Minneapolis CHRO Virtual Executive Summit

May 12, 2021 | 8:00am - 3:00pm CDT

May 12, 2021 | 8:00am - 3:00pm CDT


Collaborate with your peers

Come together with your peers virtually to tackle top business challenges through peer-driven content and discussions at the Minneapolis CHRO Virtual Executive Summit.

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

The intersection between mental health, well-being, employee engagement and talent retention

Building and growing a culture of diversity, equity and inclusion

Leadership development, upskilling the workforce and the future of work


Ismat Aziz

Kemper Corporation
CHRO & Chief Administrative Officer

Patience Ferguson

City of Minneapolis
Chief Human Resources Officer

Melissa Kremer

EVP and Chief Human Resources Officer

Laurie Marsh

EVP, Human Resources

Carol Surface, Ph.D.

Chief Human Resources Officer


May 12, 2021

8:00am - 8:45am CDT Virtual Summit Keynote

Creating a Learning Culture Through Upskilling Your Workforce

Julie Dervin headshot

Julie Dervin

Global Head of Corporate Learning & Development


Kelly Palmer headshot

Kelly Palmer

Chief Learning Officer


When companies invest in upskilling strategies, they align employees’ skills to their company’s evolving business strategy. The journey starts with creating a learning culture and setting a strong foundation of helping your employees develop and build skills for the future.

In this session, you will explore:

  • How to identify and fill skills gaps
  • The importance of helping your workforce stay competitive
  • Building a solid foundation for learning and what’s next on the upskilling journey

8:45am - 9:00am CDT Break

9:00am - 10:00am CDT Virtual Summit Boardroom

Enhancing the Approach to DE&I

Cecilia Stanton Adams headshot

Cecilia Stanton Adams

Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer


Ann Anaya headshot

Ann Anaya

Chief Diversity Officer


Throughout 2020, DE&I programs flourished. But to sustain these efforts, leadership must continue to partner across the C-suite and take a thoughtful approach to addressing important endeavors like supporting social justice causes and increasing diversity in all levels of the organization. As DE&I programs remain a top priority, how should HR leaders ensure they stay relevant and forward-thinking?

Join this session as HR leaders discuss:

  • Strategies to meet the aspirational goals of a robust DE&I program

  • Methods of communicating and demonstrating commitment to your workforce

  • The future of DE&I programs and trends in supporting social justice causes 

9:00am - 10:00am CDT Virtual Summit Boardroom

Avoid Burnout, Maintain Engagement— Maximizing Employee Wellbeing

Chad Bennett headshot

Chad Bennett

Sr. People Science Consultant


Sheila Kramer headshot

Sheila Kramer

VP, Human Resources


Despite the odds, employees were happier at work by the end of 2020 than they were at the end of 2019, even though burnout continues to rise —with some employees and industries experiencing a tighter squeeze than others. Maintaining an engaged workforce through 2021 and beyond requires insight into employee sentiment and a distinct strategy to execute across all levels of leadership.

Join this session as HR leaders discuss:

  • Understanding the precursors to burnout and how to address them
  • Fostering a community of support, focus and refuge at work
  • Methods to equip employees to navigate change and mitigate fatigue

9:00am - 10:00am CDT Virtual Summit Boardroom

Optimizing Engagement — Innovating the Employee Lifecycle

Dimitri Boylan headshot

Dimitri Boylan

CEO & Founder


The pandemic, social justice movements and economic strain have increased pressure on the enterprise to evolve and enhance the employee experience. In order to adapt, CHROs should evaluate the employee lifecycle from end to end to retain talent, grow culture and build engagement.

Join this session as HR leaders discuss ways to:

  • Provide a unique and personalized onboarding experience in remote and hybrid work environments
  • Generate internal mobility, empowering employees to grow their skills
  • Create opportunities for connectivity and team building

10:00am - 10:45am CDT Virtual Summit Keynote

Enhancing Behavioral Health Through Digital Engagement

Ruth Hafoka Gutierrez headshot

Ruth Hafoka Gutierrez

SVP, Chief Human Resources Officer

BlueCross BlueShield of Minnesota

Digital engagement has measurably accelerated, as people and businesses adapt to a new way of working. Maintaining engagement and promoting behavioral health are top priorities for HR leaders as the population navigates work of the future. How are employers following these trends to promote behavioral health and build resilience through digital platforms?

