Chief Business Innovation Officer Appirio
As chief business innovation officer, Jason Averbook leads Appirio’s human capital management business. Drawing on more than 20 years of experience in the HR and technology industry, he works closely with customers to creatively drive business outcomes.
Averbook was formerly the CEO and co-founder Knowledge Infusion, which was acquired by Appirio in 2012. While at Knowledge Infusion, he was responsible for the vision and strategy that propelled the company to be the recognized leader in HR consulting. Prior to Knowledge Infusion, he held senior management positions at PeopleSoft and Ceridian, where he built strong relationships with customers and strove to provide unrivaled service to HR organizations around the world.
Averbook is deeply involved in the global HR community and speaks frequently at industry conferences, including HR Technology, IHRIM and major enterprise software vendor conferences. He also frequently contributes to publications that include Bloomberg Businessweek, Forbes, Talent Management Magazine, HR Executive and Workforce Management. A native of Minnesota, he holds a bachelor’s degree and M.B.A. from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul.
President and COO Liautaud Institute
Joe Balistreri is president of the Liautaud Institute. He received his bachelor of science degree from Purdue University and a graduate certificate from The University of Illinois at Chicago, Liautaud Graduate School of Business in emotional intelligence.
While still attending Purdue, Balistreri pioneered the online division of an organization focused on expanding key leadership traits in top executives by applying an industrial ISO process. A two-year study with 162 executives from nine different companies proved that process (PdEI), and the findings were published in the London Journal of Management Development in 2010.
Jim Liautaud formally funded and started the Liautaud Institute in 2012, and appointed Balistreri as the company president. Since that time, they have successfully launched PdEI and PEI, (the accelerated version), throughout the University of Illinois at Chicago Graduate College, DePaul Kellstadt Graduate School of Business, Young President's Organization (YPO) and Entrepreneur's Organization (EO) forums, The Junto Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership, and completed a pilot program with the University of Illinois Medical Center.
SVP & CHRO Exelon Corporation
Amy Best became the CHRO upon close of the Exelon-Constellation merger in 2012, and she is responsible for developing, organizing, implementing, directing and evaluating Exelon’s HR function and performance. She participates in the development and implementation of Exelon’s plans and programs as a strategic member of the executive team. Best led post-merger integration work, including staffing and selection of 25 percent of Exelon positions, development of the employee benefit platform, total compensation program alignment, and integration of diversity, talent management and succession processes.
Prior to this role, Best was the vice president of human resources for Exelon Generation, where she was responsible for setting the human resources strategy and service delivery for 9,500 employees as a member of the senior leadership team. She worked as a lead on prior merger, integration and new business activities and was involved with the Nuclear Energy Institute working groups and the Clean and Safe Energy Coalition’s minority business steering committee. She has worked in varying human resources capacities at Exelon’s Quad Cities Station, Dresden Station, nuclear headquarters, and corporate offices. Prior to Exelon, she worked at Sara Lee Corporation and Ravenswood Hospital while pursuing her master’s degree.
Best is on the board of directors for the Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana. She also serves as vice president of Lyons Township High School Parent Teacher Council. She received her B.A. degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and her M.S.I.R from Loyola University Chicago. Best attended the Strategic Human Resource Management Executive Education Program at Harvard University and Leading Women Executives leadership program.
CHRO Sears Holdings Corporation
Dean Carter is the chief human resources officer for Sears Holdings Corporation, a Fortune 50 company with more than $40B in revenue and more than 230,000 employees globally. He joined Sears Holdings in 2010, where he assumed responsibility for enterprise-wide talent management — specifically focused on strategies and platforms driving succession planning, talent assessment, learning and development, engagement, strategic talent programming, and performance management. He assumed additional responsibility leading the corporate HR business partner team supporting 26 business unit president and shortly thereafter, was promoted to CHRO at the beginning of 2012. During his tenure, Sears HR has taken a progressive approach to the application of HR analytics, has led the transformation of healthcare through the pioneering adoption of a corporate private exchange and driven innovation in areas such as the gamification of performance management.
