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2023 conference Speakers

(Click the Speaker's Name to View Full Biography. Speakers Subject to Change)

Keynote Speakers


Gregory Offner

Founder & CEO - Global Performance



Aileen Bennett

Roving Creative Director | Idea Thinker-Upper

Brand Experience Consultant


Sophia Nelson

Columnist & Best-Selling Author

Concurrent Session Speakers

Master of Ceremonies


Speaker Biographies


KEYNOTES

Gergory Offner - Founder & CEO - Global Performance

Sessions:  The Performance Agreement: Creating a Culture of Highly Fulfilled, High-Performing People and The Performer's Process

Gregory Offner is a globally recognized expert on performance; the Founder and CEO of Global Performance Institute; and an award winning, international keynote speaker. His Performance Agreement methodology has helped organizations around the world develop the skills necessary to thrive under pressure, and create cultures of high-performing, highly fulfilled people.

In addition to his international business and leadership experience, he holds advanced professional designations in the fields of Risk Management, Organizational Development, Lean/SixSigma, and Positive Psychology. Gregory is also an accomplished entertainer; having performed professionally on five continents and numerous countries as a solo artist, and dueling piano performer. He currently lives in Philadelphia with his wife Kim, their daughter Francelle, two dogs, and a cat that makes Garfield look like an athlete.

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Aileen Bennett - Roving Creative Director | Idea Thinker-Upper | Brand Experience Expert

Session: A Little Speech About Fire and What Now? ...Company Culture in a Changing World

Aileen Bennett is a brand creating, business improving, clever thinking, staff motivating, customer pleasing, quirky-as-they-come designer and consultant, with a head (and a heart) for business.

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Sophia Nelson - Columnist & Best-Selling Author

Session:  Be The One You Need and Inclusion is the New Diversity

Sophia A. Nelson is an award-winning American author and journalist. She is an on Air Commentator for CNN and is an OPINION columnist for USA TODAY, and The Washington Post. Nelson is an award-winning corporate trainer, global women’s conference speaker. She is the 2011 Best-Non Fiction AA Literary Book Award prize-winner for her debut book Black Woman Redefined. Just a year later, she won the prestigious Bernardine Stoneham Smith Bailey Journalism award for her groundbreaking feature Essencemagazine article in 2013 on the lives of mega-church Pastor’s wives.

Nelson is the award-winning author of three nonfiction books: Black Woman Redefined: Dispelling Myths and Discovering Fulfillment in the Age of Michelle Obama (2011), The Woman Code: 20 Powerful Keys to Unlock Your Life (2014), and E Pluribus One: Reclaiming Our Founders’ Vision for a United America (2017). Nelson’s second book, The Woman Code, is a global bestseller and was named in 2016 as one of the top 40 inspirational books for women of all time by Woman’s Day magazine. In her most recent book, Be the One You Need: Life Lessons I Learned While Taking Care of Everyone but Me(2022), Sophia shares that a dedication to meaningful and consistent self-care not only makes us happier, but better spouses, parents, siblings, lovers, employers, and neighbors.

Sophia is presently a frequent CNN legal analyst and political commentator. She was formerly with MSNBC and NBC News as a contributor. Sophia has appeared on every major network, media platform, and cable news platform in the world. From Canada’s The Leon Show, to the BBC, SkyNews, to Australia’s ABC News Australia.

Sophia’s work and advice are routinely endorsed and shared by top writers, journalists, celebrities, and business leaders. In 2018, Sophia was named by UK’s The Guardian Magazine, as one of the most influential women leaders in the world. Sophia counts her service as JET Magazine’sfirst White House Correspondent covering the historic Obama administration from 2010-2012, as her most cherished professional achievement. She also serves as a corporate coach to the senior leadership of Fortune 100 companies, nonprofits, and major universities. Sophia is a corporate diversity champion award winner (2012), and a Pulitzer Prize-nominated author in letters (2011). She regularly nurtures and grows her strong female base of supporters across racial, religious, and socio-economic lines with events, live streaming, social media posts, and on her popular “One America Podcast” on Apple Podcasts.

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CONCURRENT SESSION SPEAKERS

Alicia Wade 

Session:  Aligning Data & Strategy: Starting with You at the Center and Creating a Complelling Business Case: More thanjust Data to Hone Your Strategic Orientation and Business Acumen

I am a transformational leader with a track record of building high-performing teams. As a motivated, driven, and strategic executive with proven results in turn-around markets, operations, and sales increase, I curate winning cultures through the development of teams.

