2018 Conference Featured Workshops

Creating a work environment to positively impact the home: A pragmatic application of work-home spillover.

How employees feel about their jobs influences the moods they bring home (Judge, et al., 2004). Multiple studies have shown that work related contributors including job stress, role conflict, ambiguity, overwhelming work load, income deficiency, co-worker conflict, can all have an adverse spillover effect on one’s home-life (Michel, et al., 2010). More specifically, stress at work can adversely impact a marriage, causing husbands to exhibit anger and wives to withdraw (Schulz, et al., 2004).

While research has consistently demonstrated this negative work-to-home spillover effect, there is a growing body of research that has begun examining the positive work-to-home spillover (Ilies, et al., 2007).) Specifically impacting domestic couples, employees who experience positive work environments are more likely to initiate marital positivity, interacting with the partner in a cheerful, optimistic, and uncritical manner (van Steenbergen and Karney, 2014).

This workshop helps participants imagine: “What happens when workplaces are so fulfilling, rewarding, and inspiring, that when employees go home at the end of the day, their home-life actually improves?” Discussing findings from the literature on Work-to-Family Interference (WFI) and Work-to-Family Enhancement (WFE), this workshop specifically addresses the positive impact the workplace can have on home-life.

Andrew Stenhouse, Ed.D.


Dr. Andrew Stenhouse is a professor of Organizational Psychology atVanguard University. In addition to teaching, Andrew previously servedVanguard University as Managing Director of the Judkins Institute for Leadership Studies, Director of the Organizational Leadership graduate program, and Dean of the School for Graduate and Professional Studies. With research interests that include disordered personalities in the workplace, career development, and employee engagement, Andrew frequently conducts workshops for businesses and non-profit communities, consults, and works with individual clients in private practice.

Empathy for Workplace Effectiveness

There is a growing research evidence that empathy facilitates management effectiveness and improves organizational functioning, but what is empathy? Where does it come from, what is its purpose, and how does it function? Is empathy innate or learned? Can it be measured? How does empathy impact the workplace and why should it be valued? How can empathy be most effectively cultivated and utilized in human resource practices? These questions, and more, will be addressed in this presentation that aims to clarify and instrumentalize this topic of increasing interest in the field of human resources, and provide attendees with tools to use empathy to improve organizational functioning.

Dr. Chase Espinoza


Dr. Chase Espinoza is a psychologist with diverse education, training, and experience which combines deep knowledge of neuropsychology and passion for developing and training individuals. He specializes in employment-related, neuropsychological, forensic, clinical, and psychoeducational evaluations. He practices psychotherapy and neurocognitive rehabilitation with younger and older adults, adolescents, and couples. He has an extensive experience in teaching and presenting, and received much acclaim for his passionate and relatable communication style.

Evolving Leadership: Self-Development for Success

Emotional intelligence, ability to manage generational diversity, effective interpersonal communication, self-awareness and constant self-development are crucial for leadership success in today’s workplace. Research is making it clear that people do not leave jobs; they leave bosses, and the cost of dissatisfaction with leadership in organizations is extremely high.

This interactive workshop will help attendees to improve self-awareness, build interpersonal leadership skills, emotional intelligence, and commit to positive evolution. Commitment to developing one’s own leadership will contribute to personal fulfillment and infuse organizations with energy, trust, and improved innovation and teamwork.

Judith Lukomski, Chief Evolution Officer, Transitions Today Inc., and President Ellevate Professional Women's Network Orange County Chapter


Judith Lukomski is the Founder and Chief Evolution Officer of Transitions Today® Inc. TTi is a progressive brand consultancy helping clients build high performance healthy cultures delivering bottom-line success based upon: People, Purpose, Plant and Profit.

Judith is a pioneer in humanizing the workplace and cultivating self-aware leaders through values-based business practices. She is the creator of the Energist® Leadership Development, Social Impact and Organizational Evolution Programs. Re-imagining the workplace she blends her experience leading strategic Fortune 500 enterprise change initiatives with her expertise in positive psychology, biomimicry and corporate social responsibility to optimize results.

