On September 13, more than 300 human resources professionals and business leaders gathered at 1871 to witness disruption in motion. DisruptHR Chicago, a non-profit organization which aims to disrupt the human resources event industry and help reimagine the HR function, brought together some of the boldest and most imaginative minds to the stage for a rapid-fire, ignite-style evening of stimulating presentations that challenged the tired and outdated practices HR professionals face on a daily basis.
Photos by 1871/Andrew Merz
Guest Author: Britni Sehgal, Disrupt HR Chicago
Speakers at the standing-room only event, included:
- Craig Atkinson, Vice President of Communications and Strategic Services, The Walsh Group
- Amy Bastuga, Senior Vice President of Human Resources, Radio Flyer
- Amy Buck, Founder and Coach, Wisdom Ridge Ranch
- William Busch III, Associate Client Partner, Korn Ferry Hay Group
- Jamael “Isaiah” Clark, Founder, Impact Makars
- Betsy McCann, Head of People Operations, Valkyrie Trading
- Halleemah Nash, Executive Director, iMentor
- Jason Seiden, Co-Founder & Executive Board Member, Brand Amper
- Allie Temkin, Training and Talent Manager, Common Threads
- Ericka Carmona-Vega, Human Resources Manager, Sterigenics
- Miguel Vega, Manager, Amazon
The crowd watched as the 11 speakers took the stage, covering topics ranging from activism, diversity and inclusion, culture – and were on their feet when Isaiah Clark, Founder at Impact Makars, performed a slam-poetry-inspired session on the 10 HR commandments.
One of the evening’s more powerful moments came when Ericka Carmona-Vega, Human Resources Manager at Sterigenics and Miguel Vega, Manager at Amazon -- the first-ever husband and wife duo to present together at DisruptHR Chicago -- shared their commitment to diversity through activism and why traits of community leaders should be viewed as an asset to organizations looking for talent.
By providing examples of how community activists can also translate their skills to leadership positions, Ericka and Miguel bridged the gap between community activism and the corporate world.
“The stakes are high. The work we do as disruptors and activists impacts the lives of many so we can’t afford to be silent.” —Miguel Vega, Manager, Amazon
Halleemah Nash, Executive Director at iMentor, also did not remain silent. Her presentation, “Straight Outta Compton – What Dr. Dre Knows About Talent” provided insight into how to effectively build teams by looking outside the confines of how talent is currently defined and seeking resources in areas which may often be overlooked. Using Dr. Dre as the example of someone who knows how to effectively build a team, Halleemah demonstrated that one size does not fit all in talent acquisition.
“DisruptHR Chicago inspired me to think differently about routine challenges. I was reminded that, first, I must disrupt my own thinking to make room for new ideas. My experiences with the awesome DisruptHR presenters encouraged me to raise the bar on my own thinking.” —Amy Bastuga, Senior Vice President of HR, Radio Flyer.
Amy raised the bar herself with an in-your-face presentation called, “How a No Bu!!S@*! HR Approach to Working With Your Executives Can Lead to Greater Influence.”
Visit DisruptHR Chicago to watch full speaker videos from the event. If you’d like to connect with others, please join the DisruptHR Chicago community here.
The opinions expressed here by 1871 guest writers are their own, not those of 1871.