Director, O.C. Tanner Institute
Kevin Ames is the director of the O.C. Tanner Institute and has provided inspiring motivational keynotes and training for more than 20 years. In addition to being a successful entrepreneur in his own right, Ames has traveled the globe working with companies such as American Express, Autoliv, Coca Cola, Iomega, Kimberly Clark, NuSkin, Nature’s Own Sweden, Thiokol, Huntsman Cancer Institute and Sundance. A true appreciateologist, Ames is an expert in the areas of recognition and reward, teambuilding, personal development and leadership. His mission is to instill in every student a passion for personal and professional excellence.
Sr. Director, Diversity & Inclusion PepsiCo
Lisa Amoroso is the senior director of diversity and inclusion for Frito-Lay North America, responsible for the agenda covering 48,000 U.S.-based employees. She joined FL in 2003 as a supply chain manager and then progressed to plant manager after several roles at three manufacturing sites. In 2009, she moved to the HR function, where she served in multiple OMD/capability roles supporting supply chain, R&D and marketing. She then assumed the role of senior director of change and training, leading an enterprise-wide initiative. Prior to joining Frito Lay, Amoroso was employed by Mobil Oil for five years.
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 MBA from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul.
Managing Director PwC
Ron Barlow is a managing director in PwC's tax and global human resource solutions practice with more than 30 years of healthcare actuarial consulting experience in the employer-sponsored health benefits field. His primary emphasis is the financial and actuarial analysis of healthcare programs, including private exchanges, consumer-driven healthcare, wellness and the impact of health reform.
Barlow has been involved in a variety of consulting engagements for his clients, including leading employers in healthcare strategy development; analyzing healthcare cost and utilization data; advising employers on the effects of various pricing, benefit, and contribution strategies on health plan cost and employee selection patterns; assisting employers in the selection of health plan vendors; and analyzing the impact of various changes in healthcare policies and regulations.
Prior to rejoining PwC in March of 2011, Barlow was a director at Deloitte Consulting for eight years. Earlier in his career, he was a VP at Synhrgy HR Technologies and a director at PricewaterhouseCoopers, where he was a healthcare consultant/leader for more than 14 years.
Barlow is an associate of the Society of Actuaries and a member of the American Academy of Actuaries and holds a B.A. in archaeology from Yale University.
President, Emeritus Southwest Airlines Co.
Colleen C. Barrett is currently president emeritus of Southwest Airlines Co. Prior to stepping down as the company’s president in 2008, she oversaw management, leadership and budget responsibilities for marketing; corporate communications; human resources; customer relations and rapid rewards; labor and employee relations; president reservations; corporate security; and the executive office staff. She was also a member of the company’s executive planning committee and chaired numerous special teams, task forces and committees relating to internal and external Southwest customers. Recently, Barrett co-authored with Ken Blanchard the book “Lead with LUV: A Different Way to Create Success.”
For Southwest Airlines, she has served as corporate secretary from 1978—2008, VP of administration from 1986—1990; EVP of customers from 1990—2001; and president and member of the board of directors from 2001—2008. Prior to joining Southwest in 1978, Barrett worked for several years as an executive assistant to Southwest’s former executive chairman Herb Kelleher at his law firm.
Barrett is active in numerous civic and charitable organizations in Dallas, Texas; serves on the JCPenney Company Inc. board of directors, the Ken Blanchard College of Business, and the Becker College board of trustees; and has served on numerous advisory boards and commissions.
Bill Behrendt, Ph.D.
VP, Human Resources University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
Bill Behrendt currently serves as vice president for human resources at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center where he is responsible for all “people” issues at the medical school and its university hospitals and clinics. Prior to coming to Dallas in 2003, Behrendt served as vice president for human resources for CareGroup Health System and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. He previously held the role of senior vice president for human resources at the BJC Healthcare System in St. Louis, Missouri. He also served as president of Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital in St. Louis. In these positions, he gained extensive knowledge and experience in organization development, mergers and acquisitions, change management, strategic planning and executive coaching.
Behrendt began his career in retailing with the May Department Stores Company headquartered in St. Louis, where he held positions in consumer research, strategic planning, executive development and human resources. He earned a B.S. in psychology from Tulane University in New Orleans, his PhD in clinical psychology from Washington University in St. Louis and completed a psychology internship at UT Southwestern in Dallas. He is also a graduate of the certificate in executive coaching program at University of Texas at Dallas, and an associate certified coach member of the International Coach Federation. Behrendt has held faculty positions at Simmons College in Boston, UT Southwestern and UT Dallas and has served as a board member for the Barnes and Jewish Colleges of Nursing, the Picker Institute, LaunchAbility, and HealthPartners of the Midwest. In 2012, he accepted the International Coach Federation — North Texas Chapter PRISM Award for integrating coaching as part of the UT Southwestern Leadership Development Program.
