Naomi Arbit, PhD
David Guralnick, PhD
Rick At Lee
Dr. Tim Smaby, PhD, CFA, FRM
Dr. Lisa Toppin
Tamara Amini is responsible for the design and delivery of high potential leadership development
programs targeted to women at Bank of America. Tamara is specifically responsible for Women’s
Executive Development Program and Women’s Next Level Leadership Program.
Previously, Tamara served as the Leadership Development executive for Mortgage Servicing &
Operations partnering with HR and LOB leaders to define the target state organization/ operating model
and facilitate proactive movement and placement of key talent in alignment with the organization
Since joining BAC in 2003, Tamara has held multiple change management, process design and specialist roles in Compensation, Learning and Leadership Development. Tamara also spent 2 years managing a $120MM portfolio for Prefered and Small Business. Prior to joining Bank of America, Tamara spent 5 years with Accenture as a Human Performance consultant for clients in multiple industries (i.e. Financial Services, Pharmaceuticals, Insurance, Products). In these roles she was accountable for planning, designing and executing associate readiness initiatives for various transformation efforts (i.e. merger and acquisitions, platform migrations, ecommerce implementations, etc).
Tamara received a Masters Degree in Industrial/ Organizational Psychology from the University of North Carolina, Charlotte and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of Georgia. Tamara resides in Huntersville, NC with her two sons. Tamara is a member of the Board of Trustees for the Charlotte Chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and is an active member of Charlotte Chapter of LEAD for Women at Bank of America.
Naomi Arbit, PhD
Dr. Naomi Arbit is a Senior Behavioral Scientist at BetterUp, where she works to advance the
science and practice of evidence-based coaching in the workplace. Prior to joining BetterUp,
Naomi conducted research and ran a consulting practice, where she designed and facilitated
change processes for individuals, groups and organizations to enhance wellbeing, resilience and behavior change. Naomi has spent over a decade studying the psychology of meaning and behavior change across various contexts, and has published and presented on topics including fostering meaning and purpose at work, meaning-based approaches to behavior change, and mindfulness and compassion-based approaches for building resilience. Her research has been published in peer reviewed journals such as Psychology and Health, Public Health Nutrition, Food Quality and Preference, and Nutrients, and her work has been profiled in media outlets such as The New York Times and CNN. Prior to pursuing research and behavioral science full time, Naomi spent several years working on Wall Street, at Bear Stearns & Co. and Providence Equity Partners.
Naomi completed her MA in Bioethics from New York University, her MAPP in Applied Positive Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania, her MS in Applied Physiology & Nutrition from Columbia University, and her PhD in Behavioral Nutrition from Columbia University. She lives in New York City.
Patricia E. Aquaro is Managing Director and Head of Risk & Professional Excellence within Global
Talent & Development at BNY Mellon. She is responsible for developing learning solutions to
cultivate a strong risk culture and enhance the professional skills of employees across the
Previously, Ms. Aquaro was Credit Portfolio Manager for Broker-Dealers, Alternative Funds and
Finance Companies in the Global Financial Services Credit Division. In 2007, she concluded a
high-priority initiative for the division by establishing a central group to manage affiliate
relationships across the institution and ensure compliance with Regulation 23 A & B, which
governs transactions between a bank and its affiliates. She was also responsible for the
integration of existing portfolios and new credit exposures resulting from the merger of The
Bank of New York and Mellon Financial.
After completing the Bank’s formal credit training program, she joined Global Client Management and developed a new centralized credit underwriting function for the North American Banks Division. She subsequently implemented this model across all groups within Financial Institutions. Ms. Aquaro joined The Bank of New York Mellon in January 1996 through the acquisition of JP Morgan’s global custody business.
Ms. Aquaro is an active member of WIN, BNY Mellon’s Women’s Initiative Network, and a member of The Women’s Bond club. Previously, Ms. Aquaro served as a member of the Financial Institutions Portfolio Management Committee and as a Steering Committee member for BNY Mellon’s Tri-party Market Practices Reform Initiatives. For three consecutive years she served as the Co-Chair of the Annual Women United in Philanthropy Luncheon committee and also served as Secretary on the Board of Directors for CMCAS – Capital Markets Credit Analyst Society.
Ms. Aquaro earned her B.A. degree in Mathematics from Manhattan College and currently resides in Manhattan, New York.
