Young Professionals Summit
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Join us at our 4th Annual Young Professionals Summit and develop a solid framework for making your mark and succeeding as a next generation leader.

When: Thursday, March 26, 2015
From 8:00 AM until 4:30 PM
Where: SF Green Space
657 Mission Street, Suite 200
San Francisco, California  94105
United States
Contact: 415-291-1992

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Summit Details

Qualifies for 6.25 SHRM Professional Development Credits (PDCs) / HRCI Recertification Credits

Registration: Networking Lunch Included!

Young Professional Members: $75

Young Professional General: $150 (includes one-year NCHRA Membership)

NCHRA Members: $125

Students: $75

​General: $175


Join us at our 4th Annual Young Professionals Summit focusing on inspiring young leaders to achieve their greatest potential in today’s competitive and ever-changing job market. You’ll discover techniques for developing a meaningful and effective leadership style aimed at achieving results, eliciting positive response from others, and creating successful and long lasting working relationships. You'll leave with a head start on the competition!

Not a Young Professional? The YP Summit is open to all. Come out and support the next generation of HR!


Our Generous Sponsors



8:00-8:15am: Registration

8:15-9:15am: Grow Yourself, Grow Your Career
Will Smiley, SPHR, Director, Talent Acquisition, Genentech
Personal growth and development go hand-in-hand with a successful career. Intention and mindfulness are keys to growing self awareness and ultimately your career. Learn about Will's personal journey of self discovery, simultaneously growing his career in HR and community volunteering. You'll leave armed with the intention and mindfulness necessary for success.

9:30-10:30am: Your Next Job…HR Business Partner
Brenna Rowe, PHR, Manager, Employee Benefits, City of Palo Alto and Angelica Jimenez, HR Representative, City of Palo Alto
More than just a buzzword, HR Business Partner is the job of your future. But what does it entail exactly? Find out if Business Partner is the right role for you, what it means to be one and how you get there. Explore traditional vs non-traditional paths to becoming a Business Partner and understand the skills required to take on the role. You’ll walk away with tools to develop productive mentor connections and actionable steps to get promoted. 

10:45-11:45am: Modern Motivation: The Evolution of Total Rewards
Dan Weber, SPHR-CA, Associate Director, Radford
Motivation is no longer just a paycheck. Discover what truly motivates and engages your employees and how to use it to develop your talent pool. We’ll examine the changing landscape of total rewards in today’s organization, and HR’s evolving role in wellness, performance management and employee engagement. You will leave this session with tools to be an “evolutionary” change agent within your organization.

11:45am - 12:45pm – Networking Lunch

12:45-2:00pm: Manage Projects Like a Rock Star
Sharawn Connors, SPHR, HR Total Rewards Director, Flextronics
In addition to managing and delivering HR projects and programs, senior HR professionals are expected to contribute strategically to organizational goals. Learn a simple a project management methodology to successfully meet goals and accomplish strategic HR objectives. You’ll leave the session able to effectively plan, execute and close out projects on time and under budget. 

2:15-3:15pm: Career Hacks, Confessions of a Corporate Millennial
Angelé Jean (AJ) Thomas, Director, Talent Development and Engagement, Nimble Storage
How do you begin to think about managing your career? What does “career” even mean? Moving into a new role is often challenging, time-pressured and critical for your future success. During the first few months, your manager, colleagues and key stakeholders are all forming first impressions and setting their expectations of you. Take an in-depth look at career trends and get practical, effective tactics for managing your career and transitioning into a new role or advancement.

3:30-4:30pm: Improvise Your Way to a More Rewarding Career
Erin Daruszka, SPHR, Director of Human Capital Consulting,TriNet HR Corporation
Many people think improv is about being funny. And while this is sometimes true, there is much more involved. Improv is about agreement, listening, creating as a team, taking risks, letting go, and learning there are no mistakes. Discover how basic improv principles make you a better employee and team player, and apply them in business and your personal life.

