Meet This Year’s Construction HR & Training Professionals Conference Speakers

Wally Adamchik

Wally Adamchik

President, FireStarter Speaking and Consulting

Wally Adamchik, the President of FireStarter Speaking and Consulting, grew up in the construction industry. His father and brother were construction workers in New York City. The challenges and frustrations of the day were often dinner time conversation. During school breaks Wally worked as a helper on jobs across the metropolitan area. He easily relates to leaders at all levels because he has spent time with them his entire life.

Along the way his mother was the first Woman to referee in Madison Square Garden, he was the mascot at the University of Notre Dame, A pilot in the Marines, earned an MBA from UNC Chapel Hill, and has eaten way too many chocolate chip cookies. His two children are college athletes and he spends too  much time on the road watching them thanks to a very supportive wife.

For the past twenty years he has supported the construction industry and counts many of the best contractors in the country as clients. From emerging contractors, looking to grow, to some of the Top ENR firms in the country, looking to elevate, he understands what it takes to lead in construction today. No interesting theories that are useless in the real world. Wally knows the industry and has helped countless leaders and firms become better and more profitable.

Wally is a CSP (the speaking kind, not the safety kind) with the National Speakers Association and a Certified Management Consultant with the Institute of Management Consultants.

Sessions: We Aren’t THAT Bad: Findings from the 2021 People in Construction Survey 

H. Juanita Beecher

H. Juanita Beecher

Counsel, Fortney Scott, LLC

Nita Beecher is a nationally-recognized expert on Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) and U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) matters. She is Counsel to Fortney & Scott, LLC with a focus on OFCCP regulatory affairs. Ms. Beecher’s primary focus is labor and employment law with substantial experience with class investigations by the EEOC and OFCCP. She has more than 30 years of experience in labor and employment law particularly with class investigations by the OFCCP and the EEOC. From 2000 to 2015, she led networks of senior diversity, EEO and affirmative action corporate practitioners as well as senior in-house labor and employment lawyers.

Sessions: OFCCP May Be Knocking on Your Door Sooner than You Think – Be Prepared

Davis-Bacon Act & Federal Paid Sick Leave: How to Be in Compliance for the Construction Projects Under Biden’s Infrastructure Plan

Federal Vaccine Mandates

Cal Beyer

Cal Beyer

VP, Workforce Risk & Worker Wellbeing, CSDZ

Cal Beyer is the Vice President of Workforce Risk and Worker Wellbeing. He has over 30 years of safety, insurance, and risk management experience…24 of those serving the construction industry in various capacities. Prior to joining CSDZ, Cal was the director of risk management for Lakeside Industries in Issaquah, WA. At Lakeside, he catalyzed the construction industry mental health and suicide prevention movement that became the Construction Industry Alliance for Suicide Prevention (www.preventconstructionsuicide.com). Cal also spent time with Gallagher Bassett Services, Cities & Villages Mutual Insurance Company, Zurich NA, and Arch Insurance

Session: Embracing Mental and Behavioral Health in Diversity/Equity/Inclusion Programs

Shae Birkey

Shae Birkey

Safety Leadership Adviser/Industry Account Manager, CAT Solutions & Services, Caterpillar Inc.

Shae Birkey has more than 17 years of experience in the Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) profession working in consulting, governmental, commercial, industrial, and private industry settings. He has a range of work experience, including frontline field positions and corporate management roles, as an EHS subject matter expert, a corporate auditor, and an EHS Facility Manager. Shae applies knowledge from his experiences to his current role as a Safety Adviser and Industry Account Manager with Caterpillar Safety Services. His passion is educating others on the process of empowering front-line employees, engaging and educating supervisors in positive accountability practices, and supporting top leaders to be visibly committed to improving safety culture. He holds a Master of Science degree with an emphasis on leadership skill development from the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign.

Session: The 4 Domains of Safety Leadership: Measurable Traits that Change Everything

Elizabeth B. Bradley

Shareholder, Fortney Scott, LLC

Elizabeth B. Bradley has over fifteen years of experience representing employers and federal contractors in litigation and mediation matters before state and federal agencies and courts, as well as counseling and training private, public, and non-profit employers in all aspects of employment law. In addition, Ms. Bradley has extensive knowledge and experience in counseling federal contractors in matters relating to OFCCP. She has represented U.S. corporations in successfully defending against OFCCP’s review of the contractor’s utilization rates and compensation practices. Ms. Bradley also has experience in advising employers on wage and hour compliance under federal and state laws; litigating discrimination and retaliation claims advanced under Title VII, ADA, ADEA, and comparable state and local statues; conducting internal investigations involving discrimination complaints; performing wage and hour compliance reviews; and drafting and negotiating employment agreements including non-compete and non-solicitation provisions

