Atlanta HR Star Conference
Thursday, September 6, 2018
Speaker Information


Allison West, Esq., SPHR, SHRM-SCP is the Managing Principal of Employment Practices Specialists LLC and holds a simple approach to employment practices: be proactive. Using her employment law background, coupled with her sound knowledge of human resources practices, Allison provides proactive risk management services aimed at helping companies both prevent and resolve employment claims. She is a frequent speaker on employment law and human resources topics at national conferences related to human resources and diversity. Allison specializes in delivering customized in-house training programs to companies of all sizes, serving a wide variety of industries. Her clients include: Chiquita Brands, SanDisk, Kodak EasyShare Gallery, Sharp Hospital, and Portola Pharmaceuticals. Her expertise also includes delivering one-on-one sensitivity training to executives, managers and employees concerning harassment, discrimination, and disciplinary and/or behavioral issues as well as conducting workplace investigations, providing expert witness assistance and other HR consulting. Allison is a top-rated speaker at HR, industry and diversity conferences across the country, including the annual SHRM conference. As a noted expert, she has appeared on NPR and CBS This Morning discussing workplace harassment issues. Allison is a former Board Member of the Association of Workplace Investigators, an active member of the State Bar of California and holds a Senior Professional in Human Resources certification.


David Gevertz, Esq. is a Shareholder and the Managing Director of Advocacy with Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, P.C. He has more than 15 years of experience representing large public and privately held companies throughout the country in complex employment litigation. Mr. Gevertz defends class and collective actions; single and multi-plaintiff claims of racial, age, national origin, disability and religious discrimination, harassment and retaliation under state and federal laws; Family and Medical Leave Act claims; executive agreement and restrictive covenant litigation; drug-testing disputes; and reduction-in-force challenges. His practice also involves litigating accommodations claims brought against restaurants, theme parks, testing entities and other places of public accommodation under the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act and related state and local laws. In addition, Mr. Gevertz advocates employment law compliance and litigation avoidance for his clients. He counsels companies on conducting nationwide reductions-in-force, drafting and implementation of employment policies and procedures, investigating allegations of internal unethical and/or unlawful conduct, conducting comprehensive employment audits, negotiating employment contracts and restrictive covenants, and providing hiring, disciplinary and termination-related advice. Mr. Gevertz is a graduate of Harvard Law School.


Clare Draper, Esq. is a Partner in the Labor and Employment Group at Alston & Bird LLP in Atlanta, Georgia and consistently has been named a "Georgia Super Lawyer" by Atlanta Magazine. His practice covers all areas of labor and employment law. Having served as lead counsel in all types of labor and employment litigation for over 20 years throughout the country, Mr. Draper has developed extensive expertise in assisting clients with HR management issues, including litigation prevention, development and implementation of workplace policies and practices, reductions and expansions of the workforce, employee retention, union/management issues, regulatory compliance and negotiating, drafting and litigating employment agreements, restrictive covenants and separation agreements. Mr. Draper is a nationally known expert in the field of government-mandated affirmative action plans, and he serves as national affirmative action counsel for several companies, including the second largest private employer in the U.S. In addition, he is the author of several employment related publications, the latest of which is the Pike & Fisher/BNA book Workplace Privacy: A Guide for Attorneys and HR Professionals. Mr. Draper received his B.A. from Yale and his J.D. from Vanderbilt, where he was an associate editor on the Vanderbilt Law Review.


Kelly Charles-Collins, Esq. is a Partner with Smoak, Chistolini & Barnett, PLLC in Tampa, Florida. Mrs. Charles-Collins has over 17 years of experience representing management in employment law matters. She also presides as a Certified Arbitrator with the American Arbitration Association over employment, commercial and consumer cases in the U.S. and internationally. Mrs. Charles-Collins’ broad range of experience in employment law includes providing advice and successful litigation defense of matters in federal and state court and before administrative bodies in areas such as Title VII, the ADEA, FMLA and the ADA, sexual harassment, wrongful discharge, retaliation, whistleblower, federal and state wage and hour laws, state tort claims and restrictive covenant agreements. She also provides preventive counseling for employers, defends EEOC and other administrative charges, conducts internal investigations, trains management and supervisors, reviews and drafts employment policies, assesses and implements workplace solutions and defends unemployment compensation claims. Mrs. Charles-Collins’ experience as staff counsel for a multi-billion dollar, global international insurance firm makes her well-suited to also handle matters covered by employment practices liability insurance (EPLI). Mrs. Charles-Collins represents clients in a broad spectrum of industries, including food service, automotive, community management, community associations, healthcare, transportation, information technology, security services, cruise lines, risk management and government contractors. Mrs. Charles-Collins is very active in her community and has routinely provided pro-bono legal services. She is admitted to practice law in Florida, Georgia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.


