Speaker Bios

2018 CUNA HR & Organizational Development Council Conference


OPENING KEYNOTE – Making a Difference

Steve Gilliand, Hall of Fame Speaker and Author
Mocksville, NC

Steve GilliandA member of the Speaker Hall of Fame, Steve is one of the most in-demand and top-rated speakers in the world. Recognized as a master storyteller and brilliant comedian, he can be heard daily on SiriusXM Radio’s Laugh USA. With an appeal that transcends barriers of age, culture and occupation—plus an interactive and entertaining style—Steve shows audiences how to open doors to success in their careers, their relationships and their lives. Presenting to over 250,000 people a year, more than two million have now heard him speak, with audiences encompassing nearly three dozen industries. Steve has the distinction of speaking in all 50 states and in 15 countries. As one newspaper stated, “Steve is what happens when the humor of a stand-up comic collides with the inspiration of motivational speaker."

In addition to his brilliant speaking career, Steve is a prolific, accomplished author, evidenced by four of his books—Enjoy The Ride, Making a Difference, Hide Your Goat and Detour—perennially making the publisher’s bestseller list and his being named Author of the Year. His thought-provoking writing style makes his articles a favorite with nationally prominent magazines. He influences the lives of millions through his presentations, books, CDs and DVDs. An extensive array of these products has been utilized by small businesses, Fortune 500 companies, U.S. and Canadian government agencies, churches, school districts and nonprofit organizations. Speaking the language of active business leaders, his books and CDs identify practical lessons that grow people and their businesses.

Steve built a multimillion-dollar company from the ground up on the same philosophy he expounds to his audiences. If you continually learn more about your company, your industry, your customer and yourself, you will always be a leader. You will be purpose-driven rather than process-driven, and you will make a difference. His motto is straightforward: “If you take care of people, the business will follow.” He has been recognized by Who’s Who for Speakers and Business Professionals, and The Pittsburgh Business Times named his company one of the fastest growing privately held companies in the region.

CLOSING KEYNOTE –The Pancake Principle

Patrick Henry, Author and Keynote Speaker
Burlington, NC 

Patrick HenryCustomers stay loyal when the business they’re working with creates an emotional connection. That’s the message Patrick, former Nashville songwriter and featured performer on the SiriusXM Radio Family Comedy Channels, wants his audience to take home with them. Customer loyalty, Henry stresses, is fragile and customers will be loyal to those whom they are emotionally connected. “If you can make them feel, you can make them buy”. Growing up in the football town of Auburn, Alabama, Patrick saw firsthand how fans are made. His background, in part, led to the realization that engagement is the foundation for loyalty, and loyalty is the foundation for emotional and financial buy-in.

Henry often says “we learn best when we are being entertained”, which is why Patrick’s audiences can look forward to humor, guitar playing, and original songs during his presentation “Becoming Remember-able”. Many of the concepts you will hear can be found in his book “The Pancake Principle: Seventeen Sticky Ways To Make Your Customers FLIP For You” which can be found on Amazon.com.

Parker Albin, Talent Development Trainer
Numerica CU, Spokane Valley, WA

Parker AlbinParker is from Spokane Washington where he has worked for Numerica Credit Union for the past four years. He has 10 years banking experience and currently works as a Talent Development Trainer. Parker’s primary objective is to onboard every new employee to the Credit Union leveraging professional experience, varied learning techniques and a little humor. He strives to provide an authentic experience that lends to all employees feeling the time they spend in training is both valuable and essential to their employment.

Scott Albraccio, Sales Specialist Manager
CUNA Mutual Group, Madison, WI

Scott Albraccio
Scott is the sales specialist manager of Executive Benefits for CUNA Mutual Group. In this role he manages Executive Benefits sales specialists and coordinates their efforts to deliver solutions for deferred compensation programs and Total Benefit Pre-Funding solutions for credit unions and their senior level executives to help recruit, retain and reward key executives. He brings product expertise, deep credit union knowledge and sales management experience to his role as sales specialist manager.

Albraccio officially joined CUNA Mutual Group in 2000 when CUNA Mutual Group purchased League Insurance Agency, which was a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Connecticut Credit Union League. From 1989 to 2000, Scott served as vice president of Marketing for League Insurance Agency.

