Keynote Speakers

Crystal Gordon

AVP, Talent, United Shore

Crystal Gordon leads talent acquisition initiatives for United Shore. Crystal has been in talent acquisition for 20 years and has focused her career on finding the most innovative way to balance the art and science of hiring talent. In recent years, Crystal has found ways to capture and utilize data to tell the story of candidates, team members, and the talent team at the rapidly growing mortgage company.

Richard Pappas

President, Davenport University

Laura Lawson

EVP, Chief People Officer, United Shore

With a background in television production on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Chief People Officer Laura Lawson applies her unique creativity in crafting an award-winning work environment. As the innovative architect behind United Shore’s unique and celebrated workplace culture, Laura spearheads the company’s initiatives aimed at creating a fun, energetic, and family-oriented environment and ensures that team members have the best possible tools, perks, and benefits to love their jobs.

Steve Lowisz

Keynote Speaker, Entrepreneur, Best Selling Author and CEO, Qualigence International

Steve Lowisz is an authority on all things talent, personal development, and business leadership. With experience consulting start-ups, equity-backed, and Fortune 500 companies around the world, you can count on Steve for expert insights and actionable advice. Best known as the founder and CEO of Qualigence International, Steve is a successful five-time entrepreneur with over two decades of practical business experience.


Camille Walker-Banks

Executive Director, NPower

With more than 20 years of business consulting experience, Camille Walker Banks is a results-generating advisor to small and large businesses. Her career spans across multiple industries, in corporate/Fortune 500, nonprofit, government, and higher education. She is currently executive director of NPower, a national nonprofit organization that seeks to create pathways to economic prosperity by launching digital careers for military veterans and young adults from underserved communities. She serves on a number of boards, and has worked to establish and sustain incubators and accelerators in the SE-Michigan region since 2007.

Lesley Delgado

Owner and President, Strategic Recruiting Services, LLC.

Lesley Delgado is the proud owner and President of Strategic Recruiting Services, LLC. As a successful business owner for over 30 years, she brings a strategic focus, vision, and mature judgment with her every time she partners with clients. Lesley serves on the Advisory Board for MichBusiness and is a Trusted Adviser for Vistage, Michigan. She serves as a board member for the Detroit Executive Association. Lesley was awarded a scholarship to attend the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program in 2016.

Pieter D. Winne

EOS Implementer, Owner , Lead The Way Performance Solutions

Pieter has over 30 years of leadership experience beginning as a US Army Ranger with the 75th Ranger Regiment followed by 20 years of operational leadership at IBM and 9 years with an extremely successful entrepreneurial company where he was responsible for the leadership development of the organization. Pieter’s passion is facilitation and adult learning. He has been on the advisory board of the Metro Detroit Best and Brightest since 2010. Pieter currently owns and operates his own leadership development company, Lead The Way Performance Solutions. Pieter is a teacher, facilitator, and coach implementing the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) for his clients.


Gary Ciabotti

Vice President, V-Suites

Responsible for overseeing the Sales, Operations, and Business Development of V-Suites in order to support its’ growing client demands and new business opportunities, Gary brings over 30 years of temporary living experience to V-Suites, from ownership and strategy planning to sales leadership and vendor and client relations. Most recently, he served as Vice President of Strategic Alliances at National Corporate Housing. Gary has also served as the Senior Vice President of Aboda Corporate Housing and the President/ CEO of Temporary Living Consulting, a Boston-based corporate housing consulting firm, which achieved more than $2.5 million in annual revenue.

Jim Bitterle

Managing Partner, EDSI

Jim Bitterle, Managing Partner, joined EDSI in 2008 to lead its management consulting division, EDSI Consulting. He brings more than 30 years of corporate leadership and management consulting experience to the company. Jim directly provided executive focused training for Fortune 100 clients such as Microsoft, Hewlett Packard and Cisco Systems. As a prior Divisional President and COO, Jim provides real-world examples, as well as deep subject matter expertise as a trainer or speaker. EDSI Consulting is a division of EDSI. EDSI’s services include management consulting, workforce consulting, and workforce development program management.

Jody Guastella Jones

Diversity & Inclusion Manager, Mercedes-Benz Financial Services America

In her current role, Jody focuses on developing and maintaining an inclusive and diverse workforce. Jody’s oversight includes corporate-wide D&I programs, six Business Resource Groups and the D&I council, all to ensure an inclusive workplace. Prior to joining Mercedes-Benz Financial Services, Jody worked for FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) in Corporate Diversity and Talent Acquisition as well as for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan in Strategic Talent Acquisition and Diversity Program Management. She is a Certified Diversity Professional, has served on the adjunct faculty at Wayne State and is on the board of the Michigan Diversity Council.  

