Learning & Development Executive Summit 2019

Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World® Resort, Orlando, FL
February 3, 2019 - February 5, 2019

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Welcome to Opal Group’s Learning & Development Executive Summit

Engage. Cultivate. Elevate.
Transforming the Employee Experience

The Learning & Development Executive Summit is a gathering of C-Suite Executives and Senior Decision Makers from Fortune 1000 and leading enterprise organizations. Our intimate, invitation-only event creates new business relationships and opportunities to benchmark with true peers while focusing on key business challenges.

Our summit provides a specialized, strategically-built experience featuring unparalleled speaking sessions, on and off-site networking opportunities, and customized face-to-face business meetings.

We believe in creating a memorable, collaborative and effective experience focused on continuous improvement for Chief Learning Officers, Chief Talent Officers and other top executives in learning, development and talent management.

Join us! Interested in attending, speaking or sponsoring? Contact Cherlene Willis at (212) 532-9898 ext 230 or email info@opalgroup.net.

The Summit Experience - Hear from Starbucks, Expedia, Home Depot, and more!

Current as of


Jeff James, Vice President and General Manager, Disney Institute

Molly Hill, Vice President of Global Talent, Starbucks

Clint Kofford, Global Head of Talent Development, Johnson & Johnson

Shelly Holt, VP Learning & Development, Expedia

Timothy Munyon, Associate Professor of Management, Haslam College of Business, University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Claire Herring, Head of Product, Blue Ocean Brain

Constance Keys, Head of Learning & Culture, Campbell Soup

Kee Meng Yeo, Vice President, Enterprise Talent Development, Amway

Mark Boccia, Global Head of Learning & Development, Royal Caribbean Cruises

Seanna McGough, Learning & Development Leader, Wells Fargo

Lisa Toppin, Chief Diversity Officer & Vice President of Talent Management, LPL Financial

Jay Morris, Executive Director, Institute for Excellence (IFE), Vice President, Education, Yale New Haven Health System

Maria Wayne, Head of Talent Management, Seagate Technology

Jamie Graceffa, Director of Learning and Organizational Change, Philips

Lauren Gohde, North America Inclusion & Diversity Lead, Philips

David Nace, Head of Brand Development, Education, and Bose Brand University, Bose Corporation

Christine Belknap, VP Talent Development, NCR

KimArie Yowell, Vice President of Talent Development, Quicken Loans

Adam Girard, AVP - Learning Technology & Analytics, MetLife

Shawn Dingle, Senior Training Director, Sonic Automotive

Casper Moerck, Head of Learning Technology, Siemens Corporation

Carol Alfieri, VP, Organizational Development - Center of Expertise, Rogers Communications

Donna DiDoenico, AVP, Learning, Development & Performance, Amtrak

Gretchen Lumsden, Dr. Leadership & Learning, Home Depot

Deborah Varao-Martin, Sr. Dr. Learning & Leadership Development, BlueCross BlueShield of MA

Tobias Washington, Head of Learning Experience, Design & Technology, CHRISTUS Health

Jennifer Dudek, VP, Global Learning, Leader & Talent Development, Cisco

Kristen Ireland, Head of Learning & Development and Global Development Programs for Risk Management, Citigroup

Kayla Campbell, Senior Director, Performance & Learning, Pernod Ricard North America

David Hare, Head of Enterprise, Learning & Development, GE Appliances

Chad Pfeifer, Vice President, Talent Development, Trilogy Health Services

Matt Confer, VP, Strategy & Business Development, Abilitie

Catherine Crabtree, Sr. Director, LearnSearch

Carey Bongard, SVP of Global Talent Management and Development, Assurant

Carrie Straub, PhD, Executive Dir. Educational Programs and Research, Mursion

Fraser Bowie, Innovation & Augmented/Virtual Reality Learning Technology Team Lead, Verizon

Steve Arntz, Senior Product Manager, Bridge

Matthew Murphy, VP of Customer Success, Adeption


Welcome Brunch | Meet & Greet Activity | Event Registration


Chairperson’s Opening Remarks | L&D’s Impact on Employee Experience


Opening Keynote Presentation


Powering Learners: Igniting Workforce Transformation through Agility, Resilience and a Growth Mindset


The future of work is changing, and learning and talent development leaders need to revitalize how to motivate and inspire employees to learn the critical skills needed in the future. Learners need new continuous,
engaging learning experiences that encourage them to embrace change, and adapt to evolving business needs, while achieving personal growth and satisfaction.



