Over 100 world-class experts. iWorkwell’s network of the nation’s foremost HR Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) includes talent from 5 of the leading HR consulting firms in the world, 4 of the top 6 U.S. employment & labor law firms, and 3 of the 4 most distinguished academic centers for HR. iWorkwell offers exceptional expertise in each and every HR topic area.
Consensus process — input from multiple experts. All iWorkwell content produced by our SMEs goes through a quality-control process involving a 6-9 person peer review (by specialists in that specific topic) — ensuring you get the most accurate information, and the best counsel available.
Our SMEs answer your “Ask an Expert” questions and work on iWorkwell’s Best Practice guides, Smart Forms & Templates, and Policy Wizard.
Aon Hewitt is among the world’s top global human capital outsourcing and consulting firms, providing a complete array of advisory, outsourcing, and insurance brokerage services to large, medium and small clients in over 120 countries. The organization lives up to its name (Aon is Gaelic for “oneness”) by integrating professionals from hundreds of disciplines, helping each client achieve better business results in a custom-tailored manner. Aon’s 62,000 people possess expertise in fields including: actuarial science, business & HR alignment strategies, employee health & benefits, communication, compensation & rewards, financial advisory & litigation consulting, HRIS/IT, HR outsourcing, industrial psychology, leadership development, legal compliance, M & A, organizational behavior, process improvement (e.g., Six Sigma consulting & training), retirement, risk management, talent selection & development, and workforce strategies. Not only is Aon the nation’s largest business insurance broker, but for several years running the readers of Business Insurance Magazine named it the “Best Employee Benefits Consulting Firm.”
Hay Group, one of the top global human resources and organizational consulting firms,helps more than 7,000 clients achieve outstanding performance by optimizing the effectiveness of their people and solving the mostchallenging organizational issues. With 86 offices across 47 countries, Hay Group provides worldwide resources and local marketexpertise. For over 60 years, Hay’s trademark has been thought leadership — high-quality research and intellectual rigor. Areas ofexpertise include: compensation, benefits and performance management; effective design of jobs, organizational structures anddecision-making processes; executive and managerial assessment, selection and development; executive remuneration andcorporate governance; and employee & customer attitude research. Hay’s expertise derives from its in-house researchers,partnerships with top academic institutions such as Harvard University and Dartmouth College, and consulting work with thousandsof clients. Accomplishments include: innovations in design of organizations, jobs and compensation programs; creation of the mostwidely-used job evaluation methodology (employed by over 8,000 organizations worldwide); and pioneering work in the area ofcompetencies as a result of helping clients to assess, select and develop hundreds of thousands of managers and executives. HayGroup also has deep expertise regarding what differentiates outstanding organizations as a result of its long-standing researchpartnership with Fortune on the “World’s Most Admired Companies.”
Morgan Lewis LLP is ranked among the top 4 best law firms in the country for its expertise in the field of HR, employment law and labor relations. With over 1,000 attorneys in over 20 offices throughout the US,Europe and Asia, it is also one of the ten largest law firms in the world. The firm has briefed and argued a number of USSupreme Court cases. Morgan Lewis has hundreds of labor and employment law attorneys covering every geographic region of theglobe. Its lawyers are nationally recognized for their sexual harassment and diversity training programs, which help companiesminimize legal exposure and send the message to employees that there is zero tolerance for risky behavior in the workplace. MorganLewis attorneys are experienced in dealing with the intricacies of the federal discrimination statutes — including Title VII of theCivil Rights Act, the Americans With Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Equal Pay Act and their stateanalogues — and with the agencies that administer those laws. Other areas of expertise include employee benefits, wage andhour laws, labor-management relations, occupational safety & health, and employee relations. For more than a century, MorganLewis has represented startups, emerging growth firms, Fortune 500 companies and other leaders in the technology, biotech &life sciences, energy, media and financial services sectors, and even Major League Baseball.