Prior to SHC, Carter was chief human resources officer for Fossil, Inc. During his 10 year tenure as CHRO, he led domestic and international teams driving human capital strategies and the improvement of talent across North America, Europe and Asia. After beginning his career with Procter & Gamble in their advanced management development program, he held a variety of progressive HR roles for Pier 1 Imports and Pearle Vision.
Carter has a BS in organizational communication from The University of Texas at Austin. He has been an active leader in the community with specific interest in urban planning and development.
Partner and Chief Strategy Officer Laurus Strategies
Tom Emerick is partner and chief strategy officer with Laurus Strategies, where he focuses on helping clients build and implement innovative healthcare and benefits strategies. He has experience in developing groundbreaking employee benefits plans, including managing benefits for Walmart and its more than 1 million employees in the United States and 300,000 employees internationally. He also pioneered Walmart’s nationally recognized medical travel program and headed its Lean Six Sigma and process improvement initiatives.
Emerick has held positions with Burger King Corporation, British Petroleum and American Fidelity Assurance Company. He has served on the boards of the National Business Group on Health and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Benefit Committee. He is a regular speaker at major national and international benefits and healthcare conferences.
CHRO US Foods, Inc.
Dave Esler was named chief human resources officer for US Foods in 2007. In this role, he leads the company’s human resources activities to ensure high quality staffing, retention and development for 25,000 employees. The HR function also supports the US Foods core values and culture built around customer success, integrity, innovation and teamwork.
During his 14-year career at US Foods, Esler has held a number of executive positions including senior vice president for field human resources. Prior to joining US Foods, he served in a senior human resources role at Grainger Industrial Supply, where he led a team that supported supply chain and international operations.
Esler holds a master’s degree in industrial and labor relations from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and completed the human resources executive program at the University of Michigan. He has been designated a Certified Employee Benefits Specialist by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans and is a certified Senior Human Resources Professional by the Society of Human Resource Management.
Founder & CEO HelloWallet
Matt Fellowes is a consumer finance expert and the founder and CEO of HelloWallet, a cloud-based software solution that improves the performance of organizations and employees by providing independent guidance that aligns corporate spending with human capital needs. Fellowes founded HelloWallet as a continuation of his commitment to provide financial guidance to all Americans through game-changing, strategic innovations. Prior to founding HelloWallet, he was a fellow at the Brookings Institution. His research work has been published in academic journals and covered in top media, including feature stories in The New York Times, The Washington Post, BusinessWeek, USA Today, NBC Nightly News, CBS Evening News, and ABC World News. He has testified in front of the U.S. Congress and State Houses across the country and advised dozens of elected officials, businesses and banking regulatory agencies on consumer finance issues. He has served as a professor of public policy at Georgetown University and George Washington University, as a project director at the Pew Charitable Trusts and on academic editorial boards.
EVP, Human Resources Abbott
Steve Fussell was appointed as executive vice president, human resources in February 2013. He joined Abbott in 1996, as divisional vice president, compensation and benefits. He was promoted to vice president, compensation and development in 1999 and to senior vice president, human resources in 2005. Prior to Abbott, he held human resources leadership positions at Nestlé and Shell.
Fussell is Chairman of the Board and President of the Clara Abbott Foundation and a board member of the Abbott Fund. He is an author and speaker on a wide variety of subjects and has served as a guest lecturer at Cornell and other universities. In 2010, he was named to the HR Honor Roll by Human Resources Executive magazine.
He earned a bachelor’s degree from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.
VP & CHRO Caterpillar Inc.
Kim Hauer is chief HR officer and vice president of the human services division at Caterpillar Inc. She leads a team of HR professionals with facilities and organizations spread throughout Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia and the Americas. She has a bachelor’s degree in management, with emphasis in human resources, from Purdue University and has been certified as a human resources professional.
