Spring 2023 Speakers
Director of Financial Solutions
Burke is dedicated to bringing financial comfort and independence to the clients that he works with and serves every day. Working with his clients has become the most rewarding part of his career.
Burke started in the financial services industry in Sacramento, California in 1988 with Northwestern Mutual. He moved into a field leadership position while in Sacramento in 1994. Over the next 20 years, Burke served in various leadership positions in the financial services industry with major multi-billion-dollar companies.
He has held various certifications, including general securities representative, general securities principal, Registered Representative and Investment Advisor Representative, and he is currently a licensed insurance professional.
Burke has been married to Karen for 44 years. They have five daughters and 23 grandchildren. They love living in the country and entertaining all the moving parts of a very busy family.
Hi! My name is Jonathan Bell and I’m a 17-year-old innovator.
After being turned down by numerous jobs at the age of 15, it was pretty tiring to know that someone who wanted to work was getting turned down to work.
So, I decided to take matters into my own hands, and sit down and really think about what I’m good at. Social Media Platforms, and Some Marketing, and Helping others were something that came up in writing. So, I researched different business models of how I can start a business utilizing social media and the #1 thing was Social Media Marketing. I decided to learn the algorithms of Social Media, and apply the marketing aspect to everything through YouTube, and I’ve now worked with over 20 companies nationwide within the past year over.
Now, I’ve hired a team to help create a better atmosphere, we’re now considered one of the youngest standing marketing firms globally. We stand behind we’re young, we know marketing, we’re innovative, we can, and we will grow your business digitally.
We sit down with small companies, analyze their marketing issues, consult with them regarding how we can help; and run the extra to grow their business and become a better brand.
I’ve always had the ambition to start my own company as I was a little younger than 15, now; I seek to inspire other young people just like me and teach them entrepreneurship and innovation for the future of our country.
More information coming soon!
Thomas R. Chibnall
Thomas R. Chibnall is an associate in the St. Louis, Missouri, office of Ogletree Deakins. He represents and counsels clients of all sizes in a variety of employment related matters before both state and federal courts, as well as administrative agencies, including the Missouri Department of
Labor, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the Missouri Commission on Human Rights (MCHR), the Occupational Safety and Health Agency (OSHA), and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Tom is experienced in the phases of discovery, trial preparation, and negotiation of settlements. Tom handles matters involving discrimination, retaliation,
whistleblowing, and many other employment-related matters.
Tom represents clients in a variety of employment litigation matters, including claims arising under Title VII, disability claims under Title III, and claims arising under state law employment statutes. Tom is an experienced litigator, having conducted several jury and bench trials in federal and state courts. Tom also specializes workplace safety law, as he represents and assists clients in investigations, complains, and appeals addressing environmental and work safety conditions under federal and state Occupational Safety and Health Acts and regulations as well as under the Mine Safety and Health Act. Also experienced in traditional labor matters, Tom has represented clients in labor arbitrations, union organizing campaigns, and has provided union avoidance and traditional labor relations training for clients.
Prior to joining Ogletree Deakins, Tom was an associate at a national labor and employment firm. During law school, Tom clerked for a Fortune 500 manufacturing company in St. Louis, participating in the Mergers and Acquisitions department, as well as the company’s real estate, environmental and immigration departments. He also served as a judicial extern to the Hon. Gary M. Gaertner, Jr. of the Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District, and as an intern in the Office of the General Counsel of Saint Louis University.
Sarah Davidson, PHR, SHRM-CP
Director of Human Resources
Roeslein & Associates
Sarah Davidson is the Director of Human Resources at Roeslein & Associates, an international engineering, manufacturing, and construction firm with 11 entities and over 1,100 employees, since joining them in 2013 they have quintupled in size and have no plans to slow down. Based on her contributions at Roeslein, Sarah was the winner of the 2020 Human Resources Award by the St. Louis Business Journal.
Additionally, Sarah owns a small human resources consulting company, Strategic HR, LLC. Prior to Roeslein, Sarah served in HR and Safety leadership positions with manufacturing, logistics, and environmental companies in Springfield and St. Louis, MO. She holds her PHR, SHRM-CP, California micro-credential with SHRM, and is currently earning her MBA from Saint Louis University.
Adam Doerr works with a variety of employers, advising and defending management with respect to employment law obligations and best practices, as well as traditional labor law matters, including union relations, contract negotiations and administration, unfair labor practice charges, grievance investigations and arbitrations. Although an experienced litigator, Adam prefers to emphasize preventative measures and issue avoidance, to help employers avoid the distractions, disruptions, and costs that litigation and other workplace disputes bring.
Rex P. Fennessey
Rex P. Fennessey represents the interests of employers in all areas of labor and employment law. Prior to joining McMahon Berger, Mr. Fennessey served for six years as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Missouri, where he defended the interests of the State, its agencies, and its elected and appointed officials in civil rights, employment discrimination, education law, and professional licensing matters.
