Keynote Speakers

Fernando Sanchez-Arias

Chief People Officer of Global Custom Commerce, The Home Depot

Fernando is currently the chief people officer of Global Custom Commerce, the Home Depot Company center of excellence for configurable products, where he also serves as a member of the people strategy and innovation team. He is the co-dean of the Institute for Leadership, Innovation, Advancement, and Development (ILIAD). Fernando was part of the work-based learning leadership executive doctoral program organized by the Wharton School and the Graduate School of Education of the University of Pennsylvania, where he is currently writing his dissertation about cultural intelligence. He has almost 30 years of experience in people strategy, cultural intelligence, international business, diversity, and leadership development. He is an engaging leader with a strong bias for action and results who combines his solid business experience as a C-level executive, board member, and talent developer with his rigorous Ivy League education. His working experience conducting cross-border negotiations, human capital strategies, and learning programs to develop better leaders and organizations in more than 70 countries has given him a clear understanding of the power of culture in executing strategy. He is a past president of Junior Chamber International (JCI), a worldwide federation of leaders, entrepreneurs, and active citizens affiliated with the United Nations and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). He is an international training fellow of the JCI University, the educational arm of JCI. Fernando was a member of the Board of Directors for the Association for Talent Development and is vice president of the United States–Mexico Chamber of Commerce in Houston.

Session: The Evolving Workforce: Embracing Digitalization to Develop the Talent of the Future

Digital, disruptive innovation is changing the way we do business. Present success is not a guarantee of future success—and that’s true now more than ever. Business executives and talent development leaders need to learn new ways to attract, develop, and retain the best talent in a market full of accelerated and unexpected changes, where digitalization is increasing the speed of change and abruptly transforming the way organizations develop their people.

At the end of this session, you will be able to:

  • Distinguish the profile of the workforce of the future.
  • Look inward to understand the different values of new generations of associates.
  • Understand your organization’s talent development digital gap.
  • Identify the attributes of successful digital cultures.
  • Empower business leaders to embrace digitalization.


LeAnn McCrum

Leadership and Talent Strategist, DDI (Development Dimensions International)

LeAnn McCrum has more than 20 years of leadership and management experience, and has extensive expertise in areas such as leadership strategy, leader selection, leadership development, and succession management. She currently leads a team of top leadership advisers who enable multinational organizations to implement business strategies and solutions to build better futures by developing better leaders. 

LeAnn is passionate about advancing women in leadership. To this end, she helps organizations evaluate practices and formulate strategies to go from “nothing to something” or from “good to great” to help women succeed. She is also an experienced keynote speaker; some of the areas she covers in her presentations are building a personal brand, networking, confidence, and executive impact.

As a successful female leader herself, LeAnn knows what it takes to ascend the leadership ladder. She strives to ignite change and empower women to become strong leaders. Advancing gender parity in leadership roles is key not only for women themselves, but also for the success of their organizations. It's not a women's issue; it's a business issue.

Session: Unleashing Hidden Potential: Power Moves to Ignite Change and Diversity

Ignoring the potential of women leaders likely means your business and financial results are lagging, too. Research shows that organizations in the top 20 percent for financial performance have twice as many women leaders as organizations in the bottom 20 percent. Unfortunately, the number of women in leadership is still lagging, particularly at senior levels. 

This session is a springboard to help women and their allies identify and address the unique challenges facing women. You will learn how to close the confidence gap, find your strength as a leader, and super-power your networks. Supported by new data from the 2018 Global Leadership Forecast, you will also learn to leverage the latest research on the gender gap and connect gender diversity to better financial performance. 

Leave this session inspired to amplify your influence, make the case for gender diversity, and unleash the potential of the women you coach and mentor!


Session Facilitators

Christopher Adams
Session: Stopping the Jump-to-Solution Approach

Chris Adams is a performance consultant and instructional designer with more than 20 years of experience helping clients engage people, apply processes, and implement technology to improve human and organizational performance. He is a senior consultant for Handshaw Inc. in Charlotte, North Carolina. In 1999, Chris was co-inventor of Handshaw’s award-winning software, Lumenix—one of the first content-managed platforms for e-learning. Chris frequently writes and speaks on the topic of performance consulting, has been a featured speaker for a number of ATD and ISPI chapters, and has presented at regional and international conferences such as ATD International Conference & Exposition, Training magazine, Training Solutions, the Performance Improvement Conference, and the Coast Guard HPT Conference. He is a doctoral candidate in the instructional design and technology program at Old Dominion University. Since 2015, Chris has partnered with Dana Robinson to deliver performance consulting services offered by Handshaw Inc.

