Your Symposium Faculty
Once again, Advanced Employment Issues Symposium will feature the nation’s leading experts in employment law and HR compliance issues. PLUS, you’ll learn management best practices from some of America’s top employers
Drew Alexis represents management in a wide range of employment disputes before federal and state courts and administrative agencies, including in the areas of discrimination, harassment and retaliation, wrongful termination, wage and hour (both individual and representative and class actions) and leave of absence and disability management. Mr. Alexis has litigated employment cases for over 15 years and has both jury trial and appellate experience.
Mike Barnsback is a partner in the law firm of DiMuroGinsberg and Vice-President of Marketing and Operations for the Civil Workplace, Inc. Mr. Barnsback represents clients primarily in the areas of employment law and complex civil litigation. Mr. Barnsback represents employers and employees in all aspects of federal and state employment law litigation from administrative hearings before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and local human rights commissions to formal trials in federal court. He also counsels and provides seminars to employers on issues of compliance with the complex array of federal and state laws governing the employer/employee relationship.
Cheryl Behymer is a partner in the Columbia Fisher and Phillips Law office. She assists clients by providing timely and practical counsel and training in affirmative action, workplace harassment, immigration compliance, employee leave issues involving the Family and Medical Leave Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act, and other labor and employment issues. Cheryl defends employers who are responding to administrative charges, actively involved in litigation, or are participating in compliance reviews conducted by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs. She prepares affirmative action plans for federal contractors and subcontractors and assists clients with self-audits. She also defends employers in multi-plaintiff lawsuits, including class actions based on Title VII and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, as well as in Fair Labor Standards Act collective actions. In addition, Cheryl assists employers in protecting their confidential and trade secret information, as well as enforcing and defending covenants not to compete.
Concetta Bertussi is an SPHR and Six Sigma certified professional with over 20 years of applied Human Resource and Management experience. As a Senior HR Consultant, her areas of expertise include employee relations, performance management, training/career development and workforce analytics. In addition to her HR experience, she’s worked as a Program and Project Manager in a variety industries including healthcare, education, gaming, defense and government. Her focus is on the alignment of employee goals with those of the business; and, on setting clearly communicated measurable objectives. She holds a Master of Science in Management and Human Resources Management from Troy State University and a Bachelors of Business Administration and Organizational Communication from Otterbein College. She’s also served as a United States Marine. Ms. Bertussi is currently a Senior HR Consultant for Prism Global Management Group, Las Vegas, Nevada. She is also an Associate Professor of Management and Human Resource Management for the University of Phoenix.
Mario Bordogna is a labor and employment attorney, counselor, and advocate who works as a member with the law firm of Steptoe & Johnson, PLLC, in Morgantown, West Virginia. He represents clients in all aspects of labor and employment law in state and federal courts, and for the past 15 years, Mr. Bordogna has concentrated his practice in the areas of HR and employment counseling, labor–management relations, employment litigation, and general employment and civil litigation. He represents clients in sectors and industries such as energy, hospitality, manufacturing, education, and others, working on the front end to keep clients in legal compliance, and assisting them on the back end if things happen to go wrong and they need a strong and experienced litigation advocate.
Deanna Brinkerhoff Ms. Brinkerhoff is an associate in the Las Vegas office of Holland and Hart. She represents clients in labor and employment litigation, including harassment, discrimination, retaliation, wage and hour, trade secret, and non-compete cases. She represents clients in the gaming, transportation, manufacturing, real estate, and health care industries. Prior to joining Holland & Hart, she was a research assistant at the William S. Boyd School of Law in Las Vegas where she researched employment discrimination cases and worked with various casino human resources departments to obtain employee appearance code information. Previously, Ms. Brinkerhoff was a Juvenile Justice Counselor for the State of Utah, conducting intake evaluations for youth entering detention and shelter facilities.