Sessions: OFCCP May Be Knocking on Your Door Sooner than You Think – Be Prepared

Davis-Bacon Act & Federal Paid Sick Leave: How to Be in Compliance for the Construction Projects Under Biden’s Infrastructure Plan

Federal Vaccine Mandates

Stuart Buttrick

Stuart Buttrick

Partner, Faegre Drinker

Stuart Buttrick is one of the most prominent management-side labor attorneys in the United States. Stuart is also the team leader of Faegre Drinker labor management relations (LMR) team. He represents employers nationwide in labor relations matters, including proceedings before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), in arbitrations, in litigation and in contract negotiations.

Session: Labor & Employment Law Under the Biden Administration – Fasten Your Seatbelts, It’s Going to Be A Bumpy Ride!

MJ Clark

M.J. Clark

Vice President & Leadership Consultant, Integrated Leadership Systems

As vice president and a leadership consultant for Integrated Leadership Systems since 2006, M.J. Clark has worked with several Ohio construction and contracting companies including Kokosing Construction, George J. Igel & Company, Thompson Concrete and Excavation, Heiberger Paving, Geotex Construction Services, Independence Excavating, and Elford to foster more authentic communication in the workplace and help executives and employees better manage relationships, develop emotional intelligence, become more assertive, manage stress and fine-tune leadership and management skills. ILS is based in Westerville, Ohio, and offers leadership training, executive coaching and consulting.

M.J. has a master’s degree in organizational communication from The Ohio State University and a bachelor’s degree in public relations from Ohio University. She is the author of two books Shut Up and Lead: A Communicator’s Guide to Quiet Leadership and Shut Up and Manage: A Quiet Leader’s Guide to Engaging Others.

Sessions: Creating a Winning Plan for Staff Training and Development

How to Attract and Retain Great Employees

Lisa Desai

Lisa Desai

Chief Behavioral Health Officer, MindWise Innovation

Lisa K. Desai, Psy.D., is Chief Behavioral Health Officer at MindWise Innovations, a division of Riverside Community Care. Dr. Desai is a licensed psychologist who has over 24 years of clinical and administrative experience working in college counseling, community mental health, hospitals and private practice. After receiving her doctorate in psychology from Wright State University, Dr. Desai completed a two-year postdoctoral clinical fellowship at McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical School. Over the course of her career in private practice, she has provided in-school therapy for adolescents and consulted with private schools to provide evaluations, interventions and guidance in policy and training. In her role at MindWise, Dr. Desai leads the development and implementation of behavioral health solutions for workplaces. She has developed construction-specific protocols to be adapted for other industries, led leadership trainings and worked with organizations to expand the range of mental health resources.

Session: Embracing Mental and Behavioral Health in Diversity/Equity/Inclusion Programs

Eli Embleton

Eli Embleton

Employee Development and Training, Zachry Construction Company

Eli works in employee development and training for Zachry Construction Corporation. He trains employees in all safety topics, specialty machine operation, and leadership in both English and Spanish. (He is fluent in 6 languages)

Eli designs leadership experiences and workshops, for skilled workers all the way to senior level executives, that have been called “world class.” He speaks about his experiences to audiences of all sizes partnering with Fellows from the Saïd Business School at Oxford, the M.I.T. Dialogue Project, best-selling authors, noted scientists, physicians, academics, and a UN ambassador.

Session: Connecting with Your Crew (Spanish Language Insights)

Shannon Gatlin

J. Shannon Gatlin

Senior Counsel, Cokinos | Young

J. Shannon Gatlin leads the employment law practice for Cokinos | Young’s Houston headquarters. Mr. Gatlin has been Board Certified in Labor & Employment Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization since 2014 and has practiced almost exclusively in labor and employment law since 2009 after completing a one-year stint as Briefing Attorney with the Texas Fourteenth Court of Appeals in Houston. In addition, Mr. Gatlin teaches a course on drafting employment agreements as an Adjunct Professor at South Texas College of Law in Houston and was recently appointed to the American Arbitration Association’s Panel of Employment Arbitrators. Prior to pursuing a legal career, Mr. Gatlin worked in the television news industry for seven years.

Session: How Much Leave Is Too Much Leave, Legally Speaking?

Seniye Groff

Seniye Groff

HR Director, Fortis Construction Inc.