Judith is also an education and equality advocate. President of the Ellevate Professional Women's Global Network, Orange County Chapter, she is committed to gender parity in the workplace and helping women leaders thrive.

Cultivating Organizational Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence (EI) development can be used to increase organizational members’ capacity to work effectively with colleagues in a supportive, collaborative, and productive way toward the achievement of a shared mission and vision. To this end, in 2016-17 more than 200 Orange County Department of Education (OCDE) managers and supervisors participated in professional learning focused on EI to enhance effectiveness in the human dimensions of leadership. Building on the success of this initiative, in 2017-18, hundredths of non-managerial staff members participated in EI learning groups. This workshop describes the initiative and its impact on individuals and on the corporate culture, drawing on surveys of participants, a survey of learning group facilitators, and observations of OCDE Human Resources personnel. The workshop facilitators will share how the initiative impacted skills like effective communication, relationship management, and team and organizational performance.


Jeff Hittenberger, Ph.D.

Tayo Soyemi

Orange County Department of Education, Costa Mesa, CA

Stephanie Thomas
Orange County Department of Education, Costa Mesa, CA

Leverage Positive Politics to Influence Change in Your Organization

When organizational politics come up as a topic of conversation, it is rarely for a positive reason. However, recognizing positive ways we can leverage our knowledge of the way things happen can help us influence positive change. Regardless of our job title, we all have opportunities to influence change on various levels. This workshop will focus on practical approaches to understanding influence styles, recognizing constructive and destructive political behaviors, and helping you reflect on ways you want to create more powerful commitment for your ideas and initiatives. You will leave with a plan of action and a political relationships map.

Co-Presenter Bios:

Bonni Stachowiak, Ed.D.

Bonni Stachowiak had 15 years of experience in Human Resources prior to receiving her Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership from Pepperdine University. She is currently an Associate Professor of Business and Management and Director of Teaching Excellence and Digital Pedagogy at Vanguard University. Bonni is an expert on personal productivity, which is a topic of her upcoming book. Bonni also gets the privilege of speaking with exceptional educators and leader on a weekly basis, as the host of the Teaching in Higher Ed podcast, which provided a space to explore, among other topics, the art and science of being more effective and productive at work, so we can have more peace in our lives, and be even more present for the people we care about.

April Akinloye, Ph.D.

April Akinloye is a Chief Diversity Officer at Vanguard University. She received Ph.D. in Education: Cultural Perspectives from University of California Santa Barbara. She had over 15 years of experience in helping organizations improve and thrive. April is skilled in professional networking, inclusive engagement with personnel across multiple departments, and thorough consultations with various constituents. April is also a certified Intercultural Development Inventory administrator.

Creating customized hiring and employee profiles for work enjoyment & productivity

This workshop teaches participants the skills to create a simple, effective assessment that reflects the company’s values and enhances the data gathering process associated with the hiring process. The assessment streamlines the hiring process and enhances subsequent talent management upon completed onboarding. This tool may be particularly helpful to decrease the workload associated with the hiring process in small organizations. Participants will be led step by step through the setup of the assessment tool and the user-friendly feedback form using Google forms, automated notifications. The workshop also discusses how to create growth opportunities upon completion of the onboarding process. This workshop provides the opportunity to get started on the design of your own assessment tool (must bring your laptop/tablet that allows the use of Google Forms).


Robert Ming, Esq.
Managing Partner at Quadrant Law. Jim Hill, M.Div., Director of Human Resources and Technology at Quadrant Law.

Sibylle Georgianna, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Psychology at Vanguard University’s Master’s of Organizational Psychology Program.

Michael Gomez, Ed.D.
Principal, Saddleback Valley Unified School District and Vanguard University Master’s of Organizational Psychology Candidate.

