Associate, Dorsey & Whitney LLP
Bio: Aaron provides litigation expertise and advice regarding trade secret disputes; non-competition agreements; race, gender, disability, national origin, age, religious, and sexual-orientation discrimination; whistleblower retaliation; sexual harassment; and protected leave under Oregon, Washington, and federal law. Aaron represents clients before the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries, the Washington Human Rights Commission, the Washington Department of Labor and Industries, and the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Aaron has experience representing companies in a wide variety of industries including, banking, financial services, computer software, semiconductor fabrication, retail, and medical supplies.
Regional Labor Economist, State of Washington
Bio: Anneliese Vance-Sherman has served as a regional labor economist for the Employment Security Department for over six years. She covers Island, king, San Juan, Skagit, Snohomish and Whatcom counties, and serves as a point of contact and subject matter expert for decision-makers throughout her region who have labor market information needs. Anneliese works closely with economic and workforce development partners, and serves as a board member of the Pacific Northwest Regional Economic Conference.
Partner, Fisher & Phillips LLP
Bio: Catharine Morisset is a partner in the Seattle office of Fisher Phillips. Her practice focuses on representing local and national employers in litigation in state and federal courts, on appeal, and also before the EEOC and similar state agencies in all aspects of workplace law, such as Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), Title VII, and similar state laws. Catharine also has significant experience representing ship owners and operators in traditional maritime claims, such as Jones Act personal injury, Oil Pollution Act (OPA) compliance, and cargo disputes.
Catharine uses her litigation experience to work closely with clients to provide effective preventive counseling and workforce training. This includes regularly advising and training clients on drug testing, hiring, wage-hour compliance, leaves, reasonable accommodations, investigations, employment agreements, discipline, terminations, and layoffs.
She is an active member of the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM), and is often invited to address local chapters as well as members state-wide and across the Pacific Northwest.
Chief Executive Officer, Greatheart Consulting
Bio: Chuck Shelton, the chief executive officer at Greatheart Consulting, has honed a unique expertise in engaging and equipping white male executives and their diverse colleagues to grow their business through inclusive leadership. This specialty led to his book, Leadership 101 For White Men, and to the groundbreaking White Men's Leadership Study. Corporate sponsors for that 2012 research included Alcoa, Bank of America, Exelon, Intel, Marsh & McLennan, PepsiCo, PwC, and Walmart Stores. With Betsy Myers, Mr. Shelton is the co-founder of the Forum on Engaging Men, Advancing Women. Greatheart Consulting helps leaders establish gender-equal work cultures, starting with the closing of pay equity gaps, in alliance with Mercer. Since 1981, Mr. Shelton has spoken, consulted, coached, trained, researched, and written on inclusive leadership globally, through more than 360 presentations and projects.
Vice President of Operations, Reference Services, Inc.
Bio: Debra Keller is VP of Operations at Reference Services, Inc. (RSI), one of only 68 background screening firms in the entire U.S. (out of 2000) to be nationally accredited. Deb is a national authority on background screening, regulatory compliance, the FCRA, the use of criminal records in the employment process and the EEOC ‘New’ Guidance of 2012. She’s a frequent speaker at many State SHRM conferences across the country, spoke at the 2016 NATIONAL SHRM Conference in DC and has published background screening articles in numerous HR & trade publications.
Deb is one of only 77 people in the U.S. to hold the FCRA Advanced Certification credential, which designates an advanced expertise in the FCRA & background screening. It’s equivalent to passing the bar for her industry. Deb leads an internal team of background screening professionals, as well as a top industry compliance team. She and her firm care for clients in all industries, of all sizes, in all 50 states & internationally.
Of Counsel, Littler Mendelson
Bio: Deidra A. Nguyen advises employers of all types and sizes regarding various employment and personnel issues and claims, including non-competition and non-solicitation agreements, wage and overtime, workers’ compensation, unemployment, discrimination and harassment, and disability and accommodation. She helps clients stay current and compliant with an ever-changing legal landscape by providing workplace training and drafting employee handbooks, policies, and employment agreements. As part of her employment litigation work, Deidra has represented clients in matters under investigation by the United States Department of Labor, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Washington State Human Rights Commission, the Washington Department of Labor and Industries, and various other state and federal employment agencies. Deidra also has experience working on complex multinational human resources projects, including review and revision of local, regional, and global employment policies.
Prior to joining Littler Mendelson in 2011, Deidra was an associate at another law firm where her employment and commercial litigation practice included representing businesses in contract and lease disputes, asbestos defense, insurance coverage, and bad faith and collection matters.