John Best, CEO
Best Innovation Group, Tampa, FL

John BestJohn is a thought leader and an “outside the box” innovator recognized throughout the FinTech arena. John is the founder and CEO of Best Innovation Group (BIG).


Kate Bischoff, Employment Attorney/HR Consultant
Thrive Law & Consulting LLC, Minneapolis, MN

Kate BischoffKate is an enthusiastic management-side employment attorney, SHRM-SCP/SPHR-certified HR pro, and technology aficionado. Kate is passionate about improving company culture and using technology in the workplace.

David Gobeo, Attorney
Harrison & Ford LLC, West Palm Beach, FL

David Gobeo
David focuses his practice on the representation of management in a broad range of employment matters including against claims of discrimination, harassment and wage and hour violations. He routinely handles lawsuits involving the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, and the Florida Civil Rights Act; as well as litigating non-compete and trade secrets matters. David also represents clients in charges of discrimination before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Florida Commission on Human Relations, and various local agencies. He advises clients on the use of employment policies and procedures to reduce litigation risk.


Michelle Grabicki, VP, Corporate Culture
Numerica CU, Spokane Valley, WA

Michelle GrabickiMichelle has been with Numerica Credit Union since April 2001, and has 28 years of credit union experience. She oversees all HR, training, member feedback and cultural initiatives at Numerica and previously served as the vice president of branch administration. Michelle has been an active volunteer for the CUNA Operations & Member Experience Council and served on the executive committee. She now serves on the executive committee for the HR & Organizational Development Council and is currently the vice chair of the conference committee.
Michelle holds a BS Business Management from WGU, and is a graduate of Western CUNA Management School.

Pamela Green, President/CEO
Pamela J. Green Solutions & HRCCI, Washington, DC

Pamela GreenPamela is a business executive, leadership consultant, executive coach, keynote speaker, and published author with more than 30 years of business leadership experience. Since leaving SHRM as the Chief Membership Officer and launching her consultancy in 2012, and now as President and CEO of The HR Coaching and Career Institute, she has been serving as a leadership consultant to global corporations, small businesses, and non-profit organizations and their teams developing strategies that lead to greater collaboration and productivity through training and conflict coaching. Clients, who include Walmart, Pepsico, WilmerHale, The Ohio State University, AARP, ICMEC, and the American Society of Association Executives, call Pamela to help them achieve breakthrough performance with their HR strategies, leadership initiatives, and professional careers.


Jen Groover, Author, International Speaker and Serial Entrepreneur
Groover Media, Philadelphia, PA

Jen GrooverJen has been tagged by SUCCESS MAGAZINE as a “One-Woman Brand,” a “Creativity and Innovation Guru” and a leading “Serial Entrepreneur” by Entrepreneur Magazine and ranked #8 by SAP in the Top 51 Influencers of Human Potential. Jen’s name has become synonymous with innovation, entrepreneurship and transformation. She was recently nominated as a UN delegate to the first ever Global Accelerator for the Global Entrepreneurs Council.
Jen has been a top business and lifestyle contributor and content creator for major television networks. Jen also contributes editorial pieces to several prominent business magazines and online resources including The Huffington Post, Entrepreneur Magazine, Inc Magazine, and The Wall Street Journal. Her products, brand and work have been featured in hundreds of media outlets including O! The Oprah Magazine, Redbook, People, US Weekly, SUCCESS and Forbes.

Ronaldo Hardy, Founder/CEO
DiverCity Solutions, Gardendale, AL

Ronaldo HardyRonaldo is an innovative thought leader who specializes in fostering growth through innovation. He has spent more than fifteen years working in financial institutions in various capacities from the frontline to President/CEO. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business from the University of Louisiana at Monroe, and a Master’s in Human Resource Education from Louisiana State University, with a concentration in HR and Leadership Development. His educational background coupled with his real-world experience have made him a sought-after change agent to repair and rebuild organizations.

Ronaldo specializes in building strong brands and cultures, strategic planning, creating innovative work environments, energizing millennials, and workplace diversity. His passion for helping organizations to have the uncomfortable conversations on race have made him a highly sought-after voice in multiple industries. His personal mission statement is to help others to discover and become the best version of themselves. His passion, experience, and ability to connect with others will help your organization to move forward.

