Speakers

September 14, 2021

Profile Picture of Janeen Haller-Abernethy

Janeen Haller-Abernethy

Director

Colorado State Employee Assistance Program

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Profile Picture of Janeen Haller-Abernethy

Janeen Haller-Abernethy

Director

Colorado State Employee Assistance Program

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Jennifer Fairweather

Director of Human Resources

Jefferson County, Colorado

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Jennifer Fairweather

Director of Human Resources

Jefferson County, Colorado

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Elizabeth Fu

Senior Manager

Government Finance Officers Association

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Elizabeth Fu

Senior Manager

Government Finance Officers Association

Elizabeth Fu is a Senior Manager with the Research and Consulting Center. Elizabeth focuses on risk-based reserve analysis and long-term financial planning and researches the area of recruitment and retention of public finance officers. She works with local governments on organizational assessments and system selection. Elizabeth serves as a staff liaison to GFOA’s Committee on Retirement and Benefits Administration and Women’s Public Finance Network. Prior to joining to GFOA, Elizabeth worked for a consulting firm specializing in economic feasibility of development projects and the Chicago Inspector General’s Office. Elizabeth holds a B.A. in political science from Wake Forest University and a Master’s in urban planning and policy from the University of Illinois-Chicago.

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Christi Branscom

Commissioner

Tennessee Department of General Services

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Christi Branscom

Commissioner

Tennessee Department of General Services

Christi Branscom serves as the Commissioner of the Department of General Services (DGS) for the State of Tennessee. As commissioner, she oversees all divisions within DGS, including central procurement, which is responsible for all goods purchased and all services contracted by the State; document solutions, which consists of the State’s printing, graphic and web design, document scanning, photography, warehousing and distribution services; real estate asset management and capital project development; and vehicle and asset management, which includes the procurement, management, and disposal of motor vehicles and equipment utilized by the state. In this role, she is committed to transforming public sector general services through innovation, leadership, and best practices.

Branscom is a native of Knoxville, Tennessee, where she began her career in public service. Prior to her appointment as Commissioner, Branscom enjoyed a successful career as COO/General Counsel and Principal Managing Real Estate Broker at Partners Development for 25 years before dedicating herself to the public sector. Most recently, she served on the City of Knoxville administration as the Senior Director of Public Works before being promoted to Deputy to the Mayor/Chief Operating Officer – making her the first female to be named to either position in Knoxville history.

While at the City of Knoxville, Branscom spearheaded a large number of visible and complex development projects, including negotiating the deal to transfer ownership of Lakeshore Park from the state to the city and preparing it for development; hammering out an agreement for Regal Entertainment Group to move its headquarters to the South Waterfront; and planning and overseeing construction of the city’s new Public Works Service Complex.

Before joining the City of Knoxville, Branscom established Grace Construction in 2003. The company was selected as the builder (and the first woman-owned company) for the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition production in Knoxville for the Watson Family and Restoration House, which resulted in a two-hour Thanksgiving Special that aired on ABC in November of 2012, and brought together a community of volunteers.

As part of her philanthropic commitment to give back to her community, Branscom has served on the governing boards of many non-profit agencies and arts organizations, including her long-term involvement and support of the Cancer Support Community (CSC). Branscom has raised $25,000 for the CSC by running marathons, and was a 2016 American Cancer Society Hope Gala honoree. Currently, she also serves on the University of Tennessee Haslam College of Business Dean’s Advisory Council, the Leadership Tennessee Advisory Council, the National Association of State Chief Administrators (NASCA) Executive Committee, and the Leaders Council for the Women Business Collaborative, Nashville Chapter.

Branscom attended the University of Tennessee, where she graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in finance, and went on to receive a juris doctorate from the University of Memphis. She is a Fellow of the Knoxville Bar Foundation, a recipient of the 2014 University of Tennessee Accomplished Alumni Award, a 2015 YWCA Tribute to Women honoree, and a 2011 Woman of Achievement for the Girl Scout Council of the Southern Appalachians. Branscom is a 2009 graduate of Leadership Knoxville and a 2017 graduate of Leadership Tennessee. Most recently, she was named by NASCA as one of five new female state chief administrators to watch.

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Quinton Herbert

Director & Chief Human Capital Officer for the Department of Human Resources

City of Baltimore

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Profile Picture of Quinton Herbert

Quinton Herbert

Director & Chief Human Capital Officer for the Department of Human Resources

City of Baltimore

Quinton M. Herbert currently serves as the Director & Chief Human Capital Officer for the Department of Human Resources for the City of Baltimore. In this capacity, he is responsible for creating, developing, and driving comprehensive and strategic programs and initiatives that align with organizational goals and strategies. Quinton has an extensive background in employment relations and leadership development. Most recently, he served as Deputy Labor Commissioner for the City of Baltimore. In that role, he functioned as the lead negotiator for the City in collective bargaining with all non-public safety unions. He also advised management and HR professionals in a wide array of employment and labor relations issues. Prior to his work as Deputy Labor Commissioner, he served as Assistant City Solicitor in the Baltimore City Law Department, Labor and Employment Practice Group. There, he represented the City of Baltimore before state and federal courts in labor and employment matters.

