Featured Speakers

Amir Ghannad

Amir Ghannad is a widely recognized authority in the field of organization development, a frequent and highly sought-after keynote speaker at leadership summits in the United States and abroad, and the founder of The Ghannad Group, which specializes in guiding leaders and equipping them with tools, skills, and the mindset to create extraordinary cultures that deliver breakthrough results.

For more than 31 years, Amir has held leadership positions of increasing responsibility and scope in multiple locations in the United States, Southeast Asia, and Europe with companies such as Procter and Gamble and Campbell Soup Company. Amir has consistently demonstrated his mastery in leading multinational and multifunctional teams. As a professional facilitator, Registered Corporate Coach, and a professional member of the National Speaker’s Association, Amir has also been a trusted adviser and coach to top-level executives in industries and locations around the world.

Amir’s first book, The Transformative Leader, has received rave reviews from award-winning authors and leading experts in the field of operational excellence and leadership development. Amir holds BS and MS degrees in mechanical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and an MBA with emphasis on organizational behavior from Wilmington University.

Dan Schawbel

Dan Schawbel is a New York Times bestselling author, partner and research director at Future Workplace, and the founder of both Millennial Branding and WorkplaceTrends.com. He is the author of Promote Yourself and Me 2.0, and his latest book is Back to Human: How Great Leaders Create Connection in the Age of Isolation.

Through his companies, Dan’s conducted dozens of research studies and worked with major brands including American Express, GE, Microsoft, Virgin, IBM, Coca Cola, and Oracle. He’s interviewed more than 2,000 of the world’s most successful people, such as Warren Buffett, Anthony Bourdain, Jessica Alba, Michael Bloomberg, Chelsea Handler, Colin Powell, Sheryl Sandberg, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. 

In addition, he has written articles for Forbes, Fortune, TIME, the Economist, Quartz, the World Economic Forum, the Harvard Business Review, the Guardian, and others, which combined have generated more than 15 million views. Dan has been profiled or quoted in media outlets such as NBC’s Today Show, Fox News’s Fox & Friends, MSNBC’s Your Business, the Steve Harvey Show, the Wall Street Journal, People magazine, Wired magazine, GQ, the Economist, and NPR. 

He has been recognized on several lists including Inc. magazine’s “30 Under 30,” Forbes magazine’s “30 Under 30,” Business Insider’s “40 Under 40,” BusinessWeek’s “20 Entrepreneurs You Should Follow,” and as one of Workforce magazine’s “Game Changers.”

Mack and Ria Story

Mack and Ria Story have an amazing history of professional growth, personal development, and transformation. Mack began his career working on the front lines of a machine shop while Ria started hers in healthcare administration, after overcoming years of difficult childhood. Working in completely different industries, they both began to apply leadership principles to their respective careers with incredible results personally and professionally, and developed a passion for leadership. They founded Top Story Leadership, and offer motivational speaking, leadership development training, coaching, and consulting. Their clients include Chick-fil-A, Auburn University, Koch Industries, and Kimberly-Clark. Together Mack and Ria are now creating and living the life they want, rather than the life they were given.

Liz Weber

Liz Weber is the president of Weber Business Services, a management consulting, training, and speaking firm headquartered near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. She provides strategic and succession planning, executive coaching, and comprehensive leadership training to association boards and leadership teams, as well as to businesses and government agencies. Liz is one of fewer than 100 people in the United States to hold both the Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) and Certified Management Consultant (CMC) designations—the highest earned designations in two different professions. She also holds an MBA in international business.

In addition to authoring nine leadership books and writing her monthly Manager’s Corner column, Liz has supervised association activities in 129 countries and has consulted with organizations in more than 20 countries. Her association leadership experience includes serving on the board and as president for numerous local associations, as well as serving six years as a national board director for the National Speakers Association. In her role in as national director, Liz twice earned the President’s Award: once for revamping the association’s strategic planning process, and once for her leadership of a strategic global taskforce.

