2023 EthicSpace Breakouts

SESSION 1:  9:10 – 10:10 am

1. Mining Untapped Talent Pools

Embark on a journey of discovery as this breakout session spotlights the transformative potential of overlooked populations in the workforce, illuminating the opportunities they present. Delve into the ethical considerations imperative for fostering an inclusive environment that respects their unique perspectives and contributions.

About Your Presenters:

Precious Lesley

Founder & Principal Consultant of Loud Nerd

Precious, an AuDHD (Autistic/ADHD) adult, is driven by a commitment to providing education and establishing authentic relationships with job seekers and employers. She serves as the founder & principal consultant at Loud Nerd, an organization dedicated to guiding

neurodivergent individuals through the intricacies of the job search process, while simultaneously aiding employers in cultivating teams and work environments that embrace diversity, equity, inclusion & accessibility (DEIA). As a Black, autistic woman, she has personal experience with the compounded effects of racism, sexism and ableism and incorporates an intersectional perspective in her work, encouraging other disability advocates, DEI practitioners and employers to follow suit.

Jeremy Bouman

Founder and CEO, RISE

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Jeremy Bouman is the founder and CEO of RISE, a Nebraska nonprofit with a mission to break generational cycles of incarceration. RISE offers programming in 7 Nebraska prisons focused on intensive character development, employment readiness, reentry planning and entrepreneurship. RISE support continues post-release through case management, family programming, a business incubator and employment placement. RISE is also active in policy and advocacy work in Nebraska’s unicameral focused on criminal justice reform.

Prior to starting RISE, he served for seven years as associate vice president of development at Creighton University. He has 20 years of leadership experience in higher education and nonprofit organizations in New York City, Baltimore and Omaha. He earned a BA in Communications from Susquehanna University in Pennsylvania and a Master of Science in Leadership from Creighton University.

2. Employee Whole Health –
the key to driving engagement, performance, and ethical actions

With employee burnout rates at an all-time high, the future of work will depend on fostering well-being among your employee base. When the well-being needs of the individual are cared for, organizational health excels. Dive into an insightful discussion on how to fuel engagement, uphold ethical standards, and optimize performance using the ALOHA well-being framework conceived by Chief Experience Officer and Executive Coach Mark Mathia. During this presentation, Mathia will delve into the five core principles of the ALOHA framework: “Achievement, Legacy, Others, Health, and Adventure,” and their practical applications in fostering workplace well-being. Learn several proven steps you and your organization can take to boost employee well-being, performance, morale, and overall job satisfaction, improving your organization’s ability to make ethical decisions. This is an essential session for all business leaders, managers, or anyone keen to shape an inclusive, ethically-inclined, and top-performing organization of hard-working, passionate, and engaged individuals and teams.

About Your Presenter:

Mark L. Mathia

Chief Experience Officer, Signature Performance

Mark Mathia is the chief experience officer (CXO) at Signature Performance (Signature). He has been with Signature for over nine years and leads several areas of the firm, including experience management, talent operations, talent acquisition, and diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. Mathia is also a Signature executive leadership team member and the executive sponsor for Signature’s management group and emerging leaders program.

Through his work, Mathia aims to attract and retain world-class talent and champion the associate experience. He helped ignite the organizational experience strategy by introducing comprehensive programming that connects the associate experience with the client experience, curating a one-of-a-kind brand immersion that has led to honors such as being named a Best Place to Work in Omaha seven times and receiving many “exceptional” performance ratings from clients.

Often asked to contribute by leading publications such as Time Magazine, he has many professional coaching credentials, including a Gallup Strengths Coach certification, Integrative Enneagram Accredited Practitioner, Associate Certified Coach (ACC) through the International Coaching Federation (ICF), and is a certified Positive Psychology Coach. Mark also serves on the governing board of the Business Ethics Alliance.

3. Having Civil Conversations in Uncivil Workplaces

These days, the workplace is as divided as local, state, and national politics. Without guidance to help facilitate difficult conversations, opinions, perspectives, and viewpoints can quickly become personal attacks. In this session learn strategies to maintain objectivity, stay focused on content, and facilitate productive and respectful conversations even when faced with difficult topics.

About Your Presenter:

Jen Rae Wang

VP of Marketing & Public Affairs, Nebraska Pro Volleyball & City Ventures

Jen Rae Wang is the vice president of marketing and public affairs for Nebraska Pro Volleyball.  Fans of local politics may remember Wang from her positions as the associate administrator for the Office of Communications and senior advisor to NASA’s administrator, deputy chief of staff for Congressman Don Bacon, the director of government relations at Platte Institute for Economic Research, and the governor’s director of communications and spokesperson under former Governor Ben Nelson – among others. Her corporate experience includes work in government and regulatory affairs for Cox Communications and several City-Ventures positions. 

