Building a Culture for Workers and Companies to Thrive in Times of Change

In an era of digital transformation and rising employee expectations, companies will need to become even more attuned to the needs and aspirations of workers to keep them engaged and satisfied on their career paths. And in an environment of hybrid work and strained profits, employers will have to focus on making work both efficient and sustainable. How can companies do more with less, while maintaining employee well-being? What are the next frontiers in talent acquisition, employee benefits, learning and development, and diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging?

From Day One is a Recertification Provider for SHRM and HRCI. This session is eligible for 4 credits from both organizations. The Activity IDs will be sent to attendees after the conclusion of the session.


08:30 AM - 09:20 AM
Rosenthal Breakfast
09:20 AM - 09:25 AM
Skirball Theater Opening Remarks
09:25 AM - 09:45 AM
Skirball Theater Building a Culture by Investing in Every Relationship (Fireside Chat)

At Moody’s, the global risk-assessment company, the No. 1 value is to invest in every relationship. For its 14,000 employees, that means focusing on well-being, building trust, leading with curiosity, and championing diverse perspectives. The company’s HR leader how this helps Moody’s meet its ambitious goal of evolving its brand.


Maral Kazanjian, Chief People Officer, Moody’s


Emma Hinchliffe, Senior Writer, Fortune 

09:45 AM - 09:50 AM
Skirball Theater Session Introduction


Lupe Colangelo, Director of Alumni and Employer Partnerships, General Assembly

09:50 AM - 10:30 AM
Skirball Theater Fostering Workplace Belonging: Overcoming Barriers and Cultivating Inclusive Culture (Panel)

In today's workforce, prioritizing workplace belonging is essential to ensure that each employee feels valued, respected, and empowered. How can leaders identify and address potential barriers to inclusion within their organizations, such as unconscious bias or systemic inequities? How can organizations cultivate a company culture that promotes inclusivity, respect, and a sense of belonging for all employees?


Derek Gordon, Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer, Colgate-Palmolive

Lukeisha Paul, Head of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, GroupM

Marie Carasco, VP, Organization Development, Culture & Diversity, GitHub

Heather Tinsley-Fix, Senior Advisor, Financial Resilience, AARP

Michal Alter, CEO and Co-founder,


Lydia Dishman, Senior Editor for Growth and Engagement, Fast Company 

10:30 AM - 10:55 AM
Skirball Theater In Case You Get Hit by a Bus: Helping Employees Organize Their Lives Now for When They’re Not Around Later (Thought Leadership Spotlight)

Everplans supports employees through life’s important moments by creating and organizing essential estate planning documents, keeping track of important family information, and providing grief coaching during times of loss. Join us for an overview of how Everplans works, focusing on key areas of planning and organization: important documents, insurance, financial, digital estate, and legacy.


Abby Schneiderman, Co-founder, Co-CEO, Everplans

10:55 AM - 11:20 AM
Rosenthal Coffee Break
11:20 AM - 12:05 PM
914 Building Belonging for Everyone (Workshop)

Join us for a transformative session exploring workplace belonging—a universal yet often overlooked necessity in many DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) initiatives. We’ll uncover how a sense of belonging impacts employee engagement, productivity, and overall well-being. We’ll also discuss the risks a business runs when belonging is broken. Through interactive discussions, real-world examples, and practical exercises, we’ll be sharing knowledge and next steps to help inclusive-minded leaders drive meaningful, measurable systemic change. Attendees will aquire a deeper understanding of the importance of belonging in the workplace and be empowered to own their part in the process, ensuring that everyone in their organization can feel valued, respected, and welcomed. 


Teresa Hopke, CEO, Talking Talent, Inc., Americas

Renu Sachdeva, Head of Client Solutions, Talking Talent Inc., Americas

11:20 AM - 12:05 PM
905/907 Empowering Employee Resilience: Evidence-Based Strategies for Thriving Amid Change (Workshop)

Join us to explore the latest research from a recent Cedars Sinai Clinical Study conducted in collaboration with Burnalong, shedding light on evidence-based approaches to supporting employee well-being, particularly for those facing chronic conditions and life’s challenges. Discover how tailored wellness programming can empower individuals, including cancer survivors, to thrive in the workplace. We’ll delve into strategies for promoting health equity, fostering a sense of belonging, and providing support for employees with diverse wellness needs. This session offers valuable insights into building a workplace culture where every individual can flourish despite uncertainty and change. You’ll engage in meaningful discussions and take away actionable strategies for fostering employee resilience and well-being.


Chris Gambino, Senior Director, Revenue Operations and Strategy, Burnalong


11:20 AM - 12:05 PM
Shorin - 802 Motivating Beyond Money: Investing in “Emotional Salary” to Engage and Retain (Workshop)

Three-quarters of employees would stay longer in a job where they feel supported and valued than one where they do not feel that way but were paid 30% more. Creating a culture where employees feel a strong sense of belonging has true business impact, and there are actions you can take today to improve employee sentiment for every function and level. Learn the non-monetary factors that ensure employees feel adequately rewarded and learn from your peers in a discussion about challenges and best practices.


Brie Harvey, Head of Market Research and Community, Achievers

12:05 PM - 12:55 PM
Rosenthal Lunch
12:55 PM - 01:40 PM
914 Culture in the Fourth Dimension: Fueling Both Engagement and Business Performance in a Hybrid Workplace (Workshop)

For leaders overseeing talent, the last four years have been like Groundhog Day, with questions around on-site, remote and hybrid work remaining on constant loop. While there is no simple one-size-fits-all solution, there is a way forward. In this workshop, we’ll leverage the nine key levers we’ve identified for shaping culture to help participants break the loop, foster new ways of working that drive both engagement and performance, and transcend the traditional 3D workplace.


