2018 LEC Speakers

Seymour Adler, PhD, Partner, Aon Hewitt

Seymour Adler
Aon Hewitt

Seymour is a Partner in the Talent Advisory practice at Aon where he partners with leading U.S. and global organizations in both the private and public sectors in the development and implementation of leadership development, talent assessment, succession, and talent management programs.  Seymour was a founder and principal of Assessment Solutions Incorporated, a firm he helped take public in 1997, which was acquired by Aon in 2001. In addition to a 40-year career as a practitioner, Seymour has taught in graduate programs at Purdue University, Stevens Institute of Technology, Tel Aviv University, New York University, and currently is an adjunct professor at Hofstra University’s doctoral program in Applied Organizational Psychology.

A graduate of the Doctoral Program in Industrial-Organizational Psychology at New York University, Seymour is a Fellow of the Society of Industrial-Organizational Psychology and the American Psychological Association, has served as President of the Metropolitan New York Association of Applied Psychology, and has contributed extensively to both the scientific and practitioner literatures in Industrial-Organizational Psychology. 

Darin Artman, PhD, Head of HR, European Markets, Australia, and Canada, Bristol-Myers Squibb

Darin Artman, PhD
Head of Human Resources
European Markets, Australia, and Canada 
Bristol-Myers Squibb

Darin Artman is the Head of HR for European Markets, Australia, and Canada at Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS). He has held numerous HR Business Partner and Specialist roles over the past 18 years at BMS, as well as leading all HR aspects of multiple M&A transactions. Prior to BMS he held Talent Management and Employee Selection positions at GTE and Lucent Technologies/AT&T. He received his Masters and Ph.D. degrees from the University of South Florida. He enjoys scuba diving, bike riding, traveling, and walking with his black Labrador Retriever.

Marcia J. Avedon, PhD, Senior Vice President of Human Resources, Ingersoll Rand

Marcia J. Avedon
Senior Vice President
Human Resources, Communications and Corporate Affairs

Marcia J. Avedon is senior vice president of human resources, communications and corporate affairs at Ingersoll Rand.

Since 2007, she has led global human resources, building the leadership effectiveness, engagement, talent and capabilities necessary to achieve Ingersoll Rand’s business objectives and deliver premier performance.

She also oversees the company’s corporate communications, strategic marketing, government affairs and community relations practices, engaging with stakeholders around the world to enhance the company’s brand and reputation with employees, customers and investors.

Prior to joining Ingersoll Rand, Marcia was chief human resources officer at Merck & Co. She also worked in human resources for Honeywell and Anheuser-Busch Companies, and spent her early career as a management consultant with Booz Allen Hamilton.

Marcia serves on the Boards of Directors for GCP Applied Technologies, the HR Policy Association and the Cornell University Center for Advanced Human Resources Studies. She is the inaugural chair of the University of South Carolina’s Center for Executive Succession and a Fellow of the National Academy of Human Resources.

Marcia holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from University of North Carolina at Wilmington, and a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in industrial and organizational psychology from George Washington University.


Mike Benson, PhD, VP, Talent & Organization Capabilities, General Mills

Mike Benson
Vice President
Talent & Organization Capabilities, General Mills


Supporting HiPos in a Brave New World of Networked Teams and Organizations


When it comes to identifying and developing HiPos, do we pay enough attention to context?  Probably not.  In this talk, Mike will focus on exploring additional ways we should be thinking about HiPos in the context of modern organizations and teams to which they belong.  As we see many more “trend” reports surface the importance of building the “organization of the future” – an organization that is more agile, more innovative, more interconnected, and more dynamic – we also need to think about the impact to HiPos in these organizations.  Given this “new” environment, General Mills is exploring how to use Organization Network Analysis (ONA) to support identification and critical development for HiPo in these modern organization.  Mike will discuss the work to date, lessons learned, and what General Mills plans to do to accelerate impact using this new(er) tool.


Mike Benson joined General Mills in 2016 as Vice President, Talent & Organization Capabilities and member of the Human Resources Senior Leadership Team in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.  The focus of the Talent & Organization Capabilities group is delivering a robust and diverse leadership pipeline through best in class talent management initiatives, executive education and leadership development processes, learning and development, and broad organizational development and effectiveness programs.  These core initiatives support strategic business imperatives and provide a catalyst for growth, change, and innovation.

