Opening General Session: Partnering Together for HR Resiliency

2020 Volunteer Leaders' Business Meeting

The Volunteer Leaders’ Business Meeting opening General Session will feature SHRM Board Chair David Windley, who will shine a light on the resiliency the HR profession has shown this year. Following, we will hear three personal stories from Sel Watts, Dr. Willie Jolley and Andrew Mellen, all of the SHRM Speakers Bureau, on how the concept of partnership has impacted their lives. Previews of their stories are listed here:

How To Turn This Setback Into An Incredible Comeback!
Presenter: Dr. Willie Jolley

We are in the midst of a series of major setbacks and crisis situations, yet if you continue to speak this will not be the last setback, nor last crisis you will experience. Some speakers will only survive these challenging times and some will thrive. In this program Dr. Willie Jolley will share strategies and principles to help you not only survive but thrive!

Those who win in these tough times think differently, and those who don't. They possess certain qualities that separate them from the masses, including resiliency, creativity, resourcefulness, a strong positive mental attitude, commitment and a hunger for greatness.

Those who win also understand that failure is part of the success process, and the ability to embrace it and grow from it is a sign of greatness, and is critical to your future successes. Using real life stories from his own life, Willie Jolley shares success principles that can make the difference between just surviving this crisis time and thriving.


  •  Development the mind set that winners use to overcome tough times
  •  Implement step-by-step strategies you can immediately use to turn your setbacks into comebacks
  • Prepare your action plan to bulletproof your future!

An authentic look at Authentic Partnerships 
Presenter: Sel Watts

 Sel Watts will share her very personal and brutally honest experiences of finding and being an Authentic Partner, as she started a business from scratch in her spare bedroom in Australia at the start of a Global Financial Crisis to today having expanded to New York at the start of our toughest year 2020!

Good Alone, Better Together … With the Right Partner 
Presenter: Andrew Mellen

Any of us who are competent or better know how to get things done. And when your good is someone else’s excellent, it’s easy to fall prey to negative self-talk and other internal messaging that reinforces the belief that you really ARE too intense, too exacting and even too smart or demanding for your own good. That leaves you two choices—compromise your values or remain open-hearted and patient while continuing to do good work. There is a way to stay true to yourself AND open to collaboration … so when the right partner DOES show up, you will be ready.


Date(s) & Time(s): 
Tuesday, November 17, 2020 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Mike Aitken


Mike Aitken is Chief Membership Officer at SHRM, following 15 years of leading SHRM’s successful advocacy programs as Vice President of Government Affairs.

Mike is a leading authority on the issues important to the human resource profession and drives SHRM’s membership vision, ensuring excellent member experiences, and implementing the organization’s newly developed business strategy.

He applies his proven model of engagement to shape the future of work, workers and workplaces. He is an expert relationship-builder across diverse constituencies and stakeholders, always seeking out the “win-win” in every situation.

As a member of SHRM’s executive team, Mike also plays a key role in setting the strategic direction of the organization, offering important counsel on SHRM’s educational programs and professional development opportunities.

Prior to joining SHRM in 2003, he spent 14 years with the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR), which represents more than 23,000 HR professionals at over 1,900 higher education institutions.

In 2015 and 2016, Mike served as an employer representative on the U.S. delegation to the International Labour Conference.

Mike holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of San Diego.

David Windley, SHRM-SCP

Windley, SHRM-SCP

David Windley is the CEO of IQTalent Partners, Inc. and oversees the firm’s strategic direction, business development, and day to day operations. Prior to joining IQTalent Partners, Windley was the Chief Human Resources Officer at Yahoo! and Fusion-io. Additionally, Windley held executive human resources positions at Microsoft, Intuit and Silicon Graphics, Inc. He is currently the Board Chair for the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM), and serves on the Tenant Company Board of Directors as the Compensation Committee Chair. Windley is a Governance Fellow with the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD). He earned his MBA from San Francisco State University and is a graduate of San Diego State University.

