Georgia State University

Sarah Barber

Assistant Professor in the Departments of Psychology and Gerontology, Georgia State University

Sarah Barber is an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Psychology and Gerontology at Georgia State University.  She received her Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from Stony Brook University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in cognitive aging from the University of Southern California.  As director of the Cognition and Aging lab at Georgia State University, she oversees experimental research studies that examine how younger and older adults’ memory is affected by social and emotional factors.  This research has been funded by multiple grants from the National Institute on Aging.  Dr. Barber is also the recipient of the J. Don Read early career award from the Society for Applied Research in Memory and Cognition, an award that recognizes the outstanding contributions of emerging scholars in the area of applied memory and cognition.

CyQuest Business Solutions

Melody E. Barnett, SHRM-CP

HR Director, CyQuest Business Solutions

Business-savvy, strategic and team oriented HR leader responsible for leading effective management teams and developing human resources infrastructure that is competitive, cost effective and aligned to corporate strategy. Resourceful business partner offering subject matter expertise in employment legislative compliance, client consulting/advisement, HR software selection and implementation, employee relations, performance management, talent acquisition, diversity and inclusion, leadership coaching, compensation and benefits design. Regional and national experience in a range of industries from Warehouse Logistics, Real Estate, Airline, Healthcare, Government Contractor, Public College, Hospitality and Consulting.

Workforce Management – Initiated strategies to address current and future organizational needs and address gaps in knowledge, skills and abilities. Ensured optimum use of $4M in human resource assets.

  • Regulatory Compliance – Integrated metrics reporting system and training program to ensure compliance related to OFCCP, EEOC, Immigration/I-9, Affirmative Action (AAP), ADA, FMLA and FLSA wage and hour. Collaborated with team of employment attorneys in Whistleblower, EEOC, DOL and Civil Actions. Overall exposure and reduction in local, state and federal fines and penalties.
  • Talent Acquisition – Designed and developed recruiting strategy and competency model to attract and retain top performers while anticipating 75% growth.
  • Business Start Ups – Partnered with business owners and executive leadership to create and facilitate compliant business practices. Implemented HR turn-key solutions by reducing executive administrative tasks by 30%.
  • Benefits Design – Worked with Brokers to assess overall competitiveness, affordability and employee value proposition while creating YOY savings of over $100k in premiums.
  • HR Client Consulting – Conducted efficiency audits and assessments by examining internal operations, extensive interviewing and tabulating data. Identified compliance and organizational annual costs over $1.4M.
  • Employee Relations/ Development – Created performance management platform creatively aligning employee experiences through onboarding, goal setting and succession movement. Successfully realized 100% annual retention.
  • Cultural/Multicultural Diversity – Created and led an internal employee focus group adding valuable input and inter-departmental goals to overall business strategy. Implemented human resources program, policies and practices geared toward inclusiveness and sensitivity awareness.
  • Employee Relations/Risk Management – Developed and implemented a comprehensive strategy to identify Agile, ROI and Performance opportunities. Designed HR investigation automation process and associated performance metrics. Mitigated risks by improved audit results and enhanced technology integration.
  • Technology – Critically assessed needs of business partners and leadership while creating RFP’s to implement HRIS systems and interfaces. Successfully rolled out ADP, Taleo, Ceridian and Silk Roads systems at 100% on-time project completion.


  • Georgia State University – Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Deans List
  • Brenau University Graduate Program – Business Management, MBA Candidate
  • Society of Human Resources Management – Certified Professional, SHRM-CP


  • SHRM – National Member
  • SHRM Atlanta – Legal and Legislative Program Committee


  • GSU Board of Directors – Chair, Student Alumni Engagement, Panel Speaker (TedxTalk)
  • ESPA Board of Directors – Student Career Programming
  • Mayor Summer Youth Program (SHRM Atlanta) – HR Volunteer
  • Junior Achievement (Delta Airlines) – School Champion/Coordinator


  • Top 40 Employees of the Year – Atlanta Business Chronicle
  • President’s Choice Award – CyQuest Business Solutions
  • Led efforts for Company selection and recognition of Best and Brightest Companies Award

Janet Cox, Ph.D

Clinical Psychologist, Synapse

Dr. Cox is a clinical psychologist licensed in the state of Georgia with close to 30 years of experience in the area of substance use and cooccurring disorders. Dr. Cox has worked as an independent practitioner; been the Director of Psychological Services for a large professional group serving outpatients and providing oversight of an inpatient, dual diagnosis unit at a local psychiatric hospital; the Chief Psychologist for a national treatment hospital serving both adolescents and adults, and the Clinical Director for long-term residential treatment center. During her career, Dr. Cox has worked with diverse populations using a variety of clinical specialties and treatment modalities. She is certified in clinical hypnosis and Reiki. Dr. Cox’s other specializations include abuse/survivor issues, personality disorders, eating disorders, behavioral medicine, sport psychology and psychological assessments. Dr. Cox received her Ph.D. in Leadership, Management and Counseling Psychology followed by a two-year Post Doctorate track in Clinical Psychology and a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Georgia State University. Her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and Social Psychology is from East Tennessee State University. She performed a Post-doctoral Fellowship in Behavioral Medicine at the Pain Control and Rehabilitation Institute of Georgia. She is the member of a number of professional organizations such as the American Psychological Associations and the Georgia Psychological Association. She volunteers with the ServeGA in Fulton County, the Disaster Response Network with the Red Cross, and the Public Education Committee of GPA. Dr. Cox is co-author of a book in the mental health field, an accomplished professional athlete, and an international lecturer and consultant.

