Chairman and CEO Plains All American Pipeline
Greg Armstrong is chairman and CEO of Plains All American GP LLC, the general partner of Plains All American Pipeline, L.P., one of the largest crude oil and energy transportation companies in North America. PAA has an aggregate enterprise value of over $25B and handles over three million barrels per day through its pipeline, gathering, trucking, railcar, and barge and terminalling assets. In 2013, PAA was ranked No. 77 on the Fortune 500 and for multiple years has been named by Fortune magazine as one of America’s Most Admired Companies.
Armstrong has been with PAA and its predecessors for more than 30 years, joining the firm in 1981. He served in dual management roles for Plains Resources and Plains All American Pipeline until their separation in 2001. From 1992—2001, Armstrong was president and CEO of Plains Resources and has served continuously as chairman and CEO of Plains All American Pipeline since its IPO in 1998.
Armstrong has a bachelor’s degree in accounting and management from Southeastern Oklahoma State University.
Director of HR, Assistant General Counsel - Labor & Employment Quanta Services, Inc.
Vivek Arora heads Quanta’s HR function and serves as the company’s assistant general counsel for labor and employment. Quanta is a leading energy specialty contractor that provides infrastructure solutions for the electric power, natural gas and pipeline industries. Quanta employs more than 20,000 employees in its domestic and international operations.
Prior to joining Quanta in 2010, Arora practiced law in Washington, D.C., with the labor and employment practice group of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP. He is licensed to practice law in Texas, Washington, D.C., and Maryland.
Arora holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a law degree from Columbia University. He also holds a senior professional in HR certification. Arora is currently in the process of completing an executive MBA at the Jones School of Business at Rice University.
Former Director Johnson Space Center
Michael Coats, former astronaut, returned to NASA in 2005 to serve as the 10th director of the Johnson Space Center in Houston. Coats, a Navy pilot and flight instructor, has logged more than 5,000 hours flying time in 28 different types of aircraft, and more than 400 carrier landings. Selected as an astronaut candidate in 1978, Coats became a NASA astronaut in 1979. A veteran of three space flights, Coats has logged more than 463 hours in space.
Before returning to NASA as director of the Johnson Space Center, Coats held several positions in the corporate arena, including VP of avionics and communications operations for Loral Space Information Systems, VP of civil space programs for Lockheed Martin Missiles and Space, and most recently, VP of advanced space transportation for Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company.
Coats received his bachelor’s degree from the U.S. Naval Academy, an M.S. in administration of science and technology from George Washington University and an M.S. in aeronautical engineering from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School.
Principal Consultant SuccessFactors, an SAP Company
Mick Collins currently operates in a global sales acceleration role supporting the SuccessFactors workforce analytics and workforce planning product. In this capacity, Collins divides his time between product strategy and marketing, sales enablement, prospect and customer engagement, alliances, and thought leadership.
Collins has also served as the lead strategy consultant for numerous SuccessFactors clients, including several Fortune 500 enterprises. Partnering with senior HR executives, Collins provided executive engagement, data analysis, change management consulting and practitioner training.
Prior to joining SuccessFactors, Collins spent time as VP of marketing for Infohrm’s North American group. Collins was also a senior consultant with CLC Metrics, the former joint venture partnership established by Infohrm and the corporate leadership council. Collins has conducted speaking engagements on a variety of human capital measurement topics at Infohrm’s North America, European and Asia-Pacific conferences, IHRIM, The Wharton Council and numerous HR.com webcasts.
Collins has published several articles, most recently “Workforce Data in the Boardroom,” “Making Talent Metrics Count” and “Stay Out of Workforce Planning Pitfalls.”
Suzanne Farmer, Ph.D.
Chief Learning Officer University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
Suzanne Farmer, Ph.D., serves as the chief learning officer for UT Southwestern Medical Center, where she leads the enterprise organizational development and learning strategy for the medical school, and its university hospitals and clinics. Farmer’s key responsibilities include identifying and building key physician and professional leadership talent, leading organization design, galvanizing change, and driving employee engagement.