VP, Global HR Operations Walmart Stores, Inc.
With more than 20 years of accomplishments in Walmart store operations and human resources, Phillip Burke currently serves as VP for global HR operations at Walmart, the Fortune No.1 company with 2013 fiscal year sales of approximately $466B. In his role, Burke is responsible for optimizing the way human resources works through people, process and platform solutions to deliver services for the more than 2.2 million associates employed by Walmart in 27 countries. Burke and his team are focused on achieving the most effective HR operations so that Walmart’s associates are enabled to serve the more than 245 million customers and members who visit the company’s stores and e-commerce websites in 10 countries each week.
After graduating from Morehead State University with his business degree, Burke joined Walmart as an assistant store manager trainee, learning the business and operations from the ground-up and developing experiences in complex business processes under a wide variety of conditions and environments. Burke’s career includes more than 10 years of full P&L responsibility, a strong record of team building, store operations execution, strategic partnering and long-term planning. Through his transition from store operations to the home office, Burke has led successful corporate initiatives where strategic planning and tactical execution are paramount.
SVP, Human Resources GameStop Corporation
Mike Buskey joined GameStop Corporation in 2010 as SVP of Human Resources. He has been focusing on building GameStop’s overall organizational capability. His senior leadership experience includes a unique blend of operations and HR, which has allowed him to create strategic alliances throughout the organization to achieve better business results.
Prior to GameStop, Buskey was SVP of Human Resources, U.S. store operations for The Home Depot, responsible for leading the company’s HR activities for approximately 2,000 stores across the U.S. He also provided HR support to corporate departments including store operations, marketing, merchandising, home services, pro business and tool rental.
A 36-year veteran in the retail industry, Buskey began his career at The Home Depot in 1998, eventually progressing to VP of Human Resources where he successfully managed the consolidation of four geographical areas and integrated more than 600 stores and 120,000 associates into the former Eastern Division.
Before moving into HR at The Home Depot, Buskey had a distinguished career as an operator for Oshman Sporting Goods, Circuit City and Wherehouse Entertainment. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of San Francisco. Prior to his retail career, Buskey spent eight years as a professional baseball player finishing his career with the Philadelphia Phillies in 1978.
VP, Human Resources Dal-Tile Corporation
Troy Closson joined Mohawk Industries in 2010 as VP of human resources for Dal-Tile Corporation, a subsidiary of Mohawk Industries that manufactures, distributes and markets high-quality ceramic tile and natural stone products. Dal-Tile is the largest ceramic tile manufacturer in the U.S. and one of the largest tile manufacturers in the world employing over 8,000 associates. Closson has more than 20 years of experience in human resources, working for a variety of companies including Stanley Black & Decker, Black and Decker and Ingersoll-Rand Company. He is an experienced and influential senior human resources leader with a strong record of delivering results, developing talent and partnering with executive leaders in global matrix organizations. Closson earned his MBA from Wake Forest University and his B.S. in management from Guilford College.
HR Data, Reporting, and Analytics Manager Devon Energy Corporation
Jason George is director of human resources data, reporting and analytics and brings a background of various roles in the oil and gas industry including engineering, commercial, investment appraisal, treasury, strategic planning and workforce planning. He has a passion for transforming raw data into solid intelligence by using the analytical principles of statistics, optimization, economic modeling, investment theory, and more to transform the human capital space. George earned a bachelor of science in chemical engineering from Kansas State University and an MBA from Houston Baptist University.
SVP, Human Resources J. B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc.
Mark Greenway serves as SVP of human resources at J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. Greenway is responsible for the health and welfare benefit plan design and strategy, talent management and the training and development of a workforce of more than 20,000 employees. Over the past 26 years at J.B. Hunt, he has held various management and operations positions including working in risk management and customer service.
Greenway has written numerous articles on topics ranging from compensation strategies to healthcare initiatives, and he has been featured in various magazines for his leadership in the human resources field. Previously, Greenway served as a president of the Southwest Benefits Association and now serves on the board of directors for Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield. Greenway is involved in several charitable organizations and is a member of the advisory board for the Center of Relationship Enrichment at John Brown University. He also serves on the board of directors of JOYN, an organization committed to enhancing the spiritual and physical lives of people in underdeveloped communities throughout the world.
Greenway received his bachelor’s degree in natural science from the University of Arkansas.
