Speaker Information

Strategic HR@Iowa: The Path Forward

This site will be continuously updated as additional speakers are confirmed.

Dr. Nancy “Rusty” Barceló

Dr. Nancy “Rusty” Barceló served as President of Northern New Mexico College from July 2010 to December 2015, and is currently on sabbatical. Her 30-year career has included Assistant Provost and Assistant Dean with the Office of Academic Affairs at the University of Iowa where she was named a Distinguished Alumnus. She has served in chief leadership roles advancing diversity and inclusion at the University of Washington and the University of Minnesota. Barceló received her MA in Recreational Education and her PhD in Higher Education Administration from the University of Iowa.

David Forman

David C. Forman is the author of Fearless HR, the President of Sage Learning Systems and former Chief Learning Officer of The Human Capital Institute. The courses he has developed and taught for HCI have been taken by thousands of HR professionals all over the world. David has worked with many global organizations to improve the knowledge, skills and performance of their people. Major clients include FedEx, IBM, DuPont, Microsoft, SAP, American Express, PwC, Ford, and Apple. In 1984, David had the unique opportunity to work with Apple on the release of the Macintosh.

David has written more than 40 articles on talent management, analytics, strategic human resources, learning systems, high-performance cultures and leadership. He has spoken at many national and global HR and leadership conferences. He has both undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of California at Santa Barbara, where he has also served on the alumni board for eight years.

Elise Foster

Elise Foster is the co-author of the Multiplier Effect and a leadership consultant who studied at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Through her work with Multipliers and Immunity to Change she has helped hundreds of leaders become even more effective. As a former engineer, she brings her systems engineering mindset to bear as she invites leaders to bring out the best in everyone around them. She is actively involved with her local school district, both as a community member and parent and she finds that many of her best leadership lessons come from her 8 year old daughter. She holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Engineering from Virginia Tech and a Master’s in Education from Harvard University.

Dean Sarah Gardial, UI Tippie College of Business

Sarah Fisher Gardial was named dean of the Henry B. Tippie College of Business at the University of Iowa in 2012. Previously, she was the Beaman Professor of Business at the University of Tennessee where her leadership roles included Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs, as well as Assistant and Associate Dean in the College of Business Administration. She has served in leadership and volunteer positions for international business school associations, including the MBA Roundtable, the Graduate Management Admissions Council, and AACSB. Sarah is a board member of the United Fire Group, Inc. and the University of Iowa Community Credit Union. She earned her undergraduate and MBA degrees from the University of Arkansas and her doctorate in Marketing from the University of Houston.

Kate Gallen

Kate Gallen is an associate in Ogletree Deakins’ Kansas City office. She defends employers at all stages of litigation in employment matters. Prior to joining the law firm, Kate was a law clerk for the Honorable Mary Russell of the Supreme Court of Missouri. She graduated cum laude from the University of Missouri Law School, where she was the Managing Editor of the Missouri Law Review. She received her Bachelor of Arts in English, summa cum laude, from Truman State University.

Denise Martinez, MD

Denise Martinez, MD is the Assistant Dean for Cultural Affairs and Diversity Initiatives in the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, a position that she has served in for the past five years after serving as the Interim Associate Dean. Since her arrival to Iowa in 2008, Dr. Martinez has been an active participant in many diversity and inclusion activities across campus. She earned her B.A. degree in Biology from Seattle Pacific University and her M.D. from Tufts University School of Medicine.

Dr. Martinez is currently the faculty advisor for the Student National Medical Association. She also led the charge to create the Latino Medical Student Association, and the Minority Association of Pre-Health Students, of which both groups are thriving today. Through her work with students, she earned the prestigious Hawkeye Award for Faculty Adviser of the Year for the entire University of Iowa in 2014. Recently, Dr. Martinez was selected to lead University of Iowa Health Care with the implementation and incorporation of CultureVision, a cultural competency software to help create a more inclusive healthcare network for patients. Additionally, she is the Primary Investigator for the University of Iowa Summer Health Professions Education Program, a program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which is a free summer pipeline program for underrepresented college students into health profession school.

Celina Peerman

Dr. Celina Peerman, Ph.D. serves as an organizational behavior specialist with over 22 years of experience in HR. As the President and Chief Training Officer of The Peerman Group, she is passionate about engaging human resources in order to achieve better organizational results. Celina’s focus is to provide quality training and services that directly contributes to better service for all stakeholders, the retention of staff and strength of supervisors. Her passion is for how people behave at work. Celina’s style is described as dynamic noting the ability to draw in every attendee through real life examples and humor.

Todd Pettys

Professor Todd Pettys joined the University of Iowa College of Law’s faculty in 1999. Before coming to the College, he served as a law clerk for Judge Francis Murnaghan, Jr., of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. He then entered private practice, working for three years in the general litigation department of Perkins Coie, LLP, in Seattle, Washington. He received his law degree from the University of North Carolina School of Law in 1995 and his Bachelor’s degree (in philosophy and religion) from Seattle Pacific University in 1988.

Jackie (Meirick) Vavroch is an associate in the Kansas City office of Ogletree Deakins, where she counsels and defends employers in both labor and employment matters. In addition to defending employers in litigation, Ms. Vavroch provides day-to-day counsel and assists in negotiating and drafting severance agreements, employment agreements, and personnel policies.

An Iowa native, Ms. Vavroch attended both college and law school at The University of Iowa (GO HAWKS!), where she served as contributing editor for the Iowa Law Review and co-president for the Iowa Student Bar Association. She worked as a prosecuting intern at the Attorney's Office of Johnson County, where she independently prosecuted criminal misdemeanors and assisted in felony trials, and as an extern for University of Iowa General Counsel's Office, focusing on HIPAA, FERPA, and labor and employment disputes. In addition to her law degree, Ms. Vavroch has a Masters in Higher Education Administration and is especially interested in the labor and employment issues faced by colleges and universities.

Heather Woody

Heather Woody's work as a success coach, trainer, facilitator and speaker has encompassed many areas including: leadership, bridging generations, conflict effectiveness, team work, communication, change management, coaching, generational bridging, emotional intelligence, self-time management and project-time management. She conducts her coaching with individuals as well as with teams. Heather is also an experienced speaker.

Heather is a Master Certified Coach through the Certified Coach Federation. Heather is a graduate of Coach Inc., one of the largest international training organizations for professional coaches. She also holds a BA from the University of Northern Iowa in Public Relations and Communications. She is certified in the following FranklinCovey programs: The 5 Choices, The 7 Habits Signature and Great Leaders, Great Teams, Great Results Leadership.

HR Conference Registration

Registration for the 2017 HR Conference is now closed.