What I am most proud of is my track record for successfully leveraging my Human Resources background into the development of high-performing sales and operations teams through comprehensive training program design and talent management practices.

Specialties: Team Development | Sales Strategy | Merchandising |Customer Engagement | Process Optimization | Strategic Partnerships | Operations Planning | Human Resource Leadership

 

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Andrew Halverson 

Session: Legal Panel: Don't leave your company in Jeopardy! 

Andrew Halverson brings more than a decade of wide-ranging legal experience on matters across the spectrum in general business and corporate, mineral, property, and employment law. He has litigated numerous matters including non-compete and trade secret issues, wage disputes, breach of contract, and a variety of corporate and property disputes.

Mr. Halverson brings lead counsel experience at the partner level in the formal trial and appellate court setting on employment, business, and property matters, and also served as co-counsel defending corporate clients on a host of other matters, including civil RICO, fraudulent and negligent misrepresentation, and False Claim Act claims.

Originally from Anchorage, Alaska, Mr. Halverson completed his undergraduate and graduate degrees in mathematics at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in 1999 and 2003, respectively. Mr. Halverson received his Juris Doctorate and Bachelors of Civil Law from the Paul M. Hebert Law Center at Louisiana State University in 2007, where he served with honors on the Tullis Moot Court Board and was also a member of LSU’s National Mock Trial Team.

Mr. Halverson is licensed to practice in all state and federal courts in Louisiana.

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Brian Carnie 

Session:  In the Weeds: An Update on Marijuana Laws

Brian Carnie is a partner in the Shreveport office of Kean Miller and practices in the labor and employment group. He represents employers of all sizes in the private and public sectors. Brian dedicates his practice exclusively to the representation of management's interests in virtually all aspects of labor and employment law, including the defense of wrongful discharge, discrimination, harassment, retaliation, workplace tort, breach of contract, FMLA, and OSHA whistleblower claims in federal and state courts, and before administrative agencies. Brian prepares, litigates and defends non-compete agreements and other restrictive covenants for his clients. He has extensive experience in Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), collective wage and hour cases, and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) access cases, otherwise known as "drive-by" or "google" lawsuits. In addition to his litigation practice, Brian guides employers through complex disability and leave issues, sexual harassment investigations, workforce reorganizations/layoffs, wage and hour investigations, and worker misclassification and I-9 audits. He routinely represents management in collective bargaining, union grievances, arbitrations, and provides businesses with effective union avoidance strategies.

Brian also helps employers understand and comply with the ever-changing rules and regulations under the Affordable Care Act, including practical guidance on employer responsibilities, compliance and testing, reporting/notice requirements, and representation of employers who challenge the new IRS ACA penalty notices and appeals of demands for payment.

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Candyce Hunt 

Session:  Aligning Data & Strategy: Starting with You at the Center and Creating a Complelling Business Case: More thanjust Data to Hone Your Strategic Orientation and Business Acumen

I naturally lead with heart and pride myself on being a humble teacher and a proud student, on a mission to serve others and lead best-in-class business results.

Developing leaders is my passion and my experience in multi-unit leadership, strategy planning/execution and talent management have helped people and organizations achieve above-average success. I am highly skilled in building winning cultures & relationships, complex problem solving, and leading innovation.

Specialities: Profit Management | Talent Management | People & Operations Director | Business Strategist | Organizational Agility | DEI Champion | Public Speaking | Life & Stress Coaching

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Christine Boudreaux 

Session:  Branding Strategies to Recruit Top Talent in a Competitive Market Place

Christina Boudreaux has over 20 years of HR and Talent Acquisition experience. She is passionate about helping companies and candidates connect with stellar opportunities.

Christina’s experience includes senior level human resources and recruiting leadership roles in both the private and public sector. After graduating from LSU, Christina worked in various organizations including Lamar Advertising and Amedisys, both national, publicly traded organizations. Additionally, Christina has led human resources and talent management functions in the public sector, introducing and advancing human capital practices within state government.

In 2016, she founded Connectly Recruiting, and has had the pleasure of working with clients in various industries across the southeastern region, including private and public organizations, as well as non-profits. As an independent consultant and executive recruiter, Christina works with her clients to elevate their talent strategies by helping them to connect with high-performing employees and leaders.