Peter N. Hall, Esq. is a Shareholder at Chamberlain, Hrdlicka, White, Williams & Aughtry where he focuses his practice on labor and employment law with an emphasis on litigation matters. He counsels both large and small employers on a variety of labor and employment issues, including avoidance of discrimination and retaliation claims, compliance with disability and medical leave requirements, wage and hour issues, employee terminations, restrictive covenants, union avoidance, trade secrets and records retention. Mr. Hall has represented employers before state administrative agencies in numerous states, as well as before federal agencies, including the EEOC, DOL, and NLRB. In addition, he frequently drafts employment and separation agreements, as well as restrictive covenants and employee handbooks for multistate and multinational employers. Mr. Hall has litigated numerous complex and contentious matters, including individual, class, and collective actions. Many of his employment cases involve issues such as trade secret, restrictive covenant, computer fraud and theft, ERISA, discrimination and wage-hour issues. He also has experience litigating commercial cases involving securities fraud, franchisor/franchisee disputes, breach of contract and breach of warranty. Mr. Hall has been named a "Rising Star" several times by Super Lawyers magazine as well as a "Legal Elite" by Georgia Trend magazine. He earned a B.A. from The Ohio State University and a J.D. from the Vanderbilt University Law School where he was the Associate Editor of the Law Review.


Angela J. Reddock-Wright, Esq. is an employment law attorney, mediator, arbitrator and Managing Partner of Reddock Law Group in Los Angeles, California. Named a "Top California Employment Lawyer" by the Daily Journal and one of Los Angeles' "Most Influential Minority and Women Attorneys" by the Los Angeles Business Journal, Angela has been a practicing attorney for 22 years, including 15 years as a litigator. Angela's practice now focuses on the mediation, arbitration and investigation of workplace disputes. In her investigation practice, Angela is retained by public, private and non-profit sector employers to conduct independent and neutral investigations of workplace harassment, discrimination and other claims. Angela received her training as a mediator from the Strauss Institute at the Pepperdine University School of Law and has extensive training in conducting workplace investigations holding certificates from the Association of Workplace Investigators. In addition she is T9 Mastered for conducting Title IX sexual assault, harassment and misconduct investigations.  The President-Elect of the Southern California Mediation Association, she is also a member of the distinguished panel of arbitrators and mediators for the American Arbitration Association. Angela is an Associate Professor at California State University Dominguez Hills in the Negotiations, Conflict Resolution and Peace Program as well as an Instructor at UCLA Extension in the Human Resources Certification Program. A published author, frequent speaker and legal commentator, she has been featured in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Essence Magazine and on CNN, among many news and media outlets. Angela is a graduate of the UCLA School of Law, Amherst College and the Coro Foundation Fellowship in Public Policy and Public Affairs. 


Fraser Marlow is the Head of Research and Marketing at Energage - the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's research partner for Top Workplaces. Fraser brings a broad perspective on how organizational culture impacts business results. He has written extensively on the topics of employee engagement and coaching. Prior to joining Energage, Fraser headed up the leadership practice for BlessingWhite, a consulting firm based in Princeton, NJ. He also served as head of e-commerce for GE Healthcare's life sciences division.


