Keynote Speakers

  • Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., SHRM-SCP

    Johnny C.
    Taylor, Jr., SHRM-SCP

    Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., SHRM-SCP, is President and Chief Executive Officer of SHRM. With nearly 340,000 members in 180 countries, SHRM impacts the lives of more than 362 million workers and their families globally.

    As a global leader on the future of employment, culture and leadership, Mr. Taylor is a sought-after voice on all matters affecting work, workers and the workplace. Recognized as one of the “300 Most Influential Executives in Corporate America” for 2024 by Savoy Magazine and one of the “Most Influential People Shaping Public Policy” in our nation’s capital by Washingtonian Magazine, Mr. Taylor is frequently asked to testify before Congress on critical workforce issues and authors the weekly USA Today column, "Ask HR."

    Mr. Taylor's career spans more than 20 years as a lawyer, human resources executive and CEO in both the not-for-profit and for-profit spaces. He has held senior and chief executive roles at IAC/InteractiveCorp, Viacom's Paramount Pictures, Blockbuster Entertainment Group, the McGuireWoods law firm and Compass Group USA. Most recently, Mr. Taylor was President and Chief Executive Officer of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.

    He is the author of the national bestseller, RESET: A Leader’s Guide to Work in an Age of Upheaval, which immediately upon its release in September 2021, was in the top three of The Wall Street Journal’s list of best-selling hardcover business books.

    Mr. Taylor is a member of the United Way Worldwide Board of Trustees and serves on the corporate boards of XPO Logistics (NYSE: XPO), Flores & Associates, and Guild Education. He previously served on the White House American Workforce Policy Advisory Board and as chairman of the President's Advisory Board on Historically Black Colleges and Universities during the Trump Administration.

    The Women Business Collaborative (WBC) named Mr. Taylor as one of its 2023 Trailblazers in Gender Equity and Diversity for his work to achieve equal position, pay and power for all women in business. In 2020, he received the Distinguished Executive of the Year Award from the Academy of Management, and he was named 2021 ALA Professional Society CEO of the Year by CEO Update.

    He is a Fellow of the National Academy of Human Resources and is licensed to practice law in Florida, Illinois and Washington, D.C.

    Erec Smith, Ph.D.


    Erec Smith is an Associate Professor of Rhetoric at York College of Pennsylvania. Although he has eclectic scholarly interests, Smith’s primary work focuses on the rhetorics of anti-racist activism, theory, and pedagogy. He is a co-founder of Free Black Thought, a website dedicated to highlighting viewpoint diversity within the black diaspora. Smith’s recent writings include several op-eds as well as his books, A Critique of Anti-Racism in Rhetoric and Composition: The Semblance of Empowerment (2020) and The Lure of Disempowerment: Reclaiming Agency in the Age of CRT (2022). Smith is a research fellow in politics and society for the Cato Institute.

    Monday, October 30, 2023 - 9:00am to 10:00am
  • Rich Tafel


    Rich Tafel is a strategist whose passion is to build bridges between unlikely partners to create successful coalitions to solve the most significant challenges of our day. He works at the intersection of faith, business, and policy.

    A minister by training, Rich is the pastor of the Church of the Holy City in Washington, DC, where his ecumenical ministry translates spirituality for a rising generation. He focuses on addressing toxic polarization by offering training to leaders in his Cultural Translator model. A graduate of Harvard Divinity School, he served as an Assistant Minster at Harvard’s Memorial Church. Today, he serves on the governing board of the National Council of Churches.

    Rich is a pioneer in the social entrepreneur field, having provided strategy to over one hundred social ventures. He facilitated the nation’s first statewide social entrepreneur competition for Michigan. He strategically supported creating the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. He co-founded the Workplace Wellness Council of Mexico and SameSky Health, which connect patients with doctors in their language using a phone app. Today, he is the Director of Social Capital Advisers at Marcum LLP in Washington, DC, where he works with for-profit and nonprofit entities to build business models to create transformative change.

    He has long sought to bridge the divide in the public policy sphere in America in Washington, DC, building successful right-left coalitions in the battle to treat AIDS and support same-sex marriage. He served as Adolescent Health Director for the State of MA.