Jim Hill, M.Div.
Director of Human Resources and Technology at Quadrant Law

The "whole being" approach to maximizing success

Through a passion for maximizing personal and professional growth through well-being best practices, both Dr. Andrew Pueschel and Dr. Mary Tucker have championed the importance of infusing well-being into their curriculum at Ohio University's College of Business. What started as research focused on Grit and Growth Mindset, has expanded beyond that of the mind and has become a "whole being" approach to maximizing success both in the classroom and throughout life. They are currently partnering with Ohio University's Health Promotions Department on a campus-wide initiative to provide students increased resources to manage their stress levels. By partnering with Ohio University’s occupational health psychologist, Dr. Ryan Johnson, they have expanded the scope of their endeavors to focus on employee wellbeing outside of educational settings. With Mary as his mentor, Andrew has been inspired to continue the research by recently completing Johnson and Johnson's Human Performance Institute's: Train the Trainer: The Corporate Athlete® certification. Dr. Pueschel also has over 20 years of management, leadership, and marketing experience, and Dr. Tucker has extensive experience as a business owner and co-manager.

Co-Presenter Bios:

Andrew Pueschel, Ph.D.
Lecturer of Management and the Associate Director of the Emerging Leaders program at the Robert D. Walter Center for Strategic Leadership, Ohio University College of Business
Athens, OH, USA

Mary Tucker, Ph.D.
Professor of Management, Ohio University College of Business
Athens, OH, USA

Ryan Johnson
Ryan C. Johnson, PhD
Assistant Professor of Psychology, Ohio University

Tools and Approaches to Maximize Your Productivity

As working professionals, we are often pulled in multiple directions. It can be hard to track all our priorities and determine what most needs our attention at a given time. This session will introduce participants to workshop facilitators’ tools and tricks they use to achieve goals and balance work and life. Participants will leave with an action plan and a set of tools to explore toward greater productivity.

Co-Presenter Bios:

Bonni Stachowiak, Ed.D.
Dr. Bonni Stachowiak had 15 years of experience in Human Resources prior to receiving her Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership from Pepperdine University. She is currently an Associate Professor of Business and Management and Director of Teaching Excellence and Digital Pedagogy at Vanguard University. Bonni is an expert on personal productivity, which is a topic of her upcoming book. Bonni also gets the privilege of speaking with exceptional educators and leader on a weekly basis, as the host of the Teaching in Higher Ed podcast, which provided a space to explore, among other topics, the art and science of being more effective and productive at work, so we can have more peace in our lives, and be even more present for the people we care about.

Dave Stachowiak Ed.D.

Dr. Dave Stachowiak founded Coaching for Leaders in 2011. Coaching for Leaders airs weekly and is a top-rated leadership podcast on iTunes, downloaded over 150,000 times monthly. Dave has interviewed some of the top leadership experts including David Allen, Daniel Pink, Susan Cain, Adam Grant, Marshall Goldsmith, Simon Sinek, Liz Wiseman, Dan Ariely, Patrick Lencioni, John Kotter — and many others. He has also served as a Dale Carnegie instructor and has led training programs for top organizations like the Northrop Grumman Corporation, The United States Air Force, the Boeing Company, and the University of California system.

RELATIONAL Leadership in a RELATIONAL Economy

Leading through relationships may be revolutionary to some but is essential in the marketplace today. Leaders can be vulnerable with poor relational leadership skills and can be lonely at the top without them. Increasing spheres of Influence is positive and needed. At the end of the day, who do you know, who do they know and do they know YOU!

Join us and discover 7 C's that can enhance your Relationship Network and better equip your Relational Leadership

Presenter Bio:

David Elliott
David Elliott
President & CEO, Santa Ana Chamber of Commerce
Founder, Institute for Influential Community Impact

Values Based Organizations

Why are some brands considered more trustworthy than others? Why do some relationships last longer than others? How do you earn trust? How do you succeed in business while living a values-driven life? Are values more or less important to new generations? Will companies that value transparency, purposeful work, doing good rather than just making money, and creating true relationships will do well will both Millennial employees and today’s customers? Mike Weisman shares his extensive experience as CEO and entrepreneur, as well as research on the role of values in today’s workplace.

