Detroit CHRO Executive Summit

November 15, 2018, The Cobo Center

November 15, 2018
The Cobo Center

Collaborate with your peers

Get together with your peers to tackle top business challenges through peer-driven content and discussions at the Detroit CHRO Executive Summit.

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

Leading through a new employee experience

Redesigning HR strategies, structures, and service delivery models

Modernizing mental health and well-being programs in a new era of work

Detroit CHRO Governing Body

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


Diane Antishin headshot

Diane Antishin

DTE Energy
VP, HR Operations and Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer

Terry Merritt headshot

Terry Merritt

SVP, Human Resources

Jim Michaud headshot

Jim Michaud



November 14, 2018

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

What's Trust Got to Do With It?

David Horsager headshot

David Horsager

CEO and Best-Selling Author, "The Trust Edge"

Trust Edge

Trust is both a fundamental business issue and the biggest asset of a company. Without trust, companies lose reputations, relationships and revenue. With trust, organizations enjoy greater creativity, productivity and results. Through extensive research and experience, David Horsager learned what it takes to gain — and keep — the “Trust Edge.” Horsager details the business case for trust and explains why a lack of trust is the biggest expense of a company. He’ll articulate the keys to building morale, sales and customer loyalty, and explain the Eight-Pillar Framework for building trust into an organization and creating successful leaders and organizations

November 15, 2018 - morning

7:00am - 7:45am  Registration & Breakfast

7:45am - 8:00am  Opening Comments

Welcome to the 2018 Detroit CHRO Leadership Summit!

Welcome to the 2018 Detroit CHRO Leadership Summit!

7:45am - 8:30am  Keynote

Accountability and the Modern Learner

Henry Evans headshot

Henry Evans

Amazon Top-10 Author

"Step Up: Lead in Six Moments That Matter"

Success can’t happen without accountability. It is that simple. Henry Evans offers guidance to help any organization improve performance by creating a culture of accountability.

In this session you will:

  • Learn about the language you use that is negatively impacting business results and relationships
  • Leave with at least one mitigation strategy to improve your communications
  • Receive a specific strategy to mitigate or resolve a current miscommunication you are having with your colleagues

8:30am - 9:00am  Networking Break

9:00am - 9:50am  Breakout Session

The Business Savvy CHRO

Jim Michaud headshot

Jim Michaud



What does it mean to be an effective HR business partner? For Jim Michaud it meant shifting the business mindset from HR process to HR strategy.

In this session, you will:

  • Understand the necessary elements in developing a business focused people strategy
  • Learn how to use the right tools in your human capital toolkit to move the business strategy forward
  • Discuss the importance of reinvention

9:00am - 9:50am  Breakout Session

The Role of HR in GDPR

Eric Mahler headshot

Eric Mahler

Asst. General Counsel, Labor & Employment


Today’s CHROs are strategic leaders who collaborate across the business to move the organization forward. Eric Mahler will discuss how partnering across the organization led to the building of a success story in GDPR compliance at Meritor.

In this discussion, you will:

  • Examine what strategies CHROs need to implement for minimum compliance
  • Discover best practices for partnering across the business

9:00am - 9:50am  Executive Boardroom

Becoming a Talent-Magnet Company

Cathy Hendrian headshot

Cathy Hendrian

SVP, Human Resources

CMS Energy

Joadi Keck headshot

Joadi Keck

Vice President, Human Resources and Administration

Delta Dental of Michigan

How do some organizations continually attract, engage and retain high-performing talent? What do they do differently? With the current demand for talent out-of-the-box hiring is essential for all organizations.

Join this boardroom session and discuss:

  • Discuss practices to create an organization people want to join
  • Explore successes and challenges facing companies across-industries
  • Discover employment branding techniques to stand out to candidates

Executive boardrooms are intimate and interactive sessions designed to foster dynamic dialogue around a specific, strategic topic. These private, closed-door discussions encourage attendee participation and are limited to 15 attendees (seating priority is given to CHROs).

9:50am - 10:20am  Networking Break

10:20am - 11:10am  Breakout Session

Putting People at the Heart of Innovation

Ryan Maibach headshot

Ryan Maibach


Barton Malow

Jennifer Sulak-Brown headshot

Jennifer Sulak-Brown

VP, Human Resources

Barton Malow

All organizations want to be known as innovative. Barton Malow knew that no matter the strategic goal, people needed to be at the heart of it.

