Your Welcoa membership has expired.

2020 WELCOA Summit


Monday, August 29
August 29 • 9:00 am – 5:00 pm CT | Pre-Conference Intensive Session
Elevating DEIB Efforts: Strategies that Move the Needle
with Israel Greene, Owner & Founder of Greene Consulting Group
Elevating DEIB Efforts – Strategies that Move the Needle is a one day strategy intensive, where Israel Greene, Certified Diversity Strategist, will teach the basics of implementing a successful DEIB (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Belonging) strategy. Regardless of where you are on your journey, whether just beginning or deeply entrenched, this “DEIB Strategy Boost” will have something for you. Israel will review the most common business challenges organizations face today and strategies to address and overcome them. He will share pitfalls to avoid making sure that your initiative is well-thought-out from start to finish and share his knowledge of how these best practices can work in even the most difficult situations. If you have been tasked with implementing a DEIB program, heading up an ERG group, and left feeling stuck on where to begin, what to measure, or frustrated that your steps aren’t getting the traction it deserves, then this session is for you. You will leave with resources, assessments, guides, templates, and strategies to execute when you return to the office immediately. Imagine having your own DEIB Strategist at your fingertips!

  • DEIB in the workplace – Moving beyond lip service, committees, and ERGs
  • Resources, templates, & guides to execute with confidence
  • Your personalized DEIB Strategy to move the needle
Israel Greene
Israel has been listed as “The Top Ten Trending Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Training Experts” by All American Entertainment. In addition to being owner and founder of GCG, he is also a Senior Consultant with Envisioning Equity and a contributing member of the “A World Without Suicide” organization. GCG’s primary focus is on Leadership Development and Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Strategy for tech firms and an array of other industries. As a Certified Diversity Executive, Israel has been booked to consult and present his proven ‘V.E.T.’ Diversity Framework and strategy to companies such as Whirlpool, Northwestern Mutual, Chicago Public Schools, and Leadership Conferences throughout the United States.
August 29 • 9:00 am – 5:00 pm CT | Pre-Conference Intensive Session
Culture, Leadership, Employee Experience: Connecting the Dots and Bringing it All Together
with Angela R. Howard, Owner and Founder of Angela R. Howard Consulting
Did you know that 75% of transformative change (including driving a culture of wellbeing) fails due to people’s readiness and lack of leadership support? You may have been there before. You’ve developed a strong and effective wellbeing program, you’ve communicated the benefits, but the impact on true culture change has fizzled out. Join this experiential intensive session with organizational psychologist and Impact Culture Strategist Angela R. Howard to experience a 5 step process aimed at giving you the tools to create more human-centric and effective change (by making it people and brain-friendly) and how to scale the habits and mindset shifts that are needed to create a sustainable and “sticky” wellbeing culture.

  • Learn how to bridge the disconnect between how well executives think they are supporting well-being and how supported employees actually feel.
  • Clearly articulate how well-being creates organizational value creation and financial performance
  • Align value/goals of wellbeing for leaders
Angela Howard
Angela R. Howard is an HR executive and workplace culture strategist who works to build human-centric workplaces, better leaders, and thriving communities. She is a trusted thought leader and advisor to owners, founders, and CEOs interested in shaping and “actualizing” their organizational cultures for the collective good of their organizations, employees, and the communities they serve. Angela received her M.A. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology – a specialized field focused on rigor and research around behavior and human potential in the workplace and hosts a podcast called Humanly Possible: Future of Work Conversations.
August 29 • 9:00 am – 5:00 pm CT | Pre-Conference Intensive Session
Leading-Well in the Emerging Future of Workplace Well-Being: Professional Development for the Broker/Insurance/Wellness Consultant
with Deb Smolensky, Global Well-being and Engagement Practice Leader, NFP
Given workplace well-being is finally at the top of employers’ priority lists, it’s your time to shine. However, what got you here won’t get you there. The challenge is that the same approaches and solutions you’ve known and used in the past are no longer sufficient or as effective in this emerging new world of work. It requires new skill sets, strategies, and options in order for you to help your clients successfully navigate and create a more resilient, regenerative, and thriving workplace moving forward.

