Patricia E. Aquaro
David Guralnick, PhD
Patricia E. Aquaro
Patricia E. Aquaro was Managing Director and Head of Risk & Professional Excellence within
Global Talent & Development at BNY Mellon. She was responsible for developing learning
solutions to cultivate a strong risk culture and enhance the professional skills of employees
across the company.
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 was 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.
Linda is a Senior Director and Global Head of Learning & Talent Development for Aon. In her
current role, she is responsible for Aon’s learning strategy and Aon University including
leadership development, professional skills curriculum and early career programs. In 2017 she
initiated the learning transformation through implementing Workday globally and launching an
internally developed agile micro-learning site delivering curated content to 30,000 leaders
simultaneously. Additionally, she led the team to revamp and digitalize leadership curriculum
using a blended approach, focusing on building an inclusive and collaborative culture that will
reach 9,000 people leaders by 2020 across Aon.
Previously Linda served in multiple functional leadership roles for Fortune 10 global companies in the UK and US and has extensive experience in organizational design, workplace culture, workforce planning and change leadership. As the Global Organizational Effectiveness Director for Diageo, she oversaw a workforce optimization program that delivered $70 million savings across 28 markets. Prior to that, she led large-scale digitalization and workforce transformation projects for State Farm and global culture change programs for HSBC.
Linda is passionate about equipping leaders and workers with skills and mindsets to navigate the complex and volatile world today. When not working, she is a fan of Beachbody workouts and British Bake-off shows and enjoys spending time with her husband and six-year-old daughter.
Kristin Cassino is the Manager of Learning Services for Global Risk Solutions at Liberty
Mutual Insurance Group, a business unit with 8.5 billion in sales and 8,500 employees.
Learning Services supports technical training including Claims, Underwriting, and
Kristin started in the learning field at State Street Bank in Boston by building a small training department from the ground up. She led training departments for several banks in California before returning to Boston to join Liberty Mutual. Today Kristin leads a group of 100+ training professionals. Her recent focus for the team has been on improving consulting capabilities, increasing agility, and using measurement and evaluation to demonstrate business impact.
Melissa is an Associate Manager for Talent Development Programs at Truist Financial Corporation. In her current role, Melissa drives business strategy for the firm’s Corporate & Investment Banking Talent Programs, aligning the firm’s human capital needs to the strategic direction of the business. She is principally focused on recruiting, onboarding, and training teammates at the Analyst and Associate levels. Melissa is passionate about mentoring students and recent college graduates as they navigate their first steps in their careers. Melissa earned a bachelor’s degree in Strategic Communications and Sociology from Washington and Lee University where she played lacrosse. Outside of her work for Truist, Melissa finds balance as a Yoga Instructor at CorePower Yoga in Atlanta.
As a principal of SNI, Jeff has trained and coached teams and delivered high impact presentations in more than 20 countries. Jeff has delivered customized programs for clients across many diverse sectors including Wells Fargo, J.P. Morgan Chase, PwC, Bristol Myers Squibb, Nationwide Insurance, Boeing, Verizon, ESPN, and the San Antonio Spurs. Before joining SNI in 2000, Jeff was with Tessco Technologies, the nation’s largest communications infrastructure supplier. He managed a portfolio of over 250 accounts and was responsible for educating new sales professionals and handled new hire training. Jeff’s first career was working in Nepal for three years as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer where he was assigned to the Nepal Bank Ltd. and successfully implemented a micro-lending project targeting poor farmers and small business entrepreneurs to help them form borrowing co-ops.
Over her 20 year career, Ilenia Diaz has built depth and breadth of experience in all facets
of Learning & Development. This robust and diverse experience includes consulting with
business leaders to align learning to strategy, design of global learning experiences, and
influencing behavior in workshops and seminars. Her versatile expertise and skillset has
shaped learning experiences across multiple industries – financial services,
manufacturing, technology, professional associations, and commercial real estate. In the
latter half of her career, she’s woven her skillset deep into the fabric of organizations and
their employees, passionately leading employee engagement as well as diversity and
Ilenia currently works at Investors Bank in New Jersey as the AVP of Learning & Development. She’s the learning partner for their Retail and Lending lines of business. She’s using her comprehensive experience in learning technology and blended learning to transform their core programs into world class learning for today’s progressive market.
