Leadership
Conference 2021

March 21, 2021-March 24, 2021

SPEAKERS

 

In addition to hearing directly from role models within the Food Industry, you’ll learn from thoughtleaders who have changed the way we think and work and advocated for what they needed to advance to the very top of their professions.

Keynote Speakers

Gretchen Rubin

Gretchen Rubin

Through her relentless exploration of human nature, Rubin helps us understand ourselves better so we can make positive changes in our habits and our lives. From personal renewal to increasing career satisfaction, the best-selling author helps us chart our own path to being happier, healthier and more productive.

Tina Brown

Tina Brown

Legendary journalist and author, Brown served as editor of Vanity Fair magazine, as the first female editor of The New Yorker and founding editor-in-chief of The Daily Beast online news magazine. Her new book, The Palace Papers, will be published this year.

 Keynote Sponsored by:
Ana Navarro

Ana Navarro

A political strategist and commentator, Navarro is known for unwavering commitment to her values and candid criticism of all sides of the political spectrum. Her early life experience leaving her native Nicaragua to escape political turmoil informs her robust message to engage in the world around you and ensure your priorities are reflected in the decisions of leaders.

Abby Wambach

Abby Wambach

Two-time Olympic Gold Medalist and second all-time leading scorer in international soccer history, Wambach encourages women to lead the revolutionary change needed to secure equality and inclusion in the workplace and beyond. She points the way for women to amplify each other's voices, 'fail up' and turn to their pack for support.

Keynote Sponsored by:

   

Educational Content Speakers

Adrian Gostick

Adrian Gostick

#1 New York Times bestselling author Adrian Gostick provides real solutions to develop robust cultures, increase employee engagement, and lead high-performance teams.

His work is supported by research with more than 1 million working adults, revealing the proven secrets why some cultures and teams breakthrough and others don't. His work has been called "fascinating" by Fortune, "creative and refreshing" by the New York Times, and a "must read for modern managers" by CNN. He has been featured on NBC's The Today Show, CBS 60 Minutes, and is often quoted in Fast Company, Newsweek and the Wall Street Journal.

Adrian is the author of award-winning Wall Street Journal and the New York Times best selling leadership books All In, The Carrot Principle, and The Best Team Wins. His books have been translated into more than 30 languages and have sold more than 1.5 million copies worldwide.

Gostick is ranked #3 on the list of the world's top Leadership Gurus and #9 in organizational culture. His clients include Cisco, Danaher, Bank of America, Rolls Royce, Michigan Medicine, American Express, HP, California Pizza Kitchen, Stanford Business School, and Mayo Clinic.

Alyssa Rapp

Alyssa Rapp

Alyssa Rapp became the CEO of Surgical Solutions in January 2018, a health care services company owned by private equity firm Sterling Partners. Within six months (in June 2018), she was named one of Crain's Magazine's "2018 Notable Women in Health Care." Starting in 2014, Alyssa joined the ranks as a lecturer-in-management at Stanford University's Graduate School of Business, where she teaches a strategy course annually. Starting in 2015, Alyssa served as the Managing Partner at AJR Ventures, a strategic advisory firm to $100MM+ privately-held companies and private equity firms on their digital marketing strategies. From 2005-2015, Alyssa served as the founder & CEO of Bottlenotes, Inc., during which time she was named one of Inc. Magazine's "30 Under 30" coolest entrepreneurs in America (September 2008)" and one of the wine industry's top 25 of 100 most influential people (Intowine.com). Bottlenotes also received the "Best Advertising and Marketing Company/People's Choice Award" at the Empact 100 at the United Nations (September 2013), honoring the top 100 companies with founders under 35.

Alyssa earned a B.A. in Political Science and the History of Art from Yale University (2000) and an M.B.A. from Stanford University's Graduate School of Business (2005). At Yale, she received the Frank M. Patterson prize for the best essay on the American political system.

When not immersed in business and civic life, Alyssa loves to run, ski, box, and try to decipher a slider from a curve ball from her husband, 1990 MLB World Series Champion, Hal Morris. Alyssa and Hal are the proud parents of Audrey and Henriette Morris.

Andrew Tarvin

Andrew Tarvin

Andrew Tarvin is the world's first Humor Engineer teaching people how to get better results while having more fun. 

Through his company, Humor That Works, Andrew has helped more 25,000 people at 250+ organizations--including P&G, GE, ESPN, Microsoft, the U.S. Navy, PepsiCo, and the International Association of Canine Professional--learn to be more productive, less stressed, and happier. Combining his background in business with his experience as an international comedian, his programs are engaging, entertaining, and effective.

Prior to starting his company, Andrew was a top-rated project manager at Procter & Gamble, managing million dollar projects for a $350 million business. He is also an accomplished comedian, having performed in more than 1,000 shows all around the world.

Andrew is the best-selling author of Humor That Works: 501 Ways to Beat Stress, Increase Productivity, and Have Fun at Work, has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and FastCompany, and his TEDx talk has been viewed over 100,000 times. He has delivered programs in 50 states, 18 countries, and 1 planet (Earth). He loves the color orange and is obsessed with chocolate.

 

Anne Grady

Anne Grady

Anne Grady is not your typical motivational speaker. She is a bestselling author, two-time TEDx speaker, trainer, survivor, optimist, inspirer, and a truth-bomb dropper.
 
Anne has a master’s degree in organizational communication and has spent the last twenty years working with some of the largest organizations around the globe.
 
She has become known as a leading expert on resilience, emotional intelligence and leadership, contributing to Harvard Business Review, Entrepreneur, Fast Company, Inc. Magazine, FOX Business and many more.
 
Audiences love her raw honesty, edgy humor, authenticity, and insight. Anne shares inspiring personal stories, cutting edge, research-based content, and implementation tools to transfer learning into real life to improve relationships, navigate change, and triumph over adversity. And she’ll make you laugh while she does it.
 
In her first two books, Anne provides practical strategies to improve relationships, increase productivity, and reduce stress.
 
In her new book, Mind Over Moment: Harness the Power of Resilience (available October 2020), Anne shares her science-based approach to help you become aware of your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in the moment in order to break out of reactivity and live your life on purpose.
Arlene Pace-Green, PhD

Arlene Pace-Green, PhD

Arlene is an Organizational Psychologist and Consultant, Executive Coach, and Leadership Development Speaker. She is the author of two works currently in publication - “Pandemics: Shining a Spotlight on Racial Disparities at Work” in publication with the Industrial and Organizational Psychology Journal; and the book “You Deserve to Love Your Job: How to Find Your Purpose and Enjoy Your Life” in publication with Conqueror Productions. Arlene is the Founder and Principal of Enelra Talent Solutions, LLC. Enelra works with individuals and businesses they believe in to provide Executive Coaching, Org Design, and Leadership Development offerings that enable business and people development.

