Ronnie Charles

Principal Consultant, Fox Lawson & Associates

Prior to joining Fox Lawson & Associates, Ronnie Charles served as chief human resources officer for the city of Baltimore, Maryland. He has also served as director of the Department of Human Resources and Information Technology for the city of Suffolk, Virginia; chief administrative operating officer and director of HR and Labor Relations for the District of Columbia Child and Family Services Agency; and director of the Office of Human Resources and Organizational Development for the Virginia Department of HR Management. Charles is a master’s candidate at the University of Phoenix and holds several professional certifications including SPHR, GPHR and IPMA-CP. He is the current chair of IPMA-HR’s Professional Development Committee and board chairman of the HR Certification Institute.

Mila Cosgrove

Deputy City Manager for the City and Borough of Juneau, Alaska

Prior to transitioning to municipal management, Mila Cosgrove worked in the human resources field for 30 years at the executive level for state and local governments in both union and non-union environments. She holds IPMA-SCP and SPHR certifications and is a graduate of the Pacific Program for Catalytic Leadership.

Momoh A. Conteh

HR Director for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources

Since 2009, Momoh A. Conteh has served as human resources director at the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA), where his responsibilities include recruitment and examination, benefits, classification and compensation, staff development and training, employer/employee and labor relations, and performance management. Conteh also serves as a professional mediator with the Maryland Shared Neutrals Mediation Program. Prior to joining the MDA, Conteh served as deputy labor commissioner for the city of Baltimore, Maryland, representing the city in negotiations regarding collective bargaining agreements that covered 15,000 uniformed and civilian employees. He also served as an adjunct professor with Baltimore City Community College. Conteh holds a master’s degree in human resources/behavioral management from Johns Hopkins University and holds the IPMA-CP certification. His professional memberships include IPMA-HR and the Society for Human Resource Management.

Richard Heil

Founder and President, The Curtis Group

Prior to founding The Curtis Group, Richard (“Dick”) Heil served the state of Pennsylvania as the first director of personnel for the Department of Aging, director of employee relations and development, and director of personnel for the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare — one of the largest public organizations in the country with over 23,000 full-time and 2,400 part-time employees. Heil has conducted the Developing Competencies for HR Success course on behalf of IPMA-HR for a number of international entities, including the Asian Development Bank and Iraqi Ministries of Interior and Defense, as well as the Peoples’ Republic of China and the government of Thailand. He is also the co-writer and developer of IPMA-HR's Public Sector HR Essentials course. In recognition of his “outstanding contributions to the Association and to the public human resources profession,” Heil was awarded an Honorary Lifetime Membership from IPMA-HR. He holds a Master of Governmental Administration from the University of Pennsylvania, as well as IPMA-CP certification.

Trish Holliday

Trish BIO November 2019

Founding Partner, Holliday | Kenning Inc.

Trish has formed a partnership with Lucinda Kenning to launch a new consulting business, Holliday│Kenning, which provides leaders in the private and public sectors with an organizational playbook that focuses on growing leaders and driving performance. The Holliday│Kenning framework offers organizations and its leaders a Playbook with five distinct approaches (plays) that are critical for a winning workplace that attracts and retains top talent. The five key plays designed for cultural transformation are: Strategic Planning, Succession Readiness, Leadership Development, Organizational Accountability, and Change Navigation.

As the state of Tennessee’s first Chief Learning Officer, Trish was recognized by Governing Magazine as being instrumental in the successful transformation of the state workforce. She drove change through continuous improvement, leadership development and employee learning at the macro and micro levels. Trish designed the LEAD Tennessee program to create a sustainable platform for talent retention in government. She led strategic planning and talent development for state executives in all three branches of government.

As an award-winning leader, Trish was the cover feature in the 2019 March issue of the national Chief Learning Officer Magazine. She was named one of the 2019 Women of Influence by the Nashville Business Journal. Trish received the Warner W. Stockberger Achievement Award in honor of a lifetime of outstanding contributions toward the improvement of public human resources management by IPMA-HR. She is an alum of Leadership Middle Tennessee and a Leadership Tennessee graduate, Class IV.

