Renaissance Schaumburg, Chicago

What You Get

Our ‘invitation-only’ approach allows us to provide exceptional service for our audience.


Conference Pass

Full access to the event including keynotes and educational sessions.


Overnight Hotel

We cover the first night and offer a discounted rate. Spouses welcomed.


5 Star Catering

Let us treat you to delectable breakfast, lunch, refreshments, and more.


Ace Networking

Rub shoulders with the best. Entry to all networking activities including industry dinner.

Who You'll Meet

A unique engagement opportunity with Fortune 500 companies and emerging mid-size enterprises.


Influential Peers

Benchmark and network with the movers and shakers of HR and Talent Management.


Thought Leaders

Learn from the best in the field and walk away with actionable insights.


Leading Partners

Meet only the solution providers most relevant for your projects and initiatives.



Unparalleled networking opportunities with high profile industry leaders.

What You'll Do

Your registration creates a truly customized agenda based on your specific areas of responsibility, challenges and interests.


Free Time

Spend most of your time participating in educational sessions and networking activities.


Research Meetings

Face-to-face 25-minute meetings to discover leading solutions guided by knowledgable executives.


Educational Sessions

Keynotes, plenary sessions, industry panel discussions, case studies and more.


Networking Activities

The perfect place to connect with peers who can truly make a difference to your business.

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This year, the 100% peer-driven educational program will be centered around key themes addressing the most pressing challenges. Check out our featured speakers and key themes from 2017:


Key Themes

close Leadership & Learning Development
  • Leadership Competencies & Succession Management

  • Coaching for Greater Impact: Linking Learning and Development to Business Results

  • Micro Learning: The Future of Learning and Development?

  • How to Lead during Changing Times and New Administration

  • Blended Learning Strategies for a Distributed Workforce

  • Understanding the Power of LinkedIn’s Analytics

  • Social Platforms for Global Employee Connectivity and Feedback

  • Utilizing Employee Demographic Data and Activities: Engagement & Retention Purposes

  • New way to display data

  • Usefulness of AI and Bots

  • Intuitive Technology with Minimal Administrative Burden

  • Today’s Business Role for the CHRO

  • Retention is an Outcome Not a Strategy; Unlocking Potential

  • What the New Working Environment Should Look Like for Employees

  • Performance Management Strategies

  • Going Digital; Shared Services Feasibility for HR

  • Building Company Culture: Multi- Generational Workforce

  • Attracting the Top Talent

  • Social Media Platforms for Talent Acquisition

  • Solving for Unconscious Bias

  • Fair Employment Value Proposition through Recruitment Branding

  • Interviewing for Fit and Culture

  • How to Continually Engage Employees for Retention


Get insights from 20+ specialized HR leaders making way in the ever-changing world of human capital management. These are just few of the speakers that joined us in 2017:

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Judy Edge

Corporate Vice President, Human Resources

FedEx Corporation

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Shawn Bryant

VP, Finance - Payroll Operations

American Express

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Lori Henkel

SVP, Global Human Resources- GHR Life Event Services Executive

Bank of America

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DK Bartley

Vice President, Head of Talent Acquisition

Dentsu Aegis Network

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Sudipto Banerjee

VP - HR Operations and Services


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Tamara Heimonen

Associate Director, HR Research & Advisory Services

McLean & Company

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Alan K. Nevel

Vice President, Global Diversity & Inclusion

Thermo Fisher Scientific

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Natalie Stute

Chief HR Officer

Consilio, LLC

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Jason Desentz

Chief Human Resources Officer

Horizon Global Corporation

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Daniel Dellacona

SVP, HR / People Development & Organizational Effectiveness

Publicis Health

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David Jones


AMITA Health

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Heather E. Vogel, MHRD, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Chief Talent Officer

The Children’s Home Society of Florida

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Tom Stewart

Executive Director

National Center for the Middle Market

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Kate Hyatt

Chief People Officer


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Tracie Sponenberg

Senior Vice President, Human Resources

The Granite Group

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David Harcourt

Manager, Employee Insights

Yum! Brands

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Jim Arnold

Founder & CEO

finHealth, Inc.