Prior to joining General Mills, Mike held a variety of senior talent management roles at Johnson & Johnson including responsibility for several global and enterprise-wide initiatives including: developing emerging leaders across critical functions through experience-based development; leading the development/deployment of J&J’s global leadership model; and executive assessment/development.  Mike also worked for Personnel Decisions International and spent 12 years as an active duty military officer in the United States Air Force.  Most of his experience focuses on building leadership pipelines, talent management, leadership development, assessment, and organizational performance.  Mike has a Ph.D. in Industrial & Organizational Psychology from the University of Minnesota, a Master’s of Business Administration from the University of Texas at San Antonio, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Management and Behavioral Sciences & Leadership from the United States Air Force Academy.


Bill Byham, PhD, Executive Chairman, DDI

William C. Byham
Co-Founder and Executive Chairman
Development Dimensions International (DDI), United States

Bill Byham is Co-founder and Executive Chairman of Development Dimensions International (DDI), an internationally renowned leadership and development consulting company. In 1970, Bill wrote the first popular article about the assessment center method which appeared in the Harvard Business Review. Since then, Bill and his organization have helped thousands of companies throughout the world put in assessment centers tailored to their organization's needs. Bill has also developed many other significant human resource technologies. These include behavior-based interviewing, the use of behavior modeling in leadership training, behavioral job analysis methodology as the basis for selection and training programs, and Acceleration Pools to select and rapidly develop people for high-level leadership positions. These technologies have been described in 27 books and more than 300 monographs and articles. In addition, he has appeared on numerous radio and TV programs throughout the world.


Daniela Calefato, Assoc. Director, Talent Development, Bristol-Myers Squibb

Daniela Calefato-Greenblatt, MA
Associate Director, Talent Development
Bristol-Myers Squibb

Daniela Calefato is the Associate Director of Talent Development for Bristol-Myers Squibb. In this role she oversees the high potential development strategy, critical role successor pools, executive coaching and assessments. Prior to joining BMS in 2016, Daniela was the Sr. Director of Talent Management for Hudson’s Bay Company (inclusive of Saks Fifth Avenue & Lord & Taylor). There she led a global team supporting the design and roll out of the newly merged organization’s succession, performance, engagement, career pathing, leadership development and change management efforts. Before joining HBC in 2011, Daniela spent 5 years working for Deutsche Bank in a variety of roles spanning across Talent & Leadership, Learning & Development and Diversity & Inclusion. Daniela has her Master’s degree in I/O Psychology from Hofstra University & a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology & Italian from St John’s University. Daniela enjoys traveling, kickboxing, baking and spending time with her husband and 3 year old daughter, Audriana Rose.

Allan H. Church, PhD, Senior VP, Global Talent Assessment & Development, PepsiCo

Allan H. Church
Senior Vice President
Global Talent Assessment & Development

Allan H. Church is the Senior Vice President of Global Talent Assessment and Development at PepsiCo. He is responsible for setting the enterprise talent strategy for high-potential identification and development, and strengthening the leadership pipeline via the talent review process. Previously he held a number of positions in the talent management and OD areas at PepsiCo during his 17 years with the company. Prior to PepsiCo. he spent 9 years as an external OD consultant working for W. Warner Burke Associates and several years at IBM. On the side he has served in various external professional leadership roles including chair of the Mayflower Group, SIOP Publications Officer, TIP editor, and SIOP Professional Practice Book Series co-editor. Currently he is on the Executive Committee of the Conference Board’s Council of Talent Management and on the Board of Directors for HRPS the Executive Network of SHRM. He is also an adjunct professor at Teachers College, Columbia University, and an associate editor of the Journal of Applied Behavioral Science; he also sits on the editorial boards of several academic and practitioner publications including Industrial-Organizational PsychologyConsulting Psychology JournalJournal of Social PsychologyJournal of Business and Psychology, and the OD Practitioner. He has authored several books, over 35 book chapters, and over 150 practitioner and scholarly articles. Allan received his PhD from Columbia University and is a SIOP, APA and APS Fellow.


Robin Cohen, PhD, Head, Human Resources, Global Finance, Johnson & Johnson

Robin Cohen
Head, Human Resources, Global Finance
Johnson & Johnson


Leading Finance Into the Future With HiPo Talent


Your senior leader sets his/her strategy for the future, pulls together the leadership team, and then says go forth and prosper. How do you provide the right tools to enable them to do that? How do you engage your high potential leaders to help lead the organization into the future? In this session, Robin will discuss how the Finance organization at Johnson & Johnson leveraged their high potential talent to build out their strategic pillars and lead the organization into the future.


