This year’s California HR Conference lineup features entrepreneurs, HR executives, and major brand leaders presenting exceptional sessions in topics like California Employment Law, Compensation & Benefits, Culture, HR Technology, Inclusion & Diversity, Leadership & Personal Growth, Org Effectiveness & Strategic Planning, Talent Management, Global HR, and HR Department of One.

Meet our CAHR20 speakers!

Lisa Aguiar

Attorney of Counsel, Michael Sullivan & Associatees

Ms. Aguiar, Of Counsel, practices exclusively employment law, and represents a wide range of businesses. Previously, as Managing Partner at the firm, she headed its employment law practice, and was responsible for growing the firm’s new employment law division. She supervised that practice area in the firm’s offices statewide. Ms. Aguiar represents private and public sector businesses in all aspects of employment law defense. She develops defense strategy from initial claim through trial, with an emphasis on preventing litigation and reducing exposure. She is an experienced advocate for large companies with a unionized workforce. Among her notable successes are favorable resolutions of claims with the National Labor Relations Board and of administrative audits by the Department of Labor, Department of Labor Standard Enforcement and the Employment Development Department.

Eva A. Allen, MBA

Engagement Director, Southern California & Nevada, Cigna

Eva Allen is the Engagement Director for Cigna leading the consultative engagement operation for large employer groups in the Southern California and Nevada markets. She is responsible for the training, development and performance management of the Client & Customer Engagement team, including Engagement Consultants and Well-Being Coordinators. Eva’s career with Cigna began in June 2007. She is honored as an awarded graduate of the specialized group school program, Cigna Academy. She currently directs the well-being team and brings to life the vision of initiatives in the Southern California and Nevada market. Eva holds her Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) from University of Hartford’s Barney School of Business and Bachelor of Science (BS) in Cognitive Science from University of California, San Diego with a specialization in Human Behavior. She is a Certified Wellness Program Coordinator (CWPC).

Ali Brodie

Partner at Fox Rothschild

Ali is co-chair of both the Immigration practice and the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Services practice. She represents companies and individuals in business immigration, employer compliance and EB-5 matters. She advises startups and established companies in connection with visa sponsorship of foreign nationals and permanent residency as well as counsels investors and entrepreneurs on securing visas or permanent residency. She also helps companies assess immigration compliance (Form I-9, E-Verify) and train relevant personnel on federal and state employer verification laws with particular focus in the hotel, restaurant, construction and gaming industries. Ali routinely handles L-1, H-1B, H-2B, B-1, B-2, R, TN, I-1, E-2, E-3, EB-1C, PERM/EB-2, EB-5 and EB-1A visa status and permanent residency. She also handles I-526 petitions. Additionally, she regularly educates developers, franchises and investors throughout the United States and in China on EB-5 regional center opportunities.

Brendon Burchard

The World’s Leading High Performance Coach & Bestselling Author of High Performance Habits and The Motivation Manifesto

According to Forbes and Success magazines, Brendon Burchard is the world’s leading high performance coach and one of the most watched, quoted, and followed personal development trainers in history. Brendon regularly keynotes for audiences up to 20,000 people and receives standing ovations because of his humble background, pioneering research, motivational stories, and playful humor. A #1 New York Times best-selling author, his blockbuster books include High Performance Habits, The Motivation Manifesto, The Charge, and Life’s Golden Ticket. His brands have over 10 million fans on social media. His personal development videos have been viewed more than 200 million times, and over 2 million students have taken his online courses or video training series, consuming over 10 million hours of instruction. For these results, Oprah.com named him “one of the most successful online trainers in history.” He has been on the cover of Success magazine, and three of his podcasts–including The Brendon Show–debuted at #1 across all categories on iTunes. His website is Brendon.com.