David Davis
Romar Learning Solutions
Session: The Secret to Adopting a Great Learning Solution in Your Organization

David started his career at Parke-Davis as a pharmaceutical sales representative in 1983. During his 18-year career with Parke-Davis, he held positions in sales, sales management, human resources, and training and development, including director of management and leadership development and director of sales training. In 1999, David left Parke-Davis to join LearnWare, an e-learning solution provider. When LearnWare evolved into AcceleraRomar, in January 2002, David transferred to the Romar group, as managing director of consulting. In January 2008, David became president and owner of Romar Learning Solutions, where he now leads a team of talented learning professionals.

Ronda Davis
Session: Fill Your Toolbox: 10 Essential Technology Tools for Talent Development Professionals

Ronda Davis is the training manager at MicroPact, a software company based in Herndon, Virginia, and has recently launched Elevation 52, where she elevates people’s lives through technology, yoga, and lifelong learning. She is a Certified Professional in Learning and Performance, Project Management Professional, and Registered Yoga Teacher. She holds a BS in information systems and operations management and an MS in information technology and management from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Ronda is working on a PhD in information technology with a specialization in information technology education at Capella University. Her speaking engagements include the ATD 2016 Asia Pacific Conference and Exhibition, Training 2017 Conference and Exposition, Metro DC Chapter of ATD, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, North Carolina State Jaycees Annual Convention, and Women's Entrepreneurial Leadership and Learning Conference. 

Martha Freeman 
Power Presentations Inc.  
Session: Enhance Your Training and Facilitation Skills: Inspire and Empower Your Learners

Martha Freeman, account manager and consultant for Power Presentations, has nearly 25 years of award-winning sales, training, and account management experience. She began her career as a staffing manager for Robert Half International, where she won two President’s Club awards. In her second year, she was named top sales professional, generating $1.7 million in sales. Next, Martha transitioned to pharmaceutical sales, earning her third President’s Club award with Novartis Ophthalmic. It was there she discovered her passion for training. As a field sales trainer, she coached representatives to better understand and sell products. She then moved to animal health as an account executive with Pfizer. From there she started a pet sales territory for Boehringer Ingelheim, earning her fourth President’s Club award. In this position, she honed skills to make complicated technical information relatable and understandable by facilitating technical training events with subject matter experts.

Rance Greene
Session: Bringing Stories to Center Stage in Training

Rance Greene designs stories for more than 20,000 employees at Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC): stories that reflect reality on the job and connect employees with performance objectives in a way that engages their emotions and makes them think. HCSC's story-based training has won multiple awards from the eLearning Guild, Health Ethics Trust, ATD Dallas Axis Awards, and Telly Awards. Rance was named a Top 25 2016 Emerging Training Leader by Training magazine. He also coaches instructional designers and conducts online master classes, such as Story Design, Visual Storytelling, and Analyzing for Action. His online and live presentations offer methodical and practical approaches to telling stories that make a tangible impact in the workplace. He believes every talent development professional and leader can learn how to bring stories center stage in training and communications. Rance serves on the executive board for ATD Dallas, overseeing professional development.

Heather Haas
Session: Hunting Down High-Potential Talent and Future Leaders

Heather believes there is no higher calling than helping leaders grow. Her passion for fueling others’ success drove her from her beginnings as a teacher and principal to her role as president of ADVISA. ADVISA is a leadership consultancy headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, serving 350 clients around the country. Heather believes that strong, caring leaders not only grow companies, but also create vibrant work cultures filled with engaged, productive people who make their communities better places. ADVISA is a proud certified partner of The Predictive Index system, a scientifically validated assessment software and training platform that helps leaders hire the right talent, develop leaders, inspire a healthy work culture, and drive sales performance. Heather holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in educational leadership, both from Indiana University. 

Chris Hennessy
Leadership Call LLC
Session: Emotional Intelligence in Leadership Development

Chris leads the workshop operations and program curriculum creation for client in-house leader development and certification programs. She is certified in EQ-i 2.0 and EQ 360, as well as a Master Trainer in the Pearman Personality Integrator. Her passion at Leadership Call LLC is creating customized emotional intelligence (EI) programs to meet the needs of clients’ leadership development goals. Her efforts have resulted in thousands of individuals around the globe succeeding in their EI journeys. Prior to her involvement in EI, she had more than 15 years of corporate event operations management and executive recruitment experience. Chris is actively involved in her community with activities that include being a member of the “Power of a Dream” Tournament Committee for the FUTURES Golf Tour, a cycling team captain for American Diabetes Association Fundraiser, and volunteering with Captain Hope’s “Coats for Kids.” She likes to see people smile and has enjoyed providing candid and action photography for corporate celebrity events and organizations, such as The Byron Nelson, Dallas Cowboys, Dallas Stars, Dallas Mavericks, NFL Refs Association, and the American Heart Association. She was voted by her peers “Miss Congeniality” in the Miss American Coed Pageant 1989. 