Hauer’s career with Caterpillar started as an internship in assembly planning during her third year at Purdue University. She joined Caterpillar full time in 1997 as part of the company’s HR Professional Development Program. She advanced through numerous positions with increasing responsibilities in the areas of human resources, labor relations and succession planning, including a role as a compensation and benefits manager for Caterpillar’s logistics division based in Belgium. She also held the position of group and regional HR director for Caterpillar based in Geneva, Switzerland.
Hauer represents Caterpillar as a member of the Board of Directors for the HR Policy Association and has been a member of the Corporate Human Resources Management Board at Texas A&M University. She is also a member of the Creve Coeur Club Board of Governors and Executive Committee, a trustee to the Great Rivers Partnership and a new member of the Board of Trustees to the Children’s Home Association of Illinois.
VP, Product Management E*TRADE Corporate Services
Jeff Hilton brings more than 17 years of experience in the financial services, global equity compensation and defined benefit plans to his role at ETRADE. He has covered all aspects of the industry including product management, relationship management, implementation, client operations and equity plan design. He joined ETRADE Financial Corporate Services in 2011 and is currently head of product management, where he is responsible for developing the applications that internal services teams and corporate clients use on a daily basis to administer their equity compensation programs.
Hilton graduated from Rutgers University with a bachelor of science degree.
John Izzo, Ph.D.
Author of "Awakening Corporate Soul" and "Stepping Up" John Izzo
John Izzo, Ph.D., is a best-selling author and one of North America’s most influential change agents and inspiring thinkers. He has shared his expertise and wisdom on life transition and leadership renewal with Fortune 500 companies, nonprofit and for-profit organizations, and with national and international associations globally.
One of the first men to combine spiritual principles with organizational development and leadership in the mid-1980s, Izzo embraces his mission to inspire people to make the positive changes necessary to be vital, conscious and intentional beings and to have the courage to live their values as trustworthy, responsible leaders. Izzo shares his insights with more than 100 audiences annually, including IBM, McDonalds and the Department of National Defense.
His books include “Awakening Corporate Soul,” “Values Shift,” and his latest, “Stepping Up.” He holds dual masters’ degrees in theology and psychology and a doctorate in organizational communication and behavior from the University of Chicago.
VP, Human Resources ArcelorMittal USA
An industry veteran, Dale Laidlaw serves as head of human resources for the Americas. In this capacity, he is responsible for leading regional teams in Canada, the U.S., Latin America and South America with the goal of creating synergies that attract, retain and develop ArcelorMittal employees. This includes creating centers of expertise within and across the business segments, while also facilitating the rapid movement of talent throughout the region.
With more than 30 years of experience, Laidlaw holds expertise in talent management, compensation, disability management, succession planning and change management. He has also served as a quality systems facilitator and worked on an international start-up for ArcelorMittal in Mexico.
Before 2008, Laidlaw was manager of corporate human resources, where he provided overall human resources corporate governance and support to ArcelorMittal Dofasco subsidiaries. Working collaboratively with subsidiary leadership, he ensured that subsidiaries created strategic sustainable HR programs that aligned with company philosophy and principles. Previously, he worked in various HR management and supervisory positions at ArcelorMittal Dofasco from 1979 to 2002. He holds a bachelors of business administration from Ryerson University in Toronto Canada.
Jim Liautaud, Sr.
Founder and Chairman Liautaud Institute
Jim Liautaud's is the founder of the Liautaud Institute and the clinical researcher behind PdEI ISO behavior processes, proven to increase emotional intelligence. Findings from his research have been published in the London Journal of Management Development and have since been implemented by the Chicago School System's elementary and high school principals, doctoral students in psychology at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology, and the Chicago Family Business Council Forums, among others. He later created PEI as a graduate credit course for universities, including the University of Illinois at Chicago's graduate school and DePaul University's Graduate school of Business.
Liautaud is the founder of the second Chicago chapter of the Young Presidents Organization and the Chicago Family Business Council. In 2005, he endowed the UIC Liautaud Graduate School of Business and continues to support numerous entrepreneurial programs at UIC.
