Learning & Development


Thursday, February 7, 2019

Managing Your Career Before It Manages You 

George Atkinson, Senior Client Partner, Human Resource Center of Expertise, Korn Ferry

Over the course of his career in executive search, Mr. Atkinson has worked with Fortune 500 corporations as well as early-stage high growth companies. While he has served publicly traded organizations, he has extensive experience and knowledge of the nuances involved in recruiting for privately held and private equity-backed ventures.

A member of Korn Ferry's Human Resources Center of Expertise since its inception in 1998, Mr. Atkinson focuses 100% of his time on the recruitment of senior-level generalists and functional leaders in compensation and benefits, talent management and organizational development across a variety of service and manufacturing industries.

Prior to joining Korn Ferry in 1996, Mr. Atkinson served as a Territory Manager for Baxter Healthcare. He also worked in marketing for Wilson Sporting Goods, as well as in strategic planning with Sears Roebuck & Company.

Mr. Atkinson holds a Master of Management degree from The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, as well as a Bachelor of Science degree from Cornell University. He is an active board member of the Springboard Foundation, which supports small, underfunded and grass-roots after-school programs in Chicago's most impoverished neighborhoods. He and his family live on the north side of Chicago.

Bob Ryan, Partner, Shields Meneley Partners

As a trusted advisor for all levels of the organization, Bob has helped develop leaders and future leaders, his passion for more than twenty-five years. He brings a unique perspective to the table with an education in engineering and several decades of experience as a human resource leader. He also brings a global viewpoint having held positions in four different countries and has had responsibilities in the Americas, Eastern and Western Europe and Asia.

Bob, a native of Montreal, Quebec, attended McGill and Carleton Universities in Canada where he graduated with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. He began his career with Procter and Gamble as a shift production manager, moving through a business assignment at the P&G’s HQ in Toronto and on to a key role in Human Resources leading HR in Canada’s largest plant. He was recruited by Griffith Laboratories, a global food ingredient company where he worked as VP HR in Canada and the USA, as a General Manager in the UK and set up a new executive team and HR function in the European HQ in Paris. Bob returned to the US and was recruited by Bombardier Recreational Products to help start-up their marine outboard engine business in Wisconsin. He has also worked for Kimball Hill Homes in Chicago and Tate & Lyle, a British food ingredient company where he led a project to move commercial and new product development personnel from Decatur, Illinois to Chicagoland. All throughout his career, Bob has been sought after as coach, advisor and conversation partner for business and community leaders.

Today he is a partner at Shields Meneley Partners, a boutique firm that advises and coaches senior leaders that are high potentials in their organization. In addition, the firm also coaches C-Suite leaders and one level below that are in transition. He is also a Managing Partner of the Sierra Institute, an invitation-only group of up to 40-50 CHROs from companies across the USA.

CEO Expectations of HR 

Forrest D. Bailey, Vice Chair and CEO Emeritus, Draper and Karmer, Incorporated 

Forrest D. Bailey currently serves as Vice Chair and CEO Emeritus. Mr. Bailey was the President and Chief Executive Officer of Draper and Kramer, Incorporated and its parent company, DKH, Incorporated from 1998 thru August of 2018. As CEO, Mr. Bailey was responsible for all the operations of the firm and its subsidiaries.

Mr. Bailey joined Draper and Kramer in 1978 as a Construction Loan Administrator. During 1982, he was a Property Manager within the Residential Management Department. From 1983 through 1989, Mr. Bailey served as a Mortgage Banker specializing in the financing of major office, residential, retail and industrial developments within the Midwest.  From 1989 to 1995, Mr. Bailey was responsible for overseeing the asset management function of the company’s portfolio of 7,500 residential units and in excess of 2 million square feet of office, retail and industrial developments.

In 1995, Mr. Bailey was named Chief Financial Officer responsible for financial reporting, corporate finance and project financing for sponsored properties. In 1998, Mr. Bailey was named President and CEO of the company. He has been a member of the firm’s Board of Directors since 1989.

Mr. Bailey received a bachelor’s degree and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Chicago in 1980 and 1982, respectively, and is currently a member of the University of Chicago Visiting Committee. He is also a member of the Housing and Community Development Committee of the Metropolitan Planning Council, the Chicago Central Area Committee and a former member of the University of Chicago Visiting Committee as well as the FNMA Illinois Partnership Office Advisory Council. He is a licensed Real Estate Broker in the State of Illinois and holds the CPA designation.

