April 5, 2019

Johnny C. Taylor Jr.

Morning Keynote

The Future State:
Disrupting HR Like Nothing We’ve Ever Seen

Chip Conley

Midday Keynote

Wisdom at Work:
Words from a Modern Elder

Dima Ghawi

Afternoon Keynote

Breaking Vases:
Shattering Limitations and Daring to Thrive

Breakout Sessions

We will be hosting 6 breakout sessions so you can select from many different topics to find those that suit you best.

Conference Sponsors

Please visit them in the HR Solutions Gallery.

Conference News

2019 Conference Program

7:30 – 8:00
8:00 – 8:30
8:30 – 9:30
MORNING KEYNOTE – Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., SHRM-SCP, President and Chief Executive Officer of SHRM – The Future State – Disrupting HR Like Nothing We’ve Ever Seen
9:30 – 10:15
10:15 – 11:15
11:30 – 12:30
12:30 – 1:15
LUNCH/HR SOLUTIONS GALLERY, Lunch sponsored by Paylocity
1:15 – 1:45
1:45 – 2:45
MID-DAY KEYNOTE – Chip Conley, Wisdom at Work: Words from a Modern Elder
2:45 – 3:30
3:30- 4:30
AFTERNOON KEYNOTE – Dima Ghawi, Breaking Vases: Shattering Limitations & Daring to Thrive
4:30 – 4:45
4:45 – 6:30
OFF SITE COCKTAIL PARTY, sponsored by Cresta Management


Members $399 • Future Members & Guests $499 • Students $249

On Site Registration is not available. CANCELLATION POLICY: Cancellations will be accepted until Wednesday, April 1, 2019 and must be made in writing to There will be a $15 administrative processing fee. No refunds will be issued after Wednesday, April 1, 2019.

Join NYC SHRM and save on your ticket. Contact to learn more.

Morning Keynote

Johnny C. Taylor Jr.

President and CEO

The Future State!
Disrupting HR Like Nothing We’ve Ever Seen

As an HR professional, you can play a significant role in promoting the success of your organization by understanding your business objectives and the changing environment – nationally and globally – in which you compete. In this keynote, you will learn about the past, present, and future state of HR, and how to be(come) a strong contributor to the “bottom line.” Through the lens of the President & CEO of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., we will take a deep dive into how our profession plays a key role in three specific areas — the work, the worker, and the workplace.

Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., SHRM-SCP, is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the world’s largest HR professional society. Under his leadership, the Society has grown to a record 300,000 members in over 165 countries who impact the lives of 115 million workers every day.

As a global leader on human capital, culture and leadership, Mr. Taylor is a sought-after voice by Csuite executives as well as state and federal elected policy makers on all matters affecting work, workers and the workplace. He is frequently invited to testify before Congress on critical workforce issues—from sexual harassment to paid leave—and authors a weekly column, “Ask HR,” in USA Today, the country’s largest newspaper.

Mr. Taylor’s knowledge and perspectives are shaped by his 20+ year career as a lawyer, human resources executive and CEO in both the not-for-profit and for-profit space. His decades of industry leadership include senior and chief executive roles at IAC/Interactive Corp, Viacom’s Paramount Pictures and Blockbuster Entertainment Group, McGuireWoods LLC and Compass Group USA. Most recently, Mr. Taylor served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, which advocates and represents publicly supported Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

Mr. Taylor serves on the corporate board of Gallup, the world’s leading public opinion and consulting firm. He also actively volunteers for education, employment and other social causes by serving on the boards of the University of Miami, Jobs for America’s Graduates and the American Red Cross and as an adviser to Safe Streets & Second Chances, an initiative to reduce the high rate of recidivism among the formerly incarcerated. In 2018, he was appointed Chair of the President’s Advisory Board on Historically Black Colleges and Universities by President Donald J. Trump.

Mr. Taylor holds both a Doctor of Jurisprudence and a Master of Arts with honors from Drake University. He obtained a Bachelor of Science with honors from the University of Miami. He is licensed to practice law in Florida, Illinois and Washington, D.C.

