Chicago CHRO Executive Summit

November 3, 2021 | Marriott Marquis Chicago

November 3, 2021
Marriott Marquis Chicago

Collaborate with your peers

Get together with Chicago's top CHROs to tackle shared business challenges and critical priorities facing your role today. Participate in this one-day, local program with peer-driven topics and interactive discussions with your true C-level peers.

Join your peers to discuss the most critical issues impacting CHROs today:

Planning for and shaping the future of work

Becoming the board's leader of human capital

Transforming HR structure and strategy

Chicago CHRO Governing Body

The Governing Body Co-Chairs shape the summit agenda, ensuring that all content is driven by CHROs, for CHROs.


Kane Calamari

Ace Hardware
Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer

Donna Dorsey

Chief Human Resources Officer

Amber Kennelly

HUB International

Brian McGarvey

GE Healthcare
Senior HR leader – US & Canada

Mike Rude

Option Care Health
SVP, Chief Human Resources Officer

What to Expect

Interactive Sessions

Hear from CHRO practitioners and thought leaders on how they're solving critical challenges impacting your role today in Keynote sessions, and join smaller, interactive discussions with your peers in Breakout and Boardroom sessions.

Community Networking

Make new connections and catch up with old friends in casual conversations during dedicated time for networking designed to better acquaint you with your Chicago CHRO community.

Peer-to-Peer Meetings

Connect with like-minded peers in a private, one-on-one setting through Evanta's Peer-to-Peer Meetings. You will be matched with peers in your community based on your shared interests and priorities.


November 2, 2021

November 3, 2021

6:00pm - 8:30pm  Governing Body Welcome Reception

Governing Body Private Dinner

Stacy Brown headshot

Stacy Brown


Livingston International

Exclusive to Governing Body members and select guests, this dinner is a can’t-miss opportunity to connect with your peers prior to tomorrow’s Executive Summit. Please join your colleagues for an evening of good food, wine, and lively networking.

7:30am - 8:15am  Registration & Breakfast

8:15am - 8:30am  Opening Comments

8:30am - 9:00am  Keynote

Proven Tactics — Scaling Fair, Bias-Free Conversations Across Distributed Teams

Syeda Soofia headshot

Syeda Soofia

Head of HR, Dearborn Group

Dearborn National

Dave MacLeod headshot

Dave MacLeod

CEO and Co-Founder


For more than 10 years, Dave MacLeod has led a 100% distributed company while working directly with thousands of leaders across North America. In this keynote, he shares how leaders can raise up all voices across their organizations—not just the loudest in a Town Hall or on Zoom. By scaling real-time, bias-free, inclusive conversations across organizations, leaders can make better decisions faster as they navigate an increasingly hybrid world.

Join this session to learn:

  • The importance of scaling conversations and mistakes to avoid
  • How leaders can facilitate bias-free discussions at speed (instead of waiting for the annual company survey) to hear from their entire organization
  • How to breakthrough silos and dismantle conversation echo chambers within threads and channels of similarly-minded people

9:00am - 9:15am  Break

9:15am - 10:00am  Breakout Session

Dealing with Delta — A Strategic Look at the Impact at Work

Syeda Soofia headshot

Syeda Soofia

Head of HR, Dearborn Group

Dearborn National

Norah Larke headshot

Norah Larke

SVP, Chief Human Resources Officer

Wintrust Financial

Sara Stolmeier headshot

Sara Stolmeier

Vice President, People & Development

McMaster-Carr Supply

Driven by the delta variant, efforts to find tailored solutions for the workforce have soared. As a result, HR leaders must double down on the progress already made to ensure employee safety, track COVID vaccinations and testing, and follow CDC mandates all while maintaining a productive workplace.

Join this session as HR leaders discuss:

  • Strategies to enable a safe and productive hybrid workforce
  • Forward-thinking methods for tracking testing and vaccinations
  • Creating a blueprint for the return to the workplace

9:15am - 10:00am  Executive Boardroom

The Diversity Double Down — Analysis and Culture

Raymond Hall headshot

Raymond Hall

Vice President, Organization Effectiveness & Analytics


Laura Rock headshot

Laura Rock

Chief Human Resources Officer

Zurich Insurance Company

Driven by social responsibility, diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging efforts have soared. As a result, HR leaders must double down on progress to ensure company culture is aligned with goals ensuring all employees feel welcome, as well as carefully analyzing factors such as the market, equitable compensation and more.

Join this session as HR leaders discuss:

  • Strategies to enable a cohesive and empowered workforce

  • Forward-thinking methods to increase diversity in the workplace

  • Creating a culture blueprint for tracking metrics

9:15am - 10:00am  Executive Boardroom

Promoting Agility — Redesigning L&D for 2021

Matt Beliveau headshot

Matt Beliveau

Chief Human Resources Officer

Sara Lee Frozen Bakery

Suzann Jonson headshot

Suzann Jonson

HR Director

The Middleby Corporation

As the world of work evolves, CHROs have recognized the need for learning experiences that can adapt based on demand. In order to tackle these new skill challenges, businesses are looking to redesign the learning experience in a way that empowers employees to tackle new frontiers and follow their aspirations.

