Speakers

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Scarlett Abraham
Director, Human Resources
Bright Horizions

Scarlett Abraham joined Bright Horizons on March 5, 2007. Scarlett’s passion for HR began after she graduated college and worked for a staffing agency. In her current role, Scarlett is responsible for aligning business objectives with employees and management. She serves as a consultant and strategic partner to leaders and collaborates with department managers to help fairly implement our policies and to assist them with coaching employees and supporting their development.

She supports the creation of a work environment that lives by Bright Horizons HEART Principles, and encourages professionalism, growth and diversity. Scarlett is committed to employee growth and supports such commitment by partnering with members of the organization to identify training needs at every level. Scarlett is passionate about retaining good talent and often facilitates trainings geared towards employee development. In addition to the support that employees receive from their direct supervisor or local leadership team, she assists employees with successfully resolving questions and concerns that may arise.

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Lisa Aldisert
President
Pharos Alliance
Dr. Lisa M. Aldisert is an internationally recognized business advisor, trend expert, speaker and author. She is president of Pharos Alliance Inc., an executive advisory firm specializing in strategic planning, organizational and leadership development for entrepreneurial organizations. Based in New York City, Lisa has over 35 years of experience, offering clients financial acumen, trend analysis, and leadership insight.

She is the author of three books, the latest of which is Leadership Reflections: 52 Leadership Practices in the Age of Worry.
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Melissa Anzman
CEO & Managing Director
MConnected Communications
Melissa Anzman is the CEO and Founder of MConnected Communications. Since 2004, Melissa has been breaking barriers and establishing employee focused communication solutions across global organizations, including establishing Employee Communications departments at several highly-regarded organizations including Abbott Vascular, American Express Publishing, American Red Cross, Conduent, to name a few.

Melissa’s approach to employee-focused messaging starts with understanding the metrics behind HR-activities, ensuring the HR strategic business partners are leading the organization from the front and reaching all employees across our current multi-generational workforce. Melissa’s work has been featured in places such as Business Insider, Amex OPEN Forum and the Huffington Post.
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Andy Boes
Associate Consultant
Common Impact
Andy Boes serves as an Associate Consultant at Common Impact. In the role, Andy helps pioneer and fortify cross-sector partnerships between high potential nonprofits and pro bono corporate teams. He is inspired by Common Impact’s commitment to enhancing the ability of its partners to target the root causes of poverty and marginalization in our communities.

Prior to working at Common Impact, Andy completed 27 months of service with the U.S. Peace Corps in Amazonas, Peru. As a Youth Development Specialist, he engaged in human and institutional capacity building to strengthen the community’s ability to empower its youth. His experience building strategic coalitions across sectors and cultures informs the holistic approach to development and social impact that Andy brings to the Common Impact team.

Andy graduated cum laude from the University of Notre Dame, where he earned a B.A. in Economics and Political Science with a minor in Public Service. He was awarded the George Brinkley Prize for outstanding service in 2012 as a result of poverty relief efforts he led in partnership with United Way and local businesses.
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Kim Castelda
Chief People Officer
Bullhorn, Inc
As the Chief People Officer, Kim is responsible for driving a highly effective people strategy, leading global talent acquisition, and directing training and learning programs while promoting an engaging culture. Kim brings over 20 years of human resources management experience to Bullhorn. Prior to joining Bullhorn, Kim worked for Harvard University as the Director of Organizational Effectiveness and for E Ink Corporation as the Director of Human Resources. Kim began her career in the staffing industry as a recruiter placing temporary employees.

Kim graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Syracuse University and has an Master of Science in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
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Paul Conforti
Chief Marketing Office
Ocean State Job Lot
Paul Conforti is the CMO of Ocean State Job Lot, a privately held closeout retailer with 127 stores in the Northeast and sales exceeding $640 million. Paul is passionate about increasing brand awareness, enhancing employee and customer engagement, and solidifying the company’s competitive position for growth.

He is also the Managing Partner of Encore Hospitality Group. Encore operates the restaurant concepts Mill’s Tavern and Red Stripe. Mill’s Tavern is a four time Wine Spectator Award recipient (2014-17). Red Stripe is a neighborhood brasserie serving made-from-scratch comfort food in Providence and East Greenwich, RI. Paul also serves on the boards of RI non-profit Amos House and the RI Hospitality Association.