Christina holds a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) and Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) certification.

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Dominique Juneau

Session: Panel Discussion for Students and Emerging Professionals 

Dominique currently serves as the Human Resources Manager for LEMOINE, a company providing a full suite of services, from Infrastructure, Building Construction, Disaster Response and Recovery, and comprehensive Project and Program Services. At LEMOINE, Dominique previously served as HR Intern and HR Generalist before advancing into her current role as HR Manager. Dominique is a graduate from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in Business Management and Accounting. Following graduation, she obtained her SHRM-CP certification in June of 2020. Dominique continues to advance and grow her HR career by staying involved in local SHRM chapters and organizations. She recently transferred from the ASHRM chapter in Lafayette, LA to the ICSHRM chapter in Lake Charles, LA to better connect with local HR professionals.

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Edward Gibbons, Ph.D.

Session: After College

Dr. Edward Gibbons is a former U.S. Marine, Assistant Professor of Professional Practice, executive coach, and organizational development consultant with over 15 years of experience in operations management, performance and process improvement, and workforce development. He has honed his skills both in the private sector and in higher education.

Dr. Gibbons is a professor at Louisiana State University where he teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in Human Resource Development as well as MBA courses in Organizational Behavior for the E.J. Ourso College of Business. He has also worked as a consultant with Success Labs, a Louisiana-based management consulting firm, helping companies in the industrial sector with leadership development, executive coaching, organizational development, and strategic & succession planning.

As an educator, Dr. Gibbons has taught a range of courses in leadership development, human resource development, organizational behavior, and process analysis at Louisiana State University, including principles of human resource development, advanced leadership development, process analysis consulting, professional development internships, and making the transition from college to work.

He has served as a Faculty Senator for the LSU College of Human Sciences and Education and currently serves as the Undergraduate Program Coordinator for the LSU School of Leadership and Human Resource Development, board member for the Greater Baton Rouge Society of Human Resource Management, and board president for the Eyes of Freedom Memorial.

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Erin Kilgore 

Session:  In the Weeds: An Update on Marijuana Laws

Erin Kilgore is a partner in the Baton Rouge office of Kean Miller and practices in the labor and employment law and litigation groups. She represents local, national, and international clients in cases involving a wide variety of substantive areas in state and federal courts, including the United States District Court for the Eastern, Middle and Western Districts of Louisiana and the United States Courts of Appeal, Fifth Circuit. Erin is listed among the top labor and employment lawyers in the State of Louisiana by Chambers USA 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022. She is listed in Louisiana Super Lawyers as a Rising Star for 2019-2021. Erin was appointed as a member of the 2020 class of Fellows of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD).

Erin represents and advises employers on a variety of labor and employment issues, including discrimination, harassment, and retaliation litigation; wage and hour litigation, including collective actions and class actions; administrative proceedings before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the Louisiana Commission on Human Rights (LCHR), and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA); and day-to-day advice regarding the ADA, FLSA, FMLA, NLRB, Title VII, and state employment laws. Erin also represents and advises management on labor relations issues, including unfair labor practice charges and collective bargaining agreements with unions.

In addition, Erin represents clients in general litigation matters, including commercial litigation and defending claims under various theories of law for degradation of the environment.

Prior to joining the firm, Erin served as a law clerk to the Hon. Jay C. Zainey of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.

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Greg Guidry 

Session: NLRB Update: Employers Beware 

Greg Guidry is a shareholder in the Lafayette, Louisiana office of Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C., an international law firm representing employers in labor and employment law with over 900 lawyers. Licensed in Texas and Louisiana; he has represented management throughout the United States in all aspects of labor and employment law for decades. His practice includes prevention, policy development, training, advice, and litigation in all aspects of labor and employment law. He is past Chair of the Louisiana State Bar Association Section of Labor and Employment Law, and currently serves as Director of Governmental Affairs on the ASHRM Board of Directors. He frequently participates, as presenter, moderator, and planner in labor and employment law programs for lawyers, business managers, and human resources professionals throughout the United States.