Katie Miller Busch is the Director of Consulting at HR Compensation Consultants. Katie offers 15 years of progressive compensation experience having worked in various industries, including high-tech, loyalty marketing, biopharmaceuticals and logistics solutions. She also spent seven years in governmental consulting, working for cities, counties, public safety/law enforcement and state agencies in the United States. Her recent experience also includes implementing classification and pay plans for the US, Canadian, Latin American and Eastern & Western European locations of a large corporation. Katie has developed numerous classification & compensation plans and incentive & recognition programs. Throughout her career she has used many classification, pay development and HR management systems including: Hay grading, Mercer’s International Position Evaluation (IPE), Role Classification System (RCS), the Archer matrix-point-factor system, ADP, SAP, iVantage and PeopleSoft. Her experience includes the conducting of custom surveys for salary, pay practices and benefits comparisons.
Stacie Caraway is a national employment law advisor, litigator and trainer. She advises national, regional and local employers concerning general employment and labor law issues; develops, reviews, and updates human resource policies and supporting agreements; and represents employers in local, state and federal legal proceedings including EEOC and state human rights commission investigations, mediations and lawsuits throughout the United States. Ms. Caraway is a frequent speaker at national, state and local employment law symposiums on topics ranging from the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA/ADAAA) to wage and hour law or harassment, discrimination or retaliation issues. She also provides in-house training and counsel on these and other employment law issues relating to hiring, discipline, accommodations and terminations.
Chris Chrisbens works in the Denver office of Holland and Hart. Mr. Chrisbens works with federal contractor employers to develop compliance strategies and solutions concerning all aspects of affirmative action planning and OFCCP regulation. He helps employers determine and navigate affirmative action obligations, develop defensible affirmative action plans to pass OFCCP scrutiny, and proactively address and resolve areas of concern to improve OFCCP audit performance. Mr. Chrisbens also represents employers during all phases of OFCCP compliance audits.
Ben Conley is an attorney in the Chicago office of Seyfarth Shaw LLP. He focuses his practice on employee benefit plans. Mr. Conley has experience counseling clients on qualified retirement plans, health and welfare plans, and executive compensation. Mr. Conley regularly advises clients on defined benefit and defined contribution plan compliance, including corrections for plan operational errors. He assists clients in drafting plan documents, plan amendments and participant communications. He also advises clients on health & welfare plan compliance, including medical and dental plans, cafeteria plans, flexible spending accounts and dependent care spending accounts.
Tonna Duvall, SPHR is the Founder & President of Great Advice, Inc. (www.greatadviceinc.com), a faith-based Human Resources consulting firm that provides a full suite of on-site and on-call Human Resources Generalist services. Prior to launching the firm in 2008, Tonna worked for a fortune 50 company as the Human Resources Manager. Tonna is a seasoned Human Resources practitioner and started her career in 1994 as a Human Resources Assistant in a large manufacturing company with 450 employees. Since then Tonna has held progressive Human Resources positions in the fields of manufacturing, community mental health, post secondary education, banking, big box retail, hospitality and construction. Tonna’s extensive experience represents her keen understanding, competency and mastery of every functional area within the human resources department. From starting out as a Human Resources Assistant to serving as a Human Resources Benefits Specialist, Human Resources Generalist, Human Resources Manager, and Human Resources Director, Tonna is well-versed for being the driving force behind Great Advice, Inc.
Francine Esposito has been a labor and employment practitioner for more than twenty years. Ms. Esposito regularly represents employers before various administrative agencies, at labor arbitrations, in employment-related litigation, and conducts harassment and other workplace investigations. Ms. Esposito also has extensive experience in designing and conducting training for employers on a wide array of employment-related topics, including but not limited to, harassment and discrimination awareness, diversity, FMLA, interviewing and hiring, wage and hour compliance, conducting internal investigations, effective documentation, effective employee relations, and union avoidance. She also regularly provides advice to employers regarding all aspects of the employment relationship.
