Cleveland HR Star Conference
Tuesday, July 25, 2017
Speaker Information


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.


Seth P. Briskin, Esq. is a Partner in the firm of Meyers, Roman, Friedberg & Lewis where he is Chair of the Labor & Employment Group. Mr. Briskin provides labor and employment counsel to private, public sector and non-profit organizations. He represents employers and executives in employment litigation, wage and hour matters, non-competition and trade secret litigation, workers’ compensation claims/appeals, union organizing drives, collective bargaining, labor arbitrations and all manner of disputes involving the NLRB, OSHA, EEOC, OCRC, BWC and the Department of Labor. In addition, he prepares employment and consulting contracts, confidentiality and non-competition agreements and advises clients on severance packages and separation agreements. Before joining the firm, Mr. Briskin practiced at boutique and general practice law firms where he developed his experience in all areas of labor and employment law. He also interned for the National Labor Relations Board. Consistently named an Ohio “Super Lawyer” and awarded Crain’s Cleveland Business “40 Under 40” in 2005, Seth frequently speaks on labor and employment law issues. He serves as an officer on the Executive Boards of the Cleveland Leadership Center, American Jewish Committee, Beachwood Chamber of Commerce and the Cleveland Jewish News, and he is a former Chairman of Cleveland Bridge Builders. Mr. Briskin earned his B.S. from Cornell University, School of Industrial and Labor Relations and his J.D. from Case Western Reserve School of Law.


Dr. Deborah A. O’Neil is an Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior and the Director of the Executive Master of Organization Development (EMOD) Program in the Department of Management, College of Business, Bowling Green State University. Her research on career, leadership and organization development has appeared in such venues as Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, Journal of Business Ethics, Journal of Change Management and Consulting Psychology Journal. Dr. O’Neil also serves as a consultant for private, public and non-profit organizations. Prior to her academic career, she worked in leadership development at Citibank in NYC. Dr. O’Neil holds a Doctorate in Organizational Behavior from the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University, a Master of Science Degree in Organization Development/Human Resource Development from The American University in Washington DC and Bachelor’s Degrees in Secondary Education, Journalism and English from the University of Rhode Island.


Patricia Fleming Krewson, Esq. is a Shareholder in the Cleveland office of Littler Mendelson P.C. Trish is an experienced employment defense litigator who has focused her career on representing employers throughout the various stages of the litigation process. She has handled a variety of litigation matters involving wrongful termination, discrimination, retaliation, non-compete agreements and other restrictive covenants, breach of contract and violations of state and federal laws. In addition to her litigation practice, Trish works directly with clients on preventative measures, including drafting/updating employee handbooks, counseling on day-to-day employment related issues and training employees and managers regarding anti-harassment, non-discrimination and related issues in the workplace. Whether in the context of litigation or advising businesses on employment law compliance, Trish brings a sophisticated, yet practical, approach to her clients. Since 2009, Trish has been continuously designated as a “Rising Star” by Cincinnati Magazine. Trish earned her J.D. from Case Western Reserve University.


Christina M. Royer, Esq. is a Partner with Elfvin, Klingshirn, Royer & Torch, LLC. She has practiced exclusively in the area of employment law representing individuals since 2004. Chris brings a breadth of experience in the area, in particular, her knowledge and skill regarding Ohio unemployment compensation law. Chris was selected as a "Rising Star" from 2009 to 2011 by Ohio Super Lawyers magazine, and she has also been selected as a "Super Lawyer" in the area of Employment Law by Ohio Super Lawyers magazine since 2012. Chris's practice includes representing individuals in cases involving employment discrimination and retaliation, unemployment compensation claims, non-compete agreements and severance negotiations. Chris is a member of the National Employment Lawyers Association and the Ohio Employment Lawyers Association, where she has served on the Board and the Amicus Committee since 2007. She also served as Chair of the Cleveland Employment Lawyers Association from 2011 to 2015. Ms. Royer is also a member of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, serving as the 2014-2015 Chair of the Court Rules Committee. In addition to her law practice, Chris serves individuals in the workplace as an Executive Coach. She completed the coach certification program at the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland in May 2013 and also holds an Associate Certified Coach credential from the International Coach Federation. Chris's coaching practice focuses primarily on working with employees whose behaviors present challenges to the organization, assisting them to enhance their performance and become effective contributors in the workplace. She also coaches individuals who are seeking to attain greater career satisfaction and work/life balance, as well as assisting them to build or hone leadership skills. Chris was recently appointed as adjunct faculty at Cleveland State University teaching Human Resources topics to graduate level students in the Diversity Management Program. Chris is a frequent speaker on topics relating to employment issues. Chris earned her M.A. from Kent State University and her J.D. from the University of Akron School of Law, Summa Cum Laude.