Seniye Groff is the HR Director for Fortis Construction Inc. and is a talented professional with expertise in driving all things tied to employee success: training, human resources, diversity, equity and inclusion, management development, coaching, strategic planning and change management. Seniye holds a Master of Science in Adult Training and Development and serves on the AGC HR Steering Committee and the Oregon chapter of AGC’s DEI council. She has authored articles and spoken at national conferences on best practices for effective training, people practices and organizational development. Seniye is a serial volunteer and loves impacting women’s lives, in particular helping women make long lasting changes in their own lives.

Sessions: Diversity Wins and Pitfalls

Overcoming the Workforce Shortage – Moving Beyond Recruiting

Julie Gutenplan

Julie Gutenplan

First Vice President, Employee Benefits, Alliant Insurance Services, Inc.

Julie Gutenplan has been consulting employers on employee benefits strategy since 2012. While she consults clients in all industries, she has a strong focus on construction. Her consulting approach starts with evaluating each organization’s culture, budget, and challenges in order to craft a long-term strategy using data to achieve results. In 2016 she was selected as one of Employee Benefit Advisor’s Most Influential Women in Benefit Advising. Julie received her MBA in Project Management from Capella University and a BA from Cal State Long Beach and a Certificate in Construction Management from SDSU.

Session: Using Actionable Data to Lower Healthcare Costs

Elizabeth Haynie

Elizabeth Haynie

Health & Wellness Benefits Manager, The Beck Group

Elizabeth serves as the Health & Wellness Benefits Manager at The Beck Group where she is responsible for administering the firm’s self-insured Health Plan and corporate Wellness Program. Fostering a culture of physical and mental wellbeing, implementing creative benefits, reducing employee health risk factors and promoting preventive care are paramount in her overarching strategy as well as her day-to-day activities. Under Elizabeth’s direction, Beck has implemented an outcomes-based wellness incentive strategy, a personal coach weight-loss program, a Mother Friendly Worksite policy, fertility reimbursement benefit and greater family leave benefits. Elizabeth is a member of the Austin Mayor’s Health & Fitness Council and the Construction Benefits Group. Beck has been recognized as a Healthiest 100 Workplaces in America, an American Heart Association Fit Friendly Worksite, a recipient of the Austin Chamber’s Health & Wellness Award and a Best Place to Work in Tampa and Dallas.

Session: Embracing Mental and Behavioral Health in Diversity/Equity/Inclusion Programs

Fred Hencke

Fred Hencke

Senior Vice President, Segal

Fred has more than 30 years of experience in executive leadership and coaching, business strategy development, mergers and acquisitions, organizational effectiveness and talent strategy development. Before joining Segal, he was a VP for four prominent HR Consulting, Business Process Outsourcing and Management Consulting firms, a Managing Director of ERP Services and Emerging Technologies for a professional services company, a Business Transformation Program Manager for a steel manufacturing company, and a Product Development Manager for a commercial software company.

Session: Balancing Wellness & Wellbeing for a Healthy Workforce

Abel Luna

Abel Luna

HR Director, Zachry Construction Corporation  

Abel Luna is the HR Director for Zachry Construction Corporation and is a professional with expertise in all things related to the success of employees careers: training, safety, human resources, craft and foreman development, and mentoring. Abel is a Certified Safety and Health Official and serves on the AGC OJT Committee as Chairman in Texas. He was part of the team that helped develop the ARTBA Safety Certificate for Transportation Project Professionals. Abel loves to volunteer and impact lives in the local community, in particular helping kids aging out of the foster system and teen parents.  

Session: Connecting with Your Crew (Spanish Language Insights)

Andrew Martone

Andrew Martone

President & CEO, Hesse Martone

Andrew Martone is the President and CEO of the Firm concentrating in the practice of labor and employment law, with a background in industry and human resources. Andy routinely handles matters before the NLRB, EEOC, the Department of Labor, OSHA and numerous state agencies. He regularly represents clients in employment-related litigation in federal and state courts throughout the country (including cases based on race, gender, disability, religion, harassment, national origin, FMLA, veteran status, retaliatory discharge, the False Claims Act and public policy discharge cases). Andy has defended clients in more than 275 federal cases.