His current practice includes all facets of employment law, including employment discrimination cases under Title VII, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family Medical Leave Act, and the Missouri and Illinois Human Rights Acts. Mr. Fennessey also routinely represents both public and private employers in cases brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act, and state wage and hour laws; such as the Missouri Minimum Wage Law, the Illinois Minimum Wage Law, and Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act. Mr. Fennessey is recognized in the field of wage and hour litigation and has extensive experience representing employers in complex class action lawsuits.
Mr. Fennessey litigates before administrative agencies, Missouri and Illinois circuit courts, the Missouri Court of Appeals for the Eastern and Western District, the Missouri Supreme Court, both United States District Courts in Missouri, the U.S. District Courts for the Northern and Southern Districts of Illinois, the U.S. District Court for the Southern Division of Texas, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. Mr. Fennessey further represents employers in U.S. Department of Labor investigations and audits, and represents management before the National Labor Relations Board in representation matters and unfair labor practice charges.
Mr. Fennessey is a sought-after speaker for companies and organizations on a broad range of employment topics. His many presentations include wage-and-hour compliance, how employers can systematically handle complicated ADA, FMLA and Workers’ Compensation leave issues, garnishments, and other continually developing federal and state labor laws.
Mr. Fennessey is recognized for his experience guiding new and existing non-profit organizations on a broad range of issues, and regularly assists these clients in obtaining 501(c) exemption recognition before the Internal Revenue Service.
Education and Certification:
- B.A., History, University of Missouri, 2003 (cum laude)
- J.D., University of Missouri, 2006
- University of Missouri Alternative Dispute Resolution
Certificate Professional Activities:
- Member, the Missouri Bar
- Member, Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis
- Member, Human Resource Management Association of Greater St. Louis
- Missouri Bar Foundation Representative (2016 – Present)
- Member, St. Charles County Bar Association
National Benefit Consultant
Kent joined Bukaty Companies with 30 years of experience building, running and consulting for companies ranging from small to Fortune 500.
He understands what it takes to design an employee benefits program that is attractive to both employers and employees. With all his talents in the finance and operations world, Kent works diligently to provide solutions across the nation the many services Bukaty Companies can assist companies and executives with — Group Health Insurance, Commercial P&C, HIPAA compliance, COBRA administration and payroll, to mention a few.
By keeping the client’s needs as the driver, Kent implements a strategy that allows his clients to stay focused on what they do best. His new clients have been averaging over a $1,600 per year savings per employee… and they now have better benefits.
Kent is a seasoned public speaker on multiple topics and is known a ones of the nation’s leading expert on Wellness programs, Contributions Strategies, Strategic Plan Design, Direct Contracting and Cost Containment programs. No one brings more passion to their clients than he does. Kent and his team deliver a world class benefit / insurance experience -so his clients can stay focused on running their company.
Kent graduated from the University of Missouri – Columbia, with a combined degree in Marketing/ Management/ Public Relations.
Licensed in Life & Health / Commercial Property & Casualty
All companies over 10 employees – Associations, Auto, Banks, Churches, Construction, Distribution, Food Industry, Gaming and Hospitality, Manufacturing, Marine, Medical providers, Public, Schools, Utilities, 501-c3’s
Career Skills Program Coordinator
Missouri Department of Higher Education & Workforce Development
More information coming soon!
The Positive Zone Corporation
For the last 25 years, Ralph Mason has served as the Lead Presenter and CEO of The Positive Zone Corporation. As a professional speaker, trainer, edutainment specialist, entrepreneur, musician, and Notary Public for the State of Missouri. Mr. Mason uses his extensive skillset to engage and elevate corporations and educational institutions. He has authored the inspirational books Ralphisms: A Short Book of Quotes and Affirmations and Diffusing Bullying in the Board Room and School Yard, which both intend to help these organizations move from good to great. Hire Mr. Mason to help support your vision and mission; you will be pleased and feel professionally connected. Mr. Mason knows that there is no I in TEAM, but there is an I in WIN. His interactive speaking engagements illustrate how if we all play as a team, we will always win.
More information coming soon!
Business Immigration Attorney
Mdivani Corporate Immigration Law Firm
More information coming soon!
