2016 DE State SHRM Conference

November 2nd and 3rd, 2016

University of Delaware, Clayton Hall

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Conference Agenda

Conference Session Descriptions 



Thank you to our Platinum Sponsor  

Session Descriptions  

Wednesday, November 2nd

8:30 – 10:00AM Keynote Speaker: Build an Epic Organization, Steve Donahue (Approved for Business Credit)

Like the heroes of epic poems, leaders must thrive in constant change and be completely engaged in their journey. They must also be on a quest that creates its own compelling story. Steve shows how to acquire and leverage a legendary narrative that employees and stakeholders want to play a role in and be the heroes of. Using cutting edge techniques from the emerging field of Narrative Intelligence he demonstrates how leadership can guide staffand direct the organization in a dynamic environment.

Some of the key takeaways include

10:15 – 11:15 AM Tips & Traps for Employee Benefit Plans Wendy Voss, Potter Anderson & Corroon, LLP

Developing greater knowledge of the continually evolving employee benefits landscape, while learning how to avoid common pitfalls is the focus of this presentation.

10:15 – 11:15 AM Gamification is the New Wave of the Future Ralph Petti, Continuity Dynamics Inc. (Approved for Business Credit)

The Gartner Group says that Gamification will be integral to the success of over half of the Fortune 500 companies by the year 2017. Gamification will heighten the measurement of employees to help ensure that they are prepared to respond to do their jobs- even in the most critical of time.  The ability of these HR professionals to be able to administer training courses to educate their employees AND gain valuable feedback is the wave of the future.

Gamification is an essential training component for all companies that is quickly taking the place of on-line and in-person training, as well as those in group sessions. Many company - in all industries - are considering this training so that they can educate their employees and be certain that they are prepared to do their jobs well. There is very little margin for error in hiring or promoting the wrong personnel and Gamification will serve to identify any weak characteristics in their workforce to provide remedial training to address their needs.

10:15 – 11:15 AM Health as a Serious Economic Strategy, Madeline Robison, USI Insurance

The era of consumerism in medical benefits has done little to curb overall expenses – aside from simply shifting costs to employees.   Employer investments in participatory wellness programs have generally correlated to very little returns, either in cost reductions or healthier employee populations.  Since benefit costs will rise and fall on a population’s underlying health, it’s time to consider health a serious economic strategy.  This session will challenge senior level HR executives to develop policies that help change employees’ behaviors related to their health, while analyzing key metrics.

This session will challenge senior level HR executives to develop policies that help change employees’ behaviors related to their health, while analyzing the following metrics:

1:45 – 2:45 PM Panel: Lessons Learned from a Government Audit, Jennifer Jauffret & Lori Brewington, Richards Layton and Finger,  
Laurie Mitchell, PHR, SHRM-CP, Manager, HR Shared Services, Audit & Compliance, Navient, Tricia Clendening, SHRM-SCP, GPHR, SPHR, HR Strategies, LLC, President,Trudy Spence-Parker, SPHR, Vice President of Human Resources, Goodwill of Delaware and Delaware County (Sponsored by Corexcel)

This presentation will involve a panel discussion with a question/answer session. The panel will include a moderator to facilitate the discussion, labor and employment counsel, as well as one to three senior management employees (one of whom will likely be from HR) with expertise in Human Resources compliance. The panel will discuss their knowledge, insight, and guidance about the audit process in general regarding different types of employment-related audits, including a focus on an audit by the Department of Labor (DOL). Topics for discussion will include, for example, interviewing relevant witnesses, strategic business decisions involved in responding to the DOL or other government agency, settlement options, and preserving documents and records


1:45 – 2:45 PM Are you Minding the Gap? The Gender Gap, Dr. Patricia Buhler & Fatma Abdel-Raouf, Goldey-Beacom (Sponsored by Goldey-Beacom College)   (Approved for Business Credit)

This timely presentation updates the state of gender inequity in 2016.  A brief review of the state of the gap is presented with an overview of the issue as a global economic imperative.  The impact of confidence levels of women is discussed with specific recommendations for organizations and HR professionals.

1:45 – 2:45 PM Leading Through Conflict with Emotional Intelligence Susan Redding, Mid-Atlantic Employers' Association

According to Daniel Goleman, 85% of a leader’s success depends on how well they manage emotions. Through established patterns and habits, we’ve taught ourselves strategies for how we handle conflict that are not always the most effective. We have to step out of our comfort zone in order to recognize that we do have a choice for how we react and how we lead. By awakening your awareness, and using the power of emotions, you will become a more effective leader.

3:00 - 4:30 PM The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Labor and Employment Law Developments 2016 Bill Bowser, Scott Holt, Michael P. Stafford and Lauren E.M. RussellYoung, Conaway, Stargatt and Taylor 

Attendees at this session will learn about the most important recent developments in labor and employment law.

Thursday, November 3, 2016


8:30 AM – 9:30 AM Gender Pay Gap: 10 Promising Practices to CLOSE IT (Sponsored by Drexel University Online)


This program includes 10 promising practices for employers to consider to close the gender pay gap.  The recommendations are based, in part, on laws and proposed laws at the federal, state and local level..

Stay ahead of the legal curve. The business imperative is just as important.