Deidra is a graduate of the 2011 Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber Leadership Program. She clerked for the Honorable Robert J. Bryan and the Honorable Benjamin H. Settle of the United States District Court, Western District of Washington at Tacoma. In law school, Deidra was a member of the editorial board and symposium chair of the Seattle University Law Review.
President, The Versatile Company
Bio: Eric Verzuh is President of The Versatile Company. Since founding The Versatile Company in 1990, Eric has been an instrumental figure in the world of project management, providing organizations from aerospace to IT to public education an easy-to-understand framework for creating and managing effective projects.
His trademark style is a practical approach that simplifies the process of solving critical business problems and delivering results. His book, The Fast Forward MBA in Project Management, which is currently in its Fifth edition, is the leading project management guidebook used by universities and working professionals around the world.
The Versatile Company, founded in 1990, helps our clients deliver innovation faster, with better results. We work with large and small businesses, government agencies, and non-profits. Our clients include community health centers, Lockheed Martin, Nordstrom, the U.S. Postal Service, and public school districts.
President, Shift Yes
Bio: I am an international speaker who’s worked successfully with hundreds of teams and organizations from all over the globe. I present regularly for a number of multinational Fortune 500 companies like Microsoft and Shell, delivering a powerful shift in how people interact and communicate in business. I teach leaders and teams how to apply the improv concept of "Yes, And" to sharply improve communication, team performance, and create an intentional culture of high-level engagement. I have more than 18 years of experience in sales, marketing, and business leadership. I have also been performing and teaching improv for over 10 years, including with improv legend Ryan Stiles, and touring with the cast from 'Whose Line is it Anyway?'
I provide high-caliber keynotes and team workshops to sharply improve communication, engagement, and performance through interactive, thought-provoking, exercises. The work that I do is compelling and truly unique, I absolutely love it. This is the type of reaction I hear every time, without exception:
“Galen kicked off our Annual Bank Management Retreat with our entire team of officers. The change in how our people interacted with one another after working with Galen was unbelievable. Our whole team was leaning in, saying yes, being positive, collaborative, and fully engaged while tackling a number of important strategic initiatives. The success of our management retreat was increased tenfold because of Galen’s work, and our managers absolutely loved it! Thanks a million for your help, and the effect you’ve had on our team.”
– Drew Wilkens, Executive Vice President, Bank of the Pacific
I also believe in giving back, being grateful, and contributing positively to the world. I created an organization called Pass The Hat, providing financial relief to local families that are victims of tragic events. It's pretty amazing.
Corporate Culture Specialist, Greg Hawks Agency
Bio: As a Corporate Culture Specialist, Greg Hawks brings an expansive leadership portfolio to your service. For two decades he has mentored leaders, developed teams, crafted culture and empowered employees. He is intensely motivated to grow high capacity performers who work, serve and sell with excellence, consistently.
As a Keynote Speaker, he is an enthusiastic character. His style, wit and energy consistently capture the attention and imagination of audiences. His forward thinking contributes fresh perspectives that work. He’s annoyingly optimistic, contagiously energetic and slightly mischievous. People tend to like him.
Through Hawks Agency, he has originated the Like An Owner® platform. Compelled by the belief that individuals who Think, Act, Lead and Create Like An Owner® will be more fulfilled and productive. Also, organizations who commit to implement an Ownership Culture will find loyalty and rapid growth, regularly.
Jim "The Rookie" Morris
Speaker, Jim Morris
Bio: The Cinderella story of Jim Morris serves as testimony to the power of dreams and their ability to inspire and transform human life. Jim Morris’s meteoric rise from 35 year-old high school teacher to flame-throwing major league pitcher in 3 months, made cinematic history with the release of The Rookie starring Dennis Quaid. Jim's rise from obscurity became the feel-good story of 1999. After pitching for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 2000, Jim Morris signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers and retired from baseball in 2001.
Today, Jim Morris lives with his family near San Antonio and travels the world as America’s foremost inspirational and motivational speaker. His story has become an inspiration to anyone interested in living their dreams.
Employment Attorney & Strategic Services Director, Vigilant
Bio: Jodi proudly provides counsel to Washington State businesses on employment issues, including training of HR professionals, managers, supervisors, and employees on a range of liability and leadership issues. Her goal is to help employers sleep at night by giving them immediate, relatable, and realistic advice to the stickiest employee problems. Before joining Vigilant in 2011, Jodi served 15 years as an in-house trade association counsel, including roles as general counsel, environmental lobbyist, and class instructor. It is in the classroom that Jodi is at her best—distilling and conveying complex, controversial information in an immediately useful, entertaining way.