The Human Capital Group

Ginger Duncan

Sr Leadership Consultant, The Human Capital Group

GINGER DUNCAN, Senior Consultant and Executive Coach, specializes in the development of leaders and teams to gain competitive advantage and deliver sustainable business results. With over 20 years experience in leadership development, coaching, facilitation and training, plus 11 years leading the talent development function in a corporate setting, Ginger has extensive experience partnering throughout organizations to guide strategic business alignment. Her work in leadership consulting consists of partnering with Biltmore Estates, Duke Health, ExxonMobil, Anderson Healthcare, Portola Packaging, Transamerica, Ingram Industries, Hunt Brothers Pizza, Retrieving Independence, Healing Hands International, Hopkinsville, KY, Board of Education and others.

As an Executive Coach with the Human Capital Group, Ginger serves organizations as they Find, Strengthen and Grow their leadership talent and the teams that support them. She has a focused approach on the healthy integration of leaders and the development of high performing teams as they both contribute to the overall health and success of any organization.

Ginger’s values-based approach to coaching equips her with sound, practical and timely expertise rooted in the servant-leadership model. As an approachable yet direct partner, Ginger guides and coaches while helping her clients translate their business goals and executable plans to align with the needs of the business.

Ginger received two undergraduate degrees from the University of Massachusetts Boston and two graduate degrees from Murray State University in Kentucky. She is also a certified Master Coach from the Behavioral Coaching Institute and holds certifications in various team and individual assessments.

Ginger is on the advisory board of Impact Nashville, a non-profit womens giving circle that empowers women to collectively invest in and develop non-profits that serve the community so that together we can create a greater Nashville.

Barrett & Farahany, LLP

Amanda Farahany

Managing Partner, Barrett & Farahany, LLP

Amanda Farahany is the managing partner at the Atlanta law firm of Barrett & Farahany, LLP, representing individuals in employment, libel, overtime, and sexual harassment litigation. Through her practice, she is dedicated to pursuing civil justice for employees, as well providing consultation and support to management employees. She is also an adjunct professor of law at Emory Law School, teaching third year students Advanced Trial Advocacy.  Prior to beginning her practice, she clerked for the Honorable John H. Ruffin, Jr. at the Georgia Court of Appeals.

Known as an attorney who only takes serious and important cases, Amanda has proven this by achieving the highest verdict in a Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) case in the nation for her client and the largest libel verdict for a single plaintiff in Georgia.  She tried the first Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act case in 2015 to a verdict of $2.25 million, ensuring that genetic privacy will be taken seriously by all companies.  Her cases are regularly followed by the press.  She seeks change for both individuals and for society as a whole, including publishing a study analyzing how the courts handle employment discrimination cases in an effort to bring these cases back into the hands of jurors.  The study has generated national interest and dialogue about the role of the jury and judge in employment cases, from Huffington Post articles from retired federal judges to local television coverage of the debate between Amanda and a defense attorney, and is now featured in several scholarly articles and books.

Amanda has also been recognized through numerous awards and achievements.  She is listed as one the National Advocates Top 100 Lawyers in Employment Law.  Amanda has been awarded Super Lawyer – an award which acknowledges the top lawyers in Georgia as chosen by Georgia Super Lawyers and through the independent research of Law & Politics each year.  She has been chosen as a Best Employment Lawyer, as well as bringing the firm to Best Law Firm status by U.S. News & World Report.  Georgia Trend has also recognized her as a top lawyer.  In addition, she is AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell, and chosen by the American Registry as one of the North American Top Attorney.  A sought after speaker and commentator, Amanda has been featured as a legal thought leader in publications and news segments, including a  two-night special on CBS Atlanta News on a Survival Guide for the First 24 Hours After Losing Your Job and multiple other news stations and stories.  Human resource professionals and employment defense attorneys seek out her experience to teach them how to overcome the common employer mistakes from a plaintiff’s perspective.

An experienced trial lawyer, Amanda has been awarded status as a Fellow of the National College of Advocacy by the Association of Trial Lawyers of America. This designation signifies commitment to effective representation of her clients and her dedication to achieving a high level of competence.  Additionally, Amanda is a Fellow in the Lawyer’s Foundation of Georgia. Membership in the Fellows Program is an honor which recognizes lawyers whose public and private careers demonstrate outstanding legal abilities and a devotion to their communities.