Join this session to discuss ways to:

  • Create an efficient and agile L&D strategy

  • Grow with business needs by reskilling and upskilling your workforce

  • Leverage the skills of your employees to build new L&D processes with limited resources

10:00am - 10:30am  Networking Break

10:30am - 11:15am  Breakout Session

HR’s Role in Communicating and Implementing Enterprise Employee Experience

Karen Gordyan headshot

Karen Gordyan

Director, Client Management

Willis Towers Watson

Donna Dorsey headshot

Donna Dorsey

Chief Human Resources Officer


January Immer headshot

January Immer

Change Enablement Leader


As organizations adapt to remain competitive amidst rapid change, HR plays a pivotal role in designing employee experiences, culture and organizational change capabilities. As the rate of change accelerates into 2021, business transformation objectives must maintain a people-focused approach to mitigate change fatigue and maximize organizational effectiveness.

Join this breakout session as HR leaders discuss:

  • The strategic role people and culture plays in leading the organization through change
  • How people and culture transformation converges with change leadership 
  • People-centered HR Transformation strategies in a new world of change 

10:30am - 11:15am  Executive Boardroom

Creating a Culture of Belonging

Larry Brand headshot

Larry Brand

Chief Human Resources Officer

Elkay Manufacturing

Denise Domian headshot

Denise Domian

Chief Human Resources Officer

Johnson Financial Group, Inc.

In a highly virtual world, employers are working around the clock to maintain a connection with the workforce. Change management, reskilling, remote work and virtual onboarding have created unique challenges for the HR function at a time when many employees, especially those hired within the last twelve months may struggle to feel as though they belong. 

Join this session as HR leaders discuss:

  • Creating consistency and "moments that matter" when recruiting and hiring virtually
  • Expanding talent pools and new ways of approaching talent acquisition
  • Maintaining culture continuity and growth opportunities in largely decentralized businesses

10:30am - 11:15am  Executive Boardroom

The Elevated Role of the CHRO

Jennifer Ricks headshot

Jennifer Ricks

EVP People Operations

KeHE Distributors

Kevin Bohan headshot

Kevin Bohan


Werner Co.

Prompted by the pandemic, social issues, and racial injustice; CHROs are in the spotlight among their C-Suite contemporaries, Board of Directors and the CEO. Now more than ever, HR leaders are tasked with being strategic leaders and must prepare to take on greater accountability for driving business success.

In this session, HR leaders will learn: 

  • How to effectively communicate to the CEO and the workforce to reevaluate company models 
  • Enhancing C-Suite partnerships
  • Successful reporting to the Board of Directors

11:15am - 11:25am  Break

11:25am - 12:40pm  Peer-to-Peer Meetings

Peer-to-Peer Meetings

Connect with like-minded peers in a one-on-one setting through Evanta’s Peer-to-Peer Meetings. You will be matched with peers in your community based on your shared interests and priorities.

11:45am - 1:15pm  Lunch Service

12:40pm - 1:00pm  Break

1:00pm - 1:05pm  Lunch Comments

1:05pm - 1:35pm  Keynote

Adapting Your Talent Strategy in an Employee's Market

Christy Doneff headshot

Christy Doneff

Regional Vice President, Sales, Central


Norah Larke headshot

Norah Larke

SVP, Chief Human Resources Officer

Wintrust Financial

Christy Harris headshot

Christy Harris



Amber Kennelly headshot

Amber Kennelly


HUB International

Organizations’ ability to survive, adapt and grow hinge on recruiting and retaining high-quality, diverse talent. But in the current hiring landscape, many CHROs are finding that it has become an employee market, making it necessary to shift strategies and adopt new approaches. How are CHROs creating anterior solutions and hanging onto talent in this landscape amongst intense competition? 

Join this session as HR leaders discuss: 

  • Methods for exceeding employee expectations including compensation, benefits, flexibility and additional creative solutions
  • Tools and approaches for attracting and retaining diverse talent in the dynamic and competitive employee market
  • Ideas for maintaining and strengthening culture amid a largely geographically dispersed and virtual work environment

1:35pm - 1:50pm  Break

1:50pm - 2:35pm  Breakout Session

The Future of Work — 2021 and Beyond

Terri Runyon Walker headshot

Terri Runyon Walker

VP Culture & Talent

McGraw Hill

Dave Osswald headshot

Dave Osswald

Chief People & Diversity Officer

Molson Coors Beverage

The world is in the middle of an experience transformation. The COVID crisis has changed the way we work, for good. From productivity to well-being, and insecurity about what to expect from the future, employees need CHROs to shape and define the future of work.