  • Learn about the new competencies and skillsets that are needed to help you lead well and demonstrate value to your clients and prospects.
  • Understand how to navigate the expanded workplace ecosystem and customize your approach based on the new, integrated HR stakeholder model employers are adopting.
  • Gain new insight into the ever-expanding verticals within the workplace well-being landscape. And, effective ways to integrate these new ideas and solutions into your value proposition while keeping your clients laser-focused and not bankrupting the health plan.
Deb Smolensky
Deb is NFP’s Global Well-being and Engagement Practice Leader. In addition, Deb serves as a subject matter expert for the Insurtech, Fintech and Digital Health verticals of NFP Ventures. Over the past 25 years Deb has received a multitude of certifications and designations in organizational health and productivity and consults with a variety of clients, including numerous Fortune 500 companies, to develop programs and practices that empower employees and leaders to lead healthy, productive lifestyles through innovative and highly engaging solution
Tuesday, August 30
August 30 • 9:00 am – 10:00 am CT | Opening Remarks & Keynote
Onward: Breakthrough Solutions for Well-Being
with Sara Martin, CEO, WELCOA
WELCOA CEO, Sara Martin kicks off WELCOA Summit with a special welcome and state of the industry address. Employee well-being professionals have been at the center of some of the most volatile and difficult circumstances that employers have had to respond to in the last century of work. This industry has mobilized to address the evolving needs of employees and employers, but there is still uncertainty about how to respond next. By coming to the WELCOA Summit, you are now part of the largest community dedicated to professional development for, and the discussion and evolution of, employee well-being. Hear more about how to leverage this time together to help you navigate your toughest challenges, find immediate solutions for business success and employee well-being, and redesign work to amplify employee well-being.

Sara Martin
Sara’s purpose is to help people fulfill their highest potential in work and life through corporate health promotion. She has launched award-winning wellness programs, created new wellness products, and engineered work environments to create cultures of health across multiple industries. She has been a session and keynote speaker at a variety of community and national events including the National Health Enhancement Research Organization (HERO) Conference, the Art and Science of Health Promotion Conference, and the National WELCOA Summit. She sits on the Johns Hopkins Mental Health in the Workplace Advisory Council and the CDC Workplace Health Resource Center Steering Committee. Sara was also recently designated as one of the Top 100 HR Tech Influencers by Human Resource Executive®.
August 30 • 10:00 am – 11:00 am CT | Keynote
Self-Care: A Scalable Solution for the Stress Epidemic
with Deya Smith-Taylor, Founder of Deya Direct & Best-Selling Author
The American workplace is in the midst of a stress epidemic. The bottom line is that a stressed-out workforce is not a healthy or productive workforce. It’s paramount that employers be more intentional about proactively creating healthier, safer, and more productive spaces where their employees can thrive. It doesn’t stop there, anyone who deals with stress can make self-care shifts to change the dynamics of how they manage stress in their personal and professional lives. This motivational presentation will provide guidance for organizations on how to prioritize self-care for employees in a tangible way and real tools that anyone can use to relieve stress and empower themselves.

  • Addressing the health and safety implications of stress in the workplace
  • Identifying the benefits of self-care for the overall workforce
  • Providing effective strategies on how to minimize anxiety and stress
  • Offering real-time solutions for creating safe spaces, business success, and employee well-being
Deya Smith-Taylor
Deya Smith-Taylor, aka Deya Direct is an Author, Producer, Media Personality and Certified Life Coach in Social & Emotional Intelligence. As the Executive Producer of the SuperpowHer Podcast & the Creator of The Super Self-Care Power Summit, she champions self-care and emotional wellness.

Most recently she launched her non-profit the Super Self-Care Project designed to empower women in transition with tools to enhance self-care and overall wellness via content, events, and services.

Deya is also the former Senior Content Producer for the nationally syndicated Tom Joyner Morning Show, which reached 8 million listeners daily for almost 10 years. Deya remains committed to creating life-changing content.

As a former Miss Black USA, Deya is a celebrated and soughtafter speaker and mentor, however, she is no stranger to pushing through and overcoming drama and trauma. Her personal motto is “Make Your Pain Pay You Back, if it happened to you, then make it also happen for you!

