Emily Pitts Principal, Inclusion & Diversity Edward Jones
Emily Pitts began her Edward Jones career in 1995 as a financial advisor in Atlanta. She was named a principal in 2004, and relocated to the firm’s headquarters to implement marketing of credit cards and mortgage services.
Today Pitts leads the firm’s comprehensive inclusion initiative and diversity, which creates and sustains a work environment that attracts, welcomes, supports and develops a diverse team of outstanding associates and energizes members to achieve their full potential.
Pitts created and helped develop and introduce the firm’s first cross-cultural development program (CCDP), which helps minority financial advisors network and learn best practices to better serve a mutilcultural clientele. She also developed the firm’s Women’s Leadership Forum, Minority Leadership Forum and Home-office Inclusion Mentoring Program. Pitts also oversees the firm’s Inclusion Council and BRGs.
Pitts has a degree in business administration and an executive MBA from Washington University. She is a graduate of Leadership FOCUS St. Louis and serves on the boards of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater St. Louis, the Diversity Awareness Partnership, the St. Louis Urban League and KIPP St. Louis. In addition, she is an active member of and served as the chair of the diversity committee for the National Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA).
Pitts is a member of the Executive Leadership Council, an organization of African-American executives from Fortune 500 companies who work to build an inclusive business leadership pipeline and develop African-American corporate leaders.
Pitts received the St. Louis Community Empowerment Foundation’s 2009 Women’s Leadership Award for Corporate Excellence. Savoy Magazine named her one of the 2014 Top Influential Women in Corporate America. Diversity Woman’s Magazine named her one of 50 Diversity Champions in 2013, and in 2012, the St. Louis Business Journal named her to its 25 Most Influential Business Women. In 2016, Pitts received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Urban League and the St. Louis Public School signed by Former President Obama.
Kris Risi Assistant Dean of Corporate Relations & Executive Education Drexel University
Kris Risi, MBA, PH.D. is the Assistant Dean of Corporate Relations and Executive Education at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business. For the last 16 years, she has worked closely with companies to develop curricula that meet their specific business needs and desired outcomes. In her role, she leads cross-disciplinary teams of faculty, instructional technologists, subject matter experts and operations managers to create innovative customized educational programs for universities and corporations from concept to execution. For more information, email email@example.com or visit LeBow.Drexel.edu/ExecutiveEd.
Kristen Bell Senior Director, HR Comcast Keystone Region
Kristen has over 25 years of human resources experience in health care, retail and the non-profit sector. She is currently the Regional Senior Director Human Resources for the Keystone Region, part of the Northeast Division at Comcast. For the past 6 years she has been setting HR Strategy for the Customer Care organization ensuring a great employee experience for the over 1,500 employees in her region. Kristen is the Lead of the Women’s Network – an employee resource group for the Keystone Region where she enjoys the opportunity to mentor, develop and support women throughout the region as well as promote Breast Cancer and Domestic Violence awareness. Kristen has been chosen to work on several large division and national projects.
Kristen earned a master’s degree in Industrial Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey and a BA in Business Administration and Psychology from Chatham University in Pittsburgh, PA.
Martin George Founder & CEO LTC Language Solutions
Martin George is known for his relentless drive to prepare businesses to perform at their peak in the global arena. As the founder and CEO of his own language company, LTC Language Solutions, Martin has been vital in the success of over 1,000 organizations as they face an ever-changing marketplace. A linguist, Martin understands the roots of language and culture and has been able to apply this knowledge to coaching business professionals. During speaking engagements, Martin focuses on topics centered around businesses operating globally.
In addition to serving as LTC’s founder and CEO, Martin has served as the ESL Director of IUPUI, the president of the Indiana Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, and the president of the Indiana Relocation Council. A leader in the Conscious Capitalism movement, he is a founding member of the Indianapolis chapter of the organization. His extensive experience in language education includes professional publications, teacher training, and speaking engagements at national and international conferences.
Martin received an Associate’s Degree in Chinese Language and Literature from Shantou University-China, his Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Ball State University, and his Master’s and PhD in Language Education from Indiana University. Martin spent 7 years living in China while working for the U.S. government for military intelligence, which began his expansive international career.
Mary Farrell Leader, R&D and Supply Chain Learning Academies Hershey Company
Mary Farrell is currently the Senior Manager of R& D and Supply Chain Learning Academies at the Hershey Company. Prior to joining Hershey in 2012, Mary spent the majority of her career in Learning & Development leadership roles at IBM where she achieved many internal and external awards, including an ASTD Excellence in Practice Citation.
Mary specializes in innovative learning design and performance consulting. She has extensive experience in linking human resource development programs to the strategic direction of the business and achieving measurable results.