Business Immigration Attorney
Mdivani Corporate Immigration Law Firm
Mira Mdivani heads global workforce mobility practice at Mdivani Corporate Immigration Law Firm, leading U.S. employers in strategic planning and risk assessment, including movement, onboarding and retention of international personnel and managing corporate immigration compliance risks. She is President and CEO of the firm’s training arm, Corporate Immigration Compliance Institute. Mdivani has served as Kansas Bar Association President, Chair of Missouri Bar Immigration Law Section, and President of Johnson County SHRM Chapter. She is the author of Corporate Immigration Compliance Plans, Policies and Procedures; I-9 Audits: The Best Way to Prevent I-9 Disasters; and H-1B Visa Demystified, Practical Guide for Employers. Mdivani’s professional recognition includes the Carol Foreman Medal of Civility Award by the Kansas Women Attorney’s Association; Business Practitioner of the Year by the Missouri Law Media, Best of the Bar by the Kansas City Business Journal, Outstanding Achievement Award by Kansas Bar Association, Robert L. Gernon Award for Outstanding Service to Continuing Legal Education, President’s Award from the Missouri Bar, Johnson County Bar Association’s Earl E. O’Connor Civility Award, and Pro Bono awards from the Kansas Bar Association, University of Missouri – Kansas City School of Law, and the American Immigration Lawyers Association.
Crystal Neubauer Speaks
Crystal is fiercely passionate about helping individuals, teams, and organizations get “unstuck” so they can fulfill their potential. She brings more than 20 years of training and speaking experience. In addition, she has 15 years of leadership experience which includes the oversight of training departments, event planning teams, and non-profit volunteers. Her experience in the corporate world involves the development and implementation of successful leadership development programs from the ground up.
She released her first book, “Unstuck: Overcoming the Thresholds that Limit Us” in December of 2020. She is currently writing a leadership book with an anticipated release date in mid-2022.
Crystal is a sought-after speaker for corporate conferences, association conferences, retreats, training workshops, and leadership events and has been a featured speaker on webinars, podcasts, and virtual events.
Her many years of leadership experience in financial services, ministry, and education provide her with a wealth of experiences, insight, and knowledge. In addition to holding a bachelor’s degree in theology, Crystal is also a Registered Corporate Coach (RCC™) and a Certified Professional in Training and Development (CPTD).
Sean Oliveira is an associate in the St. Louis office of Ogletree Deakins. He joins the firm with nearly fifteen years of experience as a federal investigator with the EEOC. During his time as an investigator, he handled all aspects of the administrative process including systemic and class investigations and the negotiation of complex conciliations under every type of discrimination claim. That experience has given him expertise in practicing before state and federal agencies such as the Missouri Commission on Human Rights and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
A California, Bay Area native, Sean received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Philosophy from the University of California at Santa Cruz. He graduated with an employment law concentration from St. Louis University School of Law and acted as Articles Editor with the ABA Labor and Employment Law Journal.
Sean previously lived in Paris for a year teaching English.
Porter Law, LLC
David Porter has been supporting businesses for over 30 years in private practice, in-house legal roles and as a compliance officer. David is first and foremost a businessman who understands that law is a part of business and does not run the business. So, his advice is focused on achieving business objectives, not checking legal boxes. In addition to his law practice, David has a coaches and trains business leaders to create sustainable systems to support consistent, positive outcomes. David spent 20 years as a professor at Webster University and has authored three books on building the elements of successful outcomes for customers and teams.
David is a native of Sunrise Beach and graduated from Camdenton High School. He has a bachelor’s degree from William Jewell College and his law degree from the University of Notre Dame Law School. David and his wife, Lydia, have four grown children and live in Four Seasons.
Courageously Imperfect Coaching & Development
Training and Coaching for 23+ years
- Associate Certified Coach (ACC) through the International Coaching Federation (ICF)
- Certified Enneagram Coach through Your Enneagram Coach, LLC
- Certified Facilitator, Data Dimensions International (DDI) Leadership Training
I’m a working mom and wife, having held a career in training and development at a Fortune 500 company while also serving and giving back to the community.
I also know what it’s like to work hard for what I have, and look successful by the world’s standards, yet still feel empty & unfulfilled inside.
My solution? “Put my head down” and keep pushing ahead. Work harder.
It was taking a toll – on my health, on my relationships, and on my energy.
The biggest realization I had was that I didn’t have to work harder or wait for something (or someone else) to change in order to have the fulfilling life I wanted. When I gained clarity on the best path forward for me, the emptiness left and the energy returned. My health and relationships improved.
This discovery has been so impactful for me that I’ve made it my life’s mission to help others create the fulfilled version of their lives so they can have it all, too.
University of Missouri
A recognized executive with 30 years of experience, Daryl Smith has the unique ability to apply progressive organizational and talent management strategies that consistently create value. He has a consistent track record of success in several industries, including manufacturing, sales and distribution, telecommunications and financial services. His early career included fiscal and operational assignments. He attributes these early experiences to helping shape his broad and comprehensive view of organizations.
With a reputation for creating award-winning workplaces. He is skilled in leading and facilitating cost-saving strategies including lean manufacturing, Six Sigma, systems thinking and TQM; and in improving employee engagement.