Arlene brings over 20 years of experience working internally in Fortune 500 organizations and has worked and consulted with various Foodservice organizations including Cinemark, Frito-Lay, and PepsiCo. She is known for her business partnership and ability to collaborate to bring solutions to complex challenges. In her coaching practice, she is known for partnering with clients to achieve greater business and career impact, meaning, and results. Arlene has co-authored articles, book-chapters and symposiums on various topics including selection and hiring, talent assessment, organizational design, and diversity and inclusion.

Betsy Allen-Manning

Betsy Allen-Manning

Featured on FOX, CBS, ABC, NBC & TEDx, Betsy Allen-Manning is founder of the consulting firm, Motiv8u Enterprises, and is a top-rated keynote speaker; known for inspiring people with her story of going from failure…to worldwide singer…to global impactor. With an expertise in human behavior and experience working as a manager for Disney & 5-star hotels, Betsy is honored to have trained over 7,500 leaders & teams for small businesses, franchises & associations, to multi-billion dollar corporations, such as Toshiba, Fidelity, Six Flags & The U.S. Dept. of Defense. An author of 3 books, Betsy’s mission is to develop the ‘Impact Leader’ in everyone, so they can live a more successful & significant life.                         
 
Cheryl Cran

Cheryl Cran

Cheryl Cran is the founder of NextMapping™/NextMapping.com and the CEO of parent company Synthesis at Work Inc.

Recognized as the #1 Future of Work influencer by Onalytica, and author of 7 books including "NextMapping - Anticipate, Navigate & Create The Future of Work"

Other book titles include “The Art of Change Leadership – Driving Transformation In a Fast-Paced World” (Wiley 2015), “101 Ways to Make Generations X, Y and Zoomers Happy at Work” (2010) and 4 other books on the ultimate leadership skills needed to be future of work ready.

Cheryl’s future of work thought leadership has been featured in publications such as Huff Post, Forbes, IABC Magazine, Law Magazine, Metro New York, Entrepreneur Magazine, Readers Digest, CBS Online, NBC Online, Fox Online and more.

For over two decades Cheryl has built a reputation for delivering extraordinary value to clients that include AT&T, Bell Mobility, Omnitel, Gartner, British Telcomm, Manulife, as well as mid-sized companies and entrepreneurs in industries that include technology, health, agriculture, finance, insurance and more.

NextMapping™ was developed as a proprietary business solution brand that encompasses all of Cheryl’s work and research on the future of work and the leadership needed to navigate change in the workplace. It’s time to not just hear about the future but to use NextMapping™ to get there! Technology in the workplace must be used to prepare for the future with a focus on how technology can enhance outcomes for people.

The common theme of all of Cheryl’s life’s work is a ‘people first’ and digital second approach to create a more human future, helping companies to build the leadership capacity needed to ‘change the world through business.’

Colette Carlson

Colette Carlson

Colette Carlson, founder of Speak Your Truth, Inc., is a human behavior expert and keynote speaker who inspires individuals to connect and communicate in real and relevant ways. How to create effective connections, and leverage them for greater success, is the thread woven into every one of Colette’s presentations.
 
With a Master’s Degree in Human Behavior, a fascination with communication trends, and extensive experience in the personal development industry for over 20 years, Colette knows the difference between trendy topics and timeless truths when it comes to successful business practices.
 
Colette is a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), a designation held by fewer than 10% of the members belonging to the International Federation for Professional Speakers. In 2017, Colette was inducted into the CPAE Speaker Hall Fame®, a lifetime award that honors professional speakers who have reached the top echelon of platform excellence.
 
Her articles have been featured in Success, Business Management Daily, and Working Mother magazines. Clients include Boeing, Microsoft, Cisco, Pepsi, Procter & Gamble, Shell, Great Clips, Davidson Hotels, the United States Government.
Debra Fine

Debra Fine

Fine is a former engineer who developed her programs to teach leaders rapport skills and business networking techniques. Her programs are held regularly for Fortune 500 firms that include National Association of Electronic Distributors, Red Robin, Darden Restaurants, United Airlines, Van Cleef and Arpels, Hyatt Hotels, and Google. Her best selling book The Fine Art of Small Talk (Hachette) was published to excellent reviews and feature stories in USA Today, Entrepreneur Magazine and The Chicago Tribune and is translated and published in over 2 dozen countries. Her recent media appearances include the Today Show, the Early Show, CNN and NPR Morning Edition. Additional information about Debra can be viewed at www.DebraFine.com.

Diana Kander

Diana Kander

Diana Kander is a New York Times Bestselling Author of All In Startup, entrepreneur, innovation consultant, and keynote speaker for Fortune 1000 companies who asks some big questions. What causes big, household brands to lose relevance with their customers and go out of business? Can organizational decline be prevented? What kind of culture needs to exist in an organization to ensure innovative ideas and practices? And how has Snoop Dogg continued to innovate decade after decade to stay relevant to the next generation?

Diana has spent her career challenging assumptions and asking thought-provoking questions. A serial entrepreneur who entered the United States as a refugee at the age of 8, she has launched and sold millions of dollars worth of products and services.

After detailing her biggest lessons learned in her first book, All In Startup, Diana started receiving requests from organizations to help their employees think more like entrepreneurs.

While working with her clients, Diana’s personal curiosity about process and culture within large companies inspired her to develop the approach outlined in her second book. The Curiosity Muscle demonstrates how a loss of curiosity hurts companies and how it can be repaired using Diana’s prescription for reconnecting with customers.

Diana has truly cracked the code on how Curiosity can serve as the catalyst for exponential growth and she thrives on helping organizations understand that they can always get better results if they learn how to ask better questions.

Diana lives in Kansas City, Missouri with her high school sweetheart and husband, Jason, and their awesome son, True.

* Fun fact about Diana: As research for her latest book, The Curiosity Muscle, Diana tore her oblique muscle, but did master an 11.5-minute plank!

Dima Ghawi

Dima Ghawi

Dima is Middle-Eastern in her genes, American in her heart, and a global citizen in her spirit. She ignites the untapped potential in individuals across the globe, empowering them to shatter limitations and become courageous, purpose driven leaders. Her own journey is one of escaping confinement, crossing continents, and transforming her life’s purpose. Harnessing the power of her story, Dima is committed to inspiring individuals to attain personal and professional growth.

Through keynote speeches, workshops, and executive coaching, Dima shares her unique leadership transformation journey with one goal in mind: motivate and activate those around her to reimagine their potential and grow into leaders.

Dima draws from two decades of corporate experience leading global teams and developing future leaders worldwide. She has worked across the United States, Europe, Asia, Middle East, and Africa for several Fortune 100 companies including IBM, Merrill Lynch, and Intuit. She has honed a keen expertise in developing leaders to meet the demands of the global workforce.

Dima’s memoir Breaking Vases received Writer’s Digest 2018 Grand Prize Award, Best Indie Book Award, Readers’ Favorite Award, and National Indie Excellence Award.

In addition to her global empowerment work, Dima serves on numerous nonprofit boards. She has been recognized for her services with the 2014 President of the United States Bronze Volunteer Service Award, the 2014 Baton Rouge Business Report’s “Forty Under 40” Award, and the 2016 Louisiana State University “Esprit de Femme Award.” She has been featured in numerous publications for her professional and philanthropic work.