Presenter Bio:

Mike Weisman
Mike Weisman
Founder & CEO, The Values Institute

Michael is a 42—year veteran of the advertising and marketing industry where he guided strategic brand campaign development for some of the most iconic brands in the country by offering a panoramic view to create distinct, relevant voices in the marketplace.

Michael is currently the CEO of Amusement Park Inc., parent company of the Amusement Park Universe comprised of entertainment, sports, music, technology and communications companies.

In 2009, fueled by the financial and moral collapse of Wall Street, Mike Co-founded The Values Institute, a strategic think tank whose mission is to inspire values-driven corporate culture. More than a vocational pursuit, Mike views his leadership of the Values Institute as a calling. In November of 2013, in partnership with California State University Fullerton, The Values Institute formed The Center For Brand Values Communication and Research—a center of excellence designed to carry-on the work of bringing values into the boardroom and classroom by furthering values research and developing curriculum at the professional and undergraduate level.

Michael takes the story of values into boardrooms across the country where he consults with C-suite executives, and speaks to groups large and small motivating them to live a life of values both professionally and personally.

Coming to know that what we value drives every decision we make in life, both personal or professional, Michael has devoted the past seven years to reinstate values as the cornerstone for corporate decision making believing that we’ve lost our way in the pursuit of wealth, power and influence at seemingly any cost. In the process we’ve lost trust—the most valuable corporate asset and the “true North” of any meaningful relationship. So, Michael set out to reclaim values in the boardroom, the break room, the classroom and even the family room. Because he has personally witnessed the positive effects of a single individual committing to live a values-driven life at work and at home, He continues his work, to make values the “currency” that guides us.

Michael is a graduate of the College of Communications at California State University Fullerton and currently serves on the boards of the Santa Ana Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Inc.-a group of business owners dedicated to the revitalization of the city of Santa Ana, and the California State Fullerton Philanthropic Foundation. Mike was recently honored as the Communicator of the Year by Cal State Fullerton’s College of Communications and as a Leader of Integrity from the Ethical Edge. He has just released Choosing Higher Ground, a business book devoted to helping corporations grow employee satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy through shared values.

Work, Leadership and Mental Health Presentation

Awareness of mental health in the workplace has increased in recent years. Along with this knowledge, a genuine curiosity has arisen about how our work culture can adjust to reduce stigma and improve employee wellbeing. Most of the research, tools and resources on the subject are dedicated to the mental health issues of employees, while very little time is spent discussing the impact of the mental health of our executives and leaders. Studies find 1 in 5 adults will experience a mental illness in any given year, but when we focus on business leaders, the number is closer to 1 in 2.

We will take a deep dive into mental health among executives and leaders and the impact it has on an organization. In this session, you will learn:

1.The most prevalent mental disorders among leaders and how to identify and respond to the signs and symptoms of mental disorders at the executive level;

2.Obstacles to addressing mental health issues with leaders;

3.How mental illness among leadership can impact the overall health of an organization;

4.How leaders can reduce mental health stigma and effect change in the workplace.

Presenter Bio:

Noma Bruton

Noma Bruton, Principal Sagacity | HR

Scott Ripley
Scott Ripley

Executive Coaching: Changing Businesses, Transforming Lives

Executive coaching is an art and science of helping individuals to deeper explore their professional goals and personal attributes and values, and achieve better alignment between these and organizational trends and realities. Learn how coaching can be used to benefit not only individuals, but entire businesses and organizations.

Presenter Bio:

Noma Bruton

Shelly Millsap,

President and Founder of Nicole Christopher, Inc.