Kimberly Ashbach, Esq., opened her own practice in 1996, representing both employers and employees in all areas of employment law, including civil rights actions, age, race and sex discrimination, harassment, ADA, FMLA, wage payment, overtime and collection claims, whistleblower claims, executive severance, non-competes and employment contracts. Previously associated at a large Philadelphia law firm from 1989-1996, she handled ERISA and employment matters on behalf of such clients as Mack Trucks, Continental Bank, MidLantic Bank, PECO (now Exelon) and the City of Reading. Prior to that Ashbach was a staff attorney at the United States Department of Justice, Torts Branch, successfully defending the government in multi-million dollar litigation throughout the country. She graduated “Order of the Coif” from the College of William and Mary’s Marshall-Wythe School of Law.
Scott Behson, Ph.D., chaired the Department of Management at Fairleigh Dickinson University and is a professor and member of the Center for Human Resource Management Studies, a business and academic partnership involving 22 corporations and hundreds of executives & managers. He teaches, conducts research and publishes articles and award-winning papers on HR, change management, organizational behavior, culture, work-family balance, workplace flexibility and performance evaluation. He also provides consulting services as a focus group facilitator, statistician, strategic advisor and developer & implementor of HR, change, communications and workplace flexibility programs. Dr. Behson’s clients have included Lucent Technologies, the Group for Organizational Effectiveness, and the U.S. Navy Air Warfare Training Systems Division. He received a B.S. from Cornell University and a Ph.D. from the University at Albany, State University of New York (SUNY), Albany.
Ed Bray, J.D., MBA, is SVP of Compliance at Ascension Benefits & Insurance Services and Adjunct Professor of HR at the University of California, Irvine. Beginning his career as an associate compensation consultant at Aon Consulting, he went on to gain diverse experience in employee benefits at U.S. and international companies and benefits brokerage/consulting firms. An attorney who has directed corporate benefit departments for over 15 years — at Hawaiian Airlines, Apria Healthcare and The First American Corporation, among others — he has designed and implemented multiple cost-saving initiatives (metrics-modeling, consumer-directed health plans, benefits outsourcing, wellness programs). He has also created over 100 customized healthcare reform compliance roadmaps for clients and prospects, including the Los Angeles Lakers. His strength as an advisor is that he not only understands the relevant laws in employee benefits compliance, but he explains them in a practical way that allows employers to implement them effectively. Bray is an award-winning, nationally recognized authority with expertise in almost all areas of employee benefits, including strategic planning, operations/administration, vendor management, contract review, due diligence, department leadership and communications. In 2010, he was presented with the “Leadership in Healthcare Reform Award” from National Healthcare Reform Magazine. Bray has presented at numerous conferences, including WorldatWork, Human Resources Executive, and the National Health Care Reform Conference,andhas led national webinars for CFO.com and contributed to periodicals such as IndustryWeek and Workforce Magazine, and publishes regularly on crucial employee benefits developments as an author and Contributing Editor for Employee Benefit News, on whose April 2013 cover he was featured for leading a successful employee benefits outsourcing initiative at Hawaiian Airlines that saves the company over $500,000 annually.
Jason Brodsky, J.D., formerly a consultant at Towers Watson in its Governance & Compliance Advisory Group, has over 15 years of experience in employee and executive benefits and works with a variety of clients of all sizes in both the for-profit and non-profit sectors. Previously, he was an attorney in the Employee Benefit and Executive Compensation groups at Dechert LLP and Drinker, Biddle & Reath LLP, two nationally recognized law firms. Brodsky has extensive experience consulting with companies on a wide range of issues, including tax-qualified retirement plans, non-qualified deferred compensation plans, executive benefit plans, ERISA governance, plan operational compliance audits, IRS correction programs, and related integration issues stemming from corporate acquisitions and dispositions. Brodsky served as an editor for the Temple Law Review and graduated magna cum laude from Temple University School of Law.
Jennifer Chobor, J.D., the owner of Chobor Consulting LLC, draws on over 20 years of experience in employment law to help clients with HR practices and workplace legal compliance (e.g., workplace audits and risk management, performance management, reorganization design, preparation of employee handbooks and policies, employment contracts and separation agreements, workplace investigations, etc.). A former litigator, she now partners with clients to prevent claims and lawsuits in the first place; she also acts as a private, neutral investigator as well as a mediator of employment claims. Previously, Chobor practiced law at two leading national labor & employment law firms, including Jackson Lewis. She also was in-house employment counsel for Aetna, Inc. and for ING Americas, consulting on a broad range of employment matters (terminations, disciplinary actions, discrimination issues, diversity initiatives, hiring and promotion practices, job eliminations, wage and hour questions, contingent workers, FMLA, immigration law, restrictive covenants, affirmative action, compliance matters, compensation & benefit plans, etc.); in both firms she collaborated with her HR and business colleagues to reduce employment-related litigation and achieve industry best practices in legal and HR services. Chobor graduated from Cornell University with high honors and The George Washington University School of Law.