Deya has written three books; most recently Soft is the New Power: Embracing Your Feminine Edge to Win in Love & Life.
August 30 • 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm CT | Breakout Session
The Science of Emotions: Underestimated Drivers of Physical Health and Burnout Prevention
with Stella Grizont, Speaker and Executive Coach
We can no longer continue to support physical well-being by solely focusing on the physical body. We are all whole beings with complex and intertwined needs. In this breakout session, you’ll learn about that balance and discover how developing emotional competence can result in improved physical health outcomes in addition to bolstering engagement and retention in the workplace. Join this session with positive psychology expert, Stella Grizont, to learn cutting-edge research, evidence-based tools, and practical strategies for helping employees to flourish from the inside out.

  • Identify the three main psychological stressors and how lack of emotional competence can lead to illness
  • How to prepare your workforce for dealing with change, loss of control, and uncertainty
  • How to counteract unconscious responses to stress, people-pleasing, and emotional repression
  • Learn five key skills you can cultivate at work to empower employees to make conscious decisions around their well-being and development
Stella Grizont
World-renowned positive psychology expert, executive coach, and speaker, Stella Grizont, helps employees work happier and live better with her signature program, The Work Happiness Method. Stella supports organizations in elevating the engagement, well-being, and productivity of their employees.

Stella delivers keynotes, workshops, and trainings for dozens of clients including Google, Johnson & Johnson, Dow Jones, VMWare, The Wall Street Journal, Cigna, and Genentech. In the last 17 years, Stella has also coached over 1,600 leaders in 30 countries. She speaks to over 50,000 people annually.

Stella is consistently rated as the #1 speaker at conferences because of her compelling scientific insights, her relatable and effervescent personality, her funny stories, and well-designed material. She’s been rated as a favorite speaker for: Comcast’s Talent Day, The WELCOA Summit, Women in Cable Television Conference, BambooHR’s Virtual Summit, and more.

Stella’s unique approach to being happier and more engaged on the job has been featured in the media including: MSNBC, The Today Show, Entrepreneur, Vanity Fair, Fox News, and ABC. Stella was a repeat guest on MSNBC’s Your Business, Bulletproof Radio, and is a regular contributor to Forbes, and Thomson Reuters.

Stella was one of the first 150 people in the world to earn a Master’s in Applied Positive Psychology (aka the science of happiness) from the University of Pennsylvania. She holds a Bachelor’s in Economics from Barnard College, Columbia University.
August 30 • 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm CT | Breakout Session
Allyship & Advocacy: Champion Diversity in Times of Chaos
with Israel Greene, Owner & Founder of Greene Consulting Group
Being an ally and advocate starts with understanding that everyone has a unique story. It’s about listening with empathy and taking the time to understand someone else’s perspective. It’s about being there for someone in their time of need and fighting for what’s fair and just. But being an ally doesn’t end there. It’s also about using your personal story to make a difference in the world. When you share your own experiences, you can help break down barriers and build bridges of understanding. And by using your voice to promote equity, you can make a powerful impact in the business community and beyond. With these skills, you can be a force for good in the world and make a lasting difference in the lives of others.

  • Explore how we currently show up during these difficult conversations
  • Gain a better understanding of how to use active listening to ensure voices are heard
  • Review key concepts that are important to understand as you begin your allyship journey
  • Walk away with a framework to navigate difficult conversations around race to position you to be a stronger ally
Israel Greene
Israel has been listed as “The Top Ten Trending Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Training Experts” by All American Entertainment. In addition to being owner and founder of GCG, he is also a Senior Consultant with Envisioning Equity and a contributing member of the “A World Without Suicide” organization. GCG’s primary focus is on Leadership Development and Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Strategy for tech firms and an array of other industries. As a Certified Diversity Executive, Israel has been booked to consult and present his proven ‘V.E.T.’ Diversity Framework and strategy to companies such as Whirlpool, Northwestern Mutual, Chicago Public Schools, and Leadership Conferences throughout the United States.
August 30 • 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm CT | Breakout Session
Grief & Gratitude in the Workplace: A Non-Linear Journey
with Ilana Shapiro Yahdav & Kim Hanlon, Co-Founders at Yahdav & Hanlon
Grief is frequently the elephant in the room, leaving people at a loss for what to say or do in support. This discomfort can be amplified in the workplace, a place for professionalism and productivity. There are ways to balance occupational demands while making space for grief in the workplace. The entire world has experienced a collective grief of which we are still seeing the residual effects. The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the worldwide landscape in many ways affecting many facets of life, especially mental health. It is now more important than ever that employers proactively support employees in their mental health, specifically in grief and loss. This is important for increasing employee retention, productivity, and creativity, and helping companies and organizations to meet their business goals including their bottom line. This session will help make this difficult topic feel less foreign and daunting. Some topics covered will include:

