65th Annual HRM Conference Speakers

Pre-Conference Workshop Presenter: R Scott Russell, CRP, CEP - Director, Engagement Strategies, CA Short Company

R Scott Russell headshotR Scott Russell is the Director of Engagement Strategies at CA Short Company and is the current Executive Vice-President of Recognition Professionals International. Scott has more than 25 years' experience in culture and recognition utilizing skills learned as a Certified Recognition Professional and a Certified Engagement Professional. Scott is an accomplished speaker and performer, having released his first full length singer-songwriter album in 2018. Scott believes in the power of recognition and thrives on sharing what he has learned with others to create a culture of appreciation in the workplace.





Keynote Presenter: Devin C. Hughes - Chief Inspirational Officer, Devin C. Hughes, LLC

Hughes HeadshotDevin C. Hughes is an author, speaker, consultant, executive coach, and internationally recognized expert in the science of happiness, organizational and culture change, and leadership development. He has worked with a variety of Fortune 100 companies as well as the Secret Service, the IRS, and an assortment of for-profit and nonprofit organizations. He is considered one of the most influential inspirational speakers in America. His approach draws from the science of positive psychology, positive organizational research, appreciative inquiry, neuroscience, mindset, and mindfulness. He is the author of 20 books and has spoken in more than 20 countries. Devin lives in San Diego, CA with his wife, four daughters, and two rescue dogs.  His website: www.devinchughes.com.




Keynote Presenter: Dethra Giles - CEO, ExecuPrep

Dethra Giles headshotDethra U. Giles is a two time TEDx speaker, international consultant, best-selling author and highly sought-after keynote speaker. As the founder of ExecuPrep – a global brand that provides workforce training, executive coaching and leadership development and performance improvement in the workplace- she and her team get to go around the world helping companies and organizations the performance of their people, improve leadership and increase their bottom line. She has worked with multiple industries, hundreds of clients, and thousands of leaders worldwide. Her messages are crafted to inspire innovative thought, compel people to action, and to shift paradigms.

Dethra's gift is teaching complex concepts simply enough so people walk away knowing the exact actions they should take next. Her philosophy is "if you can't teach it simply you don't know it well" and "Learning happens when a change in behavior occurs." Her goal is to simply teach complex concepts that result in a positive change in participant behavior.



Josh Bennett - Attorney, Maynard, Cooper, & Gale, P.C.

Josh Bennett headshotJosh is a Shareholder in the Labor & Employment practice at Maynard Cooper.

He provides representation and guidance to clients across a broad range of EEO and labor and employment matters, including cases arising under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, Section 1981, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, the National Labor Relations Act, whistleblower statutes, including the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, the Alabama Workers’ Compensation Act, and various state tort laws.  Josh represents clients engaged in Department of Labor audits and investigations and has experience in litigating and providing advice relating to the enforceability of employment agreements and non-compete agreements.  Josh’s practice also includes advising clients on labor issues and representing management in grievance proceedings and labor arbitrations.

Josh offers consultation to employers in need of assistance in drafting or updating employment handbooks and policies. He also offers consultation and training for employers on a variety of topics including compliance with labor, employment, health and safety laws and regulations, and best practices for personnel management and human resources functions.  Josh advises manufacturing, natural resources, and other companies in highly regulated industries on regulatory compliance and represents them in a variety of administrative matters, including Occupational Health and Safety Act (OSHA) and Federal Mine Safety and Health Act (MSHA) enforcement actions, discrimination and temporary reinstatement claims, audits, special investigations and accident investigations.

Josh has successfully litigated labor and employment and related tort cases in both state and federal court and has experience obtaining summary judgment for clients.  In addition, he has successfully litigated administrative enforcement actions and labor arbitrations.

Alabama Super Lawyers listed Josh as a “Rising Star” in Employment & Labor in 2015.  Mid-South Super Lawyers listed Josh as a “Rising Star” in Employment & Labor in 2016 and 2017.

