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Leadership & OD SIG: "L&D’s Role in Creating a Top Workplace"

  • November 14, 2023
  • 5:30 PM - 8:00 PM
  • Judge Learning Solutions: 151 S. Warner Road, Suite 100 Wayne, PA 19087
  • 4


Registration is closed

Employers are still having to focus harder than ever to attract and retain talent since the disruption of the business environment during the COVID-19 pandemic. An elite group of organizations are getting this right, and earn the distinction of being a Top Workplace, based on quantitative employee feedback conducted by Energage, the company that powers the Top Workplace program.

According to Energage, these standout organizations deliver outstanding business results and outperform their competitors.  While there are many reasons enabling an organization to earn recognition as a Top Workplace, the L&D / Talent Development function certainly plays a critical role.

Come attend the Nov. 14 Leadership & OD SIG program to hear from those who have responsibility for L&D/talent development in five award-winning organizations and learn how L&D contributes to a Top Workplaces culture.

Note: If you’re interested in earning Top Workplaces recognition in The Philadelphia Inquirer and nationally, please visit to learn more.

You’ll hear from:

  • Kristy Blaise  VP, L&D, Growth and Customer Experience - Comcast

  • Lynn Buschman Learning & Development Manager – Almo Corporation

  • Neil Cohen SVP, HR – Affiliated Distributors

  • Peter Jones Director, Enterprise L&D – Independence Blue Cross

  • April Whitehead VP, Head of Organizational Development – Hartford Funds

Moderator: Dan Kessler – President – Energage

Agenda: 5:30 – 8:00 pm

5:30 – 6:15 pm: Registration / Light Meal / Networking
6:15 – 6:30 pm: Announcements
6:30 – 8:00 pm: Welcome & Program

This event is sponsored by:

The Judge Group

Speaker Bios:

Kristy Blaise | VP Learning and Development for Comcast’s Growth and Customer Experience Channels

Kristy Blaise

Kristy Blaise leads the learning engagement function for the consumer business at Comcast Cable. This encompasses Comcast’s products under the Xfinity brand, including TV, internet, mobile, smart home, and voice. Comcast Cable is one of the largest consumer companies in the US, being a sophisticated digital marketer, leading advertiser, a Top-25 global brand, and having a salesforce of over 10,000 professionals spanning multiple sales channels. In her role, Kristy focuses on employee development, organizational effectiveness, and building a productive, energizing culture that drives results.

Lynn Buschman | Learning & Development Manager for Exertis Almo

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Lynn Buschman leads the L&D function at Exertis Almo, a family-operated national distributor of appliances and professional audio/visual products and services. As the first person in the L&D role, Lynn laid the foundation of a continuous learning culture where employees drive their growth.  Each year the number of talent development initiatives has increased and business results are evident.  

Lynn holds a BS in Finance from Virginia Tech and a MS in Human Resources from Troy University. Previous to Exertis Almo, she held a leadership role in a medical device company.

Neil Cohen | SVP, Human Resources for Affiliated Distributors

Neil Cohen

Neil Cohen is Sr. Vice President, Human Resources | HR Services Practice Lead for Affiliated Distributor (AD)  AD is North America’s largest marketing/buying group for construction and industrial supplies. 

Neil has two roles within AD. He is the internal head of HR responsible for partnering with AD’s leaders to hire great talent, develop their people, and ensure that AD is a great place to work. Additionally, he created and runs the AD HR Services practice, which adds value to AD’s member companies by connecting them with high-quality, innovative and cost-effective HR service providers, providing them with best practice sharing and professional development opportunities, and creating a foundation for a strong AD HR community.

In addition to 30+ years of experience in human resources, Neil holds an MBA from Temple University and a BA in Business & Psychology from Franklin & Marshall College.

Peter Jones | Director, Enterprise Learning and Development for Independence Blue Cross

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Peter Jones is the head of Independence Blue Cross’s Corporate University and oversees all professional development, leadership & management development, executive coaching, and organizational development initiatives. He has led key strategies to build organizational readiness for Health Care Reform, enterprise system/platform migrations, and the development of impactful enterprise solutions for onboarding, career development, mentoring and team performance. 

Peter holds a Master's degree from Columbia University and has presented at numerous conferences and workshops across the country.

April Whitehead | VP, Head of Organizational Development for Hartford Funds

April Whitehead manages the organization development strategy for Hartford Funds and is responsible for strengthening their talent through learning, culture, diversity and inclusion initiatives. She oversees the leadership development, industry knowledge, sales development, learning opportunities, on-boarding, e-learning, engagement survey action planning and diversity and inclusion programs.

In previous roles she was responsible for global talent development processes and initiatives including needs assessment, on-boarding, professional, leadership and organizational development, engagement survey, career management and talent review/succession planning. She recently completed her MBA/Marketing degree at Drexel University.

Dan Kessler | President of Energage

Dan Kessler is the President of Energage, the research partner for the Top Workplaces program. Previously, he was a Project Leader at The Boston Consulting Group where he specialized in organizational transformation, operations, and corporate development.

Dan has an M.B.A. from The Wharton School at The University of Pennsylvania, was a Jane Addams Fellow at The Indiana University Center on Philanthropy, and has a degree in Public Policy from Duke University.

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