Drew Dudley

Drew Dudley

Prior to founding Day One, Drew spent 8 years as the Director of one of Canada's largest leadership development programs at the University of Toronto and served as National Chair of Canada's largest post-secondary charity, which mobilized 35,000 volunteers annually to support the work of Cystic Fibrosis Canada.

Recognized as one of the most dynamic keynote speakers in the world, Drew has spoken to over 250,000 people on 5 continents, been featured on The Huffington Post, Radio America, Forbes.com, and TED.com, where his "TED talk" has been voted "one of the 15 most inspirational TED talks of all time". Time, Business Insider and INC. magazines have all included his talk on their lists of "speeches that will make you a better leader".

Drew's clients have included some of the world's most dynamic companies and organizations, including McDonald's, Proctor & Gamble, JP Morgan Chase, Hyatt Hotels, the United Way and over 75 colleges and universities.

 

Ekpedeme "Pamay" Bassey

Ekpedeme "Pamay" Bassey

Pamay Bassey  is Chief Learning Officer for the Kraft Heinz Company, where she drives the company’s global Learning and Development strategy through Ownerversity, Kraft Heinz’s corporate university. Pamay has deep expertise in learning theories derived from artificial intelligence research and practical experience designing and developing highly-rated learning solutions and transformative professional development programs.

Prior to Kraft Heinz, Pamay served as the Global Head of Learning Platform and Professional Development for BlackRock, the world’s largest asset management company. Before that, she was president of The Pamay Group, an e-learning design and strategy company.

Pamay is also Chief Experience Officer of the My 52 Weeks of Worship Project, through which she facilitates courageous conversations about cultural and interfaith diversity, inclusion, and understanding. Her 2018 TEDx talk, Navigating Sacred Spaces, is based on her project work and her book: My 52 Weeks of Worship:Lessons from a Global, Spiritual, Interfaith Journey.
Pamay serves Chair of the National Advisory Board of The Haas Center for Public Service at Stanford University, is past co-president of the Stanford National Black Alumni Association, and is a Diamond Life member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, a public service organization.

Pamay earned a B.S. in symbolic systems from Stanford, with an artificial intelligence concentration, and a M.S. in computer science from Northwestern. She is also a graduate of the Second City Conservatory program in Chicago, an advanced study of improvisational comedy and theater.

She has been an invited speaker at Ilisagvik College in Barrow, Alaska, Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, the Stanford Black Alumni Summit (NY, ATL, Chicago, LA),  the iVentiv Conference, and the National Bar Association (Section for Business Law) in Abuja, Nigeria to speak about personal and professional topics, and has also been invited to speak about her “My 52 Weeks of Worship Project” at DePaul University in Chicago, IL, Washington University in St. Louis, Trinity United Church of Christ, and the Chicago chapter of the Black Data Processing Association.

She will present a breakout session at the LinkedIn TalentConnect conference in September, 2019, and keynote at the i4CP Next Practices Now Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona March, 2020.
Eric Kaufmann

Eric Kaufmann

Eric is a rare and exotic creature who is both passionate about business while deeply grounded as a result of three decades of training in Zen meditation. Eric mentors and coaches CEOs and executives, leads executive retreats, and guides high-level executives through leadership, strategic, relationship, and life crises. Eric has discovered that it is always an internal breakthrough that leads to resolving a leadership breakdown.

The higher the leadership role an individual achieves, the fewer options there are to find mentorship on the levels that matter most. Eric is known as a change-maker among Silicon Valley, Fortune 100, and privately owned company executives. They share endless success stories of how they reached what they thought was their edge of achievement, only to discover Eric's guidance as a way to unlock their true, hidden potential.

Eric is the author of The Four Virtues of a Leader: Navigating the Hero’s Journey through Risk to Results, as well as Leadership Breakdown: How to Break the Vicious Cycle, Release the Struggle, and Success with Conscious Leadership. His work teaches the virtues shared by successful, passionate, and creative leaders and how they navigate through uncertainty and anxiety.

Eric is a Fellow and Thought Leader at Harvard’s Institute of Coaching, and a speaker for TEDx. He draws from two decades of coaching leaders, management roles at Fortune 100 firms, degrees in business and psychology, thirty years of Zen practice, living in Israel and South Africa, teaching as a Master Scuba Diving instructor, working as a certified hypnotherapist, and meditating in a year-long retreat in an isolated cabin he built in the mountains of New Mexico.

Eric lives with his wife, two daughters and dog and cat in San Diego, CA.
Gina Schaefer

Gina Schaefer

Schaefer is founder and CEO of a chain of Ace Hardware stores located in Washington, D.C., Baltimore, MD, and Alexandria, VA. She is a passionate entrepreneur who grew her company from one to 12 stores in only 14 years and now leads a multimillion-dollar business that employs more than 250 people. As a former member of the Ace Hardware Corporation Board of Directors, she is dedicated to maintaining a strong corporate culture.

Schaefer's big passion is for developing urban markets, supporting small businesses and helping women to succeed in all aspects of the hardware industry. She has tirelessly focused on the "Return to Main Street" movement in her own city of Washington, D.C., to promote Shop Local campaigns and community revitalization in urban areas.

Schaefer draws her inspiration from fellow entrepreneurs who strive to be creative, think differently and help make a difference. People like Judy Wicks, founder of the White Dog Cafe in Philadelphia, from whom Schaefer learned innovative business strategies; Paul Saginaw and Ari Weinzweig, founders of gourmet food group Zingerman's Community of Businesses in Michigan, who inspired her to use her voice as a force for good; and Father Gregory Boyle, founder of Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles, who taught her that nonprofit organizations need to think beyond simple charity.

Schaefer has received numerous accolades for her many accomplishments, including: recipient of the Women Who Mean Business award from the Washington Business Journal of 2009, recognized as an industry Top Gun in 2011 by the National Retail Hardware Association, honored by Profiles in Diversity Journal as one of its Women Worth Watching in 2013 and recognized by Hardware and Building Supply Dealer as one of 14 of the 2016 "People of the Year."

She also serves on the Corporate Board of CCA Global and the nonprofit boards of House of Ruth and the Institute for Local Self-Reliance.

When her busy schedule allows, Schaefer likes to relax by making greeting cards (she's a big believer in the power of the written note), kayaking, taking spin classes, traveling, reading and, of course, mentoring other small business owners.

Jerry Magar

Jerry Magar

As a founding partner of People Systems Consulting, Jerry brings over 25 years of experience to his work with clients such as Lockheed Martin, Dell Computer, JPMorgan Chase, Southwest Airlines, Shell Oil, Devon Energy, JC Penney, Sabre, and many more large and small clients.  In addition to his work in North America, he has engaged extensively with clients in Europe, Asia and South America.  His expertise spans a variety of areas, with particular focus on change leadership, performance management, leadership development, and executive team coaching.