David Thompson, CFI is the Vice President of Operations with Wicklander-Zulawski & Associates, Inc. (WZ). He is responsible for the day to day operations of WZ, as well as strategic planning in product offerings and the evolution of interview and interrogation content. David has also served as the Director of Investigations for WZ giving him the opportunity to manage a variety of cases while conducting interviews and consulting on investigations ranging from theft and fraud to sexual harassment and homicide. As a speaker for WZ, David has created customized training programs, presented at seminars, hosted a variety of webinars as well as conducted live broadcasts of training. He is also an active member of the International Association of Interviews and has contributed blogs, video tips and published several articles to support the continuing education of its members. While at WZ, David has also played an integral role in the ongoing research and evolution of content and innovative teaching methods. Developing training that is presented in a virtual broadcast venue, creating more opportunities for distance learning and contributing to some of WZ.s newest technology including a simulated interrogation system are a few of the projects David has been involved in. David has also worked with members of the Innocence Project Center on Wrongful Conviction of Youth and other academic partners on behalf of WZ to further the enhancement of interview and interrogation protocols throughout the US. David has contributed opinions on behalf of WZ for a variety of cases, and has been cited by the Federal Court of Appeals for his involvement on the topic of interview and interrogation.


Jeff Ernste is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Orange Tree Employment Screening where he has been working with clients to solve their business problems throughout his 29 year career. Partnering with clients of all sizes and across all industries, Jeff creates enduring relationships by designing customer-driven solutions and by providing exemplary customer service. Jeff will be speaking on background screening trends in 2018. With historically low unemployment, organizations are in a race to fill open positions. At the same time, local, state and federal employment and drug laws continue to evolve changing the complexion and complexity of background screening for all employers. Jeff's presentation will highlight many of these issues and provide guidance with how policy may be updated to address these nascent trends.


Tonia Morris is a Principal and Senior Consultant at Simply HR & More - an organization based in Atlanta, Georgia that takes a serious approach to developing and implementing sound HR strategies. Her company provides HR consulting, coaching and training and development services to organizations of all sizes. She has worked with clients in a wide variety of industries, including government, retail, insurance, information technology, non-profit and education. Prior to founding Simply HR & More, Tonia spent over 20 years as an HR professional - including 12 years working for the Teachers Retirement System of Georgia in organizational development. Tonia is also a certified speaker, trainer and coach with the John Maxwell team. She is especially passionate about the changing workplace and multi-generational topics. Tonia holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and certifications with IPMA, Register Corporate Coach, Myers Briggs and DISC Certification. Her current memberships and affiliations include: SHRM Atlanta, SHRM National, ATD, NAPW and NASWOB. In 2015 Simply HR & More was nominated in two categories by the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce; Minority Owned Small Business of the Year and Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year.


Keith Webb is the Director of SaaS Technology for Ultimate Software and is responsible for supporting the Business Development Team - Global Enterprise. He is also a member of the Thought Leadership Speaker Forum. In his 12 year tenure at Ultimate, Keith has participated in the software industry's fundamental shift from traditional license acquisition to the fully hosted SaaS model while communicating these complexities and challenges to CIOs responsible for global workforces. Product roadmap, disaster recoverability, business continuity and an ever-evolving security paradigm have become cornerstone delivery for SaaS vendors, and emerging dash-boarding and complex/predictive analytics are driving IT investments as technology resources make the shift from support to strategic operations. Keith's insight into these technologies, trends and opportunities guide customers and prospects into making relevant technology investments that enable organizations to become better able to compete in the global landscape. Keith holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Information Systems, UTA and has 27years of technology experience.


Dave Collins is the Founder and CEO of Oak and Reeds, a corporate training firm dedicated to using the tools of improvisation to train clients on everyday soft skills. Dave is an award-winning improvisor, coach, speaker and corporate strategist with over a decade of experience performing and coaching improv. Along with his teammates, Dave won the National Collegiate Improv Tournament. He has headlined shows across the United States and individually has coached hundreds of students and professionals in the art and practice of applied improvisation. Prior to founding Oak and Reeds, he worked as a change management expert at AECOM. As part of AECOM's workplace strategy team, Dave helped clients to examine the relationship between workspace and productivity, enabling people to break old habits and embrace change. Dave has a B.A. in Communication and Economics from Northwestern University with a specialization in Team Leadership.