MaryLou Fabbo is a partner in the Springfield office of Skoler, Abbott & Presser, P.C., she joined the firm in 1995. Head of the firm’s litigation team, Marylou practices in all areas of employment litigation. She provides counsel to management on taking proactive steps to reduce the risk of legal liability that may be imposed as the result of illegal employment practices, and defends employers who are faced with lawsuits and administrative charges filed by current and former employers.
Mary E. Farrell, founder of the Farrell Law Group, is a litigator with substantial experience and expertise in representing employers of all sizes. Mary and her team have successfully defended several wage & hour class action lawsuits as well as individual claims. She works closely with clients to develop credible litigation avoidance strategies in high-risk employment disputes as well as every day personnel challenges. Mary has experience handling individual harassment, discrimination and retaliation claims, contract & tort-based employment litigation, whistleblower actions, unfair competition & trade secret litigation as well as class action wage & hour claims.
Susan Fentin is a partner with Skoler, Abbott & Presser, P.C., and practices in the firm’s Springfield, Massachusetts office. She joined the firm in 1999 after spending several years in the Labor and Employment Department of Shipman & Goodwin, LLP in Hartford, Connecticut. Prior to entering private practice, she served as a clerk to the Honorable John M. Greaney, Associate Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. Before attending law school, Susan had a long career in advertising and marketing, including owning and operating her own business, giving her unique insight into the employment problems faced by business owners.
Mary Beth Hartleb’s career spans over twenty-five years in the human resources field working for Fortune 500 companies while developing human resource departments for smaller, entrepreneurial ventures. She is also a licensed insurance broker and certified professional coach. She founded her company, PRISM Global Management Group, LLC in 2003. She works in the areas of insurance brokering in life, health, property and casualty insurance, recruiting and staffing, training, compensation, benefits design and administration, policy and procedure development, mergers and acquisitions, employee and labor relations. She is experienced in various industries including gaming, restaurant, telecommunications, broadcasting, and non-profit organizations. Mary Beth adjuncts at UNLV, and previously taught at the University of Phoenix and University of Southern Nevada. She currently serves on the Legislative Committee for the Henderson Chamber of Commerce and is a board member with the Nevada Micro-Enterprise Initiative. She has been appointed to the Nevada Workforce Investment Board by Governor Sandoval.
John Hickman is head of the Alston & Bird’s Health Benefits Practice in Atlanta where he leads five attorneys devoted exclusively to HIPAA privacy, flexible benefits, and other health and welfare benefit issues. Mr. Hickman has been a pioneer in the consumer-directed health care arena and has worked closely with health plans, financial institutions, and employers as well as the IRS, Treasury, and DOL in developing guidance for tax-favored health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) and health savings accounts (HSAs).
Marianne Jones is a leader with more than 15 years of experience working in Human Resources and Organizational Development roles. Marianne has most recently been working with a growing healthcare organization, teaching in an MBA Strategic Leadership program, and has previously served as HR Director for a New York based Fortune 100 financial services organization. She also has experience as a human resources executive with a multi-national retailer, with premier providers of financial and insurance services in the US, as well as having directed a large not-for-profit organization in Central California. She has been working independently since 2010 consulting on senior level succession planning processes, new manager integration, team effectiveness, and individual leadership coaching.
Ron Keimach, a principal and the West Region Reward Practice Leader for Hay Group, has a progressive and versatile track record in human resources, finance, and marketing. A reward and training expert, he has helped implement organization design, job measurement, compensation planning, incentive, and cultural change initiatives in public sector organizations, in the technology sector, and in health care, retail, manufacturing, and financial services. Keimach’s toolkit includes solutions in organization design, program communication, compensation planning and implementation (base, variable, and total remuneration), job evaluation, and compensation and benefits survey analysis.
As a consultant for HR Compensation Consultants, LLC, Stacey R. McClure brings a wealth of experience to her clients. She has developed her expertise as both a practitioner and a consultant to government at the state and local levels. Stacey specializes in the full compensation lifecycle including strategy, planning, implementation, and assessment. Over the last 20 years, she has consulted with over 50 organizations in the management and optimization of total compensation and pay-for-performance plans.