Prior to his academic career, Liautaud was awarded 65 patents from the manufacturing companies he founded. He is also the founding investor of four start-ups: Jimmy Johns, a national food franchise chain; two insurance companies, Raffles and National Interstate; and Blue Rhino, a gas distribution company. He sold all his business interests prior to joining UIC.
VP Human Resources Tellabs, Inc.
Kyle Matthews is vice president of human resources for Tellabs where he is responsible for leading and coordinating company human resource functions, as well as developing and implementing corporate human resource strategy and programs.
Previously, Matthews was an assistant general counsel in employment and compliance and managed all labor and employment legal matters, in addition to corporate and individual legal and ethical compliance.
Prior to joining Tellabs in 2002, Matthews spent 10 years working for Aluminum and Chemical Corporation, most recently as vice president of employment law and labor and deputy general counsel. He was also an associate attorney in private practice at Littler, Mendelson, Fastiff & Tichy.
SVP, Human Resources Forsythe Technology, Inc.
As senior vice president of human resources, Julie Nagle leads Forsythe's efforts in developing and executing a broad spectrum of human resources strategies and programs. Nagle and her team are committed to supporting Forsythe's long-term productivity and profitability while building Forsythe's reputation as an employer of choice.
Nagle has more than 20 years of experience in human resources leadership roles with companies such as McDonnell Douglas Aircraft, Sony Electronics and Chicago-based Information Resources, Inc. She is the co-founder of the greater Chicagoland HR Consortium, a creative professional network committed to openly exchanging best practices, insights and resources. She is an active member of the Society for Human Resource Management and the Human Resources Management Association of Chicago.
Nagle earned her bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University, with a dual major in employment relations and psychology. In addition, she holds certification from the personnel management program at University of Stockholm, Sweden.
DVP, Human Resources ADP
Lucie Neely is the divisional vice president of human resources for National Account Services, a $1.7B organization with 6,000 associates, and GlobalView, a $180M dollar international organization with 2000 associates. Her focus in this role has been on talent and leadership development, associate engagement, acquisition integration and increasing HR knowledge in the organization as ADP becomes the HCM organization. During her 14 years with ADP, she held various HR leadership roles within other ADP business units.
Neely has more than 25 years of human resource and management experience with such organizations as Scientific Games International and Russell Corporation. During her tenure in human resources, she has implemented human resource management practices in a variety of environments including corporate, service and manufacturing, as well as functioned as the leader in both start-up and acquisition scenarios.
She has a bachelor of science in political science from Hendrix College and earned a Juris Doctor from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
SVP, Human Resources Molex Incorporated
Ana Rodriguez is senior vice president of human resources for Molex, Inc. She is responsible for establishing and executing the strategic direction of Molex’s HR function including global HR policies, recruitment and retention, compensation, benefits and incentive programs, employee and labor relations, employment litigation and legal compliance, training and development, employee communications, HR information systems, employment practices and procedures, and recognition programs.
Prior to Molex, Rodriguez worked in the legal departments of Amgen Inc., Tenet Healthcare Corporation, and Litton Industries, Inc. She received her Juris Doctor from from the University of Michigan Law School.
SVP, Human Resources Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance, Inc
Jim Scarfone has served as senior vice president of human resources since 2011. Prior to joining ULTA, he was senior vice president of human resources and administration for Duane Reade Drugstores in New York City. Prior to that, he served as vice president of global human resources for Bureau Veritas Consumer Products Services. He has also worked for Toys “R” Us, holding several human resources positions including vice president of human resources for the Toys “R” Us international division.
VP, Human Resources A. M. Castle & Co.
Anne Scharm is vice president of human resources for A. M. Castle & Co. and has global responsibility for all aspects of HR. She joined A. M. Castle in 2011 and was promoted in 2012 to CHRO and a member of the executive leadership team.
Prior to joining A. M. Castle & Co., Scharm held various human resources and organizational development roles in the healthcare industry and worked for Accenture as a senior consultant for five years.
Scharm holds an M.B.A. with a specialization in organizational leadership from Benedictine University and a B.A. in public policy from The University of Chicago and has been certificated as a senior professional in human resources.