Jerry currently serves as Academic Director for several award-winning leadership development programs with Southern Methodist University’s (SMU) Executive Education.  In addition, he is a faculty member for the George W. Bush Institute’s Liberty and Leadership Forum where he works with leaders in Myanmar, who are committed to bringing about a peaceful transition to democracy and civil society.  Jerry has also taught top-rated MBA and undergraduate courses in organizational development and change with SMU’s Cox School of Business. 

Previously, Jerry was the Head of Organizational Development and Learning for
SMU’s faculty and staff.  Prior to SMU, he held consulting and leadership roles with Franklin Covey and Presbyterian Healthcare System.

Jerry holds Certification and Master Certification designations for numerous programs and assessment instruments and has certified thousands of facilitators across the globe.  Combining an educational background in Communication, Organization Development and Psychology with his hands-on business experience in marketing, and business development, Jerry brings a sense of real-world application to his work.

JJ Digeronimo

JJ Digeronimo

JJ DiGeronimo, the President of Tech Savvy Women, is a woman in business expert and gender diversity consultant. JJ shares effective leadership and inclusion strategies to retain, develop and advance professional women. JJ includes these experiences in her recent book “Accelerate Your Impact” which complements her 2011 book, “The Working Woman’s GPS.” JJ has been quoted in numerous publications including Forbes, Inc. Magazine, and The Wall Street Journal. She shares her women in business expertise companies large and small including Amazon, Ingram Micro, IBM, Clemson University, Discover, KeyBank, and Rockwell Automation along with many other organizations. In addition to her books and keynotes, JJ also hosts regular video interview for professional women on her YouTube Channel TechSavvyWomen.TV.  

Michelle Poler

Michelle Poler

Born and raised in Caracas-Venezuela, Michelle Poler is a creative and passionate social entrepreneur, keynote speaker, fear facer, and branding strategist.

She is the Founder of Hello Fears, a social movement empowering millions to step outside of the comfort zone and tap into their full potential. She has spoken at TEDx, Google, INBOUND, Facebook, ESPN, Netflix, Procter and Gamble, Microsoft, Toyota, World Domination Summit, Festival of Media Global, and many more.

Michelle is also the creator of the project 100 Days Without Fear. Her work has been featured on CBS, CNN, Huffington Post, Buzzfeed, Fox News, Telemundo, Glamour, Elle, The Rachael Ray Show, Refinery29, and Daily Mail among many others.

In 2017 she started speaking to the younger generation. Since then, she has empowered over 20,000 students at schools and universities around the world to live with courage, find their authenticity and embrace their growth paths.

Raquel Eatmon

Raquel Eatmon

Raquel Eatmon is a Be Bold Accomplice. She is passionate about building courageous leaders worldwide through practical risk-taking rituals.

Raquel is a dynamic communications leader who understands the importance of being bold. As CEO of Rising Media LLC, author of two books, founder of the Woman of Power Conference (WoPC), professional speaker and the writer behind the 10-year Be Inspired with Raquel Gannett newspaper column, Raquel lives her mantra of boldness every day.

Starting out with a promising career in television news, Raquel’s bold approach meant she quickly climbed the ranks as an anchor/reporter in top markets including CBS in Dallas, Texas. From covering presidential visits to deadly hurricanes, she mastered storytelling from both the anchor desk and live shots. Wanting viewers to have more inspiration in their daily lives, she once again stepped out going against the grain to create it. She wrote letters to dignitaries, civil rights leaders and anyone who was traveling through her city, inviting them to sit down with her to talk. That tenacious effort resulted in interviews with an array of thought leaders, celebrities and every day working people about their ability to beat the odds. Raquel’s bold vision and hard work landed interviews with Maya Angelou, Patti LaBelle, Willie Nelson, Morgan Freeman, working mothers seeking balance, local heroes, and more.

Longing to create deeper connections with viewers, Raquel grew disillusioned with the broadcast news business and left her high-profile position in search of deeper purpose. That purpose came in the form of business ownership. She started her communications company, Rising Media LLC and built a portfolio focused on women’s empowerment and courageous leadership through a now 11-year running forum: Woman of Power Conference.

Raquel’s commitment to empower people and impact workplace culture and the community has created partnerships with some of America’s leading corporations including Sherwin Williams, KeyBank, Vitamix, Wells Fargo, and Samsung. Fueled by her passion, Raquel’s message has taken her to speak to audiences all over the world including the Simmons Leadership Conference with former First Lady Michelle Obama.
Sara Canaday

Sara Canaday

Sara Canaday is a leadership expert, speaker and author who helps companies maximize the contributions of their leaders for bottom-line impact. Drawing on 15 years of corporate experience, Sara has a unique gift for connecting with her audiences and ensuring they walk away with actionable strategies for positive change -- strengthening leadership skills, improving business relationships, and enhancing performance.

Sara’s professional career spans 20 years and includes sales, operations, and executive roles.  She served as principal consultant for Empowerment Enterprises before opening her own consultancy, Sara Canaday & Associates, in 2009.

Sara is a member of the National Speakers Association, a leadership instructor for LinkedIn Learning and is an adjunct Executive Coach with the Center for Creative Leadership. She has been featured in a number of publications and broadcasts, most notably Forbes, CNBC, Entrepreneur Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, and the American Management Association’s Leadership Wired. Sara is also the author of a popular business book, You – According to Them:  Uncovering the blind spots that impact your reputation and your career and her new book, “Leadership Unchained” will be released in February.

Simon T. Bailey

Simon T. Bailey

Simon T. Bailey is a Breakthrough Strategist, Innovator, and Writer whose life's purpose is to teach 1 billion+ people how to be fearless and create their future.

He equips companies with the tools necessary to effect cultural transformation resulting in higher employee engagement and platinum customer service experiences. He challenges individuals to dig deep to find and release their inner brilliance and become Chief Breakthrough Officers - personally and professionally.

With more than 30 years' experience in the hospitality industry, including serving as sales director for Disney Institute, Simon knows how to engage and inspire leaders and team members through his keynotes, workshops, books and online courses. He has personally worked with more than 1,700 organizations in 46 countries over the past 15 years.

Simon has been named one of the top 25 people who will help you reach your business and life goals by SUCCESS magazine, joining a list that includes Brene Brown, Tony Robbins, and Oprah Winfrey. He is the author of ten books and the creator of two LinkedIn Learning courses, Building Business Relationships and Leading Through Relationships. As of this writing, his Goalcast video, released Father's Day 201 8, has over 85 million views worldwide.

Simon holds a Master's degree from Faith Christian University and was inducted as an honorary member of the University of Central Florida Golden Key Honor Society.

When he is not working, Simon spends quality time with his two active young adults, roots for the Buffalo Bills, and serves as a board member for the U.S. Dream Academy, Orlando Health Foundation Board, and Worldmaker.