Shelly is President and Founder of Nicole Christopher, Inc. which provides Executive Coaching and Strategic HR and Management Consulting for profit and nonprofit organizations. She leads large-scale change management projects in areas such as executive coaching/leadership development, succession management, culture change and addressing organizational problems to integrate HR solutions designed to maximize ROI, profit, revenue, and strategic effectiveness. She is trained as a CTI coach.

Prior to founding her own consulting company Shelly was an executive at Eli Lilly where she progressed through various roles including Manager of Women's Health for Los Angeles County and Sr. National Human Resource Consultant for Sales, Marketing and Research. She was recognized for her contributions by receiving the Global HR Award, Turn the Tide Award and numerous national Sales Awards.

Shelly has her Masters of Arts degree in Organizational Psychology with a specialization in Change Leadership at Columbia University. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Finance from Biola University where she received The Dean's award of excellence given to one graduating business student each year. While on scholarship as a recipient of the Tokai Bank Foundation Award, Shelly studied and worked at Nanzan University in Nagoya, Japan. Shelly is certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) by the Society for Human Resources Management.

Shelly is an active member of SHRM and has her SPHR and SHRM - SCP certifications. She is a founding board member for Intellectual Virtues Academy of Long Beach (www.ivalongbeach.org), a charter junior high and high school and was responsible for all HR initiatives. She currently serves on the board of directors at the Long Beach Rescue Mission.

L.O.V.E. Impacts District Culture

Participants who are focused on creating authentic cultures of healthy interdependence, creativity, and practical approaches to advance their implementation will be interested in this session The difference between getting the job done and doing what you love in the service of those who love what you do is profound. This session will surface the impact three simple systems changes have made in the culture of our school district.

Presenter :

Glen Warren

Glen Warren is the Encinitas Union School District Director of Literacies, Outreach, and Libraries, in other words, he is the LOL Director. Glen believes in the true personalization of staff and student learning through the integration of multiple literacies. He has been recognized as Orange County's Teachers of the Year Finalist and California Teachers of the Year Semi Finalist. With twin Master's degrees in educational leadership and librarianship, as well as expertise in educational technology, Glen straddles the worlds of the classroom and the board room. The ultimate goal for his work is to revive and advance the LOVE of learning for everyone!

Promoting Healthy Conflict in the Workplace

Create and cultivate an environment that fosters healthy conversations between colleagues that move the organization forward by turning destructive conflict into a healthy, creative force of change. Understanding an organization’s inability to effectively deal with conflict, whether expressed openly or operative under the surface, creates self-defeating patterns of behavior that can damage relationships and sabotage organizational effectiveness.

Presenter :

Shree Carter

How Transformational Leadership Results in Lasting Success

These days, being able to develop an atmosphere that is infused by vision, purpose, motivation, and inspiration is in everybody’s mind and goals for the new fiscal year. The reality, far from the ideal, is littered with quarterly reports, disgruntled employees, millennial hires who often appear entitled and leave before they can truly learn what the business is about, and stress of all kinds. What transformational leadership can accomplish, how it can be established, and what it takes to get started and make it last is addressed in this session.


Dr. Axel Meierhoefer
Dr. Axel Meierhoefer

Dr. Axel Meierhoefer is a leader focused on combining human skills development with environmentally and economically viable solutions.

He has a PhD in Leadership and a Master’s Degree in Organizational Management. After completion of a 22 year career as an aviator in both the German and US Air Force, followed by executive experience in the IT industry, he founded his company AMC LLC in 2005 as a platform from which he contracted or hired to support international projects mainly covering north/south-America and Europe .

By now he has evolved into a thought leader in the field of strategic leadership and employee talent development. Clients include Fortune 100 companies like Audi, IBM, CISCO, Pacira, Thermo-Fisher, Bayer, Merck, State Farm, Boeing, Verizon, and Johnson & Johnson. These companies look for his help in complex strategic projects. In each case the work for clients is a team effort where Axel and his team either teach the client-team how to apply optimized methods for business growth or Axel is consulting and guiding the leaders of the client company so they can affect the needed changes in their organizations.