Christian Herrmann, Chief Executive Officer, Morton Salt, Inc. 

Christian Herrmann is Chief Executive Officer of Morton Salt, Inc., a leader in the North American salt market for more than 160 years. Christian became CEO on October 1, 2012. In this role, he is responsible for directing the company’s strategy and operations in the U.S., Canada and the Bahamas. Prior to joining Morton Salt, Inc., a K+S Group Company, Christian served as head of Investor Relations for K+S.



Gina Max, Senior Director, Talent Management and Diversity, USG 

Gina S. Max is the Senior Director of Talent Management and Diversity for USG Corporation.  During her long tenure with USG, she has worked in a number of human resources and field leadership roles in both the subsidiary and corporate business units.  Over the years, she has had the opportunity to play a key role in manufacturing and distribution leadership where she led cross-functional teams to update organizational structure, create new programs, and implement change.  

Max was most recently promoted in May 2014 to lead USG’s talent management and diversity function where she brings with her the experience from the manufacturing and distribution organization, including operations and sales, as well as extensive expertise supporting the corporate headquarters.  She has responsibility for workforce planning, talent acquisition, training and development, performance management, succession planning, organizational design, and diversity and inclusion. 

Allison Robinson, Chief Executive Officer, The Mom Project 

After having her son Asher in 2015, Allison identified how universally challenging it can be for American mothers to juggle the demands of motherhood with a full-time career and decided to tackle the issue on a national scale. Prior to founding The Mom Project, Allison spent 8 years at Procter and Gamble working on go to market strategies for leading household brands with a special focus on moms during her tenure on the Pampers brand. As CEO, Allison is responsible for delivering on the company's mission of building a better workplace for women while supporting our customers through innovative talent solutions that help them attract and retain the diversity of backgrounds and perspectives they need to propel their businesses forward.

(back to top)

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Navigating the CHRO Role and C-Suite Dynamics 

Carl Cutsmode, Partner, TalentRise 

Carl has spent the last 20 years helping employers from startups to global organizations optimize their talent practices, processes, technologies and strategies.  A pioneer in the digital transformation of recruiting, Carl helps employers gain competitive business advantage by equipping them to succeed in attracting, recruiting and retaining the best talent. He transforms outdated and inefficient systems, strategies and processes into effective recruiting practices that support the ever-changing talent needs of businesses in the digital age.

Working both domestically and internationally, his experience extends to a variety of industries, including professional services, financial services, capital markets, healthcare, pharmaceutical / biotech, energy, high tech, engineering, manufacturing, retail, hospitality, CPG and not for profit.

Representative client engagements include PLS Financial, HSBC, Hyatt, Cadence Health, Sagent Pharmaceuticals, Exelon Nuclear, Chevron Energy Solutions, Huron Consulting Group, Hitachi Consulting Group, McClagan Consulting, Claro Consulting and PRGX Advisory Services.

Carl founded and successfully ran Tiburon Group Inc, a talent consulting and recruiting company. After a decade, he sold the company to Capital H Group LLC. He joined TalentRISE in 2009 to grow the business revenues and manage key client relationships.

Katie Lawler, Senior Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer, Illinois Tool Works, Inc 

Katie Lawler is Senior Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer of Illinois Tool Works Inc. Founded in 1912, ITW (NYSE: ITW) is a Fortune 250 global industrial company centered on a highly differentiated proprietary business model. The company’s seven industry-leading segments leverage the ITW Business Model to generate solid growth with best-in-class margins and returns in markets where highly innovative, customer-focused solutions are required. ITW’s approximately 50,000 dedicated team members around the world thrive in the company’s decentralized, entrepreneurial culture. ITW’s revenues totaled $14.3 billion in 2017, with roughly half coming from outside North America. The company had a market capitalization of approximately $57 billion as of year-end 2017.

Ms. Lawler joined ITW in 2014 and previously served as Executive Vice President, Human Resources for GATX Corporation. Prior to joining GATX, she held a wide range of positions in operations, human resources and law with Tribune Media (formerly Tribune Company).

Hugh A. Shields, Principal, Shields Meneley 

Hugh Shields is a principal with Shields Meneley Partners, a boutique provider of executive consulting services that works exclusively with senior executives to drive business results through improved individual performance.