 

Tony Bridwell

Tony Bridwell

Tony Bridwell is a highly recognized thought leader in corporate culture, learning and development, and human resources with more than 25 years of global leadership expertise inspiring, motivating, and empowering employees to realize their highest potential. In his current role as Chief People Officer for Ryan, a leading global tax services and software provider, he leads the Global Human Resources practice. His focus is on enhancing, communicating, and driving Ryan’s award-winning culture to support the Firm’s strategic vision while gaining greater competitive advantage by attracting, developing, and retaining the most talented tax professionals and associates in the industry. Ryan is an award-winning organization and has been recently ranked 52nd on the 2019 FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For® list.  Additional awards include Glassdoor’s 2019 Best Places to Work for U.S. Large Employers, a 2019 Best Workplaces for Women in Canada, and Ryan again earned a top-20 honor on the Best Companies to Work for in Texas list.

In his most recent role as a senior partner for the global consulting firm, Partners in Leadership, Tony worked with some of the top organizations in the world, helping maximize their cultures to meet and exceed business objectives and deliver greater shareholder value.  As the former Chief People Officer of Brinker International, Mr. Bridwell led a global team in support of more than 60,000 people. His work transforming the Brinker culture to the next level garnered him the highest acclaim and recognition from his peers in the industry. 

Tony is an accomplished author, speaker, and consultant in the work of purpose and culture, and brings hands-on experience as a practitioner of maximizing highfunctioning cultures. Mr. Bridwell was selected 2015 HR Executive of the Year by Dallas HR (the local SHRM affiliate) and won the 2015 Strategic Leadership Award from Strategic Excellence HR. 

Tony has been a facilitator and featured speaker for organizations within North America, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Italy, Belgium, Egypt, China, Thailand, Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico. Leaders seek and thrive on his high energy and captivating style. Aside from presenting and facilitating summits and keynotes for numerous organizations, he has been a featured speaker for multiple conferences and associations, including the Institute for Professionals in Taxation, CHRO Exchange, Dallas HR (SHRM), the HRSouthwest Conference, HCI Employee Engagement Conference, HR Management Institute, and the Women’s Foodservice Forum. Tony has also worked with executive leaders at some of the world’s most acclaimed organizations, such as Halliburton, Citibank, Baxter Healthcare, Dell, Kimberly Clark, Kellogg’s, AT&T, Lockheed Martin, Coca-Cola, Morton’s Steakhouse, Whirlpool, OG&E, the Centers for Disease Control, and many more well-known international organizations.

Tony is the author of several articles and four books, The Kingmaker, A Leadership Story of Integrity and Purpose (June 2016); The Newsmaker, A Leadership Story of Honor and Love (February 2018); The Difference Maker, A Leadership Story of Faith and Friendship (June 2018); and The Changemaker, A Leadership Story of Courage and Character (April 2019). 

In addition to his professional commitments, Tony is dedicated to multiple organizations. He is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and serves on the board of directors for Southwest Transplant Alliance, a nonprofit organization that serves as the bridge between those who make the decision to donate their organs and those needing a life-saving organ transplant throughout much of Texas.

Married 28 years with three grown children, Tony resides with his family in Texas.

Key Experience

  • Senior Vice President, Chief People Officer, Ryan, LLC
    • Former Senior Partner, Partners in Leadership (International Consulting Company)
    • Former Senior Vice President, Chief People Officer, Brinker International
  • Author of four books and numerous articles
    • The Kingmaker, A Leadership Story of Integrity and Purpose  (June 2016)
    • The Newsmaker, A Leadership Story of Honor and Love  (February 2018)
    • The Difference Maker, A Leadership Story of Faith and Friendship (June 2018)
    • The Changemaker, A Leadership Story of Courage and Character  (April 2019)
  • 2015 HR Executive of the Year, Dallas HR
  • 2015 Strategic Leadership Award from Strategic Excellence HR
  • Board Member o Southwest Transplant Alliance
  • Speaker
    • 30 countries
    • 25 years of global leadership experience
  • Podcaster, weekly podcast heard on iTunes
    • Breakfast with Sis Podcast

Community of Interest Speakers - Working Moms

Sheilina Henry

Sheilina Henry

Sheilina Henry has served as Group Vice President of Diversity & Inclusion for Bloomin’ Brands since July 2020, after serving as Regional Vice President at Outback Steakhouse. She is responsible for leading the Bloomin’ Brands company journey toward furthering equality and inclusion, especially in the areas of leadership, talent, training, and education.

Sheilina has over 20 years of experience in the restaurant industry. She joined Bloomin’ Brands in 2012 as an Outback Steakhouse Joint Venture Partner in the Chicago and Wisconsin markets, relocating to the Restaurant Support Center in Tampa in 2014 to lead several large-scale projects across multiple concepts. In 2016, she returned to the Outback Steakhouse team as Vice President, Training & Development, leading a team focused on providing each restaurant the tools and resources necessary to deliver memorable dining experiences. She was promoted to Regional Vice President for Outback Steakhouse in 2019. Prior to Bloomin’ Brands, Sheilina was at Yum! Brands for 12 years and held various positions within the regional operations and training areas.

Sheilina holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from The Ohio State University and an MBA from DePaul University’s Kellstadt Graduate School of Business, concentrating on International Business and Marketing Strategy and Planning. She serves on the Board of Directors for Ladies of Virtue, a transformative mentoring and leadership experience for girls, ages 9 to 18, living in underserved communities in her hometown of Chicago, IL, and is a member of the Women’s Foodservice Forum

Brooke McKillop

Brooke McKillop

Brooke McKillop currently serves as the Vice President, Foodservice Distribution and Managed Services for Georgia-Pacific’s Consumer Products Group, one of the largest retail and commercial tissue and tabletop businesses in North America. In this role, she is responsible for the development and execution of strategic initiatives that create value for GP and its customers.

She joined Georgia-Pacific in 2010 and has held progressive positions in channel development, channel marketing, product management, and national account sales before assuming her current role in January 2018. Prior to Georgia-Pacific, Brooke spent several years in the CPG industry at both Nestle Purina PetCare Company and Newell Rubbermaid in sales, marketing, and finance.

She received her Bachelor of Science in Management with certificates in both Finance and Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Georgia Tech and her Master’s in Accountancy from the University of Virginia. She currently serves on the Host Committee for the PGA Tour Championship and Advisory Council for the Atlanta Ronald McDonald House Charities.

Brooke is an Atlanta native and currently resides just south of the city with her husband, their two children, and two German Shorthaired Pointers. When not at her kid’s sporting events, Brooke can be found running marathons or planning their next vacation.

Merary Simeon

Merary Simeon

Vice President, Diversity and Engagement, PepsiCo North America

Merary Simeon is a wife, mother, co-founder of Color Forward podcast, founder of the ACTivate Conference, board member of the Women’s Food Service Forum and advisory board member of Back on My Feet, ministry volunteer, student, and proven Human Resources Executive with more than 20 years of experience working for various Fortune 100 companies in North America and Latin America. Her diverse experiences have equipped her with a deep understanding of the needs and opportunities critical to leaders and associates alike at all levels. Her leadership expertise includes Diversity & Inclusion, Talent Management, Leadership Consulting, Culture Change, Executive Coaching, and Public Speaking.

