Deborah Hanus
CEO and Founder
Sparrow
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Deborah Hanus is the CEO and co-founder of Sparrow, the first high-tech, high-touch leave management solution to help employers care for their people. By managing federal, state, and local leave compliance, Sparrow ensures employee leave is stress-free for human resources, payroll, compliance, managers, and employees. Before founding Sparrow, Deborah earned multiple engineering degrees from MIT, worked in Cambodia as a Fulbright Scholar, and started a Ph.D. in AI at Harvard. Under her leadership, Sparrow has quickly grown to impact hundreds of thousands of lives.  

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Lauren McFerran
Chairman
National Labor Relations Board
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Lauren McFerran served as a Member of the NLRB from December 17, 2014 until December 16, 2019. On July 29, 2020, the Senate confirmed her renomination as a Board Member for a term expiring on December 16, 2024.

On January 20, 2021, President Joseph R. Biden named Ms. McFerran Chairman of the National Labor Relations Board.

Previous to her appointment to the NLRB, Ms. McFerran served as Chief Labor Counsel for the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP Committee) and had also served the Committee as Deputy Staff Director under Senator Tom Harkin.  She began on the HELP Committee as Senior Labor Counsel for Senator Ted Kennedy.  Before her work in the United States Senate, Ms. McFerran was an associate at Bredhoff & Kaiser, P.L.L.C. and served as a law clerk for Chief Judge Carolyn Dineen King on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.  Ms. McFerran received a B.A. from Rice University and a J.D. from Yale Law School.

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Jennifer A. Abruzzo
General Counsel
National Labor Relations Board
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The General Counsel, appointed by the President to a 4-year term, is independent from the Board and is responsible for the investigation and prosecution of unfair labor practice cases and for the general supervision of the NLRB field offices in the processing of cases.

On July 22, 2021, Jennifer A. Abruzzo began serving as General Counsel for the National Labor Relations Board.  Ms. Abruzzo had previously worked for the NLRB for over two decades, including as Field Attorney, Supervisory Field Attorney, Deputy Regional Attorney, Deputy Assistant General Counsel, Deputy General Counsel, and Acting General Counsel.  Immediately prior to her appointment as General Counsel, Ms. Abruzzo served as Special Counsel for Strategic Initiatives for the Communications Workers of America.

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Moderator: 
James Banks, Jr.
General Counsel
SHRM
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James L. "Jim" Banks serves as SHRM's General Counsel, managing SHRM's legal functions, overseeing the work of outside counsel, and serving as key lawyer and legal advisor on major business transactions.

Previously, Banks served as City Attorney to the City of Alexandria, Va., representing and advising the mayor, city council, city manager and city departments on a variety of legal matters. He was previously a partner at Seyfarth Shaw LLP and McGuireWoods LLP, where he focused on employment litigation.

Banks began his legal career in Richmond, Va., and he practiced law in the private and public sectors, including serving as both prosecutor and judge. He has a broad background in legal ethics and spent over 10 years in the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary system, ultimately serving as Chair of the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board. He was an instructor for the Virginia State Bar Professionalism Course and has taught frequently on topics of ethics and professionalism. He is also an adjunct professor at Virginia Tech in the Master of Public Administration program.

Banks is a veteran of the U.S. Army and Virginia Army National Guard and earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Virginia, a master's degree in Public Policy from Walden University and a bachelor's degree from Gettysburg College.

SESSIONS:
Monday, February 27, 2023 - 3:00pm to 4:30pm
Ariela Safira
Founder and CEO
Real
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Ariela Safira is the Founder and CEO of Real, a mental health care company building a new therapy model rooted in health equity, affordability, and a true brand evolution, ensuring we all engage with preventative care and feel proud doing so. Starting her career at IDEO, she studied, researched and developed new concepts to approach mental health care and mental wellbeing. Building on her research, Ariela joined Cityblock, founding their first behavioral health clinic in Brooklyn, NY. Ariela earned a BS in Mathematics and Computational Science from Stanford University, where the impetus for her work in mental health care began. Later, she joined Columbia’s Clinical Psychology program to train as a therapist and left the program in 2019 to launch Real. She’s biked across multiple countries to fundraise for suicide prevention. Ariela is the recipient of the 2019 American Psychiatric Association’s Innovation Award, recognized as Forbes 30 Under 30, and Inc’s Top 100 Female Founders.

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Jennifer McCollum
CEO
Linkage, Inc.
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Jennifer McCollum is CEO of Linkage, Inc., where she oversees the strategic direction and global operations of the Boston, MA-based leadership development company. With a mission to “Change the Face of Leadership,” Linkage has dedicated 30 years to improving leadership effectiveness and equity in hundreds of organizations globally. Linkage provides assessments, training, coaching, consulting and conferences, with Solutions designed to Accelerate Purposeful Leaders; Advance Women Leaders; and Create Inclusive Organizations. 

Jennifer is a highly sought-after consultant and speaker, with a deep expertise in Inclusive Leadership and Advancing Women Leaders. She has delivered workshops, keynotes, webinars and podcasts to thousands of leaders globally on live and virtual stages, including 100 Leaders Live (Marshall Goldsmith 100 Coaches conference), Chief Learning Officer Exchange, Chester Elton’s “Leading with Gratitude” LinkedIn Live, John Baldoni’s “Grace under Pressure” LinkedIn Live, Candy O’Terry’s “The Story Behind Her Success” podcast, and VoiceAmerica radio broadcast. She is a contributing author to Leadership in a Time of Crisis and has been published in The Wall Street JournalFast CompanyChief Talent Development Officer, CEO Refresher, and Real Leaders. She is a member of the Marshall Goldsmith 100 Coaches.