Mr. Shields has extensive P&L and strategy development experience in industrial, commercial, and consumer markets. He has held senior management positions in a variety of industries including professional services, specialty chemicals, electronics, and electrical products.

He was one of eight founders of the Center for Executive Options, and helped grow its Midwest executive coaching and transition practice into the global practice profit leader. He and his partner, Gail R. Meneley, launched the Chicago regional practice and worked with more than 2,000 top executives from start-ups to Fortune 1000 companies, including Allstate, Anheuser Busch, Anthem Health, Bank One, Bristol Meyers, CNA, DaimlerChrysler, Fleming, Fort James, Galileo, GE, Heller Financial, Johnson & Johnson, McDonald's, Motorola, Quaker, R.R. Donnelley, and Sears. Previously, Mr. Shields drove the P&L for Valspar Corporation’s multiplant Federal International Chemicals Division, where he designed and implemented an aggressive turnaround strategy, divested underperforming business units, made critical capital investments in high potential units, and transformed the sales force from independent agents to direct representatives.

Going from Chief HR Officer to Change Officer – Leveraging Organization Effectiveness to Transform Your Organization 

Steven B. Merkin, Senior Vice President, Human Resources, Roundtable Healthcare Partners

Mr. Merkin serves as Senior Vice President, Human Resource for RoundTable Healthcare Partners, assuming this role in May 2017. Previously, he was Senior Vice President, Human Resources for Renaissance, an integrated manufacturer of generic injectables and specialty pharmaceuticals, and a portfolio company of RoundTable.

Prior to RoundTable and Renaissance, Mr. Merkin was Senior Vice President, Human Resources for Cardinal Health’s Medical Segment, comprised of medical-surgical distribution and manufacturing businesses that employ over 16,000 employees worldwide. He joined Cardinal Health in 1999 and held senior Human Resources roles supporting the company’s Consulting and Services, Manufacturing, and Manufacturing Products and Technologies businesses. Prior to joining Cardinal Health, Mr. Merkin had over 17 years of Human Resources experience with Cobra Golf, Allegiance Corporation, Baxter International, and Consumers Power Company.

Mr. Merkin serves as an adjunct Professor at the University of Illinois’ Graduate School of Labor and Employment Relations and as a member of the MorganHR, Inc. Advisory Board.

Laurence Pearlman, Sr. Vice President, Marsh Risk Consulting 

Expertise: Board Level Major Hazard and Operational Risk Assessment; Improving HSE Effectiveness; Safety Culture Improvemen; Safety Transformatio; Leadership Effectiveness

Industry Focus: Manufacturing; Transportation; Energy

Education: MA, Labor & Industrial Relations Human Resources, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; BBA, Business, University of Iowa; Adjunct Professor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

(back to top)

Thursday, April 4, 2019

CEO and C-Suite Succession: The Critical Role of HR 

Manuel Cuevas-Trisán, Corporate Vice President, Human Resources, Employment Law & Data Protection, Motorola Solutions

Manuel Cuevas-Trisán led Motorola Solutions’ global Human Resources organization from 2015 to the end of 2018, a period of remarkable transformation of the company’s business model and focus—from communications hardware and devices, to mission-critical services and  software solutions for public safety and enterprise customers. 

Under Manuel’s leadership, Motorola’s Human Resources repositioned itself as a leader in talent management and acceleration. At the BoD level, Manuel made senior leadership succession assessments a priority, and executed C-level and officer-level succession plans at multiple levels. He spearheaded the launch of “People First Academy”, an award-winning platform to develop the capabilities of people leaders. As part of his talent strategy, he shifted the collective orientation of High-Potential programs into a model based on individualized talent interventions, while embedding inclusion and diversity principles in all stages of the employment life-cycle. 

In his capacity as lead employment and data protection lawyer for Motorola Solutions, Manuel and his team sustained the lowest rate of employment disputes in over 10 years and oversaw a GDPR-compliant Privacy program for the company.