As an adjunct professor, Trish teaches undergraduates to doctoral students in areas like Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Human Resources Leadership and Management, and Personal Leadership Development. After receiving her Doctorate in Education, she wants to help students at all levels realize the importance of life-long learning.

Trish is a speaker at the local, national, and international level. She serves on various non-profit and academic boards and enjoys giving back to the community. Trish was a founding board member of the non-profit organization, Impact Nashville. As a Young Leader alum, she values paying it forward. Trish volunteers with the Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence on the Board of Examiners.

From her days in the Appalachian missionary field through her work in government, she has found enormous joy in helping people become their best selves and organizations to reach optimal performance.

Robert Lavigna

Director, Institute for Public Sector Employee Engagement, CPS HR Consulting

Bob Lavigna is an award-winning public sector leader and innovator with more than 30 years of experience leading human resources organizations and programs in the public sector. He is currently the director of the Institute for Public Sector Employee Engagement, a division of CPS HR Services, an independent government agency. The Institute is dedicated to helping public sector and nonprofit organizations measure and improve employee engagement as a key to improving service delivery. Lavigna's book, "Engaging Government Employees: Motivate and Inspire Your People to Achieve Superior Performance," published by the American Management Association and now in its second printing, is the first book to focus exclusively on employee engagement in the public sector. Before joining CPS, Lavigna was assistant vice chancellor and director of HR for the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In this position, he directred HR policies and programs for a university ranked amoung the world's top 25 research institutions. Other previous positions include vice president of research for the Partnership for Public Service and director of the state of Wisconsin civil service system. He began his career with the U.S. Government Accountability Office.

Lavigna is an elected fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration. His individual awards and honors also include selection as a Public Official of the Year by Governing magazine, as well as the highest individual achievement awards from both IPMA-HR and the National Association of State Personnel Executives (NASPE). In addition, the organizations Lavigna has led have received innovation awards from the Ford Foundation, IPMA-HR, NASPE, Council of State Governments, Urban League, Society of Human Resouce Management and others.

Lavigna is a past national president of IPMA-HR and past national chair of the American Society for Public Administration Section on Personnel and Labor Relations. In addition to his book, he writes frequently for professional publications and is the author of three book chapters on HR. He has spoken at conferences throughout the U.S. and in Canada, Europe, Asia, South America, the Caribbean, Africa, and the Middle East. Lavigna has a bachelor's in Public Affairs from George Washington University, and a master's in human resources from Cornell University.

Bruce Lawson

Managing Director, Fox Lawson & Associates LLC

Bruce Lawson has been directing classification and compensation studies for more than 25 years. As managing director of Fox Lawson & Associates, he is responsible for all consulting activities in the areas of job evaluation and compensation, organization analysis, personnel systems and policy development. Prior to forming the firm, Lawson spent 15 years with Ernst & Young LLP as national director of the public sector compensation consulting practice. He also served in public sector administration for a number of years, including city manager of Los Altos Hills, California; city manager of Belvedere, California; county administrative officer of Multnomah County, Oregon; and assistant city manager and personnel director of Corvallis, Oregon. Lawson is co-author of a monthly column for HR News titled “CompDoctor,” and is an active member of several professional human resource associations including IPMA-HR, CUPA-HR, ICMA, and WorldatWork. He holds a Master of Public Administration from California State University-Fullerton, is a Certified Compensation Professional (CCP), and holds the IPMA-CP certification.