David Bojarzin is Senior Advisor, Emerging Capabilities and Leadership Learning at BMO Bank of
Montreal’s corporate university, the Institute for Learning. In this role, David helps leaders
develop the skills they need to lead effectively in a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous
environment. His areas of focus include Agile Leadership, Digital Transformation, Workplace
Experience, and Change Leadership.
David has over 20 years of experience in adult learning and development, and he is passionate
about working with leaders to maximize their own performance and that of their teams. Outside of BMO, David is a part-time Communications Professor, specializing in written and oral business communication. He is also a freelance writer with over 50 bylines. David holds a B.Ed. in Adult Education from Brock University, a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Toronto and an M.A. in English Literature from Western University.
Pat Furbush is a Vice President at Bank of America where she leads the efforts to provide
customized education for veterans and active military. She manages content and programs for
newly hired veterans transitioning form the military to the corporate world, as well as a 5 month
development program geared toward helping veterans broaden their network, build skills, and enhance their career.
Pat began working at Bank of America in 2004 as a Learning Manager as part of the acquisition of FleetBoston Financial, which she joined in 2000. Prior to that, she held various leadership and learning positions at the Bank of New York.
Pat graduated from Utica College with a B.S. in History.
She volunteers at the VA Medical Center in Perryville, MD with the Bank’s Military Support and Assistance employee network. Pat has 3 grown children, one grandson and lives in Newark, Delaware.
Adam is responsible for the learning technology strategy at MetLife. As part of the Global Learning & Development team he has accountability for both the learner facing systems and the tools the broader L&D community uses. He has over 25 years of experience in learning and development with a majority of that time consulting on how to best leverage technology to enhance the learner experience and knowledge transfer. One of his key goals is to gain efficiencies for his L&D colleagues by leveraging technology. In prior roles he worked for Bank of America, Deutsche Bank and Morgan Stanley, where he worked to standardize the learning technology infrastructure and implement various technology tools, including multiple Learning Management Systems.
Rebecca Goldberg has been involved in internal training at Travelers Insurance for more than a decade. She’s worked on all levels of training planning, design, development, and delivery, presenting a wide range of topics (from application training to soft-skill development) to diverse audiences (entry-level to executive). She strives to deliver training products that motivate learners to seek out educational experiences, and which use technology as a tool for increasing knowledge transfer and retention.
Jessica has over 15 years management experience in talent management and HR functions in
the financial services industry. She is a director of Apprentice Development at Fidelity
Investments, coaching top talent through two years of business rotations. Prior to that, she was
Global Director of Associate Relations in Leap, Fidelity’s program for new technologists which
on-boards over 500 college students each year. She started her Fidelity career in January 2006
in client services and entered Fidelity's General Management Apprentice Program in 2008
where she worked in operations, finance, communications and advertising and staffing. Jessica is an enthusiastic, adaptable, results oriented leader with extensive experience in project, people and relationship management. Jessica is a passionate and active traveler who bikes, hikes and rafts at every available opportunity. When not planning her next trip, she enjoys her Raleigh community and recently renovated 1875 Victorian home. Jessica graduated from University of Florida with a B.S. in Public Relations and received her executive MBA at UNC.
Sarah has over 12 years of experience partnering with companies to develop strategic plans that increase revenue and improve employee performance. Her clients have seen impressive results including up to a 40% increase in productivity and close rate when recommended solutions are leveraged. In her free time, Sarah enjoys travel and any excuse to spend time in the outdoors with her husband, young daughter, and Goldendoodle.
David Guralnick, PhD
David Guralnick has been a recognized leader in the field of computer-based and online
learning for over twenty years, specializing in the design of "user experiences" in e-learning. His
contributions to the field of e-learning include the creation of the first online learn-by-doing
simulation training course for corporate use (in 1993), and the first e-learning authoring tool to
allow trainers and subject matter experts to create rich e-learning products on their own (in
1995). He has since designed numerous online learning methodologies for both training and
performance-support goals, and has been the recipient of awards from several national and
international organizations, including Brandon-Hall.com, the Society for Applied Learning
Technology (SALT), and the International Association for the development of an Information
Society (IADIS). He is a regular keynote speaker at industry conferences, and holds a Ph.D. from
Northwestern University, where his work synthesized concepts in artificial intelligence,
education, software usability, and cognitive psychology.
David serves as an Adjunct Professor at Columbia University's Teachers College; was the founding chair of the E-learning Group for ASTD-NY, the American Society for Training & Development (2002-2009); was chair of the International Conference on E-Learning (2006 and 2007) and the founding chair of International Conference on E-Learning in the Workplace (2008- present); and is president of the International E-Learning Association (2007-present). Further information about David, including lists of his awards, publications, and talks, can be found at www.davidguralnick.com. David was a founder of Kaleidoscope Learning and has been with the company since its inception in 1998.