Merary is currently pursuing her doctorate in strategic leadership at Regent University and has a master’s degree in Human Resources from Fordham University.

She is a native of Puerto Rico and currently resides in Frisco, Texas, with her family. She credits her success to Jesus Christ. “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength,” Philippians 4:13.

Community of Interest Speakers - Women of Color

Janicka Green

Janicka Green

Janicka Green has over 20 years of experience in the casual dining industry, and currently serves as Senior Vice President of Operations for LongHorn Steakhouse. She is responsible for the achieving sales and profit targets, talent management, and effectively executing culinary and beverage initiatives.

Janicka is a seasoned professional with a proven record of accomplishment in operations leadership and mentorship that began with restaurant level and regional management. She also served as operations support in the role of Director of Operations Excellence where she led several initiatives designed to support Longhorn’s strong culture and simplify restaurant operations.

Previously Janicka served on the board of directors for the Urban League of Greater Atlanta, an organization committed to the economic success of African Americans.

Community of Interest Sponsored by:

Pamela Stewart

Pamela Stewart

Pamela Stewart has spent 20 years across the Coca-Cola System in various key senior leadership roles in the areas of global, national and regional sales; operations; finance; revenue growth management; foodservice on premise and B2B retail business segments. She currently is President, West Operations for the North America Operating Unit at The Coca-Cola Company responsible for 81M consumers, 600+ customers, 25+ bottlers, franchise leadership and all routes to market (farm to table, bottler-delivered, minute maid, dispensed) for the West geography (west of Dakotas and Texas). Prior to this, Pam led large global and U.S.-based retail customers (Ahold Delhaize, Costco, Publix, Southeastern Grocers, Shoprite, Lidl, U.S. Military and 20+ others) as Senior Vice President, National Retail Sales at The Coca-Cola Company.

Prior to Coca-Cola, she spent several years in finance across the Telecommunications industry. She currently serves as Chair of the Board of Directors of GLAAD, Board member of 3DE by Junior Achievement, Board member of Coca-Cola’s Global Women’s Leadership Council and Co-Chair of one of Mayor of Atlanta Keisha Lance Bottoms’ Advisory Councils. Beyond her undergraduate and graduate business degrees from Georgia State University and Oglethorpe University and her Harvard Business School executive education certification, Pam also is a proud graduate of the GCLS Writing Academy and Leadership Atlanta.

Pam is the recipient of numerous honors, including 2020 Visionary by Consumer Goods Technology; 2020 The Global Diversity List – Senior Executives; 2020 Woman of Influence in the Food Industry by Griffin Report; 2018 GO national magazine’s Top 100 Women We Love; 2016 AGLCC Business Woman of the Year; 2016 P.U.R.E. Humanitarian Award; 2016 Progressive Grocer’s Top Women in Grocery of the Year; and 2013 Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 40 Under 40. She also is included in the 2019 #1 bestselling Amazon book release, “9 Steps to Build Your Brand, Establish Your Legacy, and Thrive” by Jo Miller.

Community of Interest Sponsored by:

Adrienne Trimble

Adrienne Trimble

Adrienne Trimble is the newly appointed Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer for Sysco Corporation. She is a well-known thought leader for advancing corporate diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives. Trimble brings to this position the same executive vision and record of achievement that defined her remarkable career as the former President & CEO of The National Minority Supplier Development Council and Executive Leadership at Toyota North America

Trimble began her work in inclusion at Toyota Motor North America, where she worked closely with the company’s senior leadership team to develop advocacy and accountability measures that would integrate DEI processes across the organization’s business operations. She also worked closely with the company’s External Diversity Advisory Board, chaired by the Honorable Alexis Herman, former United States Secretary of Labor. She led the company’s rise on the Diversity Inc Top 50 list from #38 to #25 in two short years. She also firmly solidified the company’s recognition by third party advocacy organizations, such as Black Enterprise Best Companies for Diversity, Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility, and the United Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

She led Toyota’s Supplier Diversity initiative from 2005-2012. In this role, she grew the company’s diverse supplier base to reflect an increase in spend that exceeded 300 percent, topping nearly $3B in spend with diverse suppliers. Toyota received numerous accolades under Trimble’s direction, including Corporation of the Year by the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC), as well as Corporation of the Year honors from a number of the organization’s affiliates. In recognition of her efforts to advance economic development for diverse suppliers, The Rev. Jesse Jackson, Founder and CEO of Rainbow PUSH, presented Trimble with the Corporate Leader Award and Women in Leadership Award.

Securing the future and recognizing supplier diversity as part of the larger goal of economic inclusion have been enduring truths in Adrienne Trimble’s career. Ms. Trimble served as an Executive on Loan as the President & CEO for the National Minority Supplier Development Council from August 2018 – February 2021. One of the hallmarks of her leadership of the NMSDC was her active commitment and thought leadership to re-establish the long-term vision for the organization. In the spring of 2019, Trimble testified before the Subcommittee on Diversity and Inclusion, affiliated with U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Financial Services.

A graduate of Wilberforce University, Trimble holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Organization Management. In 2014, she was appointed to the Board of Trustees of her alma mater. Other board and committee leadership positions include The Herndon Institute Corporate Board Director Development, VisitDallas Diversity Advisory Council, and The Collin County Business Alliance.

Community of Interest Speakers- Young Professionals

Kate Jaspon

Kate Jaspon

Kate Jaspon serves as the Chief Financial Officer of Dunkin’ and Baskin-Robbins and the Beverage and Snack Category for Inspire Brands. Inspire is a multi-brand restaurant company whose portfolio includes nearly 32,000 Arby’s, Baskin-Robbins, Buffalo Wild Wings, Dunkin’, Jimmy John’s, Rusty Taco, and SONIC Drive-In restaurants worldwide.

Jaspon leads global financial planning and analysis, accounting, financial reporting, tax, treasury, enterprise risk management, payments, insurance, and demand planning functions for the category, which includes the Dunkin’ and Baskin-Robbins brands.
 
Prior to joining Inspire in December 2020, Jaspon served as the Chief Financial Officer of Dunkin’ Brands, the former parent company to Dunkin’ and Baskin-Robbins, where she led all finance related functions as well as investor relations since 2017. During her 15-year tenure with the company, Jaspon led several transactions including the company's IPO and follow-on equity offerings, securitizations and numerous debt transactions, the divestiture of a brand, and several system implementations.
 
Previously, Jaspon spent eight years at KPMG LLP as an auditor. She also served as a Member and Audit Committee Chair of the Board of Directors for MOD Pizza from 2017 to 2019 and is currently a member of the Board of Directors for the Women’s Foodservice Forum.
 
Jaspon is an alumnus from Babson College and is a CPA licensed in Massachusetts.
Gail Peterson

Gail Peterson

Gail Peterson is senior vice president of Global Marketing and Communications for Ecolab Inc., the global leader in water, hygiene and energy technologies and services that protect people and vital resources.

Peterson leads the company’s global marketing, communications and brand development initiatives. Previously, she led market-expanding global strategies for the Global Healthcare business, which provides a broad portfolio of innovative infection prevention programs to customers in more than 90 countries.