    He has led programs at Pepperdine School of Public Policy, Johns Hopkins University, and today serves as a Senior Fellow at George Washington University’s Center for Excellence in Leadership. He is the President of the board of directors of Citizen’s University, a national organization focused on educating the rising generation on civic engagement.


    Emily M. Dickens, J.D.

    Emily M.
    Dickens, J.D.

    Emily M. Dickens, J.D., serves as SHRM Chief of Staff, Head of Government Affairs & Corporate Secretary. She is the executive responsible for coordinating staff to implement the CEO's vision, serving as corporate secretary for the SHRM Board and subsidiary boards, as well as managing external partnerships and providing oversight for the Government Affairs division.

    Dickens is an attorney with significant and progressive experience in government, higher education and the non-profit sector. She has served as a member of the leadership team at the University of North Carolina system, the Association of Governing Boards of Colleges and Universities and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.  Her prior roles include general counsel, chief relationship officer, senior vice president, vice president for public policy and assistant vice president for federal relations.  Dickens has also worked at Duke University and Fayetteville State University in administrative and external affairs roles. 

    Emily is actively engaged in board service. She formerly served on the  Fayetteville/Cumberland (NC)  Chamber  of  Commerce  (Secretary  of  the  Board),  the Cumberland County Workforce Development Board, the  North  Carolina  Partnership  for  Defense  Innovation Board, and the Educational Advancement Foundation. She is currently a member of the Advisory Council of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI), the Advisory Board of the College of Arts and Sciences at North Carolina Central University, and chairs the International HBCU Task Force for Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.

    She is a graduate of North Carolina Central University and North Carolina Central University School of Law. 

    Emily is a member of the SHRM Speakers Bureau.

    Wednesday, November 1, 2023 - 10:30am to 11:30am
  • Melonie D. Parker


    Parker is an HR executive committed to innovative, relevant, and contemporary HR leadership. She is an advocate for change and a passionate thought leader. Parker is responsible for advancing Google's employee engagement strategy across Diversity, Equity & Inclusion.
    Prior to this role she served as the Vice President of Human Resources & Communications at Sandia National Laboratories. Parker was responsible for the leadership and Labs-wide management of human resources, health, benefits and employee services. She was also responsible for Sandia’s communication efforts, which include planning, strategy, executive communications, media relations, external branding, community affairs and internal communications.

    Prior to joining Sandia as the VP of HR and Communications, Parker extended expertise from a career spanning over 17 years in a variety of Lockheed Martin business areas, locations, and progressive leadership roles. During her time at Lockheed Martin, she has held responsibility for employee relations, staffing, EEO/Affirmative Action, diversity programs, compensation, benefits, and K-12 outreach initiatives.

    Parker received a B.A. in Mass Communications from Hampton University and an M.A. in Human Resources from Villanova University. She was named the 2016 HR Professional of the Year by the New Mexico Society of Human Resource Management. She was recognized with a Special Recognition Award at the 2014 Women of Color STEM Awards, and in 2012 graduated from Lockheed Martin’s Executive Assessment & Development Program.

    Gloria Goins


    For over 22 years, Gloria Goins has been tapped to launch new employee and business strategies to reach and acquire underserved customers at Fortune 50 companies. Most recently, Gloria was the Head of Inclusion, Diversity and Equity for the Sales, Marketing and Global Services for Amazon Web Services (AWS). Prior to her role at AWS, Gloria served as the Head of Health Equity and Business Development at Amazon Pharmacy, reporting to the CEO. In that role, Gloria was charged with growing revenue and building new business partnerships with a focus on underserved customers and was recognized by Becker’s Hospital Review as one of the top five Amazon health care executives to know. Prior to joining Amazon Pharmacy, Gloria was the Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion for Amazon’s worldwide Consumer division and supported nine business leaders in expanding the company’s brand, revenue and loyalty among diverse employees, customers, suppliers and communities.