In addition to her law practice, Amanda currently serves as the Immediate Past President to the Atlanta Bar Association Labor & Employment section.  She is active on the Public Affairs Committee and Press Advisory Board to the American Association of Justice.  She is also a founding member and has worked closely with Water-Life-Hope, a non-profit organization that works to bring running water to the impoverished in Haiti.

Amanda has previously served as the president of the Atlanta Council for Younger Lawyers; president of the National Employment Lawyers Association, Georgia Chapter; co-chair of the American Association of Justice Wage and Hour Litigation Group, on the Executive Boards of the Atlanta Bar Association, chair of the Inadequate Security Litigation Group for the American Association of Justice, member of the Executive Committee to the Atlanta Bar Association; member of the Advisory Council to the National Crime Victim Bar Association; and on the Boards of the Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation, Crime Victim Advocacy Council, State Bar of Georgia Younger Lawyers Division, and several domestic violence and women’s rights organizations.

Amanda has spoken and been published extensively on sexual harassment, overtime and employment cases, litigating cases for civil justice for crime victims and sexual assault, including for the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, the American Association for Justice, the National Crime Victim Bar Association, the American Bar Association, the State Bar of Georgia’s Institute for Continuing Legal Education and the National Employment Lawyers Association, among many others. In addition, Amanda has been an invited faculty member for the Emory School of Law Trial Advocacy Program and for the National Employment Lawyers’ Association Trial Boot Camp.  Recently, Amanda was one of a selected few employment lawyers asked to serve on the Eleventh Circuit Committee to revise the Pattern Jury Instructions on employment related issues.

The Soft Skill Professor

Benjamin Garner, Ph.D.

President, The Soft Skill Professor, LLC

Dr. Benjamin Garner (Ph.D., Communication) is an associate professor in the Mike Cottrell College of Business at the University of North Georgia. Dr. Garner’s research focuses on Soft Skills, Business Communication, and Consumer Behavior. He has authored more than a dozen peer-reviewed articles, and his documentary films have screened at film festivals and shown on TV. He also specializes in soft skills training, e-learning, and video production.

Contact Dr. Garner via LinkedIn or by email, benjamin_garner@ung.edu or benjamin@thesoftskillprofessor.com.

Hall Benefits Law

Anne Tyler Hall

Author, Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Attorney | Hall Benefits Law, LLC 

Author and Attorney Anne Tyler Hall understands first-hand the importance of strategically-designed, legally-compliant benefit plans aimed at attracting, motivating, and retaining top employees. She also understands the importance of responsive and timely legal compliance guidance to businesses who are in six, seven, and eight-figure Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Department of Labor (DOL), or Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) penalty situations. Hall’s firm, Hall Benefits Law, established in 2013, serves clients in 26 states and was recognized in 2018 as the fastest-growing ERISA law firm in the country by the Law Firm 500.

VWH Consulting

Vicki Wright Hamilton

President & CEO of VWH Consulting

An accomplished technology leader with over 20 years’ of experience in highly-matrixed organizations, Vicki Wright-Hamilton is an internationally renowned technology executive, strategic and multidisciplinary change agent, author and visionary for operational excellence.

Vicki currently serves as President & CEO of VWH Consulting, a firm she developed to help company’s flex and align their strategic approaches with the fast-paced, ever-changing technological business environments in order to remain relevant and competitive. As a consultant to some of the world’s most recognizable brands, Vicki partners with executive game changers to develop and execute a broad range of organizational and revenue improvements.

Vicki’s first book,’Game Face: Corporate Success Strategies of a Trailblazing Tech Warrior,’ invites readers on a triumphant journey with her – a self-drive force of nature, passionate female and proud African-American, who happens to also be a tech-savvy phenom.
She offers an intimate look at the challenges of “technology” from a woman’s perspective. Through personal and professional accounts, Vicki shares unprecedented takeaways to help organizations successfully recruit and retain diverse talent, while avoiding the common pitfalls destined to cripple companies that, for whatever reasons, do not seek and embrace the technological prowess and contributions of women of color.

Leading a life that has successfully navigated a plethora of “diverse” affiliations, Vicki’s roles as a corporate executive, minority, entrepreneur, technology developer, daughter, wife, and mother have enabled her to speak expertly about a vast range of experiences in a white, male-dominated industry. Her passion resonates as she delivers “straight from the hip” guidance with takeaways that are often implemented before she even walks off the stage.

Vicki also conducts private and group coaching sessions where she guides her partners through a step-by-step, proprietary program that leverages tangible success strategies into personal, professional and profitable assets.

Vicki is the former President of Women in Technology (WIT) and currently serves on the organization’s Advisory Board. She also serves on the Board of Growing Leaders, a dynamic leadership program that prepares tomorrow’s leaders for the opportunities and challenges facing our global landscape.