Carla McCormich is the Vice President of Health Management Solutions for Fallon Benefits Group in Atlanta, Georgia. She is a licensed personal trainer and nutritionist, holding degrees in Exercise Physiology and Industrial Psychology from Cal State Fullerton. Carla is an accomplished health and wellness professional with over 15 years of experience. She maintains a successful track record in assisting management teams to generate optimal health, productivity, and wellness from within their organizations by implementing specialized health education and communication strategies, while integrating strong plan design with outcomes-driven health and wellness initiatives, saving millions of dollars in avoided medical costs. Her efforts in corporate wellness have been featured in several articles in the Atlanta Business Chronicle, Consumer Driven Healthcare Magazine, and HR Magazine. She has also won multiple awards for her work including SHRM’s SHAPE: Innovation in Wellness Award, the CDHC’s Most Effective Incentive Design Award and the ABC’s Healthiest Employer Award.
Kevin McCormick, chair of the Labor and Employment Section with the Baltimore law firm of Whiteford, Taylor & Preston, provides advice and counsel to public and private employers on all phases of the employment relationship to ensure compliance with applicable laws, avoid costly litigation, and, when necessary, successfully defend against individual and governmental challenges to policies and procedures.
Known for her ability to connect with both CEOs and front-line employees, Sherri Merbach brings three distinct credentials to her work as C-Suite Analytics’ Managing Director. Sherri is a business executive first, having earned her CPA designation with experience working with a top 5 global accounting firm and subsequently earned her MBA degree. Secondly, Sherri made the non-traditional leap from accounting to human resources with the renowned human resources team at Walt Disney World. Over 13 years, Sherri’s roles stretched from training executives at the acclaimed Disney Institute to solving complex organizational development issues across Disney’s parks and resorts. Sherri’s business and consulting experiences include executive leadership for sales recruiting and training teams at several leading vacation ownership organizations and partnering with Great Advice, Inc. Sherri is a change agent creating a sustainable bottom-line impact. She brings her high degree of personal effectiveness plus these accumulated skills and experiences to drive focus on the retention, engagement, and workforce analytics’ needs of C-Suite Analytics’ clients.
Jonathan Mook is a founding partner in the firm of DiMuroGinsberg. Mr. Mook is a nationally recognized authority on the Americans with Disabilities Act and is the author of two treatises published by Matthew Bender Company, Americans with Disabilities Act: Employee Rights and Employer Obligations and Americans with Disabilities Act: Public Accommodations and Commercial Facilities. He lectures nationally on the Americans with Disabilities Act and other employment law topics. Mr. Mook is a member of the Editorial Boards of the Disability Law Reporter, the Employee Relations Law Journal, and Bender’s Labor and Employment Bulletin. Mr. Mook has been listed in Who’s Who in American Law and Who’s Who of Emerging Leaders in America.
Charlie Plumb is a shareholder with McAfee & Taft in the Tulsa, Oklahoma office. Charlie represents management in all phases of employment law and labor relations. Much of his practice is dedicated to counseling employers on compliance with a broad range of state and federal employment laws and regulations and educating management on best practices for avoiding disputes arising from the employer-employee relationship. He has extensive litigation experience before federal and state courts, regulatory, and administrative agencies, and in arbitration matters involving claims of discrimination, wrongful discharge, retaliatory discharge, breach of contract, and constitutional law violations.
Jason Ritchie is an associate with Holland & Hart LLP and practices in the firm’s Billings office. He has represented and advised employers in several areas, including claims of wrongful discharge, harassment, discrimination, breach of employment contract, and claims arising under the ADA, Montana Human Rights Act, FMLA, and the National Rehabilitation Act. Jason has also represented various commercial clients in contract disputes, real estate litigation, and environmental litigation. Jason advises clients on employment matters, and has given a number of seminars on wrongful discharge, discrimination, and related topics. Jason has represented clients in both state and federal court in Montana, and before the Montana Human Rights Commission, the Montana Supreme Court, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Mark Schickman is a partner with Freeland Cooper & Foreman and practices in the San Francisco office. He has litigated every kind of employment matter over the past 30 years. His areas of focus include representation of management in union organization campaigns, contract negotiations, responses to NLRB charges, and employee arbitrations. He also provides advice and counsel to employers on all phases of the employment relationship to ensure compliance with applicable laws, avoid costly litigation, and defend against challenges to policies and procedures.