Sheila Jagannathan is the Head of the Open Learning Campus at the World Bank Group in
Washington DC. She serves as the organization’s focal point on digital learning and issues at the
intersection of technology use and education in emerging countries. She is an innovative and
strategic educational leader with over 30 years experience in designing and managing distance
learning programs/knowledge products and transforming the use of online and classroom pedagogies and technology. Sheila also provides policy advice and technical assistance to World Bank country-level capacity building programs (both government and training institutes seeking to introduce technologies in their educational systems) in, East Asia, China, the Middle East and North Africa, Africa and South Asia Her current areas of interest and activity include: MOOCs, experiential pedagogy, online/hybrid strategies, development of rich multimodal and social learning environments, virtual and mixed reality, immersive learning, use of artificial education in education, big data and learning analytics, LMS and learning ecosystems. She is on the advisory board and planning committees of major professional associations of elearning such as the E-learning Africa, (Annual International Conference for developing E-learning capacities in Africa), International Conference on e-learning (ICEL) etc
Bill Kennelly is an Administrative Vice President at M&T Bank in Buffalo, NY where he has served
over 10 years as a Senior Performance Consultant within the Corporate Learning and
Development Division, and nearly 13 years as an Operations Manager in the Banking Services
Division. In his Learning and Development role, Bill had direct responsibility for bringing advice,
solutions and learning strategies to multiple business lines, in addition to managing the bank’s
Learning Management application. In 2017 he contributed to the work of shaping and re-
defining the Learning and Development department, and managing the change associated with
that work. Bill has contributed to the creation of multiple enterprise and divisional training and
Currently, Bill serves in a leadership role focused on the transformational change of the payments environment, specially related to future design of Item Processing strategies for M&T. Bill also continues to oversee learning and development programs within the Banking Services division.
Bill holds a Master’s degree from Niagara University in Educational Administration and Supervision, is an alumni of M&T's Management Development Program and currently serves as an Adjunct Professor in the School of Management at The State University of New York at Buffalo. Bill also holds his SHRM-SCP Certification, and serves as a SHRM Certification Instructor at Canisius College.
Volunteer involvement includes serving on Niagara University’s College of Business Administration Advisory Board, and the Western New York United Way Campaign Committee.
Jeffrey Langa is the Americas Compliance Training Manager at BNP Paribas, covering
the United States, Canada and Latin America. He is responsible for the creation,
development and execution of the Annual Compliance Training Plan throughout the
region. He is also the Chairman of a monthly Compliance Training Council meeting with
the training leads in the Americas and Paris regions. Jeffrey is a former regulator having
worked at FINRA for 6 years, and has been working in Compliance for over 15 years.
Prior to Compliance, Jeffrey was an Institutional Sales Trader for 6 years as well.
Rick At Lee
Rick At Lee is the Learning Design & Development Manager at BB&T, one of the top-ten largest
financial services holding companies in the U.S. Rick and his team of instructional designers are
responsible for the design of learning solutions supporting employees across the organization
covering everything from compliance to sales, service, and leadership.
Rick has a M.Ed. in Training and Development from North Carolina State University as well as over 15 years of experience in the training and development field. With a passion for evidence- based adult learning, Rick has been a key contributor to BB&T’s transition from a strategy focused on traditional classroom training to distance-based blended learning.
Based in Winston-Salem, NC, Rick enjoys running, reading, and spending time with his wife and six children.
Romeo’s an interesting cat. He spent six years as an international debater becoming North
American Champ in 2012. Now he helps banks increase adoption of their digital products as
Program Designer & Strategist at Launchfire.
Since 2013, Romeo has helped design employee & consumer-facing campaigns for some of the top banks in North America. He also helped design Launchfire’s new digital transformation platform, Lemonade, which empowers frontline staff with the confidence and product knowledge they need to recommend digital banking tech to customers.
Anne Patterson is a Talent Management professional who has served in senior roles as an HR
leader and Technology leader for over 25 years. She has supported various businesses
throughout her career including Technology, Operations, Legal, Compliance, Office of the COO,
Audit, and HR specializing in talent management, learning and leadership development,
performance management, employee engagement, diversity & inclusion, professional
development, mentoring/sponsorship programs, executive coaching, top talent program design,
as well as retention and succession planning.