Track Speakers

Kayvan Alikhani

Kayvan Alikhani is the co-founder and CEO of Compliance.ai. He previously led the identity strategy at RSA Security LLC, and represented EMC Corporation (now Dell EMC) on various industry alliances, such as FIDO, Fast Identity Online, Alliance. Previously, he launched PassBan (he was CEO until it was acquired by RSA), focusing on mobile identity assurance and biometrics authentication. Before that, he led strategy at LiteScape (as chief technology officer and later CEO), creating legal-tech solutions for Identity and Access Management (IAM). He was co-founder and chief technology officer at BeNotified and AVIRNEX (cloud-enhanced fixed and mobile communication service providers).

Ellen Bettenhausen

Ellen Bettenhausen An entrepreneur and former business owner herself, Ellen Bettenhausen clearly understands the challenges facing business leaders today—what it takes and what's at stake in producing successful business outcomes. As an accomplished leadership and organization development consultant, she knows the top challenge in sustaining change is the ability to influence the attitudes and behaviors of an organizational workforce. Influencing people in a way that transcends the intellectual and rational is the mark of a great leader. Ellen works with leaders to create an engaging work environment that supports business strategy and leads to long-term results and growth.

Jacque Burandt

Jacque Burandt is president of Jacque Burandt, Award-Winning Results LLC. As executive director of the Center for Learning Excellence at University Health System (UHS) in San Antonio, Texas, for 30 years, she had the responsibility for planning, implementing, and evaluating workplace learning for more than 7,500 employees at 25 sites. Burandt and her team were awarded three Learning in Practice Awards for Collaboration, the 2006 Gold Learning in Practice Award for Creative Alliances, and the 2008 Silver Learning Team Award by Chief Learning Officer magazine.

Jacque serves on ATD’s Healthcare Advisory Board and the Editorial Advisory Committee for ATD’s Chief Talent Development Officer magazine, as an ATD Excellence in Practice Award application reviewer, and chief learning officer judge for the Learning in Practice and Learning Elite awards. She is a frequent keynote speaker, webinar presenter, and journal contributor with expertise in healthcare talent development and branding learning.

James Bywater

James Bywater is the Executive Vice President and Managing Director of Consulting Solutions for Cohen Brown Management Group, Jim Bywater is responsible for managing the sales and delivery of the company’s sales-and-service performance solutions. He manages Cohen Brown’s Results Consultants and Regional Directors to ensure that clients achieve and sustain peak performance through solutions that are targeted to their needs.

Prior to joining Cohen Brown, Jim spent 10 years at First Interstate Bank of California, where he served in a range of line and managerial positions and “walked in the shoes” of Cohen Brown’s clients. In his leadership roles at the bank, he led his branches, areas, and districts to become the bank’s top performers.

Jim holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology, specializing in Business Administration, from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Matthew Daniel

Matthew Daniel is a high-energy, no-holds-barred, tell-it-like-it-is learning technologist with nearly 15 years of experience with some of the largest and most innovative companies across the country, and six years in one of the nations top ten banks - Capital One. While he’s implemented LMSs, LCMSs, Social Learning Platforms, and Curation Tools– his biggest success comes not in the implementation of the system, but in helping learning professionals figure out how to take their existing skills and experience and adapt to the digital age in a realistic way.

Matthew believes in building incredible learning experiences, not just events – that all begins with good instructional design, but it has to be wrapped in incredible user experience. Prior to implementing learning systems, Matthew was an instructional designer who built large-scale new hire and upskill programs for organizations like Homeland Security, the DoD, Honeywell, Valero, and ExxonMobil.

Today, Matthew works with learning software companies on product design, consults on learning transformation, and inspires learning professionals to adopt new technologies and create amazing experiences to transform the lives of our learners.