In this session, you will:

  • Learn how to engage your workforce in the innovation process
  • Discuss how to link to organizational goals with actionable ways for employees to participate
  • Hear how the CEO and CHRO partnership can provide a competitive edge

10:20am - 11:10am  Breakout Session

Building a Foolproof Talent Strategy

Marlene Lesko headshot

Marlene Lesko

Director, Talent Acquisition


With the high demand for talent in the Detroit region, quick, strategic talent acquisition is critical. Marlene Lesko has led a three year talent acquisition overhaul, and will discuss best practices.

In this session you will:

  • Explore best practices for talent acquisition strategy
  • Discuss strategies and solutions for pipe-lining talent with technology
  • Learn how to build a culture of constant talent acquisition across the organization

10:20am - 11:10am  Executive Boardroom

AI and Machine Learning in the HR Space — What’s Hype, What’s Real

Alyse Martinelli headshot

Alyse Martinelli

SVP, Human Resources

JACK Entertainment

David Turner headshot

David Turner

VP, Human Resources

Eastern Michigan University

Keith Webb headshot

Keith Webb

Technology Ambassador

Ultimate Software

Data has long been used by sales and marketing to measure current and past results, and even predict future events. This data-driven mentality doesn’t always transfer to how organizations recruit, develop and retain employees, but it should. To stay competitive, organizations must analyze tremendous amounts of employee data to extract meaningful and unbiased metrics.

In this session you will:

  • Discover the transformative power of predictive analytics
  • Discuss how predictive analytics can help make smarter talent decisions and increase employee performance

Executive boardrooms are intimate and interactive sessions designed to foster dynamic dialogue around a specific, strategic topic. These private, closed-door discussions encourage attendee participation and are limited to 15 attendees (seating priority is given to CHROs).

11:10am - 11:40am  Networking Break

November 15, 2018 - mid-afternoon

11:40am - 12:20pm  Lunch & Comments

Lunch Discussion Tables

Join your peers at designated tables during lunch to discuss a subject that interests you. Seating is first-come, first-serve.

12:20pm - 12:50pm  Keynote

Quicken Culture — Enduring Impact

Mike Malloy headshot

Mike Malloy

Chief People Officer

Quicken Loans

How do you take the desire of every organization to drive culture and positivity, and truly make it real? Mike Malloy will outline the ISMs that have built the culture of QuickenLoans.

In this keynote you’ll:

  • Hear the cultural philosophy of QuickenLoans
  • Understand how HR operationalizes the ISMs for their team members
  • Explore how to make culture resonate across the organization

12:50pm - 1:20pm  Networking Break

1:20pm - 2:10pm  Breakout Session

Moving Thousands to Live Longer and Better

Gary Chard headshot

Gary Chard

Group Director, Total Rewards

The Taubman Company

Terry Merritt headshot

Terry Merritt

SVP, Human Resources


With organizational variety comes a need for wellness program variety. In this session two organizations will share highlights and outcomes in the evolution of their wellness programs.

In this session you will:

  • Hear how peers are securing buy-in to drive organizational health
  • Discuss the importance of messaging and transparency
  • Compare and contrast wellness program approaches

1:20pm - 2:10pm  Executive Boardroom

Drop the Playbook – Keep Your Performance Strategy Simple and Human

Diane Antishin headshot

Diane Antishin

VP, HR Operations and Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer

DTE Energy

Kiersten Robinson headshot

Kiersten Robinson

Group VP and Chief Human Resources Officer

Ford Motor Company

Rob Schmitter headshot

Rob Schmitter

Solutions Architect


The state of the workplace – with a focus on teams and new employee expectations – requires a total reimagining of the way organizations develop their people. The emphasis is on the employee experience with a shift away from bureaucracy toward more transparency and trust. In this session, Globoforce will lead a discussion and share actionable steps to develop a softer, more human approach to employee performance.