Vicki is the mother of two adult sons Arthur (Angelica) and Brandon, and an “over the moon” grandmother to one. She and her husband Harold reside in Atlanta, GA.

Ogletree Deakins

Greg Hare

Managing Shareholder, Ogletree Deakins

Greg Hare has been an employment lawyer at Ogletree Deakins his entire career, ever since 1991. He assists companies with human resources and employment-related litigation matters, including wrongful termination claims, sexual harassment, employment discrimination, employment contracts, trade secrets, and non-compete agreements.

He advises clients on a wide range of human resources topics, such as employee discipline and discharge, severance planning, independent contractor classifications, wage payment, family and medical leave, disability law, military leave, joint employment issues, affirmative action and reductions in force.

Mr. Hare also counsels clients on traditional labor relations matters involving union avoidance, decertification, strike contingency planning, double-breasting, grievance administration and arbitration, collective bargaining, unfair labor practice litigation, and other matters involving the National Labor Relations Board, including “protected concerted activity” cases.

Mr. Hare encourages companies to develop proactive human resources strategies that are designed to minimize exposure to costly litigation and disputes.  This commonly includes conducting comprehensive employment law compliance audits, employment policy design and review, management training and counseling, and simulated problem solving workshops.

Outside the Office

Greg played NCAA lacrosse at LeMoyne College and post-collegiate club lacrosse at UNC. He now enjoys coaching his boys’ youth teams in Atlanta, including baseball, football and basketball at the Northside Youth Organization (NYO). Parishioner at Christ the King Catholic Church. Avid supporter of The Marist School.


Greg’s diverse practice cuts across multiple disciplines within the labor & employment law specialty area, but generally can be subdivided into five broad categories:

  • Human Resources Advice: counseling companies on best practices for responding to agency investigations (EEOC charges, DOL audits, etc.), advising managers on disciplinary matters, minimizing employment-related exposures by properly responding to adversarial employees, formulating severance strategies, training managers on their employment-related obligations, building and maintaining distinctions between employees vs. independent contractors, and dealing with 3rdparty employment/co-employment issues, etc.
  • Employment Litigation: assisting companies with state & federal court lawsuits involving discrimination, harassment, retaliation, interference with leave entitlements, improper wage payment, denial of benefits, breach of contract, and employment torts (e.g., infliction of emotional distress, defamation, negligent hiring and retention, etc.).  Greg has handled dozens of federal court litigation matters over the past 20 years, plus multiple appeals to federal appellate courts, and matters before the United States Supreme Court.
  • Traditional Labor: union avoidance, labor arbitrations, collective bargaining, project labor agreements, double-breasted operations, benefit plan contribution disputes, etc., with heavy experience in health care, construction, pulp & paper, transportation, logistics, warehousing and manufacturing sectors.
  • Unfair Competition/Business Divorces/Non-Competition Cases: representing companies dealing with the fallout of executive and employee departures, including: enforcement of post-employment restrictive covenants (non-compete, non-solicitation, non-disclosure and non-recruitment clauses); negotiating the value of departing executive’s stake in the business, including fair market valuation disputes; protecting the company’s trade secrets, copyrights and confidential information.
  • Franchise/Distributor Disputes: representing companies in disputes with franchisees and distributors, where claims commonly include wrongful termination of relationship, breach of contract, and unfair business practices, allegedly in violation of federal and state statutes.

Greg’s practices touches a wide array of industries, including: Automotive, Bakery, Banking, Beverage, Biochemical, Construction (residential, commercial, and industrial), Distribution, Education, Energy, Engineering, Food Processing, Food Service, Franchising, Healthcare, High Tech, Hospitality/Hotels, Industrial Equipment, Insurance, IT, Logistics, Manufacturing, Medical Devices, Medical Practices, Non-profit and Religious, Pharmaceutical, Poultry, Pulp & Paper, Retail, Software, Staffing, Telecommunications, Transportation, Uniforms, Warehousing.

Admitted to Practice:

U.S. Supreme Court
U.S. District Court, Middle, Northern and Southern Districts of Georgia
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Florida
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Tennessee
U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth, Eighth and Eleventh Circuits
National Labor Relations Board

Honors and Awards:

  • Best Lawyers in America (2016-present)
  • Super Lawyer – Georgia Law and Politics
  • AV Rated – Martindale-Hubbell Lawyer Directory

Professional Activities:

  • SHRM Atlanta (Speaker and Board of Directors Alumnus)
  • SHRM National (Recommended Speaker List)
  • Association of Corporate Counsel (Speaker)
  • Associated General Contractors – Labor & Employment Law Council
  • Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce (Speaker)
  • The Seminar Group (Speaker)
  • American Bar Association
  • State Bar of Georgia
  • Atlanta Bar Association
  • Lawyers Club of Atlanta
  • Commerce Club of Atlanta
SIGMA Assessment Systems

Glen Harrison

Director, SIGMA Assessment Systems

Glen started his journey with Sigma Assessment Systems nearly two decades ago managing a large scale employee development project for Chrysler that involved over 30,000 management and staff. Over his career, Glen has worked with a third of the Fortune 500 and with every level of government in Canada and the United States.

