2016 Talent Symposium

Keynote Speakers

  • Henry G. (Hank) Jackson, CPA

    Henry G. (Hank)
    Jackson, CPA

    Henry G. (Hank) Jackson is the president and CEO of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the world's largest HR professional Society. He previously served as the Society’s interim president and CEO, and as chief global finance and business affairs officer.

    Under Jackson’s leadership, the Society has grown to a record 290,000 members and hosted its largest-ever Annual Conference and Exposition. To better serve a diverse and more complex HR profession, the Society expanded its global reach and impact, formed partnerships with the Council for Global Immigration and SHRM’s Executive Network, HR People and Strategy, and opened its first state office in California, home to the largest concentration of HR professionals in the U.S.

    During Jackson’s tenure, the Society developed and launched its competency-based certification—the accredited SHRM-Senior Certified Professional and SHRM-Certified Professional—to further advance the HR profession. Within two years, the number of SHRM-certified professionals grew to more than 100,000 worldwide.      

    At the helm of SHRM during the economic downturn, Jackson spearheaded the Society’s initiatives on pressing HR and employment issues such as workforce readiness, veterans’ employment, and long-term unemployment. The Society has also strengthened its position as a highly sought-after voice on workplace public policy, as HR and workplace issues have increasingly been part of national discussions and public policy debates.

    Jackson believes that the HR profession is at an exciting and pivotal moment, calling it the “Decade of Human Capital.” Businesses are beginning to better understand and embrace human resource management as the most critical contributor to the strategic direction of their organizations, and the HR profession is being propelled into a key business leadership position.

    A long-tenured SHRM employee, Jackson has ensured as CEO that the organization remains an employer of choice and invests in a world-class workplace and work environment. In 2013, Washingtonian magazine recognized SHRM as a Great Place to Work in the Washington, D.C. area. 

    Jackson came to SHRM from Howard University in Washington, D.C., where he was senior vice president/chief financial officer and treasurer of the university. In this role, he oversaw the financial well-being of the university’s 11 schools and colleges, hospital, public television station, and commercial radio station. He served in several previous positions at Howard University, including comptroller, deputy comptroller, and systems accountant, before becoming senior vice president.

    Prior to joining Howard University, Jackson worked in public accounting with Hurdman Main and KMPG as senior auditor and a computer audit specialist. For several years, he was a consultant for the Southern Association of College and University Business Officers.

    Jackson earned his Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from Stonehill College in Massachusetts. He is a certified public accountant.

    Ben Casnocha


    Ben Casnocha is an award-winning entrepreneur and author from Silicon Valley. He is co-author, with LinkedIn founder and chairman Reid Hoffman, of the #1 New York Times best-selling book The Start-Up of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career. They are also authors of The Alliance: Managing Talent in the Networked Age, a highly anticipated book based on his article in Harvard Business Review entitled Tours of Duty: The New Employer-Employee Compact. Casnocha has himself written for Newsweek, the American Enterprise Institute, NPR’s “Marketplace” and the US State Department.

    In addition to his writing, Casnocha is a technology entrepreneur. He founded Comcate, Inc., a leading e-government software company, at age 14. He wrote a book about his experience titled My Start-Up Life. PoliticsOnline named him one of the “25 most influential people in the world of Internet and politics.” He also incubates and advises Internet entrepreneurs at Wasabi Ventures. BusinessWeek named him among “one of America’s top young entrepreneurs,” and dozens of outlets have covered his work, including CNN, The Economist and CNBC.

    Ben Casnocha is an accomplished world traveler and speaker. He has spoken to tens of thousands of people around the world. He’s traversed alleyways in Morocco, deserts in northern Chile and busy streets in China. He has experience leading inspiring global conversations about entrepreneurship, careers and the future of work.


  • Donna Morris, SHRM-SCP

    Morris, SHRM-SCP

    "Disrupt or be disrupted" is Donna Morris's rallying cry. From abolishing Adobe's annual performance reviews to dramitically expanding its family leave policy, she has set the industry agenda while making Adobe a great place to work. In her new role as Executive Vice President of Customer and Employee Experience, she leads the product, customer service and technical support experience for all Adobe products, in addition to all aspects of human resources and the workplace. Her breadth of experience and unique point of view on workplace issues has been sought out by hundreds of media outlets including CNN, NPR, CNBC, Fast Company and Fortune.