Dr. Dick Daniels

Dr. Dick Daniels is the vice president of consulting services and an executive coach with Right Management’s Florida/Caribbean region. Dick brings Right Management’s clients more than 17 years of strategic leadership development consulting and executive coaching experience. He creates leadership development frameworks and systems to align emerging, mid-level, and senior level leaders with clients’ business objectives, supporting organizational growth and succession planning. As business strategist, coach, educator, and author, he is a proven resource for shaping a results-focused leadership culture within the unique context of each organization.

Prior to joining Right Management, Dick was the leadership development specialist for the 13,000-employee Lee Health regional healthcare system, based in Fort Myers, Florida. Prior to that he was a consultant with Fairview Health System in Minneapolis. His extensive leadership consulting and executive coaching experience in Minnesota and Florida has included system design and implementation for clients across industry sectors. Dick has also served as an adjunct professor at the doctoral and masters levels in organizational leadership. His published work includes the award-winning book Leadership Briefs: Shaping Organizational Culture to Stretch Leadership Capacity (2015).

Dick received a doctorate in adult development from Bethel University in St. Paul, Minnesota. He holds a master’s degree in student development in higher education from Loyola University, Chicago, and a master’s in educational administration from Trinity International University. Active in international humanitarian efforts, he has led service trips in locations around the globe, including Ghana, Ecuador, Norway, Kuwait, and South Africa. He is certified in Hogan Assessments, Executive Coaching, DiSC, StrengthsFinder, EQ, Five Dysfunctions of a Team, and Creating Leadership Development Programs (ATD).

Tom Darrow

Thomas M. Darrow, SHRM-SCP, is the founder and principal of Talent Connections, Career Spa, and the Atlanta HR Prayer Breakfast.

Tom has more than 29 years of experience in the human resources and recruitment profession, including nine years with the global professional services firms of Price Waterhouse (now PricewaterhouseCoopers) and Andersen Consulting (now Accenture).

He was the 2006 and 2007 president of SHRM-Atlanta, the largest city chapter in the country. Under his leadership as president, SHRM-Atlanta's membership increased 60 percent, to over 2,600 members, and the chapter won a SHRM Pinnacle Award for membership growth and a Pinnacle Award for the Mayor's Youth Program. Tom also served on the SHRM Staffing Management Expert Panel and the SHRM Cost per Hire Standard Review Committee. Tom earned a bachelor’s of business administration degree in accounting from the University of Notre Dame.

Tom lives in Murphy, North Carolina, and Atlanta, Georgia, with his wife, Anne, and parrot, Mango. He enjoys golf, Notre Dame football, Christian music, travel in the United States and Caribbean, spending time with family and friends, and comedy. In 2004 he made his stand-up comedy debut at The Punch Line, the premier comedy club in the Southeast. Tom is a significant shareholder of the 13-time World Champion Green Bay Packers.

Jonathan Ellis

Jonathan M. Ellis is an influential leader who has 13 years of comprehensive experience in talent and organizational development, with the majority of that time spent in financial services. Jonathan has a strong track record of transformative results. In his current position as learning and development transformative architect at Credit Human, he is focused on designing an innovative, immersive learning framework that focuses on learning in the age of immediacy. Through that transformation, Credit Human will achieve its mission of providing members an exceptional experience, better financial health, and happier lives.

Jonathan is known as a dynamic presenter with an exceptional ability to engage and inspire groups of all sizes. He is recognized as a leading expert in the art of gamification, the incorporation of innovative gaming techniques into everyday learning. He infuses creative techniques and gaming technology into his presentations and ignites positive energy.

Jonathan earned a master’s degree in business administration and a bachelor’s degree in management from the University of Texas at San Antonio. Jonathan is a top performer in the talent development field, evidenced by his earning of the Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP) credential from the Association for Talent Development Certification Institute. He lives in San Antonio, Texas, and devotes most of his free time to his three children, Jonathan Jr., Julianna, and Jeremiah.