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Terri Hartwell Easter


T.H. Easter Consulting

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Lyle Wells

National Director of Leadership Processes

Flippen Group

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Jeff Richie

Regional VP of Business Development

Vantage Benefits Administrators

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Michael Pratt

Director of Partnership Development

Orange Tree Employment Screening

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Al Zink



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Tom Connolly




Make every session valuable by selecting up to three key themes to mix and match the most relevant topics to you. Check out some of the sessions from last year's program:

Reset Filter

Breakfast Buffet


close Solve These 5 Team Challenges and Transform Your Business

Flippen Group - National Director of Leadership Processes

We are all in the people business, and we know that in every industry people are our business. We also know that when people work together there is an exponential impact on the mission and production of the organization. Identifying talent is often the easiest part of our job, connecting and maximizing that talent is the key. In this session we will look at the 5 most significant team challenges and share ways to engage these issues and solve them to create dynamic teams and extraordinary outcomes.

  • Dealing with Contentious Teams / Teammates
  • Navigating Change Initiatives
  • Accelerating the Effectiveness of New Teams / New Leaders
  • High Potentials Development
  • Optimizing High Functioning Teams
*CPE Credit-Participants will be able to identify the 5 most significant team challenges and share ways to engage these issues and solve them to create dynamic teams and extraordinary outcomes.. Field of Study: Personnel/HR


Lyle Wells
National Director of Leadership ProcessesFlippen Group
MondayBreakout Presentation

close Harnessing the Power of Inclusion to Improve Performance, Productivity, Innovation and Growth

Thermo Fisher Scientific - Vice President, Global Diversity & Inclusion

The dialogue on diversity and inclusion must change. Many companies are at a point where they now “look” diverse; however, they have failed to capture any quantifiable business benefit. Simply put, diversity is meaningless if the culture within an organization does not fully embrace and leverage the unique skills, capabilities and experiences of its employees. The conversation needs to shift to being one about “True Inclusion”.


  • Why a focus on diversity without inclusion is a waste of time, effort and resources
  • A systematic approach to creating an inclusive culture which actively influences behaviors to produce more successful outcomes for employees, customers and the organization as a whole
  • Using data and workforce analytics to drive and measure “inclusion first” thinking to encourage new behaviors that lead to better business results


Alan K. Nevel
Vice President, Global Diversity & InclusionThermo Fisher Scientific
MondayBreakout Presentation

close Healthcare Cost Governance: New Frontier for Human Resource Leaders

finHealth, Inc. - Founder & CEO

Jim Arnold, Founder & CEO of finHealth and David Hester, Sr. VP Business Development, will review the concept of Healthcare Cost Governance. This new frontier for Human Resources and Financial Leaders explores the five questions you should be asking about healthcare expenditures, and demonstrates how data analytics and real-time audits can reduce rapidly escalating healthcare costs and promote healthy outcomes for employees.

  • Healthcare is the 2nd largest “people” cost behind salaries.
  • Per the Center for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS), healthcare costs expected to rise 6% per year over the next 10 years.
  • Also per CMS, healthcare claims have a very high error rate at over 12%.
  • Common billing errors include medical claims paid without coverage, duplicate payments, age/gender conflicts, excessive units billed and NCCI Coding edit errors (upcoding).


Jim Arnold
Founder & CEOfinHealth, Inc.
MondayBreakout Presentation

close The Evolution of Bank of America's Life Event Services Team

Bank of America - SVP, Global Human Resources- GHR Life Event Services Executive

Lori’s presentation will focus on sharing the story of Bank of America’s Life Event Services team, an in-house Global HR team dedicated to supporting employees, retirees and in certain situations, family members, who are impacted by a significant life events including taking a leave of absence, retiring from the company, facing a terminal illness, experiencing the loss of a loved one, critical events such as a natural disaster, or domestic violence. The team also supports our employees who are transitioning gender within the workplace.