Jarik Conrad, EdD, SPHR, SHRM-SC

Sr. Director, Human Insights & HCM Evangelism at UKG (Ultimate Kronos Group)

Jarik Conrad leads the Human Insights and HCM Evangelism team Ultimate Software. In this capacity, Dr. Conrad helps organizations stay abreast of the latest workforce trends and innovative approaches to people management. Dr. Conrad led The Conrad Consulting Group, where he served as an executive coach, facilitator, and management consultant. He has held significant HR roles at Fortune 500 companies, including McDonnell Douglas (Boeing), Pillsbury (General Mills), Union Carbide (Dow), Citigroup, and CSX Technology, and directed the HR department for the City of Jacksonville, Florida. Dr. Conrad is passionate about education. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois, two master’s degrees from Cornell University, and a Doctor of Education degree from the University of North Florida. He is a certified SPHR, certified SHRM-SCP, a certified intercultural sensitivity expert, and a certified emotional intelligence expert. Dr. Conrad is a member of the invitation-only Consortium for Research on Emotional Intelligence in Organizations (CREIO). Dr. Conrad has served as an adjunct faculty member and taught continuing education classes in Florida. He is also the author of the best-selling book, “The Fragile Mind.”

Eric De Wames

Managing Partner at Michael Sullivan & Associates

Managing Partner Eric De Wames leads Michael Sullivan & Associates’ employment law practice for its nine offices throughout California. Mr. De Wames is a 17-year vetted Trial Attorney, representing businesses in the full range of employment and labor law matters including wage-and-hour, discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wrongful termination claims, with particular expertise in PAGA representative and class actions. He is an expert in devising creative and effective strategies for investigating, litigating and negotiating settlements that serve the individualized needs of every client. He counsels business owners, managers and HR professionals on federal and state labor regulations, and is an experienced advocate before the EEOC, DLSE and other governmental agencies. Mr. De Wames serves as counsel for the full range of employer businesses from small startups to Fortune 500 companies. A well-regarded expert on all things employment law, Mr. De Wames devotes considerable time to speaking engagements like CAHR20 in order to aid employers and their HR advocates to navigate California’s rigorous and ever-evolving compliance laws, with an emphasis on litigation prevention.

Mike Deblieux, SHRM-SCP

Principal Consultant at Deblieux, LLC

Mike Deblieux, SHRM-SCP designs and presents seminars and workshops for workplace leaders and their teams. His insights and practical concepts build leadership skills and help teams reach their maximum potential. Mike works one-on-one with individual workplace leaders who want to change or improve their ability to guide their teams. Mike is a SHRM Trainer. He holds a SHRM California Law Credential. He is a recipient of the PIHRA HR Excellence Award, a past President of PIHRA, and for more than fifteen years, author of the HR Concepts column in the PIHRAscope. Mike is the author of seven popular management books. He writes The Deblieux Report (www.deblieux.com), to provide productivity, leadership, and team building ideas for workplace leaders.

Robin Elledge, SPHR, PCC, MBA

President at Janus Coaching + Consulting & Adjunct Associate Professor at University of Southern California

Robin Elledge is a respected Human Resources leader and results-oriented change agent. With over 30 years leading large Human Resources teams, she has seen the profession grow and shift towards an exciting and impactful future. In the past we spoke of HR having a seat at the table. Now we are partnering with business leaders to create that table. She is currently an in-demand HR/OD Consultant and a certified Executive, Leadership, and Team Coach through her company Janus Coaching + Consulting. In addition, she is an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Southern California (USC), where she leads classes in their online MS, Human Resources Management program (USC Bovard College). Through this work, she is able to pass along her knowledge, passion, and curiosity to other leaders, emerging talent, and teams. Prior to her move to academia, coaching and consulting, Robin led large Human Resources teams at two publicly traded organizations during periods of tremendous change, reorganization, and acquisition. One of these organizations was recognized as a ‘Fortune Best Places to Work’ company for four consecutive years. She also served as Chief Administrative Officer leading HR and several business functions for an entrepreneurial company that grew 400% during her tenure. Robin has spoken at numerous meetings and conferences and published two books on team building early in her career.

Erika Frank

Executive Vice President, Legal Affairs, and General Counsel at CalChamber

Erika Frank, CalChamber Executive Vice President and General Counsel, was named to her current position at the start of 2017 after serving as vice president of legal affairs since 2009. She joined CalChamber in April 2004 as a policy advocate and began serving as general counsel soon after, leveraging her 10 years of combined legal, governmental and legislative experience. Frank leads CalChamber’s Legal Affairs Department, which participates in court cases having a broad impact on California’s economy and business climate — including workers’ compensation reform, labor and employment, taxation, litigation reform and commercial free speech.