Dr. Howard Forman, MD, MBA

Howard Forman, MD, MBA Professor of Diagnostic Radiology, Economics, and Public Health; Director of the MD/MBA Program; Director of Healthcare Curriculum, MBA for Executives Program; Lecturer in Ethics, Politics, and Economics

Howard Forman is a professor of diagnostic radiology (and vice chair for finance), public health (health policy), economics, and management. He directs the healthcare management program in the Yale School of Public Health and teaches healthcare economics in the Yale College Economics Department. He is the faculty founder and director of the MD/MBA program as well as the faculty director of the healthcare focus area in the School of Management’s MBA for Executives program. As a practicing emergency/trauma radiologist, he is actively involved in patient care and issues related to financial administration, healthcare compliance, and contracting. His research has been focused on improving imaging services delivery through better access to information. He has worked in the U.S. Senate, as a health policy fellow, on Medicare legislation.

Lori Gravelle

Lori Gravelle, CHC, is an experienced and passionate healthcare executive knowledgeable in regulatory and governance requirements, including hospital, private practice, nonprofit corporations, and federally qualified healthcare centers. Lori is the compliance, privacy, and security officer for U.S. Radiology Specialists, founded jointly by Charlotte Radiology, one of the nation's largest and most progressive private radiology groups, and Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe, a leading healthcare investment firm, providing partners with the resources they need to thrive in the rapidly evolving healthcare arena.

Marsha Ershaghi Hames

Marsha Ershaghi Hames is a managing director at LRN, a global compliance and ethics firm that specializes in developing principled corporate cultures. She has spent two decades advising boards and executive teams on transforming organizational culture, building effective compliance risk mitigation strategies, improving training effectiveness, and promoting greater leadership accountability. She believes compliance matters are no longer just legal issues but business and reputational priorities.

As a highly cited thought leader, Marsha has delivered speaking engagements at industry and association meetings including the Defense Industry Initiative, Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics, Ethics & Compliance Initiative, and Ethisphere, and led executive programs at Georgetown University and the University of Southern California. She also leads workshops for corporate boards and executive leadership teams. She has guided projects for organizations across a spectrum of industries in the private, commercial, and nonprofit sectors. Marsha has been interviewed and cited by media including CNBC, CNN, Entrepreneur, Anti-Corruption Report, Ethisphere, ComplianceWeek, Risk & Compliance magazine, and SCCE’s Ethikos. Marsha is an expert fellow at the USC’s Neely Center for Ethical Leadership and Decision Making and serves on the advisory board of Compliance.ai, a financial tech firm that runs an AI platform designed to help distill financial regulatory risk into tangible intelligence.

Marsha holds a doctorate in educational technology and leadership, an MA in educational technology from Pepperdine University, and a BA from the University of Southern California.

Andrew Henderson

Andrew Henderson is the vice president of engineering for Praemo. Praemo is leveraging the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), data science, and artificial intelligence (AI) to help its customers reduce equipment downtime, optimize production processes, and manage risks.

Before joining Praemo, Andy held various positions inside GE Power and GE Digital. For most of his tenure at GE, he focused on integrating new technology with manufacturing operations to improve processes. He provided thought leadership around GE's Brilliant Factory efforts. Andy was instrumental in developing the Brilliant Factory road map for GE's Greenville plant in addition to leading multiple research projects with universities and internal manufacturing research groups.

From diesel engine testing and validation at Caterpillar, to designing and executing cutting tests during doctoral research at Clemson, then through the projects he led within manufacturing at GE, and currently into the development of the Razor product with Praemo, sensors, data collection, and data analysis have been central elements of everything Andy has done in his entire career. He has seen firsthand the benefits that are possible when the IIoT and advanced data analytics are applied in industry. He believes that the use of these technologies will revolutionize the way people work and do business in all industrial sectors.