Due to his contributions to the field of labor and employment law, he was selected as a Fellow in the College of Labor & Employment Law, one of only 18 Louisiana lawyers to have achieved that honor. He is also the President of the Management Labor & Employment Roundtable, a national organization of labor and employment lawyers and professionals representing management interests in the field of labor and employment law. He has been selected by his peers as one of the Best Lawyers in America in the labor and employment law field for many years and for the fourth and fifth time has been selected as Lawyer of the Year for 2021 in Labor and Employment Litigation and Lawyer of the Year for 2022 in Labor Law-Management in the New Orleans region. He has also been selected as a Louisiana Super Lawyer and a Top Lawyer in Acadiana in that area of practice for many years. He was recently appointed to the Employment Law Committee of the Louisiana Law Institute.

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James "Jim" Stodd 

Session: Managing Current Compensation Challenges 

Jim offers seasoned experience in compensation and rewards management, strategic and organizational planning, as well as organizational change management.

During his career Jim has served as the CHRO for several prominent organizations including BroMenn Healthcare (Bloomington, IL), Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center (Baton Rouge, LA), SCAN Health Plan (Long Beach, CA), and the Office of the Louisiana Legislative Auditor (Baton Rouge, LA). He has also been associated with several leading consulting firms including Ernst & Young LLP, Hay Management Consultants, and First Transitions. Jim currently maintains an independent consulting practice under the umbrella of JT Stodd & Associates and has provided consulting services to a diverse mix of clients including those in the healthcare, manufacturing, technology, construction, professional services, petrochemical, finance, government, education and nonprofit sectors.

In addition to his career as a management consultant, Jim has taught classes in Organizational Leadership and Human Resource Management at Louisiana State University as well as served as the principal instructor for the Human Capital Management Certificate Program at the University of New Orleans. Prior to that he taught related subjects at the University of California-Irvine where he received UCI’s “2010 Distinguished Instructor” award.

His educational preparation includes a B.A. in Psychology from Saint Louis University and a M.S. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Illinois State University. He also completed extensive post-graduate work at the Industrial Relations Center of the University of Minnesota. Jim has earned lifetime certification as a “Senior Professional in Human Resources” (SPHR) as well as a SHRM-SCP credential.

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Jamila Brown 

Session: Aligning Data & Strategy: Starting with You at the Center and Creating a Compelling Business Case: More than just Data to Hone Your Strategic Orientation and Business Acumen 

As a former athlete & collegiate coach to corporate professional and now coach/consultant, I have learned so much and am eager to share all that I have been blessed with over time and experience.

I've worked with a correlated group of the largest retailers in the world, as well as consulted with many organizations and individuals on branding, content, and leadership development: Champs Sports l Walmart Inc. l Ross Stores Inc. l Dollar General l 5 Minute Career Hack

Specialties: Experienced Regional Director of Operations l Execution & Results l Leadership Development l Team Building l Investment Research l Content Design

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Jay Stovall 

Session: Avoiding the Pitfalls of Worker Misclassification and Legal Panel: Don't leave your company in Jeopardy! 

Jay Stovall is a1989 graduate of Baylor University School of Law. He is licensed to practice law in both Louisiana and Texas, and he is Certified as an Employment Law Specialist by the by the Louisiana Board of Legal Specialization. Mr. Stovall concentrates his practice in the areas of labor & employment law, OSHA and corporate counsel. Mr. Stovall represents private employers and public entities throughout Louisiana and Texas. Mr. Stovall is a frequent speaker, author and trainer, primarily in all aspects of employment law and OSHA.

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Keesha Buteau 

Session: The Strategy Behind the Leadership 

Keesha B. Buteau is the Founder of Beacon of Light- Coaching, Consulting and Public Speaking Company based in Lafayette, Louisiana. Keesha B. Buteau graduated from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in 2006 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science. After being exposed to the realities of C-Suite management, Keesha obtained a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in project management from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in 2020.

Keesha B. Buteau has amassed over twenty years of experience as a non-profit executive, facilitator, and trainer. She has been instrumental in the implementation of new business operating models both locally and nationally. She has assisted and equipped organizations to reach fundraising and revenue goals, measure impact, on-board management teams, and develop cohesive strategic plans. Her love for life, people, and business shines through her every endeavor. She has a passion for creativity and growth and believes it is her purpose to be a reliable source of encouragement and a beacon for those who need support in search of their own success.

Keesha B. Buteau’s instinctual approach to leadership is best described as the “lion and the lamb” approach. As the lion, she relentlessly pursues her target goals while embracing the lamb-like characteristics of vulnerability and transparency with those she serves. Keesha B. Buteau is fiercely passionate, sensitive to the needs of others and leads with a caring heart. Her ability to make genuine connections allows her to seamlessly build trust and create a safe space for personal and professional growth.