Michael Corrigan, MBA, is President of Reid & Corrigan LLC, a consultancy specializing in compensation, benefits and employee communications. He has led the global compensation and benefits functions at large, globally-branded companies such as Morgan Stanley and Toys”R”Us. Areas of strength include the full spectrum of compensation plan design, from hourly employees to the executive suite, as well as cost-effective benefits plan design, funding and administration. Corrigan has created global compensation programs including job description, analysis and benchmarking, surveys and market analysis, merit budgets and structure movements, short- and long-term incentives, equity plans, policies, procedures and systems. He has led the performance management/merit increase process at several companies, and counseled senior management on employment offers and promotional increases, equity buy-outs and employment contracts. In benefits, he has designed and managed domestic and international programs, overseeing brokers, consultants and outsource vendors; negotiated with insurance companies and record keepers; established and monitored investment policies; and developed systems to measure, analyze and report benefits-related ROI. An expert in employee communications, he has been honored three times by Pensions and Investments magazine for excellence in Defined Contribution Employee Education.
Joanne Dekker, Esq., has practiced law for more than two decades, including over 15 years in the employment law field. She has successfully represented both management and individual clients in a variety of forums — including state and federal courts, arbitration, mediation and federal administrative tribunals — on diverse matters such as ADA, FLSA, ADEA, Rehabilitation Act, and collections; she has also represented federal employees before the EEOC and the Merit Systems Protection Board, and done government contract and construction contract dispute resolution. Previously, Dekker worked as general counsel to Arltec Inc., a (Sheraton franchise) hotel management company in the Washington, D.C. area, where she developed the company’s in-house training programs, drafted the employee handbook, investigated harassment and discrimination complaints and monitored outside counsel with respect to employment litigation and union campaigns.
Paul Dorf, MBA, is a compensation expert with over 45 years of experience, currently serving as Chairman of Compensation Resources, Inc. — a consulting firm specializing in executive compensation, sales compensation, incentive pay, base pay, performance management programs, and expert witness testimony — which he founded in 1983. Dorf directly consults to clients, as he did previously while serving in executive positions at major accounting and actuarial/benefit consulting firms including: KPMG International, as Regional Head of the Executive Compensation Consulting Practice; PricewaterhouseCoopers where, as a Partner, he created and led their compensation consulting practice; and Deloitte Touche, as National Director of the Compensation Consulting Practice which he established. From 1961-64 Dorf served in the US Marine Corps as Captain, Staff Officer and Instructor – Marine Corps Engineer School. He has been a featured speaker at professional conferences throughout the US and internationally, and has taught HR and compensation courses as a visiting instructor or adjunct professor at 15 different institutions including Boston University, California State, Fairleigh Dickinson and George Washington universities. Dorf is widely quoted in newspapers and business publications, including the Associate Press, Bloomberg, The Boston Globe, Business Week, CNN Financial News, Inc. Magazine, LA Times, Reuters, USA Today, and the Wall Street Journal, and has appeared on numerous radio and television programs, including Bloomberg Radio, CNBC Europe, CNN’s “The Money Game,” Fox Business News, MSNBC and National Public Radio. Dorf was awarded the highest level of personnel accreditation over 25 years ago by the organization which is now SHRM, and the Lifetime Achievement Award over 20 years ago by WorldatWork, a membership organization of total rewards professionals.
Leanne Fosbre, CEBS, MSJ (in Healthcare Law), has over 25 years of experience in employee benefits, in such roles as Underwriter (at Prudential Insurance), Consultant (at Aon), Manager of Group Insurance Administration (for 25,000 US employees + 19,000 retirees at Wyeth), corporate benefits director, as well as District Manager for HR policy & Compliance (at AT&T). Having developed particular expertise in compliance, administration, vendor management, plan design and labor relations, Fosbre then became a contributing editor and wrote numerous articles for Employee Benefit News, as well as a Senior SPD Writer at HighRoads, where she provides recommendations to clients on the content, structure and readability of summary plan documents (SPDs) and writes articles on Affordable Care Act compliance for the HighRoads blog. She is a Fellow of the International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists (ISCEBS), was VP of its Governing Council, and served on the board of the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans.