  • How the BAC Life Event Services (LES) team was created
  • The services offered by Bank of America’s Life Event Services team
  • Lessons learned from the evolution of LES
  • Impact of our services to our clients and our LES teammates


Lori Henkel
SVP, Global Human Resources- GHR Life Event Services ExecutiveBank of America
MondayBreakout Presentation

close Shifting Paradigms: Employee Experience Across the Multi-Generational Workforce

CareCom - SVP, HR

With as many as five generations active in the workforce, how can we cultivate positive employee experience across the multigenerational workforce? When issues of stress, burnout or disengagement rise, many well-intentioned companies react with Band-Aid solutions that mask real issues and don’t improve performance or productivity. Too often, work-life and employee experience initiatives are afterthoughts, not prioritized on par with other programs. It’s time to recast the notion of wellness and work-life to design for impact and provide meaningful benefits – and a meaningful experience – to our multigenerational employees.

  • Strategies for launching multigenerational care benefits from concept to execution including how to gain a level of insight into your employees’ wants and needs that you can’t get through anonymous pulse surveys
  • Unlocking true potential of your workforce through positive employee experience
  • Techniques for measuring program effectiveness and employee satisfaction


Al Zink
SVP, HRCareCom
MondayBreakout Presentation

close HR Analytics From Scratch: Eight Lessons Learned in the First Years

Yum! Brands - Manager, Employee Insights

HR Analytics are no longer a “nice-to-have” in today’s competitive landscape. HR leaders are increasingly expected to bring a data-driven approach to their people decisions. The question for many is, “how do we get started?” Yum! Brands began its Employee Insights function in 2015 and will share lessons learned.

  • Learn what to expect when starting an HR Analytics practice.
  • Understand the importance of picking the right analytics projects.
  • Discover the power of text mining and unstructured data.
  • Identify common pitfalls in HR Analytics


David Harcourt
Manager, Employee InsightsYum! Brands
MondayBreakout Presentation

close Diversity & Inclusion: Talent Acquisition and the Bottomline

Dentsu Aegis Network - Vice President, Head of Talent Acquisition

There are many misconceptions around implementing D&I. what are some proven tactics that work and also removes these challenges?

Studies show that most companies that actively promote a formal D & I initiative are more successful and gain a significant increase in revenue. This puts diversity & inclusion in a very different light. Many of the other structural benefits of creating a targeted strategy will start to organically happen and present new opportunities, particularly now in a digital economy, focused on Millennials. Linking diversity and inclusion goals to the corporate bottom-line is a differentiator. This session is design to talk about those barriers, provide proven examples that work and allow attendees to come away with a preliminary framework, of how to build the D&I business case and effectively communicate to the business in a language other than HR speak.


  • What are Diversity & Inclusion Best Practices
  • Understanding how D & I can be a revenue generator no matter what company or size
  • What are D & I KPI’s and how do they work
  • Insuring executive sponsorship and creating the D & I business case


DK Bartley
Vice President, Head of Talent AcquisitionDentsu Aegis Network
MondayBreakout Presentation

close HR Analytics and its Impact on the Business

Horizon Global Corporation - Chief Human Resources Officer

  • What does Predictive Analytics mean?
  • What are 3 questions to consider around Analytics and its Impact on the Business?
  • Understanding key factors for successful HR analytics setup.
  • Understanding the HR Predictive Analytics Journey.
  • Things to consider when selecting a Business Intelligence HR technology to help with analytics.


Jason Desentz
Chief Human Resources OfficerHorizon Global Corporation
MondayBreakout Presentation

close “How Did My Job Get Like This?” Driving Unicycles on Interstates, and Ferraris on Cowpaths. Re-Thinking Today’s HR Tools For an Ever Changing World…

GattiHR - CEO

Traditional Structures like job descriptions, organizational charts, titles, salary bands, and traditional Processes for goal setting, succession planning, performance management, talent assessment, and pay are basically useless.  They’re built for environments that are 80% “stay-the-course” and 20% “re-invent”.   When it’s suddenly 80% “re-invent,” just about everything HR people ever learned about structure and process goes out the window.  Decision-making is too slow, processes feel ritualized and fake, information is out-of-date and all of it sucks up way too much time, energy and other resources.