Additionally, she is a member of the National Association of Non-profit Organizations & Executives, Junior League of Lafayette, Board Member- Escape From Poverty, United Way of Acadiana’s Women United and a graduate of Leadership Lafayette Class of XXXV. She was recently honored as one of Acadiana’s Top 20 Under 40 Young Leaders in 2020.

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Kylie Miller 

Session: Panel Discussion for Students and Emerging Professionals 

Graduated from ULL in 2020 with an undergrad concentration in Human Resources and again in 2021 with a general MBA. Started working as an HR Intern in 2019, which turned into full-time employment at the same company in March 2020 as an HR Specialist. In March 2022, changed directions and took a position as a Campus Recruiter for an IT Consulting firm. This position focuses on hiring and transitioning new and recent college graduates (from 12 campuses across the state) into the workforce with an emphasis placed on building talent pipelines through student engagement on the college campuses.

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Lacey Maynor 

Session:  Impacting Employee Wellness by Supporting Financial Health

Lacey Maynor has served as the Community Development Manager with Advancial since 2017 where she advocates for financial wellness in the workplace by partnering with businesses and organizations to bring no-cost financial piece of mind to their employees and members. Advancial has worked with approximately 800 organizations across the country helping them integrate financial wellness programs into their benefit offerings with nearly 200 of those organizations located right here in South Louisiana. Lacey is a graduate of Leadership Lafayette Class XXXI, was recognized as One Acadiana’s 2018 Ambassador of the Year, a 2019 20 Under 40 Honoree, a 2021 Acadiana Profile Magazine Steel Magnolia and was named to Advancial’s 2022 President’s Circle. She currently serves as the VP of Membership Engagement with the Acadiana Society for Human Resource Management and Incoming Chair for the Leadership Institute of Acadiana where she also served as Program Co-chair for Leadership Lafayette XXXIV. She has previously served on the boards of One Acadiana and the Vermilion Chamber of Commerce. She is very active with local business organizations and has an extensive background in the non-profit sector. Lacey is a lifelong Lafayette, LA resident and holds a BA in Sociology from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

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Magdalen "Mag" Bickford

Session: Challenges while leading a multi-generational workforce

Magdalen Blessey Bickford is the Managing Member of McGlinchey Stafford’s New Orleans office and leader of the Labor and Employment Practice Group. Mag represents management and employers in labor and employment litigation. She also consults employers on best practices in the workplace, provides guidance on policy and procedure drafting and implementation, provides management training and education, and provides other general legal counsel. Magdalen has litigated, lectured, and counseled extensively in all areas of labor and employment law, with representative topics including employment policies and procedures for employee handbooks; hiring, counseling, and separation of employees; employee discipline; reduction in force; leave; employee growth and development; employee benefits; workers’ compensation; non-compete agreements; privacy issues; compensation plans and strategies; restructuring and downsizing; discrimination; arbitration; EEO laws; FLSA; FMLA; ADA; and general federal and state legal compliance, as well as general policies and procedures in the workplace. Mag received her B.A and J.D. from Loyola University New Orleans College of Law.  

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Marina Guerra

Session: Best Practices for Addressing EEOC Complaints and Preventing Retaliation

Marina Guerra is an Outreach and Education Coordinator with the EEOC- Houston District office. Originally from Corpus Christi, Texas, she attended Texas A&M- Corpus Christi and graduated with honors receiving a Bachelor’s of Science in Criminal Justice. In 1999, shortly after graduating, Marina moved to Houston and was hired with the EEOC through a Scholastic Achievement program. She worked as an Investigator from 1999 through 2012, when she was asked to work a detail as the Acting Intake Supervisor. After a second detail, Marina was promoted to a supervisory position in 2014, and held the position until 2020. In 2020, she was promoted to her current position. Marina is very passionate about the work she does and is especially honored to carry out the Mission of the EEOC daily. In addition to her duties of Outreach and Education Coordinator, Marina also serves as the Houston District Office’s representative for Diversity and Inclusion and facilitates the special emphasis programs, celebrations and morale events for the Houston District Office.