Learn More
Thank You to Our Keynote Sponsor

Midday Keynote

Chip Conley

The Making of a Modern Elder

Wisdom at Work
Words from a Modern Elder

Chip Conley, Rebel hospitality entrepreneur, New York Times bestselling author and leader at the forefront of the sharing economy joins NYC SHRM as the midday keynote speaker.

In his keynote, Chip will share his experiences as a “mentern” (part mentor/part intern) at Airbnb that inspired him to start a movement to ignite better collaboration between generations. He will talk about becoming a “Modern Elder,” someone who serves and learns, is a mentor, intern, student, and sage – all at the same time.

At age 26 he founded Joie de Vivre Hospitality (JdV), transforming one inner-city motel into the second largest boutique hotel brand in America. After running his company as CEO for 24 years, he sold it and soon the young founders of Airbnb asked him to help transform their promising start-up into the world’s leading hospitality brand. Chip served as Airbnb’s Head of Global Hospitality and Strategy for four years and today acts as the company’s Strategic Advisor for Hospitality and Leadership. His five books include PEAK and EMOTIONAL EQUATIONS and are inspired by the theories of transformation and meaning by famed psychologists Abraham Maslow and Viktor Frankl. In his latest book, WISDOM @ WORK: THE MAKING OF A MODERN ELDER (September 2018), Chip shares his experiences – as both mentor and unexpected intern – at Airbnb.

Chip is the founder of Fest300 (part of Everfest), San Francisco’s annual “Celebrity Pool Toss” that has raised millions for families in the neighborhood where he opened his first hotel, and the Hotel Hero Awards that shine a light on outstanding line level employees. Chip is a recipient of hospitality’s highest honor, the Pioneer Award, and holds a BA and MBA from Stanford University, and an honorary doctorate in psychology from Saybrook University. He serves on the boards of the Burning Man Project and the Esalen Institute, where the Conley Library bears his name.

Learn More
Thank You to Our Keynote Sponsor

Afternoon Keynote

Dima Ghawi

Keynote Speaker & Executive Coach

Breaking Vases
Shattering Limitations and Daring to Thrive

Inspired by her TEDx Talk, Dima uses her personal story of transformation as a powerful teaching tool to encourage individuals to face and conquer their internal limitations. This keynote recounts the struggles and triumphs of her personal journey with vulnerability and insight that will resonate with each audience member and spark a guiding light for their individual journey of self-discovery and leadership growth. By addressing internal limitations, such as the fear of failure, worries about being judged, and the pursuit of perfection, Dima dares each individual to look deeper into their own internal limitations and equips them with the tools and inspiration it takes to shatter those limitations and emerge as empowered leaders.

Dima ignites the untapped potential in women 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, while simultaneously helping organizations increase diversity within their leadership ranks.
Through keynote speeches, workshops, and executive coaching, Dima shares her unique leadership 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 women leaders to meet the demands of the global workforce.

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.

Learn More
Thank You to Our Keynote Sponsor

Speakers and Breakout Sessions

Session A1

Translating HR to Profit for your C-Suite (and Your Organization)
featuring David Lewis
sponsored by Intrnz

As the HR function continues to evolve, so too does the increased need to demonstrate that HR related initiatives are in fact paying off and are worth the investment and expense. Yet, HR departments and leaders continue to struggle with methods for quantifying their efforts and results. While other functional areas of businesses (e.g. Marketing, Finance) are laser focused on converting their efforts into direct ROI, HR professionals are not always clear on what to present, how to present it, and how to convert what some argue are soft points and approaches to harder data worthy of respect from those in your organization’s C-Suite.

Session B1

Transforming your Business by Transforming your Culture
featuring Randy Zeno and Jeremiah Schnee
sponsored by Elitra Health

Learn how to transform your culture from two dynamic CEO’s who have worked hand in hand with Human Resources to drive results. Ensure that your culture is aligned with your company’s purpose – define your values, engage and inspire your teams and hold them accountable. You will hear concrete examples of what works and what to avoid so that you can adapt these best practices to your organization.

