2018 Workplace Summit Speakers

Thursday, June 7, 2018
Villanova University
Connelly Center


W. Brad Johnson

W. Brad Johnson is professor of psychology in the Department of Leadership, Ethics, and Law at the United States Naval Academy, and a faculty associate in the Graduate School of Education at Johns Hopkins University. A clinical psychologist and former Lieutenant Commander in the Navy’s Medical Service Corps, Johnson served as a psychologist at Bethesda Naval Hospital, and the Medical Clinic at Pearl Harbor where he was the division head for psychology. He is a fellow of the American Psychological Association and recipient of the Johns Hopkins University Teaching Excellence Award. He has served as chair of the American Psychological Association’s ethics committee and as president of the Society for Military Psychology. Johnson is the author of more than one hundred journal articles and book chapters—many on the topic of mentoring—and twelve books, in the areas of mentoring, professional ethics, and counseling. Books of related interest include: On Being a Mentor: A Guide for Higher Education Faculty (2nd Ed.) (2015), The Elements of Mentoring (Revised Ed.) (2008, with Charles Ridley), The Elements of Ethics for Professionals (2008, with Charles Ridley), and Becoming a Leader the Annapolis Way (2006, with Greg Harper).

Vernā Myers

Vernā Myers is an inclusion strategist, cultural change catalyst, influencer, thought leader, social commentator, and author. She’s known for her high-energy keynotes, her captivating insights, and her ability to help people bridge differences and connect more meaningfully. A Harvard-trained lawyer and founder of The Vernā Myers Company, Myers speaks at conferences and events around the globe, and helps Fortune 500 and entertainment companies, as well as NGO’s and Wall Street clients succeed by building more inclusive workplaces. Myers is the author of Moving Diversity Forward: How to Go From Well-Meaning to Well-Doing and What If I Say the Wrong Thing? 25 Habits for Culturally Effective People. Her inspiring TED talk, How to Overcome Our Biases? Walk Boldly Toward Them, offers three ways any person can become an active participant in countering bias in themselves and in others to create a more just world. Myers has also contributed to Refinery 29 and Huffington Post, and has been cited in The Atlantic, Forbes, the Harvard Business Review, and TED NPR Radio. For the last two decades The Vernā Myers Company has helped organizations eradicate barriers based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and other differences with the aim of establishing a new, more productive and just status quo. As she puts it, “Diversity is being invited to the party. Inclusion is being asked to dance.” ® @vernamyers

Zainab Salbi

Zainab Salbi founded Women for Women International at the age of twenty three. Women for Women International is a grassroots humanitarian and development organization, dedicated to serving women survivors of wars by offering support, tools, and access to life-changing skills to move from crisis and poverty to stability and economic self-sufficiency. Under her leadership as the organization’s CEO from 1993 until 2011, Women for Women International grew from helping thirty women upon its inception to helping more than 420,000 women in eight conflict areas. It also distributed more than one hundred million dollars in direct aid and micro credit loans that impacted more than 1.7 million family members. Salbi was executive editor and host of the nationally broadcast PBS show #Me Too, Now What?.  Her other TV projects include THE ZAINAB SALBI PROJECT, an original series with AOL and Huffington Post, and The Nida’a Show with TLC Arabia.  The Nida’a Show started with the historic first interview of Oprah Winfrey in the region (Oprah had presented Salbi ten times on her own show). Her books include Between Two Worlds: Escape from Tyranny: Growing Up in the Shadow of Saddam, The Other Side of War and If You Knew Me You Would Care. Salbi’s forthcoming book, Freedom Is An Inside Job, is scheduled for release in October. She is currently the editor at large at Women in the World in association with The New York TimesPeople Magazine named Salbi as one of the “25 Women Changing The World” in 2016, Foreign Policy Magazine named her as one of the “100 Leading Global Thinkers,” and Fast Company identified her as one of 100 “The Most Creative People in Business.” @zainabsalbi

David Smith

David Smith is the co-author of Athena Rising: How and Why Men Should Mentor Women and associate professor of sociology in the Department of National Security Affairs at the United States Naval War College. A former Navy pilot, Smith led diverse organizations of women and men culminating in command of a squadron in combat and flew more than 3,000 hours over thirty years including combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. As a sociologist trained in military sociology and social psychology, he focuses his research in gender, work, and family issues including gender bias in performance evaluations, dual career families, military families, women in the military, and retention of women. Smith is the author of numerous journal articles and book chapters—many on the topic of gender and the workplace

Grace E. Speights

Grace E. Speights is a partner with Morgan Lewis. She handles high profile and high stakes workplace matters for many clients, and is often called upon by clients for crisis management assistance. She represents clients in systemic investigations and litigation brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). She also counsels on best practices for corporate diversity initiatives. Speights is the leader of the firm’s labor and employment practice, managing more than 250 lawyers across the firm. Speights leads the firm’s multidisciplinary workplace culture consulting team of more than thirty lawyers across offices and practices. She has worked with clients in the financial services, media and entertainment, sports, retail, nonprofit, and legal services industries. She has also conducted independent investigations of allegations on behalf of special committees of boards of directors, and is counseling boards of directors and high-level executives on their responsibilities in connection with providing a sexual harassment–free workplace. Speights remains active in bar association activities and takes on multiple management roles for the firm. Her involvement in professional organizations has included, among others, the District of Columbia Judicial Nominations Commission and the D.C. Public Defender Service. She has also served as a member of the District of Columbia Judicial Tenure Commission, the District of Columbia Federal Judicial Nominations Commission, and the District of Columbia Court of Appeals Committee on Admissions. She is currently a member of the board of trustees of the George Washington University. Speights has received countless awards and honors. @gespeights