Quinton holds a Juris Doctor Degree from the University Of Maryland Francis King Carey School Of Law and an undergraduate degree in Sociology from Morgan State University. Quinton is an American Arbitration Association Higginbotham Fellow. Quinton has been recognized by the Maryland Daily Record as a Very Important Professional. He is also a recipient of the Maryland Daily Record Leadership in Law Award and the American Institute of Legal Counsel “10 Best” Employment and Labor Law Attorney for Maryland Award. Quinton serves on the Board of Directors for the Maryland Public Employer Relations Association (MdPELRA) and is a member of a number of bar and professional associations.

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Kristen Hirshberg

Time and Labor Administrator

City of Mesa, AZ

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Kristen Hirshberg

Time and Labor Administrator

City of Mesa, AZ

Kristin Hirshberg is the Time and Labor Administrator for the City of Mesa, Arizona. In this role she has responsibility for the Administration of the city’s Kronos Workforce Timekeeper solution including Leave Administration. Kristin leads a team of 10 who support timekeeping, accruals, and labor management for more than 4,300 employees. Included in her team are 3 dedicated leave specialist whose sole focus is to provide centralized execution leave operations, coordination of personnel policies and benefits, comprehensive case management and associated activities to ensure compliance with federal, state, and local employment laws and regulations. Under Kristin’s direction, leave specialists develop and maintain expert knowledge of Federal, State and Local Leave Laws including FMLA, ADA, USERRA, and state mandated programs.

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Susan Judah

Senior IT Systems Analyst, Payroll Division

Office of the Controller, City and County of Denver

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Susan Judah

Senior IT Systems Analyst, Payroll Division

Office of the Controller, City and County of Denver

Susan Judah is a Payroll and Human Resources professional with more than 20 years experience in the field. She has administered many different HR/Payroll systems, processed garnishments, taxes, benefits and many other tasks required in this profession.

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Dr. Farris Muhammad

Director of Equity and Inclusion

City Manager's Office, Lawrence, KS

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Dr. Farris Muhammad

Director of Equity and Inclusion

City Manager's Office, Lawrence, KS

Dr. Muhammad has over 12 years of experience as a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion practitioner. Most recently, he was the Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer with the City of Peoria, Illinois. Prior to that he served as the Executive Director of the Multicultural Family Center with the City of Dubuque, Iowa, and as an Adjunct Sociology Professor. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Northwood University in Midland, MI, a Masters of Business Administration from Eastern Michigan University, and a Ph.D. in Education Administration and Policy as well as a Graduate Certificate in Interdisciplinary Qualitative Research from the University of Georgia.

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Alex Smith

Chief Human Resources Officer

City of Memphis

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Alex Smith

Chief Human Resources Officer

City of Memphis

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Pam Goins

Executive Director

National Association of State Chief Administrators

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Pam Goins

Executive Director

National Association of State Chief Administrators

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Robert Lavigna

Director

CPS HR Institute for Public Sector Employee Engagement

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Robert Lavigna

Director

CPS HR Institute for Public Sector Employee Engagement

Bob Lavigna, an award-winning public sector leader and innovator, is the Director of the CPS HR Institute for Public Sector Employee Engagement™. The Institute is dedicated to helping public sector and nonprofit organizations measure and improve employee engagement. His book, “Engaging Government Employees: Motivate and Inspire Your People to Achieve Superior Performance” (American Management Association) is the only book to focus exclusively on measuring and improving engagement in the unique environment of government.

Before joining CPS HR, Bob was Assistant Vice Chancellor and Director of HR for the University of Wisconsin, a university ranked among the world’s top 25 research institutions.

Bob’s previous positions also include Vice President-Research for the Partnership for Public Service, where his research portfolio included producing the annual “Best Paces to Work in the Federal Government” ratings and rankings. Bob also was Senior Manager of Consulting for CPS HR Consulting, and Director of the state of Wisconsin civil service system. He began his career with the U.S. Government Accountability Office.

Bob is an elected Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration, was selected as a “Public Official of the Year” by Governing magazine, and received the highest individual achievement awards from the International Public Management Association for HR (IPMA-HR) and the National Association of State Personnel Executives (NASPE). He was also the first state government HR executive to be awarded a fellowship from the Council of State Governments. In addition, the organizations Bob has led have received innovation awards from the Ford Foundation, IPMA-HR, NASPE, the Society for Human Resource Management and others.

He has spoken about HR and employee engagement across the U.S. and in Europe, Asia, South America, the Caribbean, Africa and the Middle East. Bob is a past national president of IPMA-HR and past national chair of the American Society for Public Administration Section on Personnel and Labor Relations.