Dr. Willie Jolley

Dr. Willie

There are many motivational speakers, and then there is the one, the only, the incomparable Dr. Willie Jolley. He has been described simultaneously as one of the best speakers in the world, a world class award-winning singer, a best-selling author and #1 Rated Radio personality.

Dr. Willie Jolley has achieved remarkable heights in his career, having come from the humble beginnings of being a fired nightclub singer, who was replaced by a karaoke machine! He had a setback but turned it into an amazing comeback story. He has gone on to be named “One of the Outstanding Five Speakers in the World” by the 175,000 members of Toastmasters International. (Only 50 people have ever achieved this honor, including Nelson Mandela, Margaret Thatcher, General Colin Powell and Zig Ziglar).  In 1999 Toastmasters International also named him “Motivational/Inspirational Speaker of the Year!”  In 2003 he was named “A Black History Maker of Today” by the McDonald’s Owners of America.  

In 2005 Dr. Jolley was inducted into the prestigious Speaker Hall of Fame (CPAE – Council of Peers Award of Excellence) after having achieving the distinction of Certified Speaker Professional by the National Speakers Association. He holds the distinction of being the first African American to be elected President of the National Speakers Association DC Chapter and first African American to be elected to the National Board of NSA. In 2007 he was named “Business Leader of the Year” by the Future Business Leaders of America.  In 2010 Dr. Jolley 2012 he was the recipient of the Ron Brown Distinguished Leadership Award. In 2013 he was named, “One of the Top 5 Leadership Speakers” by and “The Business Leader of the Year” by The Business Ad Hoc Committee.  In 2015 Dr. Jolley was chosen to replace the legendary Zig Ziglar on the National Get Motivated Tour. For over twenty years Zig Ziglar and General Colin Powell were the featured speakers, and when Mr. Ziglar died Dr. Jolley was the unanimous choice to replace him! And in 2017 Dr. Jolley was named “A Legend Of The Speaking Industry” by the Veteran Speakers Association.

Dr. Willie Jolley uses his public platform to pursue his mission of empowering and encouraging people to rise above their circumstances and maximize their God given potential!  He now hosts the #1 Self Help Show in America on Sirius XM Radio, where he interviews the best and brightest thoughts leaders in America.  He is also the host of the top rated Willie Jolley Motivational Minute Radio Show on WHUR FM where he precedes the Steve Harvey Morning Show each weekday morning.

Dr. Jolley has been featured on two national PBS Specials, one has gone on to become the bestselling youth motivational program for PBS. The other is a top seller on How To Turn Setbacks Into Comebacks. His TED talk is also a popular message on transformation. Dr. Jolley has been featured in many markets with his daily TV Show, Live Better with Willie Jolley, sponsored by McDonald’s.  Dr. Jolley also has been featured on a series of financial management programs sponsored by the State Department Credit Union.

 Many people in the corporate world know him as the speaker Ford Motors called on in 2006 when they were on the brink of bankruptcy. He worked with them in 2006, 2007 and 2008.  And in 2009, Ford was the only one of the Big Three Automakers to reject a government bailout and go on to Billion Dollar profits! After his historic work with Ford Motors he was featured in many national newspapers and success magazines, including The Washington, Success Magazine and Selling Power Magazine. He has gone on to become a favorite speaker for many Fortune 500 corporations, including GM, Walmart, Verizon, Marriott, Hyatt, Prudential and Comcast. Plus, he often speaks globally for audiences such as The World Conference of The Million Dollar Roundtable, Johnson and Johnson of Dubai, Prudential of Malaysia, Coca Cola South Africa, Sagicor Insurance in Jamaica, Amway Australia, Neways New Zealand and First Bank of Nigeria.  

No matter the venue, from his exciting One Man Show that was recently recorded for a national television special, to his Get Motivated tour appearances, to his #1 Rated Sirius/XM radio show, Dr. Willie Jolley keeps it moving with high energy and enthusiasm, as he delivers nuggets on how every person can live a better life, one day at a time!