Robin Cohen, Ph.D., is Head of Human Resources, Global Finance at Johnson & Johnson. In this role, Robin provides strategic HR business partnership to the Chief Financial Officer and his leadership team. Robin’s key responsibilities focus on leading the Talent Management and Leadership Development strategies for the Global Finance organization. Prior to this role, Robin was Head of Talent Management for the Supply Chain at Johnson & Johnson.  In this role she is responsible for end to end talent management for Supply Chain globally, focusing on strengthening the leadership pipeline and driving culture change.  Prior to her roles at Johnson & Johnson, Robin held a variety of roles in the areas of Talent Management, Leadership Development and HR at Bank of America, Dow Advanced Materials (formerly Rohm and Haas), Bristol-Myers Squibb Company and Avon Products. In these roles, Robin’s responsibilities included overall talent management, leadership development, organizational design, performance management, succession planning, competency modeling, assessment design, staffing, and executive assessment and coaching.  Robin has a MA and a PhD in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Tulane University.


Sandra Davis, PhD, Chair and Founder, MDA Leadership Consulting

Sandra Davis
Chair and Founder
MDA Leadership Consulting

SANDRA DAVIS is chair and founder of MDA Leadership Consulting in Minneapolis, a premier national leadership development, talent assessment and organizational performance firm. As a consultant, Sandra specializes in senior executive talent evaluation, CEO selection and succession planning, board evaluations and C-Suite trusted advisor consultation. She is widely known as an industry thought leader, counting numerous Fortune 500 firms among her clients.

Sandra is the author of the books Pearls of Leadership Wisdom: Lessons for Everyday Leaders Vol. I and II and Reinventing Yourself: Life Planning After 50. In addition, she has contributed numerous chapters and articles in professional books and journals on topics related to assessment, leadership development, coaching and succession. Her article, “Scenario Planning, Not Succession Planning,” appears in the May/June 2014 issue of The Corporate Board.

Sandra earned her B.S. from Iowa State University and her Ph.D. in counseling psychology with an emphasis in industrial/organizational psychology from the University of Minnesota. She is a fellow of the Society of Industrial and Organizational Psychology and of the American Psychological Association. In her free time, she enjoys skiing, hiking and bicycling, and exploring diverse countries and cultures.


David Day, PhD, Professor and Eggert Chair in Leadership, Claremont McKenna College

David V. Day
Professor of Psychology and Director of the Kravis Leadership Institute
Claremont McKenna College

David V. Day holds appointments as Professor of Psychology and Academic Director of the Kravis Leadership Institute at Claremont McKenna College. He also is the Steven L. Eggert ‘82 P’15 Professor of Leadership and a George R. Roberts Research Fellow at the College. Prof. Day is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, Association for Psychological Science, International Association of Applied Psychology, and the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology. He has published more than 100 peer-reviewed journal articles, books, and book chapters, many pertaining to the core topics of leadership and leadership development, including the 2009 book “An Integrative Approach to Leader Development: Connecting Adult Development, Identity, and Expertise” (Routledge/Psychology Press). He serves on numerous editorial boards and is currently the editor of The Leadership Quarterly Yearly Review. Day has worked with organizations in Australia, India, Singapore, South Africa, and the United States on various projects related to leadership and leadership development. In 2010, Prof. Day received the Walter F. Ulmer Research Award from the Center for Creative Leadership for outstanding, career-long contributions to applied leadership research.

Jane Ewing, Senior VP, Int'l People Division, Walmart International

Jane Ewing
Senior Vice President, International People Division
Walmart International

Jane Ewing leads the People Group for Walmart International, supporting nearly 800,000 associates in 27 countries. She and her team are responsible for ensuring Walmart International continues to attract, develop and retain top retail talent around the world.

Jane joined Walmart in 2012 as a Senior Vice President for the International division.  In 2013, she transitioned to the Walmart U.S. merchandising business as Senior Vice President, Baby, before being asked to lead the U.S. Business Development team responsible for initiatives such as Pickup and Supercenter Reinvention.

Prior to her current role, Jane led the U.S. Digital Acceleration team where she was charged with developing strategy and solutions to provide a seamless shopping experience for customers by integrating Walmart’s growing digital presence with the company’s U.S. stores.

Before joining Walmart, Jane spent 20 years with Diageo PLC, where she held leadership roles in sales, marketing and general management.

Jane is passionate about inclusion, developing talent and supporting our next generation of leaders. In 2016, she served as the Chair of the President’s Global Council for Women Leaders and as the co-chair for the newly-formed President’s Inclusion Council in 2017.

