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|2019 Conference Speaker Bios|
Conference Speaker Biographies
Joe Gerstandt & Jason Lauritsen, Talent Anarchy
JOE GERSTANDT Joe is the sage consultant. He’s a middle-aged white guy who is a national thought leader on issues of diversity and inclusion — need we say more? He brings a unique and powerful perspective to everything he does. The core of Joe’s work is to help organizations solve issues of diversity, culture and innovation through consulting, training and speaking. Listening to Joe speak, you will hear tales of his days as a U.S. Marine and Gulf War veteran blended with his experience in sales, education, and community-building. To say that Joe is intense and passionate about his work would be an understatement. He is one part professor, one part philosopher and one part “not quite right.” Be prepared.
JASON LAURITSEN Jason is the reformed corporate guy. For nearly a decade, he spent his days in the belly of the beast as a corporate Human Resources leader where he drove change from the inside. Today, he consults with organizations to help them make sense of employee engagement. A born innovator, Jason has been making change happen since his grade school years. Classically impatient, curious and well-groomed, Jason’s early career was a rapid progression of sales and management roles including launching, leading and ultimately selling a small business in his mid-twenties. He’s a leader, sales guy, entrepreneur and corporate executive — all rolled up in one.
Theresa Rose, Business Keynote Speaker
Karith Foster, Speaker, Humorist, and Author
Successfully combining a clean, sweet Southern comedy style with keen New York savvy, Karith Foster offers a unique, refreshing look at life in general and now – marriage new motherhood. Using her disarming wit and a keen understanding of our shared experiences, Karith engages her listeners in matters ranging from diversity and bullying to intense life changes and everyday relationships. Drawing from her extensive travels and experience in the corporate and entertainment worlds, Karith uses humor to accentuate the positive and inspire her audience.
Learning Session Speakers
Jason Treu (Troy) is an executive coach. He spent 15+ years working in leadership positions in Silicon Valley working with leaders like Steve Jobs, Reed Hastings (CEO at Netflix), Mark Cuban, and Mark Hurd (CEO at HP). He's the best-selling author of Social Wealth, a how-to-guide on building extraordinary business relationships, that's sold more than 50,000 copies. He was a featured speaker at 2017 TEDxWilmington. His breakthrough team building game Cards Against Mundanity is being used in leading companies such as Amazon, E&Y, Google, Microsoft, Oracle, and PRSA. He has his law degree and master's in communications from Syracuse University.
Jordan Birnbaum has been with ADP since 2015, as VP and Chief Behavioral Economist, directing the application of behavioral economics principles into new product development in the human capital management market. Prior ADP, Jordan was owner / operator of The Vanguard in Los Angeles, a hybrid media and live music venue, employing more than 150 people for a decade. He was a founding employee and Senior Vice President of Juno Online Services, playing a key role in an IPO. Jordan graduated from Cornell University with a BS, Policy Analysis, and from NYU with an MA in Industrial / Organizational Psychology.
Rosalynn Verges, Fabric Co-Founder & CEO Rosalynn Verges is co-founder and CEO of Fabric, a Minneapolis-based business obsessed with company culture and leadership development. Rosalynn's 10-plus years as a certified Professional in Human Resources, with masters-level training from the University of South Dakota in organizational and leadership development, have given her valuable insight on what it takes to strategically create great places to work. She is an ELI-certified Train-the-Trainer who has worked with Fortune 500 companies as well as privately held SMB's. Rosalynn is passion about developing culture-focused organizations and helping leaders reach their full potential.
Zac is a results-oriented Talent Acquisition Leader with extensive experience in employee development, and broad knowledge in international recruiting, recruitment branding/marketing, and innovative talent sourcing techniques. Zac is also a driven thought leader in the field of Artificial Intelligence. You can read his blog Machines Learning to discover how A.I. is changing the way we work at an incredible pace.
Sara Taylor, President and Founder of deepSEE Consulting, has twenty-five years of extensive training and consulting experience serving local, national and global clients. While her areas of specialty are in both Diversity and Leadership Development, Sara has become a thought leader particularly in the field of Cultural Competence. Her bestselling book, Filter Shift: How Effective People SEE the World, is used by numerous individuals and organizations to increase success and create greater effectiveness. Sara holds a Master's degree in Diversity and Organizational Development and, prior to founding deepSEE, held positions such as Chief Diversity Officer and Leadership and Diversity Specialist.
Anne Phibbs, PhD is Founder and President of Strategic Diversity Initiatives and brings over 25 years' experience helping organizations advance their equity, diversity, and inclusion goals. Anne has extensive experience in training, teaching, curriculum development, and training of trainers, and has delivered workshops and classes to participants in corporate, government, higher education, nonprofit, healthcare, and faith community settings. Anne served as GLBT Student Services Director at Metropolitan State University, and at the University of Minnesota she served as Director of the GLBTA Programs Office and Director of Education in the Office for Equity and Diversity. Anne built a successful diversity and inclusion leadership program at the University of Minnesota, with a focus on emotional intelligence (EI), and she is an EI Practitioner certified in the EQ-i2.0 and EQ360 method. Anne earned her PhD in Philosophy and Feminist Studies from the University of Minnesota and lives in Minneapolis.