He has a B.A. in Public Affairs from George Washington University and an M.S. in HR from Cornell University.

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Profile Picture of Leslie Scott

Leslie Scott

Executive Director

National Association of State Personnel Executives

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Leslie Scott

Executive Director

National Association of State Personnel Executives

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Jason Ward

Associate Economist; Associate Director, RAND Center for Housing and Homelessness in Los Angeles, CA

Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School

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Profile Picture of Jason Ward

Jason Ward

Associate Economist; Associate Director, RAND Center for Housing and Homelessness in Los Angeles, CA

Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School

Jason Ward is an associate economist at the RAND Corporation, Associate Director of the RAND Center for Housing and Homelessness in Los Angeles, and a professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. His work uses the tools of applied microeconomics to study housing, labor markets, education, health, and links between these domains. His research has assessed the effect of four-day school weeks on parental employment and child achievement, the effect of parental involvement laws on abortions to minors, the effects of performance-based state higher education funding systems on student outcomes, the nature of geographic variation in health care utilization, and the association between education and health over the life course. Current projects include a study assessing the potential for the adaptive reuse of commercial real estate to address the housing crisis in Los Angeles, a study estimating the willingness to pay (in home price) for multiple measures of elementary school quality in the Los Angeles Unified School District, a study documenting changes in veterans labor market, educational, and health outcomes over recent decades, and a study documenting the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on non-response patterns in the Current Population Survey.

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Julie Develin

Senior Partner

HCM Advisory at UKG

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Julie Develin

Senior Partner

HCM Advisory at UKG

Julie Develin, MSHRD, SHRM-SCP, is well-versed in the impact of employee relations, workplace flexibility, and workforce development on business operations. An experienced senior HR leader with over 17 years in executive level HR, Develin works with organizations across the country on developing strategic workplace initiatives to enhance productivity, improve communication, and increase satisfaction across their workforce. She is passionate about helping organization use HR processes to their strategic advantage.

Develin holds an M.S. in human resources development (HRD) from McDaniel College, where she continues to teach as an adjunct professor in the HRD and human services management programs, co-coordinates the HRD program, and advises students on career paths. Courses taught include HR for Nonprofits and Public Organizations, and Compensation and Benefits Design.

Additionally, Develin has been highly involved with SHRM. She has served as secretary, vice president, president, and webmaster of her local chapter; now, she remains involved with the Maryland SHRM state council as its diversity and inclusion chair

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Katherine Barrett

Senior Advisor

Route Fifty

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Profile Picture of Katherine Barrett

Katherine Barrett

Senior Advisor

Route Fifty

Katherine Barrett, a principal at Barrett and Greene Inc., has done much-praised analysis, research and writing about state and local governments for decades. 

She is a columnist, senior advisor and co-chair of the advisory board for Route Fifty, a special project consultant for the Volcker Alliance, a columnist and advisor for the Government Finance Officers Association, a visiting fellow at the IBM Center for the Business of Government, a senior advisor at the Government Finance Research Center at the University of Illinois in Chicago and a fellow in the National Academy of Public Administration. Her website is greenebarrett.com.

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Erik Caldwell

Director of Data Strategy

The Atlas

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Profile Picture of Erik Caldwell

Erik Caldwell

Director of Data Strategy

The Atlas

As Director of Data Strategy, Erik leads the development and launch of buyer intent and market intelligence products for The Atlas. The Atlas is a free online community for state and local government officials who join The Atlas to browse case studies, follow trending topics and post questions to crowdsource ideas and advice. Since it launched in April 2019, The Atlas has engaged more than 25,000 local government leaders from 3,400 cities and has grown an average of 15% month over month.

Erik has extensive experience working within local government having served as Chief Sustainability Officer, Deputy Chief Operating Officer, and Economic Development Director at the City of San Diego. In these roles, Erik leveraged data analytics to establish a culture of data driven decision making.

Erik is proficient in a host of data analytics and software development tools such as Python, R, JavaScript, C++, SQL and MongoDB Databases, Docker, Tableau, D3.js, Machine Learning, Hadoop, AWS (S3, ElasticSearch, Lambda, and Elastic Beanstalk), and geospatial mapping platforms such as ArcGIS and Mapbox.

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Richard Greene

Senior Advisor

Route Fifty

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Profile Picture of Richard Greene

Richard Greene

Senior Advisor

Route Fifty

Richard Greene, a principal at Barrett and Greene Inc., has done much-praised analysis, research and writing about state and local governments for decades. 

He is a columnist, senior advisor and co-chair of the advisory board for Route Fifty, a special project consultant for the Volcker Alliance, a columnist and advisor for the Government Finance Officers Association, a visiting fellow at the IBM Center for the Business of Government, a senior advisor at the Government Finance Research Center at the University of Illinois in Chicago and a fellow in the National Academy of Public Administration.

Greene has also been named chair of The Center for Accountability and Performance at the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA).

His website is greenebarrett.com.