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

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

Governing Body Private Dinner

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.

November 3, 2021 - morning

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

8:15am - 8:30am  Opening Comments

8:30am - 9:00am  Keynote

Create a Team Culture of High-Performance, Trust, and Belonging

Mike Robbins headshot

Mike Robbins

Author & Thought Leader

Guest Speaker

Keynote Session with Mike Robbins, Thought Leader and Author of "We're All In This Together". More session details to come shortly.

9:00am - 9:15am  Break

9:15am - 10:00am  Executive Boardroom

The Diversity Double Down - Analysis and Culture

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

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

9:15am - 10:00am  Breakout Session

So You Want To Talk About Covid Strategies

Sara Stolmeier headshot

Sara Stolmeier

Vice President, People & Development

McMaster-Carr Supply

Norah Larke headshot

Norah Larke

SVP, Chief Human Resources Officer

Wintrust Financial

 More session details to come soon.

10:00am - 10:30am  Networking Break

10:30am - 11:15am  Executive Boardroom

Creating a Culture of Belonging

Larry Brand headshot

Larry Brand

Chief Human Resources Officer

Elkay Manufacturing

In a highly virtual world, employers are working around the clock to maintain 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

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

November 3, 2021 - mid-afternoon

11:25am - 12:50pm  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 - 1:30pm  Lunch Service

12:50pm - 1:00pm  Break

1:00pm - 1:05pm  Lunch Comments

1:05pm - 1:35pm  Keynote

Adapting Your Talent Strategy in an Employee's Market

Amber Kennelly headshot

Amber Kennelly


HUB International

Christy Harris headshot

Christy Harris



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

November 3, 2021 - afternoon

1:50pm - 2:35pm  Executive Boardroom

Redefining Recruitment and Onboarding

Organizations’ ability to survive, adapt and grow in this environment hinge 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 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

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  Breakout Session

Reboot Culture & Ignite Engagement

Jaison Williams headshot

Jaison Williams

Chief Talent Officer


 More breakout session details to come soon.

2:35pm - 3:05pm  Networking Break

3:05pm - 3:50pm  Breakout Session

HR’s Role in Communicating and Implementing Enterprise Employee Experience

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 

3:05pm - 3:50pm  Executive Boardroom

After the Wake, Holistic Wellbeing

The health and wellbeing of employees has always been top of mind for HR leaders, but the aftermath of COVID-19 has left a wake of concern for leadership. Employee safety, along with their mental, emotional and physical health has taken a seat as one of the top priorities moving forward. How can leaders ensure that the workforce is holistically cared for?

Join this session as HR leaders discuss:

  • Methods for gathering employee sentiment to enact effective policies
  • Instituting programs for holistic wellbeing including psychological safety
  • People based strategies for improved productivity and engagement

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

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

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


Returning to in-person conferences

We are excited to welcome you back, in person, to Evanta gatherings.

As previously shared, Evanta will hold in-person programs only in locations that meet our stringent health and safety criteria to help ensure the well-being of our participants, partners, and our associates. These criteria include adhering to government, venue, and health agency guidelines in addition to taking all practical steps on-site.

Please note that our onsite planning will continue to evolve, and all measures will be subject to change to ensure the best and safest possible experience. Please see below (under ‘more information’) for our current approach and planned onsite safety measures.


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 11, 2021.

Your Community Partners

Program Partner

Chicago CHRO Program Manager

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

Kevin Hayes

Program Manager