Anne is currently head of Executive & Leadership Development and Executive Coaching for TIAA. Her team is responsible for the design and delivery of development programs targeted at frontline, mid-level, and senior leaders. The team is also responsible for the design, development and facilitation of the enterprise Top Talent and the Executive Coaching programs available through nomination as part of our rigorous Talent Review process. Anne previously served as the Talent Management Business Partner for the Office of the COO, Office of Business Effectiveness, Finance & Actuarial, Information Technology, Corporate Audit, and Human Resources.
Prior to joining TIAA, Anne worked for Bank of America for 23 years where she held senior and executive leadership positions in Technology & Operations and Human Resources including Learning and Leadership Development. Anne has extensive experience in coaching business executives in addition to designing and facilitating leadership development programs in the financial services sector.
Anne earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Organizational Effectiveness from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her oldest
daughter is currently at UNC – Chapel Hill and her youngest daughter is a sophomore in High School. She currently serves on the Junior Achievement Board of Directors for Cabarrus County, NC. She is Green Belt certified. Anne lives in Concord, NC with her husband and daughters.
AARON POLSGROVE is a Senior Vice President at Bank of America where he serves as a key
member of the Global Diversity & Inclusion Organization leadership team, with responsibilities
for the strategic direction and execution of core diversity and inclusion business processes. His
team is also responsible for analysis and executive reporting of key diversity metrics across the
company. Aaron works directly with the Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer and the broader
global human resources leadership team to support enterprise-wide diversity initiatives, and to
provide analysis on a broad range of diversity-related topics. Aaron also leads Bank of America’s
diversity & inclusion strategy, programs and initiatives for military veterans.
Aaron started working at Bank of America as a contractor in 2011 after an early career as an infantry officer in the U.S. Army and in various leadership roles at Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated. He started his career at Bank of America within the Global Risk organization responsible for the company’s reputational risk policy and for analysis and reporting across a diverse set of risk issues.
Aaron graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1999 with a B.S. in Russian, and earned an MBA in 2011 from Wake Forest Schools of Business. Outside of work he is active in his church, and enjoys volunteering once a week with inmates in the Mecklenburg Co. Jail. Aaron and his wife Wendy have three sons and reside in Matthews, NC.
Dave has over 20 years of experience architecting and implementing training and sales technology solutions for Fortune 500 organizations. He leads product strategy and development by revolutionizing and reinventing the user experience to enhance customer satisfaction and drive revenue growth. In his limited spare time, Dave enjoys mountain biking and hiking in the great outdoors.
Dr. Tim Smaby, PhD, CFA, FRM
Dr. Smaby has worked at Kaplan for more than 16 years, first as a member of the CFA product
management team and most recently as a technical subject matter expert and learning designer
within Kaplan Professional’s Learning and Professional Development team. In his current role,
he works with clients to design, develop and deliver integrated technical and behavioral learning experiences that have an immediate and measurable impact on the participants’ behavior and productivity.
Prior to joining Kaplan in 2002, Dr. Smaby was an Associate Professor of Finance at Penn State Erie and held various positions in the banking industry. He is a CFA Charterholder and has also been awarded the Financial Risk Manager (FRM) designation. He earned a PhD in finance from the University of Cincinnati, an MBA in finance from the University of Wisconsin, and a BS in economics from the University of Minnesota.
David began his career in publishing and events in London in the late 90’s before moving in to
the financial training arena with DC Gardner Training in 2003. Following a successful period managing clients across Europe and Africa, David was asked to establish DC Gardner Training’s Americas office in New York in 2005 where he built a successful tailored training business delivering programs for many of the world’s largest banks and financial institutions. In 2014, David joined Fitch Learning with responsibility for business development across the Americas and as of August 2017, has been heading up the Americas region across all lines of business David grew up in Edinburgh, Scotland, attained his Bachelor’s degree in York, England before moving to London. He has been a resident of New York since 2005.
Kathy joined The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America in May 2015.
Rooted in her passionate belief that learning is a strategic asset that drives
business results, Kathy and her team are responsible for establishing a learning
strategy for new financial advisors to build a successful and sustainable career
along with providing the programs, tools and resources to support its
implementation in firms across The Guardian Network.
Kathy is a results-driven talent development leader with a proven track record of applying learning strategy to solve business challenges. Under her leadership, company initiatives have been recognized by Bersin by Deloitte, Training Magazine, Association for Talent Development, Working Mother Magazine and others. She was twice honored in Training Magazine as a “Top 40 under 40” and is regularly sought after to speak at conferences to share how her strategic approach to learning can be used across multiple industries.