Previously, he was President and Co-founder of Finale Desserterie & Bakery, the country’s first upscale, dessert-focused restaurant chain. Before that, he managed call centers with Travelers and MetLife insurance companies. Paul received his MBA with distinction from Harvard Business School, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Management, summa cum laude, from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Mitt Romney awarded Paul the Massachusetts Governor’s Entrepreneurial Spirit Award for his accomplishments at Finale. He was also recognized by the Boston Business Journal in their 2007 list of “40 Under 40.” He lives in Saunderstown, RI with his wife Kristen and their four children.
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Kara Cronin
Director of Work Life Strategies
Shawmut Design and Construction
As Director of Work Life Strategies, Kara provides strategic direction and consultation to senior leaders, managers, and staff for Shawmut Design and Construction’s Work/Life Program across eight offices nationwide. She works to develop, implement, manage, and evaluate flexible work programs and strategies that support the integration of work and personal lives to drive desired business outcomes for the $1.3 billion construction management firm. She manages partnerships with HR Senior Management in the development and implementation of company goals and tactics that align with the strategic priorities of the business.

Kara has been a long-time champion of work-life integration at Shawmut and is credited with helping to launch Shawmut Flex, the first formal flex work program at the company. She created a unique package that provides feasible options for all staff including flexing time, condensing the workweek, and telecommuting for employees working in a hands-on, 24/7 industry.
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Kathy Cullen-Cote
Corporate Vice President, Human Resources
PTC
Kathy Cullen-Cote is the Corporate Vice President of Human Resources at PTC, a global leader in IoT technology platforms and solutions.  During her 15 years at PTC, she has led the organization through significant growth and transformation.  Kathy also serves as a board member of the Massachusetts Workforce Development Board. 

Prior to coming to PTC, Kathy worked for Imark Communications, Johnson & Johnson, and Raytheon.  Her passion for helping each employee reach their full potential and belief that every individual can make a difference has served as a model for the culture of curiosity, innovation and growth that PTC has fostered.
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Christine Cunneen
CEO
Hire Image LLC
Christine Cunneen is CEO of Hire Image LLC, a nationally accredited company specializing in background screening and drug testing. She is past chair of the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) and held leadership roles on the Global Advisory Council, Government Relations Committee, Advocacy Committee, Finance Committee and Ethics Committee for NAPBS.

Christine is a member of the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) at both the national and local level. She is a frequent speaker at business, human resource and background screening and drug testing topics, and is often quoted for her expertise in the news media. She travels to Washington, DC on a regular basis to meet with legislators. Christine is active in campaigns and advocacy pertaining to laws and regulations that impact the background screening profession, business owners and small business entrepreneurs.
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Kathleen Gallanar
Director, Talent Development
Shawmut Design and Construction
Kathleen Gallanar is the Talent Development Director at Shawmut Design and Construction in Boston, MA.  She is accountable for employee development and engagement including:  goal alignment, leadership development, training and development, performance management, career development, coaching and feedback.

With over 20 years of Human Resources experience, Kathleen has led teams responsible for strategy development, design, implementation and measurement.   She has designed organization-wide change initiatives including HRIS implementation, and coached executives on leading organizational change. 

Kathleen has worked in different Human Resources roles with General Electric Company, Fidelity Investments and American Express Company. She is a member of the Plymouth State University Business School Advisory Council, the Town of Ipswich, MA Zoning Board and a member of Beyond Sunday Missions Non-Profit Leadership team.  