Emcee Speakers

KATE CHIGOUNIS is head of operational risk management at Macquarie Investment Management (MIM). In this role, she implements and directs the firm’s operational risk framework covering all of itsproducts and business activities. She transitioned to the business operational risk management team after Macquarie’s acquisition of Delaware Investments from Lincoln Financial Group in 2010. Chigounis joined Lincoln Financial Group’s internal audit department in February 2005, responsible for the independent risk assessment and testing function covering all aspects of the business and serving the two mutual fund boards to which Delaware Investments served as advisor. Prior to joining the firm, she worked in the external audit department at PricewaterhouseCoopers, where she specialized in financial services, specifically the investment management industry. Previously, she worked at Arthur Andersen in the financial services external audit group. She earned a BA in accounting from Rutgers University, and holds the Certified Financial Services Auditor® certification for internal auditing and is a member on the ICI Internal Audit and Risk Committees.


GERARD CUDDY joined Beneficial Bank in 2006, and was named president and CEO in January 2007. He and his team led Beneficial in its two step stock offering, converting from a mutual holding company to a fully public bank. Under his leadership, Beneficial has focused on its mission as an education company, providing the bank’s customers with the tools and knowledge to help them do the right thing financially.  He has been profiled and quoted in American Banker, The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and The Huffington Post. Committed to improving the communities that the Beneficial serves, Cuddy is a board member of the Foreign Policy Research Institute, and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and a past board member of the Franklin Institute, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Union League of Philadelphia and the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia Depository Council.  He is the recipient of many awards including the La Salle University’s Leadership Award, the Rutgers University Leadership Award, the Distinguished Catholic Graduate Award, the American Catholic Historical Society’s Barry Award and the Jewish Relief Agency Annual Award. Cuddy earned a BA in economics from Villanova University, and his MBA from St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. @beneficialbank


NICOLE DINELLO currently leads the Network of Women for Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) comprised of 4,200 members whose mission is to drive business performance at BMS by embracing gender diversity. Most recently she led the cardiovascular professional promotions team. including message platform development, real world data promotion, and medical education.  She also led the consumer marketing work including mass-media, digital platforms, and patient education initiatives for all cardiovascular consumer marketing campaigns. Dinello is an engaged and diverse BioPharma leader with expertise leading across multiple matrix teams within marketing, sales, managed care, and training. During her nineteen years at BMS, she has led commercial teams across primary and specialty care.  She negotiated challenging payer access across multiple therapeutic areas.  She drove and managed the commercial efforts for new cardiovascular indications, including development of sales materials and training to allow the commercial organization to build competitive knowledge and deliver on ambitious sales results. Dinello earned an MBA from the Katz Business School at the University of Pittsburgh as well as an undergraduate degree in biology.  She applies her business and science background to enhance her strategic thinking to drive business results. @bmsnews


JOYCE E. A. RUSSELL, PhD, was named The Helen and William O’Toole Dean of the Villanova School of Business (VSB) in 2016. The dean serves as the chief executive, academic and fiscal officer for VSB. Prior to joining VSB, Russell served as both senior associate dean and vice dean at the University of Maryland’s (UMD) Robert H. Smith School of Business. Russell is a licensed industrial and organizational psychologist and has more than twenty five years of experience consulting with both private and public sector organizations. She wrote a weekly career coach column and answered reader questions in a monthly online chat for The Washington Post. She developed the Executive Coaching and Leadership Development Programs for the University of Maryland’s Executive MBA program and the EMBA program at The University of Tennessee. Russell was consistently honored for being one of UMD’s outstanding top fifteen percent of teachers, and was selected three times for the Allen J. Krowe Award for Teaching Excellence, among many other awards and honors. She has published more than fifty articles, books or book chapters. Russell earned her PhD in industrial and organizational psychology from the University of Akron, Ohio, and her BA in psychology from Loyola University in Maryland. @vsb_dean

JUSTIN SMITH is the vice president of talent planning and acquisition at Qurate Retail Group. In this role he leads a dynamic global team obsessed with attracting the most talented, diverse professionals to join Qurate Retail Group, which is comprised of eight leading retail brands, including QVC, HSN, zulily, Ballard Designs, Frontgate, Garnet Hill, Grandin Road and Improvements. Smith is a fierce advocate for diversity and inclusion, and leads by holding himself and his team accountable for ensuring they continually raise the bar and develop innovative ways to reach diverse talent groups. Before joining Qurate Retail Group, Smith served as a sector leader at Korn Ferry International, and was focused on the retail industry. He has held several leadership talent acquisition and recruiting roles in the retail industry and earned a BS from Cornell University. @qurateretailgrp

Additional speakers to be announced

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