Talent Summit


Wednesday, April 10

1:30 - 5:30 pm

Optional Urban Orienteering Activity

*Limited to 35 participants

This exciting and highly interactive outdoor experiential combines the challenges of understanding an unfamiliar environment with a constantly developing scenario. Participants will work to conquer an adaptation of a U.S. Army Orienteering exercise. This exercise forces participants to examine the effectiveness of their communication under volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (VUCA) situations. Participants will make decisions with incomplete information; plan for and execute contingencies on short notice; and effectively manage risk. Participants will practice specific leadership toolkit items to improve communication between team members and navigate VUCA.

6:00 - 7:30 pm

Welcome Reception

Thursday, April 11

8:00 - 9:00 am

Registration and Breakfast

9:10 - 10:10 am

Opening Keynote: Leading in a Complex and Ever-Changing World

Headshot of General (Ret.) Joe Martin

General (Ret) Joe Martin

A 1986 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy and commissioned Armor Officer, General (Ret.) Martin most recently served as the 37th Vice Chief of Staff for the U.S. Army. Gen (Ret.) Martin is a current member of the Thayer Leadership Faculty.

General (Ret.) Joe Martin will share stories of leadership from his 37-year Army career leading organizations at all levels in combat and as Vice Chief of Staff (COO) of the United States Army. During 90-hour work weeks in the Pentagon, Joe gained a unique perspective on enduring the personal demands of continuous operations in combat. Through his personal leadership stories, he will also share about talent management enterprise, inclusion in the workplace, and how to navigate through VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity). Joe will delve into the multiple dimensions of recruiting and retaining talent on a national scale, as well as how to manage personal demands in a constantly changing environment.

This session will help you:

  • Analyze the multiple dimensions of recruiting and retaining talent within talent management
  • Create a sense of belonging in any organization with a people-first focus
  • Lead through VUCA and how to overcome and adapt to the changing environment

10:10 - 11:00 am

Driving Culture and Change in a Transforming Business

Chad Frazell

Chief Human Resources Officer, Casey’s

Darren Rebelez

Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Casey’s

The hardest part of a business transformation is changing the culture—the mindset and instincts of the people in the company. A seasoned CEO and CHRO team will share advice based on their firsthand experiences driving cultural change within pivotal transformations of the business.

Darren Rebelez has led a team of 40,000+ employees across 2,600 stores through and out of Covid, through a major rebrand and through massive digital transformation initiatives to reinvent the customer experience at Casey’s. Learn how he has worked with his CHRO, Chad Frazell, to create a culture of innovation and driven consistent change throughout the organization to serve the company’s unique customer base.

11:00 - 11:30 am

Networking Break

11:30 - 12:30 pm

Peer-to-Peer Roundtables

Attendees will divide into smaller groups for interactive discussions on critical and actionable topics, such as:

• Leading GenZ: Avoiding a Culture of “ME-diocricty”
• Finding the Talent to Win: Improving Recruitment Outcomes
• Creating a Strong Culture When Your People Aren’t Together
• An Employer’s Perspective on Managing Your Most Costly Benefit – Health Care

12:30 - 1:30 pm

Networking Lunch

1:30 - 2:00 pm

The State of Executive Pay and New Considerations in Response to Market Changes

Wayne Cooper

Wayne Cooper

Chairman, Chief Executive Group

Drawing from Chief Executive’s exclusive research on compensation data from more than 1,500 private companies, we’ll share the key trends and takeaways on 2024 CEO and senior executive compensation. You’ll gain valuable insights to benchmark your company’s compensation practices versus those of comparable companies. Improve your ability to compensate confidently, strategically and competitively to attract and retain the best executive talent.

2:00 - 2:50 pm

It’s the Values: A Playbook For Transformative Teams

Robert (Bob) A. McDonald

8th Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs Retired Chairman, President, and CEO of The Procter & Gamble Company Chairman, West Point Association of Graduates

When it comes to driving operational success and turnarounds at monumental scale, Bob McDonald has few equals. He’s done it at two of the largest and most complex organizations in the world, first as CEO of Procter & Gamble then later in his successful term as U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs, the $325 billion, 400,000 employee behemoth responsible for caring for those who served our country. His success is rooted in a unique framework for unleashing the best in others, an operational philosophy he started developing as a USMA cadet decades ago. McDonald will share his approach to bringing out the best in your people by inspiring them with purpose and meaning while eliminating the ineffective strategies, systems and cultures which block achievement and success.

2:50 - 3:15 pm

Networking Break

3:15 - 5:15 pm

Leadership Guided Experience on the Grounds of West Point: Lessons from George Washington and the American Revolution

Colonel (Ret) Pilar McDermott, Ph.D.

Col. (Ret) McDermott is a soldier-scholar who served in a variety of command and staff positions, stateside and overseas. She retired from active military duty as a Professor of History and Chief, International Division, Department of History, U.S. Military Academy. She is a member of the Thayer Leadership Faculty.

Major General William Rapp, Ph.D.

MG (Ret) Rapp is the former Commandant of the Army War College and Commandant of Cadets at West Point. He retired from active military duty serving in over 42 months of combat, commanding troops in the Iraq War, Iraq Surge and Afghanistan. He is a member of the Thayer Leadership Faculty

During the Leadership Guided Experience, participants will examine leadership lessons from West Point and its graduates. Discussions will include lessons from leaders who served at West Point, from Academy graduates that have helped shape the history of the United States, and from application of the U.S. Military Academy’s leadership development model.

