See the list of 2016 HR Forum speakers below. 2017 speakers will be added in the coming months.
Joanne M. Loce, president of Loce Consulting LLC, is an executive coach, consultant and speaker on topics related to strategic human resources, organization and leadership development, culture, change management, and talent management. She brings over 20 years of experience partnering with business leaders to create Human Resources strategy and delivering people related processes that contribute to the bottom line in a variety of industries, including financial services, automotive, pharmaceuticals, consumer products, insurance, chemicals, non-profit, and public agencies and education. Her current coaching and consulting clients include Fortune 500 companies in various industries, state government, and leaders in small to mid-sized firms.
Ms. Loce served as a Program Director for The Conference Board, leading ten industry conferences on talent management, performance management, and the development of emerging leaders. Her most recent corporate role was the Vice President of Talent Management and Organizational Development for Genworth Financial. Ms. Loce was responsible for leading talent management strategies and processes, recruiting, succession planning, and leadership development across global Genworth. Prior to joining Genworth Financial, Ms. Loce worked for Capital One Financial, General Motors, and the Federal Reserve System where she held a variety of roles in which she coached and consulted with senior executive leadership, provided Human Resources strategy and support for her clients, and led enterprise-wide talent management, leadership development, and cross-functional change efforts.
Joanne is a speaker and consultant on topics such as Integrating Succession Planning with Business Cycles, Change Management, Culture Transformation, Leadership Development, Organizational Capabilities, Building Effective Teams, and Talent Management. She is a former member of The Conference Board Talent Management Executives Council and has been an expert panelist for topics related to maximizing the full potential of the workforce for companies, professional associations, colleges and universities. She is currently an adjunct faculty member with the Community College Workforce Alliance.
Ms. Loce holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Providence College, an MBA/MILR from Cornell University, and a Leadership Coaching Certificate from Georgetown University. She resides in Mechanicsville, Virginia.
Steve Bernstein is managing partner of the firm's Tampa office. He also serves as a Chair of the firm’s Associate Development and Retention Committee.
Steve maintains a traditional labor practice in which he represents employers throughout the United States in both state and federal courts, as well as before the National Labor Relations Board, the U.S. Department of Labor, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and other state and federal agencies.
In the process, Steve has played a primary role in advising clients on union-related matters. Steve has also acquired a sophisticated level of experience with regard to advising clients on compliance with the WARN Act, USERRA, the FMLA, and the ADA.
A significant portion of his practice is devoted to the implementation of preventive employee relations programs that include supervisory training as well as the development and administration of effective human resources policies and practices.
Previously, Steve worked for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and with the Minority Staff of the U.S. Senate Labor Committee.
Karen is a Business Development Manager at Workday, a leading provider of enterprise cloud applications for finance and human resources. Karen focuses on establishing a trusted advisor relationship that works to assist customers’ understanding of the Workday Partner Ecosystem, Methodology and Services. Her goal is to provide her customers with information and guidance so that they are most informed about the full experience of being a Workday customer and how this experience is different.
Karen has over 15+ years’ experience in Human Resource administration specializing in Compensation and Benefits and 15+ years in IT selection, implementation and Project Management.
Stephanie Doliveira is the Vice President of Human Resources for Sheetz, Inc. where she is responsible for strategic planning and execution of all employee related initiatives. Sheetz, a family owned convenience and food retailer based in Altoona, PA has more than 17,000 employees throughout the company’s six-state operating area. Prior to joining Sheetz, Stephanie practiced labor and employment law representing employers at a law firm based in Pennsylvania.
Stephanie is a member the Pennsylvania Governor’s Commission on Early Learning Investment and of the Sheetz Family Charities Board of Directors.
She received a Bachelor of Science degree in labor and industrial relations from the Pennsylvania State University, and a Juris Doctorate from the Widener University School of Law. Stephanie and her husband Brad have two sons, Gabe and Carter.
Bob Graczyk is Vice President, Human Resources for QuickChek Corporation located in Whitehouse Station, New Jersey. Prior to QuickChek he held positions as Manager, Human Resources, for Amerada Hess Corporation; and with The Southland Corporation, 7-Eleven, in human resources and retail operations.
Bob served four years in the U.S. Navy and attended George Mason University graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. He then earned his MBA from Lehigh University; and attended Saint Joseph’s University completing his MS in Human Resource Management in 2007. Bob holds the SPHR certification from the Society of Human Resources Management.
He began his convenience store career as a part time team member with 7-Eleven, moving on to other positions within the company as Store Manager, Area Supervisor, and District Manager before accepting a training instructor position at a regional training facility. Prior to his departure from 7-Eleven in 1991, he held positions of Division Training and Division Personnel Manager. In that same year, Bob accepted a Retail Training Manager position with Amerada Hess and then was promoted to Manager Personnel Administration and finally to Manager, Retail Recruiting and Development. In September 1997, Bob joined QuickChek Food Stores as Director, Human Resources and in 2002 was promoted to Vice President, Human Resources.
He currently serves on the Boards of Financial Resources Federal Credit Union and the Mid Jersey Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
Bob Graczyk retired as a Commander in 2004 from the U.S. Naval Reserves and lives with his wife Terrie in Wescosville, PA. They have two grown sons and three wonderful grandchildren.