Erin Fullerton has over 20 years of diverse leadership experience in both HR and general operations. She currently works as a business consultant throughout Southern California, specializing in employee relations, performance management, policy & procedure development, strategic planning and organizational development. Prior to this, she worked primarily in the healthcare industry, in HR, operations, customer service and OD. Additionally, she served for several years as Vice Chair of the Board for the Santa Monica Chapter of the American Red Cross where she oversaw HR functions, along with a redesign of the strategic vision and direction of the Chapter. She has received numerous awards throughout her career for both her professional and volunteer work, from the City of Los Angeles, the City of Santa Monica, and the American Red Cross.
Carol Goode, MBA, is a multifaceted HR executive and consultant with over 20 years of business experience spanning Silicon Valley high-tech start-up environments, to divisional and corporate leadership roles in four Fortune 100 companies, including Director of World Wide Human Resources (reporting to the CEO) at O.R. Technology, and VP Human Resources – Product Development Group (reporting to the President) at Bay Networks/Nortel Networks. Other affiliations/clients include PPG, Gulf Oil, Chevron, Dataquest/A.C. Nielsen, Syquest Technology, Seagate Technology, and the State of California. At various stages of her career, Goode has worked in and managed nearly every HR discipline, including HR teams based outside the U.S. As an HR executive in the “dot-com” era, she crafted unique cash and equity compensation (incentive) plans to expedite product development cycles and created customized performance management systems to motivate engineering teams and entire organizations. A veteran of several acquisitions and large-scale mergers, she is adept at reengineering and downsizing organizations and blending disparate organizational cultures, while minimizing litigation and retaining top talent. She also has in-depth experience creating the optimal infrastructure to enable small organizations to scale efficiently for growth. Having earned a Bachelor’s degree in biology and chemistry, Goode became a Training and OD practitioner, and has been certified in multiple management and skills training programs and as a meeting facilitator.
Jim Hall, SPHR, has decades of experience and particular expertise in management, supervision, business communications, and diversity; for clients (such as Toyota in Hanover, PA), he designs and delivers workshops & seminars, and advises & assists with business & strategic planning, organizational development and training. A manager and a student of management for much of his professional life, his roles have included Department Chair; Project Manager; Editor; Instructional Designer, Technical Training Supervisor and Human Resources Manager (for Waste Management Inc.); Director of Training & Organizational Development and Affirmative Action Officer (for 10,000 world-wide employees at Solo Cup Company); President & General Manager (of Dunn-Rowan Inc., whose clients included BellSouth Services, First Alabama Bank, Procter & Gamble and U.S. Steel). Since 2006 he has done consulting through Jim Hall & Associates LLC. Hall authored the book Managing on Purpose: A Framework for Guiding Success in the Workplace in 2011, and has completed a 2nd Edition that was published by Wheatmark Inc. in May of 2013.
Melissa Johnson, Esq., Psy.D., is an expert on the human side of business. Listed in Who’s Who in
American Law and the World Who’s Who of Women, she leverages a rare combination of expertise — in both HR, and in labor & employment law — by applying legal and business strategies to achieve corporate goals. She has served as General Counsel & Vice President of HR for the Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania. Dr. Johnson has worked with business executives, HR managers, and law firms on employment audits, compliance issues, contract development, policy-making, executive development, compensation, benefits, training, employee & labor relations, downsizings and litigation prevention & response. She has conducted corporate training programs in the areas of sexual harassment/discrimination, conflict resolution, hiring & terminations, managing change, performance evaluation, stress management, corporate culture, union avoidance and workplace violence. Dr. Johnson developed her expertise through several senior management and law firm positions: Vice President of HR for Houghton International, General Counsel & Vice President for Legal Affairs/HR for Strategic Management Group, Chair of the Employment Law practice for McCausland, Keen and Buckman, independent legal and HR consulting practice under MJ Consulting, and Labor & Employment Department Associate for Blank Rome LLP. She received dual graduate degrees from Widener University, earning a Juris Doctor in Law & Psychology and a Doctor of Clinical Psychology.