About the Presenters

Sharawn Connors, SPHR, MA is currently the HR Total Rewards Director at Flextronics. She previously provided vital leadership expertise for the Human Resources division at Safeway, Inc., where she was a Manager of Benefits Operations. As a Bay Area native, Sharawn graduated from California State University, Hayward, obtaining a Bachelor of Arts in History. After graduation, Sharawn recognized within herself a propensity for leadership, as well as an interest in the field of human resources; subsequently, she enrolled in the masters program at Golden Gate University in San Francisco, earning a Masters in Human Resources Management. Further enhancing her education in the arenas of human resources and project management, Sharawn earned two prestigious certifications—Project Management Professional (PMP) in 2005, and Professional in Human Resources (PHR) in 2009.


Erin Daruszka, SPHR is the director of Human Capital Consulting at TriNet HR Corporation. By day, Erin can be found managing a team of HR Consultants and working with C-level executives at Bay Area startups and small businesses on client satisfaction as part of the Human Capital Services Organization at TriNet. Erin is also a guest blogger for The Huffington Post. By night, Erin can be found honing her improv skills as part of the improv duo, Off One Letter and the Leela improv troupe, That One Troupe. Erin is SPHR certified and has fifteen years of HR and Consulting experience. 


Angelica Jimenez is currently an HR Representative for the City of Palo Alto. She obtained this position in the fall of 2013 after having worked as an intern for the City. As part of an HR Business Partner team she supports the Utilities and IT departments as well as the Benefits division. Having previously worked for a private practice, she brings both private industry experience as well as a diverse range of management and analytic skills to her role in local government. She’s has worked-lived-played in San Diego, San Francisco, Paris, and San Jose. As a young entrepreneur, Angelica owns and manages a Photo Booth rental company on the weekends.


Dan Weber, SPHR-CA, SHRM-SCP is the Director of Global Workforce Analytics for Radford Surveys and Consulting. In this role, Dan leads Radford’s Global Workforce Analytics program, which combines incumbent level compensation data with headcount/staffing, labor cost, workforce trend and company-level performance data to provide a comprehensive and dynamic set of market references for evaluating, modeling, and fine-tuning workforce strategies. Dan is also an expert in job architecture and career leveling and is responsible for developing job family models and leveling criteria for Radford’s suite of Global Surveys.

Prior to joining Radford, Dan managed human resources, mergers and acquisitions, compensation and benefits and global job architectures for several leading technology firms.


Brenna Rowe is currently the Manager of Employee Benefits at the City of Palo Alto where she previously worked as a Sr. HR Business Partner dedicated to the Utilities and IT departments. Prior to her role with Palo Alto, she worked for a university managing employee relations. Brenna has worked in a variety of industries from private sector, to non-profit, to education, and most recently in local government. Rising through the ranks quickly, Brenna has found that both a passion for learning and personal accountability are fundamental to being successful in any role.


Will Smiley directs Genentech’s professional and academic recruitment strategies. In addition he leads the company’s recruitment brand strategy and social recruiting. Prior to Genentech, Will worked in international development on economic, education and democracy development programs around the globe including five years in Ukraine where he managed Freedom Support Act programs for the US State Department. Will has a MSc in Organizational Management from the School for International Training in Brattleboro, VT and a BA in Psychology from Humboldt State University in Arcata, CA.

Angelé Jean (AJ) Thomas currently works at Nimble Storage as the Director of Talent Development & Engagement where she looks after Global Talent Acquisition, Employee Engagement, Internal Communications and Leadership Development. In 2010, AJ founded Infuse Program Foundation, a nonprofit organization that offers scholarship and internship opportunities to inner city high school students who participate in a STEM focused program. AJ is also the Co-Founder of The Gen Y Corporate Synergy Council which connects young professionals under 30 working in a corporate environment and provides a call to action to raise awareness about generational workplace evolution. AJ is working on a book ‘Career Hacks, Confessions of a Corporate Millennial’ that highlights the key learnings and successes of corporate leaders from the viewpoint of climbing the corporate ladder.




Cancellations received less than seven calendar days from the program date are not refundable.  If cancellation within seven days of the program is unavoidable, a credit for a future event will be granted, minus a $75 administration fee ($15 for regional meetings). Credits must be used within one year of issue.  A substitute attendee is allowed at the applicable NCHRA member/non-member rate in lieu of credit.  Separate cancellation policies apply for the HR West Conference and certification preparation courses.