A British national, Jane earned her undergraduate degree in International Business and Modern Languages from Aston University in Birmingham, England. She also holds an Erasmus Diploma in International Business from the École de Management Européen in Strasbourg, France.


Julie Fuller, PhD, VP, Organizational Effectiveness & Talent Management, Nike

Julie Fuller, PhD
Vice President
Talent and Organizational Effectiveness


Finding Balance: Accelerating HiPo Talent in a People-First Culture


Consumer expectations of corporations are changing rapidly – as are those of their employees. To drive connection and growth, the most innovative organizations are heightening the focus on putting their people first. At Nike, we are on a transformational journey and working to build a culture of purpose and belonging in which all employees can thrive. At the same time, we are putting more rigor and objectivity into our talent decisions to ensure we have the best leaders in place for the future. This session will focus on how Nike aims to balance these seemingly competing priorities. We will discuss our approach to identify and accelerate our highest potential talent while creating a transparent and level playing field on which everyone can build a great career. 


Julie A. Fuller, PhD, is the vice president of Talent and Org Effectiveness for Nike, Inc. In this global role, her team is responsible for creating an aligned and effective organization, enabling all employees to build their careers, continually grow and develop, and cultivate a strong pipeline of diverse and capable leaders to take NIKE into the future. Since joining Nike in 2014, she previously held the roles of vice president of HR for the North America and Emerging Markets geographies.

Prior to joining Nike, Julie was vice president of Global Talent Management at Avon Products, where she also held roles leading HR for the Asia Pacific region and the US Sales organization.  She started her applied career at PepsiCo where she held roles in Organization & Management Development and Leadership Development.

Her experience includes a mix of broad HR leadership roles and specialist roles focusing on the development of global leadership development programs, organization assessment and design, employee engagement and performance, diversity & inclusion, and executive assessment and succession.

Julie holds a Ph.D. in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from Bowling Green State University and a B.A. in Psychology from the University of New Hampshire. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband Jason and daughter Stella. 


Jose Luis (Joe) Garcia, PhD, Talent Mgmt & Org Effectiveness, The Home Depot

José Luis (Joe) Garcia
Head, Talent Management and Organizational Effectiveness
The Home Depot


What's Old Is New: Why Traditional Methods Are Still the Best for Building Field Officer Bench at the Home Depot


At Home Depot, over 90% of our field officer placements have come from within. The success rate promoting HiPo director-level talent to these critical positions, however, was more variable than desired. In this session, Joe will discuss the journey his team took to build an assessment approach to measure readiness and development needs that both senior leaders and participants could buy into while increasing its objectivity and reducing implicit biases.


Dr. Joe Garcia is the Head of Talent Management and Organizational Effectiveness at The Home Depot.  In this capacity, he is responsible for Organizational Effectiveness (selection, engagement, analytics), Talent Planning, Performance Management and Organizational Development.  Dr. Garcia has over 26 years of business experience in retail, medical equipment, life science, and management consulting.

Dr. Garcia holds a master’s degree in industrial/organizational psychology from the University of Miami. He conducted his doctoral studies at the University of Miami and the Fielding Institute, where he graduated with a Ph.D. in human and organizational development.

You can reach Dr. Garcia at: Joe_Garcia@HomeDepot.com


Alison Hartmann, Leadership Dev Prog Mgr, Aspiring Leader Segment, IBM Leadership Academy

Alison Hartmann
Assessment Strategy Leader
Leadership, Learning & Inclusion


Living in a UX World: Evolving the Assessment Experience in the Age of the Linkster


Digitization is affecting user expectation both narrowly and broadly. Creating a scalable, valid, and multimethod assessment digital experience for emerging leaders presents both challenges and opportunities for the entire assessment approach. In a recent project, IBM applied design thinking and ongoing sponsor user feedback to evolve a richly engaging digital approach to identifying, developing and selecting emerging first line leaders. Out of that iterative design process emerged a self-paced offering that delivers a highly interactive end-to-end assessment and development experience for the user, pipeline and selection insight for the business, and a corps of global debrief coaches to support. This user-centric platform is already delivering high levels of satisfaction as measured by net promotor scores [NPS] of 54. Better still, offering a digital assessment has reduced costs by 800% over the traditional assessment center approach, which makes it highly cost efficient to deliver at scale. Additional advantages were gained by allowing those with an interest in a leadership role to directly enroll in the program and self-nominate. This enriches our pipeline of candidates, supports bias mitigation at the very start of the pipe, and enhances our efforts to further our culture of inclusion.


