Keynote Speakers

Johnny C. Taylor, Jr.,

SHRM-SCP President & CEO


Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., SHRM-SCP, is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the world’s largest HR professional society. He previously served a two- year term as Chair of the SHRM Board of Directors in 2005 and 2006.

Mr. Taylor is the immediate past President and Chief Executive Officer of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, which represents nearly 300,000 students attending public Historically Black Colleges and Universities. In this role, he became a prolific fundraiser, amassing over $100 million in grants and gifts. As an influencer in his field and community, he was named one of Ebony Magazine “Power 100” in 2011.

Previously, he held positions at IAC/Interactive Corp, first as its Senior Vice President of HR and then as President and Chief Executive Officer of one of IAC’s operating subsidiaries. Mr. Taylor’s career also spans nearly 15 years in the practice of law and HR, including as Litigation Partner and President of the HR consulting business of the law firm McGuireWoods LLC; Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary for Compass Group USA; General Counsel and Senior Vice President of HR for Viacom’s Paramount Pictures Live Entertainment Group; and Associate General Counsel and Vice President of HR for Blockbuster Entertainment Group.

In a 2018 White House ceremony, President Donald J. Trump appointed Mr. Taylor Chair of the President’s Advisory Board on Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and later that year he was named to the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board.

Mr. Taylor currently serves on the corporate board of Gallup, the leader in organizational consulting and public opinion research; as a member of the Board of Trustees of the University of Miami; as an adviser to Safe Streets & Second Chances, an initiative to reduce the high rate of recidivism in America; as a board member of Jobs for America’s Graduates; and as a member of the Board of Governors for the American Red Cross.

Mr. Taylor holds both a Doctor of Jurisprudence and a Master of Arts with honors from Drake University. He obtained a Bachelor of Science with honors from the University of Miami. He is licensed to practice law in Florida, Illinois and Washington, D.C.



Michael Kalt

Partner, Employment Law Practice Group - CalSHRM Gov't Affairs Director

Wilson Turner Kosmo, LLP

Michael’s employment law practice emphasizes the litigation and trial of wrongful termination, harassment, discrimination cases in state and federal court. He also provides advice and training to employers on employee discipline and investigations, employment policies and procedures, and fair

employment practices. He is an accomplished writer and oral advocate and has prevailed through

summary judgment in dozens and dozens of litigated matters and has also prevailed before the California Supreme Court and California Court of Appeal, resulting in several published decisions. Michael is currently the Governmental Affairs Director for the California State Council for the Society for Human Resource Management (CalSHRM). He is also the Legislative Liaison and a Steering Committee Member for the Employment and Labor Committee for the Defense Research Institute. Michael has been elected by fellow attorneys as a Super Lawyer by Law and Politics Magazine from 2007 to 2014 for labor and employment law.


Vida Thomas


Stoel Rives LLP

Vida advises employers regarding all aspects of employment law and human resources management,

serves as an expert witness in state and federal employment lawsuits, and mediates litigation and non-

litigation matters. Vida assists parties and attorneys in resolving employment claims, including but not limited to: harassment, discrimination, and retaliation claims; wrongful termination claims; failure to accommodate and statutory leave violations; whistle-blowing claims; wage and hour violations; invasion

of privacy claims; and other statutory, tort and contract claims.


Vida has been certified as an expert on investigations in federal court and frequently trains attorneys

and human resources professionals on how to conduct legally effective workplace investigations.

Clients have complimented Vida’s knack for making the law accessible, explaining complex legal concepts in a way that is both thorough and easy to understand. She believes training is most effective

when it provides concrete, useful tips for navigating today’s complicated and highly regulated



Chris Hoffman

Regional Managing Partner

Fisher Phillips


Jeanine DeBacke


McPharlin Sprinkles & Thomas LLP

Jeanine brings a practical, business-aware perspective to representing her employer clients. She helps businesses avoid lawsuits through thoughtful advice and counsel, well-crafted policies, and staff

training. Jeanine also vigorously defends employers in lawsuits brought by current or former employees. Jeanine represents employers in all areas of employment and benefits law, including wage and hour

claims, harassment, discrimination, retaliation, wrongful termination, benefit plan corrections and other

employment-related claims.

Jeanine assists clients in creating and implementing workplace policies and procedures, conducting

harassment investigations, and counseling on employee performance management, including corrective actions and terminations. Jeanine often presents customized, on-site training programs for clients on a

variety of human resources issues.

Jeanine is a sought-after presenter and offers engaging and entertaining workplace training programs, including harassment prevention training as required by California law.


Alden Parker

Regional Managing Partner

Fisher & Phillip

Alden represents employers in all facets of employment law matters. He has considerable experience defending employers in litigation involving claims under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, California’s wage and hour laws, Family and Medical Leave Act and California Family Rights Act, and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. In addition to defending his clients in litigation, Alden frequently counsels employers to assist them in avoiding litigation. Alden has prepared employee handbooks and a variety of agreements, including independent contractor, employment, confidentiality and trade secrets agreements. Alden was recognized as a Northern California Super Lawyers in 2013, 2014, 2015.


Michael Aitken

Vice President, Government Affairs

Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)

Mike Aitken has worked at SHRM since 2003 and currently serves as the vice president of Government Affairs. Prior to joining SHRM, he served for 14 years as associate director for Governmental and External Relations at the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR). Previously, Aitken worked on state public policy issues at Bonner & Associates, a public affairs firm in Washington, DC. Currently, he is based in Alexandria, VA.


Follow Mike on Twitter @SHRMVPAitken.


Walter Stella


Miller Law Group


Jennifer Brown Shaw


Shaw Law Group, PC

A well-respected expert in employment law for more than 20 years, employers rely on Jennifer to provide practical advice and counsel on a broad range of employment law issues, including wage-hour compliance, reasonable accommodation/leave of absence issues, and hiring/separation processes. She is a trusted advisor to HR professionals and leadership teams in a wide variety of organizations and industries. Jennifer also offers considerable expertise in conducting neutral investigations for employers. She is often called in to assist with challenging and high-profile matters. Jennifer also regularly trains and advises clients on this important topic. Jennifer has developed a national reputation for providing innovative and entertaining workplace training to management and non-supervisory employees. She uses case studies, audience participation, and storytelling to bring employment law to life. Jennifer is the founder of 100+ Women Who Care Sacramento Valley, a local giving circle, and is active in many pro bono activities.

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