Kara Shea provides practical advice on employment issues and compliance to national, regional, and local employers of all sizes, ranging from Fortune 500 companies to small businesses, in a variety of industries. She also represents employers before administrative agencies such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and in litigation, including discrimination, retaliatory discharge, whistleblower, and wage and hour cases, including class actions. Ms. Shea has briefed cases presented to both the Tennessee Supreme Court and the United States Supreme Court. Ms. Shea regularly speaks on employment-related topics and provides supervisory training on topics including FMLA and FLSA compliance, conducting workplace investigations, and implementing employee discipline. She has been a regular columnist for the Nashville City Paper and is the co-editor of the Tennessee Employment Law Letter. Ms. Shea also practices in the area of intellectual property, including trade secrets, trademarks, and copyright matters.
Companies large and small frequently engage Roger Tsai to provide counsel on a broad spectrum of employment and immigration issues. With extensive experience and a national reputation for being a thought leader on immigration, Mr. Tsai is able to find positive solutions to his clients’ varied needs. Mr. Tsai counsels universities and companies in healthcare, technology, and energy sectors on securing temporary and permanent visas for foreign national employees, including H-1B visas and permanent resident status.
Al Vreeland is a founding member and the firm’s Managing Shareholder. Al has represented employers in the entire range of employment litigation from Title VII, ADA, ADEA, FMLA, OSHA and ERISA to claims under the First Amendment, Fourth Amendment, and the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses. His cases have ranged from the claims of a single disgruntled employee to statewide, regional, and nationwide attacks on his clients’ hiring, promotion, termination, pay and benefits practices. Al also defends his clients before state and federal appellate courts.
Franck Wobst practices in the areas of labor and employment law. He has successfully represented employers in a wide range of litigation matters, including actions brought under state and federal employment discrimination statutes, the NLRA, the RLA, FMLA, ERISA and state wrongful discharge law. Franck also provides daily advice to employers to ensure their employment decisions comply with state, federal, and local requirements.
Elijah Yip is a litigation partner practicing in the areas of commercial and business litigation and arbitration; Internet law; and media and First Amendment rights. He also advises on environmental and health law matters. Mr. Yip is the founder and chair of the firm’s Digital Media and Internet Law practice group. He writes about the latest legal developments in the world of digital technology on his blog, LegalTXTS.
Cathleen Yonahara, assistant editor of the California Employment Law Letter, is an associate at Freeland Cooper & Foreman LLP in San Francisco. She represents and advises clients in all areas of labor and employment law, including Title VII, the ADA, ADEA, FEHA, FMLA, CFRA, and the California Labor Code. She appears in state and federal court and before government agencies, including the EEOC, DFEH, the California Labor Commissioner, and other agencies. Her litigation practice includes claims of discrimination, harassment, failure to accommodate, retaliation, wrongful termination, unfair competition, wage and hour violations, and breach of contract. She counsels clients on all aspects of the employment relationship, including employment, severance, and confidentiality agreements, independent contractor agreements, personnel policies, employee handbooks, and internal investigations.
Elaine Young is a member of the Kirton McConkie’s International section. Her practice includes advising companies on the U.S. federal tax consequences of their international operations and assisting tax-exempt organizations on corporate and tax matters. She has significant experience handling the immigration, tax, and benefits aspects of cross-border employment, including inpatriate transfers and working with counsel around the world to help U.S. companies send their employees abroad. Ms. Young is recognized as one of Utah’s Legal Elite for international law and tax and as a Mountain States Super Lawyer RisingStar for tax.