EVP, CHRO RadioShack
Telvin Jeffries serves as EVP, CHRO and general manager of retail services for RadioShack Corporation. Jeffries is responsible for the overall strategic direction of human capital management, including recruitment of the new RadioShack leadership team, expansion of employee benefit packages and transformation of the company’s core values. Jeffries is also general manager for the company’s retail services unit, including operations for the company’s 300 company-owned stores in Mexico. Prior to joining RadioShack in 2012, Jeffries was a 20-year veteran of Kohl’s Corporation, where he held progressive responsibilities starting as assistant store manager and culminating as EVP of HR.
Wellness Director Devon Energy Corporation
Kip Koso oversees the Wellness Department for Devon Energy based in Oklahoma City. Devon is a Fortune 500 company and a Fortune magazine “100 Best Companies to Work for” award winner for five straight years. Koso has an undergraduate degree in exercise physiology and a master’s degree in human nutrition. He started his career at 18 folding towels at the front desk of a local health club and now runs the wellness department for Devon Energy — a program the company invests $2.5M on annually. He has never left the health and wellness field to do something else, because it would all be a lot less interesting. During breaks, he still likes to fold towels in the privacy of his office.
Director, Recruitment Marketing & Technology Walmart Stores, Inc.
Ray Malouf serves as the global center of excellence lead for Walmart’s employment brand, recruitment marketing and global recruiting system. In this role he has responsibility for the tools and technology that are used to support Walmart’s recruiting processes, as well as the digital go-to-market strategy for talent attraction. From developing the latest Walmart careers website to delivering timely and relevant content through social media, Malouf and his team are focused on creating the best candidate experience possible for the more than 18 million job seekers they interact with each year.
Malouf has spent the last seven years in various communication and marketing roles throughout Walmart. Prior to joining the recruiting team, he served as the senior manager of diversity communications, where he led outreach efforts directed toward communities of focus, including women, African Americans, Asians and Latinos. Prior to that role, he was the senior manager of ethics communications, where he developed the company’s ethics reporting website, statement of ethics and corporate governance communications plans.
Malouf holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a specialization in marketing management from the University of Arkansas and an MBA from John Brown University, where he was a two-year Soderquist Fellow.
SVP, HR & CHRO Frito-Lay North America
Patrick McLaughlin is SVP and CHRO for Frito-Lay North America. He is a 17-year veteran of PepsiCo with a broad range of leadership experience in beverages and foods. McLaughlin joined the Frito-Lay division in 1996 as HR manager at a Michigan manufacturing site and later moved to Denver to support the mountain sales region. In 1999, McLaughlin went on to lead labor relations for the sales function before becoming regional director of human resources for the Northeast. Beginning in 2002, he was promoted to HR VP of operations, then HR VP of sales prior to leading HR and change management for the business innovation function. In 2008, McLoughlin joined Pepsi Cola North America to lead the HR function through the acquisition of its two largest bottlers, a $7.8B transaction that made PepsiCo the largest food and beverage company in North America, doubled the employee population in the U.S. and Canada and increased the worldwide sales to $66B. In 2010, he returned to Frito-Lay North America as leader of the HR team for sales and supply chain and in 2012, became CHRO for Frito-Lay North America with responsibility for nearly 55,000 associates in the U.S. and Canada. McLoughlin holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Purdue University.
VP HCM Transformation Oracle
Christine Mellon, VP of HCM transformation at Oracle, has more than 25 years of diverse HR experience. Mellon assists Oracle clients with human capital management strategy development and implementation, compensation practices, talent development initiatives, employee engagement, global HR management, and integrated HR systems and processes that support the full employee lifecycle.
Mellon has held consulting and corporate HR roles, including CHRO positions. As CHRO for Echostar in Denver, she led HR for 6,000-plus employees in global locations, including the Americas, Western and Eastern Europe and Asia. Mellon also served as CHRO for Aepona, a startup software firm, where she established and elevated global HR practices. Aepona was acquired by Intel in 2013.
Mellon spent seven years in the pharmaceutical industry in a variety of professional and executive HR roles. She later worked for CIGNA Group Insurance as an HR director and a regional VP of sales. Mellon additionally served as SVP of strategic sales for Right Management Consultants, an HR consulting and outplacement firm, where she worked directly with a wide range of client organizations on human capital initiatives.
Mellon received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Villanova University.
VP, Talent Management & Development Frito-Lay North America
David Oliver is the VP of talent management and development for Frito-Lay North America. In his current role, Oliver and his team are responsible for a wide range of development and capability efforts, including talent management, sales and supply chain field capability, change management, diversity and inclusion and HR core processes.