Her accomplishments since joining the organization in 2012 include consolidating learning entities across the enterprise and launching the Academy for Career Enrichment, which expands access to personalized learning opportunities through technology and customized programs for key talent segments. Prior to joining UT Southwestern, Farmer held a variety of HR and organizational development positions with Dean Foods, Frito-Lay North America, Celanese and Dell Inc.
Farmer earned her Ph.D. in industrial/organizational psychology from Central Michigan University and her B.S. in psychology from Texas A&M University. She is a member of the American Psychological Association, the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, the Society for Human Resource Management and the International Association of Business Communicators.
Vice President and CHRO Baylor College of Medicine
Dane Friend is currently VP and CHRO at Baylor College of Medicine. Friend, who has been with Baylor since 1999, is responsible for all HR functions for the college and represents the institution in employment law matters.
Since taking on the VP role in 2011, Friend has overseen the debut of a college-wide reward and recognition program, developed and integrated a new set of core values, and is in the process of launching a comprehensive wellness program.
Friend has more than 15 years of experience in healthcare and higher education HR management. In addition to his HR experience, Friend is also a seasoned employment law attorney. Friend worked as a staff attorney with the Fort Bend Independent School District in Sugar Land, Texas.
Friend holds bachelor’s degrees in sociology and political science from Houston Baptist University and a doctor of jurisprudence from South Texas College of Law. He is certified as a senior professional in human resources by the Society for Human Resource Management.
Area Vice President Castlight Health Inc.
Bob Geist is area VP at Castlight Health Inc., where he is responsible for leading the enterprise sales team in the central U.S. Prior to joining Castlight, Geist was the VP of sales at Model N, where he held several managerial roles, culminating in the role of VP of sales for Life Sciences. He also has held several leadership positions with firms such as Oracle and Arthur Young.
Geist holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the University of Illinois and an MBA from Case Western Reserve University.
President and CEO Greater Houston Partnership
Bob Harvey joined the Greater Houston Partnership as president and CEO in September 2012. Harvey is the fourth president and CEO of the organization since it was formed in 1989 in a merger of the Greater Houston Chamber of Commerce, the Houston Economic Development Council and the Houston World Trade Center.
Prior to joining the Greater Houston Partnership, Harvey was active in the Houston business community, first as a management consultant in the office of McKinsey & Company, Inc., and then as vice chair/EVP with Reliant Energy.
After leaving Reliant in 2005, Harvey served in a variety of community volunteer leadership roles. Harvey currently serves on the Community Foundation Council of the Greater Houston Community Foundation and the boards of St. John’s School, the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Center for Houston’s Future, and the Alliance for Kids, as well as the board of regents of Concordia Theological Seminary in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. Harvey also serves on the board of directors of TRC Companies, Inc., an engineering and environmental services company headquartered in Windsor, Connecticut.
He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Texas A&M University.
John Izzo, Ph.D.
Author of "Awakening Corporate Soul" & "Stepping Up"
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 master’s degrees in theology and psychology and a doctorate in organizational communication and behavior from the University of Chicago.
VP of Human Resources, Southwest Operations WorleyParsons Corporation
Chuck Kemper is VP of HR for the southwest operations of WorleyParsons, a global engineering, procurement and construction management company of 39,000 employees in 43 countries.
Prior to his current role, Kemper served as group director and VP of talent management and development at WorleyParsons, which was preceded by his role as VP of HR for the company’s 6,000 person U.S. and Latin America region. He has also served as VP of HR for the oil, gas, process and energy division of Aker Solutions servicing 8,000 employees in eight countries.
Kemper holds a bachelor’s degree in civil and environmental engineering from Cornell University and an MBA from Xavier University where he was valedictorian. He also holds professional certifications in HR, employment law and benefits law.
Kemper is on the board of directors of HR Houston, The Principal’s Client Advisory Board, Houston EPC Salary Survey Steering Committee and St. Xavier Alumni Board of Directors.
Chairman in the Houston Region and CEO of Middle Market Banking JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Gina Luna is the Houston region chairman and CEO of middle market banking at JPMorgan Chase & Co. Luna is active in recruiting, mentoring and leadership development programs within the organization.