Kathleen earned her Bachelors Degree in Marketing from Boston College and a Masters in Training and Development from Lesley University.
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Sheree Galpert
Learning and Creativity Director
IBIS Consulting Group, Inc.
Sheree Galpert, Learning and Creativity Director for IBIS, is an organization development consultant and trainer, as well as a professional actor and educator. She is head writer, director, and facilitator for IBIS's Interactive Theater programs, whose audiences have ranged from 15 to 1500. Sheree also oversees the development of IBIS's e-Learning programs, working with the creative team to determine the concept, style, and approach for each project. She particularly enjoys finding the tone and "feel" that are just right for the client - funny? heartfelt? thought-provoking? Inspiring? A short list of Sheree's clients includes Microsoft, Sun Life Financial, Harvard University, Verizon, Campbell's Soup, Xerox, Staples, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, and the Alzheimer's Association. As an actor, Sheree has performed on professional stages from coast to coast and border to border. Sheree received her Master’s in Organization Development from American University/NTL, and her BFA from the University of Washington.
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Craig Haas
Executive Consultant & Coach
Advantage Performance Group
Dr. Craig Haas is a Executive Consultant and Coach with over 15 years of experience in helping companies select high quality talent and develop leaders. His specialties are (1) executive assessment for succession, selection and coaching senior-level leaders, (2) enterprise wide assessment to create talent capabilities insights and inform talent decisions, and (3) designing leadership journeys to build your leadership pipeline.
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Robert Hewes
Sr. Partner
Camden Consulting Group
Bob, Senior Partner at Camden Consulting Group, designs and delivers executive coaching engagements and leadership development programs customized to clients' unique needs. Bob has been a management consultant for over 20 years and coached in a wide variety of industries including high-technology, higher education, life sciences, biotechnology, financial services, insurance, professional services and information technology.

Previously, Bob was a Managing Director and Partner of Strategic Decisions Group. He led the Power and Gas Industry practice, served on SDG's executive committee and led its Boston office. For almost a dozen years, he worked on strategic consulting engagements for numerous clients across various industries to enhance business strategies, improve tangible operating results and help clients make strategic decisions.

Bob is a certified executive coach with a BS and MS from the University of New Hampshire and a MS and Ph.D. from Harvard University.
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Elisabeth Hughes
Manager of Learning & Development
Northeastern University
Elisabeth is responsible for learning and development for the employees of Northeastern University and has a keen focus on organizational talent development.  She is passionate about engaging leaders in ongoing dialogue and deeper conversations about performance; and increasing opportunities for experiential learning through real-world initiatives. 
Elisabeth has a particular focus on leadership development that builds capabilities and leverages senior leadership participation and expertise.  A strategic partner and facilitator, she engages with leaders in exploring ways to identify and develop key talent at every level. 

Elisabeth has a wealth of experience across financial services, health insurance and higher education.  Prior to Northeastern, she was VP for Training & Development at Brown Brothers Harriman focusing on their Boston and European offices and Senior Manager for Learning & Leadership Development at BCBSMA.  Elisabeth holds an AB from Harvard-Radcliffe and an MBA from Boston University, concentrating in Organizational Behavior.
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Karen Kelly
Principal
Flexwork Global, LLC
Karen provides expertise in the design, development, and implementation of flex and remote work programs with a focus on policy and procedure development and program design and management. She helps companies realize administrative expense savings, improve business efficiencies, support diversity and inclusion goals, boost recruitment and retention, and increase employee satisfaction and engagement.
She had a distinctive career with BCBSMA where she held leadership positions in sales, finance, and human resources during her 26-year tenure. She brings a unique ability to provide a comprehensive strategic viewpoint across all lines of business, including financial benefits, safety, security, compliance, business requirements, and technical equipment and support.
Karen is a sought-after source of industry knowledge. She was profiled in the book Workshift and speaks at industry conferences on her experience with remote work programs and workplace transformation.
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Emily Klein
Emily Klein has extensive experience in corporate strategy and business transformation and helps companies achieve success by designing strategic workforce initiatives that strengthen mobility across the enterprise, achieve cost avoidance and build high performance teams. Emily has created strategic, performance and change management plans and designed training programs that have been highly regarded among executives and managers across the public and private sectors.
As an advocate for mobile-centric work cultures, Emily has authored articles on distributed teams, enterprise collaboration tools, evolving organization cultures, managing complex change, advancing women leaders, and co-authored Workshift: Future Proof Your Organization for the 21st
 Century (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013).
She is an active member of The Boston Club, an organization dedicated to advancing women into leadership and board roles and member of Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council, the Association for Strategic Planning and NEHRA.
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Michelle La Fleur
Director, People Strategies Business Partner
Shawmut Design and Construction
Michelle La Fleur is the Director of People Strategies for the New England and New York Institutional Groups at Shawmut, a $1.3 billion construction management firm.  Having worked at Shawmut for more than twenty years, Michelle has held positions of progressive responsibility and has been a member of the leadership team that has guided the organization's rapid growth.  In her current role, she has a particular focus on executive and management coaching, employee relations, recruiting and is currently leading in organization-wide compensation initiative.  Among her professional and community involvements, Michelle has partnered with Summer Search for fifteen years, serving on the Board of Directors and co-chairing the Leadership Council.  A New Orleans native and graduate of Rice University, she is currently working towards her Professional Certified Coach credentials with iPEC.
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Shilpa Pherwani
Principal
IBIS Consulting Group, Inc.
Shilpa Pherwani is an organizational psychologist by training and the Principal and CEO of IBIS Consulting Group, Inc. She has expertise in the areas of cultural competency, diversity and inclusion, organizational development and e-­learning. As a consultant and trainer, Shilpa provides guidance to organizations to develop and achieve their D&I business goals. She provides subject matter expertise in change management, organizational development and diversity to help organizations align D&I with business strategy. Shilpa heads the design and development team at IBIS for diversity e-­learning tools. She has led the team for several highly effective programs for clients such as Aetna, Boeing, Campbell Soup, Grainger, ESPN, Nestle, Microsoft, Sun Life Financial, and Xerox. Shilpa’s work with global organizations has included conducting diversity assessments, diversity and cross-­cultural training, leadership development, and implementation of diversity strategic plans. Shilpa received her Master’s in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Springfield College with a focus on Organizational Development.
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Sandy Pipitone
Principal
Davis Consulting
Sandy is a seasoned leadership and organization development leader with over twenty years of experience training and coaching leaders and leadership teams to increase their effectiveness, deliver stronger results, and advance their leadership impact.

