I’m pleased to announce that The Workforce Institute has added four new members to our board of advisors, including two renowned international workplace voices: Veronica Baz, director of the Centre of Research for Development (CIDAC) in Mexico; Natalie Bickford, group HR director of U.K.-based Merlin Entertainments; Dennis Miller, chief employment officer of Cal Poly Pomona Foundation; and Neil Reichenberg, director of the International Public Management Association for HR (IPMA-HR). Each of these experts brings a unique perspective to our collective conversation.
Read on to learn why we’re so pleased to have these new voices on our board:
- Veronica Baz is the general director of the Centre of Research for Development (CIDAC), one of Mexico’s most prestigious thinks tanks, where she has developed new strategies to allow public policy proposals to have a greater impact on national decision-makers. Baz authored the bookMyths and Realities of Successful Enterprises in Mexico (2008) and co-authored The Power of Competitiveness (2005), as well as hundreds of articles in some the most important Mexican newspapers and magazines, such as Expansion and Reforma, where she currently has a reoccurring Op-Ed column. Baz is frequently interviewed by national and international media and is a recurring speaker on a wide variety of topics, particularly productivity, human capital, and social entrepreneurship. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the Technological Autonomous Institute of Mexico (ITAM) and an MBA degree from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University.
- Natalie Bickford is group HR director of Merlin Entertainments PLC, the largest European entertainments company running 110 visitor attractions in 23 countries across four continents, including brands such as LEGOLAND Theme Parks, Madame Tussauds, and Sea Life. Prior to Merlin, Bickford served as HR director of the U.K. and Ireland for Sodexo, transforming the company’s approach to diversity and equality. During her time at Sodexo, the company was recognized for its diversity agenda, and was ranked number one in 2010 by DiversityInc. In 2015, Bickford took on the role of SVP HR Global Corporate Services at Sodexo, responsible for an employee base of 160,000 across 67 countries, delivering quality of life services to many of the world’s most renowned global corporations. Before that, she was HR director for Sodexo On-Site Services Europe, with responsibility for 150,000 employees across 24 European markets. Bickford has won a number of awards for her commitment to diversity and inclusion, including Diversity Champion by the Employers Network for Equality & Inclusion and the Working Mums Champion Award in 2012. She is the Chair of Women 1st, which promotes the role of women within the hospitality industry, Deputy Chair of People 1st, and also a member of the Prince’s Trust Women’s Leadership Group. Bickford graduated with degrees in French and International Relations from the University of Warwick in 1992, and early on developed a varied HR career with U.K.-based and international roles at Kingfisher PLC, Barclays PLC, and AstraZeneca PLC.
As the chief employment officer at Cal Poly Pomona Foundation, Dennis Miller is responsible for overseeing the organization’s HR function. The Foundation is an auxiliary organization of the California State University system, which provides higher education to more than 460,000 students annually – making it the largest higher education system in the country. In his role, which he has held for almost 10 years, Miller continues to evolve the company’s human capital management strategy, including talent development and acquisition, benefits, compensation, and employee engagement programs to help maximize the overall support provided to the university in an ever-changing environment. Miller has served as the chair of the HR Committee for the Auxiliary Organization Association (AOA), as well as several auxiliary committees, such as the Executive Committee for the AOA. Early in his HR career, Miller led the evolution of the HR function during a period of high growth in an IT outsourcing company, Systems Management Specialists (SMS). Miller holds a master’s degree in HR management and development from Chapman University, is an active member of SHRM, and has earned certification as a Senior Professional in Human Resources from HRCI.
- Neil Reichenberg has worked for IPMA-HR since 1980, initially as the director of government affairs and taking over as executive director in 1996. As the chief staff executive, Reichenberg is responsible for the overall management of IPMA-HR, the premier public sector human resource management association. Reichenberg speaks and writes frequently on human resource and employment issues, and is a sought out speaker around the world. He has presented papers at international conferences and United Nations meetings, and has testified before the United States Congress. Reichenberg is a graduate of the University of Maryland and New York Law School and has been admitted to the Bar in the District of Columbia and New York. Reichenberg is a member of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), which awarded him the designation of Certified Association Executive, and worked previously for a law firm specializing in labor and employment law.