Advisory Board Members

David Almeda


Chief People Officer, UKG


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As chief people officer, David Almeda is responsible for overseeing the company’s global human resources function supporting more than 12,000 employees worldwide. In this role, he drives UKG’s human capital management strategy – including talent acquisition and development, compensation and benefits, facilities, corporate security, and employee engagement programs – to support the company’s continued growth, innovation, and profitability.

Capitalizing on the company’s culture of caring and building on its strong foundation of trust and transparency, Almeda and his team were instrumental in raising global engagement scores to record-highs that far outpace benchmarks for global software providers. Almeda’s vision and leadership has evolved the employee experience at UKG, leading to the company being honored as a top place to work in every country where it has an office, including being named a Fortune magazine “Top 100 Companies to Work For®” and a Glassdoor “Top 100 Best Places to Work.” Almeda, who was named CHRO of the Year in 2017 by HRO Today, has led the implementation of innovative benefits and employee development programs that have been featured in several leading publications, including Harvard Business Review featuring the company’s myTime open paid time off program and The Wall Street Journal chronicling the revolutionary Kronos Manager Effectiveness Index initiative.

Almeda brings a wealth of human resources management expertise to UKG, after having spent 16 years in various human resources functions at Staples, a $25 billion retailer with more than 90,000 employees worldwide.

Almeda is an active member of the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM); serves on the Board of Directors of the New England Human Resources Association; and is an advisory board member of both The Workforce Institute at UKG, and the Executive Program in Work-based Learning Leadership at the University of Pennsylvania/Wharton. A sought-after expert on HR issues, he has presented at or been published by organizations such as The Conference Board, Harvard Business School, and CMO Magazine.

In addition to earning a bachelor’s degree in marketing, Almeda also holds a master’s degree in HR management, and a doctoral degree from The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School/Graduate School of Education.


Vice President of Payroll Shared Services for Charter Communications

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As vice president of payroll shared services at Charter Communications, Martin Armstrong is responsible for overseeing payroll strategy and execution for the company’s 98,000 employees. Prior to joining Charter Communications, Armstrong held executive roles at Time Warner Cable and Caesars Entertainment. Armstrong is a retired Navy Supply Corps officer and is currently the Accounting & Finance Area Chair for the University of Phoenix, where he was named the 2018 Distinguished Faculty of the Year. He is a former vice president, board advisor, and current member of the American Payroll Association. He is also a member of the Society for Human Resource Management, the National Association of Tax Professionals, the American Society for Quality, and the Academy of Management. He has received professional accolades from the American Payroll Association including: 2018 Shared Services Prism Award, 2012 Prism Award for Overall Best Practices, 2010 Prism Award for Management Best Practices, 2008 Payroll Man of the Year, 2006 Special Recognition Award, and 2002 Meritorious Service Award. Dr. Armstrong is a Certified Payroll Professional (CPP), holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Maryland University College (UMUC), and a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) degree from Argosy University, where his dissertation concentrated on employee readiness for organizational change.


Executive Vice President, Chief People Officer, Sanofi


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Natalie Bickford has worked in HR and HR leadership for more than 20 years and brings a wealth of experience in consumer-facing industries to Sanofi.

Prior to joining Sanofi, Natalie was Group HR Director at Merlin Entertainments, the world’s second largest location-based entertainment business, where she was responsible for 30,000 employees across Europe, North America, and Asia Pacific. She also held senior HR positions at Sodexo, AstraZeneca and Kingfisher Plc.

Natalie has a solid track record of transforming organizations, with a strong focus on inclusion and diversity. She was awarded “HR Diversity Champion of the Year” at the European Diversity Awards in November 2019.

Natalie Bickford is a citizen of the United Kingdom.

Kate Bischoff


Employment Attorney & HR Consultant


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Kate Bischoff is an overly enthusiastic and opinionated management-side employment attorney and human resources professional. She works closely with management, HR folk, and technology companies to improve organizations through training, policy, and investigation work in addition to everyday advice and counseling. Prior to starting her own business, Kate served as the HR Officer for Consulate General Jerusalem and U.S. Embassy Lusaka, Zambia. Kate has been recognized by The New York Times,, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, National Public Radio, and other journalistic sources as a leading authority on harassment, technology in the workplace, and employment law.