Beville May, J.D., is a former practicing attorney who played an instrumental role in four landmark employment law cases before the US Supreme Court, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court and other federal courts. She tried and won the first successful sexually hostile work environment claim (Broderick v. Ruder) in US history. She also counseled clients, such as The World Bank and the Pacific Stock Exchange, before serving as Acting General Counsel for Penn Tank Lines, Inc. May currently works as a consultant, helping employers prevent employment lawsuits by having effective policies, procedures and training in place, and conducting workplace investigations resulting in dismissal of claims against her clients. In addition, she is retained as an expert on effective policies, procedures, training and investigations of workplace claims; she also serves as a mediator with the EEOC’s Alternative Dispute Resolution program where she helps parties achieve workable solutions to their workplace complaints. May speaks and publishes widely on HR topics, including a chapter on Investigating Employment Claims in a two volume set published for Intellenet, a prestigious worldwide network of investigators (of which she is a member). She graduated with a double major from Colgate University with High Honors, earned her Juris Doctor at Case Western Reserve, and studied Advanced Mediation Techniques at the Center for Dispute Settlement in Washington, DC.
Janet McNichol, SPHR, is a Certified Association Executive (CAE) who has spent over 20 years as the Human Resources Director for the not-for-profit American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. She has managed their multi-million dollar budget for compensation & benefits and changed the organization from a hierarchical to a team-based culture, reframing the compensation program to be based on industry metrics so that employees are rewarded for the value they contribute to the organization. She has also led them to obtain recognition as a health and wellness trailblazer, eco-leader and great place to work. In addition to her functional areas of expertise, McNichol is knowledgeable about communication, negotiation and decision-making. Widely recognized for being a conscientious steward of the environment, as well as passionate about health and wellness, McNichol also leads a small consulting firm, Inside Workplace Wellness.
Zack Pace is an SVP, Senior Benefits Consultant at CBIZ, Inc., where he advises employers across various industry sectors, including nonprofit organizations, government contractors, construction, higher education, and retail. During his over 15 years in employee benefits, he has designed, implemented and managed benefits packages that enable employers to attract and retain the talent they need to outperform their competitors, while ensuring that each overall benefits program and its components are cost-effective. Pace has worked closely with employers in introducing High Deductible Health Plans with Health Savings Accounts, implementing alternative funding techniques, wellness initiatives, and performing voluntary plan audits and redesigns. Since 2010, he has been a student of Health Care Reform, helping employers chart a compliant and economical path through the maze of the Affordable Care Act. He has been quoted by various publications including HR Executive Online and CEO Update and was twice a guest on the Financial Planning radio show “Money, Riches, and Wealth.”
Robert Padulo, Ph.D., is President of iWorkwell, Inc. Before founding the company in 1999, Dr. Padulo advised and/or invested in a variety of businesses, including several early-stage technology-related companies. Prior to that, he was a consultant at McKinsey & Company and president of TapeLicator, Inc. (maker of a patented one-handed tape dispenser). A graduate of Harvard University, where he received the Harvard College Scholarship “in recognition of academic achievement of high distinction,” he earned his Ph.D. at Balliol College, Oxford University; his doctoral thesis was titled “Managing Corporate Transformations: Lessons From a Cross-Case Analysis of Empirical Studies.” During his doctoral research and consulting work at McKinsey, he conducted detailed studies of companies in different industries: media, consumer products, financial services, insurance, energy and health care. A former High School All-American swimmer who qualified for the 1988 US Olympic Trials, Padulo has run a few marathons and half-marathons and is an avid snowboarder. He frequently volunteers and serves charitable organizations in a leadership capacity, such as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Greater Philadelphia Cares (since merged with United Way SE-PA); President of the Entrepreneurs’ RoundTable; and a member of the Board of Directors of: America’s TV JobNetwork, Inc; CityStep at UPenn (which Padulo co-founded), where college students engage public school youth in the performing arts; the Harvard Club of Philadelphia; and of Philadelphia Forward. He is a member of Sunday Breakfast Club, whose mission is to increase cooperation between business, academic, cultural and civic leaders in the Philadelphia region for more productive public service. Specializing in organizational change, leadership & management, and entrepreneurship & business development, Dr. Padulo brings both academic rigor and practical experience to the world’s largest multi-national corporations as well as to the smallest private firms.