KaKela (Kela) D. Hall, Sr.
Founder, KD Hall Communications
Bio: KaKela (Kela) D. Hall, Sr. is the epitome of a Networking Queen. Her production and problem solving skills are not the only thing that sets her apart. With years of experience in higher education, communication management, and strategic professional planning, Kela is equipped to handle a copious amount of tasks with integrity and poise. She is a visionary, a creator, and a leader in workforce development. Her high energy and hardworking core keeps her motivated while assisting clients to achieve their professional goals. Kela co-founded KD Hall Communications in 2013 and has since been extremely impactful across corporate and government sectors. As a result, Kela and the KD Hall team have been invited to the White House, received 3 proclamations, and successfully guided 12 students through an internship for the Inauguration of Women on the Rise: Season 1. Women on the Rise addresses equity for women, which is a very important cause to Kela and KD Hall Communications. She has a raging futuristic old school vibe that distinguishes her from the rest. As Kela continues to grow with KD Hall, she also hopes to increase the reach of the company. Goals of global growth, college partnerships, and educational facilities are only the beginning. Kela Hall adjunct for Digital Marketing at Bellevue College since 2016.
Employment & Labor Attorney, Vigilant
Bio: Kandis Sells, Employment & Labor Attorney, Vigilant. Kandis provides Washington employers with timely, practical, and strategic counsel on all aspects of federal and state employment law, labor, and human resources issues. Bringing more than 20 years of employment law and HR experience to the table, Kandis is able to provide Vigilant’s member businesses with the guidance they need to be great employers and avoid litigation. Before joining Vigilant, Kandis was a Partner in the Employment & Labor practice group at Dorsey & Whitney LLP in Seattle, and previously worked as an HR manager for the State of Washington.
Employment Defense Attorney, Littler Mendelson
Bio: Kellie A. Tabor focuses her practice on defending employers in employee-initiated lawsuits and representing them in the enforcement of non-compete and other restrictive covenants in employment agreements, including obtaining and defending against temporary restraining orders and preliminary and permanent injunctions. She has experience with litigation involving: • Discrimination/harassment • Retaliation • Workers' compensation retaliation • Common law wrongful discharge • Unemployment law • Title VII • The Americans with Disabilities Act • The Age Discrimination in Employment Act • The Family and Medical Leave Act • The Equal Pay in Employment Act • The Fair Labor Standards Act • The Uniform Trade Secrets Act • The Uniform Arbitration Act
• The Missouri Human Rights Act • The Kansas Act Against Discrimination • The Missouri Minimum Wage Law • The Missouri Wage Payment Act • The Kansas Wage Payment Act She handles both single plaintiff and multi-plaintiff harassment, discrimination, and retaliation claims, and she also has experience with hybrid class and collective action wage and hour claims. She regularly appears in state courts and before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Missouri Human Rights Commission.
Kim Arellano, PhD(c), MS, SHRM-CP, PHR
Chief Evolution Officer, Workforce Evolution
Bio: Kim Arellano is an Organizational Systems Transformation consultant (OD) and Executive Coach working to help organizations create a human centered workplace designed for innovation, creativity and success. She brings 19 years of experience in the high-tech industry and 5 years as a regional sales director to bring practical application of scientific psychological ideas to clients as well as sustainable education solutions.
In addition to transformative training and education programs, Kim is passionate about the generational shift now influencing significant transformation in the workplace. She has worked with organizations to analyze the 5 and 10 year succession planning as Baby Boomers exit corporate work environments and the next generations take over leadership roles.
Certifications, Education and Affiliations:
Professional in Human Resources (PHR), Masters of Science in Psychology, and B.S. degree in Human Services Management. Certified Counselor through the State of WA DOH and a member of several industry organizations including; SIOP, SHRM, PNODN and AHP. Certified Pathwise Trainer and Advisor. Certified Trainer for AchieveGlobal - Leadership and Customer Service. Currently completing Ph. D. in Organizational Systems Transformation where she is conducting qualitative research in generational transformation at Saybrook University.
Communication Coach, SPEAK with Power Consulting
Bio: Leo is a professional speaker, executive presentation coach at SPEAK with Power Consulting and has been an Adjunct Lecturer at University of Washington Bothell School of Business.
Coming to US as a political refugee at the age of 12 from the Soviet Union, Leo experienced first-hand the challenge of not being understood.
This challenge turned into a calling to master the art of effective communication.
Now his mission is to empower business professionals to overcome destructive communication habits by developing powerful presentation skills that can reach the hearts and minds of the audience to lead, sell & speak with more power, confidence and poise.