Bob Clements


President, Axsium Group Ltd.


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Bob Clements is President at Axsium Group Ltd., a leading workforce management consulting firm. Mr. Clements is one of workforce management’s most influential thought leaders.  He is a frequent contributor to industry magazines, he is often interviewed by the press to comment on the latest industry trends, and he regularly speaks on webinars and at industry events.  Mr. Clements led the National Retail Foundation’s (NRF) Association for Retail Technology Standard (ARTS) committee to establish standards for workforce management integration.  He also helped developed ARTS’ Standard Request for Proposal for WFM which is widely used by retailers. Prior to joining Axsium, Mr. Clements directed product strategy for leading workforce management solutions including Infor Global Solutions, Workbrain, 360Commerce and Simplified Workforce Solutions.  Mr. Clements has also held senior management positions at Orbit Commerce, Platinum Technology and Browning & Clements.  He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado.

David Creelman


CEO, Creelman Research


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David Creelman is CEO of Creelman Research. His main interest is in helping HR leaders and CFOs better measure and report on human capital to the CEO, Board and financial markets. David also does writing, research and speaking on the most critical issues in human capital management. His clients include think tanks, consultants, academics and organizations in Japan, the US, Canada and the EU. He publishes regularly in the US, Japan, Peru, Turkey, Brazil, South Africa, Holland, Romania and Singapore. He has sat on many thought leader panels with the Human Capital Institute including Global Talent Management, Learning Strategies, and the ROI of Talent Management. He is collaborating with Dr. Dave Ulrich, on the topic of human capital intangibles. (see “What the Fortune 100 Tells Wall Street”). He is collaborating with Laurie Bassi on improved measurement methods. Prior to founding his own company David was brought in as Chief of Content and Research for As the first employee of David played an integral role in growing a successful dot com; one that continues to thrive. For many years David was a management consultant in Canada and Malaysia, most notably with the Hay Group. He also taught Rewards and Performance Measures at the University of Malaya executive MBA program. Before venturing into human resources consulting, David worked in finance for Gulf Canada in Toronto and IT for Wood Gundy in London. He has an MBA from the University of Western Ontario and a Combined Honours B.Sc. in Chemistry and Biochemistry from McMaster.


Chief Nurse Executive for UKG

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As chief nurse executive for UKG, Nanne M. Finis, RN MS, complements the organization’s deep expertise surrounding people, technology, and leadership with her strong foundational knowledge of the global healthcare system. A forty-year industry executive consistently focused on the profession of nursing and patient care delivery, Finis is passionate about building and leading a culture of innovation across care settings, operations, regulatory, and academic environments, and has committed her career to the improvement of the healthcare system. Serving as the nurse leader for Kronos internationally, Finis lends her expertise in collaborative work across clinical, operational, and administrative settings to guide strategic thinking and nurture strategic relationships across the healthcare marketplace. She most recently served as nurse executive for TeleTracking Technologies, where she formed and led an advisory service optimizing patient flow processes and technology adoption at hospitals across the nation. Earlier in her career, Finis spent more than two decades at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in both clinical and progressive management roles. She then transitioned to Joint Commission Resources (JCR), the knowledge transfer subsidiary of The Joint Commission, where she designed and led the US patient safety and quality consulting practice and operationalized the industry alliance strategy. Finis earned her master’s degree in nursing from the University of Illinois at Chicago and earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Saint Mary’s College in South Bend, Indiana. She additionally spent five years in Tokyo, Japan, attending the International School of the Sacred Heart (ISSH). Currently, Nanne serves on the American Organization of Nurse Leaders (AONL) Foundation Corporate Advisory Council.

