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20th Annual RI SHRM Conference: The Intersection of Legislation & Diversity in the Workplace

  • 28 Mar 2019
  • 7:30 AM - 2:00 PM
  • Crowne Plaza 801 Greenwich Ave, Warwick, RI 02886


  • This option is only for those already registered with RI SHRM as in transition.

Online Registration Closed Due to Capacity - Walk In's Welcome on a First Come First Serve Basis

20th Annual RI SHRM Conference

The Intersection of Legislation & Diversity in the Workplace

Registration will open at 7:30AM with a breakfast buffet served. The program will run from 8:00AM - 2:00PM. A plated lunch will be served.

Conference Overview 

The role of HR professionals in building diverse, inclusive, and respectful workplaces cannot be overstated. Their day-to-day responsibilities often include recruiting and interviewing diverse candidates; implementing and periodically updating their employer's EEO and harassment prevention policies; conducting education and training programs on a wide variety of diversity and inclusion initiatives; investigating unacceptable behaviors in the workplace; and ensuring that members of legally-protected groups have the tools and resources that they need to feel safe and comfortable at work.

This half-day session is for those HR professionals who want to move beyond basic legal compliance to learn best practices for creating and sustaining a holistic workplace culture in which all employees are treated with dignity and respect.

Subject matter experts will speak on various related legislative and diversity topics with break out sessions of choice available.

Keynote Speakers 

LISA HORN, SHRM Government Affairs

As SHRM’s Vice President of Policy Engagement, Lisa Horn oversees SHRM’s public policy activities on Capitol Hill on issues important to the HR profession. She is responsible for implementing direct lobbying and member advocacy campaigns to influence HR public policy.  As a respected Washington insider, Lisa leads several employer coalition efforts on key workplace issues. Since joining SHRM in 2004, Lisa has served as the organization’s chief lobbyist on public policy issues on Capitol Hill that impact the human resource profession.  Prior to joining SHRM, Lisa worked for the U.S. House of Representatives as a staff member to two different Members of Congress.

GUILLAUME BAGAL, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island

Guillaume Bagal leads Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island’s diversity and inclusion programming, training, and education. Bagal, whose diversity and inclusion practitioner experience spans corporate and government settings, will also lead BCBSRI’s Diversity Council,oversee the company’s numerous employee resource groups, and support government affairs in monitoring relevant legislative efforts.

Bagal joined BCBSRI after serving most recently as the associate director of policy for Whitman-Walker Health, a legal and healthcare institute, in Washington, D.C. In that role, he monitored national and local policy issues impacting health and wellness of racial, ethnic, and sexual minority populations, and advocated on a range of LGBTQ and HIV-related policy issues in the District of Columbia. Bagal has also held roles at the Center for Global Health & Diplomacy, Avalere Health, and Indiggo Associates, all based in the Washington, D.C. area. Bagal is a strong advocate for community service and serves on a number of boards including the Rhode Island Public Health Institute, Amos House, Youth Pride, Inc., and Medical-Legal Partnership Boston. He previously served on the National Institute of Health Community Advisory Board, the Washington, D.C. Mayor’s Office LGBTQ Data Taskforce, and was elected president of the Gay and Lesbian Activist Alliance (GLAA). In addition, Bagal is a member of the National Association of Health Services Executives, and the National Capital Healthcare Executives.

Bagal, who is fluent in French, English, and two African dialects, earned two master’s degrees – one in healthcare administration and policy from George Mason University and the second in organization sociology from East Carolina University, both with high honors. He received his bachelor’s degree in biology and French literature from East Carolina University. Bagal resides in Providence, R.I. with his husband Bobby Gondola, Jr.

Break-Out Session Facilitators

MICHAEL A. GAMBOLI, ESQ., Partridge, Snow & Hahn 

Michael A. Gamboli is a partner at Partridge, Snow & Hahn in Providence. Michael devotes a significant portion of his practice to minimizing the risks arising out of human resource decisions and conflicts. He consults with clients on a daily basis on wage and hour, employee discipline, leaves of absence, internal investigations, termination, and general employment disputes. He also has extensive employment litigation experience and has defended claims in multiple state and federal courts and before state and federal administrative agencies involving wage and hour violations, discrimination, sexual harassment, whistleblower retaliation, and violations of non-competition agreements and restrictive covenants. Michael has been consistently selected by his peers for inclusion in Best Lawyers in America and was named Best Lawyers’ 2018 Employment Litigation Lawyer of the Year and 2015 Employment (Management) Lawyer of the Year in Rhode Island. He has been long-recognized as a leading Band 1 management-side employment attorney by Chambers USA America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, selected by his peers as a Rhode Island Super Lawyer, and has received an AV® Preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell, the highest possible rating on both legal ability and ethics based upon the confidential opinion of peers and judges.

STACIE B. COLLIER, ESQ., Nixon Peabody

Stacie B. Collier is a member of Nixon Peabody’s Labor & Employment practice group. She also serves as the firm’s Professional Personnel partner. She exclusively represents management in the resolution of employment-related disputes before state and federal courts and administrative agencies.