Dale Powers, MBA, SPHR, is President of Powers Leadership, a consulting firm serving nonprofit and mission-based organizations, and an adjunct professor at Fort Hays State University and MidAmerica Nazarene University, teaching graduate and undergraduate courses in management. Specializing in board and executive planning, team development, leadership coaching, organizational analysis, speaking and facilitating, he has directed leadership development and HR programs for over 20 years at the vice president and director levels of large nonprofits; he even created one HR department from scratch. One former CEO praised Powers’ “significant knowledge and skill in [instituting] progressive HR practices across the system.”
Lisa Raino, M.A., SPHR, has over 15 years of experience as an HR generalist and business partner in a variety of organizations, from large multinational manufacturing corporations to a small community college; she is currently an Employee Relations Specialist at Fletcher Allen Health Care for 7000 employees. With a Master’s degree in Administration and Leadership (concentrating in HR & TQM), Raino is strong in many areas of HR, including benefits, compensation, talent management, leadership, management and communication. She set-up all HR aspects for a new facility with 200 employees; she established entirely new policies and procedures for a newly-acquired (formerly family-owned) 400+ person business. But she particularly specializes in developing positive employee relations: At Bombardier Inc., Raino was part of the team that kept one plant union-free for over 12 years, and played an integral role in closing another facility (on time, on budget and meeting the production schedule) by developing a strong relationship with the Steelworkers’ Union. For Volvo Group U.S., she worked to establish the employee relations plan to strengthen positive relations and maintain union-free status at Volvo’s non-organized U.S. facilities. She is a Hay Group Certified Coach and 360 Degree Feedback Specialist.
Merle Rivas is an HR consultant with over 30 years of experience in executive and leadership positions that encompass strategic human asset management and business operations in diverse corporate settings — engineering research, financial services, scientific research, technology start-up, marine/industrial research and development. At various stages in her career she provided strategic direction for business operations and HR functions, including oversight of off-site HR teams nationally and internationally. As VP of HR for eight years at Volvo Penta of the Americas, Rivas crafted programs targeting specific skill/talent gaps for US and Canadian operations, leading key initiatives on talent management and organizational restructuring and design. Prior to that, as VP of HR for a technology start-up, she held multifunctional responsibility for leadership of HR, administration, and operations, enabling ramp-up of business operations in the company’s first quarter. Her earlier HR leadership roles included Director of HR and Technical Library at Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, Director of Recruitment & Employee Relations at Fannie Mae, and Manager of Training & EEO/AA at the MITRE Corporation, and involved technical and functional guidance for strategic recruitment, succession planning, talent management & deployment, performance appraisal & reward systems, and productivity/performance improvement strategies. Originally a tax accountant, Rivas holds a B.A. in Economics from Howard University with “Human Resource Management” certification from Cornell University, New York School of Industrial and Labor Relations.
Kathy Santoro is a senior HR executive with over 25 years experience both in-house and as a consultant, largely in dynamic, high growth companies ranging in size from 20 to 2,500 employees. A trusted advisor and coach, and versatile leader with solid business acumen, she is well versed in change management, including M & A, divestitures and joint ventures, as well as most areas of HR operations (benefits, compensation, employee relations, HRIS, staffing and talent management). After beginning her career in recruiting, Santoro then became Director of HR at Lotus Development where she created employee programs that helped the firm develop its employee-friendly brand and grow from 200 to 2,500 employees in under 5 years. Next, as the HR Director at Thinking Machines, she developed its HR function and managed an 8-person team as the company launched its pioneering technology and grew from 90 to 500 employees in 4 years. She then duplicated that feat as VP of HR at Molten Metal Technology (MMT), helping it quadruple in size over the next 5 years; she worked closely with the new management team to guide the company through Chapter 11 (from the announcement through post reorganization), retaining key personnel despite the layoff of most of its 500 employees; she also partnered with Lockheed Martin’s HR department to support the firms’ joint venture before MMT absorbed it as a wholly owned subsidiary. Most recently, as the HR Director at Bioengineering Group, Santoro adeptly managed the resource requirements for a multi-million dollar engineering contract by aligning staff on essential project skills through training, initiating creative staffing strategies that tripled the company’s size (with no recruiting budget), and by integrating labor costs with pricing strategies that resulted in a streamlined proposal process. Santoro values creative, team-oriented cultures that place a high degree of confidence in their employees and encourage independent thinking. In turn, her senior executive colleagues say they value her “expert advice regarding just about any staff challenge that one can imagine.”
