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MENTORS

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TAMAR ELKELES

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KIMO KIPPEN

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FERNANDO SANCHEZ-ARIAS

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DAVE VANCE

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TAMAR ELKELES

Tamar Elkeles, Ph.D. is an experienced Chief Learning Officer, Human Resources Executive and thought leader in the Talent, Learning, Organization Development and Human Capital field. Throughout her career Tamar has had unique experiences with entrepreneurs and executives in both start-ups and large enterprises. She has expertise managing global growth and leading international teams, as well as an extensive background implementing best in class people practices in numerous companies. 

Tamar is currently the Chief Human Resources Officer for XCOM, a wireless technology company propelling the next mobile revolution. Prior to this role she was the Chief Talent Executive for Atlantic Bridge, a global venture capital fund focused on technology investments. She was previously the Chief People Officer for Quixey, a Silicon Valley tech start-up, and before that was the Chief Learning Officer at Qualcomm.

In her long tenure as Chief Learning Officer she created a world class learning organization and grew the company from 700 employees to over 31,000. Her scope of leadership included talent strategy, global learning, executive/leadership development, technical development, employee communications, organization development, talent management, culture & engagement, learning technology and mobile learning for Qualcomm’s global workforce. 

She has been featured in several publications including CLO Magazine, Training Magazine, T&D Magazine and HR Executive Magazine for her leadership and contributions to the profession. She is the author of three books on the CLO’s role: “The Chief Learning Officer”, "Measuring the Success of Learning Through Technology" and "The Chief Talent Officer". She was named “CLO of the Year” in 2010 and in 2015, under her leadership, Qualcomm was named “Learning & Development Organization of the Year”. 

Tamar is also a Board Member of GP Strategies Corporation (NYSE: GPX).

KIMO KIPPEN

An aspiring “Citizen of the World,” Kimo Kippen is an accomplished, visionary, thought leader and sought-out international keynote speaker committed to making a difference in the world by inspiring business and civic leaders, as well as employees, to think outside the box and actualize what is truly possible.  

Originally from Hawaii, for the past 20 years, Kimo has been on a lifetime journey to advance education, global labor force conditions, and economic empowerment internationally. 

In his past role as Chief Learning Officer at Hilton, he transformed the learning and development culture, improving the company’s guest scores, brand loyalty and global market foothold. Subsequently Hilton has won awards, accolades and increased the stock price (27.05% ) following the IPO in 2013, outperforming the S&P 500 by 18.37% as of June 29, 2015.

Kimo serves on several boards, where he has positively impacted corporate, academic and civic organizations’ abilities to drive progressive change; most recently supporting the success of Hilton’s “Travel with Purpose” initiative that educates and trains company team members on how to help stop child trafficking. 

Prior to 2010 Kimo held various roles at Marriott International Inc., including leadership of the Learning Center of Excellence for all of Marriott International’s operated and franchised properties worldwide.

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Fernando seeks to improve business and people strategy key performance indicators, leveraging his 20+ years of experience as a business and human capital leader in learning; organizational culture; talent acquisition and management; associate relations; diversity and inclusion; change and organizational effectiveness; and corporate strategic relations.

A highly accountable People, Culture, and Change executive with a solid business mindset and bias for action, Fernando combines a rigorous Ivy-League education from Wharton School and the Graduate School of Education of the University of Pennsylvania with hands-on practice and experience building business alliances and developing leaders in Fortune 100 companies, oil & gas manufacturing enterprises, consulting firms, chambers of commerce, professional associations, and non-profits organizations from more than 70 countries. 

A business leader who balances his work as an executive with his engaging keynote speeches, transforming coaching sessions, and practical articles, Fernando is highly competent linking people with bottom-line results as a member of boards of directors and executive leadership teams. A values-based servant leader, certified coach, versatile problem and conflict solver, critical and strategic thinker, Fernando is an innovator with high self-initiative, able to communicate and engage with people vertically and horizontally across organizational levels with a customer-centric approach.

He served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Association for Talent Development - ATD (formerly ASTD) and was the 59th World President of Junior Chamber International (JCI). He was a vice-president of the US-Mexico Chamber of Commerce in Houston and serves as a member of the Advisory Board. He was the Chief People Officer of The Home Depot's Global Custom Commerce and is currently leading a project to develop people leaders for the overall enterprise. He is fluent in English, Spanish, and Portuguese.

FERNANDO SANCHEZ-ARIAS

DAVE VANCE

David Vance is the executive director of the Center for Talent Reporting which is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the creation and implementation of standards for human capital measurement, reporting, and management. He is the former President of Caterpillar University, which he founded in 2001. Until his retirement in January 2007, he was responsible for ensuring that the right education, training and leadership were provided to achieve corporate goals and efficiently meet the learning needs of Caterpillar and dealer employees. Prior to this position, Dave was Chief Economist and Head of the Business Intelligence Group at Caterpillar Inc. with responsibility for economic outlooks, sales forecasts, market research, competitive analysis and business information systems.


Dave was named 2006 Chief Learning Officer (CLO) of the Year by Chief Learning Officer magazine. He also was named 2004 Corporate University Leader of the Year by the International Quality and Productivity Center in their annual CUBIC (Corporate University Best in Class) Awards. Caterpillar was ranked number one in the 2005 ASTD Best Awards and was named Best Overall Corporate University in 2004 by both Corporate University Xchange and the International Quality and Productivity Center.  During Dave’s tenure Cat U was also honored with numerous other awards including many in the measurement and alignment arenas.


Dave is a frequent speaker at learning conferences and association meetings. He conducts workshops on managing the learning function, and teaches in the human capital Ph.D. programs at Bellevue University and the University of Southern Mississippi. His current research focus is on the development of Talent Development Reporting Principles (TDRp) for L&D in particular and human capital in general. He also is a trustee and lead independent director for State Farm Mutual Funds, and an advisory board member for Capital Analytics, Inc. and Knowledge Advisors. His first book, The Business of Learning: How to Manage Corporate Training to Improve Your Bottom Line, was published in October 2010 and is available at Dave’s website poudrerivergroup.com.


Dave, his wife Barbara, and their two dogs live in Windsor, Colorado, where they moved after retiring from Caterpillar. (Windsor is near Fort Collins and about an hour north of Denver.)

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