Sonya Weiland is the President of WeilandWorks Consulting based in Northeast Ohio. Focused on building positive relationships as a strategic partner with clients, Sonya has partnered with senior executives developing talent management and HR solutions with clear links to business results. Her expertise includes creating, designing and implementing training, coaching and HR systems for clients such as Sandridge Foods, PIRHL Contractors, Taleris Credit Union and Ralston Instruments. Sonya is certified as a Professional in Human Resources through HRCI and is an active member of both SHRM and The Cleveland Coach Federation and has contributed to articles in The Cleveland Plain Dealer and various business publications. Sonya is recognized as an enthusiastic and interactive speaker and trainer supporting various companies, non-profit organizations and associations. A strong advocate for community involvement, Sonya serves on an advisory board and supports multiple non-profit organizations. Sonya is a graduate of John Carroll University.


Tom Ault, MBA is the Director of Technical Training at ERC. Tom has over twenty years of international experience in leadership effectiveness and operational development in 17 different countries. Previous to joining ERC, Tom's most recent positions were Business Improvement Manager and Senior Organization Development Specialist at Diebold, Inc. His wide range of accomplishments include: leading LEAN Six Sigma deployment, implementing large-scale team certification, facilitating global leadership sessions and saving over $90 million for Diebold. In addition, Tom's expertise includes training and consulting in performance management, team building, strategic planning, 360-degree assessments, change management and conflict management. Tom earned his Executive MBA from Baldwin-Wallace College and his BS in Accounting from West Liberty State College. Also, he holds a Motorola Six Sigma Green Belt and has been through the Case Weatherhead Diebold Sales Leadership program. Tom's certifications include Master Trainer, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and The Leadership Circle 360.


Dethra U. Giles, MBA., MSCM., SPHR, SHRM-SCP is an acclaimed Author, Speaker, Trainer and Senior HR Consultant. She is a Principal at ExecuPrep, LLC - a training, consulting and executive coaching firm based in Atlanta, GA - as well a member of its Board of Directors. As the Chief Bridge Architect at ExecuPrep, she and her team help clients build and cross their bridge from “I want to be” to “I am!” Dethra is the author of the new book, “Unstuck: Discovering Career Limiting Actions” as well as the creator of “30 days to GUD”, teaching people how to Get Up Daily by walking them through a 21 day process to Get Up, Show Up and Act Up. Previously, Dethra was the Director of Human Resources and Administration at Emory University’s Oxford College. She holds an MBA with a concentration in Human Resources Management and Organizational Development and a Masters of Science in Conflict Management. In addition, Dethra is a Certified Trainer of Workplace Mediation and a Registered Neutral through the Georgia Office of Dispute Resolution. Her extensive education and experience in human resources and conflict management has allowed her to work professionally with a large number of outstanding organizations from the NBA to the EPA, as well as State Farm Insurance Companies, Georgia Department of Labor, Kennesaw State University, the US Army Corp of Engineers, The Small Business Development Center (SBDC), Georgia Women Entrepreneur Network and Court Appointed Special Advocates.