Andy has extensive experience in opposing union organizing campaigns, union decertification, negotiating labor agreements and arbitrating contract grievances and has advised clients in labor and employment matters in 49 states, Canada, Mexico, Singapore, Japan, Saigon and Puerto Rico. Andy regularly negotiates an average of 12 collective bargaining agreements per year, advises clients on labor relations issues on a day-to-day basis and arbitrates several cases each year. Andy has acted as nationwide counsel for labor and employment matters for a number of companies and represents many regional and national employers, including full service hospitals, extended care facilities, dairies, mines, power plants, marketing concerns, retailers, builders, construction companies, logistics providers, municipalities, law enforcement and not-for-profits.

Session: Marijuana Legalization & Drug Testing

Bryan May

Bryan May

VP, Business Development, Arcoro

Bryan May joined Arcoro (formerly BirdDogHR) in 1999. Prior to becoming the VP of Business Development, he held numerous leadership positions in account management and sales. Bryan has been instrumental in the product’s evolution from job boards to cloud-based HR management software. He also pioneered the building and launching of the AGC of Iowa Career Center, a talent acquisition system that helps public employers document their “good faith” efforts for recruitment and recruitment advertising. He is the Arcoro expert on everything pertaining to workforce management, diversity outreach, applicant collection, tracking and affirmative action compliance reporting.

Session: Overcoming the Workforce Shortage – Moving Beyond Recruiting

Kassy Morris

Kassy Morris

Head of Construction Education and Employee On-Boarding, Procore

Kassy leads Procore’s Employee Onboarding & Construction Education teams. Her passion is evoking positive change through education.  It was through Kassy’s roots in construction management that she adopted the mantra ‘Relationships before transactions’.  She believes strong human relationships help us successfully navigate the complex, high stakes, high pressure projects we are faced with in our careers – such as going digital overnight during a pandemic. This has served her well in the realm of Corporate Learning where building relationships is foundational to the success of her team and the learners. Kassy and her team deliver a global Employee Onboarding Program designed to connect every new hire to the company, the people and the construction industry. Kassy co-created the Construction Education Program; founded to help Procore better understand How Construction Works and How Procore helps – a critical learning initiative since 90% of hires join with no construction experience.

Session: Virtual Training for a Post-pandemic Workforce: Best Practices for On-Boarding and Continuing Education at Your Organization

Michael Shedek

Michael Shedek

Manager, Human Capital Consulting, RSM US LLP

Michael focuses on human capital management and compliance. His broad base of human resources experience serves clients across numerous industries, including construction, manufacturing, financial institution and government entities. His focus on human resources and payroll assessments and risk control projects helps clients to understand and solve complex issues surrounding human resources compliance, process and technology.

Session: Costly HR Fails and How to Protect Against Them

Kenneth D. Simonson

Kenneth D. Simonson

Chief Economist, Associated General Contractors of America

Ken Simonson has been chief economist for the Associated General Contractors of America, the leading trade association for the construction industry, since 2001. He has more than 40 years of experience analyzing, advocating and communicating about economic and tax issues. Among his outside activities, he advises the Census Bureau on overhauling its construction data. He is a Fellow and past president of the National Association for Business Economics, and he is co-director of the Tax Economists Forum, a professional meeting group he co-founded in 1982. Ken has a BA in economics from the University of Chicago, and an MA in economics from Northwestern University.

Session: Economic Outlook: Workforce, Materials, and Supply-Chain Challenges

Mark Surma

Mark Surma

Learning & Development Manager – STO Building Group

Mark helps to manage learning & development initiatives for the STO Building Group, which includes live training, content creation and talent management. Fueled by 20+ years of people leadership in a wide variety of industries, he is passionate about ensuring that all employees have the opportunity to grow and develop through purposeful goal-setting and voluntary hardship.

Session: Engagement Insights

Meet the Keynote Speaker for This Year’s National Construction Industry Workforce Summit

Kayleen McCabe

Kayleen McCabe

Longtime Host of TV’s Rescue Renovation

Kayleen McCabe’s passion for the trades takes her from garages to global summits. A Contractor and industry ambassador, she’s a sought-after speaker on trade education and career choices, – all marked by her trademark playful candor, and informed wit.

The longtime host of TV’s Rescue Renovation, Kayleen is committed to soliciting respect and visibility for Craft Professionals and the careers associated with them. Her non-profit, The McCabe Foundation, tightens America’s skills gap by encouraging young men, women and Veterans to consider careers in this undervalued, unfilled sector.

Kayleen is a familiar face at industry events and in schools across the nation. She partners exclusively with respected organizations including SkillsUSA, NAWIC, ACTE, and NCCER. When she’s not knocking down stereotypes or walls, Kayleen caters to a wide array of clients on custom construction projects, and enjoys as much time as possible in her home state of Colorado.