Brian Butler - Senior HR Consultant, Cobbs Allen

Brian Butler headshotBrian is a Senior HR Consultant and leads Cobbs Allen’s Public Administration Practice Group. He joined Cobbs Allen after over 25 years in the public sector where he served as the Chief Human Resources Officer for the City of Tuscaloosa and continues to use his real-world experience to better serve clients as they navigate the often murky HR waters. He is certified SPHR, SHRM-SCP and IPMA-SCP and is a graduate of the University of Alabama with a Bachelor of Arts and Masters of Science. Brian is also a Captain in the Navy Reserve and a veteran of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.





Seth Davies - Senior Vice President, Competitive Solutions, Inc.

Seth Davies headshotAs Senior Vice-President of Competitive Solutions, Inc., Seth has over 25 years of experience assisting a diverse group of public and private companies as well as local governments in the development and deployment of strategic business processes throughout their organizations. He is an expert in the areas of business metrics and dashboards, organizational communication strategy, and employee accountability and engagement.

Seth is a popular speaker at Operational Excellence, Human Resource, and Quality Conferences. He believes organizations today must create and sustain a culture with three non-negotiable attributes. Those attributes are: collective accountability across the company, a documented communication strategy and key business metrics to drive focus and urgency at all levels.

Organizations Seth has worked with recently include Pfizer, Genentech, DeKalb County, (GA), Enzyme, Goodwill Industries, Revlon, Michelin Tire, City of Charlotte and Zoetis. He lives in Atlanta with his wife Ann and their three children, two sons in college and a daughter in high school.


Carter Dukes - Attorney, Scott Dukes & Geisler, PC

Carter Dukes headshotMr. Dukes is the managing shareholder of Scott Dukes & Geisler, P.C., and for more than twenty-five years, he has represented the interests of businesses and professionals in employment related and professional liability claims. Licensed in Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee, Mr. Dukes defends employers in state and federal courts throughout Alabama, the southeast, and occasionally across the country in a wide range of employment related matters. His employment related experience includes employment discrimination and retaliation claims; wage and hour disputes, including collective actions; non-competition litigation; and FMLA and other leave-related complaints. Mr. Dukes also provides day-to-day employment advice and guidance to firm clients to avoid employment related claims when possible and, when not, to best posture the client to defend anticipated litigation. In addition, Mr. Dukes provides management and employee training, crafts employment policies and handbooks, and drafts employment and severance agreements.



Warren B. Lightfoot, Jr. - Partner, Maynard, Cooper, & Gale, P.C.

Warren B. Lightfoot, Jr. headshotWarren is a graduate of the University of Virginia and Vanderbilt Law School. He is a Shareholder and member of the firm’s Labor and Employment Practice Group, and has more than 27 years of experience representing and advising clients in all aspects of labor and employment matters, including significant wage and hour and federal discrimination litigation. Warren’s commercial litigation and business tort practice encompasses all aspects of non-compete enforcement, trade secret litigation and competitive torts, as well as fraud, contract and insurance disputes. He has successfully litigated, as lead counsel, dozens of such cases and, in his business tort practice, has obtained or defended companies against injunctions across the country.

Highly respected by his peers, Warren served as Chairman of the Alabama State Bar Labor & Employment Section. His skills and accomplishments as a lawyer have earned him numerous accolades, among which are his distinction as a Leading Practitioner in Labor & Employment by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business. He is also consistently included in The Best Lawyers in America© for his experience in the areas of Employment Management and Litigation: Labor and Employment, as well as in Alabama Super Lawyers and Mid-South Super Lawyers in the area of Employment and Labor Law.


Michael Northrup - Senior Vice President and Chief Delivery Systems Officer, America's First Federal Credit Union

Michael Northrup headshotMichael Northrup is SVP and Chief Delivery Systems Officer for America's First Federal Credit Union. Michael has worked in the IT field since 1979 starting as a programmer with South Central Bell, IT Manager with BellSouth, Sr. Manager of Outsourcing with Accenture and the past 9 years with America's First as VP of IT, SVP-CIO and now SVP-CDO. Michael is a graduate of Auburn University and is married to the former Pamela Lasater. They have 2 sons and 2 grandchildren and have lived in Birmingham since graduating in 1979. Michael is active in the Birmingham community through Cabinet Membership for United Way of Central Alabama, Board member for The Arc of Shelby County, Board member of The Community of Hope Health Clinic, past President of Metro Sertoma and active member at Asbury United Methodist Church.