  • Navigating and understanding grief in the workplace
  • Importance of grief support and what that looks like in an organization
  • How to guide leadership on the topic of grief in the workplace
  • Begin to be able to recognize and empathize with the layers of grief employees and colleagues experience.
  • Basic understanding of the signs and impact of grief in the workplace
  • Identify opportunities for grief support in the workplace and know where to go for additional support
Ilana Shapiro Yahdav
Kim Hanlon
Ilana Shapiro Yahdav, MPA, and Kim English Hanlon, MA, are Grief Advocates and Advanced Certified Grief Recovery Specialists, fueled by their own personal loss experiences. They co-founded Yahdav & Hanlon Grief Support out of a shared passion for offering individual grief support and enhancing corporate wellness programs to support employees around loss and life changes. Their tools and programs help increase productivity, emotional resilience, retention, and engagement both in the workplace and in one’s personal life.

Ilana and Kim take what can be a very difficult topic and through gentleness, humor, and vulnerability, make it accessible for all. They have worked with corporations, higher education institutions, law firms, and individuals; and have recently consulted on a film about suicide loss to bring insight, tools, and support to process the difficult themes throughout the film.

With the belief that it is important to meet grievers exactly where they are, Ilana and Kim continue to create new ways to engage and support them, from workbooks to online courses and workshops. They are the authors of the digital workbook: Grief & Gratitude: Building Your Coping Action Plan, with the goal of having it in print by the end of 2022.
August 30 • 3:45 pm – 4:45 pm CT | Keynote Session
The Leadership Mentality: Owning Your Impact
with Angela R. Howard, Owner and Founder of Angela R. Howard Consulting
When you hear the word leadership? What do you think of? You may think about a specific person, persona, or profile (the toxic leader, the committed leader, or maybe the “well-intended” leader). Or perhaps you have a series of lived experiences that have defined good and bad leadership for you. Many people think about leadership as a position, a name on an org chart, or the person in charge. However, there is a rapidly evolving realization that the next generation of leadership is motivated by identity, purpose, humility, and responsibility to others rather than power, position, and authority. “Command and control” leadership is quickly fading away along with old paradigms of work.

In a modern workplace, thinking about leadership as the person in charge is missing a piece of the puzzle. Leadership – the state of mind and mentality – has little to do with position and more to do with impact, service to others, and having a positive influence. As a modern leader, there are 3 elements that we’ll discuss as crucial to your growth and journey as a leader making waves in the world of work and workplace wellness.

  • How to ground yourself authentically in a set of modern leadership values focused on impact.
  • How you can apply the Leadership Mentality anywhere – regardless of your position.
  • The impact of the Leadership Mentality on the well-being of people at work.
  • Explore the concept of creating psychologically safe spaces and why it’s a crucial part of the wellness and leadership conversation.
  • How to operationalize the Leadership Mentality in a way that strengthens the health of your organization.
  • Engage in what needs to change and the paradigms that HR and leaders can begin to shift to effectively nurture and prepare the next generation of leaders and boldly respond to the transformation in front of us.
Angela Howard
Angela R. Howard is an HR executive and workplace culture strategist who works to build human-centric workplaces, better leaders, and thriving communities. She is a trusted thought leader and advisor to owners, founders, and CEOs interested in shaping and “actualizing” their organizational cultures for the collective good of their organizations, employees, and the communities they serve. Angela received her M.A. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology – a specialized field focused on rigor and research around behavior and human potential in the workplace and hosts a podcast called Humanly Possible: Future of Work Conversations.
Wednesday, August 31
August 31 • 9:00 am – 10:00 am CT | Keynote
The Antidote for Burnout
with Eve Rodsky, NYT Best Selling Author & Equality Evangelist
If we want to avoid burning out, opting out, and continuing to battle with mental health struggles like anxiety, chronic fatigue, and depression, we each must set true boundaries at work and at home so that we can cultivate our curiosities, interests, and passions, and remember who we are apart from our jobs and separate from the family roles that can define us.