J. Steve Heinen, PhD, President
Steve Heinen & Associates, University Park, FL

Steve HeinenSteve is an industrial - organizational psychologist who has been working as either an external or internal consultant to organizations for over 35 years. His primary emphasis now is on executive coaching assisting executives in accelerating their leadership potential and enhancing their effectiveness. He is certified in Hogan Assessments and the use of the Emotional and Social Competency Inventory, California Psychological Inventory, 16 PF and Myers Briggs.
Before starting his own consulting firm, Steve worked for 18 years with Mercer Human Resource Consulting in their Human Capital practice. Over the years, he has worked with companies in the areas of talent management and organizational development and change, especially competencies, succession planning, performance management, selection, and executive coaching and development...Some clients he has worked with include General Motors, Kimberly Clark, Kroger, Toyota, Ford, Knight Foundation, Giant Eagle, Catholic Health Initiatives, Kindred Health Care and Adena Health System.

Steve has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Xavier University in Ohio. He also holds Master’s and Doctoral degrees in Organizational Psychology from Michigan State University. Steve has published articles on talent management, succession planning, and performance ownership.

Chary Krout, SVP, Human Resources
First Tech FCU, Beaverton, OR

Chary KroutChary has been helping members and employees reach their dreams for more than 20 years at First Tech Federal Credit Union. Beginning her career at First Tech as a teller in 1995, she worked her way through the organization in various roles and was appointed Vice President of HR in 2014. Her passion for constantly improving the employee experience in her many roles at First Tech has resulted in measurable differences across the 1,400-employee organization in the areas of compensation, benefits, recruiting and performance management. Many of these enhancements have come from analyzing and using data to discuss areas of improvement in leaders’ teams through Leadership Success Reports and gauging employee satisfaction via an annual Employee Engagement survey. Under Chary’s guidance, the use of data has also significantly improved First Tech’s wellbeing program, WiredWell, by utilization of a scorecard to target benefit use of employees.

Monique Little, Chief People and Administrative Officer
First Tech FCU, Beaverton, OR

Monique LittleMonique is responsible for the Human Resources, Learning and Organizational Development, Corporate Communications and Business Planning, Community Investments and Workplace Services activities in the organization. She is in her 10th year at the credit union and has spent more than 20 years in the financial services industry driving programs to promote employee retention, engagement and satisfaction that help the company achieve strong business and member satisfaction results.Monique is actively involved in professional and community organizations, and is a past President of the Northwest Human Resource Management Association (NHRMA), past Director of the Oregon State SHRM Council, and currently chairs the Technology Association of Oregons HR Professionals Group. In 2014 she was named the HR Executive of the Year by the Portland Business Journal.


Christine Noffz, PCC, Women's Leadership Coach
Christine Noffz Coaching and Consulting, San Luis Obispo, CA

Christine NoffzChristine is an international women’s leadership coach and consultant partnering with Fortune 100 and 500 company clients. She is a change facilitator and courage catalyst who enjoys working with new and existing leaders that are motivated and dedicated to make sustainable changes and shifts in their professional and personal development.

Prior to transitioning to a full-time leadership coach, Christine spent 30-years in banking; 24 of those years in an operational leadership role within a credit union. She was responsible for hiring, evaluating, coaching, and mentoring branch leadership for long-term and short term strategic success and succession planning. She collaborated with and built effective relationships with the Lending, IT, Marketing, and HR teams, and was a key strategic partner with the C-Suite and Board for the growth and direction of the credit union.

Christine has a bachelor of science degree in business with a specialization in leadership and she holds an advanced certificate in leadership and organizational development. She obtained her coaching certification from the highly-regarded Hudson Institute of Coaching and is a Learning in Action© Certified Emotional Intelligence practitioner, MBTI and the Center for Creative Leadership Keys® & Skillscope® 360 Degree Facilitator.

Shawn Rhodes, International Expert in Change Management and Performance
Shoshin Consulting, Temple Terrace, FL

Shawn RhodesShawn is an international expert in creating high-performing organizations. He's a Tampa-based TEDx speaker and his work studying organizations in more than two dozen countries has been published in news outlets around the world including TIME, CNN, NBC, Forbes and INC. His clients have included Deloitte, ConAgra, Serta-Sealy and dozens of similar businesses. Shawn is also a nationally-syndicated columnist with the Business Journals reaching 11 million readers each month in 42 markets. He's the author of the new book "Pivot Point: Turn On A Dime Without Sacrificing Results."

