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2023 Speakers

Keynote Speakers:

Melissa Dobbins - Founder & CEO, Career.Place

Melissa Dobbins is many things; entrepreneur, engineer, analyst, product strategist, mother, Star Wars enthusiast, leader, avid writer, USC Trojan, wife, science fiction fan, speaker, artist, etc. While she has many facets, none can define her. Just like everyone else, Melissa is more than a description on a piece of paper. She founded Career.Place because she believes everyone deserves to be evaluated for their true potential and not by the biases triggered by a few words. 


Career.Place’s mission is to remove bias and increase the equity, inclusion, and efficiency of hiring and beyond. Career.Place is practical, actionable training designed as how-to guides to building equity and efficiency across every aspect of the hiring process. Career.Place is also an anonymous candidate screening platform that helps organizations hire more effectively without bias.  By removing bias and building equitable processes, organizations open the door to a wider candidate pool while driving diversity, efficiency, and compliance.


Keynote Topic:

Navigating the path to diversity and inclusion in hiring 


Like eating the proverbial elephant, successfully navigating the path to diversity requires a series of small steps rather than a single leap. It is a journey that combines people, processes, and technology across a wide range of topics, each with its own challenges and rewards.  

During this session, we will explore the rich landscape of hiring and how to blaze a trail to an unbiased, diverse program: from communication and candidate experience, to qualifications, candidate evaluations, assessments, and finally candidate selection. We will define goals, tactics and techniques, along with insights on how to effect change within your organizations.  

Join us as we map a step-by-step path to a more diverse and inclusive hiring program. 


Learning Objectives 

  • Examine opportunities to increase diversity through inclusion in the hiring process. 

  • Identify actionable next steps to realize increased inclusion when advertising, sourcing, screening, and selecting candidates. 

  • Provide tips to remove biasing and unequitable content in candidate requirements and screening questions. 

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Kristin Lytle is President of The Leader’s Edge and brings significant experience in talent assessment, leadership development, succession planning and organizational design to the firm. Kristin has worked at well-known companies including Vanguard, Kohler, Whirlpool, and Target. She has held leadership roles in business operations and human resources in both domestic and global capacities throughout her career and developed HR solutions that align with business priorities while enabling talent to unlock their full potential.

Keynote Topic:

Intentional Career Modeling for Acceleration


In this session, Kristin will delve into intentional career modeling for acceleration. Attendees will gain valuable insights and actionable strategies to proactively shape their career trajectory, maximize their potential, and fast-track their professional growth in today's dynamic job market. Kristin will touch on how to leverage intentional planning, skill development, and how to network to propel your career forward with purpose and agility.

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Employer Branding Speaker Panel: STOP THE INSANITY - Strategies and ideas for standing out in an overcrowded talent market

Shawn Kessler - Partner – Recruitment Division at Aloysius Butler & Clark

As one of five agency partners, Mr. Kessler leads the recruitment marketing division at Aloysius Butler & Clark (AB&C), one of the largest full-service agencies in the mid-Atlantic and one of Adweek’s 50 “Top Shops” in America.


Over his 20 years of advertising and marketing experience, Shawn has helped his clients achieve the highest levels of marketing excellence. He is a recipient of the Association of American Medical Colleges’ Award of Distinction and has won numerous advertising awards for his campaign work.


Mr. Kessler has also had multiple articles published and been quoted nationally about marketing, branding and recruitment topics.

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Amit Parmar - CEO, Cliquify 

Amit has held talent leadership roles in large global enterprises such as IBM, Deloitte., Thermo Fisher Scientific, and most recently he was the Vice President of Talent at Unisys.  He is now the CEO of Cliquify, an employer brand management and activation software platform designed for small and large businesses.  Amit is a contributor to the Forbes HR council and has over 17,000 followers on LinkedIn.  He is based in the greater Philadelphia area. 

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Christy Coluccio- Employer Brand Account Manager, Stories Incorporated

Christy has more than 20 years of experience in the talent acquisition space. Beginning her recruiting career working for RPO organizations primarily in the pharmaceutical industry, she transitioned into an in-house recruitment role with Bentley Systems, a global computer software company. While at Bentley, she gradually added employer branding to her skillset and eventually became a project manager for employer branding, employee onboarding, and employee experience.


For the past two years, Christy has been working for Stories Incorporated, an employee storytelling content agency, partnering with companies to discover and communicate what is unique about their workplace through team member stories. She has been able to work with companies of all sizes, from small venture companies to Fortune 500 companies.