Nancy J. Lewis, MS, PHR, SHRM-CP, RCC is a leading inspirational speaker, trainer, author and registered corporate coach. Nancy is the President of Progressive Techniques, Inc. based in Fayetteville, Georgia and has been conducting training for 30 years. She is the co-author of, Millennials and Beyond: Making the Leap from Texting to Talking.. Additionally, Nancy has worked as an adjunct faculty instructor at Georgia State University where she has taught courses in human resources. Nancy works with organizations that want to develop their people potential and with employees who want more fulfillment in their careers. She conducts dynamic keynotes and seminars on leadership, diversity and human resources. Also, she delivers customized, interactive and content-rich presentations and works with executives and managers to help them transform and enhance their careers. Nancy was included in the 2016 edition of Who’s Who in Black Atlanta and is the former host of the radio talk show, Sisters Together: Sharing Stories Straight From the Heart. She has been featured regularly on local radio and television broadcasts and was selected as a 2009 WNBA Atlanta Dream Woman of Inspiration. Nancy was also selected by Rolling Out Magazine as one of 25 most influential women in Atlanta. Some of Nancy’s clients include: Delta Air Lines, Inc., Chick-fil-A, Inc., The Coca-Cola Company, Georgia Power, FORD Motor Company, AT&T, Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA), Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The American Heart Association, Winn Dixie, Georgia State University, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Justice, SunTrust Bank, Spelman College, Kimberly Clark Corporation and Georgia Institute of Technology. Nancy earned a M.S. degree from Georgia State University in Urban and Public Affairs with a concentration in Human Resources.


Seth Davies is Managing Partner and Senior Consultant at Competitive Solutions, Inc. where he runs the day to day operations of the Atlanta office. Seth is a popular speaker at human resources, operational excellence and quality conferences. He believes organizations today must create and sustain a culture with three non-negotiable attributes: a sense of urgency, a clear and concise business focus, and a leadership-driven accountability. In this regard he has assisted a wide variety of organizations in the development of their key business metrics, documented communication strategy and established collective accountability across the company. Organizations that Seth has worked with include Pfizer, Genentech, Genzyme, Goodwill Industries, Revlon, Michelin Tire, Alcon Life Sciences, National Institute Severely Handicapped (NISH), and several Army Depots.


Juliet Hall is the creator and brains behind Own Your Opportunities. Her self-empowerment perspective is the result of 17 years with Chick-fil-A, Inc. as a senior manager, leading teams and teaching servant leadership on international projects in Brazil, South Africa, Zambia, Algeria, Jordan, Niger and Iraq. With Chick-fil-A she has also consulted with owner/operators of multi-million dollar franchises and drove significant community impacts. A graduate of Spelman College and The University of Georgia, Juliet is a sought-after keynote speaker and a thought-leader on leadership, engagement and self-motivation. Her truest passion is career advising and coaching young managers - helping to build their careers and helping others to own their opportunities.


Shatanese Reese, SPHR, SHRM-SCP has over 20 years of experience in human resources. Her career spans industries such as retail, banking and higher education, and her training sessions have covered topics ranging from effective performance management, talent acquisition strategies, navigating employee relations matters as well as implementation of new HR-specific systems. Shatanese partners with managers and teams to ensure their greatest potential is reached through engaging and powerfully packed workshops. Shatanese has held several leadership roles throughout her career including Assistant Director of Staff Recruitment and Retention, Diversity Consultant and most recently HR Manager. She has served on the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR) Diversity Equity and Inclusion committee where she was instrumental in spearheading various initiatives. Shatanese is the Owner of Super Extra Ordinary Mom, LLC, an HR Consultancy which offers customized leadership development workshops. Shatanese obtained her MS in Interdisciplinary Studies - in the areas of business, psychology and French - from Iowa State University.


Braden Albert is the Founder and President of the HR Star Conference and its parent company, Abbington Court Media. A graduate of Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, Braden began organizing job fairs and trade shows in the mid-1990's. Intrigued by the idea of bringing people together for a shared, learning experience - and impressed by the impact such an experience can provide - Braden organized his first HR Star Conference in 1999. Today, the scope of the HR Star Conference includes annual events in Los Angeles, California; Atlanta, Georgia; San Francisco, California; and Cleveland, Ohio. Over 3,300 HR professionals attended an HR Star Conference in 2017.