In the process, Glen has delivered workshops to over 10,000 people across 49 states (sorry Wyoming, he’ll get there eventually), 10 provinces, 1 territory, 107 cities, and 9 countries.

Foundation for Financial Wellness

Brent Hines

Founder and Executive Director, Foundation for Financial Wellness

Brent Hines is a successful entrepreneur with over 20 years of professional speaking experience and is the Founder and Executive Director of the non-profit Foundation for Financial Wellness. The mission of the Foundation is to improve peoples lives by empowering them with the knowledge, motivation and tools to take control of their financial lives.

He’s brought his message, The Case for Financial Wellness, to a wide variety of audiences, including NASA, Lockheed Martin, TransAmerica, DuPont, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee, the United States Air Force Academy, and many more.

The National Wellness Institute recently selected the Foundation for Financial Wellness to be their Preferred Provider for delivering financial wellness programs. Brent has also been featured by WELCOA, who published four of his articles in their Life On the Move publication.

In his free time, Brent enjoys the Colorado outdoors or sailing in the Caribbean with his family and friends.

unboXt, Inc.

Hakeem Isaac

Founder of unboXt, Inc.

Hakeem Isaac is a former investment banker and passionate entrepreneur who is dedicated to ensuring future generations have equity and belonging in the workplace. He earned his Accounting degree from Morehouse College, and was professionally trained by the likes of Goldman Sachs, PricewaterhouseCooper and Fifth Third Bank.

Hakeem is the Founder of unboXt, Inc., a data analytics enterprise that helps companies visually identify the subcultures within their organization. unboXt helps leaders create a consumer-based employee experience for their teams. Within the last year, since launching the product, the company has been valued as a multi-million dollar business. They work with small and large companies, such as Allstate, State Farm, Comcast, Pexip and more. Hakeem has been featured in the Atlanta Business Chronicle (People on the Move), Marietta Daily Journal, Hypepotamus, Why HBCU column and UrbanGeekz. Also, having working partnerships with Usher’s New Look Foundation, University of Southern California Marshall School and United Way. He serves as the Board chair for Urban League’s national Project Ready program.

Prior to founding unboXt, Hakeem worked at PwC. While there he identified and spearheaded an initiative to engage and develop entry-level and mid-level managers. The result was a documented increase in morale and a 12% increase in new hire engagement. After PwC, Hakeem went to work at Fifth Third bank and has had the opportunity to experience and work in a variety of markets, from Charlotte, NC, to Los Angeles, CA, to Cincinnati, OH, and more recently, Atlanta, GA. He accredits his willingness to be nimble and diligent to being named the youngest appointed Corporate VP within the banks $170B footprint. Hakeem led the bank’s Middle Market Technology, Media and Telecom (TMT) clientele for the Southeast region.

When Hakeem is not working on his startup, he enjoys competing in Ironman races, marathons or teaching financial literacy to anyone willing to listen. Hakeem’s life truth is — a dream will forever remain a dream without the capital (fiscal or human) to bring it to fruition. Therefore he has devoted himself to ensuring all classes have the exposure and opportunity to increase their capital.

Hill, Kertscher & Wharton, LLP

Doug Kertscher

Managing Partner | Hill, Kertscher & Wharton, LLP

For more than 25 years, attorney Doug Kertscher has represented clients in complex employment litigation involving wage disputes, whistleblower law, discrimination, severance agreements, trade secrets, and sexual harassment.  He is nationally recognized by several of the largest attorney rating organizations including Best Lawyers in American and Super Lawyers, and previously held the position of Co-chair of the American Bar Association’s Labor & Employment Section.  Doug attributes his success on behalf of clients to a combination of knowledge, preparation, and a unique perspective gained by representing both plaintiffs and defendants.  “Employment law moves fast, especially as advances in technology change the workplace.  Employers need to understand much more about laws and regulations than they did twenty years ago and also continually strive to create environments than not only comply, but build healthy and thriving organizations.”  Hill, Kertscher & Wharton, LLP, the Atlanta-based law firm Doug co-founded, recently celebrated its 15th year of providing exceptional legal representation to clients.

NFP Pharmacy Practice

David Lee

Managing Director, NFP Pharmacy Practice

Dave started his career in 1989 with Merck Pharmaceuticals, where he held numerous positions in their Corporate Headquarters. In 1998, he was promoted to Director, Managed Markets, and was responsible for all of the Managed Markets channels including Health Plans, PBMs, Employers, Government Affairs, and Employee Benefit Consultants. After 22 years with Merck, Dave became President of ProCareRx PBM, one of the largest privately held PBMs in the nation covering over 9,000,000 lives. In 2014, he started Med/SN LLC, a full-service pharmacy consulting company that helped employers and patients lower their pharmacy expenses. Dave joined NFP in 2018, and is the Managing Director for the NFP Pharmacy Practice called Rx Solutions. Dave and his team provide Rx Consulting for employers greater than 1,000 covered members. NFP is a leading insurance broker and consultant that provides employee benefits through our licensed subsidiaries and affiliates. NFP Rx Solutions manages a proprietary PBM Coalition and provides Pharmacy Consulting services for over 1,200,000 lives in all 50 states.