During her time at Hershey, Mary has been responsible for introducing the company’s first competency model and integrating it into key HR processes, such as Career Development Planning and Performance Management. The Career Development program was recognized through a Brandon Hall Gold Award. Recently she has been responsible for launching two functional learning academies and for designing all learning for a new “green field” manufacturing facility.
Mary is an alumna of IBM’s Corporate Service Corps, a selective leadership and corporate social responsibility initiative. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Management, and currently resides in Hershey, Pennsylvania.
Patricia Robertson Former Head of Professional & Leadership Development and Former Head of Enterprise Digital Learning Innovation Shire
Patty Robertson most recently served as Head of Professional & Leadership Development and Head of Enterprise Digital Learning Innovation for Shire, a 26 thousand-person global biotechnology company, where she implemented an award-winning knowledge cloud, making collaboration possible for people across 85 countries. Experienced in planning, organizational design, portfolio planning, and turnaround, Patty spent most of her career leading strategy projects for Fortune 100 companies across the energy, healthcare, and technology sectors. She spent several years at MIT, working in program marketing and admissions at MIT Sloan, and leading MIT’s two largest custom executive education programs: the Accenture Technology Academy: delivering distance learning around the world, and the Operations Academy: a multi-term transformational leadership program for leaders of complex, high risk industries.
As an entrepreneur Patty founded Wellspace, a network of complementary medicine providers and served as President of Presto Technologies, an early IoT company out of the MIT Media lab.
Patty holds a BA in Economics from Wellesley College and an MPA from Harvard Kennedy School. She grew up in a rural farming town and had her first job at five as a potato picker. Today she holds a design patent, is an aspiring novelist, and lives in Lexington, Massachusetts with her husband and children.
Sarah Normand Director, Strategic Partnerships SNHU
Sarah has played a key role in the development of Southern New Hampshire University’s corporate partnership effort for the last four years. As a Director of Strategic Partnerships, she consults with partner companies to help them identify internal skill gaps and marry them to SNHU’s full academic catalog. She’s helped businesses like Comcast, GAP, and Panera build talent pipelines and develop promotable skills internally.
Prior to joining SNHU, Sarah held several key positions in the technology sector, municipal government, and nonprofit organizations; she is also the founder of the Manchester Marathon Association. Sarah received her BA in English from the University of New Hampshire and a MA in Organizational Leadership with a focus in Human Resource Management from Southern New Hampshire University
Sarah Johnson VP, Enterprise Surveys and Analytics Perceptyx, Inc
Sarah reveals that she never wanted to run a company, but did aspire to be a “strategic influencer” - the person behind the CEO to answer “What advice do you have to help me make this decision?”
And that is just what Sarah does.
Dr. Sarah Johnson, Vice President of Enterprise Surveys and Analytics at Perceptyx, Inc., has more than two decades of experience in her field. She specializes in employee engagement, organizational development and effectiveness and survey data analysis – advising senior leaders at Fortune 500 firms around the world.
Sarah witnesses executives struggling across industries with such common challenges as leading a global company through transformational change, leading successfully in turbulent times, and driving employee engagement and retention among high-potential employees. Sarah says she is most often asked by clients how to leverage employee engagement to drive organization strategy. Her clients rely on her to capture the attention of senior leadership in a way that “makes the light bulb go off in their heads” when discussing employee engagement and alignment.
Sarah says she believes that companies need people who are not just book smart, but “maze bright” – people who can adapt to different cultures and continually changing circumstances. As she puts it, those people who can “read the signs and figure out where to go from here.”
Sarah, an industrial/organizational psychologist, began her career by happenstance: she initially wanted to become a clinical psychologist. One day Sarah’s father, a metallurgist and head of research laboratory, described how a group of consulting psychologists helped his leadership team make hiring and executive succession decisions based on background gathered from leadership assessments. “My father helped me see how psychology could be used in a corporate setting, which led me into the field of organizational psychology” she says.
Sarah works with clients around the world, from as far north as Denmark to as far south as Brazil. She enjoys the travel global consulting entails, experiencing different cultures and getting out of her comfort zone, which she attributes to the fearlessness and abilities she acquired as a child growing up near the city of Chicago, which she explored every chance she had.
Sarah received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Purdue University, and holds a Master of Arts degree and PhD in industrial organizational psychology from The Ohio State University. Prior to joining Perceptyx Sarah was a Global Practice Leader at CEB. Prior to CEB, she led the global organizational survey program at IBM, and held a number of HR positions at IBM that gave her experience in Employee Relations, Compensation, and Resource Planning. Sarah began her professional career at Procter & Gamble.