L&D leaders need to understand why and how the world is shifting, and how that transformation drives the skills we need as we traverse forward. Fueling employees to develop agility, resilience and a growth mindset
can serve as the foundation and catalyst for change. Topics to be discussed include:

  • Redefining strategy to prepare workers for the future
  • Scaling on-demand, real-time learning, and in-the-moment capabilities
  • Redesigning personalized learning to drive performance
  • Incorporating learning in the end-to-end employee experience



Shelly Holt | VP Learning & Development | Expedia


Keynote Presentation


Driving Business Forward: Demonstrating ROI Through Learning and Development Programs


Learning and development in today’s complex and volatile world continues to be a top challenge for enterprise organizations. While even the largest companies are modernizing development programs for employees at all levels, it is imperative that learning leaders demonstrate ROI.


Sponsored by:

Presented by:

Timothy Munyon | Associate Professor of Management | Haslam College of Business, University of Tennessee, Knoxville


One-on-One Business Meetings


One-on-One Business Meetings


Interactive Panel Discussion


Transforming Organizational Culture: Fueling Purpose, Enabling the Shift, and Driving “Who We Are and
What We Do”


Innovation, rapid change and business realignments require agility, dedication, and purpose. How do L&D executives bring purpose to life? Connecting purpose to what employees accomplish every day is growing in importance. People need to believe in what they are providing – their services and their work. Creating the right culture that ignites organizational effectiveness by uniting employees, identifying driving forces and enabling breakthroughs is vital to growth. Join this session to hear how and why our panelists are transforming organizational culture. Hear how executives are:


  • Uncovering the disconnect between previous or current company cultures
  • Identifying the building blocks to spark effective culture shifts
  • Developing concepts for a multidimensional workforce
  • Earning support and employee buy-in for behavior changes, evolving mindsets and actionable results



Catherine Crabtree | Sr. Director | LearnSearch


Constance Keys | Head of Global Learning and Culture | Campbell Soup

Kee Meng Yeo | VP, Enterprise Talent Development | Amway

Carol Alfieri | VP, Organizational Development - Center of Expertise | Rogers Communications

Donna DiDomenico | AVP Learning, Development & Performance | Amtrak

Adrienne Sims | VP, Talent Management | One America


Culinary Creations: Build Your Own Snack | Change Attire for Tour


Living Laboratory: Business Behind the Magic Tour at the Walt Disney World Resort®


During this behind-the-scenes private tour of the Walt Disney World Resort, attendees will visit multiple locations and learn first-hand how Disney business insights and time-tested methodologies are operationalized to deliver a greater customer experience.


This 4-hour tour features concepts and illustrations from the professional development courses offered by Disney Institute and shows how they come to life each day at the Walt Disney World Resort® for Cast Members and guests.




End of Day One | Dinner on Your Own


Breakfast, Books, & Banter



Katherine Ilagan | VP, Speaker & Delegate Relations | Opal Group


Chairperson’s Opening Remarks | How L&D Leaders are Driving Business Forward


Opening Keynote Presentation


Driving Business Impact through Employee Engagement: Hear how Johnson & Johnson is Igniting Change
on a Global Scale


Learn how J&J is creatively engaging its employees and leveraging passion to drive change. See specific ways in which J&J creatively engages its employees: running TEDx salons internally, facilitating ‘field trips’ or ‘adventures’ that drive inspiration, insight, and innovation, leveraging networks of passion to ignite change in key areas of development and innovation, leveraging some of the same tools to crowdsource strategy that brings the broader organization along faster.



Clint Kofford | Global Head of Talent Development | Johnson & Johnson


Keynote Presentation


The Benefits of Bite-Sized Learning at the Moment of Need: Creating Continuous Learning Opportunities through Microlearning


Today’s global workforce requires meaningful learning experiences that are produced at the moment of need and in a manner that enhances employee performance without disrupting workflow.