Stacie was selected by her peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America (2019) in the field of Litigation - Labor and Employment and Employment Law - Management. Stacie has been listed in Best Lawyers since 2010. Stacie has also been recognized for exceptional standing in the national legal community in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business 2018 for Labor & Employment (Rhode Island). She has also been recognized in Chambers in previous years.


Jessica Schachter Jewell is an associate in Nixon Peabody’s Labor & Employment practice group. She provides counseling and litigation defense to local and national employers in a broad spectrum of industries, including restaurant/food service, health care, technology and nonprofit organizations.

Rebecca Paquette, Vice President, Talent Management, Children’s Friend

Becca is a Human Resources professional, who has spent the last 25 years in various HR leadership roles. She began her career recruiting, working for a local staffing agency where she gained valuable insight into people’s unique talents and perspectives. From there, she moved to AAA Southern New England where she worked in various roles, eventually leading to HR Business Partner.

After 14 years with AAA, she moved to RISD, where she fine-tuned her passion, the value of individual’s differences and how these differences impact success. She spearheaded the ‘Diversity Champion’ program, bringing members of the community together on recruitment initiatives with the goal of increasing applicant pools and new hires, increasing difference and diversity in the community.

In 2018 Becca decided to follow her love for human services and community, to the oldest child welfare social services agency in RI, Children’s Friend. As the VP of Talent Management, she heads a team of HR professionals who support the staff to achieve the mission of improving the lives of the most vulnerable in RI. Most recently she joined the 2019 Omicron class at Leadership Rhode Island, where she is looking forward to working with a group that is doing great work in Rhode Island.

Jennifer Lee Pierce, M.S., PHR, RCC, Field Director, Human Resources, Traveler’s Insurance

A proven HR leader and business partner specializing in employee relations and internal investigation. With over 20 years of experience with leading organizations in not-for-profit, healthcare, government, higher education, for profit and insurance industries.

An accredited Professional in Human Resources (PHR) as well as a Registered Corporate Coach (RCC). BS in Business Management from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth and MS in Organizational Management from Capella University. Formally an adjunct instructor at both Bristol Community College and Roger Williams University as well as an executive coach and certified trainer with a focus on adult learning concepts.

Kim Barker Lee, Vice President, Diversity and Inclusion

Kim Barker Lee is IGT’s Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion. Kim is passionate and committed to diversity and inclusion issues across all aspects of the business. She is responsible for advancing IGT’s corporate values by supporting a culture where all employees feel valued, respected, engaged, and empowered to contribute to IGT’s success. This includes developing a strategy to ensure IGT has the best, brightest, and most diverse talent to drive the business forward. She is also responsible for leading the Company’s Executive Diversity and Inclusion Council, establishing employee business resource groups and helping shape supplier diversity programs.

While at Northstar, Kim was responsible for developing an award-winning supplier diversity program that exceeded contractually mandated goals. Prior to Northstar, Kim served as the General Counsel for the Illinois Student Assistance Commission, an Illinois state agency, and in her role restructured the supplier diversity program to ensure that female and minority owned firms had access to opportunities providing professional services in accounting, legal, and investment management.  Kim was a partner at Pugh, Jones & Johnson. P.C., one of the oldest and largest African American-owned law firms in the City of Chicago, where her practice focused on public finance and governmental law. She also rose from associate to partner with the law firm of Altheimer and Gray.

Kim has been a presenter on diversity and inclusion for organizations such as National Associations of State and Provincial Lotteries, Advancing Workplace Excellence, Providence Business News, Chicago United, and the Chicago Committee for Minorities in Large Law Firms and at gaming industry tradeshows and events such as G2E and ICE London. A graduate of Yale College and New York University School of Law, Kim was the recipient of the Arthur Garfield Hays Fellowship in Civil Liberties and the Vanderbilt Prize at NYU School of Law. Kim previously served the on Board of Directors for Women in Public Finance, the Lawyers Committee for Better Housing, and the YWCA Chicago. Kim also served as volunteer for the Ardythe and Gayle Sayers Center for African American Adoption and is a determined advocate for families with children of color on the autism spectrum.

Debra L. Gold, Director, Global Talent Development

A proven business consultant specializing in Leadership Development and technology based instructional design solutions, with more than 25 years working with global high tech, financial, health care, and higher education, as well as local small businesses and non-profits.

Debra has interfaced directly with literally thousands of managers across IGT, IBM, Microsoft, EMC, Bose, Fidelity, Blue Cross Blue Shield of MA, Swarovski and more, ensuring a payoff on the company’s investment in their employees’ development. She has been working for 20+ years on Diversity and Inclusion as a business strategy, starting with her time at IBM, and is passionate about the subject.


Thank You to Our Sponsors!

Leadership Sponsors


Inclusion Sponsor

Benefactor Sponsors


Cancellations & Refunds: Refunds will only be processed until 3 days prior to the event. After that point, substitutions will be allowed with email notice to programs.rishrm@gmail.com.

Re-certification Credits: We are currently processing this conference for SHRM and HRCI re-certification credits. 

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