Raymond Lee

CEO, Careerminds

Raymond Lee is the Founder and CEO of Careerminds, a technology enabled outplacement and retirement coaching company launched in 2008. He has over 18 years of human resource, outplacement, and career consulting experience, and hes also a certified retirement coach. Raymond pioneered the concept of virtual outplacement after years of delivering traditional outplacement in a variety of HR roles, and saw a huge opportunity to align career transition programs with the way people were actually looking for jobs. When Raymond started the company, he had one goal in mind: to create forward thinking transition programs that reduced employee stress. This included developing robust software to personalize the transition experience for all levels of the organization, and hiring expert consultants to support participants every step of the way. Raymond holds his bachelors in psychology and a masters degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Louisiana Tech University. He sits on the Careerminds Board of Directors, is the President of the Philadelphia Society of People and Strategy, and is an active speaker and contributor to HRPS & SHRM. Raymond has been featured on SiriusXM 111 Business Radio, Wall Street Journal and Fox Business News.

Martenson Law

Marty Martenson

Managing Partner, Martenson Law

Over the last 30 years, Marty N. Martenson has earned a reputation for outstanding results when representing management in a variety of capacities throughout the United States. Whether in the courtroom defending claims of discrimination, negotiating collective bargaining agreements, or advising clients as to the labor and/or employment landscape, clients benefit greatly from his high level of experience, leadership and insight. It’s no wonder Marty is frequently asked to speak on such topics at seminars, trade shows, and to numerous industry groups and associations across the country.
Marty frequently represents multi-national companies in connection with labor and employment and general human resources due diligence on both the buyer- and seller-side. Marty has particular experience representing in-bound foreign corporations without current U.S. operations. Cross-border employment issues can often obstruct a deal, and Marty identifies risks, exposure, and options for mitigating such issues with the goal of efficiently reaching a deal. Further, post-deal, Marty guides clients from the first new hire through instituting company-wide labor and employment practices for thousands of employees.

Marty has received numerous accolades for his labor and employment work, including the MartindaleHubbell AV Peer Review Rating. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees for the Marist School and Notre Dame Academy, both in Atlanta. In his college days, you could find Marty on the NC State football team playing for the Wolfpack.

Better HR

Heather McCollum

Founder and Chief Facilitator, Better HR

Heather McCollum is the Founder and Chief Facilitator at Better HR, a company that works to translate and simplify human resources protocol for emerging businesses and employees. She is also the author of Work Like a Pro: Your Guide to Finding, Accepting & Starting a New Job.

Heather believes that HR management, when done well, is an essential component of a growing business. With a strong background as a principal HR professional, Heather is well-versed in delivering straightforward advice and practical tools for employers and employees.

She began her now 17-year-old HR career in a leadership development program with CIGNA, based in Hartford, CT. From there, her journey has taken her to large and mid-sized companies, such as Pepsi Bottling Group, The Walt Disney Company, Cushman & Wakefield and EarthLink, to name a few. Her experience with those companies centered around HR business partnership.

Born and raised in Grand Rapids, MI, Heather holds an undergraduate degree from Spelman College and received her master’s degree in Industrial & Labor Relations from Cornell University. She currently lives in Atlanta, GA and enjoys cooking, boating, watching independent films and talking about work stuff.


Cathy Missildine, SHRM-SCP, SPHR

Chief Human Resources Officer, Southeastrans

Cathy Missildine has extensive experience in many areas of strategic Human Resources Management. Cathy has worked closely with executives in the areas of performance, productivity, organizational metrics, training, employee and customer engagement, workforce planning, organizational change and strategic implementation. Her past experience in operations and sales management in the technical, insurance and hospitality industries has given her a broad understanding of business issues and a solid foundation for building performance enhancing systems that support the business.

Cathy currently serves as the Chief Human Resource Office for Southeastrans, a non-emergency medical transportation provider headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. She oversees the HR function making sure that HR aligns its service delivery with the current needs of the business. Prior to joining Southeastrans, Cathy Co-Founded, Intellectual Capital Consulting(ICC), where she spent 20 years in the HR consulting industry. ICC’s clients included: Intercontinental Hotels Group, Mizuno, Genuine Parts Company, Aon, IBM, Hampton Inn, United Way, Vulcan and Southern Company.

Cathy is a graduate from Kennesaw State University where she earned an MBA with an emphasis Human Resource Management and Development. She is also a member of the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) and holds their professional certification, Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) and also the SHRM-SCP.