John Frehse


Senior Managing Director, Ankura Consulting Group, LLC


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John Frehse speaks around the world on a variety of best practices in the labor management field.  John’s experience covers a wide array of strategic issues – from analytical resource deployment modeling to implementation planning and execution. Specific tactical problems include scheduling and shift management to increasing employee satisfaction, health, morale and performance. Over John’s career he has implemented solutions with Fortune 500 companies across a variety of industries. Those projects have generated over 150 million dollars in cost savings. John has done this with diverse workgroups across almost every industry focusing on those that do not work the traditional 9-5 schedule. His proven approach has balanced operations and labor savings with employee morale initiatives to make sure cost savings stick. John is a much sought after speaker and has authored numerous white papers and articles including the 11 Keys to Strategic Scheduling. Booz Allen has awarded the Leading Idea of the Week to his strategy papers twice. John’s article entitled “The Overtime Lie” was included in the Hall of Fame issue of IndustryWeek Magazine. Recently he published “The Death of the 8-Hour Shift” and “The Labor Volatility Index” also in IndustryWeek. He serves on the advisory board at for their Workforce Management practice. Previously of Merrill Lynch, he is uniquely versed in the economic modeling of flexible labor strategies within seasonal and variable environments and how to minimize adverse costs through performance management. He is a graduate of Wake Forest University where he received a degree in politics with a focus on the political economy.

Sharlyn Lauby


The HR Bartender and President of ITM Group Inc.


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Sharlyn Lauby is the author of HR Bartender and president of ITM Group Inc., a Florida based training and human resources consulting firm focused on helping companies retain and engage talent. Before starting ITM Group, Sharlyn was vice president of human resources for Right Management Consultants, one of the world’s largest organizational consulting firms. She has designed and implemented highly successful programs for employee retention, internal and external customer satisfaction, and leadership development. Publications such as Reuters, The New York Times, ABC News, TODAY, Readers Digest, Men’s Health, Mashable and The Wall Street Journal have sought out her expertise on topics related to human resources and the workplace. Sharlyn launched HR Bartender to provide a “friendly place for everyday workplace issues.” The site has been recognized as one of the Top 5 Blogs Read by HR Professionals by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). She is the author of “Manager Onboarding: 5 Steps for Setting New Leaders Up for Success” and “The Recruiter’s Handbook: A Complete Guide for Sourcing, Selecting, and Engaging the Best Talent” both of which are available on Amazon.

Alexandra Levit


Business/Workplace Author, Speaker, Consultant, and Futurist

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Alexandra Levit’s goal is to prepare organizations and their employees to be competitive and marketable in the future business world. A former nationally syndicated columnist for the Wall Street Journal and writer for the New York Times, Fast Company, and Forbes, Alexandra has authored several books, including the international bestseller They Don’t Teach Corporate in College and Humanity Works: Merging People and Technologies for the Workforce of the Future. Alexandra recently became a partner with organizational development firm PeopleResults. She consults and writes on leadership development, human resources, technology adoption, entrepreneurship, innovation, career and workplace trends on behalf of numerous Fortune 500 companies including American Express, Canon, Deloitte, DeVry University, Intuit, SilkRoad, and Staples, and has spoken on these topics at hundreds of organizations around the world including Abbott, ADP, Bank of America, Cardinal Health, Campbell Soup, Exelon, the Federal Reserve Bank, the Human Capital Institute, McDonalds, Microsoft, PepsiCo, the Society of Human Resource Management, and Whirlpool. In the last several years, Alexandra has conducted proprietary research on the future of work, technology adoption, the millennial generation, gender differences and bias, and the skills gap. She also served as a member of Business Roundtable’s Springboard Project, which advised the Obama administration, the U.S. Department of Labor, and the U.S. Department of Defense on current employment issues. Alexandra is also a frequent national media spokesperson and is regularly featured in outlets including USA Today, National Public Radio, CNN, ABC News, CNBC, Forbes, the Associated Press, and Glamour. She was named an American Management Association Top Leader for two years in a row and has also been Money Magazine’s Online Career Expert of the Year and the author of one of Forbes’ best websites for women. A member of the Northwestern University Council of 100 and the Young Entrepreneur Council, Alexandra received the prestigious Emerging Leader Award from her alma mater. The award honors a Northwestern graduate under 35 who had made a significant impact in her field and in society. She resides in Chicago, IL with her husband Stewart and their two young children.

