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Passionately Pursuing Your Purpose

  • 24 Oct 2023
  • 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM
  • Chelo's, 225 Post Road, Warwick, RI 02886


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Passionately Pursuing Your Purpose


Join RI SHRM, local industry professionals, and RI's student SHRM chapter members for a night of career advising, networking, mentorship, and insights from HR leaders. Panelists representing various stages of diverse career paths in the field of HR will share their industry knowledge and experience, discuss their unconventional professional journeys, and advise emerging leaders about their career possibilities and trajectories. Discussion themes will include Entering the Workforce: Tips & Tools for Success, The Shifting Landscape of Talent Acquisition, Negotiating Promotions and Pay Raises, Networking at Each Stage of Your Career, Professional Development: Leveraging Available Resources & Opportunities, and The Purposeful Path: Finding Your Flow. The facilitated panel discussion will be followed by a Q&A and networking hour.


  • Identify key strategies for success and available resources that will help emerging HR leaders chart their professional journeys with intention and ample support
  • Discuss the changing landscape of talent acquisition and management and how applicants can best position themselves to stand out
  • Learn how to artfully negotiate pay raises and promotions
  • Learn the value of networking at various stages in your career and how to best leverage your network and relationships
  • Get introduced to game-changing professional development tools and resources that will provide additional skills, knowledge, and competencies to get you to that next critical stage in your professional journey
  • Learn how to direct your HR career path with intention, prioritizing what inspires and motivates you.


  • 4:00 - 7:00 PM
  • Chelo's in Warwick, 2225 Post Road, Warwick, RI 

This program has been submitted for HRCI and SHRM credits.


Megan Herne, SHRM-CP, PHR

As a human resources and community leader, Megan directs the creation and administration of various human resource plans and procedures and provides guidance to management in areas such as people development, performance management, benefits, compensation, and employee retention while personally serving the community with an emphasis on elder care.

Megan leads the HR & Social Responsibility function at Cooley Group, a worldwide leader in the development and manufacturing of innovative, sustainable, and high-performance engineered membranes. Previous work experience includes over 10 years of progressive HR responsibility and decision-making authority, gained through organizations including AstroNova, Inc. and Howley Bread Group dba Panera Bread.

Megan earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Rhode Island and her master’s in business with a concentration in human resources management from Southern New Hampshire University. Megan continues to maintain her HRCI and SHRM-CP credentials, showing a strong dedication to continued learning.

Previously Megan served as the Director of Programs & Professional Development for the Rhode Island Society of Human Resources Management. In this role, Megan was responsible for the planning and development of all educational and social programming for the organization’s members. Megan currently serves on the Board of Trustees at Davies Career & Technical High School and the Boards of Directors at Meals on Wheels of Rhode Island and PACE RI.

Brianna Jankowski

Brianna Jankowski is currently the HR Coordinator at Centreville Bank and is responsible for assisting and supporting all the functions of the human resource department. Brianna is responsible for onboarding new employees, recruitment efforts, benefit enrollments/tracking, compliance training management and more. Brianna works closely with every team member in the department to ensure we provide exceptional support to all employees.

Brianna is a recent graduate of Bryant University, Class of 23’, with a B.A. in Politics & Law with a double minor in HR Management & Communications. Brianna completed her first HR internship with the RI Attorney General’s office during her junior year. Directly following that, Brianna began a summer internship with Centreville Bank. This internship solidified her decision to continue on a career path into HR post-grad. Brianna was offered to continue with the bank as an HR Assistant throughout her senior year at Bryant, ultimately landing herself a full-time role at Centreville as their HR Coordinator upon graduation.

Brianna recently enrolled to continue her education. She is pursuing an M.S. in Labor Relations & Human Resource Management through the University of Rhode Island.

Stephanie Tomasso, SHRM-CP, PHR

Stephanie Tomasso currently holds the position of Senior Manager at AAA Northeast, where she plays a crucial role in advancing organizational growth and effectiveness through strategic partnerships. With a strong HR background, she brings expertise in Organizational Design, Conflict Resolution, and Performance Management to her team. Stephanie is known for her adept handling of complex employee investigations and legal matters, and she actively contributes to organization-wide projects such as 'Employee Lifecycle,' with a focus on fostering Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion.

Prior to joining AAA Northeast, Stephanie gained valuable experience as a Human Resource Generalist at a small home health care agency, All About Home Care. Before her start in Human Resources, Stephanie began her career working in retail, a foundation she has effectively leveraged throughout her professional journey. Stephanie earned her Bachelor's Degree in Human Resource Management from Rhode Island College in 2011. She is also a Certified Professional (CP) from SHRM and earned a Professional in Human Resources Certificate (PHR) from the Human Resources Certification Institute.

Josh Varone, SHRM-CP, PHR, PRC

Josh Varone is currently the Senior Vice President of Human Resources at Centreville Bank and is responsible for the direction of all human resources initiatives including developing and implementing HR programs, policies and procedures that attract and retain the best possible talent to serve the bank. Josh is also responsible for maximizing employee engagement, driving a positive workplace culture and leading the bank’s efforts to be a highly recognized employer of choice. He works closely with other members of the leadership team to provide strategic level support and ensure that Centreville Bank remains a top performing community bank.

Josh has 20 years’ experience in human resources. Prior to his role at Centreville Bank he was the Chief Human Resources Officer at Rhode Island Medical Imaging. He also was the Director of Human Resources at AAA Northeast and worked in human resources in various roles at Swarovski. In addition to his current role, Josh also is an adjunct faculty member at Bryant University and serves as a Board Member for Special Olympics Rhode Island.

Josh earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from UMass Dartmouth and a Master of Arts from Providence College. He is an active member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), and a member of its local chapter. Josh is designated as a Certified Professional (CP) from SHRM and earned a Professional in Human Resources Certificate (PHR) from the Human Resources Certification Institute as well as a Professional Recruiter Certificate (PRC) from AIRS. Josh was also a recipient of the prestigious Bob Gatti Mentor of the Year award in 2022 from the Northeast HR Association (NEHRA).

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Thank you to our Event Sponsors!

Sponsorship opportunities are available. 

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