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Mary A. Augustin

Session: Best Practices for Addressing EEOC Complaints and Preventing Retaliation

Mary has over 20 years of experience as a human resources professional. She has worked in the Human Resources field in a variety of industries, including government, health care, and construction. She has achieved the Society of Human Resources Management Senior Certification (SHRM-SCP), and has served as a volunteer leader in several roles in her local chapter and State Council for SHRM.

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Dr. Mechelle Roberthon

Session: Workplace Empathy and Compassion Fatigue: How HR Teams Without These Skills Are Impacting Their Workplace Culture

Dr. Mechelle Roberthon is a Certified Professional in Talent Development (CPTD). Her background includes training delivery, performance improvement, and managing learning programs. She received her Doctor of Education degree from Baylor University and holds a Master of Science in Education with a specialization in Training and Performance Improvement. Dr. Roberthon is also an experienced career and professional development instructor. She has taught over 500 corporate courses with her evaluations consistently rating above average. Her dynamic teaching style has become a favorite amongst learners.

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Michelle Craig

Session: Recession Proofing Your Organization: Keeping Money in Your Pocket by Creating a Culture of Compliance

Michelle D. Craig is Managing Attorney of Transcendent Law Group. With over 19 years of law firm experience, she became the first African-American female Partner the New Orleans Office of an Am 200 Regional law firm before starting her own firm in 2014. In her practice, she facilitates the effective resolution of legal matters for small to large companies and schools in several practice areas. She also serves as the outside general counsel for numerous companies by providing labor and employment advice, proactive management and human resources guidance and day-to-day counseling, and transactional and litigation advice. In addition to her general counsel and labor and employment experience, she regularly provides legal counsel to existing and newly formed charter schools.

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Patrick Morrison 

Session: 2023 Employee Benefit Trends: The Evolving Workplace

Patrick Morrison is a graduate of The University of Oklahoma with a degree in Management Information Systems. He began his Employee Benefits career more than 25 years ago in Dallas, TX. Patrick moved to New Orleans in 1999 and since then, with the exception of a few years after Katrina, has made his home in South Louisiana. Patrick has experience working for both Insurance Companies and as an Employee Benefits Consultant. Patrick’s experience gives him an advantage of knowing how insurance companies operate. At Eustis / MMA, Patrick’s focus is to advise employers with 50 -1000 employees – developing, implementing, planning and providing strategic financial analysis on a wide array of employee benefit programs. Patrick has been on the board of Directors of NOLA SHRM for 2 years, currently serving as the Sponsorship Chair.

Patrick is married to a native New Orleanian. He has a step son who is a Senior at Brother Martin High School, a son who is active duty Navy and a daughter in Tampa. In his off time, Patrick is an Ultra Marathoner, Ironman Triathlete and has competed in over 100 endurance events, including a recent Marathon in Scotland. He is Vice President of the New Orleans Track Club, one of the largest running organization in the United States.

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Ross Trahan

Session: Creating, Reinforcing, and Coaching a Company’s Purpose and Values

Ross Trahan brings extensive management and administrative experience from the fields of offshore construction, industrial and commercial construction, secondary education, and church leadership. Ross is a Sr. Partner of Accelerated Leadership and has been a consultant/trainer/coach with the company since 2004.

A superb facilitator and coach, his training helps leaders on all levels to be more successful through the application of foundational leadership and life principles, effective communication, teamwork, and safety skills.

Throughout his career, He has helped leaders and organizations identify and reach their next level toward ultimate success. We have helped large organizations like Shell Oil, Seadrill, and Cameron LNG through transitions, mergers, and roll outs. We have also assisted smaller companies like STS Industrial grow over 30% in revenue annually over the last four years, while helping the owners empower others to run the organization. In every situation our goal is to improve leadership and improve lives.

Ross is an ordained minister and served as a full-time assistant pastor of a thriving church from 1994-2004. Since that time, he has been active in mission efforts, serving on the advisory boards of different organizations.

Ross is happily married to his wife of 40 years. Together they have six children and seven grandchildren. They enjoy times of connecting with family and friends—often around a great meal. Ross also enjoys ministry, carpentry, and outdoor sports.

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Dr. Sadie Gray

Session: Strategy and Decision-Making: The Logic Model Approach and Reducing Burnout: Questions Leaders Forget to Ask Themselves

Dr. Sadie Gray's research and leadership experience in the nonprofit and educational sectors showcase an expert understanding of how systems and procedures are often to blame for project failures–not always employees. Dr. Gray has a Doctoral degree in Learning and Organizational Change, a Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction, and nearly a decade of experience gathering data from the front lines of failed organizational work cultures. Dr. Gray believes the best way for management to discover the science of adult motivation– is to first identify what it is not.