Amy Mysel, HR Executive & Consultant

Amy Mysel is a seasoned business leader most recently heading Human Resources for the over $750 M. manufacturer, U.S. Pipe & Foundry. From her over 25 years as chief HR officer in leading global organizations, she brings a breadth of experience and pragmatic perspectives to address organizational needs. She is adept in all areas of HR, helping leaders optimize their greatest asset  - PEOPLE. In addition to her corporate work, Amy is a consultant, executive coach and HR advisor who helps leaders understand what matters most in developing a capable and engaged workforce.

Amy is most known for her work shaping HR as a center of organization excellence; developing highly effective cultures, building employee value propositions and dynamic recruitment, development and retention plans, and coaching for enhanced performance.

Amy has a B.A from the University of the Pacific, a trained executive coach (through LHH) and certified in the Hogan Assessment, Myers-Briggs, DISC and is a sought after Vistage facilitator and advisor.  She has served on several boards including The American Red Cross of Chicago, HRMAC, CAEL, and other philanthropic organizations.  

Bryan Proctor, Senior Client Partner, Korn Ferry

Bryan L. Proctor is a Senior Client Partner and the Global Leader of the Financial Officer Center of Expertise (COE). Bryan is also a member of the Board & CEO Services Practice. He co-leads the firm’s CFO Institute, a leadership program designed for CFO successors or recently appointed CFOs.

Bryan brings more than 20 years of experience in executive search and leadership consulting. Prior to joining Korn Ferry, he was with another international executive search firm for 13 years, most recently as a Partner within the Global Financial Officer and CEO & Board Practices. He had also served as the Partner-in-Charge of the firm’s Chicago Office.

Throughout Bryan’s career, he has led several prominent recruiting and assessment engagements across industries globally with a diverse client base, including Fortune 500, mid to small cap public and private companies. He frequently serves as a leadership and talent advisor on Board of Director and CFO related topics.

He is an active member of The Chicago Club and the Economic Club of Chicago. Bryan holds a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University, Bloomington.

Managing the Executive Compensation Process 

Donald P. Delves, EdD, MBA, CPA, Managing Director, Executive Compensation Practice Leader, North America, Willis Towers Watson 

Don Delves is a Managing Director and Practice Leader for Executive Compensation, North America for Willis Towers Watson’s Rewards Line of Business. Based in Chicago, Don is a leading expert and highly sought-after consultant and speaker on corporate governance and executive pay and performance, with over 30 years’ experience consulting with major corporate boards and executive teams across the country. Don is a recognized expert on principles-based corporate governance, incentive design, performance measurement and value creation.

Dr. Delves is frequently interviewed and cited as an expert in major media including Harvard Business Review, Fortune, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Fox Business News, The Today Show, CNBC and National Public Radio. He has testified before the U.S. Senate and the FASB on the hotly debated issue of stock option expensing. Delves’ published two books: Stock Options and the New Rules of Corporate Accountability: Measuring, Managing, and Rewarding Performance (McGraw-Hill, 2003; World at Work, 2006), and Accounting for Compensation Arrangements, (CCH, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012) the definitive guide for accounting for stock options, equity incentives, and other forms of compensation.

Adam Greetis, Partner, Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation, Seyfarth Shaw LLP

Adam Greetis is a Partner in the Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Department of Seyfarth Shaw LLP.  Seyfarth Shaw LLP maintains one of the nation’s largest groups of lawyers practicing Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Law in the country.  Adam has a broad-based practice advising companies of all sizes on a wide variety of legal issues that arise with respect to a company’s employee benefit and executive compensation arrangements, including the legal issues that arise with respect to all forms of cash and equity-based incentive pay, qualified retirement plans and all forms of health and welfare arrangements.  Adam has considerable experience assisting companies with reductions in force as well as the legal issues that arise in connection with all forms of business transactions such as acquisitions and divestitures, mergers and joint ventures.

Tim Kane, Senior Vice President, Head of Total Rewards, First Midwest Bank

Tim Kane is a Senior Vice President and the head of Total Rewards at First Midwest Bank, one of the largest independent banks in Illinois with more than $15 billion in total assets.  

Tim is responsible for leading First Midwest’s Total Rewards strategies across the organization, including all compensation and benefits-related activities. He brings extensive knowledge of broad-based and executive compensation, as well as global benefits and organizational design. 

Prior to joining First Midwest, Tim spent 16 years at McDonald’s Corporation in various Total Rewards leadership roles. 

He graduated from Loyola University with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy.  