Jonathan Fraser Light, Esq.

Managing Partner, LightGabler

Jonathan Fraser Light, managing attorney at LightGabler, has more than 30 years of experience in the field of employment law. He is has been named as one of Southern California’s “Super Lawyers” for 15 years. Mr. Light and his team members consult with over 1,500 companies throughout California in the private and public sector on their day-to-day employment law needs. He offers employment counsel and training programs to companies of all sizes to reduce liability and protect against lawsuits. Mr. Light frequently speaks to employer and human resources groups on topics such as avoiding sexual harassment claims, wage and hour issues, business and employment law pitfalls, diversity in the workplace, supervisor strategies, employment law updates, and preparing employee handbooks. He is the author of the nationally acclaimed and award-winning book, The Cultural Encyclopedia of Baseball, Second Edition, published in 2005. Mr. Light is a graduate of the UCLA School of Law, where he was a member of the Law Review. He graduated magna cum laude in history from UCLA, and is a graduate of the National Institute for Trial Advocacy.

Stacey Gordon, MBA

Founder & Chief Operating Officer, Rework Work

Leading at the intersection of diversity, inclusion, and workplace culture, as CEO and Chief Diversity Strategist at Rework Work, Stacey focuses on reworking how companies work; including how they inclusively recruit, hire and engage employees, effectively creating inclusion and belonging for all. Stacey is the creator of the number one resume course at LinkedIn Learning and her unconscious bias course has been translated into several languages. She is a highly rated coach practitioner who has facilitated coaching of Chief Diversity Officers and other D&I practitioners at several Diversity & Inclusion forums. She was recognized by Pepperdine University as a Top 40 Over 40 Leader, was a finalist for Los Angeles Business Journal’s Women Helping Women Award and was recognized by Forbes as a Top 3 Business Leader Who Spoke Out About Diversity & Inclusion. Previously employed as an Adjunct Professor teaching Diversity in Organizations at Phillips Graduate University and as the Director of Education for Professionals In Human Resources Association, the largest SHRM affiliate in the country, Stacey earned her MBA from Pepperdine University’s Business School, and also earned both her Inclusive Workplace Culture credential and her SHRM Senior Certified Professional certification from the Society for Resource Management (SHRM). She is the author of a best-selling interview guide titled The Successful Interview: 99 Questions to Ask and Answer (and Some You Shouldn’t) and four LinkedIn e-learning courses titled Recruiting for Diversity, Awareness of Unconscious Bias, Making a Career Change and Writing a Resume, which collectively have accumulated more than one million views. As a consultant and career strategist, Stacey has written career and diversity related articles and provided content for SHRM, Fast Company, Skillsoft, Forbes, NPR Radio, BBC Radio, Essence Magazine, and Monster.com, to name a few. She was also a career segment guest contributor to Fox Business.

Shari Harley

Bestselling author of How to Say Anything to Anyone and Founder and President, Candid Culture

Shari Harley runs Candid Culture, a training and consulting firm making it easier to tell the truth at work. Shari is bringing candor back to the workplace. Before launching her business Shari led leadership development training for Oppenheimer Funds, conducted customer service training for American Century Investments, and facilitated for Dale Carnegie Training. Shari is the author of the book How to Say Anything to Anyone, has a master’s degree in Communication, and taught leadership development at the University of Denver. Shari’s practical approach has led her to speak and train in Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, India, Dubai and Australia. From ‘Making Meetings Work’ and ‘Delegating Better’ to ‘Managing Your Career’ and ‘Saying Anything to Anyone,’ Shari’s tips are sure to delight and inform in a real, direct and very funny way.

Stacey Harris

Chief Research Officer and Managing Partner at Sapient Insights Group

Stacey Harris is Chief Research Officer, and a Managing Partner for Sapient Insights Group a Research and Consulting firm focused on helping clients use data and insights to achieve organizational outcomes. She also oversees Sierra-Cedar’s industry research work, including the esteemed Annual HR Systems Survey and White Paper, now in its 23rd year, and sits on the IHIRM Board of Directors, overseeing strategy and education in her role as Vice Chair. Stacey is listed in HR Executive Magazines Top 100 HR Tech Influencers list and is a frequent speaker at HR events both in the U.S. and abroad and co-hosts the HR Tech Weekly Radio Show at HR Examiner.com.