  • How can I get the “clock-speed” up on the processes I need to run?
  • How do I make sure they’re actually useful and relevant?
  • Can I ever get the organization to actually like this stuff?
  • How do I get from where we are today to where we need to be?


Tom Connolly
MondayBreakout Presentation

close How Did Healthgrades Reduce Medical Benefit Cost by 15%?

Healthgrades - Chief People Officer

In 2016, the Healthgrades HR team redesigned the company medical benefits program for 2017 resulting in a 15% YOY decrease while most companies experienced an increase of 5-6%. A creative strategy including competitive bids, new plan design, and additional voluntary benefit offerings achieved this goal. Multi-channel communication, an online exchange platform and individual decision-making sessions were key to success.

  • Increase options
  • Communicate, communicate, communicate
  • Reduce the risk for the employee
  • Treat this as a change management initiative


Kate Hyatt
Chief People OfficerHealthgrades
MondayBreakout Presentation

close Gremlins in the Attic: Uncovering Unconscious Bias in the Workplace

The Children’s Home Society of Florida - Chief Talent Officer

We know diversity efforts help us to increase our talent pools and retention. What we don’t know is that unconscious bias may be lurking underneath, undermining all the good we’re doing. Bias, hidden in the form of an unfair act or policy, costs an enormous amount of lost business, turnover and litigation. This session will provide a background on unconscious bias theory, explore how it applies to people processes and present strategies for reducing it in the workplace.

At the end of this session, participants will be able to:
  • Define the term, unconscious bias.
  • Diagnose the characteristics and behaviors of unconscious, subtle and disguised bias.
  • Implement strategies for increasing awareness of and mitigating unconscious bias.


Heather E. Vogel, MHRD, SPHR, SHRM-SCP
Chief Talent OfficerThe Children’s Home Society of Florida
MondayBreakout Presentation

close Unlocking Potential & Performance

Publicis Health - SVP, HR / People Development & Organizational Effectiveness

Potential and Performance are not one in the same. Organizations today need to recognize the difference between the two and then develop talent strategies to unlock both within their organization.

  • The difference between Performance and Potential
  • How to assess Potential
  • Talent strategies to unlock both performance and potential
  • Leveraging both for business growth


Daniel Dellacona
SVP, HR / People Development & Organizational EffectivenessPublicis Health
MondayBreakout Presentation

close Celebrating Success & Strengthening Company Culture Through Virtual High Fives

Consilio, LLC - Chief HR Officer

A recognition rich culture is the #1 driver of employee engagement and low turnover. When employees feel appreciated and valued, they’re more likely to give that much more of their efforts and heightened contribution levels. In this presentation, Natalie Stute will share how Consilio has successfully implemented a recognition program that both recognizes and connects employees across their 20 offices and 10 countries globally in a meaningful and sustainable way. By implementing a recognition platform, called Bonusly, Consilio has been able to immediately engage employees (from India to California) in recognizing peers for the great work they do day in and day out on a real-time basis.

  • Learn how to make employee recognition painless and easy
  • Increase employee engagement through peer recognition
  • Learn how to align and reinforce your company core values through recognition
  • Understand best practices and lessons learned in implementing this employee recognition program


Natalie Stute
Chief HR OfficerConsilio, LLC

Industry Dinner

TuesdayKeynote Panel

close Organizational Culture as a Competitive Advantage

McLean & Company - Associate Director, HR Research & Advisory Services

This panel of top level executives will come together to address and discuss how to develop and foster a company culture by using recognition, reward, transparency and compensation versus replicating the hot culture of the moment. The attendees will hear a dynamic discussion coming from the point of views of both an HR executive and VP of Finance.   *CPE Credit-Participants will be able to describe at least three best practices to foster company culture via both finance and HR related roles. Field of Study: Communications