Alison Hartmann enjoys creating innovative, people-centric approaches to business problems. She is an experienced leadership development practitioner specialized in the use and deployment of psychometric assessments. Currently she leads the assessment strategy within IBM’s leadership, learning, and inclusion group, where she has held a variety of roles since 2008. A US citizen, she spent over 20 years living and working in Europe and learning to conduct business in a foreign language. She has worked in leadership positions across a variety of industries including investment banking, art publishing, hospitality, consulting, and IT. She has also lectured on leadership development at Universities in the Netherlands and Scotland. She graduated from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst with a BA in History and completed a master’s degree in Management, Economics and Politics at the University of St. Andrews. She and her husband have recently settled in Connecticut.


Laura Mattimore, PhD, VP Global Talent, The Procter & Gamble Company

Laura Mattimore
Vice President of Global Talent
The Procter & Gamble Company


Where, oh Where, Is All the Top Talent?


Identifying high potential talent is a challenge for all of us – but have you considered the possibility that the best talent may not all work for you? Lower unemployment rates, rapidly evolving and specialized skill sets, and a workforce where a full 20% (and many more to come!) have declared a personal preference to freelance, means we need to be open to exploring new talent sources when looking to field the best team. Hear how P&G is taking a total talent ecosystem approach to supplement our top internal talent with flexible short-term resources that can infuse expertise, build new capability, and provide speed and agility for growing the business.


Laura Mattimore, PhD is the vice president of Global Talent at The Procter & Gamble Company, where she is accountable for all aspects of talent development including: talent supply/acquisition, staffing and succession planning, performance management, organization sensing, HR analytics and workforce planning, learning and development, executive education and diversity and inclusion. Laura and her team are responsible for bringing integrated talent solutions that build the individual and organizational capabilities needed for P&G’s ten global business units and six geographic sales & marketing organizations to win. She has worked for P&G for 26 years in both talent/capability roles as well as HR generalist roles. Laura’s in-depth mastery of talent disciplines, coupled with her applied experience in partnership with line leaders to deliver P&L, has prepared her for the significant scope and portfolio of responsibilities she has today. Laura is also active at professional conferences and forums, having delivered dozens of presentations and workshops on topics of talent. She has also been called upon as an expert to present to a subcommittee of the US Senate on how to develop leaders. She has participated in initiatives sponsored by President Obama on the development of leaders in public and private sectors.


Cynthia McCauley, PhD, Senior Fellow, Center for Creative Leadership

Cindy McCauley
Senior Fellow
Center for Creative Leadership

Cindy McCauley is a Senior Fellow at the Center for Creative Leadership. She designs and manages R&D projects, coaches action learning teams, and facilitates workshops for talent management professionals. As a result of her research and applied work, she is an advocate for using on-the-job experience as a central leader development strategy, for seeing leadership as a product of the collective, and for integrating constructive-developmental theories of human behavior into leader development practice.

Cindy co-developed two of CCL’s assessment tools, Benchmarks and the Job Challenge Profile, and co-edited three books for talent development professionals: The CCL Handbook of Leadership Development (Jossey-Bass, 2010), Experience-Driven Leader Development (Wiley, 2013), and Using Experience to Develop Leadership Talent, (Jossey-Bass, 2014).Her most recent publications include Change Now! Five Steps to Better Leadership (CCL, 2014), which focuses on crafting and enacting development plans, and Direction, Alignment, and Commitment: Achieving Better Results through Leadership (CCL, 2016), which helps leaders diagnose leadership issues in groups.

Cindy is a SIOP Fellow and she was awarded the 2017 Marion Gislason Award for Excellence in Leadership Development by Boston University. She received a Ph.D. in applied psychology from the University of Georgia.


Matt Paese, PhD, Senior VP, Succession & C-Suite Services, DDI

Matt Paese
Senior Vice President
Succession & C-Suite Services, DDI

Dr. Paese co-leads DDI’s Executive Services business, where his team focuses on leadership at the highest levels. He has been a central architect of DDI’s business services for executives, which have been applied in leading organizations across the world. Dr. Paese helps CEOs, boards, and top teams prepare for changing demands by analyzing team and individual capabilities, benchmarking to pinpoint gaps and opportunities, and guiding top leaders through experiences that stretch their perspectives and prepare them for challenges that test their limits as they lead into the future.

