Time Event
7:00 - 8:00 a.m. Registration and Continental Breakfast - Sponsored by Land O'Lakes
8:00 - 9:30 a.m.
Sesil Pir, Founder and Principal Consultant, SESIL PIR Consulting
"The DNA of 21st Century Leadership"
Through multiple surveys of workers over the years, we find suffering is rampant in work settings. Employees often feel disengaged, and do not feel appreciated for their talents and/or cared for their personal being and day-to-day struggles. Though global engagement surveys present some disheartening facts, many workers report back that their employers remain silent in the face of current realities. We believe the time has come for leadership to step up! We believe taking a human approach to leadership can bring healing to workplaces and to our societies. Further, research has confirmed investing in employee well-being quadruples the profit environment for organizations across all industries and sectors.  During the morning keynote address, we will try to give a glimpse of our worlds in transition (in lieu of digital transformation), argue the benefits of understanding our biological evolution, introduce seven key attributes of 21st Century leaders, and facilitate a global discussion around how to think about and develop these qualities within and around us in our HR professions.
9:30 - 9:50 a.m. Break
9:50 - 11:00 a.m.

MORNING SESSION 1: BREAKOUTS - Schedule subject to change

Kevin Ames, Director, O.C. Tanner Institute
"Influence Greatness: What can be done to fuel engagement, great work, and cultural success?”
The speaker will share research and insights that challenge outdated beliefs that organizations and leaders can “drive” engagement, and will introduce and explore a new framework for understanding what employees value most in workplace cultures, and how that affects their level of engagement and work outputs. Finally, he will provide several best practices to make workplace cultures more engaging.

Kate Bischoff, Owner, tHRive Law & Consulting
"HR Technology Risks and Rewards"

HR just doesn’t slow down and with emerging technologies, HR is only going to pick up more speed. HR has giant pools of data that can be sliced and diced to find new insights on employees that allows us to hiring the right candidate, eliminate some unconscious bias, and implement better decision-making. Chatbots will allow us to automate some of the more mundane questions in recruiting and open enrollments. Facial recognition and biometrics can help businesses know who is doing what when and whether they’re doing things efficiently. While all of this newfangled tech is amazing and promises ease and spectacular ROI, it doesn’t come without risk. This session will cover the promises and offer some tips to mitigate those risks.

Lila Kelly, Principal, Lila Kelly Associates, and Bonnie Keppers, President, Report Partners
"Recruit to Include"

Like great athletes, great recruiters stay on top of their game to win. Today’s shifting workforce landscape and tight labor market demand much of recruiters. Those who know how to cross divides, energize people and drive change come out ahead. This session focuses on fine tuning practices we take for granted every day to build better outcomes for candidates, recruiters and hiring managers, leading to big wins for everyone. Presenters will demonstrate techniques for writing job descriptions that ensure clarity and eliminate bias, inclusive interview practices and coaching to improve hiring managers’ cultural awareness and proficiency. Participants will build and hone skills through participation and practice, tailoring critical employment practices to better serve diverse populations while ensuring employers are positioned to attract and hire the very best candidates. HR professionals, recruiters and diversity practitioners at all levels will find tips to raise their game!

Sarah Beaty, HR Director, Organization Effectiveness & Talent, General Mills
"Engaging Leader For An Evolving Business & Workforce"

As both business and workforce evolve at a rapid pace, essential leadership behaviors are evolving as well.  It is vitally important that successful companies both recognize these key leadership behaviors and commit to building these skills in their leaders to ensure strong employee engagement. During this interactive session, we will overview twelve essential engaging leader behaviors we have identified that are helping our leaders better live the company values. Then, we will immerse in one behavior of "encouraging productive discourse."  Through quick exercises and discussions, you will identify your own strengths and opportunities for this behavior, as well as small changes you can make to "encourage productive discourse" and be a more engaging leader.


11:00 - 11:20 a.m. Break
11:20 - 12:30 p.m.

MORNING SESSION 2: BREAKOUTS - Schedule subject to change

Panelists: Kate Bischoff, Paul Casselman, Todd Schmidt, Darrin Schulte, moderator Justin Ahlstrom
Panel Discussion on "Data Analytics: How the Use of Data is Evolving"
From predicting which high-performing employees are at risk of leaving your organization to eliminating some unconscious bias to helping recruiters source the right talent, data analytics are revolutionizing how HR operates.  Data analytics are not just another HR fad but a fast growing trend that is here to stay.  HR professionals have learned if you don’t have the right data – you are uninformed.  Conversely, if you have too much data – you can be overwhelmed.  With the correct approach to data analytics, HR can help their organizations get the best out employees while minimizing the costs and risks.  In this discussion panelists will share their thoughts on how the use of data in HR is evolving, and give advice on how organizations can safely and effectively use data to make decisions. 


Jason Grover, Vice President HR, Polaris
"Is Your HR Function Prepared to Support Global Business Growth Opportunities?"

As it becomes increasingly challenging to drive organic growth, businesses will look to grow through market expansion and acquisition. Whether entering new markets, committing to a stronger footprint in existing global markets, or integrating recent acquisitions into our organizations, your human capital strategy will be critical to achieve business objectives. The trend is critical for HR leaders in all size companies, and requires we proactively manage our evolving workforce. Our discussion will focus on how design of organization and the aligning talent to task is evolving in this new business dynamic.