Additionally, employees want to apply information gathered through microlearning formats immediately on the job. Join this session to learn more about how to build an effective strategy that integrates with current
platforms. Questions to be discussed include:


• How to strategically integrate microlearning into existing models
• How to determine information and knowledge best delivered by this format
• How to tie microlearning to overall improvements in employee performance


Sponsored by:


Claire Herring |Head of Product | Blue Ocean Brain


One-on-One Business Meetings | Networking Break


One-on-One Business Meetings | Networking Break


Interactive Panel Discussion


Transforming Onboarding: How L&D is Improving the Onboarding Experience to Enhance Employee Development, Performance and Retention


Learning, whether it be about the company, job duties, performance expectations and more, no longer begins on day one of a new job. Today, potential employees want to learn as much as possible about potential
employers before onboarding even begins. However, how can learning leaders ensure new employees fully understand what they’re walking into and if it’s the right fit for them and the organization? Join this
interactive discussion to discover how leading organizations are addressing key onboarding issues through a learning lens.


Join this interactive panel discussion to hear real-world case studies, challenges and opportunities regarding L&D’s purpose and role in onboarding. Each panelist will share how each organization is transforming the onboarding experience to achieve business results.




KimArie Yowell | Vice President of Talent Development | Quicken Loans


Mark Boccia | Global Head of Learning & Development | Royal Caribbean Cruises

Christine Belknap | VP Talent Development | NCR

Kayla Campbell | Sr. Dir, Performance & Learning NA | Pernod Ricard

Gretchen Lumsden | Dr. Leadership and Learning | Home Depot


Interactive Workshops

The workplace is changing and the role of HR and L&D is changing along with it. What used to be a function designed to support training and to manage risk has become a function focused on designing and architecting experiences. How do we create and develop experiences that both meet the needs of today’s managers and fit into their unique workflow?


Join this interactive workshop to:

  • Gain better understanding of design thinking
  • Learn about L&D’s role in career development
  • Develop a strategy for solving your most critical problems


Sponsored by:


Presented by

Steve Arntz | Senior Product Manager | Bridge

Organizations utilize experiential learning to craft environments that give professionals real-world practice without real-world consequences. Learn how more than 40 Fortune 500 organizations and over 25 universities around the world have partnered with Abilitie to incorporate experiential learning into their leadership development programs.


During this session you will learn crucial best practices to ensure that simulation-based learning is a successful addition and/or enhancement to your leadership development offerings. We will also explore how to ensure engagement whether the content is delivered virtually, in the classroom, or a blend between the two.


The following three team-based simulations will be showcased during the demo portion of the session:

  1. Management Effectiveness – Participants engage employees to uncover their intrinsic motivators while practicing giving effective feedback and coaching through critical conversations
  2. Business Acumen –  Professionals learn to speak the language of finance and how to understand the drivers of business value to make better data-driven decisions
  3. Cross-Functional Leadership Skills – Participants run an entire business including everything from forming strategy to making critical personnel decisions & setting operational goals in an environment of high ambiguity


Sponsored by:


Presented by

Matt Confer | VP of Strategy & Business Development | Abilitie


Networking Luncheon


Keynote Presentation


Investing in Commitment, Promise and Values: How a Reprehensible Event Fueled a Learning & Development Action Plan to recommit to the Third Place


In May 2018, Starbucks closed more than 8,000 stores and offices across the United States for a conversation on race, bias, and the continued work to build a true Third Place.


Join this session to hear more about how an incident in a store in Philadelphia sparked the need for change and unrelenting dedication to foster a diverse, inclusive and equitable environment for all employees and communities, including customers. Hear how new learning initiatives – centered on a renewed commitment – are being executed, and how targeted training is helping recommit the promise of a Third Place that welcomes all.



Molly Hill | Vice President of Global Talent | Starbucks


Breakout Sessions

How can learning and development leaders better partner with diversity and inclusion leaders to achieve organizational objectives while overcoming pre-existing barriers?


Join this interactive workshop to discuss best practices and deep dive into real-world conversations, challenges and issues that organically arise when trying to promote internal collaboration.


Hear more about:

  • What your colleagues are facing right now
  • Actionable insights for both functions
  • Developing natural partnerships and seizing opportunities to achieve goals for both L&D and D&I leaders
Led by

Jamie Graceffa, Director of Learning and Organizational Change, Philips


Lauren Gohde | North America Inclusion & Diversity Lead | Philips

What is your organization doing to grow and develop a diverse workforce? Diversity programs and initiatives are becoming an integral part in building the workforce of the future. Join this session to hear how LPL Financial is creating informal mentoring programs to help develop female and minority leaders.