Sandy is a master facilitator of leadership development training and team development sessions. Her areas of specialty include: Leading with Emotional Intelligence, Understanding and Leveraging Differences on a Team, Increasing Employee Engagement, and Enhancing Influence skills and Leadership Impact. She is also a highly skilled executive coach and has been coaching leaders for over fifteen years across a variety of industries.

Prior to starting her own practice, Sandy held leadership positions in Organization Development at a number of large organizations including Fidelity Investments, Colgate-Palmolive, The TJX Companies, and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

Sandy has a B.S. in Business from The State University of New York, and a Master’s Degree in Human Resources Development from Boston University.
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Judy Polacheck
HR Lawyer
Polacheck HR Law LLC
Judy Polacheck is an HR Lawyer who helps companies manage their workforces. She is outside employment counsel to businesses in the technology sector, life sciences and other industries, advising them on employment law compliance and the management of employment risk.

Judy's special focus is on workforces that are not structured in a uniform manner. When remote workers, contractors, gig workers and online labor platforms are providing labor, Judy helps bridge the gap with sometimes-outdated employment regulations.

Judy holds leadership positions in the American Bar Association and the Boston Bar Association. She holds degrees from Her degrees are from Columbia Law School and Harvard College.
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Jennifer Sabatini Fraone
Director of Corporate Partnerships
Boston College Center for Work & Family
As the Director of Corporate Partnerships at the Center for Work & Family, Jennifer manages corporate relations and programming for the Boston College Workforce Roundtable, a premier learning and networking community for HR leaders at progressive organizations.
Jennifer collaborates with and advises global organizations on topics such as workplace flexibility, diversity & inclusion, employee well-being, career development and management, and improving the total employee experience.

Jennifer enjoys presenting at local and national conferences and has been featured on Marketplace, NPR, in the Boston Globe, Fortune, The Huffington Post, Human Resource Executive and other publications. Jennifer received her BS in Clinical Psychology from Tufts University and her Master of Social Work and Master of Business Administration from Boston College.
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Bob Selle
Chief Human Resource Officer
Ocean State Job Lot
As chief human resource officer for Ocean State Job Lot, a 2017 Forbes Best Midsize Employer, Bob has the pleasure of leading the company’s enterprise-wide talent and culture strategies.