Eve Rodsky calls this brand of creative expression—Unicorn Space—and explains why creating time for it is not optional, but essential to our sense of self, our physical and mental well-being, the health of our partnerships, and our ability to model what a full and meaningful life looks like to our children, friends, colleagues, and communities.

  • Creativity can improve our physical and mental health while also providing the tools needed to fight the toxic time messages of personal sacrifice over personal wellbeing.
  • How to be unavailable, burn guilt and shame, and use our voices to advocate for time choice.
  • Boundaries: You deserve permission to be unavailable. Your time is diamonds.
  • Systems: The life-changing magic of mustard.
  • Communication: No feedback in the moment. Prioritize your check-ins. Start with your why.
Eve Rodsky
New York Times bestselling author of Fair Play: A Game-Changing Solution for When You Have Too Much to Do (and More Life to Live) and it’s highly anticipated and very newly released follow-up, Find Your Unicorn Space, Reclaim Your Creative Life in a Too-Busy World. A Harvard-trained lawyer and former foundational manager at J.P. Morgan, Rodsky combines her experience in organizational management and family mediation with the science connecting creativity with improved mental and physical health. Her step-by-step approach in Fair Play, which helps partners rebalance their domestic workload, has been recognized by Reese’s Book Club, Good Morning America, Today, NPR, The Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, and other outlets. Learn more at
August 31 • 10:00 am – 11:00 am CT | Keynote
From Here to There: How Investing in Employee Well-Being Can Change the Future of Work
with David Hoke, Chief Well-Being Officer at Thrive Global
As the world of work evolves, business leaders and wellness professionals must work together to ensure employee well-being is a central part of every company’s strategy. With over 30 years of experience working with global giants like Walmart and Yum!, as well as local health systems and supply chain companies, David Hoke, Chief Well-Being Officer at Thrive Global has seen the evolution of wellness from a benefit to a strategic imperative.

This evolution is creating challenges and opportunities for wellness professionals as we move the industry forward, from here to there. In this keynote session, you’ll hear David’s unique take on how the evolving well-being professional’s role is critical to a culture of health, sustaining high performance, and changing the future of work.

  • Learn how to design and transform employee well-being programs for max impact
  • Learn how to measure the impact of a wellness strategy
  • Discover novel approaches that drive engagement
David Hoke
David Hoke is the Chief Well-Being Officer at Thrive Global. David has spent the last 20+ years working with a variety of organizations, focusing on measurably improving the health and well-being of the workforce. Prior to joining Thrive, David was the Senior Director of Health and Well-being at Walmart, where he was responsible for designing and delivering offerings that improve the well-being of Walmart associates and their families. David’s history in the industry includes work with the University of Kentucky, Dupont, and Lifebridge Health System. David served as a Co-chair of the Institute for Innovation in Workforce Well-being at the National Business Group on Health, serves on the Board of Health eVillages, and was awarded the Health Value Award as Outstanding Benefit Professional in 2018 by the Validation Institute & World Health Care Congress.
August 31 • 11:00 am – 11:30 am CT | Keynote
Refocusing on Physical Health
with Maggie Gough, COO, WELCOA
The workplace wellness industry has made necessary shifts to broaden our focus beyond physical health and well-being. In doing so, we also expanded our awareness of how to better approach physical health. In this session, you’ll gain key insights to support employees’ physical health in a holistic way that amplifies intrinsic motivation, and prioritizes the inclusion of all bodies.