Topics to be discussed include:

  • How to leverage established L&D systems to identify potential employees for leadership positions
  • How to uncover and understand informal systems that may be preventing advancement of minority and female employees
Presented by

Lisa Toppin | Chief Diversity Officer & VP of Talent Management | LPL Financial


One-on-One Business Meetings


One-on-One Business Meetings


Emerging Technologies Panel


Uncovering the Digital Tools of Tomorrow’s eLearning Ecosystem: Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning, Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality and more


How will the learning leaders of today deliver innovating learning experiences through emerging technologies? Join this session to hear from next-gen solution providers and receive a sneak peek into tomorrow’s delivery methods and learning modalities, today!


Casper Moerck | Head of Learning Technology | Siemens Corporation


Carrie Straub, PhD | Executive Dir. Educational Programs and Research | Mursion

Fraser Bowie | Innovation & Augmented/Virtual Reality Learning Technology Team Lead | Verizon


One on One Business Meetings | Networking Break


One on One Business Meetings | Networking Break


Interactive Panel Discussion


Developing Future Leaders Internally: How to Create Engaging, Interactive and Inspiring Leadership Development Programs Catered to Individual Learners at All Levels


From frontline leaders to top executives and all levels in between, enterprise organizations are investing in effective leadership programs that deliver forward-thinking employees who are embracing continuous learning and professional development. Join us to learn how executives are creating new programs that meet employees and business needs.



Matthew Murphy | VP of Customer Success | Adeption


Seanna McGough, Learning & Development Leader, Wells Fargo

Shawn Dingle, Senior Training Director, Sonic Automotive

Deborah Varao-Martin | Senior Director, Learning & Leadership Development | BlueCross BlueShield of MA

David Hare | Head of Enterprise Learning & Development | GE Appliances


Networking Reception: Cocktails & Hors d’oeuvres


Breakfast Roundtables


Executive-led interactive challenge-based roundtable discussions. Please select one session.

A. Transformational Coaching: How to Build Resiliency and Promote Employee Growth to Increase Performance

Led by

Jay Morris | VP of Education | Yale-New Haven Health

B. Developing a Brand University from Scratch

Led by

David Nace | Head of Brand Development, Education, and Bose Brand University | Bose Corporation

C. Retaining Millennials: How to Develop Onboarding Programs Aimed at Reducing Attrition and Increasing Engagement Among Millennials

Led by

Chad Pfeifer | Vice President, Talent Development | Trilogy Health Services


Chairperson’s Opening Remarks | Preparing the Future Workforce through L&D


Interactive Panel Discussion


Designing for the Modern Learner: Leveraging Emerging Technologies to Create Engaging, Personalized
and Continuous Learning Experiences


Developing the workforce of the future requires a multi-faceted proactive approach fueled by innovation and desired results. Learning leaders must leverage new technologies including mobile, social and microlearning
strategies and reinvent learning paths for employees of all levels to ensure knowledge is retained, future leaders are developed, and employees are prepared for rapid career and organizational changes.


This session will highlight how leading organizations have successfully implemented segmented and global programs while discussing the challenges and victories encountered along the way. Attend this session to hear how:

  • New technologies are helping reskill employees and keep organizations competitive
  • Consumer-like technologies are achieving learning objectives that align with organizational goals, including reskilling for future needs and identifying leaders at all levels
  • Levels of engagement, satisfaction and experience differ according to channel
  • Learning leaders integrated new tools into the existing L&D landscape
  • L&D innovation is supported throughout the organization


Sponsored by:



Claire Herring | Head of Product | Blue Ocean Brain


Adam Girard | AVP - Learning Technology & Analytics | MetLife

Casper Moerck | Head of Learning Technology | Siemens Corporation

Tobias Washington | Head of Head of Learning Experience, Design & Technology | CHRISTUS Health

Kristen Ireland | Head of Learning & Development and Global Development Programs for Risk Management | Citigroup


Keynote Presentation


Creating a Culture of Inclusive Leadership


Diverse people bring diverse perspectives and diverse expertise that are key to effectively addressing the complex challenges we face in the technology industry. Quite simply: diversity and inclusion improve productivity and innovation.


