised some of the world’s most sophisticated organizations on their biggest business and people challenges. Some of the clients he has worked with recently include Cisco Systems, Experian, General Electric, Hewlett-Packard, Starbucks, United Parcel Service, Walmart and Western Digital. He is a frequent speaker, having delivered speeches to the Conference Board, WorldatWork, HRO World and other conferences. He periodically guest lectures at UCLA’s executive education programs and has published articles in several publications including Corporate Board Journal, HR Planning and HR Executive.
Oshima received a B.A. in economics from UC Irvine and an MBA from UCLA’s Anderson School of Management.
VP, Human Resources Pella Corporation
In 1999, Karin Peterson was named VP of HR. She reports to the president and CEO. She joined Pella in 1986 as the Boston sales branch’s manager of finance and HR. After five years, she moved to Chicago as subsidiary division controller with responsibility for finance, HR and automated systems. After two years, Peterson was assigned to a systems automation project and led the business design and support aspects of systems that focused on integrating Pella with the sales branches. In 1998, she was promoted to VP of finance and HR at Pella’s second acquisition Viking Industries in Portland, Oregon. Prior, she spent five years with FRAM Corp. and four years selling computer systems with Landmark Development Systems and NCR Corp.
Peterson graduated from Upsala College with a bachelor’s degree in economics. She currently serves on the Central College board of trustees and chairs the Senior Leadership Development and Compensation Committee for Central. She is a member of the Lean Government Collaborative for the State of Iowa. She was recently named the 2014 Iowa Lean Champion by the Iowa Lean Consortium in honor of the significant contributions made to Lean practices for 10 or more years.
VP, Human Resources Apogee Enterprises, Inc.
Warren Planitzer joined Apogee in 1990 as the human resources manager of the then-startup company, Viratec Thin Films Inc. He was promoted to director of human resources at Viracon, Owatonna, in 1992 and moved to Apogee headquarters as director of human resources in 1998. Planitzer was promoted to VP of human resources for Apogee in 2003, and is responsible for the companies’ compensation, benefits, and HR systems with his team as well as various employee relations, recruiting, training, and leadership development activities.
Planitzer earned his bachelor’s degree in economics at California University of Pennsylvania and his masters in industrial relations at St. Francis University, Pennsylvania.
CEO Land O'Lakes, Inc.
Policinski has more than 30 years of experience in the food industry. He joined Land O’Lakes in 1997, and was appointed president and CEO in 2005. Prior to joining Land O’Lakes, Policinski held leadership positions with Kraft General Foods, Bristol-Myers Squib and The Pillsbury Co.
He is a member of board of directors of several industry associations including Grocery Manufacturers Association, National Milk Producers Federation and National Council of Farmer Cooperatives. He is involved in local community boards Greater Twin Cities United Way and Trustee of University of Minnesota Foundation. He is also a member of the board of the U.S. Global Leadership Campaign, Xcel Energy and Hormel Foods.
Policinski earned his MBA from New York University, and his undergraduate degree from the University of Notre Dame.
Vice President, Global Talent Solutions 3M Company
Jan Shimanski is currently VP of 3M’s global talent solutions, a position she’s held since 2014. She was most recently VP of 3M global marketing excellence. She rejoined 3M in 2008 after a 12-year career at Medtronic Inc. At Medtronic, she was most recently VP of marketing for Medtronic’s $1B diabetes business. She had several other positions including VP of corporate strategy working directly with two CEOs, and VP and general manager of Medtronic’s blood biologics business. Prior to joining Medtronic, Shimanski worked at 3M for 10 years in a variety of healthcare marketing positions.
Shimanski has her B.A. and MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Ph.D. in business from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota.
Joanna Starek Ph.D
Senior Partner RHR International, LLP
Dr. Joanna Starek is a senior partner with RHR International, an international firm of management psychologists and consultants. A Ph.D. psychologist with expertise in leadership and organization effectiveness, she specializes in CEO transitions, facilitating the development of high-performance teams, and developing executives for C-suite roles. Since joining RHR International in 2004, she has had the privilege of helping executives and their teams deliver business results in complex, highly competitive environments. Her current client work is focused in the technology sector, retail, consumer products, financial services, and private equity. She currently manages several of the firm’s largest clients, where she leads teams that consult to a number of boards, CEOs and global leadership teams.
Starek’s clients suggest she has an uncanny ability to hone in on what is most critical to the development of individuals and their teams. Prior to joining RHR, Starek was a faculty member at the University of Colorado Boulder. Some of her research on self-deception and performance was featured on NPR’s Radiolab.
Starek received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Colgate University, her master’s from the University of Colorado Boulder and her Ph.D. from Colorado State University.
Carol Surface, Ph.D.
Chief Human Resources Officer Medtronic plc
Carol Surface is currently the chief human resources officer for Medtronic. Previously, she was EVP and CHRO for Best Buy Co. Inc., a multinational retailer of technology and entertainment products and services. In that role, Surface was responsible for directing and developing the company’s overall human resources strategy including global talent attraction, staffing and retention, leadership development, diversity, organizational design, employee education and development, compensation and benefits, and employee relations. She also had oversight of Best Buy’s legal department.
Prior to joining Best Buy in 2010, Surface spent 10 years at PepsiCo where she held positions as organization and management development director, human resources vice president, and senior vice president of human resources and chief personnel officer for PepsiCo International. In her most recent Dubai-based role, Surface was responsible for all aspects of human resources across the Asia-Pacific region, the Middle East and Africa.
COO Minnesota Vikings
Kevin Warren was named COO of the Minnesota Vikings in February 2015. His extensive experience in all business facets of the organization creates the perfect foundation for him to lead the business operations of the organization. He will create strategic efforts for all departments and, along with Mark Wilf and Zygi Wilf, set the vision for the business component of the organization.
Warren is the highest-ranking African-American executive working on the business side for a team in the NFL and is the first African-American COO in the NFL. In 2013, his reputation and NFL experience were recognized when he was named a member of the NFL Committee on Workplace Diversity, which is committed to enhancing and promoting diversity at every level of the NFL. In 2015, Warren enters his 17th season in the NFL and his 11th season with the Vikings. Most recently, Warren was the Vikings’ EVP of legal affairs and chief administrative officer. Prior, he worked with the international law firm of Greenberg Traurig from 2003—2005.
Warren earned a bachelor’s in business administration from Grand Canyon University, a master’s in business administration from Arizona State University, and a Juris Doctor from the University of Notre Dame School of Law.
VP, Services Product Management Appirio
Harry West is a human capital management strategy consultant, joining Appirio after the company’s acquisition of Knowledge Infusion. He helps clients develop strategies around talent management, workforce service delivery, and how to get the most from technology solutions such as Cornerstone OnDemand, Workday, and salesforce.com.