Colleen Plant, Director, Rewards, Zebra Technologies Corporation 

Colleen Plant is the Senior Director of Rewards at Zebra Technologies.  In her role she is responsible for managing the global executive compensation program, the long term and short term incentive plans as well as broad based compensation programs for North America and Latin America.

Colleen has over 20 years of experience in Total Rewards management concentrating in areas of executive compensation, broad based compensation, performance management, health and welfare plans and human resource information systems.  She has worked in both union and nonunion workplaces in a variety of industries including Technology, Financial Services, Manufacturing, Retail, Insurance, and Banking.

Colleen is a Certified Compensation Professional (CCP) and has earned her Professional in Human Resources (PHR) designation.  She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resource Management from Marquette University and a Master’s in Business Administration from Benedictine University.

(back to top)

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Board Dynamics and Governance: The CHRO Role 

Andrea Barry, CHRO, Methode Electronics

Andrea works closely with senior management and focuses on talent development programs, performance management and succession planning, among other HR functions and employee-facing initiatives.  Prior to joining Breakthru Beverage Group, and its predecessor Wirtz Beverage, she held increasingly senior roles with Borg-Warner, Kellogg Company and Culligan International, where she served as the SVP & Chief Human Resources Officer.  Andrea was elected to the HRMAC Board in 2014 and currently serves on the Future Leaders Committee. She currently serves as the Chief Human Resources Officer of Methode Electronics.

Jeff Bucklew, CHRO, IDEX Corporation

Jeff joined IDEX in 2012 as the company’s chief human resources officer (CHRO) charged with leading the global human resources function for IDEX’s 7,000+ employees throughout the world.  Jeff and his team focus on creating an inclusive culture where IDEX associates are invited to do and be their best every day- ensuring a diverse workforce and increasing diversity in leadership roles, scaling the enterprise for growth while retaining the entrepreneurial benefits of a decentralized structure, and unlocking the power of high performing teams. In this role, he has helped to build the IDEX Academy, the company’s global leadership development program and helped develop a simple, yet powerful organization and talent review process to ensure we have the best matched talent focused on our most important strategic business opportunities.

Theo Killion, Former CEO, Zale Corporation 

Theo Killion was the Chief Executive Officer of the Zale Corporation from September 2010 until his retirement in July 2014. Prior to being named CEO, he held a variety of other positions including Interim CEO, President and Executive Vice President of Human Resources, Legal and Strategy. During his tenure as CEO, he led a turnaround effort which included growing shareholder value by $850m, 14 quarters of positive comparative store increases and increasing the share value from $1.69 when he became CEO to $21 when the business was sold to Signet four years later.

During his 40 year career, he has held a variety human resources and operating roles for
leading retailers including Tommy Hilfiger, L Brands, The Home Shopping Network and Macys. Since leaving Zale, he has worked as Vice Chairman of Herbert Mines, an executive search firm and is currently a Managing Partner of The Sierra Institute, a Dallas based human resources consortium.

The First 100 Days: Setting the Stage for Leading a High Performing HR Organization 

Jim Conniff, EVP & CHRO, GATX Corporation

Mr. Conniff was elected Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer in August 2018 and Senior Vice President, Human Resources in December 2014. He joined GATX in 1981 and worked in various finance roles for ten years before moving into Human Resources. Mr. Conniff was previously Vice President, Human Resources in 2014 and Senior Director Benefits and Employee Services since 2008. Since joining the Human Resources organization, Mr. Conniff has served in a variety of roles including employee benefits, labor relations, talent acquisition, incentive plan design and training. Mr. Conniff received his Bachelor of Science degree from Northern Illinois University in 1980 and his MBA from Loyola University of Chicago in 1985.

Eileen Timmins, Ph.D., Global Chief Human Resources Officer, IPC Systems

Eileen Timmins is a Global Chief Human Resources Officer with extensive professional experience working with private equity, private company boards and serving as a company fiduciary. She is a highly skilled business partner with expertise in the areas of talent, leadership and strategy development, succession planning, executive and board compensation, diversity, global expansion strategies, including M&A, roll-ups, and enterprise talent development. With global responsibilities, Eileen provides strategic counsel to the CEOs and Boards she has served and has established a reputation for building highly motivated teams. She has developed and continues to provide oversight on key corporate structures and processes in order to facilitate organizational growth and transformation to improve business operations.

(back to top)