Specifically, we’ll examine:

  • How the shift to team-based work is changing how we motivate and develop people
  • Why positivity is so essential to build a culture of trust and openness to all feedback
  • The power of real-time feedback for managers and peers
  • A multi-pronged approach to changing performance management, including training and communication needs

1:20pm - 2:10pm  Executive Boardroom

Retaining Talent to Drive the Business Forward

Lynne Feldpausch headshot

Lynne Feldpausch

EVP, Chief Administrative Officer

Michigan Economic Development Corporation

Michael Hill headshot

Michael Hill

Director of Human Resources

College for Creative Studies

With the high demand of talent workforce retention must be a priority so top talent is not lost. Join this session to discuss retention strategies CHROs have in place to keep sought after talent in place.

Join this boardroom session and discuss:

  • Explore leadership development strategies to retain top talent
  • Discover new policies and benefits organizations are implementing
  • Discuss out-of-the-box retention strategies

Executive boardrooms are intimate and interactive sessions designed to foster dynamic dialogue around a specific, strategic topic. These private, closed-door discussions encourage attendee participation and are limited to 15 attendees (seating priority is given to CHROs).

November 15, 2018 - afternoon

2:10pm - 2:30pm  Networking Break

2:30pm - 3:20pm  Breakout Session

Systemic Redemption– Untapped Talent in Today’s Economy

Elizabeth Bernhard headshot

Elizabeth Bernhard

Director of Engagement and Academies

Urban Alliance

Luke Kujacznski headshot

Luke Kujacznski

Executive Director

Urban Alliance

The demand for talent is top of mind for many CHROs, but is there truly a talent shortage? By examining new approaches to hiring practices, applicants often marginalized can provide a deeper pool of talent.

In this session you will:

  • Examine how to develop a new labor pool by challenging aversions to risk in hiring pools
  • Engage in organizational change by confronting bias in hiring and retention efforts

2:30pm - 3:20pm  Executive Boardroom

Enhancing the Employee Experience through Digitalization

Aaron Gillingham headshot

Aaron Gillingham

Senior Vice President & Chief Human Resources Officer

Beaumont Health

Mary Beth Zick headshot

Mary Beth Zick

Chief People Officer

Gordon Food Service

Tracey Racette Fritcher headshot

Tracey Racette Fritcher

Global Director, HR Transformation Practice


With every interaction — from onboarding new personnel to rolling out the latest system updates — HR executives have an opportunity to deliver an exceptional employee experience. By leveraging fresh tools and enabling cutting-edge technologies, organizations can save time, eliminate error and even generate revenue, all while positioning themselves as employers of choice.

Join this boardroom session and discuss:

  • Leveraging advancements in the consumer world to improve the employee experience
  • Ensuring employees have more direct access to information and support
  • Using technology to build truly meaningful impact on employees’ service experiences

Executive boardrooms are intimate and interactive sessions designed to foster dynamic dialogue around a specific, strategic topic. These private, closed-door discussions encourage attendee participation and are limited to 15 attendees (seating priority is given to CHROs).

2:30pm - 3:20pm  Executive Boardroom

Addressing Harassment as a Workplace Hazard

Valerie Blanchett headshot

Valerie Blanchett

VP, Human Resources

The Andersons

Terry Merritt headshot

Terry Merritt

SVP, Human Resources


Harassment is a workplace health and safety hazard. When companies correctly identify it as such, they can make the messaging and training to address the issue an imperative. Prior to the #metoo social movement, companies explained the rights and responsibilities of all employees but — now more than ever — it is important to create an environment that welcomes an open a dialogue. In this session, talk with HR peers to learn what tools and strategies can help establish a healthy, safe and engaged workplace. Come prepared for an interactive conversation on best practices and fresh ideas for keeping your action plan up-to-date.

3:20pm - 3:40pm  Networking Break

3:40pm - 4:20pm  Keynote

Adaptive Space—How GM is Disrupting to Transform

Michael Arena headshot

Michael Arena

Chief Talent Officer

General Motors

To edge out the competition in today’s disruptive environment, you need to ensure that your company is agile―that it can respond to change instantly and effectively. Because fast and furious change is the only thing you can count on in business today.

In the session you will:

  • Explore how network roles can impact how quickly someone develops in an organization
  • Dive into the value of social capital

4:20pm - 5:00pm  Closing Reception & Prize Drawing


Venue & Accommodation

The Cobo Center

Your Community Partners

National Thought Leaders
National Sponsors
Local Sponsors

Detroit CHRO Program Manager

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

Alec Christensen