Bob started his career on the operations side of retail with Kmart and then had 15 years of progressive growth at Kohl’s Department stores where we progressed from a Store Manager to the SVP of Human Resources supporting all 140k associates. Bob’s strategic expertise includes: change management, cultural change initiatives, recruitment and retention processes, organization design and organizational effectiveness, along with total rewards. Bob also sits on 2 nonprofit boards. Welcome House of South County and Job Club RI. Bob also has a passion for helping people focused start ups understand the changing dynamics of the HR business.
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Colleen Simonelli
Vice President, Organizational Development & HR Asia
PTC
Colleen Simonelli is the Vice President of Organizational Development and Human Resources for Asia at PTC.  In her role, she is responsible for global talent and culture initiatives and serves as a strategic partner to the business.  During her 5 years at PTC, she has created a three-tiered leadership development program, implemented a formal talent review and talent planning process, and most recently led the culture change initiative to align with the company's strategic transformation.  Prior to coming to PTC, Colleen worked in Talent Management, International HR and Business Partner roles at Sunovion, KPMG, and GTE.
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Amy Smalarz
Founder
Strategic Market Insight, Women's Biz Accelerator
Amy Smalarz, PhD is a women’s empowerment coach author of Living Intentionally: How to Bring Balance to You and Your Family, host of Podcast, Living Intentionally with Amy Smalarz and speaker. Amy's various projects are the building blocks for the focus of her core values and driving ambition – to help women uncover and rediscover their truest, and best selves, discover how to Live Intentionally as well as empower themselves in their personal and professional lives.
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Russ Sullivan
Vice President
AIM HR Solutions
Russ Sullivan, Vice President of AIM HR Solutions, is responsible for developing effective health care, benefits, compensation and business solutions for Massachusetts employers. Since joining AIM in January 2011, Russ has leveraged his human resources knowledge to identify and develop creative solutions to the human resources needs of business leaders including navigating federal and state laws and regulations such as the Affordable Care Act, Earned Sick Time and Pay Equity. Prior to joining AIM, Russ worked for over 25 years in human resources including C level positions for health care and technology companies, including start-ups, public and private entities. Mr. Sullivan received his Juris Doctor from Suffolk University School of Law and his Bachelor of Arts from Georgetown University.
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Elisa Vincent
Senior Director, Talent Development and Learning Services
Bright Horizons
As the Senior Director, Talent Development and Learning Services, Elisa manages the creation and delivery of internal learning and development offerings for employees at Bright Horizons. She is responsible for the strategic implementation of learning content and experiences, including leadership and professional development, technical and change management training. She collaborates with human resources and learning partners globally to ensure program consistency and best practice sharing. Prior to joining Bright Horizons, Elisa held various roles in program development, coaching, and consulting – developing, implementing, and managing global leadership programs, diversity and inclusion initiatives, and advising and coaching diverse groups of students and clients. Elisa is dedicated to helping individuals and organizations achieve excellence through innovative leadership and talent development opportunities.
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Seth Williams
Signature Skills Program Manager, Corporate Responsibility
John Hancock Financial
Seth Williams is the Signature Skills Program Manager at John Hancock. The Signature Skills Program aligns the talents and development goals of employees with nonprofit capacity building needs. The program provides employees an opportunity to enrich leadership competencies, develop new skills, and engage more deeply with John Hancock, their community and each other.

With more than 15 years of professional experience in the financial sector, Seth brings a relationship-focus to his work connecting internal business partners with community nonprofits for impactful skills-based volunteer programs. As a successful entrepreneur, Seth has the unique ability to set the strategic vision for the program, manage the many daily tactics and ensure alignment to and enhancement of the John Hancock corporate culture. Seth's role provides him the opportunity to help others realize their full potential, and he enjoys sharing his experiences developing this industry-leading talent development program to help foster positive social and business change.
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Tina Wiskow
Director, Global Wellness
Manulife John Hancock

"Tina is the Director of Global Wellness at Manulife John Hancock. She is responsible for designing and implementing innovative global wellness strategies with a goal of meeting the needs of a diverse workforce. This includes developing tacticle roadmaps, effective communications, and ensuring ongoing program engagement and compliance with legislative requirements.

 

Tina has worked at Manulife John Hancock in a variety of Human Resource positions for over 20 years including Health & Welfare programs, Work/Life programs and Health and Productivity initiatives. She holds a B.S. in Business Management and Labor Relations from Westfield State University and is a Certified Wellness Program Manager."

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Martha Zackin
Partner
Bello Welsh LLP
Martha has more than 25 years of experience advising and representing clients on a broad range of employment law issues and in adversarial proceedings. In her role as an advisor to employers, boards of directors, and executives, she regularly provides practical advice and counsel on a wide range of employment-related issues, including employee relations and policy matters; employee classification and wage and hour laws; violations of noncompetition, nonsolicitation, and nondisclosure agreements; employee training; employment and separation agreements; affirmative action; mergers and acquisitions; and internal investigations. Martha has represented clients before administrative and governmental agencies, courts, arbitrators, and mediators.
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