Dr. Paese has coached CEOs and executives in all major industry sectors, and in over 20 countries.  He supports active coaching relationships with some, maintains periodic contact with many, and hopes to learn from those he has not yet met.

Dr. Paese is co-author of the book Leaders Ready Now: Accelerating Growth in a Faster World (2016), and its predecessor Grow Your Own Leaders (2002). He has written many articles and research papers on numerous topics in the talent management arena.

Before joining DDI in 1994, Dr. Paese was with Anheuser-Busch for four years, where he managed executive assessment and development programs throughout the corporation.

An avid fly fisherman, cyclist, aspiring barista and closet drummer, Dr. Paese lives in St. Louis with his wife, Ellen, and children, Rachel and Louis.


Karen Paul, PhD, U. S. Talent Development Leader, 3M

Karen B. Paul
U.S. Talent Development Leader


Failure to Launch: Why HiPos Fail


Developing the next generation of leaders is a primary mandate and concern for most CEOs. Yet, according to the Corporate Executive Board, 90% of leaders are not ready for more senior roles. Organizations wonder why some of their people designated as high potentials requiring an additional 1 to 2 years to be ready for the next major assignment are 2 years later no closer to being considered “ready now.” Individuals wonder why they are rated as high potential but their careers are not accelerating as fast as others. In this session, Karen will discuss her observations on why high potentials fail.


Last October, Dr. Karen B. Paul was named U.S. Talent Development Leader for 3M. In this role, she is responsible for the developing selective U.S. employees in partnership with senior leadership. Previous to this role Karen ran HR External Relations, where she was responsible for strengthening 3M’s reputation as the top company for leadership and talent development. In this role Karen led 3M’s prioritized awards strategy and had oversight for a top of the house leadership program in the Global Academy of Innovative Development with several of 3M’s peer companies. Karen has been with 3M for over 20 years and held both HR generalist and specialist assignments. Her research has been published in both major academic and professional journals with over 80 publications and presentations. Karen’s book chapter “Using Experience to Develop Leadership Talent” details the close collaboration within 3M has resulted in numerous awards. Karen received her PhD in Industrial-Organizational Psychology from Bowling Green State University. She is a Fellow in the Society of Industrial and Organizational Psychology and a charter member of the Association for Psychological Science (APS). She is on the Advisory Board of the Institute of Corporate Productivity (i4cp) and sits on the Board of Directors for the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Foundation and is its current Finance chair.


Raphael (Rafi) Prager, PhD, Director, Global Talent Assessment & Dev, PepsiCo

Raphael (Rafi) Prager
Global Talent Assessment & Development


Using Personality to Predict Potential: When it Matters Most


Decades of academic research has shown strong relationships between personality traits and outcomes like job performance and leadership emergence. It’s no wonder that many top companies use personality assessments to identify their high potentials. But are these tools any good in practice? How do they stack up against other psychometric assessments in measuring potential? When do they matter most and when are they less important? Are some traits more predictive than others? In this session Raphael will address these questions and present learnings using data from PepsiCo’s internal development programs to highlight where personality has the greatest impact.


Dr. Raphael (Rafi) Prager is a director on the Global Talent Assessment and Development CoE at PepsiCo, responsible for designing and delivering the Senior Leadership Development Center 2.0 program as well as preemployment selection programs across the enterprise. Prior to his role at PepsiCo, Rafi held consulting roles in the talent practice within Aon Hewitt’s Talent Consulting organization, based in New York City. He primarily consulted in the areas of assessment, selection, and leadership development. Some examples of his professional experience include job analysis, assessment development, criterion validation of selection tools, competency model development, leadership assessment, and coaching. Rafi was also instrumental in leading the development and validation of accelerated learning and high potential models, measurement tools, and feedback reports. Rafi received his PhD in Industrial-Organizational Psychology from the Graduate Center (CUNY). As part of his doctoral work, Rafi taught several college-level psychology courses, including Research Methods in Psychology and Interviewing Techniques. Rafi’s dissertation focused on managerial learning motivation in the workplace. He is a member of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) and the Metropolitan New York Association of Applied Psychology (METRO).


David Rodriguez, PhD, Executive VP, Chief Human Resources Officer, Marriott

David A. Rodriguez
Executive Vice President and Global Chief Human Resources Officer
Marriott International


Talent Cultures and the Search for Unicorns


Where will your journey take you?  The development of high potentials begins long before they are hired into the company.  It’s the organization’s culture that sets the backdrop, creating a vibrant community where employees are empowered to be at their best and grow.  Through research-based principles and interconnected company programs, Marriott International continues to engage top talent and fuel its ongoing self-transformation and global expansion.