Prior to her current role, Luna was CMO for Chase Commercial Banking where she directed marketing and communications for the national commercial banking business. She has also held a variety of other positions in private and commercial banking having spent her entire career with JPMorgan Chase.
As an active community member, Luna serves on the executive committee and the nominating committee of the Greater Houston Partnership. She also serves as the chair of the member services committee for the Greater Houston Partnership. Luna is on the board of directors for The United Way of Greater Houston and The Children’s Museum of Houston, serving on the board and executive committee. She is active in the Young Presidents’ Organization and All KIDS Alliance.
Luna is a summa cum laude graduate of Texas A&M University with a BBA in finance and management.
SVP, Human Resources Southwestern Energy Company
Jenny McCauley is SVP of HR at Southwestern Energy Company. She was hired to the position in 2009.
Before joining Southwestern Energy, McCauley was VP of HR for the Americas and global LNG region of BG Group, an integrated natural gas company based in the U.K. McCauley has held a variety of HR positions for JPMorgan Chase, Aramark Uniform Services and Hilton Hotels Corporation. She began her career as a psychology and U.S. history high school teacher in Houston, Texas.
McCauley earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana, and a master’s degree in psychology and human development from the University of Texas at Dallas. She is a member of the Society for Human Resources Management.
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 3,000-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.
Managing Consultant & Southern Region GM YSC
Debra Parker is a managing consultant at YSC and general manager of the firm’s Houston office and southern region. Her primary work consists of helping companies to succeed by assisting with their leadership-oriented problems and opportunities.
In her consulting work, board members and CEOs have benefited from her expertise in succession planning, including preparing internal candidates for moving into the CEO role. Other high potential executives have benefited from her coaching in order to move ahead and meet their business goals. She is an expert in evaluating candidates for executive positions. She is accomplished in dealing with both individuals and systems. Her team consultation focuses on group process, decision-making, problem solving and conflict resolution. She also has experience in large-scale change management and HR strategy.
Prior to YSC, Parker worked in the aviation industry. She also has substantial domestic and international consulting experience with leading business psychology firms. Parker also has substantial experience in helping non-profit organizations thrive through effective executive leadership.
Parker received her bachelor’s degree from Washington University in St. Louis and her master’s degree and Ph.D. from Rice University.
Senior Vice President, Shared Services Texas Medical Center
Larry Stokes is SVP of Shared Services at Texas Medical Center where he is responsible for all aspects of human capital from policy, payroll, employee communications, and benefits to recruiting, training and leadership development. Stokes is tasked with developing and enhancing collaboration, and creating HR centers of expertise throughout the medical center through its HR advisory council.
Prior to joining Texas Medical Center, Stokes worked for the Houston Astros as VP of HR. He joined the Astros after a rising career with Warner Bros Studios, where he spent five years as a corporate director of employee and labor relations before being promoted to the director of HR. Prior to Warner Bros, Stokes spent four years as a senior employee relations representative for Riverside County, where he represented the county in arbitrations, mediations and labor matters.
Stokes’ professional career started in law enforcement as a member of the California Highway Patrol, where he patrolled the streets of Southern California for seven years.
Stokes earned a bachelor’s degree in organizational management from University of La Verne. Stokes earned his senior professional human resources certification from the Society of Human Resource Management.
EVP, Marketing & Business Development O.C. Tanner
David Sturt is an EVP of the O.C. Tanner Company. His career began in market research, where he studied and analyzed the effects of people being recognized for great work. In the two decades since, Sturt has researched and developed several multi-million dollar services that engage employees, inspire above and beyond contribution, and reward outstanding results in organizations around the world.
Sturt regularly consults with Fortune 1000 company leaders and speaks at conferences across the U.S., Canada and the UK. He has been interviewed by the Wall Street Journal, MSNBC, Human Capital and other media outlets.
VP Talent Management ADP
David Turetsky is VP of talent management in the strategic advisory services group at ADP. Turetsky is responsible for providing clients with thought leadership and consulting services around best practices for delivering strategic, cost-effective talent management services with a particular focus on compensation management.