    Donna sits on the board of directors for the Society for Human Resource Management and the Adobe Foundation and was formerly a board member for California's Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties. She is also a member of the Fordham University Parents Council and mentors C100, a non-profit that supports Canadian technology entrepreneurship.


    Scott Pitasky


    Scott Pitasky leads Starbucks global partner (human) resources organization as executive vice president and chief partner resources officer. Scott joined Starbucks in October 2014 to lead efforts to support and transform Starbucks partner experience.

    Scott’s background includes three decades of broad human resources and organizational design experience from the technology, financial services and other business sectors.

    Prior to joining Starbucks, Scott spent more than a dozen years at Microsoft, where he led the global talent function for the company as Corporate Vice President of Talent and Organization Capability. Prior to that, Scott led Amazon’s human resources function during a period of rapid growth as the company grew from 800 to 8,000 employees. His career has also included human resources and finance roles with AlliedSignal and as a consultant. Before pursuing his career in human resources, Scott worked in strategy consulting and financial services with Citicorp.

    Scott graduated from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania with a bachelor’s degree in finance and management. Outside of work, he serves as a trustee with the Make-A-Wish Foundation and enjoys outdoor sports and cooking. His favorite Starbucks beverage is coffee brewed on the Clover (iced with one brown sugar in the summer), which he enjoys at his neighborhood Sammamish, Washington store.

    Friday, July 15, 2016 - 12:00pm to 1:30pm
  • Michael P. Aitken

    Michael P.

    Mike Aitken has worked at SHRM since 2003 and currently serves as the Senior Vice President of Government Affairs. Prior to joining SHRM, he served for 14 years as associate director for Governmental and External Relations at the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR). Previously, Aitken worked on state public policy issues at Bonner & Associates, a public affairs firm in Washington, DC. Currently, he is based in Alexandria, VA.


    Tony Lee


    Tony Lee recently retired as vice president of content for the Society for Human Resource Management, where he oversaw all editorial functions and staff and focused on evolving SHRM's content strategy globally. Lee hosts two award-winning podcasts, All Things Work and People + Strategy, and is a recognized authority on recruitment trends.

    Lee is a frequent conference speaker in the U.S. and internationally, and has appeared as a career guidance authority on a range of television and radio programs, such as those produced by NBC, ABC, CNN, FOX, NPR, CNBC, Huffington Post, WCBS and The Wall Street Journal, including “The Today Show” and “Good Morning America.”

    Lee is co-author of “The Jobs Rated Almanac” (Barricade), and “Career Choice, Change and Challenge” (JIST Pub.), and has published more than 15 books through his career. He also is a columnist for a range of industry web sites, including RecruitingTrends, Jobboarders and Staffing Stream. He has written The Wall Street Journal's “Managing Your Career” column, and his articles have appeared in hundreds of newspapers and magazines globally. Lee also has served on the board of directors of the International Association of Employment Web Sites for many years.

    Prior to joining SHRM, Lee was editor and publisher of CareerCast.com, an award-winning site he created for job hunters and the HR community. He also served as chief alliance officer of CareerCast’s parent company, Adicio Inc..Lee also is the founder and former publisher of The Wall Street Journal Online Vertical Network and all of the sites within that network, including CareerJournal.com, OpinionJournal.com, StartupJournal.com, RealEstateJournal.com, CollegeJournal.com and “Political Diary,” a paid email newsletter about politics. Under his leadership, those sites won a range of awards and accolades. Combined, the Network sites attracted an average of 2.5 million unique visitors and 20 million page views each month. Lee also was one of two finalists for the Newspaper Association of America’s annual Online Innovator Award. Prior to moving online, Lee was editor in chief of the National Business Employment Weekly and of Managing Your Career, both published by Dow Jones & Co. Lee started his career as Director of Publications for the Chicago Chapter of the American Diabetes Association.


    Thomas M. Darrow, SHRM-SCP

    Thomas M.
    Darrow, SHRM-SCP

    Thomas M. Darrow is the Founder and Principal of Talent Connections, LLC.  Since 1999, the Atlanta based professional services firm has specialized in recruiting—including recruitment process outsourcing (RPO), executive search, HR consulting, and contract recruiting.  

    In March, 2009, Tom teamed with nationally recognized recruiting and career transition experts to launch Career Spa, LLC.  The career transition company is revolutionizing the way unemployed and misemployed workers are equipped to assess and proactively manage their career transitions.

    Tom has over 27 years’ experience in the Human Resources and Recruitment profession -- including 9 years with the global professional services firms of Price Waterhouse (now PricewaterhouseCoopers) and Andersen Consulting (now Accenture).   