    Gloria uses her relentless ability to thrive in ambiguity to reach diverse customer markets. Notably, Gloria was recruited to build the Hispanic business strategy for The Home Depot, where she helped to launch the first paint color palette that reflects Hispanic culture (Colores Origenes), which became the highest selling paint brand at the company. While at Prudential, Gloria developed and managed the company’s largest affiliate marketing program that generated $100 million in revenue and expanded the company’s brand and market share in the African American community.
    Gloria brings a national reputation as a disruptive big thinker and business builder, and as such, was invited by the CEO of The TJX Companies to serve on an external Advisory Board to position the company as the retailer of choice for diverse customers, communities and employees. As a highly sought-after public speaker and multicultural thought leader, Gloria frequently consults with senior executives and Boards of Directors on how to build an inclusive culture that attracts, engages and leverages a diverse workforce to drive growth, sales, and operational excellence.

    Gloria began her career as an attorney in private practice in her hometown of Miami before becoming General Attorney for a division within BellSouth, which was one of her corporate clients. With the objective of improving customer service and growing customer acquisition for BellSouth, Gloria chose and implemented the technology that accounts for why all Americans must now dial ten digits to make a local call.

    Gloria enjoys travelling, volunteering and reading books on real estate and finance. She resides in Parkland, Florida with her husband Prince, her daughter Grace, and her Yorkie Max.

    Marissa Andrada


    Marissa Andrada is a master of activating organizational hyper-growth and turnaround through the transformation and creation of dynamic, diverse, and inclusive cultures.  With over 25 years of experience integrating people and leadership capability into the foundation of business strategies, she has energized brands to codify their purpose and values while accelerating company growth and industry-wide change, inspiring a movement for employee well-being and opportunity.

    Marissa is passionate about leading with authenticity and helping people and organizations unleash human potential to lift personal and overall company performance. She has been the key catalyst in transforming cultures and driving performance at a multitude of consumer brands, most recently as the first chief people officer at Chipotle Mexican Grill. As the former chief diversity, inclusion, and people officer, Marissa activated a culture strategy that was co-created with the workforce - including the launch of a debt-free college degree and education program and access to mental healthcare.

    Prior to Chipotle, Marissa led human resources at Kate Spade & Company and partner resources at Starbucks Coffee Company. Earlier, she served as senior vice president and head of human resources at GameStop Corporation and at Red Bull North America. She is currently serving as an independent board director at Krispy Kreme, Inc. where she is also the chair of the Remuneration and Nomination Committee. Marissa also serves as a board member on a $150 M diversity fund and advisor to GUILD, Sholder, With U Forever and Boomerang, companies committed to the creating opportunity and well-being for employees.

    Marissa advises CEOs and their teams on creating high-performance and inclusive cultures as well as developing diverse go-to-market product and service strategies. Marissa hosts live weekly conversations with leaders from various industries on how
    they are creating cultures where people can thrive and what advice they can share to lead through transformation on her CultureCast with Marissa podcast. Marissa holds an M.B.A. from Pepperdine University and an undergraduate degree from California State Polytechnic University at Pomona. She is a founding member of the SHRM Executive Council, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Workplace Dignity Council and the CNBC Workforce Executive Council and a 2020 American Business Award Gold Stevie winner.


    Jim Link, SHRM-SCP


    Jim Link is the Chief Human Resources Officer for the Society for Human Resource Management.  With more than 315,000 members around the world, SHRM is the largest HR professional association in the world and the leading voice for matters related to workers and the workplace.

    Jim’s career includes roles of increasing responsibility across a variety of industries and companies including General Electric, the Pillsbury Company, Porsche Cars, and Randstad.  In his most recent role as CHRO for Randstad North America, he led a global team of 150 HR professionals who were instrumental in transforming the company into an award-winning, inclusive, and sustainable global leader.

    Jim has served as a volunteer leader in several organizations including the SHRM Foundation Board, the Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank Human Capital Advisory Board, and the Human Resources Leadership Forum.

    Jim holds undergraduate and master’s degree from Murray State University.  Born and raised on a working family farm in western Kentucky, he currently resides in Atlanta and Alexandria, VA.

    Jim is an adjunct instructor in the Executive MBA program at the University of Poznan (Poland) School of Economics and Business and the University of Liège (Belgium) Asia-Pacific campus in Taipei, Taiwan.



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