Southern California CHRO Executive Summit

December 7, 2023 | Renaissance Long Beach Hotel

December 7, 2023
Renaissance Long Beach Hotel

Collaborate with your peers

Get together with Southern California'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:

Developing empathetic leaders for the new world of work

Fostering resiliency while supporting the workforce through change

Identifying, growing and retaining employees with the skills your business requires

Southern California CHRO Governing Body

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

Governing Body Co-Chairs

Dina Barmasse-Gray

The Cheesecake Factory
Chief People Officer

Deborah Cegielski

Cubic Corporation

Kari Durham

SVP, Human Resources

Samantha Khoury

Los Angeles Lakers
VP, Human Resources

Grace Lee

EVP Chief Human Resources and Diversity Officer

Ross Pollack

LionsGate Entertainment

Tracy Ting

Encore Capital Group

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 Southern California 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.


December 6, 2023

December 7, 2023

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

Governing Body Welcome Reception

Governing Body members host this dinner for attendees to launch the event with an evening of peer networking. Will also include a fun service activity to help children in foster care release their inner superhero! The box kit will be provided for attendees to decorate superhero items that are donated to children in foster care nationwide.

7:45am - 8:30am  Registration & Breakfast

8:30am - 9:15am  Keynote

Executive Presence for Lasting Leadership

Chris Ulrich headshot

Chris Ulrich

Body Language Expert & Political Consultant

Guest Speaker


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. 

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

9:15am - 9:40am  Networking Break

9:40am - 10:25am  Breakout Session

HR Playbook — Culture & Leadership Development

Samantha Khoury headshot

Samantha Khoury

VP, Human Resources

Los Angeles Lakers

Shaun Mayo headshot

Shaun Mayo

Chief People Officer

Arizona Cardinals

 Not every HR leader has the opportunity to build a human resources department from the ground up. The heads of HR with the Arizona Cardinals and Los Angeles Lakers were given a blank slate to create HR strategy, develop stretch opportunities for high potential employees and create a winning culture.

Join Samantha and Shaun for a session aligning organizational culture and leadership development as they discuss:

  • Defining behaviors of success within your organization
  • Utilizing assessments to create career paths and leadership pipelines
  • Taking advantage of external learning and development programs

9:40am - 10:25am  Executive Boardroom

Unwinding the Maze of Employee Experience

Matthew Bragstad headshot

Matthew Bragstad

VP, Strategy, Vision, Storytelling, Evangelism


Ellen Sheehan headshot

Ellen Sheehan

Executive Director, HARRT

UCLA Anderson School of Management

Glenn Grindstaff headshot

Glenn Grindstaff


OSI Systems

Since 2020, employers have increased spending on employee programs by 20% — giving them more choice, more flexibility, more tools, more technology, more data and more systems. However, utilization of these programs is under 10% on average, and only 52% of employees say they have a good understanding of their total rewards.

This boardroom will explore:

• The role of HR transformation in attracting and retaining talent, while fostering engagement and holistic wellbeing

• Strategies for optimizing total rewards programs and benefits offerings

• How to help employees live healthy, financially secure lives with a simplified, AI-driven employee experience

9:40am - 10:25am  Executive Boardroom

Creating a Safe Space for Wellbeing

Tasmin Plater headshot

Tasmin Plater

SVP, Global Head of Human Resources

Fifth Season

Patricia Grabarek headshot

Patricia Grabarek

Head of People Research

Intuitive Surgical

Health and comprehensive wellbeing benefits have never been more important to the workforce as they are today. Many organizations have enhanced benefits programs to be more aligned with the needs of employees. But as we look forward, what does the future of health and wellness benefits entail? 

Join this session as HR leaders discuss:

  • Initiatives to start, halt and continue for 2024 and beyond

  • Trends in health and wellbeing solutions — what works and what does not?

  • Strategies to support health and wellbeing holistically and consistently

10:25am - 11:00am  Networking Break

10:30am - 10:55am  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.

11:00am - 11:45am  Breakout Session

Targeted Recruitment and Onboarding for Retention

Lisa Garrett headshot

Lisa Garrett

Director of Personnel

Los Angeles County, CA

Víctor Úbeda headshot

Víctor Úbeda

Global Vice President Human Resources


Dina Barmasse-Gray headshot

Dina Barmasse-Gray

Chief People Officer

The Cheesecake Factory

Organizations’ ability to survive, adapt and grow in this environment hinge on recruiting high-quality talent and successfully onboarding them. A 2022 Gartner Candidate Survey found that 77% of new hires with high onboarding satisfaction say they can see themselves having a long career at the organization. But there are many different paths to a successful recruitment and onboarding program.

 Join this breakout session as speakers discuss:

  • Streamlining onboarding through virtual and mixed reality solutions
  • Creating processes and efficiencies for hiring for varying job types
  • Managing high turnover and continuous onboarding

11:00am - 11:45am  Executive Boardroom

HR at a Crossroads

Paul Rubenstein headshot

Paul Rubenstein

Chief Customer Officer


Kari Durham headshot

Kari Durham

SVP, Human Resources


Tracy Ting headshot

Tracy Ting


Encore Capital Group

HR has been in a perennial state of transformation for decades. Why, then, does it seem like the function is as far away as ever from the business?