Beth provides consulting to clients regarding the design, implementation and evaluation of worksite wellbeing programs. She provides guidance regarding incentive program design, strategy and implementation as it pertains to employee benefits and benefit plan design. She assists clients with data analysis, business planning, vendor selection and helps with internal professional development in areas related to worksite wellbeing. She has spent significant time as a presenter on a variety of wellbeing topics.
Strategic Advisor to Executives and Leadership Teams, Family Business Consulting, Executive Coach, Public Speaker. Following his degree in business and after a successful 20 year executive leadership and human resources career culminating at Baird as CHRO, Steve left to build Ovation Leadership in 2001. Steve is active as a Trusted Leadership Advisor in Mission/Visioning for Sustainable Growth, Strategic Planning, Succession Planning, Family Business Dynamics, Organizational Assessment, Business Acumen and Processes, Leadership Teams, People Strategies, Conflict Resolution, Organizational Communication, Employee Engagement & Development. Steve has served on the boards of several private, public and charitable organizations.
Daniel J. Stewart is a sought-after talent management and leadership development consultant and coach with over 15 years of proven experience leading change and building leadership-rich organizations. Daniel is president of Stewart Leadership's consulting practice, which specializes in talent and team development solutions, executive coaching, change management, organizational design, and strategic planning. Daniel is co-author of the award-winning book, LEAD NOW! A Personal Leadership Coaching Guide for Results-Driven Leaders, which was awarded first place by the National Indie Excellence Book Award for best leadership book. Daniel has an MA degree in organizational communication and development and BA in international relations.
Jennifer Huber is the Market Director of Dale Carnegie Training in the North Central US. In her role, Jennifer acts as the firm's conduit for large project conversion and uncovering new business development and marketing opportunities. She formerly managed the Dale Carnegie client development team as well as oversees all public programming and community relationships. As a brand advocate and supporter of internal and external clients, Jennifer partners with clients in multiple areas. Jennifer started with Dale Carnegie in Chicago. In both markets, she won National Sales Awards and was a top 10 sales manager worldwide for Dale Carnegie Training.
Mike Scott is the General Manager and Executive Vice President of Dale Carnegie Training in the North Central US. Mike is a Dale Carnegie master trainer and addresses a variety of mission-critical leadership and development needs for the firm's Fortune 500 clients. His areas of expertise include workplace collaboration, leadership without authority and in cross-functional/matrix organizations, HR/business alignment, organizational redesign and change readiness. Mike is adept at training needs analysis, talent management, leadership presence training, employee engagement, executive coaching, and presentation skills development. Mike's has earned a National Sales Award twice, top 5 Sales Manager Award and is ranked among the top 35 trainers in North America.
Sarah Waite, Blue Cross
Sarah Waite is the Sr Director of HR for the Blue Plan Business at Blue Cross, helping to invent how we deliver healthcare and culture. Sarah has over 25 years of HR experience in a number of different HR functions and industries including Abra, G&K Services, Medtronic, and Target. She speaks regularly in HR forums including TCSHRM, Disrupt HR, and ERE. Sarah also co-teaches an undergraduate HR course at St. Thomas. She also authors the blog "The Business of Talent."
Patricia Jesperson, Spectra Diversity
Patricia Jesperson has a career steeped in providing a broad range of talent management and communication solutions to the C-Suite and Human Resourc Professionals. Anchored in Diversity and Inclusion and Total Rewards, Patrica brings to Spectra Diversity her experience of working with ProGroup (now KornFerry), a national leader in Diversity and Inclusion services, and most recently with the international consulting of Arthur J.Gallagher.
Angela Lurie, Robert Half
Angela Lurie is a senior regional vice president of Robert Half in the Twin Cities. In this role, she oversees multiple lines of business, including Accountemps, OfficeTeam, Robert Half Finance & Accounting and Robert Half Management Resources in Iowa, Minnesota and Nebraska. Her teams are currently ranked among the top sales teams in the world, company-wide.
Angela has more than 19 years of experience in the staffing industry. She began her career with Robert Half Management Resources in Minneapolis as a client service director. Since that time, Angela has held numerous leadership roles, including division director and regional vice president. Prior to her staffing career, Angela was a senior auditor at KPMG LLP.
Angela is currently a Steering Committee member of the CFO Leadership Council in Minneapolis. She is also a member of TeamWomenMN and actively mentors emerging female leaders. Angela is an active member and former board member of the Minneapolis chapter of Financial Executives Institute (FEI). In 2017, Angela was named one of the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal’s 2017 Women in Business honorees. She has also received multiple internal awards for her leadership, dedication, outstanding efforts and achievements.
Angela is a certified public accountant (CPA). She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and her MBA from the University of Minnesota.
Toni Quist, Perkins & Marie Callender’s, LLC
Toni Quist is a 42-year veteran of the Company and currently leads and oversees the Human Resources, Training, Operations Services, Supply Chain and Risk Management departments of the organization. She is responsible for driving effectiveness and strategy in talent acquisition and development, leadership, strategic benefits design and delivery, succession planning and employment branding efforts. Toni maintains active leadership roles in CHART, the Women’s Foodservice Forum, and the National Restaurant Association. She was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Foodservice by the North American Association of Foodservice Manufacturers (NAFEM) in 2001. Quist is more passionate than ever about helping people understand their strengths and providing opportunities for continued growth and success for individual team members, the company and the industry.