Dennis Pic


AVP of Human Resources and Benefits Administration at The Claremont Colleges


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Dennis Miller is the Associate Vice President of Human Resources and Benefits Administration in a shared services environment at The Claremont Colleges, a consortium of 7 separate and highly regarded institutions of higher education including Pomona College, Harvey Mudd College, Claremont McKenna College, Scripps College, Keck Graduate Institute, Claremont Graduate University, and Pitzer College. Dennis has held several executive roles over his career in human resources and was formerly the Chief Employment Officer for Cal Poly Pomona Foundation. This auxiliary organization supports Cal Poly Pomona, which is one of the 23 California State University campuses delivering exceptional educational services and experiences to about 500,000 students annually. Dennis’ main focus in the workplace is organizational development, with an emphasis on process improvement through the application of technology, and team development. Dennis holds a Senior Professional in Human Resources Certification from the HR Certification Institute, and is a Senior Certified Professional from the Society for Human Resources Management. He holds a Master’s degree in Human Resources Development & Management from Chapman University. He is also a retired Marine Corps Air Traffic Controller.

Sarah Morgan


Chief Excellence Officer of BuzzARooney LLC


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Sarah Morgan has been a practicing HR Executive for 20 years. She is currently the Chief Excellence Officer of BuzzARooney LLC, where she provides consulting and coaching surrounding inclusive & equitable organizational culture, and practical, people-centric leadership. Sarah still also serves as an active HR practitioner as the head of Human Resources for a national retail service conglomerate, headquartered Raleigh NC.

In 2011, Sarah burst onto the social media scene under the pen name “Buzz Rooney,” with her blog, The Buzz on HR Ten years later, the pen name is gone — but her blog is going strong with over 10,000 readers each month.

Sarah is the creator and curator of the #BlackBlogsMatter, #BlackPodsMatter, #TimesUpHR, and #AntiRacistHR hashtag movements. She is also the creator and host of the Leading in Color podcast, a show centering on cultivating positive workplace experiences thru diversity, inclusion and social consciousness.

She has amassed more than 30,000 followers across Linkedln, Twitter, lnstagram and Facebook. And Sarah has been named to the Best HR Practitioner Biogs, the Top Women in HR Tech and the Global Voices of HR lists for consecutive years. She has been featured in Black Enterprise, Madame Noire, Fast Company, CNN and more.

Connect with Sarah thru her website,

Chris Mullen


Executive Director, The Workforce Institute at UKG


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Dr. Chris Mullen, PhD, SPHR, SHRM-SCP is the executive director of The Workforce Institute at UKG, the leading workplace think tank focused on the frontline employee experience. In his role, Dr. Mullen leads the institute’s education and research initiatives, which focus on empowering organizations with meaningful strategies to improve employee engagement by delivering a modern work experience. His 15-year career as an HR practitioner and leader shaped his Ph.D. work in work-life negotiation.

A sought-after speaker, thought leader, and executive coach, Dr. Mullen routinely speaks about the often overlooked challenges faced by employees who must be present to perform their job and the strategic value of empowering this segment of the workforce. His insights have been featured in publications including Harvard Business Review, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, and HR Magazine. Dr. Mullen resides in Colorado with his wife, three daughters, and son. He is an avid amateur mountaineer.

Neil Reichenberg


Former Executive Director of the International Public Management Association for Human Resources (IPMA-HR)


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Neil is the former chief staff executive of IPMA-HR, the premier public sector human resource management association. Mr. Reichenberg speaks and writes frequently on human resource and employment issues. He has given presentations in North America, Europe, Africa, Asia, Central America, and the Middle East. He has presented papers at international conferences and United Nations meetings.  He has testified before the United States Congress. Mr. Reichenberg is a graduate of the University of Maryland and New York Law School. He has been admitted to the Bar in the District of Columbia and New York. He is a member of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), which awarded him the designation of Certified Association Executive. He worked previously for a law firm specializing in labor and employment law.