Shari Pace - Executive Coach and Corporate Leadership Development Trainer, Coaching Beyond Limits

Shari Pace headshotShari Pace is an Executive Coach, Leadership Corporate Trainer, Energy Leadership Master Practitioner and the Founder of Coaching Beyond Limits, LLC. A full-service Leadership development and career management training and coaching company since 2009. Pace is also, Author of The Next Chapter: A bite size guide to lighting your fire and unleashing joy! A self-help motivational guide to getting unstuck. A former marketing executive with over 18 years of leadership experience transforming businesses, motivating teams and improving productivity and bottom line performance for organizations. Pace has provided coaching and training/workshops in such areas as Leadership Development, Executive Presence, Presenting with Confidence, Building Personal Brands, Managing Your Career for Growth, Personal Resilience for Managers and Leaders, Agility in the Workplace, Delegating with Confidence, Managing Conflict, Communicating Effectively, and Team Building and Team Reboot.




Brock Phillips - Attorney, Maynard, Cooper, & Gale, P.C.

Brock Phillips headshotBrock is an Associate in Maynard Cooper & Gale's Labor & Employment Practice Group in Birmingham, AL. Brock received an Bachelor's Degree from Auburn University and went on to obtain his J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law, where he served on the Managing Board of the Journal of Law & Politics and worked in the school's Appellate Litigation Clinic. Brock's practice spans a broad range of labor and employment matters, including cases arising under various state and federal laws, and assist clients engaged in administrative audits and investigations. He also offers consultation to employers in need of assistance drafting or updating employment handbooks and policies.




Shatanese Reese - Trainer, Speaker, Coach, Shatanese Reese, LLC

Shatanese Reese headshotShatanese Reese is a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources with over twenty years of experience. Her career spans industries such as retail, banking and higher education. Shatanese has held several leadership roles throughout her career including Assistant Director of Staff Recruitment and Retention, Diversity Consultant and most recently HR Director. She was also the inaugural President of the GA College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR) chapter and served on the Southern Region Board as well as CUPA-HR’s Diversity Equity & Inclusion committee where she was instrumental in spearheading various initiatives. Shatanese obtained her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at Iowa State University.





Kristin Scroggin - Generational Expert, Professional Speaker, Trainer, genWHY Communications

Kristin Scroggin headshotKristin Scroggin has her Masters in Communication Studies, Bachelors in Communication Arts and was a Communications Lecturer at the University of Alabama in Huntsville for 11 years. Her passion is generational diversity and for the past five years she has spoken at conferences and organizations across the United States ranging from Fortune 500 companies to small non-profits. Obsessed with travel and desperate to see the world, she and her husband try to keep their heads above water while parenting their four children and any foster children who come their way.





Matthew Scully - Partner, Burr & Forman LLP

Matthew Scully headshotMr. Scully represents management in the area of labor and employment law. His practice is proactive, focused on managing the complex economic, legal and business decision employers must make in effectively managing their workforce. Matthew Scully has considerable experience litigating and advising clients concerning all aspects of employment law, including workplace investigations, disciplinary actions, employment policies, and managing leave. He has experience working with clients in various industries and with small, medium and large sized employers, including Fortune 500 companies.





Kathryn Willis - Partner, Burr & Forman LLP

Katy Willis headshotKaty practices in the firm’s Labor & Employment Law section. Katy regularly advises employers on leave issues, employee counseling, and policies and procedures. She has delivered presentations on hiring issues, disability management, FMLA, and worker’s compensation. She defends clients against a variety of claims, including those brought under Title VII, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, and USERRA. Katy has successfully defended employers against OSHA citations and regularly advises clients about OSHA compliance. She also assists companies with OFCCP audits and compliance.