David A. Rodriguez assumed the role of executive vice president and global chief human resources officer for Marriott International in 2006. Dr. Rodriguez was appointed a corporate officer in 2000, and in 2004, to the board of directors’ Committee for Excellence that focuses on advancing employee wellbeing and inclusion in the company.

Dr. Rodriguez joined Marriott International and assumed the role of senior vice president – human resources in 1998. In 2003, he was appointed an executive vice president with responsibility for corporate centers of expertise as well as for the U.S. human resources function. Prior to joining Marriott International, Dr. Rodriguez held various human resources leadership positions at Citibank.

Dr. Rodriguez graduated from New York University in 1980 with a bachelor of arts and in 1987 with a doctorate in industrial/organizational psychology.  He is a vice chair and member of the executive committees of the Human Resources Policy Association and the American Health Policy Institute, a governor on the board of the Health Transformation Alliance, and a member of the HR People + Strategy Executive Advisory Council.  Dr. Rodriguez was inducted as a Fellow of the National Academy of Human Resources in 2014.

Where will your journey take you?  The development of high potentials begins long before they are hired into the company.  It’s the organization’s culture that sets the backdrop, creating a vibrant community where employees are empowered to be at their best and grow.  Through research-based principles and interconnected company programs, Marriott International continues to engage top talent and fuel its ongoing self-transformation and global expansion.

John C. Scott, PhD, Chief Operating Officer, APTMetrics

John C. Scott
Chief Operating Officer and Co-Founder

John C. Scott is chief operating officer and cofounder of APTMetrics, a global human resource consulting firm that designs sophisticated talent management solutions for corporations and market innovators. Dr. Scott has 30 years of experience designing and implementing talent management and assessment systems across a variety of global, high-stakes settings. For the past 20 years he has directed the talent management and leadership assessment practice at APTMetrics.

John is coeditor of the award-winning Handbook of Workplace Assessment: Evidence-Based Practices for Selecting and Developing Organizational Talent and is coeditor of the newly published handbook, Next Generation Technology-Enhanced Assessment: Global Perspectives on Occupational and Workplace Testing.  He also coedited The Human Resources Program-Evaluation Handbook and coauthored Evaluating Human Resources Programs: A 6-Phase Approach for Optimizing Performance.

Dr. Scott is a Fellow of both the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) and the American Psychological Association (APA).  He is SIOP’s senior representative to the United Nations and has served as an APA Council representative. John is a recipient of SIOP’s Distinguished Service Award, serves on the board of the Psychology Coalition at the UN, and is the former editor-in-chief of SIOP’s premier journal, Industrial and Organizational Psychology: Perspectives on Science and Practice.


Rob Silzer, PhD, Doctoral Faculty, Baruch/Graduate Center, CUNY

Rob Silzer
Managing Director
Human Resources Assessment & Development, Inc.
Doctoral Faculty in I-O Psychology, Baruch, Graduate Center, CUNY

Dr. Rob Silzer is managing director of HR Assessment and Development, Inc. and doctoral faculty in Industrial-Organizational Psychology at Baruch, Graduate Center, CUNY.  He has consulted with business leaders in over 150 organizations, focusing on executive/leadership assessment, identification, selection, coaching and development; high potential talent; and strategic talent management.

He currently serves as SIOP Practice Officer.  Rob was awarded the 2015 SIOP Distinguished Professional Contributions Award and the 2016 International Award for Excellence in Consultation by the Society of Consulting Psychology (APA Div. 13).  He has been elected a Fellow of SIOP, APA, APS, and SCP (Div. 13).  He has served on the editorial boards of Personnel Psychology, IO Psychology Journal, Organizational Dynamics. and TIP, and has delivered 20 professional workshops at SIOP, APA, and Metro-New York.  Rob originated the first SIOP Leading Edge Consortium and is co-chair for the 2018 LEC on High Potential Leadership Talent.  He has authored 16 book chapters and has 4 books in the SIOP Professional Practice Book Series, including Strategy-Driven Talent ManagementThe 21st Century Executive, Individual Psychological Assessment and Practice of Organizational Psychology (in development).  Dr. Silzer holds a PhD in Industrial-Organizational Psychology and Counseling Psychology from the University of Minnesota.  He actively pursues adventure travel around the world, including high altitude mountain trekking, and lives in Greenwich Village, Manhattan, New York City.