Patricia Schaeffer has over 25 years of experience consulting and working in corporate HR, including as North American Director of Compensation at Campbell Soup Company and as a principal in the Performance and Rewards practice at Mercer HR Consulting. She is co-founder of Talent Strategy Partners, a management consulting firm specializing in creating deliberate cultures by understanding the core competencies, attitudes and values necessary for peak performance, developing leaders, and strategically aligning the organization to achieve its goals. Schaeffer’s technical expertise is in performance management and pay-for-performance programs that support and reinforce organizational values and objectives. Her strength is group facilitation — from helping executive teams articulate the visions and goals, to training employees to achieve them; Schaeffer keeps client initiatives moving until successfully implemented. (The Reinvestment Fund of Philadelphia honored her with an award for her design work on their new performance management program.) She is the past president of the compensation and benefits professional association PEBA.
Jan “Sunny” Simon is a career coach, writer and speaker with 20 years in corporate human resources. Prior to founding Raise the Bar High, a life and career consulting firm, she gained extensive hands-on, in-depth experience in all facets of the HR field and held leadership positions at several Silicon Valley start-ups and Fortune 500 companies. She served as VP of HR for Xerox subsidiary COLORGRAFX Systems where she reported directly to the CEO, and consulted for Dow Chemical and Lee Hecht Harrison, an international career management firm. Passionate about bringing people and organizations to their best, she currently serves on the board of directors of the Palm Springs Writers Guild and American Business Women’s Association.
Richard Steel, Esq., is a partner in the firm of Steel, Rudnick & Ruben. Earning an Honors B.A. from Dickinson College and an LL.B. from the University of Pennsylvania, Steel has been exclusively engaged in the practice of immigration law since 1974. His written publications include “Steel on Immigration Law” and “Steel on Immigration Law, Second Edition.” As past Chair of the Philadelphia chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), he received AILA’s Mentor Award and has spoken extensively on his area of expertise. For over 20 years, he has been the course planner for the Pennsylvania Bar Institute’s programs on immigration law and a Board member (and once Chair) of the Nationalities Service Center in Philadelphia. He is a recipient of the Edith Lowenstein Memorial Award for the advancement of the practice of immigration law.
Lynette Stewart, with over 20 years of diverse experience in the field of HR, currently operates Human Resource Support Direct, a consultancy providing full scope HR support to businesses of all sizes in Northern California. A hands on business consultant, she specializes in employee relations and union avoidance, policy & procedure development, harassment prevention training, and the unique aspects of California labor law. She has delivered full cycle recruitment; employee handbooks and policies; audits of documents, systems, policies, procedures to ensure compliance with state and federal law; and advised managers on leaves of absence, performance issues, terminations, restructuring and downsizing. Previously, Stewart worked primarily in unionized manufacturing and food processing facilities (e.g., Del Monte Foods) in generalist and HR Director roles; at one firm she supervised an HR/payroll staff of fourteen, at another she oversaw seven service centers across four states. Throughout her career, Stewart has received recognition for her wide-ranging understanding of the field of HR.
Kenneth Sturtz, Esq., acquired a thorough knowledge of the practical side of HR management at Burnham Holdings, Inc., an international heating equipment manufacturer. Beginning in 1990 as Corporate Director of HR, he was promoted in 1993 to Corporate VP of HR and in 1998 to VP of HR and Industrial Relations; in 2000 he assumed the additional responsibilities of Corporate Secretary, and since 2005 Sturtz has served as the Senior Vice President and Secretary. Sturtz is a member of the American Bar Association, the Ohio Bar Association and the Society of Corporate Secretaries & Governance Professionals. He has served as a member of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Advisory Council and as an instructor at Penn State University.