Teaching and learning are also significant parts of her life as she taught international business and economics for Doane University and advanced public relations theories and practices for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She has an MBA from Doane University as well as several executive certifications from MIT Sloan and Harvard Kennedy Schools.

SESSION 2:  10:25 – 11:25 am

4. Till 5 pm Do Us Part: What We Know about the Work-Spouse Relationship

Work spouse / work wife / work husband: These terms often evoke strong feelings in the workplace, from adoration and connectedness to resentment and speculation. In this breakout session, we delve into what is known about work spouses, unpack how and why these relationships form, outline the benefits of having a work spouse, and address potential ethical concerns for individuals, managers, and organizations.

About Your Presenters:

Dr. M. Chad. McBride

Professor, Department of Communication Studies, Creighton University

M. Chad McBride (Ph.D., University of Nebraska-Lincoln) is a professor in the Communication Studies Department at Creighton University. His main research interests center on how individuals communicatively co-construct situated identities in both social networks and culture at large. McBride is former president and hall of fame member of CSCA, former president of OSCLG, and was the first male inducted as a Wise Women of OSCLG.

Dr. Allison Thorson

Chair and Professor, Department of Communication Studies, University of San Francisco

Allison R. Thorson (Ph.D., University of Nebraska-Lincoln) is a professor and chair of the Department of Communication Studies at the University of San Francisco. Her research focuses on how individuals and families communicatively manage and maintain individual/relational well-being in the context of (often deemed taboo) unexpected, hurtful, or non-normative events and underexplored relationship types. Thorson is the director of USF’s Interdisciplinary Committee on Children and Youth and an active member of NCA, CSCA, and WSCA.

Dr. Karla Bergen

Retired, Associate Professor of Communication

Karla Mason Bergen (Ph.D., University of Nebraska-Lincoln) retired as an associate professor at College of Saint Mary in Omaha, Nebraska. Her research investigates questions related to women’s communicative construction of identity and unconventional interpersonal relationships. Bergen is a member of NCA, CSCA, OSCLG, and the Council on Contemporary Families.

5. Performance Management to Performance Development:
Revamping the Traditional Performance Review Process

New opportunities in today’s changing workplace include shifting away from old paradigms to embracing new ones. Performance reviews are no exception. Participants in this session will explore new performance development models and crowdsource feedback to hear what participants are doing in their workplaces that is different from the traditional performance review methods. Ideally, participants will gain some tangible takeaways that can be implemented in their own workplaces.

About Your Presenter:

Keele Taylor

SVP, Chief Human Resources Officer, Greater Omaha Chamber

Keele Taylor is a talent maximizer who has dedicated the last 20 years of her career in HR management to guiding complex leadership teams, revamping retention strategies, and enhancing talent development for the purpose of achieving positive workforce transformation. Certified by the Society of Human Resources Management and The HR Certification Institute, Taylor carries both her SHRM and HRCI professional credentials. Taylor currently serves as senior VP, chief human resources officer (CHRO) for Nebraska’s Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce and is the owner and operator of HR Minded Consulting Services, LLC.

Workplace safety and well-being is a special focus for Taylor as she is an Authorized OSHA Trainer (providing OSHA 10-hour and 30-hour certifications), and sits as a member of the board of directors for the National Safety Council of Nebraska and Methodist Hospital’s Women Connect. An experienced HR professional in every sense, and passionate about client relations as well as transformational results, Taylor is always looking for opportunities to share her knowledge with others. As a Gallup certified Strengths Coach, she provides Executive Strengths Coaching for business leaders of both profit and nonprofit sectors, as well as independent professionals looking to better-position their careers.

With a Master of Organizational Leadership and Development, Taylor’s expertise and passion for staff development and HR Management is more than a marketable skillset; it is a way to give back and to influence positive change in tomorrow’s workplace.

6. Coaching for the Uncoachable

In this interactive teaching workshop, we will define psychological safety, provide a context for thinking about it, and consider how we need to change our leadership approach to build stronger high-performance teams. We will also discuss what psychological safety is not and avoid some possible misconceptions. Participants will practice performance coaching skills, giving feedback, and employing psychological safety.

About Your Presenter:

Jesse DePriest

Jesse DePriest Consulting

DePriest is a Lean/SS Black Belt with a passion for lean leadership/coaching, strategic planning, problem-solving, and process improvement. He has over 30 years of senior leadership experience in manufacturing and banking/service industries. He has a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering, a Master of Science in Operations Management, an MBA, and served in the U.S. Army for eight years as an officer and helicopter pilot. DePriest has taught operational excellence through Metropolitan Community College, Midland University MBA, and served as ASQ-1302 board chair, committee member for Iowa Lean Consortium, board member Value Stream Management Consortium, and is partner in Growth Guru. He is the founder of 5L – Nebraska’s Lean Leadership Collaborative and he is a Vistage executive coach providing lean leadership coaching, mentoring, and consulting services to clients throughout the Midwest.