Atlanta HR Star Conference
Thursday, September 7, 2017
Speaker Information


David Gevertz, Esq. is a Shareholder with Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, P.C. and the Vice Chairperson of the Labor and Employment Department. 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.


Keith Webb is the Software as a Service (SaaS) Technologist for Ultimate Software and is responsible for supporting the Business Development Team for North America. He is also a member of the Thought Leadership Speaker Group. In his eleven year tenure at Ultimate Software, Keith has participated in the software industry's fundamental shift from traditional license acquisition to the fully hosted SaaS model and has navigated the complexities and challenges of that shift for 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 helps to guide customers and prospects into relevant technology investments that produce businesses better capable of competing in the global marketplace. Keith holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Information Systems, UTA and has over 25 years of technology and hospitality experience.


Annette A. Idalski, Esq. is a Shareholder in the Atlanta office of Chamberlain Hrdlicka. Her practice involves litigation, employee relations counseling and management training. She has defended employers nationwide against single and multi-plaintiff lawsuits involving race, gender, age and disability discrimination, workplace harassment, traditional labor matters, wage and hour compliance, restrictive covenants, contract disputes, and whistleblower actions. Ms. Idalski proactively counsels employers on employment issues concerning complex leaves of absence, hiring and firing, wage and hour compliance, mergers and acquisitions, and collective bargaining matters. In addition, she conducts legal compliance audits of clients' human resources functions and prepares employee policies and handbooks and employment agreements. Ms. Idalski also conducts training courses on prevention of litigation with respect to sexual harassment and discrimination under Title VII, FMLA, ADA, FLSA, FCRA, and other state and federal employment laws. Ms. Idalski is Past President of the Georgia Association For Women Lawyers and has served as a board member since 2002.


David Thompson, CFI is the Director of Investigations, Research and Innovation with Wicklander-Zulawski & Associates, Inc. (WZ). He handles a variety of investigations, as well as conducting interviews and interrogations across a wide spectrum of clients and diverse cases. As a speaker for WZ, David has 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 (IAI) and has contributed blogs, video tips and hosted webinars to support the continuing education of its members. David has a passion for coaching and engaging with attendees in an effort to support their development. To support this passion, David has provided customized seminars and consulting sessions to both private and public sector clients. He takes pride in delivering training, providing guidance and being an approachable resource for all clients.


Dr. Earl L. Suttle is the CEO and founder of Leadership Success International, LLC, an international consulting and training company based in Atlanta, GA, that works with businesses and organizations to increase their profits and productivity through developing their people. As a business consultant and dynamic professional keynote speaker, Dr. Suttle delivers numerous presentations throughout the United States each year. He is a best-selling author of five books with Dr. John Hubbard, including: Earl’s Pearls on Enjoying Excellence, Preparing for and Managing High-Risk Situations in the Lives of College Athletes (An Athlete’s Guide), Preparing for and Managing High-Risk Situations in the Lives of Professional Athletes (A Player’s Guide), Great Life Choices for Teens (Who Want to Make a Difference) and his latest, Stressed to Blessed. He has also produced a number of CD’s and DVD’s on leadership and professional personal development. “Empowerment through education and enthusiasm,” is the mission statement of his company. Dr. Suttle has conducted keynote addresses and seminars for corporations like Aflac Insurance, AT&T, Delta Air Lines, The Coca-Cola Company, American Express, Kimberly-Clark Corporation, the United States Postal Service, Kraft Foods, Toyota, The Hartford Insurance Group, Wells Fargo, the Georgia Department of Labor, Anheuser-Busch Companies, the University of Georgia and the University of Florida just to name a few. In addition, Dr. Suttle is a consultant to the National Basketball Association, the National Football League and World Wrestling Entertainment where he works directly with the players and athletes. Dr. Suttle has been featured in Ebony Magazine, In-Style Magazine as well as on CNN. He earned his Doctorate in Addiction Studies.


Sheree Knowles, SPHR is the Founder and Chief Human Resources Officer for HR Knowledge Source (HRKS), a human resources advisory firm as well as a talented executive with over 20 years of HR leadership experience. She has served in senior-level roles for companies with regional and national geographic footprints. Her most recent corporate role was VP of Human Resources for a $1B professional services firm. Through HRKS, Sheree works with clients in variety of industries, including nonprofit, government, technology, higher education, construction and professional services. Ms. Knowles is a highly regarded leader and professional speaker. She is best known for her ability to build HR departments from the ground up - people, policies, processes and technology. In addition, she is an accomplished practitioner who has achieved multiple certifications and designations throughout her career: SPHR, CPM (Certified Project Manager), MBTI (Myers-Briggs) and DiSC. Sheree is a “generalist” by heart, preferring to work in all aspects of human resources. She enjoys talent acquisition, talent & performance management, employment law compliance, training & development, mergers & acquisitions and health & wellness. Ms. Knowles is also committed to the development of emerging HR leaders and entrepreneurs. Sheree is actively involved in several professional organizations, including the Cobb Chamber of Commerce, Human Resources Leadership Forum, Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the Urban League of Greater Atlanta. She also serves as the Senior Vice President and Chief Operations Officer for the National Association of African American in Human Resources (NAAAHR) Atlanta Board. Ms. Knowles is a graduate of the University of Dayton.


Braden L. 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 2016.