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A digital-native and strategic leader with 15 years running work, teams, and businesses in London, Amsterdam, and San Francisco. Neil Bedwell is a founding partner at Local Industries, a change marketing consultancy focused on using consumer-grade marketing techniques to design and implement meaningful organizational change. The Local team works with a wide variety of clients including Coca-Cola, P&G, Delta Airlines, and eBay.
Neil has been lucky enough to experience life on the agency side – as Head of Strategy and Managing Director at Isobar—and as a client—leading digital strategy and content for Coca-Cola’s Global Content Excellence group. His work included leadership of the digital program for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, developing new ways to create and publish content in real-time across multiple social channels and managing global digital agency relationships.
Neil is an advisor to multiple start-ups, a General Assembly Instructor, and a regular keynote speaker on brand-building, storytelling, and marketing innovation in the social age, with appearances at The Adobe Summit, SXSW, IAB Mexico, The Economist Big Rethink, and Atlanta HR Summit.
Employee Experience Advisor
Mark Levy is a seasoned, globally-minded employee experience leader who has chosen to work for big-hearted companies – including Best Buy, Levi Strauss & Company, and Gap Inc. – to unleash the talents and passions of a company’s employees. Most recently, Mark pioneered the design of the Employee Experience at Airbnb, which was recognized as the #1 Place to Work in 2016 by Glassdoor, and which has since inspired significant changes in the way organizations around the world are looking to expand the HR function to focus on the entire employee journey.
Mark has helped numerous organizations enable their employees to help those less fortunate through volunteering programs and community involvement, served on the Gap Foundation Board of Directors, and is currently on the Board of First Graduate, a non-profit which helps those who are the first in their family to attend and graduate college. Mark brings his experience and passion to Backstage to help further our efforts in investing in underestimated founders and to support our Founders in the areas of people and partnerships.
School of the Possible
Dave Mastronadi has spent his 19-year career helping organizations rethink and change the way they work. He’s held strategy positions at some of the world’s biggest brands and consulted for others seeking to adapt to the changing digital landscape. Most recently, he served as the director of global digital strategy at Samsung where he helped the traditional marketing organization go digital and achieve a cultural transformation at its core. Previously, at Sprinklr and Dachis Group he also honed in on transformation, as he was committed to helping to change—and enhance—the way employees thought about their work.
Vice President, Master Facilitator & Leadership Coach
Bluepoint Leadership, A Simplify Compliance Company
Joan Peterson of Bluepoint Leadership is a highly skilled facilitator and coach with over 15 years of hands on experience working with leaders at all levels and in many different industries. She is noted for her passion for what she does and for her energetic and interactive facilitation style. Her feedback typically includes the words: engaging, excellent, enthusiastic, informative and professional. She is equally adept at working with front line emerging leaders as she is with executive teams.
Joan is noted for her unique workshop design and delivers measurable results by inspiring participants to build on their strengths to improve their bottom line results. Her growing renown as a facilitator is equaled by her growing reputation as a thought leader and a respected authority on what it takes to deliver a learning experience that will last the test of time.
Her areas of expertise include helping organizations, teams and individuals, understand how to lift the performance of others, how to improve team execution by way of innovation and creativity, and how to create an aligned and engaged organization that is primed to deliver on its vision.
William A. Schiemann, Ph. D.
Principal and CEO
William A. Schiemann is Principal and CEO of Metrus Group, and founder of the Metrus Institute. He is known for his pioneering work in the creation of the People Equity (ACE) talent optimization framework, strategic performance metrics and scorecards, organizational alignment, employee engagement/fulfillment and strategic employee surveys that link people to business strategy and drive high performance.
He has consulted extensively with many major corporations on the development and implementation of business strategies, people and HR measurement, talent acquisition and retention, productivity and quality improvement, and creation of high performance cultures.
Bill is a thought leader, global speaker and author in the human resources field, having written scores of articles and multiple books in the human capital area, including his latest book, Fulfilled! Critical Choices: Work, Home, Life (Secant Publishing, 2016).
Talent Acquisition Manager
Adela Schoolderman is a senior talent acquisition professional at Expert Velocity, a subsidiary of Point B, Inc., headquartered in Seattle, WA. Point B is a management consulting firm, and Expert Velocity manages the firm’s partnerships with independent consultants to help deliver projects on client sites across the country.
Adela has over 11 years’ experience in talent acquisition, specializing in management consulting, technology, financial services, healthcare and retail; in the Seattle market and up and down the west coast. She is AIRS certified and holds a Masters of Human Resource. Candidate Experience is her passion, and coaching recruiters and hiring managers on how to deliver a white glove experience to their candidates is her favorite part of the job.
Since helping her previous company win a Candidate Experience Award in 2016, she has partnered with the Talent Board to bring Candidate Experience strategies and inspiration to organizations across the country. This experience has also led to multiple Customer Experience speaking engagements in 2017.
Maribeth Sivak, PMP, SPHR, ITILv3
Human Capital | HR Transformation
Deloitte Consulting LLP
Maribeth Sivak, PMP, SPHR, ITILv3 of Deloitte Consulting LLP has over 15 years of human capital consulting experience. She specializes in full life cycleglobal human resource transformation initiatives. She is also an active blogger, focused on the intersection of design thinking and the employee experience (EX).