Leo has over 15 years of experience in communication, marketing and business development. His educational background includes a BA in English Literature from the University of Chicago and an MBA from the University of Dallas. He is a published author, inventor and founder of several start-ups. He is fluent in English, Russian, and conversant in Japanese.
Principal, Mark Gregory Sullivan Consulting
Bio: Mark Sullivan is the Senior Manager for Workforce Planning and Strategy at the State of Washington, and serves as an advisor to the Governor and agency leaders on veteran employment strategy. He holds a Bachelor Degree from the Evergreen State College and a Master Degree from Harvard University. He is a former member of the Washington State HR Council, and Founding President of the SHRM Olympia Chapter.
Senior Partner, Employment & Labor and Ag/Cooperative Practice Groups, Dorsey & Whitney LLP
Bio: Mike started his career as a client, not a lawyer. He represented the same company where he worked in management, thus “walking both sides of the street.” As a lawyer, Mike had devoted his practice to practical, results-oriented advice and litigation representation in situations where the law, facts or business risks are ambiguous.
Mike’s practice is devoted to the areas of employment law, agriculture and cooperative law, and in the food and agriculture industries. He has litigated employment and labor issues across Washington and California and advised across the United States. Throughout his career, a substantial part of Mike’s practice has been representing agriculture and food-based companies. He acts as outside general counsel in that industry, handles corporate governance, and manages complicated domestic and international transactions.
On the business side, Mike developed Dorsey’s LegalMine Document Review Solution from concept to operation. He has also held leadership roles as Office Head for Seattle (where he negotiated a large office move, and the office was named one of Washington’s Best Workplaces) and as co-head of the Labor & Employment and other practice groups.
Principal, Compensation Connections, Compensation Connections
Bio: Nancy Kasmar is a Principal of Compensation Connections, with over 25 years of management experience in addition to ten years in human resources. She received her Master of Science degree from the University of California, San Francisco, and a Certificate in Management from the University of California, San Diego. Nancy holds a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) designation with an additional certification as a Certified Professional (CCP). She is also certified as a SHRM-SCP.
Adjunct Faculty- Sports Management, Communication and Business, Universty of Saint Francis
Bio: Ron Lewis is an experienced trainer and speaker who has passionately presented to thousands about taking personal responsibility and accepting personal leadership. He graduated from Barry University with a bachelor’s degree in broadcast communication and a master’s degree in sport management. After four years in the nonproﬁt industry, Mr. Lewis transitioned to higher education, where he’s had an opportunity to teach, lead and manage at several colleges and universities locally in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He continues to teach and has taught several undergraduate and graduate collegiate courses, including Introduction to Business, Managing Human Resources, Professional Development, Leading Change Management, Organizational Development and Culture and Public Speaking. In January 2016, Mr. Lewis began working with PQC as the program manager for leadership development. He is a dynamic educator and presenter with experience speaking to students and employees on topics relating to resilience, personal ownership, and personal and professional persistence. He uses relatable principles accompanied by compassionate stories from his own experiences along with research through his doctoral education in global leadership at Indiana Tech. Ron has delivered presentations about leadership, employee engagement and cultural diversity at SHRM events. He has been selected to provide the closing keynote speech at the Decatur, Illinois 2016 SHRM Conference. His presentations are energetic and empowering, inspiring employees to work hard every day, take ownership of their learning, seek proper information, be engaged, and dedicate their lives to helping others. Mr. Lewis is a dynamic and passionate trainer who will galvanize attendees to take ownership in their development and learning.
Director of Strategic Initiatives, WorkForce Central
Bio: Shellie WIllis brings over 24 years of Financial Management experience, BS- Management Concepts, Certified Defense Financial Manager with specialty in Acquisitions, Certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, Level III Financial Management certification.
Chief Human Resources Officer, Clark Nuber PS
Bio: Award-winning Human Resources leader with more than 15 years' experience setting strategic direction for an organization which has repeatedly been recognized as one of the "best places to work," both statewide and nationally. Provided vision and leadership at the executive level to deliver evolutionary changes in talent management, recruitment and retention. A global thinker who contributes to the company’s success in both management and operations. Demonstrated excellence in organizational change management, having delivered substantial HR system, policy and procedure enhancements. Repeatedly recognized for innovative leadership that exceeds expectations while delivering on time and within budget.
Specialties: Organizational design and culture development, leadership, strategic planning, innovative program development, recruiting/hiring/terminations, on-boarding, compliance, compensation and benefits, performance management, training & development, career planning, staff development, employee relations, budgeting, project management, wellness, health, safety and security issues, facility management