Join this virtual keynote presentation to learn:

  • Benefits of building resilience and supporting healthy habits for the workforce
  • Emerging trends in digital engagement and behavioral health initiatives
  • Strategies to promote health and well-being, and foster engagement

10:45am - 11:00am CDT Break

11:00am - 12:00pm CDT Virtual Summit Boardroom

Unlocking Workforce Responsiveness Through Organizational Design

Elcio Barcelos headshot

Elcio Barcelos


US Bank

Erin Feigal headshot

Erin Feigal

SVP & Chief Human Resources Officer

Prime Therapeutics

Change management has taken on a new meaning as organizations navigate unprecedented change and an uncertain future. Flexibility and adaptability have become even more critical, and maintaining an engaged workforce is an ongoing challenge. How are HR leaders shaping the direction of the organization and ensuring the workforce is responsive, engaged and productive?

Join this session as HR leaders discuss:

  • How to equip employees to handle change
  • Methods of reducing friction when implementing new work flows
  • Trends in organizational re-design and execution

11:00am - 12:00pm CDT Virtual Summit Boardroom

Adapting to the New Reality of Leadership

Leadership is a skill that needs to be honed, whether leading the C-suite or in an entry-level role. With more than 90% of HR leaders looking to implement a hybrid work model, what’s the best way to adapt to the new work environment in a sustainable way?

Join this session as HR leaders discuss:

  • Fostering leadership development and team connection

  • Challenges in leadership with a hybrid workforce

  • Strategies to ensure culture and connection are in place across all teams

11:00am - 12:00pm CDT Virtual Summit Boardroom

The CHRO Network — Fostering Mentorship and Connection

Deborah LaMere headshot

Deborah LaMere

VP, Human Resources


Connie Wanberg headshot

Connie Wanberg

Professor and Industrial Relations Faculty Excellence Chair - Department of Work and Organizations

University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management, Dept of Information and Decision Sciences

Leading a team through a global pandemic, economic uncertainty and societal unrest requires leaders to be in tune to the needs of their team in order to best support them. But burnout is increasing among HR professionals as the world of work continues to change. How can CHROs network, connect and support one another to combat burnout and create lasting professional relationships.

Join this virtual boardroom to discuss:

  • Ways to expand your professional network and establish new connections
  • Strategies to reduce burnout and practice self-care
  • The importance of leading through example; prioritizing wellness and empathy

12:00pm - 12:45pm CDT Virtual Summit Keynote

From Recruitment to Retention — HR's Guide to Talent of the Future

Kevin Crain headshot

Kevin Crain

Managing Director, Head of Workplace Solutions Integration

Bank of America

Talent is a resource, and with a changing work environment, expectations from the workforce and needs of organizations may not be in sync. Understanding the challenges employees face and what is most important to them is critical to attracting talent. Focusing on employee wellbeing and a conscious effort in engagement is key to retaining talent. How can HR work on both strategies in tandem to find, onboard and retain top talent.

Join this virtual keynote as HR leaders discuss:

  • Trends in expectations from the workforce
  • Strategies to attract and retain top talent
  • The future of talent strategy

12:45pm - 1:15pm CDT Networking

Meet the Speakers

Don't miss this opportunity to meet with CHRO practitioners and industry thought leaders who shared their insights on the agenda. Come with questions and get ready to meet new friends in this casual session designed to foster peer connections and collaboration in the Minneapolis community. 

1:15pm - 1:30pm CDT Break

1:30pm - 3:00pm CDT Virtual Peer-to-Peer Meetings

Peer Meetings

Meet virtually for in-depth conversations with your colleagues


Your Community Partners

Academic Host Partner
CHRO Thought Leader
Program Partners

Minneapolis CHRO Program Manager

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

Allie Jacobius

Program Manager