Oliver has been with PepsiCo for 13 years. Prior to this current role, he was the VP of talent management for PepsiCo Americas Foods. He also spent four years as the senior director of organization and management development for PepsiCo International. Prior to PepsiCo, Oliver worked at GTE (now Verizon), where he led the employee selection group in the design and development of all tools used for employee selection.
Oliver has a Ph.D. in industrial and organizational psychology from the University of Southern Mississippi and a B.A. in psychology from the University of Texas at Austin. He has published several book chapters and research articles in the area of talent management, executive coaching and employee selection. He is an active member in the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, The Dearborn Group and the Mayflower Survey Consortium. Oliver also serves on the Education Advisory Board for USC’s Center for Effective Organizations.
SVP, HR & Risk Mgmt CEC Entertainment, Inc.
Catherine Olivieri joined CEC Entertainment in 1995 as director of risk management. In 1999, Olivieri was promoted to VP and given responsibility for human resources and risk management. In 2006, Olivieri was promoted to senior VP and is currently responsible for operations support, human resources and risk management.
Olivieri has more than 20 years of experience in human resources and risk management working for a variety of companies including a manufacturing conglomerate, consulting firm and several restaurant chains. Her experience in each of these capacities has always encompassed both risk management and human resources and spanned all areas including recruiting, compensation, employee relations, training, safety, security, insurance, general liability and executive risk.
CEC Entertainment is a publicly traded company and global leader in family entertainment and operator of 500+ Chuck E. Cheese’s restaurants in 48 states and 7 countries. CEC employs approximately 19,000 employees and has been in business for more than 30 years.
Olivieri received her B.S. in business administration from Elmira College; is a senior professional in human resources; has been SHRM since 1999; and received her corporate risk management certificate from The Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania.
EVP & CHRO Lennox International Inc.
Dan Sessa was appointed EVP and CHRO in 2007. Prior to joining Lennox International, he served in numerous human resources and legal leadership positions for United Technologies Corporation, including VP, human resources for Otis Elevator Company — Americas; director, employee benefits and human resources systems for United Technologies; and director, human resources for Pratt & Whitney. Sessa began his professional career practicing law in New York and Connecticut, specializing in labor and employment law. He holds a J.D. from the Hofstra University School of Law and a B.A. in law and society from the State University of New York at Binghamton.
Senior Vice President Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.
Sandi Stevens is an SVP at Challenger, Gray and Christmas and is responsible for the Southwest. She brings extensive knowledge in all aspects of human resources, including mergers and acquisitions, HR strategy, organizational development, staffing, compensation, benefits, training, relocation and labor relations. Stevens has an impressive leadership background, becoming the top HR officer at a $7B company at the age of 33. She has held top human resources executive positions in five companies in a wide range of industries, including healthcare, retail and manufacturing. Early in her career she gained valuable international experience in the energy industry and telecommunications. Stevens is known for her strategic ideas and ability as a true business partner to understand the requirements and deliver a solution. She has chaired the operations committee for several companies. Her dynamic leadership style and business approach are integral parts of a company where she was a senior officer that grew from $200M - $1B in three years. She is a frequent speaker and radio personality, where she speaks on many topics including: servant leadership, strategic human resource issues and the keys to successful career transition.
She graduated first in her class with an MBA from Southern Methodist University and earned her bachelor of arts. in human resources from the University of North Texas, graduating magna cum laude. She was awarded the coveted top student in the U.S. from the Society of Human Resource Management.
Her leadership and drive are also evident in professional associations and non-profits where she is currently president of the board of the Family Place and past president of the Dallas HR organization and has served as executive director of the HR Southwest Conference. She is on the board of directors of the Dallas Children’s Theater and is a former board and executive committee member for the Sci-Tech Discovery Center, among others. Stevens has also been involved in the Dallas Military Ball Foundation, an organization that helps the families of our service men and women. She volunteers at Career Care for St. Andrew United Methodist Church in a ministry that helps those in job transition.
Associate Director of Executive Education SMU Cox School of Business
Dr. K. Shelette Stewart has more than 20 years of leadership experience in strategic business planning, marketing and national account sales for Fortune 500 companies, including the Coca-Cola Company and BellSouth Corporation. She is a Fulbright foreign scholarship program specialist and holds a doctorate in business administration.
Stewart is the association director of executive education for SMU Cox School of Business. She designs leadership programs for Fortune 500 companies and oversees the partnership of SMU Cox Executive Education and The President George W. Bush Institute. Stewart is the principle and founder of Stewart Consulting LLC, a business consulting and leadership development firm serving both corporate and nonprofit clients.