Kathy’s career journey at Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of NJ, Coldwell Banker Real Estate Corporation, Cablevision and Metlife provides experience in sales and leadership development, diversity and inclusion, client experience, marketing and product development, distribution and human resources. She holds a NJ life and health insurance producer license and is a graduate of Rutgers University with a B.A. in English and Secondary Education. She served as a national board member for Women in Insurance and Financial Services (WIFS), board member and president of the West Orange, NJ Board of Education, and as an invited member of the Clinton Global Initiative’s Workforce Development Committee in partnership with American Association of Community Colleges.
Kathy splits her time with her husband and family between Winter Garden, FL and South Seaside Park, NJ providing the perfect balance between her love of the beach and all things Disney!
Dr. Lisa Toppin
Dr. Lisa M. Toppin has more than 20 years of experience in Human Resources. She currently
serves as Chief Diversity Officer at LPL Financial where she is responsible for developing
programs that support talent acquisition and development of employees and strengthening an
Lisa has held HR leadership positions with firms nationwide, including Charles Schwab, where
she led the firm’s diversity and inclusion and learning and development programming as well as
the executive recruiting function. Prior to that, Lisa served in HR business partner roles with Phillips Petroleum, Sherwin Williams and Montell USA. She is passionate about the development of women and minorities and currently serves on the Linkage Women in Leadership Advisory Board. Most recently, she was awarded the Women in Business Leadership award by the Charlotte Business Journal, a special honor for which she is very grateful.
Lisa has a Bachelor of Science degree in Speech Pathology and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Howard University and George Washington University, respectively. She received a Master of Science degree in Human Resources/Industrial Relations from Rutgers University and a Doctorate of Education in Human Resources Development from George Washington University.
Johanna is a Director at Unum, a leader in providing disability, life, and voluntary
benefits for over 170 years. She brings 14 years of experience in the field of learning and
development and has designed, implemented and managed a variety of learning and performance solutions. Johanna combines her operational knowledge, passion for coaching and skill development, and a strategic mindset to create programs that meet the needs of modern learners. She seeks to leverage innovative technology, enable business partners to achieve their operating goals and priorities, and ensure Unum’s benefit specialists blend their expertise and empathy to communicate effectively and simplify the benefits process. She holds a B.S. in International Relations and Latin American Studies from The College of William and Mary and an M.S. in Adult Education from the University of Southern Maine.
Carol Tringali leads Enterprise Compliance Training for Fidelity Investments. She helps to
protect the firm by working with Compliance Executives to ensure training, awareness
campaigns, and communication resources effectively mitigate risk and address regulatory
After spending more than 20 years leading employee learning and development initiatives at Thomson Reuters, Carol has spent the last 4 years at Fidelity Investments creating and executing an effective, engaging and differentiated enterprise-wide compliance training strategy. While this new strategy continued to effectively address risk and regulatory requirements, it also:
- Enhanced the participant experience by leveraging emerging authoring tools and responsive design
- Significantly reduced training time
- Improved satisfaction scores
- Eliminated duplication of effort and content
- Implemented ongoing data driven training needs analysis
- Aligned training objectives to compliance metrics
- Instituted procedures to measure effectiveness, not just track training completions
Curtis is a proven performance consultant and a senior learning leader with over 15
years of experience in the financial services industry. Since 1996, Curtis has
enabled Charles Schwab & Co., Inc., Wachovia Securities and Wells Fargo to
achieve results through educating their workforce, implementing change initiatives
and driving performance improvement initiatives. While working for Charles
Schwab & Co., Inc., he directly supported the transformation of Schwab's
workforce from a transactional service provider to an advice driven consultative
selling organization. While at Wells Fargo, he led the skill development and change
management efforts necessary to establish an integrated wealth model and to
install a team-based contact management system. While at Wachovia Securities,
which is now Wells Fargo Advisors, Curtis has been involved with the skill
development, change management and performance improvements for initiatives
that include two large scale mergers, transition of transactional based advice to an
advisory-based model and the implementation of a corporate university.
After growing up and starting his career in Phoenix, Arizona, Curtis currently lives in St. Louis, MO. Along with his partner Susan and children, Lauren and Christopher, he spends his non-working hours enjoying the outdoors, cooking, movies and hanging out with friends. Curtis is also involved in consulting a local public school district, leading a Boy Scout troop and advising 6th graders at his church.