It's no longer about managing the work experience but the life experience. Join this session as CHROs come together to discuss remote vs. in-office pros and cons, as they shed light on to the ways that CHROs can shape the way we will all work forever.

Join this interactive session to discuss: 

  • Long term advantages and disadvantages of flexible working for global businesses
  • The shift in culture that goes hand in hand with switching to remote working
  • Effective ways to measure employee productivity and engagement

1:50pm - 2:35pm  Executive Boardroom

Redefining Recruitment and Onboarding

Robert Weber headshot

Robert Weber

Chief Human Resources Officer

Hostess Brands

Organizations’ ability to survive, adapt and grow in this environment hinges on recruiting high-quality talent. Simultaneously, HR leaders must reevaluate structuring staff and tracking the performance of their function while operating from a hybrid environment.

In this session, HR leaders will discuss:

  • Retaining and strengthening culture to accommodate a virtual and hybrid environment
  • Acquiring high-quality internal and external talent with a diversity of skills, backgrounds, employment models and work preferences
  • Addressing growing expectations for remotely onboarding employees

1:50pm - 2:35pm  Executive Boardroom

Aligning the Workplace for 2021 and Beyond

Mike Rude headshot

Mike Rude

SVP, Chief Human Resources Officer

Option Care Health

Christa Sorenson headshot

Christa Sorenson

Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer

Equity Residential

The impacts of 2020 are still being studied, and the effects on the workplace and the workforce have been significant and in some cases, permanent. When designing the new world of work, HR leaders must consider many variables and develop a plan that is both flexible and future-focused.

 Join this session as HR leaders discuss:

  • Workplace strategy, corporate real estate holdings and workforce skill needs

  • Strategies to adapt forecast processes to account for frequent changes

  • Considerations for returning to the workplace and alignment with business objectives

1:50pm - 2:35pm  Workshop

One on One Mentoring Session with Chris Ulrich

Chris Ulrich headshot

Chris Ulrich

Body Language Expert & Political Consultant


2:35pm - 3:05pm  Networking Break

3:05pm - 3:50pm  Breakout Session

Spark an Engagement Evolution

Matt Beliveau headshot

Matt Beliveau

Chief Human Resources Officer

Sara Lee Frozen Bakery

Jaison Williams headshot

Jaison Williams

SVP Global Talent Management

Expedia Group

During massive changes, it can be difficult to maintain employee engagement. But through leadership alignment, strong manager capability and increased focus on diversity and inclusion, Fitbit has a unique story (prior to the Google acquisition). Over the past few years they increased engagement scores by over 20 points through both a global pandemic and merger fueling positive change and business results.

Join this session as HR leaders discuss:

  • Strategies to build a high performing culture
  • Engage the business to drive a broader human capital agenda
  • Enact strong HR fundamentals to build organizational capability

3:05pm - 3:50pm  Executive Boardroom

Enabling New Ways of Working With HR Technology

Brian McGarvey headshot

Brian McGarvey

Senior HR leader – US & Canada

GE Healthcare

Norah Larke headshot

Norah Larke

SVP, Chief Human Resources Officer

Wintrust Financial

To lead organizations into the future of work, CHROs need strong HR technology tools in their kit. Successfully navigating vendor selection, deployment and end-user adoption requires a skillful and flexible execution plan that ties HR solutions to business objectives.

Join this session to discuss how HR leaders can:

  • Enable employee experience and support organizational goals with HR technology
  • Align technology with employee expectations to increase end-user adoption
  • Improve change management for HR technology implementations

3:50pm - 4:05pm  Break

4:05pm - 4:10pm  Closing Comments

4:10pm - 4:40pm  Keynote

Executive Presence for Lasting Leadership

Chris Ulrich headshot

Chris Ulrich

Body Language Expert & Political Consultant

Any given gesture -a nod, a point of the finger - unconsciously communicates powerful ideas and feelings that have tangible consequences. Top executives are generally proficient in their ability to interact with others, but the stakes are raised during high-level negotiations, reporting to the board, inspiring and empowering senior managers or dealing with tricky internal matters. This is especially challenging in a highly remote environment.

Join body language expert Chris Ulrich as he shares:

  • Why every movement and action is magnified in high-level situations
  • Tools and techniques to build rapport quickly
  • How executives can communicate more effectively both virtually and in person

4:40pm - 5:10pm  Closing Reception & Prize Drawing

November 2, 2021

November 3, 2021

We look forward to seeing you at an upcoming in-person gathering


Venue & Accommodation

Marriott Marquis Chicago

A block of rooms has been reserved at the Marriott Marquis Chicago at a reduced conference rate. Reservations should be made online or by calling 1-877-303-0104. Please mention Evanta Chicago Executive Summit to ensure the appropriate room rate.

Deadline to book using the discounted room rate of $274 USD (plus tax) is October 22, 2021.

Your Community Partners

Program Partners

Community Program Manager

For inquiries related to this community, please reach out to your dedicated contact.

Kevin Hayes

Program Manager