Andrew Henderson

Erin Higgenbotham is an instructional designer within the Technical Development Center at Honda of America Manufacturing, located in Marysville, Ohio. Before joining Honda, she worked as an instructional designer in the power industry, developing eLearning, web-based synchronous, asynchronous training, instructor led-training focused on automation, protection relays, and protection systems. She has also worked in the library science area, where she developed and facilitated blended technical training for EMEA and domestic audiences. Erin aims to create learning experiences that are relevant, applicable, engaging, and effective for learners. Her educational background includes international experience studying at Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan, and a M.A. in Japanese Linguistics with a focus in Curriculum Development for Bilingual Learners from the University of Arizona. She acquired a M.Ed. in Instructional Design and Technology from Kent State University.

Walter E. Johnson

Walter E. Johnson is the director of compliance and ethics for Kforce Government Solutions (KGS), a federal government contractor. Walter is responsible for implementing and maintaining a compliance and ethics structure with special focus on Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR), Defense Contracting Audit Agency (DCAA), and federal contracting rules and requirements. Daily activities include developing enterprise education and training, conducting investigations, developing compliance monitoring and reporting tools, and providing compliance guidance to business units.

Prior to KGS, Walter served as director of compliance systems and finance for Ameritox Ltd and as compliance project manager for the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Mid-Atlantic States Inc. He conducted internal and external audits, developed policies and managed an enterprise policy intranet site, coordinated regulatory submissions, served as disaster recovery and business continuity department lead, and provided compliance guidance to enterprise-wide program and project implementations. Walter served as an adjunct professor for the University of Maryland University College and Baltimore City Community College, lecturing on business and ethics courses.

As an active member of the Health Care Compliance Association and Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics, he is an advocate for contributing to the compliance profession by mentoring compliance professionals, sharing experiences, and participating in study groups and roundtable discussions.

Walter’s certifications include Certified in Healthcare Compliance (CHC), Certified in Healthcare Privacy Compliance (CHPC), Certified Compliance & Ethics Professional (CCEP), Certified Compliance & Ethics Professional–International (CCEP-I), CCM (Certification in Continuity Management), CRCMP (Certification in Risk & Compliance Management Professional), and CSOE (Certification in Sarbanes-Oxley).

Walter earned a bachelor of science in business administration with a concentration in marketing from Bowie State University. Additionally, he earned a master of science in administration with a concentration in international administration from Central Michigan University. Walter and his wife, Latoya, have been married for 14 years and have two children, Jordan (12) and Justine (9).

Jared LeDoux

Jared LeDoux is the senior director of human resources at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He directs HR activities including strategies, policies, and programs focused on the selection, engagement, development, and retention of team members. Key areas of leadership across his work experience in healthcare have included leadership development, employee engagement, talent management, compensation and payroll, employee relations, and leader goal management.

Jared completed his undergraduate studies in psychology at McNeese State University and earned his PhD in industrial-organizational psychology from Louisiana State University in 2011. Jared is a board-certified coach with specialty designation in executive coaching. He is a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) and Certified Professional within the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM-CP). He is also a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt and Master TeamSTEPPS trainer.

Betsy Allen Manning

Betsy Allen Manning is recognized as one of the top leadership speakers, a best-selling author, and a personality expert. Betsy mastered the art of human behavior while working as a manager for multi-billion-dollar corporations such as Disney, the Golden Globe Events, and Wynn Hotels. Betsy provides managers with communication strategies to reduce workplace conflict, increase team productivity, and expand bottom-line results. Her strategies cover the three areas most integral for leaders to produce top results for their organization: high-level communication, increased influence, and high-performing habits. Typical clients experience a 78 percent reduction in workplace stress and at least a 27 percent increase in productivity. Betsy has used these techniques to train managers for Toshiba, TSA, and the U.S. Department of Defense. Her keynote speeches, leadership development programs, and cutting-edge communication techniques have helped her develop positive cultures in organizations nationwide, and have played a huge role in how she became one of the most in-demand trainers on DiSC Personality Styles and a top John Maxwell certified coach in Dallas.