Jill Hauwiller, Founder and Principal, Leadership Refinery
"Why Is This So Hard? Using Emotional Intelligence to Improve Team Dynamics Across Generations"

Let’s face it: dealing with other people is highly complex. Human beings aren’t consistent, linear creatures - and we use our intelligence to adapt, adjust, grow, and change throughout our lives. Our experiences in life shape much of who we are, and those key experiences are different for each generation. Join us as we navigate through a journey of emotional intelligence, and explore how we can use our own skills and talents in this area to build, mend, and preserve relationships at work - especially where generational differences exist.

Stacey Swanson, Senior Manager, HR Solutions; SALO, LLC
"Design for the Future: HR Service Delivery w/Technology Deployment"
Deploying new HR technology into an organization often results in many changes across your business including how employees and managers consume services within HR. To ensure your HR team is functioning efficiently and effectively, it is important that the organization structure of your HR function and the roles and responsibilities of your HR team are aligned to these changes. This session will help you prepare to make changes within your HR Service Delivery model as you implement new technology.

12:30 - 1:30 p.m.

Networking Luncheon - Sponsored by Polaris

To foster engaging discussions and networking during lunch, tables will be identified by HR functional areas and attendees will be able to choose what table to sit at based on their functional area of choice:

  • HR Generalist
  • HR Specialist - Compensation
  • HR Specialist - Recruiter
  • HR Specialist - Benefits
  • HR Specialist - Training and Development
  • HR Specialist - Employee Relations
  • HR Specialist - Performance Management/Talent Management
  • HR Specialist - Incentives and Rewards
1:30 - 2:40 p.m.

AFTERNOON SESSION 3: BREAKOUTS - Schedule subject to change


Avner Ben-Ner, Professor, Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota
"The Surprising Effects of Diversity in Different Types of Jobs​"

In recent decades, there has been a massive movement of people within and across national boundaries. As a result, in numerous organizations, people of different cultural, religious and linguistic backgrounds work side by side. People from different backgrounds bring skills, ideas and the spark of creativity not found in homogeneous workplaces. However, working in diverse teams may involve conflict, favoritism and discrimination that result in less productive collaboration as well as practical problems of communication. The balance of positive and negative effects of diversity on workplace productivity can be positive or negative, depending on the nature of jobs. Join the speaker as he discusses findings from his research. He will share his lessons from various studies, particularly the results based on an investigation of thousands of soccer players in hundreds of games played over 10 years in the top German league.

Sheila Krejci, President, Sheila K Consulting
"Cultivating a Workplace of Civility and Respect - It Starts at the Top!"
Harvey Weinstein, Roger Ailes, Kevin Spacey, Roy Moore, Charlie Rose, Matt Lauer and even our own Al Franken are part of The New York Times' growing list of those accused of sexual harassment. That's just the high-profile cases. According to a 2016 Equal Employment Opportunity Commission report drawing on thousands of interviews and over 162,000 actual allegations between 2010 and 2015, as many as 85 percent of women have experienced some form of sexual harassment at work. And statistics from the 2016 EEOC Select Task Force on the Study of Harassment in the Workplace expanded the legal definitions to look at unwelcome or offensive conduct in the workplace based on sex (including sexual orientation, pregnancy and gender identity), race, color national origin, religion, age, disability and/or genetics that is detrimental to work performance, professional advancement and/or mental health. The numbers are staggering! Workplace harassment is an expensive, persistent problem too often unreported by victims and bystanders that will simply not stop on its own even with a carefully worded policy signed by all. Leadership and accountability are vital! This session will present a compelling business case for preventing workplace harassment beyond the legal costs we tend to focus on to include decreased productivity, increased turnover, harm to reputation and brand as well as overall bottom line performance. Using relevant examples and case studies that challenge participants to consider their own organization's current responses to incivility in the workplace, we'll offer essential checklists and tools to guide leaders in designing then modeling truly respectful communications and behaviors that insure organizational cultures where harassment and retaliation are not tolerated and everyone is held accountable.

Larry Morgan, Owner, Orion HR Group
"The Evolving Workplace and the HR Professional"

As the workforce changes and evolves, HR professionals must address global HR issues, yet very few programs train HR professionals on dealing with the wide range of legal, cultural and societal issues with employees working in other countries or employees have immigrated to the US. HR professional must learn to understand the multi-dimensional aspects of this changing workforce and avoid the focus through a US based “lens." Join the presenter as he helps attendees identify global HR resources available to the HR practitioner and create global dexterity and agility.

Todd Schmidt, People Planning, Facebook
"HR Analytics, Social Media and Artificial Intelligence: The Future of Workforce Planning"

Technology continues to drive drastic improvements in networking, efficiency and transparency. The best companies leverage products employees feel comfortable with in their personal lives and put it to play at the workplace. Similarly, as "Big Data" and artificial intelligence become commonplace the best HR departments are using advanced analytics to optimize the employee experience. We will discuss the tools used by Facebook employees to be hyper-connected, the powerful analytics used by our People Analytics team and the company culture that supports all of it.


2:40 - 3:00 p.m. Break
3:00 - 4:15 p.m.
Jennie Carlson, Executive Vice President, Human Resources, U.S. Bancorp
"Maximizing Employee Engagement"

Ms. Carlson will discuss anticipating and meeting the needs of an evolving workforce in a rapidly changing environment to strengthen employee engagement and foster a more innovative, transparent and results-focused culture. During her keynote presentation, she will demonstrate the value and impact of HR, share her insight and best practices, and foster dialogue and discussion among conference attendees.

4:15 - 5:45 p.m. Reception - Sponsored by Ecolab