Prior to joining Ecolab in 2016, Peterson was with General Mills, Inc. for 15 years, where she held a number of roles of increasing importance and helped expand a number of businesses, brands and strategic initiatives.

Peterson is a member of Ecolab’s Diversity and Inclusion Council, a founding member of the Black Leaders Forum, A member of the Executive Leadership Council, and serves on the board of directors for the Minnesota Children’s Museum and MN Chamber of Commerce.

Peterson earned an MBA from Harvard Business School and a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Princeton University, and resides in Minnesota with her husband and 3 kids.

Salli Setta

Salli Setta

Salli Setta is a restaurant industry leader with 30 years of experience creating shareholder value for iconic national casual dining brands, including Red Lobster and Olive Garden. Salli has distinctive experience successfully leading business transformations, developing near and long-term business strategies and driving innovation. Her breadth of expertise includes strategic planning, P&L management, consumer branding, digital marketing, product innovation, operations, human resources administration, corporate social responsibility and restaurant experience design. Her primary focus is on building long-term value through the development and execution of ambitious strategic plans and the creation of high-performance teams to deliver.

Salli played a key leadership role in Red Lobster’s transition from a publicly-traded to private equity owned company. As the President of the world’s largest seafood restaurant chain for nearly seven years, Salli helped lead the company’s sale to Golden Gate Capital for $2.1B. Salli developed and implemented a new business strategy and phased plan that included menu and equipment upgrades, off-premise sales, operations improvements, marketing, digital and social media innovation and experience design that drove double-digit increases in EBITA, same store sales growth, record-level guest satisfaction, and industry-leading restaurant turnover. In March 2018, Salli was named President and Chief Concept Officer, assuming additional responsibility for human resource administration and corporate social responsibility.

Prior to being named President, Salli served as Red Lobster’s Executive Vice President of Marketing. In this role, she drove record-level profits through the introduction of multiple menu innovations and the implementation of a comprehensive restaurant remodel program. Setta led the introduction of the “Sea Food Differently” multi-media ad campaign, growing guest counts by 2.2%.

As Senior Vice President, Culinary and Beverage and Vice President, Brand Marketing for Olive Garden, Setta led the development and implementation of award-winning menu innovations that increased sales and guest counts. She led the international joint venture partnership with the Culinary Institute of Tuscany, the creative evolution of the “Hospitaliano” ad campaign (which received a silver Effie) and the design of the brand’s “RevItalia” remodel.

In 2020 and 2019 Salli was named to Nation’s Restaurant News Top 50 Power List. She is a 2017 inductee to the Rosen College of Hospitality Management’s Hall of Fame and a three-time Menu Masters Award Winner. She was named one of Orlando Business Journal’s 2016 Business Executives of the Year, Restaurant Business’ 2003 Menu Strategist of the Year and one of Nation’s Restaurant News’ Top 50 R&D Culinarians.

Salli is the Immediate Past Chair of the Women’s Foodservice Forum (WFF) and serves on the Governance and Nominating Committee. As Board Chair for 18 months, Salli was accountable for leading a 24-person board, as well as the Executive and Compensation committees. Prior to serving as Chair, she held the positions of Chair-elect and Treasurer and led the Finance and Audit committee. She has served as a WFF board member since 2016. Salli served on the board of the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra and was a past member of the Restaurant Industry Executive Council. She is a sought-after speaker on leadership development and business acumen.

Salli holds a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Communication from the University of Central Florida, an MBA from Florida Institute of Technology and a certificate of completion from the Women’s Senior Leadership Program at the Kellogg School of Management. She lives in Orlando with her husband and has a college-age daughter.

Aaron White

Aaron White

Aaron White is senior vice president and co-chief operating officer at Brinker International, Inc., one of the world’s leading casual dining companies and home of Chili’s® Grill & Bar and Maggiano’s Little Italy®. Aaron oversees operations for more than 530 restaurants across the Midwest and East Coast of the U.S. to ensure best-in-class operations and deliver excellent Guest and Team Member experiences.

Aaron started as a ChiliHead in 2001 as a restaurant manager and was later promoted to general manager, where she was recognized as Brinker’s first female general manager of the year in 2008, the company’s highest honor that awards restaurant leaders who exceed expectations on sales, profits, Team Member and Guest metrics. She worked her way up the ranks leading multiple restaurants as an area director, and then held several leadership roles in PeopleWorks (human resources) for both the company-owned and franchise components of the business. In 2018, she was promoted to vice president of operations services, where she led culinary operations, Guest engagement, operations project manage-ment and restaurant facilities for Chili’s. In 2019, she took on the challenge of integrating 116 Midwest franchise restaurants to the Chili’s company-owned system and leading a team of operators and newly welcomed BrinkerHeads into the effective team they are today. As a result of her leadership and the continued success of the region, Aaron was promoted to her current role in 2020.

Aaron has worked in restaurants since high school, and quickly knew the industry would be her forever home. She’s driven by the fact that great hospitality can turn around someone’s day, as well as watching the growth and development of Team Members throughout their careers.

An advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion, Aaron also believes in representation in leadership and is an active member of Women’s Foodservice and Brinker’s Women Take the Lead program.

Aaron enjoys traveling and spending time outdoors with her husband, Olen, whom she met at Chili’s, and rescue hound dog, Dega. They love scuba diving, hiking and camping. She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and business from the University of Tennessee Knoxville and is MBTI- and SHRM-certified.

Her favorite Chili’s dish? Ancho Chile Salmon

Community of Interest Speakers - Male Equity Champions

Rob Dugas

Rob Dugas

Rob Dugas is responsible for “providing trusted supply” to over two thousand Chick-fil-A restaurants. The team that he supports ensures food safety, quality, competitive cost, and dependable infrastructure to supply nearly 100 million cases of product each year for the nation’s busiest quick service restaurant chain.

Prior to joining Chick-fil-A, Rob spent the first half of his 30-year career in operations roles at McDonald’s, Wendy’s, and Ruby Tuesday. He worked in several corporate positions afterwards including strategic planning, loss prevention and financial analysis before focusing on supply chan…first at Ruby Tuesday, and for the past 17 years at Chick-fil-A.

A consistent theme throughout Rob’s career has been his passion for developing the next generation of leaders in the foodservice industry. He has been particularly focused on the unique challenges faced by women and people of color. He is energized by helping others maximize their readiness for the personal and professional opportunities ahead.

Rob is a graduate Southeastern Louisiana University and has completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard University. Also, he is a past board member of WFF.

He and his wife Lesa have been married 33 years, with two children, and two grandsons. They are “empty nesters”, living in Peachtree City GA.

David Deno

David Deno

David (Dave) Deno was named Chief Executive Officer of Bloomin’ Brands and a member of the Board of Directors in March 2019 after serving as the company’s Chief Financial and Administrative Officer.

As CEO, he is responsible for developing and executing the company's long-term objectives, growth strategies, and initiatives for its portfolio of casual and fine-dining brands, which include Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba's Italian Grill, Bonefish Grill, Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, and Aussie Grill by Outback.