Annette DeHaven - Account Director, Ph.Creative 

Annette has 20 years of experience partnering with global organizations to develop and activate original employer brand, internal communication, and recruitment marketing strategies. While most of her experience is on the agency side, she also spent five successful years within a B2B role as the VP of Marketing in the fiercely competitive HR tech space. While she’s racked up plenty of awards and accolades across multiple clients, it’s the purposeful work she gets to do—and the people she gets to partner with—that excites her the most. That’s why she is currently with Ph.Creative, an employer brand and recruitment marketing agency that’s helping clients like Nike, Zoom, and Intuitive Surgical reshape perceptions to attract and retain the right talent by crafting top-notch employer brands, candidate experiences, and career sites.

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Jacqueline Denner - Global Employer Brand Associate, MongoDB 

Jackie has spent the past five years working in talent acquisition across multiple functions. She currently manages global employer branding initiatives for MongoDB, a market leader in database platforms. Jackie is passionate about organizational culture and the power of employee stories in attracting and retaining great talent. 


Liam McNamara -  Product Manager, SparcStart

Liam is the Product Manager for Amplify, SparcStart’s video creation and management tool.  Most recently, he has been heavily involved in the research and design of Empower, the new recruitment marketing portal.  He has broad knowledge of candidate response to video based on his work with major employers such as Ulta Beauty, Intel and Regeneron, and his prior work experience with video production.

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Speaker Panel: AI & Recruiting - Friend or Foe

With over 25 years of experience across industries, Mike continues to leave an indelible mark a a nationally recognized thought-leader and practitioner in the talent acquisition profession. Specializing in talent challenges in National Security, Mike has led talent organizations in Fortune 500 companies, private equity-funded firms, and staff augmentation enterprises to more strategically and efficiently onboard the right talent to excel at mission and catalyze growth.


Prior to focusing on his consultancy, Talent Acquisition Strategies, Mike spent several year driving recruitment innovation initiatives inside the Intelligence Community agency. With a passion for and success creating result-driven and streamlines talent acquisition processes, Mike is an expert in organization design and implementation, tailored sourcing and recruitment strategies, and cutting edge recruitment technology assessments. 

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Mohit Chopra - Chief Product and Technology Officer, Cliquify

Mohit has over 18 years’ experience as a technology product management leader with IBM, JP Morgan Chase, and Goldman Sachs.  He is now the Chief Product and Technology Officer of Cliquify where he spearheads the product technology roadmap and strategy. Mohit is an expert in Open AI, Machine Learning, and Automation which are key to Cliquify’s product strategy. 

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Jennifer Roberts - Candidate and Employee Experience Enthusiast, Phenom

Jennifer Roberts is a passionate advocate for transforming candidate and employee experiences. With a diverse background spanning decades as a dedicated classroom teacher and later transitioning into the realm of HR Tech at Phenom, Jennifer brings a unique perspective to the world of talent acquisition and management.  Being an early adopter of cutting-edge technologies, Jennifer recognized the potential of ChatGPT and its versatile applications across classrooms, business, and recruiting. 

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Aston Rankins is a dedicated talent acquisition professional and one of the leaders of ORS Partners' TalentFlex division. Aston is committed to forging meaningful connections between talent and opportunity; he has proven expertise in identifying key trends that empower his clients with unparalleled insights and solutions. With a focus on the need for efficiency in today's competitive job market, Aston leverages AI and other cutting-edge recruiting tools to streamline the recruitment process, ensuring exceptional outcomes for all stakeholders involved.

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Alexander J. Nassar focuses his practice on a broad spectrum of employment litigation, compliance, and drafting matters. Alex regularly defends employers against claims under Title VII, ADA, ADEA, the FMLA, and state anti-discrimination statutes. Alex represents companies and individuals on both sides of trade secret and restrictive covenant litigation and disputes. Alex acts as an outside HR partner for employers on compliance and litigation avoidance related to all manner of issues arising under state and federal anti-discrimination laws, laws providing for job-protected leave, and wage and hour laws. Alex drafts and negotiates employment agreements, compensation plans, bonus plans, restrictive covenants, intellectual property and related assignment agreements, and confidentiality agreements, on behalf of both employers and executives. Alex drafts a variety of employer policy documents, including employee handbooks (and related state-specific addenda) for employers across a wide range of industries. Additionally, Alex serves as the firm’s expert on compliance with, and best practices related to, constantly evolving rules and regulations on employers related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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