Prior to joining Investors, she led several initiatives at Cushman & Wakefield, including professional development programs for the Women’s Interest Network and a Leading Change Series for field leaders. At IEEE, Mimeo.com and American Express, Ilenia was considered an expert in her field, consulting on and leading programs for global audiences. The programs included Sales, Lean Six Sigma, Customer Experience and Leadership curricula. For a complete view of her experience visit her LinkedIn page at http://linkedin.com/in/ilenia-diaz-9b8b559.
Ilenia holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from St. John’s University and a M.B.A. from Adelphi University. She’s a native New Yorker who called Memphis home for three years. She currently resides in New Jersey with her husband and two sons. You’ll often find them all in the kitchen, trying new recipes, and pairing lively music to the cuisine they are cooking. Be sure to ask her for her empanada recipe.
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.
Debra Hamilton is the SVP and Chief Learning & Development Officer at Fulton Financial Corporation. She has 25 years of experience in education, leadership development, change management, and professional development programs. Prior to joining Fulton, Debra was at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia where she built and managed CHOP’s leadership curriculum and executive coaching programs, including a variety of 360-feedback development initiatives and peer coaching models. She is currently responsible for developing a formalized process around talent and organizational development which includes identifying talent gaps within the organization, succession planning, leadership/high-potential development, performance management, and organizational capability development.
Kiersten Hoffman is an Account Director at Unboxed Training & Technology working with clients across all their projects with Unboxed to understand their current challenges and support the Development teams in crafting a vision to accomplish their goals. Kiersten received a BA from the College of William and Mary in Government and Anthropology. Prior to Unboxed, Kiersten was an award-winning sales manager for Nordstrom and supported the opening, hiring, and training of new employees for their first international store in Canada. In her spare time, you can also find her onstage performing improv comedy or teaching the next generation of Richmond’s improvisers.
Stefana Hunyady manages various aspects of product development at PayPal ensuring product teams build global ready products and solutions customers want. Stefana joined PayPal from FreeMonee, where she managed all aspects of product delivery and operations. Prior to FreeMonee she was the General Manager for the financial widgets’product line at Yodlee. As entrepreneur, she founded her own company to enable international gift delivery to underserved markets. Stefana takes pride in being an effective change agent who eamlessly connects the dots of opportunity. In addition to her business responsibilities Stefana always makes time to help others grow their careers. At PayPal, she manages PayPal’s Director+ and mentorship programs.
Edward Jones Chief Human Resources Officer Kristin Johnson leads the firm’s efforts to attract,
develop and engage a diverse workforce, foster an inclusive culture and grow human capital
capabilities to support the firm’s Five-year Plan.
As a member of the Edward Jones Executive and Management committees, Kristin provides
critical thought leadership to the firm's strategic direction and drives initiatives that enable the
firm to progress toward its vision of becoming the first choice of serious, long-term individual
Kristin joined Edward Jones in 1995 as a member of the Internal Audit department and two years later was named the department’s internal audit manager. In 2000, she relocated to the Operations division, where she held leadership roles in several account and trade processing departments. Kristin was named a principal in 2006 and worked in the firm’s Retirement Services and Client Reporting areas over the next six years. In March 2012, she relocated to the firm’s Service division to lead the Service Optimization business unit, which she led until assuming responsibility for BOA Talent Acquisition and Performance in 2013. During her tenure with the BOA area, the role evolved to provide even more proactive contributions to the client experience and became a more integral member of the branch team. She became the interim co-leader of Human Resources in April 2019 and was named the firm’s chief human resources officer the following November.
