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Level Up Speakers & Schedule

Jennifer Bashant

Keynote Address

Jennifer Bashant, Ph.D.

Building Resilience to Navigate Uncertain Times

Resilience and the ability to be flexible and navigate change are important qualities for employees to possess. One needs resilience to be effective at a job, cope with stress, resolve issues with others and push through challenging situations without giving up. Happiness, or an overall sense of well-being, is positively correlated with resilience, so when one increases, the other does as well. Knowing exactly how to develop these qualities can be complicated and feel overwhelming because changing behavior is hard. During this keynote, Dr. Bashant will introduce simple steps participants can take which are based on research from the fields of positive psychology, mindfulness and neuroscience. Participants will learn ways to strengthen their own resilience and happiness by meeting these three basic human needs:

Safety – Compassion, Grit, Calm and Courage

Satisfaction – Mindfulness, Gratitude, Motivation and Aspiration

Connection – Learning, Confidence, Improved Relationships and Generosity

These strategies, insights and discussions will help employees feel confident and remain calm and centered in the face of adversity. Participants will leave feeling empowered to experience more joy, improved relationships and an improved sense of well-being at work and in life.

Stephen Barankewicz Senior Partner, Global Leader, People & Organization Practice, Ascend Strategy Partners

Pivot Your Leadership Development Efforts for Lasting Impact
Wednesday, October 27, 2021     11:00 AM     45 Minutes

Are you taking a closer look at how to develop you current and future Leaders? As an industry, we spend millions of dollars on Leadership Development, yet one survey suggests that up to 75% of these programs are not effective. If there is one lesson to learn from this past year it’s that we need to develop better leaders and we need to dive deeper into our talent pool. An intense classroom approach is not sustainable, therefore in order to achieve this change we need to pivot our methodology, create a Leadership journey, make it more experiential, leverage cohort learning and practice these new behaviors over time. This session will break down one such model and include a discussion around deployment considerations and Capstone options that is adaptable to your organization. With this approach you will be able to stretch your budget, be more inclusive and begin the Leadership path earlier in one’s career.

About the Speaker

Stephen Barankewicz, heads up the leadership and learning division with authenticity, relevance and truth. An executive with over 25 years of experience, he is a subject matter expert in both linking business needs and human performance solutions bringing out the best in your people for today and tomorrow.
Stephen empowers leaders to balance talent and bottom-line results in the areas they are committed to. He has worked in close coordination with a wide variety of corporations and governments.

Etta Jacobs Founder/Principal, Power in the Middle

Peer Coaching and Training for Emerging Leaders
Wednesday, October 27, 2021     1:15 PM     75 Minutes

How do new managers learn to juggle back-to-back meetings, respond to endless streams of emails, navigate political battles, and still find the time to coach/mentor their teams? Usually by trial and error, with a lot of uncertainty, stress, awkward missteps, and painful miscommunication.

For mid-level managers to become effective, they need to develop the skills to manage this stress, build relationships with their peers across silos, while also supporting and guiding their teams. Most new mangers struggle with delegating, conflict resolution, and delivering constructive/timely feedback.

Peer coaching, in cohorts of 6-8 managers, provides a safe, confidential, structured setting where managers share their challenges, admit their mistakes, practice offering meaningful feedback, develop a personal leadership model, and support each other in finding solutions to their common challenges. The ultimate goal of these coaching sessions is to give managers the skills to coach each other and lead their peer sessions on their own: building their relationships, confidence and influence.

In this interactive workshop, participants will be moved into breakout rooms, where they'll be introduced to a couple of activities their managers will experience. Etta will also share stories of remarkable breakthroughs her clients have realized through these peer coaching programs.

About the Speaker

Etta Jacobs is a passionate advocate who inspires her clients to embrace ambiguity, navigate complexity, cultivate compassion, and consider divergent perspectives. Powered by 20 years of senior-level corporate experience, she coaches mid-level managers and their teams, empowering them to effectively influence change. Etta’s clients include Harvard Business School, Microsoft, and Seattle Children's. Etta holds a MA of Organizational Psychology from William James College, and is ICF Certified.

Ann Marie Morris President, Train Your Talent

Getting a Seat at the Table
Wednesday, October 27, 2021     3:30 PM     45 Minutes

Shirley Chisholm was the first woman of color to be elected to the US Senate in 1968. When asked what advice she had for others seeking new ventures, she replied, “When they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring your own folding chair.” Over 50 years later, it’s still a compelling directive to those of us in talent management and L&D who may struggle to get that elusive seat at the table. The past year has taught us to reimagine everything. Let’s reimagine HR, our roles, and get the seat we deserve.

About the Speaker

Ann Marie Morris is a talent management, organizational change, and training expert with over 25 years of experience in designing and delivering employee engagement initiatives. She’s worked at a number of organizations, including Fidessa, Credit Suisse, JPMorgan Chase, and Interpublic. Working in the L&D space for her whole career has given her a front row seat to the challenges we need to overcome to get that seat at the table. Always up for a challenge (she calls it fun), she’s delivered several pecha kuccha sessions for DisruptHR and for ATD. She’s challenged our HR colleagues to stop faking it and also to negotiate a better ending to the on-boarding hostage crisis. She was recently awarded the Volunteer Mentor of the Year Award from Streetwise Partners, where professionals advise college students from underserved communities to get their first seat at the table.