It is mathematically proven that better decisions are made when we include a diverse portfolio of cognitive tools – which comes from diversity of people “at the table”.  However, the latest advances in neuroscience research tell us that our ability to make better decisions is impacted by “unconscious bias”. A corporate culture supported by inclusive leadership principles is critical to business success.


In this session, Dr. Wayne will share Seagate’s approach to inclusive leadership:

  • Driving Inclusion as a corporate value, supported by active executive champions
  • Building a business case for inclusion with mathematical modeling and concepts (i.e. diversity prediction theorem and diversity index)
  • Establishing business metrics and accountability systems
  • Equipping leaders with knowledge and skills to mitigate bias and drive inclusion across the business
Presented by

Maria Wayne | Head of Talent Management | Seagate Technology


One-on-One Business Meetings | Networking Break


One-on-One Business Meetings | Networking Break


Keynote Presentation


Leveraging Leadership Development to Strengthen Culture: Learn how Assurant brings its culture to life through learning


Culture: There’s little argument about its importance. Culture defines the experience employees and customers have with your organization, which can help or hinder business. Following a major business transformation that brought disparate cultures together, Assurant recognized the need to clearly define its intended culture and reinforce the associated behaviors; to retain the elements that worked and shed those that would not serve the company going forward. In this segment, learn how Assurant established the “role of the Assurant leader,” and then built a comprehensive learning roadmap to develop leadership capabilities at
all levels in the organization while simultaneously enabling culture.

Carey Bongard, SVP of Global Talent Management and Development, Assurant


Closing Keynote Presentation


Disney’s Approach to Customer Experience


Walt Disney parks and resorts is a recognized leader in delivering world-class experiences. This is your opportunity to learn from Jeff James, Vice President and General Manager of Disney Institute, as he shares business insights behind Disney’s success. You will leave inspired and ready to unlock the magic inside your organization.

Jeff James | Vice President and General Manager | Disney Institute


End of Summit | Champagne Toast | Thank you!

Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World® Resort
10100 Dream Tree Blvd, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32836

Please contact your business development associate to reserve your hotel room.

More networking, greater interactions, bigger ROI:

One of the biggest challenges that companies face is standing out from the crowd. Your company has the perfect solution to your customer’s problem but how do you grab their attention?

The Learning & Development Executive Summit provides a specialized, strategically-built experience for cutting-edge solution providers to engage, interact, and build relationships with pre-qualified C-Suite Executives and Senior Decision Makers from Fortune 1000 and leading enterprise organizations who are actively looking for new business partners.

Solution providers are developing new business relationships through unparalleled speaking sessions, bespoke networking events, and custom face-to-face business meetings.

  • Creating new L&D models for an evolving global workforce
  • Identifying key organizational capabilities to drive growth and innovation
  • Identifying and developing future leaders internally
  • Leveraging L&D to improve onboarding, retention and performance
  • Reinventing continuous learning strategies to engage Millennials
  • Aligning L&D strategies with business objectives
  • Leveraging learning measurement and analytics
  • Integrating informal learning approaches
  • Designing programs for a multigenerational workforce
  • Utilizing technology tools to develop skills for future business needs
  • Prescheduled One-to-One Meetings:
    Each participating solution provider and attendees will have pre-summit access to our matching software that allows you to completely customize your meeting agenda. The password-protected website provides the information needed to make your selections on who you want to meet with.

  • Exceptional Networking Opportunities:
    We strive to maximize your face-to-face time by providing a multitude of avenues to engage the senior executives in attendance. The agenda incorporates an off-site networking activity, networking luncheons and cocktail reception. Leverage the meeting’s intimate atmosphere to build strong personal relationships with current and future clients.

The Leadership & Development Executive Summit is an invitation-only, exclusive event for heads of learning, development, leadership development, talent management and organizational effectiveness from Fortune 1000 and leading enterprise organizations.


Chief Learning Officers (CLOs)
Chief Talent Officers (CTOs)
SVP/VP/Head of Learning & Development
SVP/VP/Head of Talent Management
SVP/VP/Head of Leadership Development
SVP/VP/Head of Human Resources


To request your invitation today, please contact Katherine Ilagan at 212-532-9898 ext 233 or email info@opalgroup.net.

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