This session will explore:

  • An outside-in approach to thinking
  • Using people data and business data to elevate the decisions around talent
  • Approaches to delivery of business results

11:00am - 11:45am  Executive Boardroom

Reframing EVP for the Modern Employee

Michael Adamson headshot

Michael Adamson

VP, Global HR Operations


Ellen Goldsmith headshot

Ellen Goldsmith

Chief People Officer

Deluxe Media

Michele Hoff headshot

Michele Hoff

VP, Human Resources, Americas

Epson America

When the world was turned on its head, so were the ways in which employees work, live and feel. Gartner research shows 83% of candidates will exit the hiring process due to at least one mismatch in EVP preferences and 64% would accept a job with more growth opportunities or better work-life balance over a job with higher pay

In this session, CHROs will discuss:

  • Building a people-centric EVP that focuses on the whole person through a global and local perspective

  • Making EVP more adaptive to individual needs

  • Using EVP to reframe workforce strategy and act on critical gaps 

11:45am - 12:30pm  Lunch Service

12:30pm - 1:05pm  Keynote

HR Gamechanger: Utilizing AI for Hiring

Sean Behr headshot

Sean Behr



CHROs can utilize AI to help future candidates have a personalized application process by answering questions during the hiring phase. As CHROs continue to look for ways to leverage AI they can also begin automating screening and qualifying candidates faster and casting a wider net. Join this keynote session to learn how CHROs can use conversational AI to:

  • Keep top talent moving through the pipeline
  • Increase applicant volume and recruiter productivity
  • Create less wait-time for candidates in-between application phases

1:05pm - 1:30pm  Break

1:30pm - 2:15pm  Breakout Session

AI and Your Workforce: Hype Versus Reality

Emily Rose McRae headshot

Emily Rose McRae

Sr Director Analyst


HR leaders expect Generative AI to impact nearly 40% of roles within five years. With AI being deployed broadly, what does this mean for your workforce? Whether you are just beginning or further down the road, join this session with a Gartner Senior Director Analyst to learn:

  • AI terminology and tools
  • The myths and realities around generative AI
  • How to prepare your workforce for AI and emerging technologies

1:30pm - 2:15pm  Executive Boardroom

Thinking Win-Win in the Competition for Talent

Jonathan Rydberg headshot

Jonathan Rydberg

VP of Enterprise Partnerships

Strategic Education

Grace Lee headshot

Grace Lee

EVP Chief Human Resources and Diversity Officer


Chris Courneen headshot

Chris Courneen

Vice President, Global Head of HR

MSI Surfaces

Competition for quality talent is still fierce, and it is more important than ever for organizations to invest in learning, development and career pathway opportunities to retain the very best people.

Join this session to discuss:

  • Investing in internal development of employees
  • Leveraging career pathways and learning opportunities to attract and retain talent
  • Implementing innovative learning practices to ensure equity of experience

1:30pm - 2:15pm  Executive Boardroom

Strategic Leadership Development That Unlocks the Potential of Your People and Organization

Jim Hazboun headshot

Jim Hazboun


ITS Logistics

Melinda Kimbro headshot

Melinda Kimbro

Chief People Officer

Alignment Health

Keegan Walden headshot

Keegan Walden

Co-founder and Advisor

Today’s leaders face lofty expectations and a changing set of skills necessary to be successful. They are expected to build healthy team cultures remotely, understand the nuances of inclusive leadership, manage high levels of ambiguity, and the list goes on. To meet this moment, how can CHROs support their business and their people by developing leaders at all levels without overburdening them?

Join this session to discuss:

  • The leadership skills gaps at your organization
  • What a modern leadership development strategy looks like
  • Demonstrating the impact of your programs–on individuals, teams, and the organization

2:15pm - 3:00pm  Networking Break

2:20pm - 2:45pm  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.

2:50pm - 3:25pm  Keynote

Anchoring to Your Vision During Uncertain Times

Stacy Green headshot

Stacy Green

EVP, Chief People Officer

Sony Pictures Entertainment

 Employee expectations are higher than ever and as HR leaders, there's an opportunity to provide the support employees are seeking. Setting a clear vision, and objectives anchored to that vision, makes inclusive and strategic decision making, consistent messaging, and impactful communications possible.

Join Stacy Green, EVP & Chief People Officer at Sony Pictures Entertainment, to discuss:

  • Fostering an inclusive and compelling culture where employees can thrive
  • Acting as a valued and vital business partner in developing and executing against business strategies and objectives
  • Focusing on attracting, engaging and retaining top talent

3:25pm - 4:00pm  Closing Reception & Prize Drawing

December 6, 2023

December 7, 2023

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

Evanta cares about the health and safety of our community. Please review the following recommendations prior to attending the gathering.


Venue & Accommodation

Renaissance Long Beach Hotel

A block of rooms has been reserved at the Renaissance Long Beach Hotel at a reduced conference rate. Reservations should be made online or by calling 1-800-468-3571. Please mention Evanta SoCal Executive Summit to ensure the appropriate room rate.

Deadline to book using the discounted room rate of $231 USD (plus tax) is November 13, 2023.

Your Community Partners

Key Partners
Program Partners

Community Program Manager

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

Natalia Klein

Community Program Manager

239 839 8616