Brisa Renteria CEO, Improve Growth

How to Predict Your Sales Candidate’s Success Before You Hire Them
Thursday, October 28, 2021     9:00 AM     45 Minutes

With unemployment at an all-time high, chances are you're having no problem getting salespeople to apply to your job ad. This is both a good thing and a bad thing.
Good thing: You're able to get salespeople in the funnel with little to no effort which gives you a huge pool of candidates to choose from.
Bad thing: Sucky salespeople (who interview well) will be in that funnel too which will keep you in the hiring wheel of death. Hiring, firing, hiring, firi..you get the gist.
...but don't freak out. I have a way that will get you out of the endless cycle, and I'm teaching it here!

About the Speaker

Brisa Renteria is the CEO of Improve Growth, where she saves companies thousands of dollars and months of frustration by introducing them to a sales selection process that makes the right sales hire 99% of the time. She has helped organizations all over the U.S implement and execute a sales selection process that attracts only the best sales professionals. Her five-step sales selection process is able to weed out the salespeople who can’t and won’t sell from the ones who will.

Tracy Solarek Founder & Chief Inspirer, Optymum Potential

Developing Stronger Leaders via Emotional Intelligence
Thursday, October 28, 2021     10:00 AM     75 Minutes

In the past, we had ample opportunities to engage with others — in break rooms or informal chats at the beginning/end of meetings — and become attuned with their emotions. In today’s two-dimensional workplace, applying EI takes a lot more effort and purposeful intention. Not only are we required to engage with others on different platforms, we also need to tap different parts of our brain to engage our EI. Just like learning to use muscle groups in your body, learning to engage new areas of your brain takes time and practice. EI training is helping professionals and organizations adapt to the “new normal” and find success on many levels including individual success, re-energize teams, and building comradery. Learn how you or your team can become a stronger, more impactful leader by further understanding and leveraging EI.

About the Speaker

In 2019, Tracy took the leap from the corporate world to start Optymum Potential LLC. Optymum is dedicated to providing professional development using proven and innovative solutions to unveil potential and impact your bottom line. Partnering with organizations to achieve their goals is Tracy’s passion. As a solutions-oriented leader, Tracy brings expertise in identifying and executing strategies to reverse underperforming operations using business analysis, change readiness assessments, and

Drew Stevens CEO, Stevens Performance Group

Pandemic Pandemonium- How To Be The Virtual Leader No One Wants To Leave
Thursday, October 28, 2021     1:15 PM     75 Minutes

During the past 14 months we have heard the same wrote ideologies of we're in this together and the new norm. Any leader realizes that things have altered but great leaders realize how do migrate through the winds of change and become incredible forces their create the collaboration and commitment employees desire. In a competitive, global economy where leadership will be paramount to organizational success now is the time to illustrate the five methods that make great leadership during incredible global change.

About the Speaker

Drew Stevens, PhD brings over 35 years of high performance coaching and mentoring to Stevens Performance Group. Dr. Drew started Stevens Performance after an exceptionally successful career Performance with small businesses and startups and helping them achieve record levels of operational performance and revenue. Drew has helped thousands of global firms achieve over $15 Billion in new revenue in the last 25 years.
Drew Stevens is the author of 14 books including notables such as Split-Second.

Amanda Hagzan Digital Learning Consultant, NYSTEC & Gary Strubel Senior Consultant, NYSTEC

Take Your Survey to the Next Level
Thursday, October 28, 2021     2:45 PM     45 Minutes

Take your survey to the next level by reviewing advanced features used in survey design. Discover updated methods for survey distribution to help engage your target audience and increase survey participation. We will demonstrate new and upcoming features within selected survey platforms. Audiences both new and experienced will walk away with updated survey development skills.

About the Presenters

Amanda Hagzan, MS, is a learning technologies professional with over 15 years of experience with eLearning, Instructional Technologies and training. At NYSTEC she works on Digital Learning projects including for the NYS DOH. Prior to NYSTEC, she was the Assistant Director for Instructional Technologies at Albany Medical College. Amanda has delivered instructional technology training and support to medical college faculty and researchers including on the Qualtrics and RedCap survey platforms.

For over 25 years, Gary has employed instructional technology solutions within the fields of healthcare, higher education, and state government. In his current role as a Digital Learning Consultant at NYSTEC, Gary has worked with clients to develop interactive, multimedia learning assets; assessment quizzes; and customer feedback surveys for professional associations and New York State clients.

Lynn Finke Founder, D3 Insight

If Your Data Could Talk...What Would It Say?
Thursday, October 28, 2021     3:45 PM     45 Minutes

The amount of data organizations have is staggering. When that data is not staged strategically it cannot be leveraged and is rendered useless. It is imperative to capture, organize, govern and analyze the data in a way to easily tell a story and construct refined business strategies. Good data is a business function, an investment even, rather than a back-office operation. Creating a culture that uses data to learn, understand, ask new questions and ultimately grow is equal parts art and science. Often, the conversation starts with the following questions:
"How do I do more with my data?"
"Where is all of this data even coming from?"
"Which one of these reports is right?"
"We have all of this data, why is it so hard to get simple information?"
"Do you mean to tell me that we are (still) doing this in Excel?"
"How come we don't have dashboards?"
"What are dashboards anyway?"
"Doesn't IT do this?"
If you too wonder these things, then this program is for you.

About the Presenter

After 25 years architecting game-changing data-centric technology solutions across many diverse industries, Lynn Finke founded D3 Insight. With a sales-oriented mindset, she is giddy about delivering on-demand solutions that leverage your data as an untapped revenue generating asset. A relentless focus on “one-truth” data governance strategies coupled with solid business practices will yield actionable insights that ultimately create a fact based decision making culture within the business.