Maribeth helps clients implement design thinking to reimagine and redefine the employee experience. She has the unique ability to apply an EX lens to solutions that include HR strategy development, operating model and organization redesign, HR process transformation, HR capability development, and HCM cloud implementations.
Director of Employment Branding & Digital, North America
Alexis Smith is Director of Employer Brand & Digital, North America for Anheuser-Busch, home to several of America’s most recognizable beer brands, including Budweiser, Bud Light, Michelob Ultra and Stella Artois. Alexis joined Anheuser-Busch as a Global Management Trainee more than a decade ago and has since worked in both the US and Canada across a variety of roles. A marketer by trade, having run brands including Michelob Ultra and Natural Light and spearheading Budweiser’s award winning Budweiser Red Light Campaign, Alexis made the leap to the People and Culture team in 2015 and is now on a mission to manage the Anheuser-Busch and the employer Brand the same way they manage beer brands – with great storytelling and memorable experiences both internally and externally.
Alexis is a transformational HR professional on a mission to reimagine the way employers engage with their workforce. While at Anheuser-Busch she has developed its innovative approach of managing its company and employer brands the same way that it manages its beer brands, both internally and externally. Alexis is frequently interviewed by the HR and workplace media and is often asked to contribute her own original thought leadership.
A true intrapreneur, passionate marketer and employee advocate, Alexis is sure to inspire and provoke creative thinking.
Bluepoint Leadership, A Simplify Compliance Company
As a much-in-demand speaker, Gregg Thompson leads his audiences on interactive, highly-engaging learning journeys that are both educational and entertaining. He dares audiences to abandon many of their closest-held beliefs about leadership and to explore new ways of seeing, relating to and influencing others. He confronts audiences with their own biases, judgments and attitudes, and challenges them to replace these with fresh new perspectives and practices. He vividly demonstrates how leaders can make a major shift in their personal impact and use their natural strengths to master the art of leadership. Gregg is the author of The Master Coach written for leaders who understand the impact of coaching on performance and career acceleration. The book is an invitation to all leaders who want to make a significant shift in their attitudes, values and behaviors and become more coach-like in all of their daily interactions and conversations. The Master Coach forms the basis for the Leader As Coach workshop, which is used to equip thousands of leaders around the world with potent, immediately-usable coaching skills.
Gregg is President of Bluepoint Leadership Development, one of the finest leadership training and coaching companies in the world today. He personally coaches many of the most successful executives in the Fortune 100 companies and has worked in 40 countries in nearly every major industry. He has a passion for coaching and leadership that is unmatched, and his multimedia Keynote Workshops are guaranteed to be provocative, inspiring and memorable.
Melissa Van Dyke
The Incentive Research Foundation
Melissa Van Dyke serves as president of the Incentive Research Foundation (IRF), where she is responsible for all day-to-day operational, financial, and marketing programs. Over the last 9 years she has helped triple IRF’s research and education footprint.
Previously Melissa worked as Managing Consultant of the Employee Engagement Practice at Maritz Inc., where she also held leadership positions in solution management, product development, and business technology solution management. She also worked as a senior business process and technology consultant for Ernst & Young.
Melissa has written articles for numerous organizations, including the American Management Association and CHRO Magazine, and travels frequently to speak on the topic of motivation and engagement in the workplace. She has been named one of the “Top 25 Women in theMeetings Industry”, a “Perennial Leader in the Meetings Industry”, and was selected as Incentive magazine’s “Top 25 Most Influential People in the Incentives Industry.” She has authored numerous articles in various publications including the chapter on “Using Non-Monetary Awards to Support Business Behaviors that Drive Results” in the sixth edition of the Compensation Handbook and “Changing the Compensation Conversation and the Growing Utility of Noncash Rewards and Recognition” in the Compensation and Benefits Review-Journal.
She has a bachelor’s degree in economics and international studies from Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, Illinois.
Laurie Warren, MSN
Founder & Vibrant Living Advocate
Warren Wellness LLC
Laurie Warren is a passionate educator, advocate, and mentor who guides individuals and groups to holistically rewrite their BodyMindSpirit® wellness story. She integrates her research and training in functional medicine, neuroscience, biochemistry, psychology, and wisdom with her MS in Clinical & Integrative Nutrition to inform and inspire people to foundationally change their whole-person health experience. Laurie’s ability to wrap all of this into a dynamic, thought-provoking, and fun group learning experience makes her a sought-after corporate wellness consultant and speaker, who invites her audiences to challenge the status quo and forge a realistic, sustainable, and proven path toward holistic wellness.
Building off of her previous career in high tech—both as a director of financial analysis and later as a sales executive—Laurie utilizes her deep and wide wellness expertise to implement the health and wellness employee experiences and support she yearned for in her corporate career. Her Unlock Workforce Potential™ curriculum and training program educates, guides and empowers companies to care for and better support their employee’s well-being. The result is the creation of thriving and sustainable corporate wellness cultures – and more successful companies. Laurie is an industry influencer, speaker and author who uniquely contributes to the pressing conversations and change that the wellness field now requires.
Chris Williams, Managing Director at Root Inc., the leader in organizational change, has a strong passion and expertise in culture transformation and strategic onboarding. He has worked some of the world’s largest organizations on initiatives such as enterprise onboarding, business transformation, strategy deployment, tech integration, and culture change. Chris is a highly sought-after speaker at human resources, learning and development, change management, and onboarding conferences and is considered an “energy amplifier” in group facilitation environments.