Amy Hirsh Robinson, Principal
Interchange Group, Los Angeles, CA

Amy Hirsh Robinson Amy is a leading expert on the changing workforce and the impact of generational shifts on organizations. She consults to Fortune 500 companies, privately held businesses and not-for-profits to prepare and retool leaders and their workforces to excel and compete in the New Economy. Her strategies and programs focus on attracting top talent, onboarding new employees to ensure the retention and engagement of top talent, managing and motivating a multigenerational workforce, and building competitive talent pipelines through effective succession planning practices. Amy speaks and publishes widely on workforce strategies for the New Economy and has been cited and quoted in publications such as Forbes, the Los Angeles Times, and the Huffington Post.

Jo Ann Romero, President
StrategyWorks, Inc., Albuquerque, NM

Jo Ann RomeroJo Ann has over 25 years’ experience in business, management, consulting, expert facilitation and training. She is an OD practitioner in the human resource, nuclear, environmental, energy, defense and natural resource industries. Jo Ann has over 25 years of demonstrated leadership in: organizational development, instructional design; strategic change management in the Government, natural resources and business sectors. Her areas of expertise include managing complex projects; developing and implementing learning strategies that support business goals; designing results-based learning interventions at the individual, group, and organizational level; tailoring and delivering management and leadership development learning programs; leadership coaching; planning and facilitating retreats for strategy and business development, team building, and operations planning; and leveraging a wide range of instructional technologies. Jo Ann is a recognized expert in the field of workforce and succession planning. Her firm has been cited for their practical approach to preparing for the loss of skill and capability due to retirement and/or general attrition.

Jeffrey Russell, Co-Director
Russell Consulting, Inc., Madison, WI

Jeffrey RussellJeffrey specializes in helping organizations achieve great performance while successfully responding to the challenges of continuous change. With a focus on leadership, strategic thinking, leading change, and performance coaching, Jeff has worked internationally with organizations as diverse as Fortune 500 firms, public sector organizations, credit unions, and small family businesses. Jeff received his Master’s in Industrial Relations from the UW-Madison. It is at UW-Madison where he serves as an adjunct faculty member for the Wisconsin Certified Public Manager Program, Small Business Development Center, and School of Engineering. Over the years Jeff has taught several management and leadership development programs for CUNA and authored two books in the STAR program for CUNA (Managing Change and Managing the Problem Employee).

Jeff is a frequent presenter at local, national, and international conferences. Recent presentations include the International Association for Talent Development Conferences; Jamaica Employers Federation Conventions; Wisconsin Society for Human Resource Management’s Annual Conferences; Florida SHRM State Conference, and Project Management Institute’s Professional Development Days in Minnesota.

Mike Schenk, VP Research and Policy Analysis
Credit Union National Association, Madison, WI

Mike SchenkMike Schenk has 35 years of experience in the financial services industry. In 1992 he joined the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) – the largest and most influential national trade association advocating for America's credit unions. There are nearly 6,000 credit unions nationwide, with over 110 million memberships and $1.4 trillion in assets. Mike currently is Vice President of Research & Policy Analysis for CUNA and conducts economic research and supports CUNA’s public relations and advocacy efforts. His analyses regularly appear in trade publications such as Credit Union Magazine. He also is a frequent contributor to the financial media.

Mike serves on the board of Summit Credit Union in Madison, Wisconsin – a $3 billion financial cooperative with over 160,000 members. He serves as Board Vice Chair and also is Vice Chair of the credit union’s Asset-Liability Management Committee and Chair of its Risk Management/Internal Audit Committee.

Rhonda Sheets, President and CEO
Support EXP, Centerville, OH

Rhonda SheetsRhonda is an internationally recognized thought leader, innovator, author, trainer, speaker and trusted partner in the credit union community. Recognizing a critical need to help credit unions compete to win by getting ahead of the MX Movement, Rhonda has successfully positioned Support EXP as the leader in delivering actionable solutions for measuring and managing the entire member journey. For more than 25 years, Rhonda has been passionate about achieving superior performance results for credit union clients through the MX – results that are uniquely tailored, pragmatic, holistic and enduring. Rhonda is an effective and results-driven innovator of products and services that drive performance optimization from the face to the core of credit unions worldwide. She has consistently been in the forefront of achieving superior MX performance results for credit unions – putting them at the front of the MX movement by using Actionable MX Intelligence to create loyal members for life.