Centerpoint Newsletter March 2022

Access the March 2022 edition of CenterPoint, the publication from Carlson School's CHRLS Alumni Association. Stay informed about alumni accomplishments and current trends in human resources and labor studies.

Greetings from the HR Tomorrow Committee!


As co-leads of the conference planning committee, we couldn’t be more excited about the upcoming HR Tomorrow Conference #CuratingCulture, being held on Friday, April 22. We always look forward to this outstanding professional development event for the chance to sharpen our HR skills, hear from leading practitioners and thought leaders, and connect with other HR professionals.

We had hoped to see many of you in person this year, but our committee made the difficult but necessary decision to move the conference to a Virtual-Only format. With the challenge of maintaining proper social distancing during the conference, the uncertainty of the current variants and breakthrough cases — and the desire to provide a safe, seamless and professional event — we believe this is the responsible and prudent decision. We are partnering with an exceptional virtual conference vendor to bring you a most engaging day of live speaker presentations, opportunities to network with each other and our generous sponsors, and earn SHRM and HRCI recertification credits while we’re at it!

Our keynote speaker is Ron Carucci, Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Navalent. Ron is the author of nine books, including the Amazon #1 Rising to Power and the recently released To Be Honest, Lead with the Power of Truth, Justice & Purpose. We also have a full slate of fantastic breakout presenters who will speak on a variety of topics, including: 

  • Strategies to Diversify Your Workforce
  • Mindfulness and Meditation at Work
  • Psychological Safety
  • Collaboration Culture
  • Labor Market Trends and Talent Strategy
  • And more 

For the fifth year in a row, we are proud to offer an HR Tomorrow Scholarship that covers attendance for an HR professional working for a nonprofit or currently in transition. If you’d like to be considered for a complimentary ticket to attend, please apply here by March 25.

Registration is now open, and we invite you to visit the conference website where you’ll see the wide range of topics and great speakers on the schedule. Additionally, check out our LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter sites where we will highlight our speakers and share other important information. Finally, we’d like to thank our planning committee members Heather Besikof, ’06; Jennifer Reilly, ’97; Francis Sadac, ’97; Padma Tamma,’94; and Melissa Weisse, ’12 for their tireless work to bring you the very best HR Tomorrow Conference possible.


Liz Pagel, ‘14
Chris Carlson, ‘17
HR Tomorrow Committee Co-Leads

Register Now for HR Tomorrow Conference on April 22

HR Tomorrow Banner

Registration is now open for the 42nd annual HR Tomorrow Conference #CuratingCulture where we’ll engage in important dialogue around strategic culture management. Through a series of dynamic and interactive virtual sessions, the conference will equip HR leaders at all levels within the organization with the skills and information needed to increase both personal and organizational performance. The conference will be held virtually from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Friday, April 22 and all presentations will be offered live.

Registration is available here. For questions, please contact

HR Tomorrow Conference Scholarships Available
If you are an HRIR alum working for a nonprofit with a tight professional development budget or are currently in transition between jobs, and would like to attend the April 22 conference, please apply to be considered for a complimentary ticket here before March 25.

We’d Like to Know What You Think – Please Take Alumni Survey
It’s important to us that we hear from you, our HRIR alumni, on the type of programming that is most meaningful and relevant to you. What engagement opportunities are of greatest interest? How do you view your alma mater and your degree program? What changes would you suggest to the program that might enhance its relevance for today's business environment?

Please take 10 minutes to reply to this survey, and be entered into a drawing for a complimentary ticket to the 2022 HR Tomorrow Conference on April 22. Take the survey here.

Student Organization Builds Community Among Part-Time Students
Every graduate student deserves to have a community that they can rely on and share their experiences with. However, for MHRIR students at the Carlson School, many part-time student experiences are different from their full-time peers, creating a challenge for them to find their community.  The Graduate Society of Part-Time Human Resource Students (GSPTHRS) is a student-led group of part-time students on campus who recognized these challenges and dedicated themselves to forming a supportive community. Read the full story here.

Welcome New Staff Member

Sarah Headshot

The Center for Human Resources and Labor Studies and the Department of Work and Organizations is pleased to welcome new staff member Sarah Lindeman, who joined the department as Associate Department Administrator in January. Sarah comes to the department with more than 20 years of experience working in nonprofits and higher education. She most recently worked for Neighborhood House and before that for Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity. She also held the role of Associate Program Director for the Carlson School’s Juran Center from 2002-07. She holds a Master of Public Affairs from the University of Minnesota and a BA from the University of St. Thomas. Welcome, Sarah!

Want to get the latest news from the CHRLS? Wondering who the next 1st Tuesday speaker will be? Interested in seeing photos from campus? Stay connected with your alma mater by following our social media sites:​

  • LinkedIn - find our group (Carlson School of Management - HRIR) here 
  • Facebook - find our page here
  • Twitter - find our feed here
  • HRIR Blog - find our blog here and sign up to follow it (in the bottom right-hand corner of the page)
  • Instagram - find us at umnhrir
  • Rich Austin, ’15, is HR consultant at Minnesota Department of Human Services
  • Bethany Beyer, ’06, is senior manager global compensation at Equinix
  • Lance Bryan, ’12, is sourcing recruiter at Amazon Web Services
  • Jenna (Rogowski) DeMilio, ’09, Global HR Leader, Finance and Corporate Strategy and Development at Cargill
  • Jill Fitzharris Smith, ’00, is director of HR, talent strategy, at Park Nicollet Health Services
  • Nicole Graves, ’97, is senior director of people, office of the CFO, at Apple
  • Joao Halab, ‘20, is specialist/HR business partner at L3Harris Technologies
  • Brendan Harper, ‘13, is staff compensation analyst at Seagate Technology
  • Bruce Henderson, ’08, is vice president of HR at Avantor
  • Heidi Holmes, ‘03, is senior people manager at Waste Management
  • Renee Konzelman, ’05, is senior vice president, Americas people partnering at Cushman & Wakefield
  • Elisabeth Kwe, ’15, is HR business partner at LUFKIN Industries
  • Dustin Leszcynski, ‘11, is head of talent acquisition at PathAI
  • Kristina Morton, ’99, is chief people officer at APi Group
  • Zachariah Roberts, ’14, is senior campus recruiter at Armanino
  • Nayla Sater, ’19, is HR business partner, manager oncology, at AbbVie
  • Megan Singamsetty, ‘13, is talent acquisition partner at ACV Auctions
  • Samantha South, ’10, is director of people analytics at Microsoft
  • Jessica Vang Herr, ’14, is senior HR business partner at Reece USA
  • Celeste (Pape) Winer, ’10, is corporate director of HR at Hayward Industries
  • Jess Zamora-Weiss, ‘17 is HR leader at Owens Corning
  • Kara Zetzman, ‘10 is HR manager, HRBP & talent management at Nonin Medical, Inc.