    He is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the Atlanta Chapter (SHRM-Atlanta).  In 2015 he received the SHRM-Atlanta Lifetime Achievement Award and was named the HR Leader of the Year by the SHRM Georgia State Council.  At the National level, he is Chair of the SHRM Foundation Board of Directors and served on the SHRM Staffing Management Special Expertise Panel from 2005-2008, and on the Cost per Hire (CPH) Standard Taskforce. He was the 2006/2007 President of SHRM-Atlanta, the largest city Chapter in the country out of 600 Chapters and served on the Board of Directors from 2005-2008.  Under his leadership as President, SHRM-Atlanta’s membership increased 60% to over 2600 members and the Chapter launched two programs that won a 2007 SHRM Pinnacle Award for membership growth and a 2008 SHRM Pinnacle Award for the Mayor’s Youth Program.  He is the Founder and former Chair of the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) Recruiting Society and has served on the TAG Board of Directors from 2005 through 2009.  From 2005 through 2007, he was the Inaugural President of the TAG Leadership Council and served on the Executive Committee of the TAG Board.  

    Danielle Monaghan


    Danielle Monaghan leads the talent acquisition team for Amazon’s Consumer Division. She has 20+ years of TA experience living and working on three continents (Asia, Africa and the Americas, specifically North America).  Prior experience includes leading the HR function for Cisco for North Asia (Greater China, Japan and Korea), Cisco Technical Services in San Jose, CA and the HR and TA functions for Microsoft R&D in Greater China and Taiwan, as well as leading various TA functions, including executive recruiting for Microsoft in Redmond, WA.  In her role as Sr. Director of Global Staffing and Diversity for Microsoft’s Entertainment and Devices division, she also oversaw hiring for the U.S., Canada, UK, China and France.

    She holds an MBA from the Jack Welch Management institute and a BA in Information technology.  She also holds a certificate in Strategic Human Resources from the School of ILR at Cornell University.

    Danielle enjoys travel, good wine and food, sailing, reading, music and squash.  She hopes to be good at one of her hobbies some day.

    Cindy Songne


    Cindy offers over twenty-five (25) years of valuable recruitment experience in a variety of management roles and industries, including staffing agency, corporate recruiting, classified newspaper advertising, digital advertising, employer branding agency, and eleven (11) years of building strong, mutually beneficial relationships with the executives of Monster’s global ad agency partners, significantly growing Monster’s agency practice.  Cindy has served on the Newspaper Association of America’s Recruitment Board; was the Arizona SHRM Staffing President for four (4) years; won SHRM's Host award for outstanding leadership; and served on the Southern California Staffing Management Association Board.  She has presented at numerous conferences and industry association events, including AZ SHRM, Southern California SHRM, Southern California Association of Health Care Recruiters, TAtech (fka IAEWS), ERE and Recruiting Trends.  She has published articles and a training video on recruitment best practices.   In the early 90’s, Cindy was with one of the first newspapers in the country to put employment ads on the web, which earned an Advertising Excellence award.  She was elected to serve two (2) terms on the Board of Governors for the International Association of Employment Web Sites (IAEWS). Today, at Hodes, Cindy works with enterprise employers to create measurable value by redefining how brands connect to talent. 

    Peter Weddle


    Peter Weddle has been the CEO of three HR consulting companies, a Partner in the Hay Group and the recipient of a Federal award for leadership-related research.  Described by The Washington Post as "... a man filled with ingenious ideas," he has authored or edited over two dozen books and been a columnist for the interactive edition of The Wall Street Journal, National Business Employment Weekly and CNN.com.

    His most recent books include A Prescription for the Soul: A Historical Novel About Boomers & the American Dream, A Multitude of Hope: A Novel About Rediscovering the American Dream, The Career Fitness Workbook: How to Find, Win & Hang Onto the Job of Your Dreams, The Career Activist Republic and Next Practices: How to Be Better Than Best in Online Recruitment

    Weddle is also the CEO of TAtech: the Association for Talent Acquisition Solutions.  TAtech is the global trade association for the talent acquisition technology industry.  Collectively, its Members power or operate over 60,000 sites worldwide and provide state-of-the-art products and innovative services for virtually every facet of talent acquisition.

    An Airborne Ranger, Weddle is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point.  He has attended Oxford University and holds advanced degrees from Middlebury College and Harvard University.

    Friday, July 15, 2016 - 3:00pm to 4:45pm