Tamara Heimonen
Associate Director, HR Research & Advisory ServicesMcLean & Company
TuesdayBreakout Presentation

close Supporting Our Transgender Employee, Our Company and Our Customers: One Company's Story

The Granite Group - Senior Vice President, Human Resources

Large companies have diversity departments. Small and medium sized companies have HR practitioners - if they are lucky - who wear many hats. What do you do when presented with your first Transgender employee, coming out in a customer-facing position, in a very traditional, male-dominated environment? Hear one company's story of how their employee successfully transitioned through educating the team, and customers.
  • One company's story from start to now, on transgender employees in the workplace
  • Recent legal developments supporting transgender rights -including speculation on what is likely to happen under the new President
  • A list of helpful resources across the country
  • Our company's policy changes, along with our step by step process for supporting, educating, training and more


Tracie Sponenberg
Senior Vice President, Human ResourcesThe Granite Group
TuesdayBreakout Presentation

close Shielding Plan Sponsors in Changing Times

Vantage Benefits Administrators - Regional VP of Business Development

As a plan sponsor, you face a world of disruptive change full of risks, administrative duties and shifting rules. Competitive retirement benefits are an imperative — and so is addressing the headaches that come with fiduciary compliance. The good news is that delegating fiduciary responsibilities can minimize your fiduciary functions and reduce your liability to the greatest extent possible.
  • Roles & responsibilities within your retirement plan
  • Who is a plan fiduciary?
  • What’s at stake
  • What to watch for?
  • How to minimize your risk?


Jeff Richie
Regional VP of Business DevelopmentVantage Benefits Administrators
TuesdayBreakout Presentation

close Executive Succession Planning: A Growing Business Risk

T.H. Easter Consulting - Principal

According to a recent American Productivity and Quality Center (APQC) Survey, only 14% of participants feel that their organizations have competent leaders in the pipeline. Boards of Directors and the C-Suite now view executive succession as an important risk management responsibility.  Ms. Easter will examine how to assess talent risk and how to fast forward identification and development of star performers.
  • How leadership deficit and social and workplace changes have raised talent management risk
  • How to assess and articulate current and future organizational capabilities and requirements, including how to set or reset key organizational leadership profiles.
  • Review of diverse approaches for assessing current leaders with an eye to aligning business strategy (current and future) and organizational capabilities with talent requirements;
  • Perspectives on high potential and executive development costs and
  • A review of new tools for succession planning management, including assessment protocols to hedge selection risks.
  *CPE Credit-Participants will be able to articulate how to assess talent risk and how to fast forward identification and development of star performers. Field of Study: Personnel/HR


Terri Hartwell Easter
PrincipalT.H. Easter Consulting
TuesdayBreakout Presentation

close Engaging Top Talent Through Technology

Orange Tree Employment Screening - Director of Partnership Development

The US is facing the toughest employment market to date.  How will your business keep up with the demand for top talent?  We'll show you how to best leverage technology for the hiring needs of your organization.
  • Why candidate engagement is critical
  • Marketplace trends for employment
  • How technology can engage your candidates
  • How to apply these principles in the fight to hire top talent


Michael Pratt
Director of Partnership DevelopmentOrange Tree Employment Screening
TuesdayBreakout Presentation

close What is Going on with Healthcare Costs?

