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2020 Speakers

Opening Keynote Speaker: Donna Brighton

Donna Brighton is a lifelong nonconformist whose favorite question is “why?” she is a catalyst for positive change and a liberator of potential, dedicated to enlarging leaders’ vision of who they are and what they can achieve. Join her in challenging the status quo to transform the practice of leadership.

Session Title: Be, Do, Say – The Rebel Leader Way

Defy the default. Who defines you? How big is the gap between your words and actions? How will you use your voice to make a difference? Answer these questions and more as we explore the Rebel Leader Way.

Despite decades of research, millions of leadership articles and books, there is not widely accepted definition of leadership. That is because each person’s approach to leadership is as unique as the leader. Increase your effectiveness and influence by improving the clarity and strength of your leadership voice.

Whether you have a position of leadership or serve as an influencer of change, when you apply the three critical steps along the Rebel Leader Way, you earn the right to use your voice. These are essential elements of effective leadership and successful change.

Join Donna to learn how to unleash you inner rebel, shift your leadership perspective, and lead in unexpected ways to achieve unprecedented results.

Education Session Speakers

How can we help you develop your "clear vision for change"? Join us on October 22 to listen to and learn from the following speakers and to engage with our panelists on one of the most important topics we as change practitioners and leaders must tackle.

Education Sessions

You will choose 1 Session from each Round (2 sessions).

Round 1:

  • Michelle Gebhart (US EPA)--Customer Adoption Program: Driving Organizational Change, Saving Money and Making People Smile
Does your organization have trouble getting employees to use new technology? You buy a new tool, roll it out, make sure it works reliably, and… no one uses it. This is a common problem across private and public sectors. At the US Environmental Protection Agency, we faced similar challenges after transitioning to Office 365. We wanted employees to embrace new ways of doing business and position EPA to discontinue support for legacy and redundant technology. To accomplish our goals, we started the Customer Adoption Program. By integrating communications and training into an overall change management strategy, we are succeeding at transforming our workplace. Employees are voluntarily changing their behavior and adopting new ways of doing business. This presentation includes examples of communication and education pieces that were effective at our agency (including videos and competitions). We think our story could benefit change practitioners in other agencies and companies struggling with the same challenges.
  • Victoria M. Grady & Regan Jagatnarain (GMU/Pivot Point)--Psychological Contracts and Change Management: Are These Unspoken Agreements Affecting Your Change Plan?
The field of people and change is filled with personal perspectives, anecdotes, commentaries, extrapolations, and unfounded opinions. How do you differentiate effective change management from the latest en vogue management fad? We believe the answer is found the same way Newton’s Third Law of Motion (generally…what goes up must come down) … was proved … RESEARCH based on scientific evidence. While the field of change management has rigorously researched theory and models for implementation that achieve success, we identified a significant void in literature. This void is related to the informal “Psychological Contract” that forms among employees of their respective organizations and is key to understanding the nature and source of employee resistance to change. Our presentation examines the different psychological perspectives involved in achieving effective change and the commonalities that scientifically inform development of a research-based viewpoint on effective change management grounded in Psychology and the tools required to analyze, track and measure the process.
  • Karen deLacy (deLacy Associates)--One Courageous Conversation at a Time -- Tackling Key Organizational Challenges Today

This interactive presentation will help participants understand how principles of courageous leadership can help transform the way leaders and organizations effectuate meaningful culture change on diversity/inclusion and innovation in the workplace. Using the results of BrenĂ© Brown’s most recent empirical research on leadership, participants will understand the critical linkage between courageous leadership and key challenges confronting organizations and leaders today. During the workshop, participants will consider imperatives for and obstacles to creating more inclusive organizations and learn what current research says are necessary elements to success. Through a series of short activities, participants will be introduced to the core skillsets identified by BrenĂ© Brown’s research. The presentation will introduce and then engage participants in a hands-on exploration of how specific courageous leadership skill sets can move organizations away from cultures in which inclusion is seen as ‘fitting in’ towards cultures of ‘belonging.’ An application exercise on courageous conversations will provide participants with an approach and template for future use. 

Round 2:
  • Krista Schaber-Chan (Harbinger SCR Inc.)-- Empowering People Through Change Enablement

The way people and organizations experience change has changed, so it only makes sense that Change Management also needs to evolve and keep pace. Now more than ever engaging, empowering, and enabling people are the building blocks to lasting change resiliency and capability. Whether the change is being driven by a leader in an organization, supported by a change management professional or experienced by individuals, change enablement is a requirement in the updated change management toolkit. Through an interactive activity, participants will learn about practical tools and strategies on how to coach leaders and other key stakeholders to enable change. In addition, participants will have the opportunity to practice applying these methods to illustrate how they can encourage resilience and empower their people, instead of managing them. A downloadable infographic will also be available for participants, summarizing the key leadership tips shared during the session on cultivating change enablement in the workplace.

  • Rodney C. Burris--INCLUSIVE LEADERSHIP 101: “Better People, better People: How my own personal self-development as a leader can help bring about the change toward a more just, equitable, and inclusive future for us all.”

As professionals, we must be intentional about our individual efforts toward growth and development. That’s because people who are improving, help others to improve also. My session will encourage participants to ask themselves (and discuss) the following questions: "Since I have been doing this work, when was the last time I spent time walking in the roles of those served by my efforts--who did not look like me? Have I recently entrusted someone else of a different background / ethnicity / orientation with something very important, knowing that they may not have the tools / context / network / access to complete it as well as I; yet I entrusted them anyway knowing that the process would be good for their personal / professional growth, as well as my own? In the past year, in what ways have I worked on my mental wellness as it relates to my own sense of happiness and my ability to analyze and implement changes to our work-life balance? If I am being honest, have I taken measures to be aware of my own internal biases? How would my increased awareness positively impact those around me?" 

  • Amanda Schmoldt (USAA)--Measuring What Matters: Successful Change
Measuring adoption has long been a challenge for change practitioners. What to measure, when to measure and whether change management can claim credit are just some of the questions that make a relatively simple problem seem complicated. This session applies lessons learned from the non-profit community and behavior science to help you develop adoption metrics that truly measure the success of the change. Learn what to measure, how to scale adoption metrics (and incentives) and how to share the approach and results using a simple tool.

Panel Discussion

Topic: Leading Change in a Time of Disruption

Moderator: Jennifer Duff, ACMP DC President


  • Patrina M. Clark, EdD, Deputy Chief Human Capital Officer, Farm Credit Administration
  • Luis Enriquez, Director Agile Program Management, Freddie Mac
  • Melinda Fancher, Director, Workforce Transformation Division, General Services Administration
  • Adam Fernandes, Director, Technology Change Management, Hilton

Check your calendars and register for an afternoon of engagement on topics relevant to YOU!

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