Learning & Development

Summit Speakers


Jessica Adams, VP, People and HR, Brad’s Deals 

About Jessica:
Jessica Adams, PHR, is the VP, People & HR at Brad’s Deals, a curated guide to the best deals online. She oversees all of HR, including recruiting, performance management and employee engagement, but her job is really to help her passionate teammates love what they do.



Geremy Bass, Program Manager, Zoro 

About Geremy:
Geremy is a servant-leading program manager, product owner and change agent with proven history leveraging the Agile discipline to grow and coach talented teams, organize around strategic value, and drive operational effectiveness and customer value in technology, retail and financial services.


Tanjia Coleman, Chief Possibility Officer, YWCA 

About Tanjia:
Tanjia M. Coleman, Ph.D. has more than 18 years of experience working as a senior level human resources and organization development professional in non-profit and Fortune 100 companies including Microsoft, Starbucks, Tribune Company, Whirlpool, Sears and Motorola.

Currently, she is the Chief Possibility Officer at the YWCA Metropolitan Chicago which for over 140 years is the oldest and largest women’s organization in the region, with a mission to eliminate racism and empower women.  In addition, Coleman is the President of Reimagine Development Organization, Inc. where she provides clients with various organizational solutions focused on cultural transformation, business optimization, culture realignment, leadership development, executive coaching, talent management and organizational design. 

Megan Conolly, Senior Consultant and Principal, Mercer 

About Megan:
Megan Connolly is an I/O Psychology practitioner with 17 years’ experience partnering with the most successful and vibrant businesses in the world to build thriving workplace cultures. In a career that has spanned three continents, Megan has had the opportunity to translate strong science into compelling employee experiences across a variety of global settings and industries. She has held several academic posts instructing graduate students on organizational culture and assessment, and regularly shares her research at conferences in the field. 

Megan holds a B.Sc. (Hons) in Psychology from the University of London, England, an M.A. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, and an M.Sc. In Applied Positive Psychology from The University of East London, England.  

Angie Earlywine, LEED AP, Managing Director, Lamar Johnson Collaborative

About Angie:
Angie is a Managing Director at Lamar Johnson Collaborative (formerly known as Forum Studio) and Director of Advance Strategies, bringing over 20 years of leadership and expertise in workplace strategy, facility planning, and change management consulting.  She focuses on ensuring the built environment supports varying work styles, wellbeing strategies, the latest technological advancements, and balances the business needs of a multigenerational workforce. Angie is a national speaker on today’s topic and the influence environments can play in improving employee engagement while positively impacting company objectives.  Angie is a CoreNet Global member, a Director on the CREW Network Global Board, a ULI member, HRMAC member, and a member of IFMA’s Workplace Evolutionaries council.

Yvonne Franzese, Chief Human Resources Officer, CNO Financial Group, Inc.

About Yvonne:
Yvonne Franzese was named executive vice president and chief human resources Officer for CNO Financial Group in November 2017. 
Prior to CNO, Yvonne held CHRO and Senior HR Executive for global Fortune 500 companies in the banking and insurance industries including TCF Bank, Allianz, JPMorgan Chase, Metlife and Citicorp. She has broad and deep experiences in Insurance, Retail Banking, Investment Banking and Investment Management.

Heather Imrie, M.Ed., Director of Program Development and Efficacy, Catharsis Productions 

About Heather:
Heather Imrie received her M.Ed. in Educational Leadership from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2008 and is currently working towards her PhD in Educational Psychology researching how students’ reason about sexual violence. She has created and presented on sexual assault, domestic violence, stalking, sexual harassment, hate crime, hegemonic masculinity, systems of oppression, victim-blaming and bystander intervention to crisis centers, universities and military installations around the world. She is the creator of various anti-violence programs, most notably Got Your Back/The Hook-Up. She is the co-creator of the Force of Awesome Institute, a program incorporating active coaching and curriculum analysis for violence prevention educators. She has created and implemented anti-sexual violence & bystander intervention training for the U.S. Navy, U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Marines, the U.S. National Guard and numerous colleges and universities.