Kristin helps the firm work toward its objective of creating a talented and diverse workforce by serving as a senior executive sponsor of the firm’s Black African American and Young Professionals Business Resource groups.
A native of Belleville, Ill., Kristin graduated from the University of Illinois with a bachelor’s degree in accountancy. She earned a master’s in information management from Webster University and completed Washington University’s executive MBA program. Kristin is active in several organizations and serves on the boards of the Center of Creative Arts (COCA), Webster University and the St. Louis Fashion Fund.
Jon Kaplan is a senior executive and thought leader in learning and development. He is the founder and principal of Corvantus Consulting, a L&D consulting firm with a focus on upskilling frontline employees and reskilling mid-level professionals. Until mid-2019, he was Chief Learning Officer at Discover Financial Services. At Discover, Jon led a company-wide upskilling initiative that received industry-wide acclaim. Jon was profiled in the April 2019 edition of Chief Learning Officer Magazine as the cover story on embedding “humanity and humility” in corporate learning programs. Jon has recently been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Fortune, and CNN Money. Jon’s professional mission is “to expand economic opportunity through inspired learning.” He has a bachelor’s degree in International Relations from Stanford University, a masters degree in International Policy from Stanford University, and an MBA from the Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley.
I have spent the majority of my career in a position where I could help people in
some way. Whether it was in recruiting people into positions they enjoyed, training
team members on building their skills and ability or teaching accountability and
ownership to leaders within an organization. My passion is to serve as an authentic
partner in cultural transformation by focusing on strengths.
Before joining Western Union as a consultant in 2015, I worked for an Apartment Investment firm in Denver for over 8 years. I was the Vice President of Human Resources focusing fully on Talent Management (recruiting, training and succession planning). When I joined WU, I jumped right into assisting with the Women in Leadership initiative where I focused on launching a program solely dedicated to the growth of women in the workplace. I then became the Global Human Resources Business Partner for Compliance, HR and Legal. In late July of 2017 I became the Global Head of Compliance Training Design and Delivery. Recently the Compliance Design team joined forces with the Global Talent and Learning team under Human Resources. I’m thrilled to be a part of the Learning organization and value my time helping people learn and grow in their professional careers.
In my time away from work one of my most favorite hobbies is listening and seeing live music. Music is a large part of my life and my children’s lives. While I don’t personally play any instruments, I revel in finding beautiful music that fills my home with dance, laughter and soulful healing.
Katie is a Data Science Manager for Capital One’s Tech College. Katie is currently building the learning analytics space for all of learning at Capital One. Within that space she has leveraged her technical and analytics skills to foster a cloud data-orientated culture that is built on data that emphasizes strong people measurement or direct behavioral measures. Building this foundation has enabled a self-service approach for internal learning metrics access, reporting, and storytelling. She is an engineer turned learning and evaluation expert. Katie is a mother of three and holds a PhD from Arizona State University.
Matt Petrilla is a Leadership Performance Consultant in Vanguard’s Talent Management department, where he coaches leaders across the enterprise on a broad range of managerial and performance-related topics. Matt’s prior role was as Divisional Manager in Vanguard University, where he led a team of Instructional Designers and Multimedia Developers responsible for creating innovative learning solutions for Vanguard’s global workforce. Prior to moving into a formal leadership role in 2012, Matt served as a Senior Corporate Trainer in HR, facilitating professional development, feedback & coaching, business-related, and leadership development courses to managers and individual contributors alike. Matt is a member of Vanguard’s select Adjunct Faculty pool, a Vanguard Certified Master Coach, and holds his Series 6, 7, and 63 financial licenses.
Mike Reed is the Director of Instructional Design and Administration within Global Risk
Solutions Learning Services at Liberty Mutual Insurance Group, a business unit with 8.5
billion in sales and 8,500 employees. Learning Services supports technical training
including Claims, Underwriting, and Distribution. Mike’s group supports program design
and development, content management, internal information systems, and training
delivery support on the corporate systems.