Cathy is serving as an adjunct Professor at Kennesaw State University where she has taught the HR Certification course for over 17years. She teaches an online SHRM certification course as well as an in class version. Cathy is a nationally recognized speaker addressing audiences from SHRM, ASTD, and AAHAM.

In addition to her domestic speaking, Cathy has traveled to Shanghai, China to deliver “Moving from Transactional to Strategic: Becoming an Effective HR Business Leader’ to HR professionals representing multi-national organizations.

Cathy lives in Atlanta, and spends her free time traveling and boating on Lake Allatoona.


Tim Newton

Partner, Constangy

Tim represents employers in state and federal court litigation involving employment discrimination under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Fair Labor Standards Act (both individual and collective actions), the Family and Medical Leave Act, and other state and federal laws. Tim also regularly counsels and guides clients on employee relations issues, working with clients to develop strategies to deal with and resolve these issues. Tim also presents training sessions, including harassment, diversity, FMLA/ADA, investigations, and proper employee documentation.

The Nischwitz Group

Jeff Nischwitz

President, The Nischwitz Group

Known as a Facilitator of Truth, Snow Globe Shaker and the Leader of Shift, Jeff Nischwitz is a man on a mission — a mission to help people shift how they lead and thereby shift their leadership impact. As an international leadership and team engagement speaker, Jeff Nischwitz is known for his unique perspectives, for challenging traditional thinking, and for delivering tangible shifts for leaders to grow their people, build their businesses and enhance their relationships. Jeff is the author of three books including his two most recent books: Unmask: Let Go of Who You’re “Supposed” to Be & Unleash Your True Leader(Motivational Press 2014) and Arrows of Truth: Simple Shifts for Personal Transformation(Eagle Heart Press 2017). Jeff works with a wide range of organizations on growing leaders, building engaged and empowered teams, accountability and achieving your whole other level of impact and influence.

Kennesaw State University

Susan Raines, Ph.D

 Associate Director, School of Conflict Management, Peacebuilding & Development at Kennesaw State University (KSU)

Dr. Raines is the Associate Director of the School of Conflict Management, Peacebuilding & Development at Kennesaw State University (KSU) in suburban Atlanta. In addition to leading the executive Master of Science in Conflict Management program at KSU, she works with public, private and non-profit organizations to prevent and proactively manage conflict and collaboration (VW, YKK, USPS, Florida Supreme Court, Georgia Courts, USACE, Coca-Cola, Italian Chamber of Commerce, UNIOM, and more). She has mediated more than 16,500 cases inside and outside of the court system, including hundreds of cases of employment and workplace disputes. He work is designed to prevent conflict to enhance collaboration and mission achievement within organizations. She is the co-author of Expert Mediators (2013), the author of Conflict Management for Managers (2013; 2019), has authored more than 50 peer reviewed publications, and is the Editor-in-Chief of Conflict Resolution Quarterly.

Fisher Phillips LLP

Jennifer Sandberg

Partner, Fisher Phillips LLP

Jennifer Sandberg is a partner in the firm’s Atlanta office. Employers, In-House Counsel, and Human Resource professionals view her as a trusted advisor providing solid business advice. She works to understand her clients’ business and desired business outcomes in order to provide creative and cost-effective advice and counsel. She assists clients in accomplishing business objectives in the most efficient manner possible. Her advice is custom-tailored for employers with tens of thousands of employees or those with a mere handful of employees. A significant portion of her practice is devoted to providing clients with day-to-day preventive advice as employers design, manage, and carry out business initiatives. Clients appreciate her “no nonsense” approach to both daily concerns and developing major issues.

Willis Towers Watson

Kirstie Settas-Jones

National Leader – Health Management Practice, H&B NA Brokerage & Advisory, Willis Towers Watson

Kirstie brings over 25 years of experience in corporate health management, wellness and wellbeing consulting to her clients. She joined Willis Towers Watson in October 2013 and works with numerous employers across the nation in developing programs that align with the overall strategy of the organization, while managing a team of nine regionally based consultants across the country.

Much of her previous experience was with a consulting company, HealthStart Inc, that she established in 1996. The firm was focused on driving wellbeing strategies for organizations with more than 1,000 employees in multiple locations to maintain program consistency across multiple geographies. After moving to South Florida in 2008, she began her work in the broker/consultant space, where she sat on several committees to further the wellbeing agenda for the state and county. Her experience covers all aspects of business operations, but is concentrated in the health and wellness arena.

Kirstie’s knowledge of the marketplace includes:
-Design, delivery, development and implementation of health and wellness program strategies
-Strong client and vendor relationships
-Understanding of carrier/broker relationships
-Experience with multi-cultural and multiple location clients

She has had numerous speaking engagements and published articles, built long-term client relationships and also holds a FL 215 license. Kirstie holds an accounting degree from Chancellor University in Cleveland, Ohio and an MBA from the University of Phoenix.