Dr. Willie Jolley is the author of several international best-selling books including It Only Takes A Minute To Change Your Life, A Setback Is A Setup For A Comeback, Turn Setbacks Into Greenbacks, An Attitude of Excellence, which was endorsed by Dr. Stephen Covey, or being featured on the front of the top selling Chicken Soup For The Christian Soul II, he has built a reputation for being captivating, compelling and life changing!  

Dr. Jolley holds a Doctorate of Ministry Degree in Faith Driven Achievement from the California Graduate School of Theology, a Master’s Degree in Theology from Wesley Theological seminary and a B.A. in Psychology and Sociology from The American University.

Dr. Jolley resides with his family in Washington, DC.

Andrew Mellen


Andrew Mellen is an organizational expert, public speaker, and the #1 best-selling author of Unstuff Your Life! Andrew has helped over 100,000 people and businesses worldwide to declutter and simplify their lives while regaining time for the things that matter.

A sought-after authority on organizing and productivity, Andrew's addressed audiences from Dwell on Design and TEDx to The Great British Business Show and BlogHer.

Corporate clients include American Express, Genentech, Goldman Sachs, NetApp, Nationwide Insurance, Time, Inc., and the US Depts. of Education and Homeland Security. The media has dubbed Andrew “The Most Organized Man in America.”

He writes a featured column called “Ask The Organizer” in Real Simple. In addition, he has written for and/or appeared everywhere from The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and Fast Company to Oprah Magazine, HGTV and NPR. He leads workshops and speaks internationally while maintaining a private practice working with clients ranging from Fortune 100 companies, trade associations and non-profits to CEOs, award-winning filmmakers and authors, as well as overwhelmed parents everywhere.

In 2013, Andrew founded Unstuff U®, the world's first virtual university dedicated to organization and decluttering, offering classes, workshops and other online resources for businesses and individuals. Andrew is a member of the Experts Collective and serves on the faculty of the New York Open Center in New York City. He speaks frequently on the intersection of spirituality and organization at Omega Institute, San Francisco Zen Center, Tassajara, All Saints Church, JCC Manhattan and the Center for Spiritual Enlightenment, among others.

Previously, Andrew was an award-winning playwright, actor, producer and director and the former Artistic Director of Alice B. Theater (Seattle), DC Arts Center (Washington, DC) and Shuttle Theater Company (New York). He is a contributing author to Yes Is the Answer: (And Other Prog-Rock Tales).

Andrew lives by his motto: More Love, Less Stuff!®

Sel Watts


Sel is an HR Professional, Business & People Leader, Speaker, and seasoned entrepreneur. Sel started her career in HR over 20 years ago and launched her first business wattsnext Group in 2007 with the vision to disrupt the HR industry and create great workplaces across the globe.

wattsnext is based in Brisbane and New York and partners with Founders & CEO's of small to medium businesses and fast growth startups to create high performing and engaged teams and cultures.

Sel has developed and led her own team of HR professionals, supporting them to not only be successful within wattsnext but to continue to advance their careers and personal lives beyond wattsnext, which has led to the launch of her most recent business The HR Linc.

The HR Linc is a membership and community created to disrupt and advance the professional development of sole charge HR professionals in the small to medium business sector.  Our mission is to elevate HR to have a valued seat at the table whilst connecting and growing our members through experiential learning.

The Unconventional Life vlog is Sel’s way of sharing her journey of expanding her brands globally, chasing a dream and living a ‘no plan b’ life.  She is passionate about people choosing the life they really want and gives value to her audience through her vulnerable and engaging style.

Sel also allocates time to coaching Founders, CEO’s and startup entrepreneurs.   She is known for her progressive and real approach to HR and her raw and honest shares of her experience as a Leader.

Sel is a mother to three sons who are learning a lot about resilience, gratitude, never settling and striving for their dreams with everything they have!

You can learn more about Sel’s background, experience, many ventures, and accomplishments here

Session Type: 
General Session
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