  • Explore leadership lessons from the history of West Point and its graduates
  • Discuss the timeless attributes of great leaders through stories about history’s influential leaders represented at West Point’s historic sites and monuments
  • Discover direct applications of leadership principles and lessons to one’s own leadership style


5:45 - 6:45 pm

Networking Reception

6:45 - 8:00 pm


Friday, April 12

6:15 - 7:15 am

Morning Fitness Session

7:30 - 8:15 am

Networking Breakfast

8:15 - 8:25 am


8:25 - 9:55 am

Applied Workshop: Courageous Conversations – Enhancing Influence and Driving Accountability

Headshot of Rich Gross

Brigadier General (Ret) Rich Gross

Brig. Gen. (Ret) Rich Gross served more than 30 years in the U.S. Army as an infantry officer and judge advocate, including multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Brig. Gen. (Ret) Gross is a current member of the Thayer Leadership Faculty.

To create a professional organizational culture where organizations develop and retain talent, leaders aspire to build trusting personal relationships and facilitate trust between all members of their team. Building trust includes having difficult conversations on issues leaders and team members would rather avoid. In this interactive workshop, we’ll explore the initial process of preparing for and conducting difficult conversations with both direct reports and those outside your team. With the end in mind, leaders identify what is required to hold someone accountable for results before focusing on preparation and approach. Finding the right methodology that fosters inclusion, incorporates empathy, and emphasizes active listening is essential for leaders to continue to cultivate trust.

Employing one of the four models for having difficult conversations explored in this session, participants will have the opportunity to role play techniques to check-in with a direct report or team member; deliver on-the-spot performance counseling; influence a peer or someone else not on the same team; or have the most difficult conversation that often results in adverse action or termination.

The session will help you:

  • Explore how to conduct courageous conversations that teach and reinforce the organization’s and the your values to the team
  • Enhance your ability to foster trust across generational lines in order to develop and retain talent
  • Develop ways of having positive, affirming conversations that enhance employee well-being and create a culture of belonging and retention

10:15 - 11:05

A Fresh-Thinking Invention: Cutting Turnover During “The Great Gully”

Dick Finnegan

The Turnover Expert; Author, The Power of Stay Interviews

Our U.S. Census Bureau predicts worker shortages will get even worse, while 75% of companies have already cut operating hours or turned away customers due to staff shortages. This session presents a research-based invention that has cut employee turnover by 30% and more in healthcare, manufacturing, food processing, distribution centers, and other industries. What’s IN are building leader accountability processes based on 1-1 trust, whereas what’s OUT are one-size-fits-all programs that have never been effective.

11:05 - Noon

Forward Thinking: Our Path to An Inclusive Workforce

Mary N. Chaney

Esq., CISSP, CIPP/US, Chairwoman, CEO & President of Minorities in Cybersecurity, Inc., which has programs to train and develop underrepresented talent and organizations.

At the heart of creating an inclusive workforce is your talent pipeline. When it comes to developing the talent pipeline there is a part to play for everyone. On the talent side, we must develop new professionals searching in nontraditional places which have historically been overlooked. For companies experiencing talent shortages, we must prepare them and their leaders to attract, hire, retain, and promote their talent by creating inclusive cultures. So, what does inclusive leadership look like? What concrete practices can your executive team put in place to foster belongingness and authenticity to support and develop underrepresented talent? Learn how to create a holistic approach to inclusion embedded into all aspects of the employee life cycle – recruitment, selection, development and retention.


Event Concludes


Strategic Planning Workshop

1:00 - 5:00 pm

Over 70% of Executives Surveyed Agree: Many Strategic Planning Efforts Lack Systematic Approach Tips for Enhancing Your Strategic Planning Process

Executives expressed frustration with their current strategic planning process. Issues include:

  1. Lack of systematic approach (70%)
  2. Laundry lists without prioritization (68%)
  3. Decisions based on personalities rather than facts and information (65%)


Steve Rutan and Denise Harrison have put together an afternoon workshop that will provide the tools you need to address these concerns.  They have worked with hundreds of executives to develop a systematic approach that will enable your team to make better decisions during strategic planning.  Steve and Denise will walk you through exercises for prioritizing your lists and steps that will reset and reinvigorate your process.  This will be a hands-on workshop that will enable you to think about your business as you use the tools that are being presented.  If you are ready for a Strategic Planning tune-up, select this workshop in your registration form.  The additional fee of $695 will be added to your total.

To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $695 will be added to your total.

New York, NY: ​​​Chief Executive's Corporate Citizenship Awards 2017

Women in Leadership Seminar and Peer Discussion

2:00 - 5:00 pm

Female leaders face the same issues all leaders do, but they often face additional challenges too. In this peer session, we will facilitate a discussion of best practices and how to overcome common barriers to help women leaders be more effective within and outside their organizations. 

Limited space available.

To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $495 will be added to your total.

Golf Outing

10:30 - 5:00 pm
General’s Retreat at Hermitage Golf Course
Sponsored by UBS

General’s Retreat, built in 1986 with architect Gary Roger Baird, has been voted the “Best Golf Course in Nashville” and is a “must play” when visiting the Nashville, Tennessee area. With the beautiful setting along the Cumberland River, golfers of all capabilities will thoroughly enjoy the golf, scenery and hospitality.

The golf outing fee includes transportation to and from the hotel, greens/cart fees, use of practice facilities, and boxed lunch. The bus will leave the hotel at 10:30 am for a noon shotgun start and return to the hotel after the cocktail reception following the completion of the round.

To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $295 will be added to your total.