Fisher Phillips LLP

Terri Stewart

Partner, Fisher Phillips LLP

Terri Stewart is a partner in the firm’s Atlanta office. She represents management in all areas of labor and employment law in state and federal courts as well as before state and federal agencies.
Her practice focuses on the defense of employment related lawsuits in trial and appellate courts, encompassing a variety of issues, including claims arising under Title VII, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and related state claims such as trade secret infringement, restrictive covenants, breach of contract and tort actions.

Terri also frequently advises employers on reductions in force, drafts employment agreements, personnel policies, separation agreements and releases, and conducts on-site training on topics such as employment law compliance and avoidance of harassment claims.

Terri has been listed in Georgia Super Lawyers – Rising Stars since 2011. She also received the top “40 under 40” Award by the Atlanta Business Chronicle. The award honors the top 40 business people in Atlanta under the age of 40. Recently, she was chosen by the Daily Report, Atlanta’s leading legal newspaper, as a member of the 2015 class of “On the Rise” – the top 40 Georgia lawyers under the age of 40. Terri is also a recent graduate of the L.E.A.D. Atlanta Class (a division of Leadership Atlanta).

Jason Treu Executive Coaching

Jason Treu

Executive Coach, Jason Treu Executive Coaching

Jason Treu (Troy) is a leadership and performance coach for executives, managers, employees, and business owners. His programs and systems help individuals, teams, and organizations achieve their most ambitious goals by skyrocketing their skills, abilities, and teamwork.

Jason also has in the trenches experience, helping build a billion-dollar company and working with many Fortune 100 companies. He spent 15+ years working in marketing leadership positions in Silicon Valley working with influential leaders such as Steve Jobs (Apple & Pixar), Reed Hastings (CEO at Netflix), Mark Cuban, Mark Hurd (CEO at HP), Paul Wahl (President of SAP), and many others.

Through his coaching, his clients have also met industry influencers such as Tim Cook, Bill Gates, Richard Branson, Peter Diamandis, Chris Anderson, high-profile VCs, and many others. He’s also helped his clients create more than $1 billion dollars in wealth over the past five years and secure seats on influential boards such as TEDx and xPrize.

Jason is the best-selling author of Social Wealth, a how-to-guide on building extraordinary business relationships, that has sold more than 60,000 copies.

He also was a featured speaker at 2017 TEDxWilmington for his talk on, “How to Get CoWorkers to Like Each Other.” His breakthrough employee engagement and team building game Cards Against Mundanity has been played by more than 12000+ people to increase performance. It’s being used in leading companies such as Amazon, Southwest Airlines, Ernst & Young, Google, Gillette, Microsoft, Oracle, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Worldwide Express, CareHere, Oklahoma City Thunder (NBA team), Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Novartis, Merck, Intel, Thermo Fisher Scientific, and many others.

He has his law degree and master’s in communications from Syracuse University.

Ogletree Deakins

Natalie Turner

Shareholder, Ogletree Deakins

Ms. Turner graduated magna cum laude from the University of Alabama School of Law in 2003.  During law school, Ms. Turner was an Editor on the Alabama Law Review and served as a member of the Campbell Moot Court Board.

Following law school, Ms. Turner has practiced almost exclusively in the area of labor and employment law.  Her practice at Ogletree Deakins includes employment litigation and administrative proceedings involving race, gender, age and religious discrimination, sexual harassment and retaliation, as well as judicial and arbitration proceedings involving the enforcement of restrictive covenants and employment contracts.  Additionally, Ms. Turner frequently counsel clients on compliance with state and federal workplace laws.  Ms. Turner’s practice is national in scope, but she most frequently handles cases and counsels clients regarding matters in Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Oklahoma and New Mexico.

Admitted to Practice:

  • Georgia
  • Oklahoma
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Georgia

Professional Activities:

  • Atlanta Bar Association
  • State Bar of Georgia
Rollins, Inc.

Nanci Yelisetty

Director, Human Resources/Employee Relations, Rollins, Inc.

Nanci Yelisetty began her career in Human Resources in 1998. She holds a bachelor’s degree from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a master’s degree in Human Resources Management from The University of Maryland University College. Additionally, she has been certified as a SHRM-SCP since 2015, and as a SPHR since 2005. Currently, she serves as the Director of Employee Relations at Rollins, Inc., a premier global consumer and commercial services company headquartered in Atlanta, GA. Formerly, Nanci was the Director of the Associate Relations Resolution Team (ARRT) for Anthem, Inc., a leading health benefits company headquartered in Indianapolis, IN, and the Director of Human Resources Compliance for HMSHost,Inc., the world’s largest provider of food and beverage services for travelers, headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland. Nanci has also worked in Human Resources and Learning/Development for The Home Depot, headquartered in Atlanta, GA. Nanci has lived in the Atlanta Metro area for five years.