Director, The Workforce Institute at UKG, EMEA & Vice President EMEA Professional Services, UKG


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Claire Hawkins is European director of The Workforce Institute at UKG and vice president of EMEA professional services practice at UKG, where she works with customers to define and deliver workforce optimization programs focusing on employee engagement to drive improved business performance. Hawkins is multi-lingual, speaking Dutch, French and German, a product of her ex-pat upbringing, which she credits her understanding and awareness of culture and international working practices. Her love of language led her into the contact center industry, where she rose to the ranks of senior leadership at both Aspect Software and Verint Systems, defining workforce management solutions for EMEA customers both inside the contact center, as well as the wider back office environment. Her passion for language and politics has driven her educational focus; she holds a Master’s degree in International Studies from University of Warwick and a Bachelor’s degree from University of Surrey. One of her favorite modules was War Studies as it looked not only at the history of the time, but also the strategies taken in both winning battles and the larger war. The consequences of decision making are fascinating and have helped her define her style of management and leadership in her own career.

Dan Schawbel


Best-selling author and Managing Partner, Workplace Intelligence


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Dan Schawbel is a New York Times bestselling author and the Managing Partner of Workplace Intelligence, a research and advisory firm helping HR adapt to trends, drive performance and prepare for the future. Dan is the bestselling author of three career books: Back to Human, Promote Yourself and Me 2.0. His new book, Back to Human: How Great Leaders Create Connection in the Age of Isolation, is a Washington Post bestseller and was selected by The Financial Times as the book of the month. Through his companies, he’s conducted dozens of research studies and worked with major brands including American Express, GE, Microsoft, Virgin, IBM, Coca Cola, and Oracle. Dan has interviewed over 2,000 of the world’s most successful people, including Warren Buffett, Anthony Bourdain, Jessica Alba,, Michael Bloomberg, Chelsea Handler, Colin Powell, Sheryl Sandberg, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. He is the host of “5 Questions”, a podcast where he interviews a variety of world-class humans by asking them 5 questions in less than 10 minutes. In addition, he has written countless articles for Forbes, Fortune, TIME, The Economist, Quartz, The World Economic Forum, The Harvard Business Review, The Guardian, and others that have combined generated over 15 million views. Considered “one of today’s more dynamic young entrepreneurs” by Inc. Magazine, Schawbel has been profiled or quoted in over 2,000 media outlets, such as NBC’s “The Today Show” and “Nightly News”, Fox News’s “Fox & Friends”, MSNBC’s “Your Business,” The Steve Harvey Show, The Wall Street Journal, People Magazine, Wired Magazine, GQ, The Economist, and NPR. He has been recognized on several lists including Inc. Magazine’s “30 Under 30”, Forbes Magazine’s “30 Under 30”, Business Insider’s “40 Under 40”, BusinessWeek’s “20 Entrepreneurs You Should Follow,” and as one of Workforce Magazine’s “Game Changers”.

Ivonne Vargas Hernandez


Author, Journalist, Speaker


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Ms. Vargas Hernández is an author, journalist, and speaker with more than 20 years of experience in the fields of human capital, education, and Human Resources. She is the author of the best seller ¡Contrátame! (Hire Me!), published in Mexico and Central America, and a freelance columnist for Entrepreneur and Business Insider. In addition, Ms. Vargas Hernández is a senior member of the radio show Zona Económica (Economic Zone) at IMER.
Ms. Vargas Hernández is an Associate of the Formal Employment Studies Center and speaker at the Human Capital Bureau for Penguin Random House. She received the Journalism Award for Human Resources in 2013 and 2014 given by OCCMundial, an online employment agency. She has also been a guest influencer in Entrepreneurship and Human Capital campaigns for different companies such as ZonaJobs and Bumeran, both online employment agencies.

Mark Wales


Global Workforce Management Industry Advisor


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Mark Wales has over 30 years of retail experience both in the US, Europe, and Asia with leading retailers, such as Starbucks, Ralph Lauren, Williams-Sonoma, Selfridges, and Tesco. He has provided retail consultancy with IBM and Price Waterhouse Coopers, where he has worked with many other leading brands in the US. His expertise centers on how to implement and drive benefit from the more challenging projects such as ERP, eCommerce, and Workforce Management.  His recent focus has been on developing a next generation model for workforce management that drives company performance through impacting the customer experience by investing in the employee experience. He believes that the role of workforce management is to coordinate and facilitate the various critical activities into a management discipline that brings Operations, Stores, Planning, HR, Training, Payroll, Finance, Corporate, Logistics, Planning, and Legal into a holistic approach. In this way the modern retailer can create and sustain real performance improvement.