AMITA Health - CFO

Healthcare benefits costs are a significant portion of any company's expense base, and controlling these costs needs to be part of any financial strategy. Understanding the mechanisms that drive healthcare costs is vital when establishing a strategy to control costs.
  • How the healthcare finances really work from the perspective of the provider
  • The current environment and how it is influencing insurance companies
  • How existing and proposed legislation will impact healthcare benefit costs
  • Actions available to maintain control over rising healthcare benefit costs
  *CPE Credit-Participants will be able to describe the current state of business related healthcare and key strategies to make sure your organization is running optimally with it. Field of Study: Economics


David Jones
TuesdayBreakout Presentation

close Using Integrated Leadership to Thrive In A Vuca World

McLean & Company - Associate Director, HR Research & Advisory Services

Our innovative research has discovered that current leadership frameworks are no longer sufficient in preparing leaders and creating the space for them to lead. Future leaders will need to become integrated leaders with the ability to successfully navigate VUCA, make better decisions and avoid costly missteps that have hindered the organization’s ability to succeed and caused leaders to fail at alarming rates.
  • The root cause of leadership failures
  • The shift in leadership required for organizational success in today’s ever changing environment
  • How leadership development needs to change


Tamara Heimonen
Associate Director, HR Research & Advisory ServicesMcLean & Company


Experienced CHROs help us design a relevant and 100% peer-led educational program. Check out a sample of last year's members:

Steering Committee Members

Laurie Colasanti Vice President, Human Resources
DHL Express Americas
Doug Harris SVP, Human Resources
Clean Harbors
Maureen Doran-Houlihan Vice President, Global Talent Development Learning & Development Solutions
Michael Lynch Senior Vice President Clinician Recruitment and Retention
Davita Healthcare Partners
Debbie Nix Vice President, Human Resources & Risk Management
Covenant Care
Amy Esser SVP, Regional Director of Human Resources
Michael Walters SVP, Human Resources
Genoa Healthcare
Rebecca Henry Vice President, People Services
Allegiant Travel Company
Jason Westenskow Vice President of Human Resources
Zachry Corporation
Vicki Kahaner Vice President, Labor & Employee Relations
Northwell Health
Karen Beach Chief Human Resources Officer
Greg Harper Vice President – Human Resources, Safety, Health and Environmental Affairs
Northstar Aerospace, Inc
Tracie Sponenberg Senior Vice President, Human Resources
The Granite Group
Kristina Birukova Assistant Vice President, Human Resources
New York City Economic Development Corporation
Becca Boyd Vice President and Director of Human Resources
DeRetta Cole YMCA Metro Atlanta
Kathy O’Driscoll Path


We help CHROs and HR senior-level executives connect with peers in different industries to discuss their top-of-mind directives. Last year's attendees include:

Attendee Testimonials

Attendee List


Connect HR is quickly establishing a reputation as the boiling pot of information, ideas and solutions. Check out last year's solutions:

Exhibitor Testimonials

"The information we learned from our one-on-one meetings is invaluable. The attendees were spot on – decision makers, ready to shortlist vendors! The event was beautifully organized and the entire process was super-efficient. I would highly recommend CONNECT to other solution providers – make this a must sponsor event in your marketing plans!"

Exhibitor List


North America's fastest-growing HR event plays host to over 250 attendees each year.


Here is a quick FAQ to help you get started. For more information contacts us, we're happy to talk to you.

Our Team


Your full access conference pass includes overnight accommodations, meals and cocktail receptions.

The Hotel

Renaissance Schaumburg

Experience refined style at the Renaissance Hotel in Schaumburg where stunning design blends seamlessly with impeccable service.

Our Schaumburg hotel accommodations boast stylish design and luxurious comfort. Located in an accessible hub with a sophisticated collection of retail and culinary options such as Sam & Harry’s and Woodfield Mall, this Schaumburg, Illinois hotel serves as an indigenous ambassador for entire Chicagoland area…and a gateway for the entire Midwest.
  • Accommodations must be booked through the conference organizers and not through the venue directly. We cover the first night and offer a discounted rate. Spouses welcomed. For reservations please contact:
The nearest airport is Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD), which is less than 15 miles away. Alternatively, you may fly into Chicago Midway International Airport (MDW). This hotel does not provide shuttle service. Taxis are readily available at the airport.
The Renaissance Schaumburg  | 1551 N. Thoreau Drive Schaumburg, IL 60173