Mike has 15 years of experience in information technology where he spent 10 years as a software engineer and 5 years as a technology manager. He also has 15 years of experience in course and program development for adult learners. His recent area of focus has been establishing and using technical platforms to measure the business and talent impacts of training programs developed and delivered by Learning Services.
Partner to senior executives with results transforming HR products and services, driving sustainable value in human capital and creating innovative solutions to meet complex business challenges. Held leadership roles in a variety of areas of talent development, including leadership development, curriculum design and development, learning management systems, compliance training and training operations. Passionate about business strategy and technology as growth levers. Held leadership roles through major mergers, playing a critical role in integrating Bank of New York and Mellon Financial HR systems and processes, earning recognition and awards for this work. Past member of the advisory board for a leading enterprise Talent Management systems provider, published articles in journals and trade magazines, and was contributing editor with “e-learning” magazine. On advisory board for the annual Financial Services Learning & Development Innovations conference and was a FinTech Innovation Lab Industry Advisor. Received awards from CLO magazine and Brandon Hall for innovative and trailblazing work in Human Resources.
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.
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.
Pete has spent nearly his entire 30 year career in Sales, Sales Leadership or Sales Training and
Effectiveness roles for companies such as UPS, Sony, MetLife, American Express, and most
recently Swiss Re. Throughout his career, Pete has worked closely with Senior Leaders to help
them, their teams, and the organization maximize performance. His experience has provided
him the opportunity to serve as a guest speaker at many Learning and Development and Talent
Management conferences through the United States.
Pete holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from Marist College. In addition to his formal education, he also holds formal instructor certifications for many programs including:
- Situational Sales Negotiations
- Franklin Covey Time Management
- Making Major Sales (SPIN Selling)
- Selecting Talent
- Emotional Intelligence
In his previous role at Swiss Re, Pete was responsible for leading a team of learning professionals responsible for the design, development and delivery of the Swiss Re learning portfolio in the Americas regions. The portfolio consists of curriculum in the subject matter areas of Leadership, Sales, Technical, Finance, Professional and external Client Training. In addition to his Learning and Development responsibilities, Pete has contributed to Organizational Development initiatives in the areas of Leadership Development, Talent Management, Diversity and Inclusion, Change Management and Culture.
Most of all, Pete enjoys spending time with his family, preferably at the ocean. He enjoys traveling for pleasure and considers himself a sports and music enthusiast. He and his wife Bernie reside in Brewster, NY where they are active in the local community. They have been married for 27 years and are the proud parents of two grown children, Jennifer 23 and Michael, 21.
Svetlana Yedreshteyn, PsyD is VP, Learning & Development with Invesco,
where she provides leadership, talent, and organizational change solutions
to help build a high-performance culture and drive business strategy. Her
current focus is on redesigning the performance management approach
throughout the firm, overseeing the executive coaching practice, and
providing L&D support to various business areas.
Prior to the integration with Invesco, Svetlana spent five years at OppenheimerFunds, as the Vice President of Learning & Development. She implemented multiple solutions across the firm, including a no-ratings performance management process, designing and delivering management and leadership development programs, unconscious bias/inclusion training, built out a Core Competency model and worked with the HR team to integrate it into the existing HR processes. Svetlana has also revamped and lead the Talent Review and succession planning efforts while actively overseeing the firm’s external executive coaching practice. She has served as an L&D consultant in the Legal, Compliance, Risk, Finance, and Product client groups, and delivered offsites, teambuilding events, and provided coaching services to leaders. She has also studied and presented on the Future of Work and the need to reskill our workforce.
Prior to OppenheimerFunds, Svetlana worked at NYU Langone Medical Center as the Senior Training Specialist and Senior OD Specialist. Svetlana also worked at Citigroup in the HR Strategy area as well as on the Executive Development team. She earned her Psy.D. in Organizational Psychology from Rutgers University in 2008. Svetlana is certified in MBTI, DiSC, Caliper, Lominger VOICES, and Korn Ferry Interview and Leadership Architect.