Dr. James Johnson is the William Rand Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship at UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School and director of the Urban Investment Strategies Center at the Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise. The center focuses on innovative approaches to revitalizing urban areas and on teaching government, community and nonprofit leaders and managers to become more entrepreneurial and business-like in their operations and service delivery. He is an expert on community and economic development, the effects of demographic changes on the U.S. workplace, interethnic minority conflict in advanced industrial societies, urban poverty, public policy and workforce diversity issues. Fast Company magazine named Dr. Johnson one of the “17…brightest thinkers and doers in the new world of work.”
Dr. Johnson spent 12 years on the faculty at the University of California, Los Angeles, before coming to UNC-Chapel Hill. He received a bachelor’s degree from North Carolina Central University, master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and his PhD from Michigan State University.
As NACS Research Coordinator, Stephen Mecklenburg provides support to NACS Research initiatives, including the NACS State of the Industry suite of products and event and the Convenience Tracking Program. Mecklenburg comes to NACS with a B.S. in business administration emphasizing human resource management with a minor in economics from Susquehanna University. Mecklenburg distinguished himself while attending Susquehanna by making the dean’s list for consecutive years, acting as treasurer of the Social Sciences Honor Society, Pi Gamma Mu, and through membership of the Economics Honor Society, Omicron Delta Epsilon.
Doug Reed is the Chief Marketing Officer and Vice President, Training & Development for NACS.
Prior to joining NACS, Reed was Director, Interactive Technology for OTM Partners, leading the strategy and execution of the We Card retailer-training program's transition to virtual learning. Reed also has retail small business experience, serving as owner/operator of the local, an Irvington, Va.-based restaurant. Earlier in his career, Reed worked as Director, Professional Development for Collegiate Funding Services and held a number of positions at Capital One.
Reed earned his M.Ed. in instructional technology from the University of Virginia and a B.A. in education from Southern Illinois University. He a past president of the International Society for Performance Improvement, D.C. Chapter (ISPIDC), and a past president of the American Marketing Association, D.C. Chapter (AMADC).
Taets represents NACS before Congress and the administration on issues such as menu labeling, labor issues, taxes, health care, and internet gaming. He joined NACS in March of 2014 after spending over a decade on Capitol Hill. Prior to working for NACS, he worked for Representative Leonard Lance as his legislative director. Taets graduated from Hartwick College with a B.A. in political science.
John Thompson is a partner in the Atlanta office. His practice focuses on wage and hour law, emphasizing issues relating to minimum wage, overtime, timekeeping, and wage-payment requirements.
He assists employers in preventive efforts designed to ensure compliance, and he handles both investigations conducted by government agencies and litigation in the wage and hour area.
He has also addressed wage-hour topics in presentations to numerous employer groups and in articles appearing in both human resources publications and industry journals.
John was recognized as an Employment Law – Management Lawyer of the Year by Best Lawyers in Americafor 2014. He is "AV" Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell and has been included in Georgia Super Lawyers.
He has also been listed in The Best Lawyers in America since 2006 and in Chambers USA: America's Leading Business Lawyers since 2009. John is the editor of the firm's Wage & Hour Laws Blog.
Kurt Weigel is the Recruiting Manager for Weigel’s Stores, Inc. Currently Weigel’s has 64 stores, a bakery and dairy and is expanding stores to outlying areas in and around Knoxville, TN. He has been with the company for 11 ½ years. He started as an Assistant Manager, worked as a Store Manager, and then became District Manager. He has worked for the past 8 years in the Operations and HR departments overseeing training and recruiting. Prior to joining Weigel’s, Kurt taught middle school for 10 years in Charlotte. He has coached high school track, soccer, and basketball. He enjoys the outdoors, playing golf, and hiking. Kurt resides with his wonderful wife and two girls, Karley (10) and Abby (8).
WHITNEY WOODWARD, Vice President of Human Resources for RaceTrac, joined the company as an analyst in 2000 after receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics with a minor in Political Science from the University of Georgia. Prior to joining RaceTrac, Mrs. Woodward was a full-time college student and held two internship roles in Washington, D.C.
In her 15-year tenure with RaceTrac, Mrs. Woodward has held several roles, including Special Projects Analyst, Benefits Analyst, Benefits Manager, Director of Support Services in Human Resources, Executive Director of Human Resources and her current role as Vice President of Human Resources. Mrs. Woodward’s passion comes from the daily opportunity she has to impact the thousands of people that RaceTrac employs across the south. At RaceTrac, she is committed to finding the best talent and retaining that talent through leadership development and career growth opportunities.
Mrs. Woodward is one of five founders of RaceTrac’s LEAD program, a women’s initiative designed to Link, Empower, Achieve and Develop future leaders. The program provides a platform for women within the organization to talk business, create networks and have real conversations about some of the issues that women face in the workplace, all with the goal of strengthening relationships and building future leaders. She is also a member of The Society for Human Resource Management and the Women’s Food Service Forum. Mrs. Woodward is certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR designation) and continues that certification annually. She is continuously seeking opportunities to learn and grow and is currently participating in the Women’s Leadership Program through the Kellogg School of Management with an expected completion date of October 2015. This program aims to help strengthen and broaden the leadership talents of top women executives.
Outside of work, Mrs. Woodward has been married to her husband, Craig, for 15 years and is a proud mother to their two children, Eli and Gracie. She enjoys reading and all things outdoors, picking up running just a couple of years ago with four half-marathons to date.