  • Articulate the conventional model of physical wellness and its short-sided attempts at support.
  • Define intrinsic motivation and the key tenets of self-determination theory
  • Describe inclusive methods for supporting physical health and well-being
Maggie Gough
Serving a variety of populations in a multitude of industries, Maggie understands the complexity and depth of the corporate wellness industry and the needs of the professionals and employees they support. Her role at WELCOA is to ensure members receive stellar service and build sustaining connections as a community.
August 31 • 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm CT | Breakout Session
Disrupting Bias in the Workplace: Why You Can’t Have Employee Wellbeing without Pay Equity
with Nicole Armstrong, Founder, CEO, Ellequate
With a tight labor market, in part fueled by the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on women in the workforce, it is more important than ever for employers to focus on pay equity as part of a broader effort to recruit, retain, and develop top talent. To become an employer of choice, organizations must move beyond performative allyship to address the root causes of inequality. A lack of affordable childcare and eldercare has resulted in the US lagging behind other countries in the job recovery for women. In fact, more than a million women have not returned to the labor force. Those that have may still be experiencing a pay gap. In 2022, women earned an average of 82 cents for every dollar a man earned—the pay gap is worse for women of color and women ages 45 and older. In this session, we’ll discuss why pay equity is critical to employee wellbeing, why pay inequality is merely a symptom of underlying social challenges, and how we can move beyond check-the-box approaches to design modern workplaces where all people can thrive by disrupting bias in operational systems.

  • Recognize how workplaces, often unintentionally, perpetuate inequality by institutionalizing outdated social norms and stereotypes
  • Understand how pay parity is an outcome of a culture that values and prioritizes employee wellbeing
  • Learn how to design a workplace that promotes equity at every career (and life) stage, from hiring practices and benefits to professional development and beyond
Nicole Armstrong
Nicole is an award-winning social entrepreneur and workplace equity advocate. As a 2018 People’s Liberty Haile Fellow, she founded Ellequate, the nation’s first data-informed employer certification and cohort-based leadership program for intersectional workplace equity. In 2019, the company received a CLIMB Award for Advancing Gender Equity from the Cincinnati Business Courier and the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber.

For over a decade, Nicole developed and implemented design and brand strategy for mission-driven organizations around the globe. Prior to founding Ellequate, she served as a Social Innovation Specialist, applying the principles of design thinking and human-centered design to complex social challenges alongside marginalized communities in her hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio.

Nicole holds a Bachelor of Science in Graphic Design from the University of Cincinnati and a Master of Arts from Suffolk University. She is a member of the Cincinnati Business Courier’s Forty Under 40 Class of 2020. Her work has been featured in WCPO, The Cincinnati Experience, Cincinnati Business Courier, WVXU, Northern Kentucky Tribune, The River City News, and Cincy Chic. She is regularly invited to share her expertise with audiences around the country.
August 31 • 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm CT | Breakout Session
Mental Health Consistency: A Sustainable and Systematic Approach to Getting Your Mental Health Back on Track
with Celeste Viciere, Licensed Mental Health Therapist
Getting caught up in the hustle and bustle of daily life is easy, and without systems for prioritizing mental health, it can be challenging to keep it at the forefront of our personal wellness efforts. Most people believe they can’t find time to have consistency or care for their mental health. But the truth is we all have the same 24 hours each day. Time isn’t a factor that’s going to change. So what will? In this breakout session, you’ll learn how to find and maintain mental health consistency.

  • Learn the importance of consistency. What it is, what derails it, and how to get back on track?
  • Shift your mindset from finding time to CREATING time.
  • Learn how to implement mental health consistency in your personal life and in your wellness programs.
Celeste Viciere
Celeste Viciere, also known as Celeste The Therapist™️, is a renowned therapist, mental health advocate, best-selling author, and podcast host. She is frequently quoted by the media as a mental health expert, including The Washington Post, NBC News, VICE, Healthline, Bustle, and has appeared on TV One and Fox Soul TV. Celeste has been in the mental health field for almost 20 years and believes in the power of living a conscious life. She has dedicated her personal and professional endeavors to breaking the stigma surrounding mental and emotional health, especially in communities of color.

“Celeste The Therapist Podcast” streams on all podcasting platforms in over 100 countries with more than 300,000 unique downloads. Celeste features guests who empower others in a variety of capacities. Celeste The Therapist Podcast has been featured as one of the top therapy podcasts by Bustle. And she has been featured as one of the top 10 mental health influencers to follow by Verywell Mind.