Karen A. Baldwin, CSP™, SHRM-SCP™

Vice President, Director of Human Resources, Greenleaf Trust

Karen is responsible for the day-to-day operations of Human Resources and the administration of policies, procedures, and programs. Karen has 20 years of experience in the banking/finance industry as well as more than 20 years of human resources experience. She has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Western Michigan University, her Certified Staffing Professional designation through the American Staffing Association and her Senior Certified Professional designation through the Society for Human Resource Management.

Katherine F. Cser

Attorney, Kerr Russell

Katherine F. Cser is a commercial litigator, who focuses her practice on labor and employment issues in federal and state courts. She counsels and advises business owners, managers and human resources professionals on workplace issues including discrimination, retaliation, wage and hour laws, medical leave laws, among other concerns. Katherine has practiced law in Michigan and New York and is also experienced in commercial transactions litigation, as well as restrictive covenants and intellectual property and related tort claims.

Keith King

Founder and CEO, National Veteran Business Development Council (NVBDC)

Keith is a 40 Year Veteran advocate with heavy legislative experience, strong record of success in writing, lobbying for, and getting passage of laws to benefit ALL veterans. Adjudicated 1,000's of veteran claims for benefits. Expert in Veteran laws and VA claims and the difference between them. Through the years, Keith has taken on a variety of leadership roles on the National, State and Local levels. He is committed to helping today’s veterans as they transition out of the military and back into American society.

Stephen Childs

Vice President and CHRO, Panasonic Automotive

Stephen Childs is the Vice President and CHRO at Panasonic Automotive which is a $3 billion global leader in the OEM Infotainment space with over 7,000 employees. Childs also serves on the Executive Committee and Board of Directors for the Fayette Chamber, Board of Advisors for the Metro Atlanta Chamber and a new Board Member of Fayette Senior Services. He is a Global Keynote Speaker and Forbes Contributor who has a huge passion for building the right culture to help drive Best Place to Work Leadership Habits.

Susan West, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Principal for HR Outsourcing , Rehmann

With a passion for uplifting human resource functions and leadership talent in small to mid-size companies, Susan focuses on providing the expertise and guidance for addressing and improving HR business performance for clients. Prior to joining Rehmann in 2019, Susan was the founder and CEO of QuadWest Associates, LLC, which combined with Rehmann to offer an expanded level of service. She has extensive experience providing HR consulting, business and leadership coaching, leadership development training and tools for her client’s use. Susan brings over 25 years of corporate executive, operational and human resource experience to her clients.

Todd Hohauser

CEO, Harvey Hohauser & Associates

Todd is currently CEO of Harvey Hohauser & Associates and Chairman of IIC Partners, an affiliate of the 8th largest retained executive search partnership in the world. For 20 years, he has guided family and privately held businesses in their efforts to locate, recruit and retain top-grade leadership. In 2009, Todd was a recipient of Walsh College’s Award for the Outstanding Graduate of the Last Decade. In 2017, he received the designation “FEA”, Family Enterprise Advisor, successfully completing a 1000 hour course focused on training advisors of Family Business / Family Enterprises. Beyond serving as Chairman of IIC Partners, Todd is a Past Committee Member on the Judson Center’s Golf Planning Committee, Past Chair for The Epilepsy Foundation of Michigan and serves on past Board of Advisors of MichBusiness and CORP! Magazine.

Ursula C. Scroggs

President & Director, Derderian, Kann, Seyferth & Salucci

Ursula Scroggs, CPA is managing director of DKSS CPAs + Advisors and has been assisting businesses with financial and operational management, tax and business improvement advice for over 40 years. DKSS is Michigan’s largest women-owned CPA firm. She was designated by NAWBO as one of Michigan’s Top 10 Women in Business and is a recipient of the Michigan SBA Advocate of the Year Award for Women in Business from the U.S. Small Business Administration. She has also received the MICPA’s Experienced Leader “Women to Watch” award, and the Center for Empowerment and Economic Development’s 2014 Outstanding Volunteer award co-recipient. She was honored with the Most Valuable Professional award from Corp! Magazine in 2015.