Background & Experience:

Jennifer has 20 years of experience building and leading businesses in the leadership space. Prior to Linkage, Jennifer spent a decade growing businesses within Korn Ferry and Corporate Executive Board (CEB), now Gartner. At CEB, she led product management within the leadership division, driving innovative solutions that helped organizations select, develop and place leaders at all levels. She also ran CEB’s Leadership Academies business, which developed more than 30,000 professionals in 2,100 companies throughout 50 countries and grew revenue at a 97% combined annual growth rate across five years. 

Previously, Jennifer served as CEO of IntraVision, a leadership consultancy she founded and grew over the course of eight years. She worked with public companies, start-ups, associations and nonprofits. Her passion is creating vision, executing strategy and managing cohesive teams toward aspirational goals, with a special focus on supporting women in leadership roles.

She is an avid tennis player and skier, and lives in Bethesda, MD, with her husband and three children.

Education & Training:

Jennifer has a master’s degree in communications from the University of Stirling in Stirling, Scotland, and an undergraduate degree from Wake Forest University in psychology and communications.

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Jocelyn King
CEO and Founder
VirgilHR
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Jocelyn King, SHRM-SCP, is the CEO and Founder of VirgilHR, a SaaS solution that empowers HR professionals to make smart, compliant employment and labor law decisions in real-time. HR has been the passion and focus of Jocelyn’s entire career as she’s supported high-growth technology start-ups and public companies throughout her tenure. She defines herself as a true HR generalist and has touched on all aspects of HR in her more senior roles. Jocelyn has strong expertise in creating and executing HR strategy, managing employee relations for multi-state and global organizations, developing a diverse and high-performing work culture, owning organization development and change management, and crafting the total reward, talent development, and talent acquisition strategies.

 

In addition to HR, what has also remained consistent in her career has been technology. Jocelyn has worked for technology companies most of her career and, as an HR executive, has had the privilege of supporting executives and departments in all functions across the organizations. In her role as CEO for VirgilHR, she’s displayed proven success in building a venture-backed technology company from the ground up.

 

She has held previous roles as the Vice President of People, North America for Ocado Group, as well as Vice President of People for Cybrary, a Series-C start up. She’s spent a majority of her career working with a range of tech companies from Pre-Seed to Post-IPO.

 

Jocelyn earned her bachelor's degree in Liberal Studies from Georgetown University. A Washington, DC native, she lives in metro area with her husband Jonathan, daughter Teagyn, and mischievous pups, Sophie and Jax.

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Tomer London
co-founder and Chief Product Officer
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Tomer is the co-founder and Chief Product Officer of Gusto. He is responsible for the development and execution of the product vision — reimagining how modern payroll, benefits, and compliance should operate.

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Dror Gurevich
Founder and CEO
Velocity Network Foundation®
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Dror Gurevich is the Founder and CEO of the Velocity Network Foundation®, a non-profit membership organization, hosting the leading global workforce-tech vendors and solution providers, deploying Velocity Network™, the world's Internet-of-Careers®, a blockchain based data utility layer to underlie the global labor market.

Dror has +25 years of experience in workforce tech, as founder and leader of multiple successful companies in this space, that in addition to his current leadership role made him a sought-after keynote speaker on innovations in workforce tech and technology and the Future of Work.

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David Bernstein
EVP Corporate Development & Strategy
PivotCX
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David Bernstein has nearly three decades of experience in human resources, first as a recruiter for PeopleSoft and later as an early adopter, implementer, and leader in the HR technology space. Among his career highlights are implementing global technology platforms for Fortune 500 companies such as Hitachi and serving as a director of product strategy for an early pioneer of total HR software solutions. Bernstein has worked with six startups in the HR technology space, most recently as the vice president of partnerships and industry relations for JobSync. Bernstein is a frequent contributor to Forbes and serves on the Forbes HR Council. He is also an adjunct professor, teaching HR Analytics, at Palo Alto University, and is a noted speaker at HR technology events.

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Serena Huang
Instructor - People Analytics/Global Head of People Analytics & HR Tech
LinkedIn Learning and Ex-PayPal
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Dr. Serena Huang is a thought leader and professional keynote speaker in people analytics, HR technology, future of work, ethical AI, employee experience, and mental health. She brings deep analytics expertise and HR strategy experience spanning large multinationals including PayPal, GE, Kraft Heinz, Koch Industries, and Deloitte. Dr. Huang regularly guest lectures at top MBA programs including Kellogg, Wharton, and Haas. She is a LinkedIn Learning instructor of “The Data Science of People Analytics” and a LinkedIn influencer from the highly-selective LinkedIn Creator Accelerator Program focused on Innovation and Technology. Her monthly newsletter “From Data to Action” has thousands of subscribers and is delivered directly to the inbox of CHROs, CIOs, and CDAOs. Featured in Profile Magazine as one of the Board Ready Leaders and Women in Tech Code Breakers, Dr. Huang is passionate about helping organizations create value with data analytics.  

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