Celeste has been in private practice since 2015 and currently conducts her practice online full time. She also speaks for organizations around the world both corporate and non-profit about mental health and the importance of living intentionally. Celeste also has a self-guided program called healing the inner child.
August 31 • 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm CT | Breakout Session
Back to the Basics: Foundational Legal Concepts for Optimal Workplace Wellness Compliance
with Barbara Zabawa, JD, MPH, Author & Attorney, Center for Health & Wellness Law, LLC
Navigating the legal landscape of your wellness program can be a huge challenge and can add a layer of complication to implementing the well-designed programs you’re working toward. No need to overcomplicate things, get back to the basics of what you need to know and do to keep your program compliant.

This session is perfect for anyone new to workplace wellness or just needs a refresher on the basic legal concepts that often impact workplace wellness program compliance efforts. Using recent case examples, small break-out groups will learn how to apply the legal concepts to real-world dilemmas through discussions involving HIPAA, ADA, GINA, EEOC, some state laws, and other legal concepts. You’ll walk away with more confidence and tangible next steps for your program.

  • Learn the highlights of federal and some state laws that impact workplace wellness programs.
  • Understand the consequences of failing to comply with the law and who is responsible for compliance.
  • Be able to apply legal concepts to common workplace wellness situations to help reduce legal risk.
Barbara Zabawa
Barbara Zabawa, JD, MPH is the Founder and President of Center for Health and Wellness Law, LLC. She specializes in providing legal advice, resources, training, and advocacy to help the health and wellness industries operate in a compliant and optimal manner, which ultimately benefits clients and employees. She understands, appreciates, and shares in the goals of the health and wellness industries and the professional who work within them.
August 31 • 3:00 pm – 4:15 pm CT | Panel
Opportunity Mindset: Using Tough Times to Grow
Derek Bell, MS, CWP
Jae Kullar, RDN, PMP, General Manager, Global Health & Wellbeing, Delta Air Lines, Inc.
raChelle Karman, MS, Health & Wellness Program Coordinator, City of Albuquerque’s BetterHealth Program
These employers not only made it through the pandemic with front-line, essential employees, but they also made progress toward better employee well-being. Hear from a hospital system focusing on joy for its nursing staff, an airline focused on safety in uncertainty, and a city rooted in strategic cultural health.
Derek Bell
What is joy? With more than 25 years of well-being leadership, Derek’s passion lies in the evolving nature of how well-being influences the human experience and how organizations can create cultures and spaces for people to thrive, leading to joy. Derek believes well-being is supported by creativity, care, contributions, and connection. An executive leader, consultant, podcaster, and amateur jogger. Derek is #opentowork.
Jae Kullar
Jae started her career as an Administrative Dietitian and practiced in both Canada and the US as a Director of Nutrition in healthcare, business, and education for 10 years prior to moving to the corporate world in the Human Resources area. She joined Delta Air Lines in July of 2006.

Jae is responsible for developing and executing initiatives that drive “a culture of health and wellbeing” across Delta globally by translating the Company’s strategic health and wellbeing goals into clearly defined and developed initiatives to impact the health & lifestyle risks of 80,000 employees and their families worldwide.

Jae is passionate about finding effective and creative solutions that are meaningful and inclusive. She has successfully developed programs that engage employees, garner the support of business units, and are tied to metrics that demonstrate their value. Delta’s comprehensive wellbeing programming supports physical, mental, financial, and social wellbeing.

A life-long learner, along with a Bachelor of Science degree from Western University in Canada and a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist (RDN) designation, she completed her PMP (Project Management Professional) certification in 2012. In February 2018, Jae completed a fellowship from Duke University with a focus on Leadership in Integrative Healthcare. In September of this year, she is excited to start her MSc in Global Healthcare Leadership at Oxford University in the U.K.
raChelle Karman
raChelle Karman is the Health & Wellness Program Manager for the City of Albuquerque’s BetterHealth Program, which provides wellness initiatives to more than 18 thousand employees and dependents throughout the city, including multiple participating government entities. Ms. Karman’s formal studies include Music Performance, Computer Science, Alternative Medicine, and Public Health Education Promotion. She successfully integrates her education skills, which gives her methodology a well-rounded holistic emphasis in her work with employees and their families. Her passions include gardening, hiking, writing, and spending time with her fur babies.
Thursday, September 1
September 1 • 9:00 am – 10:00 am CT | Keynote
Achieving the “Leading for Wellness” Mindset
with Dr. Katina Sawyer and Dr. Patricia Grabarek, Co-Founders at Workr Beeing
Have you ever wondered what leaders who excel at supporting wellness at work share in common? Workr Beeing has uncovered the answer – the “leading for wellness” mindset! In this session, you’ll learn how to shift your mindset so that it supports your and others’ wellness at work. Based on our own independent, scientific research, we uncover key characteristics and core competencies of leaders who excel at driving wellness in organizations and show you how to develop and grow those elements in your leadership over time.