Scott Pitts

Scott Pitts has spent nearly two decades in the learning and organization development professions, 16 of which have been in the financial services industry. Prior to his current role as a learning strategist for a major financial services firm, he created and led a learning department for the largest bank in Missouri not headquartered in a metro market. Currently, he partners with executives to recommend firm-wide learning and organization development solutions. Scott has performed and led nearly all learning functions as defined by ATD.

Scott is also an Associate Adjunct Professor of Training & Development, as well as Organization Development & Change at the Walker School of Business at Webster University in St. Louis, MO. Scott is also serving as a Captain (Promotable) in the United States Army Reserves for the 7th Psychological Operations Group in Mountain View, CA. Scott is active in serving the Army and his local community by training local educators, clergy, and behavioral health professionals on suicide Intervention. He also serves on the Business Education Advisory Board for Mineral Area College in Park Hills, MO where he advises department leaders on curriculum enhancements to train future business leaders in SE Missouri.

Scott's idea of good self-care is sitting on his porch on his 6 acres of Missouri woods with cold beverage in hand, Darius Rucker playing, and his kids exploring the woods.

Greg Rider

Greg Rider is Director, Corporate Compliance for EmblemHealth, a regional Health Plan based in New York City. He has over 20 years’ experience in employee training and development, much of that time in healthcare-related organizations. In his role at EmblemHealth, he directs: Compliance education and training; Compliance communications; Conflicts of Interest disclosure and reporting; Compliance & Ethics Hotline administration and reporting; Standards of Conduct; Policy development, review, and revision; and the administration of the Corporate Compliance Committee.

Prior to joining EmblemHealth, Greg worked in Compliance Education for NYU Langone Medical Center, where he designed, developed, and launched online Compliance courses for 20,000 users of the Medical Center’s Learning Management System and facilitated live classroom training in several sites across New York City. He has held positions as Director of Learning Services and Training Manager for several medical education agencies and served as an instructional design consultant for Quest Diagnostics, Shire Pharmaceuticals, and Forest Pharmaceuticals and Laboratories.

Greg has served in many volunteer roles at the local and national levels for ATD and has delivered workshops at ICE and the Chapter Leaders Conference. He holds dual certifications in training and development, the CPLP, and in healthcare, the CHC (Certified in Healthcare Compliance). Greg received a Master’s degree in English from Georgia State University.

Theresa Scepanski

Theresa Scepanski, MA, is the senior vice president, chief administrative officer of University Health System. In this role, she has spearheaded significant improvements and expansions in all her areas of responsibility: human resources, the Center for Learning Excellence, employee health, safety and wellness, environment of care, emergency preparedness, detention health care services, and the University Health System Foundation. Previously she was the interim chief executive officer for community first health plans, HMO, from April to December 2010.

Manjit Sekhon

Manjit Sekhon is the director of learning experience design at Intrepid by VitalSource. She has been in the learning field since 1999, and has a background in organization development, performance, and change management. She helps clients reimagine what learning could look like in their organizations when they move from instructor-led training and e-learning to social and collaborative learning journeys. A passionate defender of learner rights, she focuses on using the platform to connect learning with on-the-job experiences.

Yon Sugiharto

Yon Sugiharto searches for innovative ways to make learning and professional development more accessible to healthcare workers and care providers who are juggling multiple organizational priorities while caring for patients. Yon fell in love with the healthcare industry as an EMR trainer more than 10 years ago. Since then, he has worked in various learning and development capacities at organizations such as BMO Financial Group, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, and Health Quest. Yon is currently the director of learning and development for Yale Medicine, the physician specialty practice of Yale University’s School of Medicine, where he is implementing a core curriculum addressing communication and teamwork, change management, productivity, and operational awareness.