His past career assignments include: SVP Global Human Resources at ESPN / ABC Media Networks, VP Human Resources & Training at ARAMARK/Galls and VP Human Resources & Training at Cox Communications.
Today, Daryl is an award-winning teaching professor at the Trulaske College of Business at the University of Missouri. His areas of teaching include various courses in HR/OB. Daryl has received campus and national teaching awards, as well as awards for advising and service.
He has effectively served on over fifty (50) boards, including industry associations and non-profits. He is passionate about causes relative to education, youth, diversity, people with disabilities and families in crisis.
Daryl holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration from the University of Missouri in Columbia MO and a Master’s in Business Administration from Washington University in St. Louis MO. He has completed executive education programs at Cornell University in Ithaca NY and Stanford University in Palo Alto CA.
Claudia Tran is an associate in the Kansas City office of Ogletree Deakins. Claudia was raised in Overland Park, Kansas, and attended the University of Missouri, where she obtained an undergraduate degree in psychology. She attended Notre Dame Law School in South Bend, Indiana, where she served as the student bar association’s alumni chair for two years, as well as the production and online editor for the Journal of Legislation and the director of public relations for the sports, communication, and entertainment law forum.
While in law school, Claudia also externed in the compliance office of Notre Dame Athletics and the athletics department at the University of North Carolina. After law school, she returned to Kansas City, where she worked for a full service regional law firm as a general litigation associate practicing in insurance defense, civil and business litigation, workers’ compensation and employment law. At Ogletree Deakins, Claudia focuses her practice on defending employers in both pre-litigation matters before administrative agencies and at the litigation stage.
Joe Wientge is a Shareholder with the Littler Mendelson law firm, which combines all the benefits of the largest employment law firm in the world with the partnership of a personal attorney-client relationship. Joe has over fifteen years of experience in employment law and takes pride in being able to provide his clients with practical and cost-effective advice, whether on routine daily issues, administrative hearings, litigation, and everything in between. Joe works collaboratively with his public entity clients to tailor solutions to their individual issues. Employers need partners who understand the many challenges faced in an ever-changing legal landscape. Joe is proud to be such a partner.
Therapist & Motivational Speaker
515 Therapy and Consulting
Ramona Wink, LMHC, is a licensed mental health therapist and motivational public speaker with 515 Therapy and Consulting in West Des Moines. In her role as a therapist, Ramona sees a full caseload of adults and couples. She dedicates herself to helping her clients find solutions to live their best, authentic lives by focusing on their mental well-being. Before becoming a therapist, Ramona was a pastor so she also enjoys working with clients who want to incorporate their faith into their healing journey. Recently, Ramona was appointed by Governor Reynolds to serve on the Iowa Board of Behavioral Sciences.
Ramona is passionate about her public speaking for one simple reason: There is an extreme shortage of mental health therapy providers in Iowa. When Ramona gets in front of an audience of any size, she has the opportunity to impact a larger number of people. In every presentation, Ramona shares the time-tested techniques that she utilizes with her therapy clients, along with the lessons that she is learning from her clients. Audience members consistently report that they are inspired by the client stories that Ramona shares from the stage, as well as Ramona’s captivating and engaging personality.
If promoting mental wellness in the workplace is a top priority, this session is a top pick.
City of Osage Beach
Jeana Woods is a Certified Public Accountant and an ICMA Credentialed Manager. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and a Master’s in Business Administration. She is the City Administrator for the City of Osage Beach, MO, where she had held numerous positions over the past twenty years, including Staff Accountant and Assistant City Administrator before being appointed to the City Administrator role in 2014. In addition to her work in City government and active roles with numerous community boards and committees, she has also been a small business owner for many years.
Release the You
More information coming soon!
Senior Safety & Risk Services Trainer
Missouri Employers Mutual
Mark Woodward is the Senior Safety & Risk Services Trainer at Missouri Employers Mutual. He is responsible for conducting MEM employee and policyholder training, including customized training for associations, safety conferences and business groups.
Throughout his career, Woodward has instructed tens of thousands of Missouri employees through more than 3,000 safety and risk management classes. He has presented on a national scale, including the American Association of State Compensation Insurance Funds, National Safety Council’s Congress & Expo, Public Risk Management Association Conference, American Society of Safety Engineers and National Common Ground Alliance.
Woodward is a certified safety consultant through the State of Missouri and a National Safety Council CPR, First Aid and AED trainer, defensive driving instructor and OSHA Outreach Trainer for courses including: OSHA 10 and OSHA 30 in Construction. He is also President of the Missouri Chapter of the Common Ground Alliance.
Woodward has a bachelor’s in Safety Management from the University of Central Missouri and a master’s in Education from William Woods University. He is certified through both the University of Missouri and Association for Talent Development. Woodward is a long-time active volunteer in Missouri fire and ambulance districts as a certified firefighter and emergency medical technician.