David Ritter

Partner, Barnes & Thornburg LLP

David Ritter has nearly 30 years of experience representing public and private companies in all aspects of labor and employment law and litigation. As a partner at Barnes & Thornburg, he represents clients before governmental agencies, including the National Labor Relations Board, Department of Labor, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, and defends employers faced with claims under Sarbanes-Oxley. Ritter is AV-rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, its highest rating; he has been recognized as a labor and employment leader in the 2008-2012 editions of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business; and is listed in Best Lawyers in America. Prior to joining Barnes & Thornburg in 2012, he was a partner at Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg LLP where he chaired the labor and employment practice group. Ritter holds a Juris Doctor from Case Western Reserve University Law School.

Mary Rowe

Mary Rowe Photo

HR Consultant and Mediator

Mary was the International Public Managers Association – Human Resources (IPMA-HR) President for 2017. She has been active in the IPMA-HR Oregon chapter including serving as chapter Board President on two occasions and also served on the Western Region board. She has been on multiple committees with IPMA-HR. Mary holds the IPMA-HR senior certified professional designation and has taught the IPMA – HR Developing Competencies training both locally and internationally. She is also a certified professional through NPELRA. She is now working in a consulting role after serving in Public Sector HR roles for over 30 years. Most recently she was the HR director for Oregon Metro regional government in Portland Oregon. In addition, Mary is an experienced workplace and special education mediator.

Margaret Schmitt

Margaret M. Schmitt Photo

Principal, Margaret M Schmitt Consulting

Margaret M. Schmitt has over 30 years of public service, including local government human resources’ leadership and management. She is the former Human Resources Director for the City of Lynchburg, Virginia. Margaret maintains an HR consulting and project management practice. She also works with the Berkley Group, a local government consulting firm. She actively supports IPMA-HR, non-profits and public organizations by delivering training, facilitating retreats and employee meetings and assisting with organizational development. Margaret serves as the Western Region representative on the IPMA-HR, VA Chapter Board of Directors. In addition to her professional work, Margaret helps build community through volunteer work and by serving on non-profit boards. Margaret holds a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from St. Leo College, a Master’s in Public Administration from George Washington University and SPHR, SHRM-SCP and IPMA-SCP certifications.

Fagan Stackhouse

HR Director for the City of Raleigh

Fagan Stackhouse has worked in the field of public human resources for over 40 years. He’s held local government positions in North Carolina, Michigan, Wisconsin, Virginia, and South Carolina. As a member of IPMA-HR, Stackhouse served in the capacity of president, president of the IPMA Certification Council, and represented the Association internationally in Canada, China, Iraq, Sri Lanka, and Thailand. Stackhouse has received numerous awards for his service, including the Virginia IPMA-HR Chapter Award for Outstanding Service, IPMA-HR Honorary Lifetime Member award, Edwin L. Swain Award for Distinguished Human Resources Career, and the Warner W. Stockberger Achievement Award for outstanding contributions toward improvements for public human resources. Stackhouse holds a Master of Public Administration from UNC-Chapel Hill.

Richard Stokes

Richard Stokes Picture

Office Manager, Municipal Technical Advisory Service

Richard L. Stokes served as IPMA-HR president in 2015 and as an Executive Council member from 2005 through 2009. He currently works as a human resource consultant and as an office manager at the Municipal Technical Advisory Service, which is part of the University of Tennessee's Institute for Public Service.

During his more than 30 years with IPMA-HR, Stokes has led several Developing Competencies for HR Success courses as an instructor.

Sam Wilkins

Human Resources Consultant, and Adjunct lecturer, Columbia College, South Carolina

Sam Wilkins is a graduate of Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina, and the University of South Carolina School of Law. He practiced law for four years with a private law firm before working with the South Carolina Office of the Attorney General for eight years. Wilkins also worked at the South Carolina State Human Resources Division, serving as director for over 13 years before retiring in 2015. Since then, he has been an adjunct instructor at Columbia College in Columbia, South Carolina, where he teaches a course about the impact of human resources in the Disaster and Emergency Management Program, and an adjunct professor at the University of South Carolina, teaching a course in the Master of Human Resources program. Wilkins also serves as an independent consultant concerning human resources issues.