Session A2

Blind Spots: Overcoming Unconscious Bias in the Workplace
featuring Tana Session
sponsored by DiversityEdu

YES, you are guilty of unconscious bias and so am I…but it is treatable. In the current political climate, it is more important than ever to understand our own bias and how it impacts decisions we make in the workplace. Everything from recruiting, promotions, employee development and performance management are each impacted by personal unconscious bias. As Human Resources professionals, we are the gatekeepers of the company culture, and it is more important than ever to ensure fair and equitable treatment of all employees. This workshop will provide key actionable steps HR professionals can implement in their department and with key stakeholders to help shift unconscious bias in the workplace.

Session B2

Best Practices to Prevent Workplace Violence
featuring Mario Pecoraro

This presentation will look at past workplace violence incidents to learn how to spot red flags before a tragedy happens. Patterns of behavior, mitigating factors and case studies will be reviewed. Participants will learn lessons from the past and the due diligence required to lessen the possibility of workplace violence in the future. Proper screening and hiring best practices can create a safer environment for employees.

Session A3

Recruiting in the Age of Googlization: Creating the Optimal Candidate Experience
featuring Ira Wolfe

Qualified candidates seems to be an elusive, shrinking, moving target. Time-to-fill is increasing, and cost-per-hire is rising. And yet most organizations continue to greet prospective employees with a friction-filled application and cold, disconnected candidate experience. Consequently, top talent just “swipe left’ in mind-numbing fashion. To win the race for talent, an exceptional candidate experience matters from your career site to the job offer. A bad experience can have a lasting negative impact on your employer brand and bottom line. During the presentation Recruiting in the Age of Googlization authorispeaker Ira S Woffe will guide you on a candidate’s job search journey. Experience the benefits of what happens when recruitment practices align … and the fallout when they don’t.

Session B3

Performance Evaluation Circles: Building Trust Through Feedback featuring Kira Nurieli

More often than not, performance evaluations and assessments relate only to bonuses or promotions and miss the opportunity to develop individual motivation, team connectivity, and creative dialogue. Performance Evaluation Circles (PEC’s) broaden the lens around individual assessment and focus on the individual within his/her social and professional framework. PEC’s promote dialogue around future goals, accountability, and group dynamics, while building the trust and support that drive innovation. PEC’s thus boost employee retention, increase workplace satisfaction, prevent workplace violence and aggression, and promote team collaboration.

This workshop discusses the principles behind PEC’s, why they are effective, and tips on how to implement them in the workplace.

Thank You to Our Breakout Session Sponsors
new logo Intrnz conf

About the Venue


117 W. 46th Street

Friday, April 5, 2019
7:30 am - 4:30 pm

Convene is a state-of-the-art conference center and features the very best technology to ensure a high-level conference experience. Breakfast, Lunch and a fully stocked all-day snack bar is included with your registration.

2019 Conference Sponsors

Thank you to our Conference Sponsors. Please visit them in the HR Solutions Gallery.

Sponsorship opportunities available, view offerings here. For more information, contact

Keynote Session Sponsors


Cocktail Party Sponsor

Luncheon Sponsor

Media Sponsor

Nourish Stations Sponsor

Breakout Session Sponsors

new logo Intrnz conf

Phone Charger Sponsor

Nametag/Lanyard Sponsor

Thank You to Our Chapter Partners

Ira S. Wolfe

Chief Googlization Officer of Success Performance Solutions

Ira S. Wolfe is a “Millennial trapped in a Baby Boomer body” and Chief Googlization Officer at Success Performance Solutions. Fueled by his fierce passion for technology and its impact on people, Ira S. Wolfe has emerged as one of HR’s most visionary thinkers and influencers on the future of work, jobs, and talent acquisition. Ira is an accomplished speaker/author and President of Success Performance Solutions. He has presented on the prestigjous red carpet of TEDx and is the author of several books including Recruiting in the Age of Googlization. He hosts The Geeks, Geezers, and Googization Show, live talk radio on and iHeart radio.