SVP, Human Resources Rockwell Automation, Inc.
Susan Schmitt, senior vice president at Rockwell Automation, oversees global human resources. With 25 years of experience, including the Kellogg Company, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Helene Curtis, Inc., and Managing Decisions, Inc., she is sought after as a guest speaker for her insights into helping companies build greater long-term value through leadership, talent and corporate culture. Her message is straightforward: human resources matters. She led culture change in the companies she served, bringing creative solutions to the workforce to improve the performance of people and organizations.
Schmitt holds a masters degree in industrial and organizational psychology from Illinois State University and a bachelor of arts in psychology and French from Albion College. She has lived in France and England.
EVP, General Counsel & CAO Tellabs, Inc.
Jim Sheehan is executive vice president, general counsel and chief administrative officer at Tellabs, where he is responsible for the global legal organization, as well as all aspects of human resources, including employee recruitment and retention, and staff development. Prior to this position, Sheehan was Tellabs' vice president and deputy general counsel and assisted in directing all legal and contract services. He previously served as an associate attorney at Vedder, Price, Kaufman and Kammholz, and Chapman and Cutler.
Sheehan actively participates in numerous legal and executive forums and is a member of the board of HFS Chicago Scholars, a charitable organization providing financial assistance to economically disadvantaged but academically motivated Chicago students.
Sheehan holds both a law degree and a B.S. in business administration from the University of Illinois.
Author "Building a Magnetic Culture"
Kevin Sheridan is chief engagement officer of Kevin Sheridan, LLC and the founder and CEO of HR Solutions, a human capital management consulting firm specializing in employee engagement survey and exit survey design, implementation, analysis, and results. In addition to co-founding three successful, survey-related organizations, Sheridan consulted for some of the world’s largest corporations, earning him several distinctive awards and honors including Human Resource Executive Magazine’s “HR Product of the Year” award for the creation of HR360™.
Sheridan is the author of the New York Times best-seller "Building a Magnetic Culture" and "The Virtual Manager." His work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, USA TODAY, the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, Crain's Chicago Business, and Human Resource Executive, and his research has been broadcasted by CBS, Fox, and WGN.
Sheridan holds an MBA specializing in managerial decision-making and strategy, human resources management, and organizational behavior from Harvard Business School.
SVP, Global People & Organization Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company
John Webb is senior vice president of human resources at Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company. Originally from the UK, he has worked for 22 years in various roles within Mars Incorporated. In his current role, he is the CHRO for the global Wrigley business and a member of the executive leadership team.
After joining Mars from the retailer Marks and Spencer, Webb worked in several management roles in sales in the UK and in the Middle East. He moved into the HR function and led HR for Mars in the Middle East, then South Africa, and then for a region including Africa, India, Russia and Central Europe. In his previous job, he returned to the line and was managing director for India and other markets in the region.
Webb has also worked on a number of cultural organizational development projects, including writing the ‘Organizing Principles’ and the ‘Role of the General Manager’ documents for Mars.
Dr. Karie Willyerd
VP, Learning & Social Adoption SuccessFactors, an SAP company
Dr. Karie Willyerd is the co-founder and former CEO of Jambok, the industry’s first informal social learning software platform, which was acquired by SuccessFactors in 2011. Previously, Willyerd was the chief learning officer for Sun Microsystems, and in that role she was responsible for employee, customer, partner and Sun community learning. Dr. Willyerd is the co-author of the bestseller, “The 2020 Workplace: How Innovative Companies Attract, Develop & Keep Tomorrow’s Employees Today.” She is a regular blogger for Harvard Business, co-authored a feature article on mentoring Millennials and has authored dozens of other articles and publications. In prior roles, she was a chief talent officer for a Fortune 200 company, led the people development function at Lockheed Martin Tactical Aircraft Systems and ran executive development at H.J. Heinz.
Dr. Willyerd holds a master’s degree in instructional and performance technology from Boise State University and a doctorate in management from Case Western Reserve University. She serves on the global advisory council for the business school at Colorado State University and is on the advisory board of HR.com.