Jill Switzer, Esq., has been a member of the California Bar for more than 35 years. Now mediating both pre-litigation claims and litigated matters, her legal experience is varied and extensive. For thirteen years she served as Senior Vice President and the sole in-house employment lawyer for Bank of the West (formerly Sanwa Bank California), which acquired other financial institutions to accumulate a workforce of more than 10,000 employees in 19 states. Counseling management and departments on the panoply of employment-related matters confronting a large multi-state employer, including wage & hour and WARN Act issues, reductions in force, and discrimination and retaliation claims, Switzer drafted employment, commission and severance agreements; she directed internal investigations and resolved hundreds of claims; she also managed all significant litigation (incl. non-employment law) across the 19 states, handled her own caseload, and led numerous mediations. Earlier in her career, Switzer served as deputy district attorney for San Bernardino County, CA; as Associate Executive Director and General Counsel of the Los Angeles County Bar Association (directly supervising seven public service projects with a staff of 30 and a budget of several million dollars); and had her own private practice, handling both trial and appellate work. A graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, she is active in numerous legal profession and community organizations.
Robyn Whittingham, M.S., is a versatile, highly experienced HR leader and practitioner whose 20-year career includes guiding HR activities in start ups, non-profits and large multinational corporations. A well-rounded HR professional with particular expertise in compensation, intercultural training, employee relations and recruitment/retention initiatives, her primary focus is on designing and implementing HR foundations for newly-formed companies and for US firms expanding into new global geographies. Spending ten years as Director of Global Human Resources at a division of Realogy (formerly Cendant) and Director of Global HR at Medidata Solutions, she’s worked in Asia, Australia, Europe and the Middle East, learning the intercultural nuances of each locale in order to build HR infrastructures that are locally viable and globally effective. Whittingham most recently worked with New York University to build an HR structure for their new campus in Abu Dhabi, UAE, and served as editor and content advisor for the book How to Get a Job in the USA (authored by Dr. Nara Venditti). She holds a Master of Science, Organizational Dynamics from the University of Pennsylvania.
Christopher Wright, Ph.D., is the founder & CEO of Reliant, which provides an Employee Relationship Management package of online survey and assessment tools and advanced analytics that have helped over 1,000 clients acquire, develop and retain talented employees. Clients include Booz-Allen, Capital One, General Motors, KPMG, Penske, Phillip Morris, U.S. Army, U.S. Health & Human Services, U.S. Navy, Wyeth, and the YMCA. Dr. Wright has over a decade of consulting experience in industrial/organizational psychology, survey research methodology, assessment tools and employee development. He has worked with corporate, non-profit and educational organizations to develop surveys, selection tools and 360-degree performance appraisal systems. Dr. Wright has been a frequent presenter of original research and a speaker and panelist at various conferences of the Society for Industrial/Organizational Psychology, SHRM, and the Academy of Management. He earned his B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. in industrial/organizational psychology from the University of Tulsa. His publications include an article in the Journal of Applied Psychology and the book The Survey Research Handbook: Guidelines for Developing, Administering and Reporting Effective Organizational Surveys.
Andrew Zbaracki, Esq., is an attorney with over 17 years experience with employers of all sizes, both as in-house and outside counsel, across multiple locations throughout the country. Now a partner at Newbrough Law Firm, LLP, he previously worked at two different Midwest law firms advising small companies and non-profits on a wide range of employment topics. In addition, as Assistant General Counsel for Transamerica Life Insurance Company he advised on all aspects of employment, served as counsel on both the safety and HR committees, created response team protocols to prevent workplace violence, and investigated and resolved employee complaints. Zbaracki’s core competencies include: a) managing employment litigation, including evaluation of risks, selection of counsel, motion practice, strategy, mediation, settlement negotiations, and appeals, with jury and court trial experience; and b) auditing company practices and advising on management decisions, ADA accommodations, benefit plans, discipline, discrimination, employment investigations, FMLA, handbook policies, harassment, workforce reductions, workplace violence, terminations, and training managers, supervisors and HR staffs on developments in the law. Zbaracki is experienced at balancing risks with the needs of management at all levels when dealing with individual disciplinary & discrimination actions, policy implementation and organizational change.