David Lewis

CEO of Operations Inc.

David Lewis is the founder, president, and CEO of Operations Inc, one of the nation’s largest human resources outsourcing and consulting firms. OperationsInc has grown steadily since its inception in 2001, and now engages a team of over 90 professionals providing HR, Payroll, Training, and Talent Acquisition support to a base of over 1,600 clients of all sizes and across all industries. David is leveraging a 30-plus year career in human resources and operational management for leading firms including Merck/Medco and Computer Associates. He serves as an on-air subject matter expert in the areas of human resources, workplace management, and small business issues for MSNBC, FOX, CBS Radio and NPR, and regularly appears in national publications like The New York Times, Inc., and Wall Street Journal.

Mario Pecoraro

CEO, Alliance Worldwide Investigative Group, Inc.

Mario Pecoraro is an entrepreneur, corporate visionary, author and founder of Alliance Worldwide Investigative Group, Inc.

The company specializes in background screening and comprehensive insurance claims investigations.

A member of the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS), Alliance employees hold FCRA Advanced Certification. Pecoraro conducts accredited webinars and has presented at conferences across the country on mitigating risk through background investigations, workers compensation fraud, and how companies can avoid a workplace violence tragedy. He is sought out as an expert on investigative matters and has been featured on local and national media outlets including ABC’s 20/20, Fox News – Your World with Neil Cavuto, Bloomberg Businessweek and Rough Notes Magazine.

He has published blogs on SHRM Executive Network HR People & Strategy and He recently published a book, available on, called “The Claim Game: Twenty Best Practices When Managing and Investigating Workers’ Comp Claims.” His next book, “Avoiding Costly Hiring Mistakes” is slated to be available for purchase in Spring of 2019.

Pecoraro serves on the Executive Boards of many industry and community not-for-profit organizations. He was honored by his peers as an “outstanding business person” for conducting risk management and quality due-diligence based investigative services with integrity and his company was twice named a “Best Places to Work” by the Albany Business Review.

Mario Pecoraro is also the owner of sister company, Avvocato Litigation Support International, Inc., a company providing attorneys and law firms all forms of legal support. In addition, Preferred Adjustment Company, powered by Alliance, provides full service claims handling and property/casualty adjusting services for insurance carriers, self-insured companies and attorneys.

Randy Zeno

CEO & President, Urban Therapy LLC

Randy Zeno is a proven senior executive in the consumer products industry at both public and PE companies ranging in size from $20MM to $1B+. Currently, Mr. Zeno serves as CEO of Urban Therapy, a multicultural hair care company, recently acquired from a UK based personal care products company by a lower middle market investment group. Previously, Mr. Zeno was CEO of Dr. Miracle’s – a Catterton Partners portfolio company which Randy swiftly transformed into a multi-cultural hair care company. Dr. Miracle’s was successfully merged with a Dallas based hair care company in 2013.

Over a span of 28 years, Mr. Zeno has held increasingly visible leadership and executive positions within leading portfolio companies of Rank Group (Reynolds Consumer Products), Vestar (Birds Eye Foods) and Metropoulos Group (International Home Foods). His roots in consumer products began early in his career with organizations such as Nabisco, Cadbury-Schweppes and Kraft General Foods. Mr. Zeno holds an MBA and BA from Duke University.

Mr. Zeno serves on the Board for Strive International. Previous board roles include Glory Foods, a manufacturer of specialty canned vegetables, Junior Achievement Fairfield County and Garth Fagan Dance Company. He is the father of 2, Michael and Erica.

Jeremiah Schnee

CEO and Founder, Next Opportunity Group

Jeremiah Schnee has been recognized as one of the most respected business advisors in the Tri-State area – bringing his clients over 20 years of experience delivering innovative business advisory services and growth strategies.