 8:30 AM – 9:30 AM Creative and Mentoring Leadership, Jonathon Fanning (Pre-Registration Required) (Sponsored by Villanova University)  (Approved for Business Credit)


Walt Disney was one of the most creative leaders of the last century.  What were the 5 traits that fueled his creativity?  What tools did Disney use to create an organization that brought out the creativity of each member? This unique “Lessons from Legends” workshop leaves participants challenging the limits that they’ve allowed to hold the organization’s creativity at bay.  Is this one of the most rapidly changing times in history? Are you creative enough to flourish in this environment?  One year from today, you will be more creative in your leadership role… or you won’t be. You will have created a culture that encourages more creativity… or not. Your team will exhibit more of the 6 traits… or they won’t.  The lessons, mindsets, and strategies from this program will stick with you and your team for the rest of your careers.

- Build a “Culture of Innovation” - learn from Walt Disney.

- Enhance the creative capacity of your organization. - Learn practical tools and strategies for taking your personal creativity to the next level.

- Experience the power of consistently asking better and bigger questions, as leaders and as an organization.

- Borrow best practices on employee engagement frommlegendary organizations.

- Coach, Mentor, Motivate, and Inspire with new strategies. - Creativity is crucial in solving the challenges of tomorrow! - Get unstuck. 

- Leadership is not developed in a vacuum or classroom. - Coaching program is uniquely designed to build your leaders and your business simultaneously.

- Group and individual components.

- Incorporates customized 360 feedback models.

- Each coaching engagement is 100% customized. - Incorporates detailed assessment of strengths and developmental needs.

- Pay for performance guarantee. 

 8:30 AM– 9:30 AM The Social HR: Strategies to Engage, Recruit & Retain, Lisa Flowers, Flowers Media Matters (Sponsored by: T.H. Easter Consulting LLC)


Social media is where connections and conversations are happening in the business world. It allows certain HR activities, such as engaging employees and recruiting candidates, to be accomplished on a much wider scale than traditional methods. Participants will learn how to: Listen, monitor, learn and collaborate using media, engage with a wider audience, build brand awareness and influence, target top candidates and improve on the effectiveness of their recruitment efforts.


10:00 AM – 11:00 AM FMLA Hostage Crisis Star Bobatoon, Star Consulting, LLC


Intermittent FMLA is confusing, complex and hard to understand, yet employees seem to know exactly how to use it to their advantage and hold their employers hostage. The biggest weapon in their arsenal of fraud is HR’s lack of knowledge and confidence on how to shut them down. That ends now. Stop losing time and money due to FMLA abuse. Learn valuable information and practical strategies that can be implemented immediately to end the FMLA Hostage Crisis!  


10:00 AM - 11:00 AM  Your Thoughts and Words Create Your Reality, Maribeth Dockety, Delaware Technical and Community College


Everyone remembers how someone’s words make you feel.  The words we speak and how they are expressed, create a memorable impression on those you interact with on a daily basis.  Take time to explore your vocabulary and think about how your thoughts, words and interpretation create reality for you. As Human Resources Professionals, we have numerous opportunities to create a more engaging workplace simply by carefully choosing our communication style.

This interactive workshop will give you an opportunity to polish your current use of language and think about new ways to get your point across.

10:00 AM – 11:00 AM Developing Future Ready Leaders for Adaptive Organizations Debra France and Yolanda Franklin, WL Gore (Sponsored by: University of Delaware)  (Approved for Business Credit)


Organizations are realizing that hierarchical structures are much too constraining for them to be responsive to the VUCA world.  Conditions are becoming more Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous, and so organizations hoping to thrive must respond with Vision, Understanding, Clarity, and Agility.  This has enormous implications for leadership development – especially for those individuals beginning their leadership journey.  

The presenters will share the research findings, competencies, and design of leadership development for early leaders at W. L. Gore & Associates.  Gore has been acknowledged by Fast Company Magazine as “pound for pound the most innovative company in America.”  For more than 50-years Gore has operated as a relatively flat lattice-style organization, which positions it well in the VUCA world.


11:15 AM – 12:15PM Keynote Speaker: Who are You Becoming? Jonathon Fanning


A year from today, will you be a better leader… or not? The answer affects every aspect of our lives. Who are you BECOMING? introduces four pillars the greatest leaders all have in common and a simple formula for enhancing these pillars in your own life and organization. A favorite of audiences across the country, Jonathan shares “The Simplest and Most Effective Leadership Development Plan”, borrowing powerful and practical lessons from the greatest people developers in all walks of life.



12:45 PM - 3:00 PM  Special Lunch Session (Requires Additional Registration and Fee of $65.00) - Telling your Epic Story (building on his keynote presentation, Steve will dive deeper into building that epic organization with Telling your Epic Story)

Successful businesses need three things to create an epic story - a noble quest, trusted companions and a compelling narrative. If this sounds like a fairy tale then consider the science. Research shows that the most profitable companies have a non-monetary, aspirational vision. That seems like a paradox but brain science is proving what the best organizations know - people automatically use narrative to make sense of opposing ideas.

Framing your business as an epic story commits staff to the quest and connects customers with your values. In this groundbreaking presentation Steve draws upon the exciting field of Narrative Intelligence to guide leaders toward epic results. He shows how to create a vision that enthrals employees, captivates customers and builds a healthy bottom line. You will learn why stories matter more than statistics and how to leverage your own unique narratives to make a difference in the world while being a success on the balance sheet.