Lorraine Stomski, PhD, VP, Global Leadership, Learning & Selection, Walmart

Lorraine Stomski
Vice President
Global Leadership, Learning and Selection


Design Thinking:- Taking Hipo Development From End to End


High potential leadership development programs struggle to advance, innovate, and show real impact. This calls for new thinking and approaches that will better prepare our leaders for the future of work. Looking to the rapidly evolving tech space for inspiration, methods such as design thinking and agility are playing a more central role in HR and how we design HIPO programs. Lorraine will share how Walmart has begun to deploy these techniques to build more user centric leadership development approaches and how they are deploying it throughout the organization.


Dr. Stomski has over 25 years of experience in leadership assessment, strategy, and development.  Prior to joining Walmart, she was the Global Practice leader for Assessment and Leadership at Aon Hewitt.  In that role, she has worked with several large employers in the Fortune 500. Lorraine’s experience includes the development of global high potential programs, assessment/development centers, talent strategy, executive assessment, and succession planning. Her specialties include leadership development, retention and development of top talent, top team effectiveness, executive coaching, and increasing women’s presence at the top.  Dr. Stomski received her PhD in Industrial-Organizational Psychology from Stevens Institute of Technology. She is a member of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) and the American Psychological Association (APA). Dr. Stomski is a frequent speaker on the topic of best in class practices within the field of leadership globally. She is one of the authors in the books Strategy Driven Talent Management: A Leadership Imperative (2010), Advancing Executive Coaching: Setting the Course for Successful Leadership Coaching (2011), and Advancing Human Resource Project Management (2014). Dr. Stomski has also been featured as a blogger for Harvard Business Review.


Carol Surface, Chief Human Resources Officer, Medtronic

Carol Surface
Chief Human Resources Officer

Carol Surface leads Medtronic's human resources strategy for 86,000+ employees worldwide. She also provides leadership for Global Communications, Philanthropy and Community Affairs, and Global Health Initiatives. In these roles, her key focus areas include enterprise talent management and succession planning, leadership development, inclusion and diversity, executive compensation, internal and external stakeholder engagement, reputation management, and community and health initiatives.

Prior to joining Medtronic, she served as Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer at Best Buy Co., Inc., and held a series of human resources leadership roles of increasing responsibility at PepsiCo, including serving as Chief Personnel Officer for PepsiCo International. She has worked in Asia and the Middle East, as well as the U.S. Carol also brings experience from other industries and businesses, including Kmart and Dow Chemical, where she completed an internship as a doctoral candidate.

Carol earned a Ph.D. in industrial-organizational psychology from Central Michigan University, and serves on a variety of community and professional boards.


Andrew Webster, VP of Transformation, ExperiencePoint

Andrew Webster
Vice President

Andrew Webster is Vice President of Transformation at ExperiencePoint. Andrew leverages over 15 years of experience designing and delivering working models, design sprints, change interventions and training programs to develop user-centric problem-solving approaches and solutions. Under Andrew's leadership, over 10,000 people in over 40 countries have been impacted through experience and deliberate practice with new tools. In addition to working with executives from firms such as Walmart, General Electric, Johnson & Johnson, Coca-Cola, Deloitte, MetLife and Microsoft, Andrew is a driving force in evolving ExperiencePoint's strategy and leads select innovation initiatives. He has taught executives in many leading universities, including Harvard Business School and IMD.


Ken Willner, PhD, Paul Hastings

Kenneth Willner
Vice Chair, Employment Law Practice
Paul Hastings

Kenneth Willner is a partner in the Employment Law practice of Paul Hastings and is based in the firm's Washington, D.C. office. He is vice chair of the firm's global Employment Law Practice. Mr. Willner is a recognized leader of the management bar in the fields of employment discrimination class actions and employment testing and validation. He represents employers in employment law and litigation in federal and state courts and before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs. He has deep experience with employment law class actions; employment testing; test validation, statistics and expert witnesses, as well as individual cases; discrimination litigation; sexual harassment; disability discrimination; wage and hour advice and litigation; family/medical leave; affirmative action; compliance reviews; wrongful discharge; traditional labor law; labor relations; unfair labor practice charges; executive contract negotiations; protection of employer intellectual property; noncompetition covenants; drug and alcohol testing; and employment law torts. Mr. Willner’s clients include companies that make or use employment tests, financial institutions, major retail chains, airlines, manufacturers, government entities, government contractors, high-tech firms, industry associations, local government associations, professional service organizations, accounting firms, law firms, real estate companies, environmental companies, and individuals.