She is the former Associate Director of the Campus Advocacy Network (CAN) at the University of Illinois at Chicago. In her role, she was a key player in the development and implementation of all of CAN’s anti-violence educational and advocacy initiatives which included, but are not limited to; advocacy, safety planning, resource and referral coordination, policy creation, internship programs, violence prevention, awareness and social justice media campaigns, prevention and social justice programming, workshops and training.

Palak Langderfer, Senior Director, Corporate Real Estate, AON 

About Palak:
Palak Langenderfer is a Senior Director for Aon’s Corporate Real Estate group.  She works closely with clients to develop real estate solutions that align with their business strategy.  She enjoys leading the integrated delivery of transactions, workplace, change, project and facilitates management to transitions traditional offices to modern workplaces that enable collaboration, innovation and employee productivity. 

Prior to joining Aon, Palak was an AVP – Corporate Real Estate Portfolio Manager at BMO Harris Bank for 10 years.  At BMO Harris Bank Palak was responsible to introduce modern workplace strategies and reposition BMO US operations.

Palak is an MBA graduate of DePaul University, Kellstadt Graduate School of Business with a BA in Sociology from Indiana University.

Lourdes Lonergan, Director of Business Development, YWCA 

About Lourdes:
Lourdes Lonergan is the Director of Business Development for the YWCA of Metropolitan Chicago. Her role at the YWCA is multi-faceted. Developing workplace solutions for partners and delivering many of the trainings from the YWCA catalog are to name a few. Lourdes has been delivering many training initiatives such as 100 Hour Interpreter Training, Role of the Interpreter, Implicit Bias Training, Linguistic and Cultural Competencies Trainings. She also has a certificate from the Cultural Intelligence Center for Training in Unconscious Bias. Lourdes is devoted to empowering women and eliminating racism.

Lourdes is Multi-lingual, a heritage speaker of Spanish, having spent many childhood summers with family in her mother’s native Columbia, she also has an excellent command of the French language. Her background includes extensive sales and marketing experience in business and entertainment. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business from Saint Thomas Aquinas College in New York. Lourdes is a 2014 graduate of the Center for Creative Leadership’s, Ladder to Leadership Program, sponsored by Community Memorial Foundation.

Mariann Madden, Rewards Director, Willis Towers Watson

About Mariann:
Mariann Madden is a Rewards Director based in Willis Towers Watson’s Chicago office. She has over 20 years of experience as an advisor to external clients, organizational leaders and internal practitioners on global total rewards and organizational development matters. Prior to joining Willis Towers Watson in 2014, Mariann served in organizational development, talent management, and compensation consulting roles at Heitman LLC, Deloitte Consulting LLP, and Arthur Andersen LLP.

In addition to her consulting role, Mariann is a member of the North American job leveling and job analysis teams, which focus on building job frameworks and conducting pay equity evaluations. Education and Credentials Mariann received a B.A. in Accounting from St. Ambrose University. She is a member of WorldatWork and serves as a Director on the Chicago Compensation Association Board.  

Jeff Mariola, CEO, Mariola Unlimited 

About Jeff:
Jeff offers more than 25 years of successful CEO experience from two multi-national businesses and two entrepreneurial start-up businesses. As CEO, Jeff’s consistently created cultures that scored above other high performing companies in the areas of profitable growth, engagement, empowerment and leadership. The hallmark of his tenure as CEO was his ability to develop and mentor his management teams.

Having recently led the completion of a recapitalization of his business in 2018 to private equity, Jeff has joined forces with his wife Michelle to create Mariola Unlimited a leadership development advisory service business focused on executive coaching, leadership and management workshops and key note speaking.

Dan Mayville, Director, Employee Insights, Willis Towers Watson 

About Dan:
Dan Mayville joined Towers Watson in 2018 bringing more than 10 years of experience helping organizations leverage employee feedback to guide HR strategy development. He has led global employee and culture research engagements for a diverse set of clients dealing with complex challenges related to engaging and retaining talent, seeking to inform HR strategy or aligning HR programs to business imperatives.

Prior to joining Willis Towers Watson, Dan worked at IBM Kenexa’s where he led their NA survey practice as well as serving a consultant supporting IBM’s strategic accounts develop strategies for improving their efforts to hire, develop and retain top talent. He also spent time at Deloitte as the architect for Deloitte’s global employee feedback program. 