Anthea Hoyle, Managing Director, North America Lead, United Minds

Ellyn Michalak, Senior Principal, United Minds

12:55 PM - 01:40 PM
905/907 Hiring and Retaining Talent in an AI-First Workforce (Workshop)

In the ever-evolving business landscape, having an AI-enabled workforce — one skilled in data science, data analytics, machine learning, and other AI savvy — can give companies a critical and competitive edge. When a workforce can adapt to the demands of today’s tech-driven world, employee morale, growth, efficiency, and performance all see an uptick. These workforces also foster innovation, improve product development, and enhance customer experience. Increasingly, HR and talent leaders are being tasked with bringing their workforces into the future — a future that’s already here. But many are unsure where to start. In this workshop, we’ll delve into recent data developed by General Assembly in partnership with Wakefield Research to inform strategies that HR and talent leaders can take to move their businesses forward in an AI-fueled era.

Lupe Colangelo, Director of Alumni and Employer Partnerships, General Assembly

12:55 PM - 01:40 PM
Shorin - 802 Helping Managers Get Comfortable With Discomfort in a World of Uncertainty (Workshop)

We are in a moment of heightened economic uncertainty, technological shifts, and societal contention: layoffs, DEI backlash, return-to-office acclimation, identity conflict, AI and automation. What happens when managers come face-to-face with having to implement organizational decisions related to these issues? How can they navigate the reactions, experiences, and emotions of their team? It’s not easy, and things can quickly get uncomfortable. With managers being so critical to organizational success, how can we empower them to lead effectively, courageously, and resiliently through these challenges? We’ll explore essential skills that can help managers more confidently navigate hard decisions and conversations during trying times. 


Mekayla Castro, Head of Curriculum, Praxis Labs

01:40 PM - 02:00 PM
Rosenthal Structured Networking
02:15 PM - 02:55 PM
Skirball Theater Does Your Company Genuinely Care About Well-Being? How to Show It (Panel)

Just one in three women in the workforce feels their employer is actually upholding its well-being commitments, according to recent research, Inspiring the phrase “well-being washing” to describe these superficial efforts. With the growing recognition of holistic well-being that encompasses facets like financial stability and mental and physical wellness, how can organizations translate their promises into meaningful action? What are the most innovative and inclusive benefits that support holistic well-being? How can an emphasis on workplace wellness and mental health impact the employee experience and help employees feel a deeper sense of inclusion?


Morgan Bass Roper, Director, Belonging & Inclusion, BNY Mellon

Charles Abramo, VP, HR, Delaware North

Alyson Watson, Founder and CEO, Modern Health

Matthew Legere, SVP, Brown & Brown Insurance


Emily McCrary-Ruiz-Esparza, Contributing Editor, From Day One  

02:55 PM - 03:00 PM
Skirball Theater Session Introduction


Ahilya Wallia, Director of Business Development, SoFi

03:00 PM - 03:20 PM
Skirball Theater Consistent Reflection and Coaching: A Proven Method to Genuinely Support Employee Well-Being (Thought Leadership Spotlight)

Improving well-being starts with being present, building deep connections, and engaging in reflective practices. In this session, Anita Hossain Choudhry, co-founder and CEO of The Grand, will share insights and data gathered from using their tool, the Grand Retro, a framework that measures holistic well-being across eight dimensions. We’ll discuss how the Grand Retro empowers people leaders to grasp the true pulse of their teams and enables managers to meet employees where they are. We’ll explore how a coaching culture paired with data-driven tools like the Retro can increase belonging and foster a more inclusive workplace.


Anita Hossain Choudhry, Co-founder and CEO, The Grand

03:20 PM - 03:25 PM
Skirball Theater Session Introduction


Dave Kasdan, SVP of Business Development, Talkspace

03:25 PM - 04:05 PM
Skirball Theater Creating Opportunity Within: How Employers Are Boosting Talent and Career Development (Panel)

To retain valued workers and attract top talent, more companies are building a culture of career growth. What are the benefits to the company of improving internal mobility? What kinds of new learning tools can help employees acquire the skills to pursue more opportunities? How can talent leaders coordinate succession strategy with succession readiness among the candidates for new responsibilities? Will better internal mobility align with efforts toward greater diversity, equity, and inclusion?


Melissa Fridman, Head of People, Visa North America

Brent Vader, VP, HR, Verizon

Joanne (Jo) Mallia-Barsati, VP, Global Talent Management & Development, Penguin Random House

Rose Fass, Founder and Chair, fassforward

Marcus Strang, Lead Solutions Engineer, Clinch


Jeanhee Kim, Independent Journalist and Editor

04:05 PM - 04:30 PM
Skirball Theater How to Manage Your People Like a Talent Agent (Fireside Chat)

NBCUniversal’s chief talent officer, who worked as a Hollywood agent before taking on her current role, wants the company’s employees to feel like they have a career, not just a job. That means helping leaders and managers to understand their people’s strengths and dreams while ensuring that everyone is well-cast in their role. An entrepreneurial spirit is the key.


Cara Stein, Chief Talent Officer, NBCUniversal


Jessi Hempel, Senior Editor-at-Large, LinkedIn

04:30 PM - 04:35 PM
Skirball Theater Closing Remarks
04:35 PM - 05:00 PM
Skirball Lobby Evening Reception


The conference will take place at Kimmel and Skirball Centers, located at the heart of New York University's campus.