We will also teach you how to train other leaders in your organization to embrace the “leading for wellness” mindset, and how to continue supporting your efforts through cutting-edge research and community support. When you cultivate a “leading for wellness” mindset in your organization, you can more easily achieve your collective wellness goals. Join us to find out how to achieve your goals by embracing the “leading for wellness” mindset and, in turn, improve your organization’s well-being!

  • Learn the key components of the “leading for wellness” mindset
  • Understand how to promote the “leading for wellness” mindset in yourself and others
  • Gain knowledge about the outcomes associated with effectively leading for wellness
Patricia Grabarek
In addition to co-founding Workr Beeing, Patricia has spent her career leading behavioral science teams and consulting with over sixty different client organizations from various industries, implementing Industrial/Organizational Psychology solutions to improve wellness, retention, performance, and engagement within their organizations. Her areas of expertise include workplace wellness, employee engagement, emotional labor, assessment, person-organization fit, behavioral nudges, and competency modeling. She has also served as an adjunct professor, teaching leadership and organizational psychology courses at Penn State University and the University of Southern California.
Katina Sawyer
Our other co-founder, Katina, is an Associate Professor of Management and Organizations in the University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management. Her areas of expertise include diversity, work-life balance, leadership, and positive workplace behaviors. Over the years, Katina has published numerous peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. Her work has been cited in many public outlets, including Harvard Business Review, Bloomberg Business Week, The Atlantic, Forbes, and The Conversation. She has been awarded research grants from the National Science Foundation, as well as from the Society for Human Resource Management. In 2017, Katina received recognition as Top 40 under 40 from the Philadelphia Business Journal. She also has extensive experience consulting with various organizations, providing data-driven solutions.
September 1 • 11:00 am – 12:00 pm CT | Keynote
Moments + Momentum: A Humanization of Work Movement
with Jess Von Bank, Head of Marketing, Leapgen
Conversations about the Now of Work have been an exercise in honest level-setting. About how people work or want to, the nature of employment relationships, how we show up to work, and how work shows up in our lives.

The humanization of work movement is unlike anything we’ve seen in modern times. It requires a humanized approach, honest change, and new rules. In this powerfully human closing keynote session, Jess Von Bank will discuss the biggest trends requiring our attention if we’re to understand moments, capitalize on momentum, and truly change work for good.

  • Gain an understanding of the Now of Work concepts and approaches
  • Learn how organizations need to view talent: diverse, rich in skills, desiring development, modern learners, experience consumers
  • Gain insight on how top talent want to view work and employment: flexible, modern, accommodating, socially conscious, caregivers
  • Discover what organizations are called to deliver: whole-person approach, removing barriers, data for insights, workforce agility, experience creators, change champions
Jess Von Bank
Jess Von Bank is an 18-year industry veteran and impassioned evangelist of the modern candidate and employee experience in the world of work. As both a former recruiting practitioner and an expert in bringing TA Tech and HCM vendor solutions to market, Jess looks to broaden the executive mindset to better design and deliver a workforce experience that exceeds the expectations of talent and the needs of the business.

Jess is the Head of Marketing for Leapgen, a digital transformation company shaping the Now of Work. She also runs the Now of Work, Leapgen’s global community for HR, Talent, and workforce experience professionals.

Jess is an active speaker and community emcee, ambassador for women’s and girls’ organizations, and President of Diverse Daisies, a nonprofit for girls’ enrichment and empowerment.