Kristina Hess

Risk Finance & Insurance Broker at Lockton

Kristina Hess is a Risk Finance & Insurance Advisor at Lockton Insurance Brokers.

Frans Johansson, MBA

Co-Founder & CEO of The Medici Group & Bestselling Author of The Medici Effect and The Click Moment

Frans Johansson has made it his life’s mission to prepare leaders and organizations around the world for this future. His high-energy, fast-paced keynotes have become legendary for how quickly they can drive leaders to action—and have made Johansson one of the most compelling speakers in the world. He is the author of The Medici Effect: What Elephants and Epidemics Can Teach Us About Innovation, and The Click Moment: Seizing Opportunity in an Unpredictable World. Frans is the Co-Founder and CEO of The Medici Group, a firm that advises executive leadership from some of the world’s most influential organizations. His firm recently launched the world’s first team coaching platform, which leverages diversity and inclusion to drive business outcomes. Raised in Sweden by his African-American/Cherokee mother and Swedish father, Johansson has lived all his life at the intersection. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science from Brown University and a Master of Business Administration degree from Harvard Business School.

Tobias Kennedy

 CEO, Simpolicy, EVP, Montage Insurance Solutions

Tobias is the CEO of Simpolicy and Executive Vice President of Montage Insurance Solutions, in his 14th year with the company. He received underwriting training from Blue Shield of California and is a graduate of Loyola Marymount University (LMU) where he studied Political Science at the Center for the Study of Los Angeles. He was named as the 2015 “Most Trusted Advisor” by the San Fernando Valley Business Journal and is widely considered an expert in health care reform—speaking to several well-regarded organizations including PIHRA, HRD Network (California Credit Union Association), LA Financial Planners Association, LANSA, Montage’s own My HR Summit Series, a national speaker for the Christian CEO organization Convene, and various Boards of Directors. He is OSHA-10 and CalOSHA-10 certified, serving clients in both Employee Benefits and Property & Casualty, sat on the board of directors for the Staffing Management Association, and is currently the Vice President of the board for the California Unemployment Insurance Council (CUIC). Tobias has has been featured on multiple podcasts, including “Jerry Learns Business” and Dr. Brandi Stankovic business podcast “The Strategic Hotbox.”

Nirali Matalia

Vice President, Operations & People at Saama Technologies

Nirali Matalia is a passionate and dedicated People, culture and change leader who believes in leading by example. She is a big advocate for living by corporate values and a catalyst for change for learning and evolving organizations. She heads the People function at Saama and has successfully re-invented role of HR @ Saama to build a high-touch culture of very involved and progressive HR function which is actively engaged with employees for both career coaching as well as for day-to-day growth conducive work environment. She is a firm believer of diversity and inclusion as a right thing to do and not by force. She has done sound pioneering work in influencing the mindset of leaders to address and minimize unconscious bias. She is also leading on the Operations front such as Risk Management, Immigration, Corporate Travel, Facilities tie up, and business compliance and has previously worked in the Healthcare, Technology, Banking and Retail industries.  

Miranda A. Mossavar

Associate, Littler

Miranda A. Mossavar serves as lead associate in all aspects of wage and hour class actions (70% of practice) including fact investigation, electronic and other data collection, case evaluation and strategy, damages assessment, oversight of blitz interviews, and management of all aspects of discovery. Her wage and hour experience includes California Equal Pay Act cases, PAGA actions, regular rate claims, pay per visit, meal and rest break claims, donning and doffing, independent contractor cases, and misclassification cases.

Carol Quinn

Bestselling Author of Motivation-Based Interviewing – A Revolutionary Approach to Hiring the Best and Have The Attitude – The Thinking That Makes Great Things Happen

Carol Quinn is a best-selling author and an international speaker. Her SHRM-published book titled Motivation-Based Interviewing – A Revolutionary Approach to Hiring the Best is endorsed by Lee Cockerell, a former Executive Vice President at DISNEY, who said, “It’s the best book ever written on the topic of interviewing and hiring.” Carol is the creator of and an expert in motivation-based interviewing. Carol describes herself as an “Attitude Revolutionist” – one who revolts against a status quo attitude and is willing to do something about it. Her passion revolves around employee engagement and organizational performance. Her goal is to help individuals and organizations move past the facade of perceived powerlessness and awaken the great power to improve our experiences.