The strategic advisory services group helps clients develop and execute highly effective human capital management strategies in the areas of data analytics, decision support and forecasting, compliance, service delivery, and communications and education.
Turetsky brings more than 23 years of technology, consulting and management experience in compensation, HR, benefits, consulting and financial services fields. He has held numerous leadership positions at respected institutions in the financial services, medical devices and Internet industries.
Turetsky was VP of compensation eSolutions group and the head of sales, marketing and business. Turetsky was the founder and CEO of MarketDataNow, Inc., a technology-consulting firm developing HR-focused technology solutions. Turetsky has also held positions in HR and compensation management at DoubleClick, Deutsche Bank/Bankers Trust, Morgan Stanley, Watson Wyatt and Towers Perrin.
Vice President of Administration and Corporate Affairs CAMAC International Corporation
Rose Valenzuela is VP of administration and corporate affairs for CAMAC International Corporation. Valenzuela joined CAMAC in 2006 and was promoted to her current position in 2010.
Valenzuela’s responsibilities include managing the information technology team and overseeing all HR activities including compensation, benefits, payroll, information services, organizational development, diversity, EEO, and recruiting and placement.
She is also responsible for the development, coordination, and consistent application and administration of HR policies, programs, plans and procedures, including performance management. In addition, Valenzuela oversees the administrative services for CAMAC, which includes facilities management, travel services, telecommunications and records management.
Valenzuela earned a bachelor’s degree in business computer information systems with a minor in business
EVP & COO Southwestern Energy Company
Bill Way is EVP and COO at Southwestern Energy Company where he is responsible for exploration and production (E&P) operations. Way joined BG Group in 2007 as SVP of Americas, with responsibility for E&P, midstream and LNG operations in the U.S., Trinidad and Tobago, Chile, Bolivia, Canada, and Argentina as well as BG’s global shipping business.
Way was at ConocoPhillips from 1981-2007 where he held various technical and leadership positions and worked in the United Arab Emirates, Scotland and Trinidad. Way is a registered professional engineer with the state of Texas and serves as a director for several secondary educational organizations.
Way earned his bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from Texas A&M University and has an MBA from The Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He serves on the board of directors for the Mays MBA Program and international programs board at Texas A&M University. Way also serves on the board of directors, and as vice chairman for the Cameron School of Business at University of St. Thomas.
CEO Memorial Hermann Health Solutions
Brian Wells is a proven leader with more than 30 years of managed care experience. His extensive industry experience includes operational management, sales leadership, financial, medical management, regulatory and accreditation compliance, and contract negotiation. Wells is passionate about managed care and is particularly adept at leading startup operations.
Wells’ impressive upward progression in managed care leadership began in 1980 as a pharmacist with Harvard Community Health Plan. He later joined Blue Cross Blue
Shield of Massachusetts in 1982, where he served in numerous leadership roles including operations director, division executive director and regional director.
In 1993, Wells joined Healthsource in Massachusetts and quickly progressed from VP to CEO. He served as SVP and president of various business units at CIGNA after their acquisition of Healthsource in 1997. Wells became COO of Coventry Health Care of Florida in 2009.
SVP and CHRO CenterPoint Energy, Inc.
Dean Woods is SVP and CHRO at CenterPoint Energy with direct responsibility for all HR functions at the corporate and business unit level. Under his leadership, CenterPoint Energy has focused its human capital efforts on enhancing recruitment and management of talent, resulting in voluntary turnover consistently under four 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 of a joint venture between the midstream segment of CenterPoint and Enogex, a division of OGE.
During his tenure, CenterPoint won the Alfred P. Sloan Award for Business Excellence and Workplace Flexibility two consecutive years and was named a Top 100 Military Friendly Employer twice by G.I. Jobs Magazine. He won the Texas Diversity Council’s DiversityFIRST award and led the creation of a university-style employee training and development resource at CenterPoint.
Woods earned his bachelor’s degree in sociology from Louisiana Tech University, and a master’s degree in special education from Appalachian State University.