Amy B. Shannon is the President of Pinnacle Leadership Solutions and has specialized in organizational development, human resources and training for over 20 years. For the past seven years, Amy has been an Organizational Development Consultant working with clients in the manufacturing, service, financial, non-profit and healthcare industries. Prior to her OD work, she served in Director-level positions with Western-Southern Enterprise and Kendle International. In both of these organizations, Amy built competency-based corporate universities that were nationally-recognized and noted in industry trade publications. In addition, Amy has worked with clients as an executive coach, leadership facilitator, team building consultant and strategic planning expert. She has also been a program facilitator for a city-wide leadership program for women and a lead facilitator at the annual HR Executive Summit. Amy has presented at several national conferences, including as a featured speaker at The Corporate University Week at the Disney Institute.


Tom Daniels is the Assistant Director for Graduate & Executive Program in Business at Bowling Green State University. His primary focus is recruitment and academic advising for the full-time MBA program and the Executive Master of Organization Development program. Prior to BGSU, Daniels was the Director of the Executive Interviewing Center at MRops and the Vice President of Learning & Development at TNS North America. Throughout his career, Tom worked in the advertising and market research industry, gaining experience in training, customer service and sales. Tom received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Toledo and Master of Organization Development degree from Bowling Green State University. Active in the community he currently serves as the President of the Greater Toledo Area Chapter of the Association for Talent Development, the Treasurer for the Owens Community College Alumni Association and the Community Services Chair for the Northern Ohio Human Resources Association. Tom is also actively involved with EPIC Toledo and many other local professional organizations in Northwest Ohio.


Karen Kitchen, CPCT, BAT, is the CEO and Owner of USA Mobile Drug Testing of Northeast Ohio. Karen is a highly driven and entrepreneurial-minded senior level leader with a vast amount of practical experience in a wide variety of industries, including drug and alcohol testing, pharmaceutical, health care and life sciences. In her career, Karen has leveraged her entrepreneurial skills by helping to build two organizations from the ground floor up. Six years ago, Karen successfully launched her latest venture - a start-up franchise with her business partner. Her twenty-two year corporate pharmaceutical career has built a strong foundation and desire for bringing expertise to the drug and alcohol testing industry. Today she focuses her time on managing all aspects of operations as well as business development, human resources and sales and marketing. Karen is particularly effective at assembling, motivating and influencing winning teams to creatively and strategically advance business opportunities by utilizing her coaching, personal development and problem-solving skills. Her company serves organizations across all industry sectors in Northern Ohio while assisting managers and executives to build safer and more productive workplaces. As an active member of the Drug & Alcohol Testing Industry Association (DATIA), Karen serves on the important Marijuana Outreach Committee. Members of the Marijuana Outreach Committee provide DATIA with background and guidance on legislation surrounding the legalization of medical and recreational marijuana. The Committee also educates employers on their rights for drug testing their employees


Tom Wirbel, MBA is Vice President of CPI-HR. Originally joining CPI-HR as a Benefits Consultant, through innovative and successful strategies Tom has achieved notable results in aiding client-companies manage the escalating costs of health insurance. Motivated by client feedback that continues to point to health insurance as the number one HR concern, Tom focuses his expertise on developing and designing employee benefit plans. Throughout his career, Tom has also acted as an HR consultant to small and medium-sized businesses in Northeastern Ohio. A native of Cleveland, Tom graduated from John Carroll University with a BSBA and earned an MBA from Cleveland State University.


Katherine Gregorski, SPHR, SHMR-SCP, PMP is the President of Jubilant, LLC - an HCM and payroll software consultancy that helps HR professionals maximize their time and budgets while focusing on long-term growth. An experienced leader, practitioner and consultant, Katherine's long track record for positively impacting people and organizations has made her an agent for positive change. Her approach infuses culture, values, strategic planning and business goals to develop and execute HR strategy. Utilizing best practices in workforce planning, operational excellence, total rewards, analytics, system tools, software applications, organizational design as well as learning and development, Katherine's experience represents a blend of all that she is passionate about. With more than 20 years of experience working in HR and operations roles in multiple industries, she brings a unique perspective to every engagement. Katherine believes the core and strength of HR strategy comes from operational excellence resulting in the critical commitment of the people who are key to a company's success. She is a respected leader and peer with a reputation for high-impact solutions, positive team building, collaboration, customer service, integrity and compassion. Her leadership approach involves taking responsible risks and executing dynamic solutions resulting in strategic impact and operational value.