She is the author of “Revelations in Business: Connecting Your Business Plan with God’s Purpose and Plan for Your Life.” Stewart has served as the keynote speaker for many leading organizations, including Texas Instruments, Women’s Foodservice Forum national conference and the NOAH Leadership Training Institute in China.
SVP-Talent Development & Chief Diversity Officer AT&T
In her role as SVP of talent development and chief diversity officer at AT&T, Debbie Storey is responsible for identifying and developing leaders, aligning managers with the company’s priorities and employee engagement. She also oversees the award-winning AT&T University, as well as the company’s efforts to leverage diversity and inclusion to drive innovation and growth. Storey joined the company in 1983 and has held numerous positions throughout her 30 years with AT&T.
Storey began her career in the print advertising and publishing business, starting in customer service and assuming increasing levels of responsibility. She moved into the network organization in 2005 as VP of broadband transformation program management office. In 2006, Storey was named to a key leadership role in the $67B AT&T-BellSouth merger. Post merger, she moved to VP of sales, leading thousands of employees in consumer sales and service call centers across 14 states. Prior to her current assignment, Storey served as SVP of AT&T consumer centers support.
Storey holds a B.A. in psychology from the University of Georgia and an MBA from UGA’s Terry College of Business. She serves on the Terry College Alumni Board, the AT&T Performing Arts Center Board and the Baylor Healthcare System Advisory Board.
VP, Corporate Recruiting Walmart Stores, Inc.
Anne Thomas currently serves as VP of corporate recruiting at Walmart. In this role, Thomas oversees all aspects of corporate recruiting, including talent acquisition strategies for corporate positions; college and diversity recruiting; temporary and hourly recruiting; vendor and staffing agency management; as well as responsibility for the company’s employment brand, recruitment marketing and global recruiting technologies. Thomas and her team are focused on delivering a world-class candidate experience by leveraging the latest technology to improve candidate interaction.
Prior to joining the Walmart recruiting team, Thomas was the VP of global compensation for Walmart, supporting more than 27 countries worldwide on the attraction and retention of talent through total reward solutions. She also spent three years as VP of HR at Walmart, developing HR strategies, processes and practices for approximately 1,300 stores and 400,000 hourly and management associates. Prior to joining Walmart in 2008, Thomas was the divisional HR VP at Sears Holding.
Thomas is a dynamic leader with an extensive retail and corporate HR executive background. She combines her passion for the business with her tenacity for developing talent to lead highly engaged and effective teams.
Anne earned a B.S. in accountancy from the Krannert School of Business at Purdue University.
EVP, Talent Solutions Right Management North Texas
Jill Vershum is the EVP for talent solutions at Right Management North Texas. She serves as an executive coach and has responsibilities for business development and consulting. She is a professional certified coach and an integral master coach. Vershum has extensive coaching and consulting experience in numerous areas, including leader development, executive coaching, talent assessment and organizational effectiveness.
Vershum has more than 25 years’ experience in combined roles as a corporate leader and consultant. With 18 years in the healthcare industry, she served as a VP at Texas Health Resources, where she worked closely with executives, boards, leaders and medical staff in developing people, cultures and organizations. At Right Management, she has served as a partner in business development and consulting to help client companies develop effective strategies and solutions for talent management and organizational effectiveness.
Vershum holds a master’s degree in counseling psychology from University of Toledo and bachelor’s degree in education from Bowling Green State University. She is member of and certified by International Coach Federation at the professional coach certification level. She has trained extensively in Ken Wilbur’s integral theory and received the highest level certification of Integral Master Coach from Integral Coach Canada Inc.
VP Human Resources Lehigh Hanson
SVP & Senior Advisor to CHRO CenterPoint Energy, Inc.
Until early 2014, Dean Woods served as CenterPoint Energy’s SVP and CHRO with direct responsibility for all HR functions at the corporate and business unit level. Just recently, as part of Woods’ retirement planning, he stepped down from this role and is currently serving as a senior advisor to his successor and is assisting in the transition to new leadership.
Under his leadership as head of HR, CenterPoint Energy focused its human capital efforts on enhancing the company’s recruitment and management of talent, resulting in voluntary turnover consistently under five percent; award-winning workplace flexibility and diversity programs; utility industry leading employee engagement scores; and a suite of initiatives around workforce planning to manage the impact of an aging workforce and skilled labor shortage in the energy industry. In 2013, Woods led the due diligence and employee matters efforts related to the formation of a joint venture between CenterPoint and Enogex.
He earned his bachelor’s degree in sociology from Louisiana Tech University and a master’s degree in special education from Appalachian State University. Woods participated in and graduated from the American Leadership Forum. He is also a graduate of the University of Michigan Business School’s human resources executive program.