Concurrent Sessions

Monday, October 19, 2015 -10:15 A.M. - 11:45 A.M.

Session Title:The Hidden Treasures of Small and Mid-Size Companies: Finding Opportunity in the Unlikeliest Place

Presenter: Melon Yeshoalul, Vice President, Human Resources, The Wills Group
Melon Yeshoalul, Vice President, Human Resources for The Wills Group, will share her experience of going from a Fortune 100 company to a small, family run business where HR’s role had been more administrative than strategic.  Yeshoalul will discuss partnering with the CEO to create a succession management plan, develop the next generation of leaders, and create an employer value proposition that ensures and supports the organization’s long-term growth strategy. 

Session Title: Small Business, Big Impact: How HR Used Big Business Strategy to Impact Growth and Transformation

Presenter: Elizabeth Berman, VP People Strategy & Operations, Vevo
Conventional wisdom says there's no room for a large enterprise HR strategy in small business where agility and execution is king.  Elizabeth Berman, VP People Strategy & Operations at Vevo, the world’s leading premium music video and entertainment platform, will share how the right HR strategy can play a pivotal role in helping a small business grow, while providing a scalable foundation for a smooth transition to becoming a successful large enterprise. Join Elizabeth for an interactive discussion on how she’s building a winning HR practice through combining best practices from her big business experience at Macy's, Nike and Estée Lauder with a technology-friendly culture of speed, innovation and flexibility that meets the demands of a growing bi-coastal Silicon Valley/Alley workforce.

Session Title: Need for Speed: Driving Rapid Transformation

Presenter: Lynn Clark, CHRO, Colfax Corporation

About This Session: In this session, Lynn Clark, CHRO for Colfax Corporation, a public, global industrial company, will share the strategy and actions co-developed and led with the CEO to successfully increase leadership capacity and improve talent quality. Together, they developed and embedded contemporary talent practice in a differential way, then drove adoption from the top down with speed, holding leaders accountable for a relentless focus on talent equally with operating performance.

Monday, October 19, 2015 - 3:00 P.M. - 4:30 P.M.

Session Title: Playing to Win…Accelerating Business Transformation by Unleashing Your Organization’s Full Potential

Presenter: Monique R. Herena, Senior Executive Vice President of BNY Mellon
About This Session: Monique R. Herena, Senior Executive Vice President of BNY Mellon, overseeing Marketing and Corporate Affairs, and the company’s Chief Human Resources Officer, will discuss her experiences and insights over the last 18 months in this role. Monique’s mission is to deliver a holistic people investment strategy that stems from business imperatives to unleash the organization’s full potential to win for all stakeholders. As business models are disrupted and stakeholder demands sometimes conflicted, what made the organization successful in the past may not lead to success in the future. Discover how a clear transformation plan – using an integrated approach with all stakeholders – results in winning. Monique will talk about finding purpose in financial services and transforming a culture to drive greater levels of performance. She will touch on the creation of a refreshed people and business strategy, developed in close partnership with the CEO and management team, and a From-To model for organization and HR transformation that makes talent a competitive advantage.

Session Title: Leaders, Strategy, Culture, Change and Transformative Growth:  Lessons from the World of M&A


  • Steve Steckler, Head of Transformation Management and HR M&A, Corporate, EMD Millipore
  • Liz Huldin, SVP, Human Resources, Gates Corporation
  • Mary Cianni, Ph.D., Global Leader, M&A Services, Towers Watson

About This Session: During dynamic periods of change, leaders must become adept at strategically and operationally leading their organizations and employees through complex changes; they are expected to make the right choices and key decisions. Even with the “right” decisions, winning hearts, minds and attention spans can often be a long shot. Business and human resources leaders alike both talk about how M&A work has acted as a singular accelerant to their business learning.  In this session, three seasoned M&A practitioners will discuss the learnings from M&A and how HR leaders can apply these lessons to impact organizational growth and transformation.

Session Title: What Brain Science Teaches Us About Organizational Transformation: Epigenetics, DNA and Executive Leadership


  • Miles Overholt, Principal, Riverton Consulting
  • Al Vicere, Executive Education Professor of Strategic Leadership, Pennsylvania State University

About This Session: In our era of uncertainty, organizations need to make abrupt, radical strategic and tactical shifts while ensuring a strong and healthy culture. Whether the shift is a new approach in a market, integrating an acquisition or rebranding a division, rapid and agile change is a must. No matter the complexity of the change, ensuring seamless execution and customer touch is essential. How many times have we watched a company attempt to make a significant change and have no idea how to execute it?

What are the causes of this failure and how do we avoid it? The new brain science teaches us that as individuals, not only can we rapidly adapt to new environments, we also can change our very core, our DNA, to adjust and thrive in these environments. To change this rapidly, individuals must change how they think, how they behave and how they go about their daily lives. When we do this, our brain chemistry changes to support this new way of behaving.

Organizations need to learn to change in the same way. Organizational transformation does not happen by communicating to the staff what will be changing. Organizational transformation does occur when the organization changes with employee collaboration at all levels. Collaboration changes employees’ brain chemistry and thought processes as well as the organization’s DNA, its mindsets, behaviors and processes.

When organizations approach change in this manner, then they change their DNA, their deep rooted beliefs, behaviors and processes. Changing the organization’s DNA produces longer lasting change as well as creating future agility to change. Understanding your organization’s DNA, how it interacts with the internal and external environment, is a critical skill and knowledge base in turbulent times. It is the organizational equivalent of human epigenetics (the study of how human genes interact with their environment).

This concurrent session is run as a learning lab in which participants join a team to develop a change strategy and plan for a division of a large construction company. Each division operates in a distinct market and faces unique problems. Each team will design key pieces of their division to maximize performance, to plan specific interventions, and to share with their work with the whole group.

Specific learning outcomes for this session are:

  • How to align your organization’s DNA with its strategies, thereby creating interventions that change organization wide beliefs, processes and behaviors.
  • How to create more precise interventions to drive change and performance.
  • How to reduce unintentional consequences as you drive change.
  • How changing organizational DNA changes individual’s DNA and creates a more engaged workforce.