Sheree Knowles, SPHR is the Founder and Chief Human Resources Officer for HR Knowledge Source (HRKS) - a human resources advisory firm based in Atlanta, Georgia - 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 earning multiple certifications and designations throughout her career such as SPHR, CPM, MBTI 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.


Robin Doerschuk started with Alliance Solutions Group - a full service staffing and recruitment agency based in NE Ohio - immediately following graduation from Kent State University in 2004. She is now a part-owner and the Director of Learning and Development for TalentLaunch, the corporate parent organization. Since 2005, Robin has been the leading sales person in the company - an impressive level of performance in a company that is a nine time Weatherhead 100 award winner and growing at 30+% per year. Most recently, Robin created and founded the Women’s Leadership Conference of Northeast Ohio in 2015. She is excited for the third annual conference happening in September 2017. For the last eight years Robin has been on the Board of Directors of Cleveland SHRM, currently serving as its President. Robin also serves on the Cleveland SHRM Foundation Board, the Towards Employment Advisory Board and is an active member of Bridge Builders, an initiative of the Cleveland Leadership Center. In 2009 Robin was recognized by Inside Magazine as “One to Watch”. In 2014 Robin was the recipient of the Distinguished Marketing and Sales Awards from SME Cleveland. And in 2015, she received the Women Who Excel Award from Smart Business Network. Most recently Robin received the Women of Achievement Award by the Women’s Network of Ohio. She is passionate about her work and about helping those around her succeed.


Jackie Mueckenheim, M.A. is a Senior Trainer and Consultant with ERC. Jackie has 25 years experience in developing, designing and facilitating workshops, seminars, executive retreats and strategic planning initiatives for organizations. Her industry experience includes banking, finance, accounting, manufacturing, healthcare, education, hospitality, technology and professional services. Jackie spent over 17 years with The Thomson Corporation as a Senior Editor, Project-and-Product Manager as part of Thomson Learning's Business Reference Division (Gale). Jackie is a certified DiSC facilitator, as well as a certified instructor with the Ohio Board of Nursing and the Marriage and Family Therapist Board of the State of Ohio. She has completed the ESL Certification Workshop through Case Western Reserve University, the Employee Engagement and Retention program through Career Systems International and the Business Continuity/Contingency Planning certificate program through Cleveland State University. In addition, she currently designs and facilitates open enrollment professional development workshops for Cleveland State University's Monte Ahuja College of Business. Jackie earned a Master of Arts degree from Case Western Reserve University.


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.


Tara Motheral is an HR Advisor with ERC. She shares responsibility for co-managing ERC’s HR Help Desk where she provides members with information and professional guidance on a variety of HR and general business-related topics. Tara’s background in research and compliance prior to working at ERC is extensive. Covering the law school market for LexisNexis, she annually trained 1,200 students and faculty on how to effectively conduct legal research and held recruiting and performance management responsibilities over teams of student employees. Previously Tara also served as an attorney at a regional litigation firm where her practice focused on litigation of civil matters, including employment issues and contractual disputes. She also worked for the Office of the Ohio Attorney General, where she represented the Ohio Lottery Commission in administrative hearings. She also staffed a Charitable Law hotline where she researched and provided guidance to questions from the general public on topics including charitable giving, fundraising, and gaming. Tara holds a Bachelor's degree in International Relations and French from Lake Forest College, and she earned her law degree, with distinction, from Ohio Northern University Pettit College of Law.


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.