Previously, Dave was responsible for the company’s business analytics and global strategy, as well as all areas of financial planning and reporting for Bloomin’ Brands, including accounting services, corporate tax, treasury, and investor relations. His scope of responsibility also included global supply chain, development, and productivity.

He joined the company in 2012 from Best Buy, where he served as President of Asia and Chief Financial Officer for Best Buy International. His hospitality industry career has included more than 15 years in senior level operations and financial positions at PepsiCo/YUM Brands and eight years at Burger King.

Dave earned an MBA from the University of Michigan and a bachelor’s degree in economics and political science from Macalester College. He has been a Macalester trustee since 1998.

James Fripp

James Fripp

James Fripp is Chief Equity & Inclusion Officer for Yum! Brands, Inc., (NYSE: YUM), one of the world’s largest restaurant companies with more than 50,000 restaurants in more than 150 countries and territories. Its restaurant brands – KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell – are global leaders of the chicken, pizza and Mexican-style food categories. The Company’s family of brands also includes The Habit Burger Grill, a fast-casual restaurant concept specializing in made-to-order chargrilled burgers, sandwiches and more.

Fripp is responsible for advancing diversity, equity and inclusion strategies and practices across the company’s brands, workplaces and franchise system. Building on Yum! Brands’ years of progress on its diversity and inclusion journey, Fripp is focused on increasing diverse representation among company leadership, franchisees and suppliers and continuing the rollout of inclusive leadership and anti-racism training across the company and franchise system.

Since 2011, Fripp has led diversity and inclusion efforts, where he elevated Yum! Brands’ public commitments and partnerships including the CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion, The Consortium and We Are All Human’s The Hispanic Promise; activated the company’s Employee Resource Groups in Louisville, Plano and Irvine; Co-Chairs Yum!’s Leading Inclusion for Today & Tomorrow (LIFT2) Council; and trained thousands of brand and franchise leaders around the world on the topics of Inclusive Leadership and Unconscious Bias.

Previously, Fripp was at Taco Bell in various leadership positions in operations and restaurant excellence before serving as head of Field Human Resources. Fripp is a member of the Clemson University Corporate CDO Advisory Board and Chair of the Corporate Advisory Board for the Multicultural Foodservice and Hospitality Alliance. He is also a member of University of North Carolina Corporate Advisory Board on Diversity & Inclusion, a member of the National Restaurant Association Education Foundation Board and was named to D CEO magazine’s Dallas 500 list of the most influential business leaders in North Texas.

Fripp holds a Degree in Business Management and is a certified Unconscious Bias facilitator.  He and his wife are parents to three young men and reside in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.
Shawn O’Grady

Shawn O’Grady

Shawn O’Grady, Group President, Convenience & Foodservice; SVP, Global Revenue Development, General Mills

Shawn O'Grady leads the Convenience and Foodservice organization. This $2B business is focused on growing sales and profit for General Mills by serving the needs of convenience store and foodservice operators across the United States, including schools, restaurants and hospitals. In addition, O'Grady oversees the development of two of the company’s global capabilities focused on accelerating topline growth, Strategic Revenue Management and Ecommerce. He was named to this position in December 2016.

O’Grady joined General Mills in Marketing in July 1990. He was promoted to Vice President in 1998, and concurrent with the General Mills acquisition of The Pillsbury Company in 2001, took the helm of the Refrigerated Baked Goods business.

Late in 2004, O’Grady joined the Consumer Foods Sales Division with responsibility for retail customers across the Midwest. He was promoted to President for U.S. Retail Sales in 2007. In August of 2010, O’Grady was elected Senior Vice President of General Mills, and assumed leadership of all remaining customer activities in the U.S.

Community of Interest Speakers - LGBTQ

Bethmara Kessler

Bethmara Kessler

Bethmara Kessler is a highly sought-after speaker who engages and inspires global audiences to think differently about their work.  She is the former Head of Integrated Global Services for the Campbell Soup Company. Bethmara’s career spans over 30 years in positions that include Chief Compliance Officer, Chief Audit Executive and Enterprise Risk Management Head. Her extensive experience also includes leadership roles in audit, risk management, information technology and corporate investigations in companies including EY, Avon Products, Nabisco, EMI Group, LBrands, The Fraud and Risk Advisory Group and Warner Music Group.  Kessler is a faculty member and recently served as the Chair of the Board of Regents for the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. 
 
Given her extensive business experience, Bethmara has deep knowledge and passion in a number of areas that fuel her speaking engagements.  Her journey from a staff auditor to a disruptive, transformational C-Suite executive gives her a unique vantage point to teach differentiated perspectives on the topics of fraud, audit, compliance, ethics, data analytics and change agility.   As a leader highly invested in helping others learn and succeed, a number of Bethmara’s most highly requested topics include leadership, career navigation, mentoring, diversity, Inclusion and belonging.

Bethmara received a Bachelor of Business Administration in accounting from Baruch College.  The Financial Times, in partnership with OUTstanding, an LGBT network for business leaders and allies, named Bethmara to the Top 100 Leading LGBT Executives for three years. Bethmara was also recognized as one of New Jersey’s Best 50 Women in Business by NJBIZ, New Jersey’s leading business journal, and one of Pennsylvania Diversity Council’s Most Powerful & Influential Women of Pennsylvania.

Jude Medeiros

Jude Medeiros

In her 18 years with Sodexo, Jude (she/hers) has been actively involved in and committed to professional development by mentoring others and helping address the diverse needs of the communities Sodexo serves

After a 35 year career in food operations, Jude now supports Sodexo’s food waste initiatives in North America out of the Office of Corporate Social Responsibility. The goal is to reduce all avoidable food waste 50% globally by 2025 through the use of measurement technology to track and control food waste in Sodexo’s kitchens.

A lifelong advocate for diversity and inclusion in the workplace, Jude held key positions within PRIDE, Sodexo’s LGBTQ+ and ally ERG, including National Chair. She has also been active in a number of mentoring roles within Sodexo.

Jude resides in Palm Springs California with her wife and their two cats.

Brisbane Vaillancourt

Brisbane Vaillancourt

Brisbane Vaillancourt is the Vice President of Operations with Lifeworks Restaurant Group, a premium brand within Aramark. She has an extensive background in operations, training, openings, marketing, change management, growth and innovation. Brisbane has proven herself to be a forward thinking innovator who implements structures and processes to secure long term prosperity.

Brisbane began her hospitality career with Margaritas Management Group, a privately owned, restaurant chain for twelve years. During her tenure with MMG, she was able to move up the ranks from a server to Vice President of Operations. In 2016, Brisbane began working with Aramark as a District Manager and was promoted to Vice President of Operations in February 2019. Brisbane was the recipient of the Aramark Star of Excellence Award in 2018 and is now a three-year recipient of the SHFM Rising Star award (2018-2021).

Brisbane loves sports, her peloton, being in the kitchen and spending time with her wife and two daughters.