Ed Hennessy
Leadership Call LLC
Session: Emotional Intelligence in Leadership Development

Ed Hennessy is a master training partner in Emotional Intelligence EQ-I 2.0 & EQ360 and the Pearman Personality Integrator with Multi-Health Systems (MHS), a global provider of leading psychological assessments for more than 30 years. Ed and the team at Leadership Call work with individuals and organizations through a blended approach that can include EQ-I 2.0 certification, workshops, assessments, leadership development, coaching, presentations, public speaking, and other emotional intelligence–related services. Their clients include hundreds of individuals and organizations around the world, representing a diversity of major industries including higher education, government, military, and law enforcement. Ed is a U.S. Army veteran and graduate of Norwich University.

Sheri Jeavons
Power Presentations Inc.
Session: Enhance Your Training and Facilitation Skills: Inspire and Empower Your Learners

When Sheri founded Power Presentations in 1993, she had two goals in mind. The first was to empower business professionals to look and sound dynamic while communicating in any situation. The second was to deliver training that professionals would leave saying, “That was the best training I’ve ever attended. Ever.” Since then, Power Presentations has successfully trained more than 25,000 professionals from a variety of Fortune 500 companies and industry leaders such as FedEx, Bayer, Goodyear, and NASA. Sheri is the author of Tips for Your Talk® and Master Your Virtual Communications: A Webinars That Wow® Training Guide.

Dawn Lewis
Vice President, Talent Development Consultant, Baird
Session: Bite-Sized Microlearning Best Practices

In her role as a vice president and talent development consultant, Dawn Lewis is responsible for the partnership among members of the talent development and HR team to design and implement programs, practices, and learning content that support Baird’s firmwide strategies and development efforts. She acts as a strategic partner, adviser, and consultant to the firm and provides strategic consultation to the Baird business around best practices of training and development. Her role also includes the opportunity to design and facilitate a variety of successful and engaging firmwide learning experiences, such as in-person classroom training, microlearning, blended learning, and virtual learning. She is committed to finding innovative and emerging delivery methods and identifying ways to deliver training programs to ensure the right learning and retention outcomes.

Greg Owen-Boger
Vice President, Turpin Communications
Session: Effective SMEs: How to Help Subject Matter Experts Facilitate Learning

Greg Owen-Boger is the vice president of Turpin Communication, a presentation and facilitation training company in Chicago, where he serves as an instructor and executive coach. Greg was the 2015 president of the ATD Chicagoland Chapter. He is a frequent blogger and speaker, and the co-author of two books, Effective SMEs: A Trainer's Guide for Helping Subject Matter Experts Facilitate Learning and The Orderly Conversation: Business Presentations Redefined. He is among many thought leaders who contributed to the book Master Presenter: Lessons From the World's Top Experts on Becoming a More Influential Speaker. His speaking credits include the ATD International Conference & Exposition, many ATD chapter events, Training magazine events, the Chicago eLearning & Technology Showcase, and webcasts sponsored by ATD, the eLearning Guild, PresentationXpert, and others.

Jon Player
Bell Leadership Institute
Session: Building Your Influence: Enhancing Your Communication Skills to Effectively Drive Results

Jon uses his background as an attorney and scientist to take an investigative approach to identify and analyze issues that hinder growth. He is a skilled presenter who has sharpened his skills before judges and juries. For nine years at a boutique litigation firm, Jon developed a reputation as an attorney who could analyze complex issues and break them down into essential, manageable elements. Clients sought his counsel on the most complex cases, as well as his measured approach to dispute resolution. Jon lived in Guatemala volunteering for a medical organization, managed large-scale research studies investigating the role of genetics in cancer development, and helped start an institute to exonerate wrongly convicted prisoners in Virginia. Companies who turn to Bell Leadership for training and consulting appreciate Jon’s unique perspective from his manifold experiences and the value he brings to their organizational cultures.

Katy Tynan
Liteskip Consulting Group
Session: 5 Skills Every Manager Needs

Katy Tynan is the bestselling author of practical guides to leadership and career development, and an internationally recognized expert in management and career skills. Over her 20-year career in talent development, Katy has worked with hundreds of individuals and organizations to improve their leadership and professional skills. Katy is the author of Survive Your Promotion! The 90 Day Success Plan for New Managers; her latest book is How Did I Not See This Coming? A New Manager’s Guide to Avoiding Total Disaster, from ATD Press.

Julie Winkle Giulioni
Founder, DesignArounds
Session: Help Them Grow or Watch Them Go!

Julie Winkle Giulioni has spent the past 25 years improving performance through learning. She’s partnered with hundreds of organizations to develop and deploy innovative leadership training solutions that are in use worldwide. Prior to co-founding DesignArounds 15 years ago, Julie was director of product development for one of the world’s largest commercial training companies. She also held multiple training leadership roles and was a department chair and professor at Southern California University. Julie was named one of Inc. magazine’s top 100 leadership speakers and received the Global HR Excellence Award for Strategic Leadership from the World HR Congress. She is the co-author of the Amazon bestseller Help Them Grow or Watch Them Go: Career Conversations Employees Want, a respected speaker on a variety of topics, and a regular contributor to many business publications.