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Young HR Leaders - Influencing with Limited Authority
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*FREE* Join us in a discussion Influencing with Limited Authority - Building Influence Early in your Career

When: Tuesday, February 13, 2018
2:45 - 3:15 Registration & Networking; 3:15 - 4:45 pm Program
Where: HUB International Midwest Limited
55 E. Jackson Boulevard
Chicago 60604
United States
Contact: Marguerite Allegretti

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Influencing with Limited Authority: Building Influence Early in your Career


Whether you are the sole member of your HR department or part of a large global team, it can be unnerving to suggest new ideas, practices, and procedures to senior leadership. It can also be tough to deliver a tough message, such as discussing poor feedback with a direct report or making leadership aware of an area of non-compliance. 




Deirdre Drake, Sr. Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer at US Cellular Corporation.

US Cellular is the fifth-largest full-service wireless carrier in the United States, providing national network coverage and industry-leading innovations designed to elevate the customer experience. Deirdre is responsible for delivering human capital strategies that directly enable the achievement of US Cellular’s strategic objectives. Deirdre began her career in human resources in 1989 with Marathon Oil Company. She has also held increasingly senior leadership positions in human resources with Kraft Foods, ARAMARK Corporation and The Bank of Montreal Financial Group. Prior to joining U.S. Cellular in April 2014, Deirdre was Managing Director and Chief Human Resources Officer for the Bank of Montreal Financial Group—Capital Markets Division. Deirdre earned a bachelor's degree in human resources from Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant, Mich., and a master's degree in business administration from St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia. She is a lifetime member of the National Black MBA Association, serves as a board member with the Chicago Public Library Foundation and the American Red Cross of Chicago and Northern Illinois. She is also actively involved in a number of local and national not-for profit organizations.


Michelle McGovern, Director of Human Resources and Operations at the American College of Surgeons (ACS)

Prior to joining ACS, Michelle held leadership positions for HR at Mesirow Financial, General Growth Properties and Claire’s Boutiques.  Michelle has over 25 years of experience with acquisitions, employee engagement strategies and developing innovative employee benefit and coaching strategies. Since joining ACS Michelle has expanded her focus to include organizational Operations and led the HR transformation which included full automation of HR services, restructuring of the benefit and compensation programs, implementation of organizational and leadership training curriculums, launching wellness and employee focus groups and development of a talent strategy. Michelle holds an undergraduate degree in Psychology as well as a Masters in Human Resources and Industrial Relations from Loyola University. Michelle currently serves on Loyola University’s Applied Psychology Advisory Committee. She served for 7 years on the HRMAC Board including Chair of the Board in 2015, Vice Chair in 2014, Secretary in 2013 and Chair of the SUMMIT 2012. She has been a speaker or panelist for numerous programs throughout Chicago. Michelle has served on the MSL and BSL Advisory Council at Benedictine for the Women’s Institute for Global Leadership from 2011-2013.


Angela Simonetta, Human Resources Generalist at the American College of Surgeons (ACS)

Over the course of her career, she has worked as a Recruiter, HR Consultant, and HRIS Analyst at healthcare organizations such as Lurie Children’s Hospital and the Cleveland Clinic. She recently completed her MBA with a concentration in Training and Development and holds both PHR and SHRM-CP certifications. Angela prides herself on her ability to build strong partnerships with organizational leaders and collaborate effectively with them on a variety of talent strategies, processes and initiatives. She has a strong interest in training and developing top talent, and she continues to share her expertise through her participation in numerous process improvement and education committees at ACS. 


Ruby Acevedo, Lead Organizational Effectiveness Program Specialist at U.S. Cellular

A Texas native, Ruby moved to Chicago in 2013 to pursue her master’s degree.  She holds a MBA with a concentration in Human Resources from Loyola University Chicago and a BBA in Accounting from St. Mary’s University of San Antonio, TX. Big or small, learning something new each day is important to Ruby.  In her current role as Lead Organizational Effectiveness Program Specialist at U.S. Cellular, Ruby is constantly looking to incorporate learnings into continuous improvement efforts for her team.





Christina Kuhns, US Benefits Manager – Little Fuse

Christina Kuhns is a Benefits professional who collaborates with both internal and external resources to provide a valuable benefit package in correlation with the company’s total reward strategy. After spending nearly a decade working in benefits for both large and smaller companies, Christina has broad experience in what it takes to move companies’ benefit offerings forward strategically while keeping both the company and employees best interest in mind. 

Christina currently works at Littelfuse Inc. managing all U.S. Benefits as well as special projects related to acquisitions and international benefits harmonization.  Previously Christina worked at Kraft Heinz Company where she was responsible for U.S. health and welfare strategy and plan design for all non-union population as well as benefits administration for all U.S. populations including unionized employees and retirees.  


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This program has been approved for 1.5 business credit hours towards PHR/SPHR recertification as well as 1.5 professional development credits (PDC's) toward SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP certification.