Aithan Shapira, MFA, Ph.D

Artist, Lecturer, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Founder, Tilt

Aithan Shapira is an established artist, Lecturer at MIT Sloan, and founder of Tilt, a culture design and transformation firm focused on change-ability. As facilitator and coach, he draws on 20+ years of transforming creative process into cultural practice that he is applying with global leaders in organizations such as NASA, Google, and Roche. Aithan serves on McKinsey’s think tank for Advancing Adult Learning and Development and has pioneered progressive curricula at the edge of leadership and skills retraining for the future of work at MIT Sloan, Harvard iLab, Stanford d.school, and the Berklee Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship. Aithan developed his research on the creative process at the Royal College of Art & Design, lived in an Australian Aboriginal community for three years to study art’s impact on cultures of survival, and continues to be a visiting critic at arts institutions internationally. He exhibits his artwork in museumsand galleries in New York, London, and Miami.

Parag Vaish, MBA, MS

Founder-in-Residence, Google, Area 120, Author, How to Rank and Prioritize Nearly Anything

Parag Vaish is an innovative leader in the field of digital product management and design. He has an extensive track record of success in both product and business roles. Parag has helped industry giants like the Walt Disney Company, Microsoft, NBC News, StubHub!, athenahealth, and Tesla, and innovative startups like Escapia (acquired by HomeAway), exceed their annual goals. Parag’s unique mixture of team leadership skills, his emphasis on quantitative analysis, and his vision make Parag an industry leader in his field. Parag is currently a Founder-in-Residence at Google in the Area 120 group after transitioning from his position as Head of Digital Product Management, Content & Design at Tesla. You can read more about Parag’s distinctive Team Decision Matrix model, which he developed while at StubHub! and refined at other companies, in his recently released book, How to Rank and Prioritize Nearly Anything.

Erica Young, SHRM-SCP

Innovation Catalyst, ParagonLabs
Erica is the Innovation Catalyst on the ParagonLabs team at SHRM, where she is responsible for building a workplace innovation accelerator. Erica has a master’s degree in industrial-organizational psychology with a focus in instructional design. She also earned her SHRM-SCP certification in July 2020! Before SHRM, Erica managed volunteer human capital in Washington, DC for several years.First, for an organization that teaches computer literacy to low-income adult residents. Then, for an organization that matches volunteer tutors with students who are reading behind grade level. And finally, for Casey Trees, whose mission is to restore, enhance and protect the tree canopy of our nation’s capital. Outside of work, you can find Erica tending to her 200 houseplants, creating ceramic pieces, and giving her cat, Suki, more attention than she wants.

Shane Yount

Nationally Recognized Thought Leader, Author, President of Competitive Solutions, Inc.
Shane A. Yount is President of Competitive Solutions, Inc., an international Business Transformation consulting firm which pioneered the acclaimed organizational development system known as Process Based Leadership® – a business transformation methodology designed to create a sustainable culture of clarity, connectivity, and consistency through the use of Non-Negotiable Business Processes. Having performed such roles as Front Line Supervisor, Site Operations Manager, Quality Manager, Director of Human Resources, and Corporate Continuous Improvement Champion, Shane brings extensive experience in every aspect of organizational dynamics. His “Real World” process driven approach to creating and sustaining high performance has led leaders across the world to embrace the Process Based Leadership® methodology as a core operating system in driving organizational focus, urgency, and accountability. Since 1991 he has led the offices of Competitive Solutions, Inc. (CSI), personally working with such organizations as Michelin, Genentech, Pfizer, Lockheed Martin, the Department of Defense, and many others. His three books, “Buried Alive: Digging out of the Management Dumpster,” “Leaving Your Leadership Legacy” and “Leading Your Business Forward: Aligning Goals, People, and Systems for Sustainable Success” are required reading in many organizations.

Stay tuned for more announced speakers & sessions!

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