As Founder of Next Opportunity Group – Jeremiah translates Best Practices from multinational clients – including Allstate, Pfizer, Colgate Palmolive and Northrop Grumman – to the dynamic businesses of leading middle market CEOs and owner-entrepreneurs. He partners with them to develop and implement strategies that drive their business to the next level, while enhancing operational excellence, profitability, and company equity value.

Jeremiah is also founder of the Wealth and Values Initiative (WVI) – a rapidly growing Community of Legacy Families passionate to learn and apply Best Practices in the Intergenerational transfer of Wealth and Values. He is also Co-Founder of the WVI Dolphin Foundation, which exists to inspire Legacy Families to pivot toward philanthropy– through utilizing their considerable prestige, wealth, and power to uplift culture by supporting earlier stage / smaller nonprofit causes that deeply align with our culture and code of conduct such as Sports for Good, and Veterans causes.

Jeremiah also co-founded iLEAD – an elite international exchange and leadership program that focuses on building robust business action networks for future family business leaders and first-time wealth creators from American, Western and Chinese family enterprises.

Jeremiah recently delivered strategy education, coaching, and implementation training to 25 high potential diverse CEOs through the Six Parallel Tracks to Success Program™, based upon NextOpp’s proprietary methodology and provided in conjunction with pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co., Inc. and the PA-NJ-DE Chapter of the Minority Supplier Development Council (MSDC).

Jeremiah is frequently quoted in print and on air and is a sought-after speaker by business groups, civic organizations, and universities. He served as a Moderator for The HSBC International CEO Roundtable, and speaker for The New York Enterprise Report’s Hidden Opportunities & Challenges of Doing Business in Asia. Mr. Schnee also served as a judge for the US Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce, Northeast Chapter’s Top 10 Businesses Awards, and for the New York Enterprise Report’s annual Small Business Awards. Jeremiah also served as Strategic Marketing Advisor to CEWIT, The Center for Excellence in Wireless and Information Technology.

Jeremiah’s business acumen is supported by his passion for bridging divides – be it between family generations, cultures, or nations – and strongly believes in the importance of maximizing social as well as financial capital.

Tana Session


Tana M. Session has built a successful career in Human Resources spanning over 20 years, where she has held almost every position from administrative assistant to the top Human Resources leader for multiple companies including for profit and non-profit organizations. Her experience has enabled her to embed her passion for the field of Human Resources and Coaching in everything she develops and implements. In 2014, Tana established her award-winning, WMBE-certified coaching and consulting practice,, offering her expertise through speaking engagements, group and 1:1 coaching and Human Resources consulting. She was recently recognized as a Huffington Post “Top Female Expert to Follow in 2018.”

In November 2016, Tana released her first book entitled Inside the Revolving Door: Chronicles From the Human Resources Department. In January 2017, she released the #1 Best-seller Get Your Career Life in Order, a step-by-step career management and job-hunting self-help guidebook. Her third book, The Little Book of Motivation & Inspiration – Volume I, was released in January 2018. Tana is also a contributing writer for and, and has been featured in Huffington Post, Essence Magazine, and on various television, syndicated radio and podcast shows.

Tana completed her undergraduate degree in Business Administration and her MBA in Organizational Psychology & Development. In August 2017, the University of Phoenix recognized Tana as one of its Distinguished Alumni of Southern California. Tana also joined the team of UCLA Extension as an Instructor for the Human Resources Development course, the final class in their top-rated 18-month Human Resources certification program.

In her free time, Tana likes to travel and spend time with family and friends. In June 2014, Tana and her family relocated from New York to Los Angeles. She now enjoys getting to know her new home state.

Kira Nurieli

Founder/Director, Harmony Strategies Group

Kira Nurieli is the Founder/Director of the Harmony Strategies Group, a collective of mediators and conflict management professionals who specialize in employee engagement and dispute resolution. She is a certified mediator and conflict coach and facilitates Restorative Practices (aka “Harmony Circles”) along with workshops on cultural humility, violence prevention, and communication strategies.

She holds a Master’s degree in Organizational Psychology from Columbia University and a Bachelor’s degree in Comparative Performance from Barnard College.