Ali O'Malley, Senior Behavioral Scientist, BetterUp

About Ali:
Dr. Ali O’Malley is a Senior Behavioral Scientist at BetterUp where she  designs and implements interventions to promote positive growth and development in employees and the organizations to which they belong. She has dedicated the past 15 years to advancing the science and experience of work. 

After receiving her MA and PhD in industrial-organizational psychology from The University of Akron, Ali became a psychology professor. After receiving tenure and promotion and mentoring 50+ students in her research lab, she transitioned to industry where she managed Advanced Analytics and Research in John Deere’s Global Human Resources organization. Most recently, she led the Human Capital practice area within the Butler Business Consulting Group, a management consulting firm based out of the Lacy School of Business at Butler University. 

Her peer-reviewed research on topics ranging from employee lateness to flourishing has appeared in journals such as Journal of Management, Human Performance, and The Psychologist-Manager Journal. She was a featured faculty member in The Association of College and University Educators’ series on evidence-based teaching practices and regularly facilitates workshops and presents at national and international conferences.

Erica Ruder, Director – Strategic Consulting, Cushman & Wakefield 

About Erica:
Erica Ruder is a Director in Cushman & Wakefield’s Strategic Consulting group.  Erica has more than 10 years’ experience in corporate real estate in both strategy and investment related roles.  Focused on the intersection of human capital, real estate and location, Erica develops data-driven recommendations to improve her clients’ real estate‐related operations. Specifically, Ms. Ruder’s area of expertise is centered on the relationship between human resource strategy and labor markets for the purpose of improving corporate real estate portfolios and building competitive advantages. Erica creates solutions for clients across a wide variety of asset types including headquarters and shared services facilities, and also provides recommendations for portfolio-wide strategies.

Prior to joining Cushman & Wakefield in 2011, Ms. Ruder worked as an analyst at Lexington Realty Trust, a publicly traded REIT in New York. In this role, Ms. Ruder analyzed a variety of transactions including acquisitions, dispositions and releasing scenarios, and computed internal valuations for Lexington’s entire portfolio by building financial models and conducting research to update market assumptions.  

Alyssa Snyder, HR Specialist, Brads Deals 

About Alyssa:
Alyssa Snyder is the HR Specialist at Brad’s Deals, a curated guide to the best deals online. The work that she does at Brad’s Deals is just as important to her as her time spent with her French Bulldog.



Mitch Warner, Managing Director, Arbinger 

About Mitch:
Mitch Warner is a bestselling author and Arbinger managing partner with a background in healthcare and organizational turnaround. He joined Arbinger from Plum Healthcare, where he was an administrator and heavily involved in operationalizing Arbinger’s work into the fabric of Plum’s culture.

Mitch is the co-author of Arbinger’s latest bestseller, The Outward Mindset. He writes frequently on the practical effects of mindset at the individual and organizational levels as well as the role of leadership in transforming organizational culture and results. He is an expert on mindset and culture change, leadership, strategy, performance management, organizational turnaround, and conflict resolution.

In his role as managing partner, Mitch directs the development of Arbinger’s intellectual property, training and consulting programs, and highly customized largescale organizational change initiatives. He has been instrumental in Arbinger’s rapid growth, including its expanding international presence in nearly 30 countries. Mitch received his B.A. in philosophy and is a licensed nursing administrator. Trained in fine art at the Art Students League and the National Academy, he spends much of his free time painting. His work hangs in organizations nationwide.

Karon Woodcock, Director, Change Management, Cushman & Wakefield 

About Karon:
Ms. Woodcock is a Director of Change Management for Cushman & Wakefield in the Strategic Consulting Group. Ms. Woodcock is focused on change management in the workplace. She provides change management consulting for organizational structure, HR policies, workplace design, technology best practices and solutions that enhance the client’s culture, business and people.  Karon is a trusted advisor to her clients. She partners with them on analysis, change initiatives, communication plans, training, leadership development and employee engagement to drive the desired solution.  Ms. Woodcock has over 20 years’ experience working at Sprint, Sun Trust and Cushman & Wakefield as a HRBP and Change Management consultant.  She partners with clients on change management, HR strategies, organizational designs, and learning and professional development.