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Sarah Green

Session: Workplace Strategies for Mental Health Month

As a Senior Wellbeing Consultant, Sarah directly assists clients to inspire more meaningful, strategic and impactful employee experiences. In partnership with clients, Sarah provides solutions that enhance multiple domains of employee wellbeing – resulting in a more engaged workforce. Sarah thrives on problem solving, building positive relationships with clients and implementing sustainable solutions that improve business advantage. Ultimately, Sarah uses her dynamic workplace experience and knowledge to enhance employers’ effectiveness to provide valuable organizational wellbeing support.

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Sommer Mason

Session: Workplace Strategies for Mental Health Month and Inflation and Your Organization

Sommer joined Gallagher in November, 2016.She began her career in technology in 1998 and moved into Human Resources as a Compensation Analyst in 2000. Prior to joining the Gallagher Benefit Services Baton Rouge office, Sommer served in various Compensation and Benefits leadership roles within Human Resource Departments.

Sommer is an accomplished Compensation and Benefits professional with Project Management experience in various industries such as Manufacturing, Healthcare, Wellness, Oil & Gas, Energy and Construction. She received her Lean Six Sigma Green Belt certification in 2010 and is highly skilled in leading large-scale projects with significant financial impact.

Sommer's primary role is to prepare for and present Gallagher's Human Resources and Compensation resources to prospective clients and is involved in special projects related to Human Resources and Compensation Consulting. Sommer's strong analytical skills, strategic approach and commitment to excellent customer service makes her a trusted advisor to both clients and her Gallagher team.

Sommer is a graduate of Louisiana Tech University with a bachelor of Science in Management Information Systems. She is a Certified Compensation Professional (CCP) and Lean Six Sigma Green Belt.Sommer resides near the Baton Rouge area with her husband and two children.

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Susie Cox 

Session: Panel Discussion for Students and Emerging Professionals 

Susie serves as the Louisiana SHRM State Council College Relations Director.

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Thaisha Amen

Session: Infusing Inclusion to Attract and Keep Your Talent 

Thaisha Amen is a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion leader who shapes organizational culture by aligning talent, culture, and innovation. Her expertise lies in designing workplace strategies that eliminate systemic barriers, increase associate engagement, and intentionally foster inclusion. Thaisha has successfully designed DEI-focused strategies, workshops, and trainings to promote the adoption of equitable and inclusive practices. With over 10 years of experience in Human Resources and Talent Acquisition, Thaisha has been a leader in advancing equity and change. She holds a Master’s Degree in Human Resources Management from Southern New Hampshire University, a Bachelor’s degree from Tufts University in Political Science, and holds certificates in Diversity and Inclusion in HR and Change Management from Cornell University.

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Tom Tielbur

Session: Inflation and Your Organization

Tom Tielbur is a retirement plan consultant with Gallagher. Tom assists his clients with the design, implementation, benchmarking, and investment monitoring of qualified retirement plans; performing research and consulting on plan document reviews; compliance testing and other U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and/or Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) issues; and Fiduciary Risk Mitigation and process management. Tom is an Investment Advisory Representative and is able to service as an ERISA §3(21) or §3(38) plan fiduciary.

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Wendy King

Session: Top Family Support & Care Giving Trends & Workplace Strategies

Wendy King is the South Region Health & Performance Practice Leader for HUB International. She is responsible for strategic client consultation, provider partnerships and implementation of best practice solutions. Her overarching goal is to guide clients to the strategies that will achieve high engagement rates, healthy employees, and long-term risk reduction in their populations.

Wendy has over 25 year’s diverse, professional experience in corporate wellness strategy, marketing, sales and communications.

She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Louisiana state university, a Masters from University of New Orleans and is a certified worksite wellness consultant.

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MASTER of CEREMONIES

Mike Shaw 

As a Strategic Business & Human Resources Executive, Consultant, Facilitator, Public Speaker and Volunteer Leader, Mike Shaw helps publicly, privately and tribal held organizations reach their growth goals.

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Louisiana Society for Human Resource Management

is a 501(c)6 not-for-profit organization.


P.O. Box 5210 Lafayette, LA 70502


email us at LouisianaSHRM@gmail.com



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