THRIVE 2021: Elevating & Empowering Women in Staffing

Every THRIVE event features powerful and inspiring presenters from throughout the staffing industry, who will share lessons learned and effective growth strategies that have propelled their careers and positioned them for continued success.




THRIVE: Live at Staffing World 2021, Parts I and II

Brought to you by the ASA Women in Leadership interest group, this collaborative two-day event delivers valuable content designed especially for women who seek to grow their leadership skills and expand their professional reach in the staffing industry. Learn from and connect with standout women leaders in the industry and other impressive subject matter experts in a collaborative environment. THRIVE: Live will feature sessions on transformative leadership skills, working more cohesively, and silencing your inner critic. Staffing industry executives will share lessons learned and effective growth strategies.

(Note: This is a two-part preconvention program that takes place Sept. 27–28; separate registration required. A boxed lunch will be served on Tuesday, Sept. 28, only.)

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Subject to change

Part I – Monday, Sept. 27

1:30–1:45 p.m.

Welcome and Opening Remarks

1:45–2:45 p.m.

Inclusify: Maximizing Uniqueness and Belonging to Build Innovative Teams

Stefanie K. Johnson, ph.D., associate professor, Leeds School of Business, University of Colorado Boulder

In this session, Dr. Johnson will help leaders understand how to build belonging on their teams while still celebrating the uniqueness that each team member brings. The emphasis will be on one’s individual identity and what each can do to build inclusion.

  • What is inclusifying and its resounding impact on business?
  • The path to inclusifying: headwinds and tailwinds
  • Your own inclusifying journey

2:45–3:30 p.m.

Networking With Peers

3:30–3:45 p.m.


3:45–4:45 p.m.

Reject That Inner Critic: Silence the Voice of Self-Doubt

Brad Freyer, principal, Market Sense Houston

Most of us, without formal training, do not know how to separate our identity, our self-concept and self-worth, from the various roles we play. We were taught to believe that success is an external thing; what society thinks of us is more important than what we think of ourselves.

During our school years there was no room on our report card for identity achievement, but there was plenty of room for role achievement. In other words, much of our growing-up time consisted of jumping a series of bars to prove we had worth. If we failed, we got the message that we were worthless—not as a role performer, but as a human being. As time went on, we mistakenly accepted role failure as identity or “I-failure.” We were not told that role failure, or role success for that matter, should have no effect on our self-image.

4:45–5:30 p.m.

Speed Talks

Rosie Rivel, vice president and chief information officer (Interim), Kelly
Melissa Byington, chief sales officer, Supplemental Health Care

Listen as three powerful women within the staffing industry share their career highlights, stories of overcoming a personal or professional challenge, and provide inspiration to attendees in diverse career stages.

Did you have a pivotal moment in your career that impacted your career trajectory? What/who has guided you in your career? What was the biggest hurdle you have overcome in your career? Learn how these questions and more shaped the lives of these incredible women and could lead to greater career and personal success for you. These High-impact Speed Talks will leave you inspired and energized.

5:30–7:00 p.m.

Special Reception for Women Leaders

Come in early for the THRIVE: Live preconvention program, and you’ll be invited to a special networking
reception on Monday, Sept. 27, 5:30–7 p.m., just for those who attend.

Sponsored by:


Part II — Tuesday, Sept. 28

7:30 A.m.

Wellness Walk

8:30–9 A.m.

Breakfast and PAIRIN: Self-Awareness Through Soft Skills Assessment

Wendy Nenoff, senior vice president client services, YUPRO

PAIRIN is a personalized assessment tool that helps individuals reach their potential and contribute to workforce change. It provides skills-based assessment and online curriculum tools that offer comprehensive professional development and tailored coaching support. YUPRO utilizes PAIRIN as a talent retention and engagement resource to drive positive outcomes for both employees and employer partners. During this session, you will have the opportunity to take the PAIRIN assessment.

Learn your four key imperatives driving your success and how you can leverage your strengths to build other essential skills to propel your career forward. Hear some tips on self-awareness and accepting assessment feedback as positive motivation for professional growth. We invite you to assess your critical soft skills, such as problem solving and critical thinking, in just 15 minutes.

9–10 A.m.

From an Idea to a Movement: Choosing Self-Confidence + Pivoting with Purpose

Lisa Sun, founder and CEO, GRAVITAS

As Lisa Sun, founder and CEO of the lifestyle and fashion company GRAVITAS, explains, people can’t be confident until they fully understand what makes them uniquely strong. Blending research from her time at McKinsey & Company and her personal story, Lisa will impart a powerful message about drawing on specific gifts to make the world a better place. Especially during challenging times, each of us can take advantage of our personal strengths, capabilities, and individual “superpower” to identify ways to uniquely contribute and open up an entire solution-set for change. With insights from her own experience pivoting GRAVITAS to support frontline workers during the pandemic, Lisa demonstrates that when you rethink elements of your life, your business, and your industry around an authentic purpose (not profit), everyone else will come along for the ride – raising their own hands to help and creating a long-term impact on their lives. Audiences will walk away inspired and with actionable tactics to adapt to any situation in a way that has lasting purpose.

10–10:45 A.m.

Engaged Listening for Inclusive Leadership and Effective Communication

Shana Cordon, founder and lead trainer, The Moxy Lab

There can be no inclusion without listening, yet individuals and organizations often have a difficult time listening well. Learn to understand listening at a deeper, engaged, intelligent level. Listening happens not in the ears but in the mind, and our cultural, cognitive, and personal differences can undermine our ability to listen—as individuals and as organizations. Learn how a new awareness of your listening can transform your life and the lives of those with whom you work.

During this session, we will learn and practice methods for engaged listening, including:

  • Be present: Manage attention with mindfulness.
  • Listen completely: Be patient and listen with your mind, heart, and intuition.
  • Affirm and confirm: Remain curious and non-assuming.
  • Listen intelligently: Listen with agility, based on the need of the speaker and conversation.

10:45–11 A.m.


11 A.M.–12:00 P.m.

Success Strategies: Inspiring Staffing Industry Stories

Facilitated by Leslie Vickrey, CEO and founder, ClearEdge Marketing
Panelists: Tinisha Bookhart, partner, director of IT & diversity, Primary Talent PartnersTammy Browning, president, KellyOCGAnna Frazzetto, chief digital technology officer, Tential

Hear from a panel of inspiring women throughout the staffing and recruiting industry who will share accounts of their personal challenges, strategies, and results. Based on recommendations from the ASA Women in Leadership interest group, this session will focus on critical career growth and opportunities, overcoming barriers, leadership lessons, and overall success strategies.

12–1 P.m.

Networking Lunch (box lunches provided)

1–1:30 P.m.

Closing Remarks

Terri Adams“The event was well organized. The speakers were phenomenal and very inspiring! It was a great event! I am happy that I participated.”

–Terri Lawson-Adams CEO, Ellsworth Healthcare

Alison Daley“Loved connecting with so many great women. Great content, loved the synergy across topics, loved the opportunity to chat and vibe together in the happy hour.”

–Alison Daley, CEO, Recruiting Innovation

Jennifer Hamilton“This was such an incredible event! So impressed with the smooth technology and loved the speakers and topics. I have lots of great take-aways and can't wait to share them with our team of wonderful women back at the office!”

–Jennifer Hamilton, CSP, director of recruiting, High Profile Inc.

Maggie Williams“An amazing way to network with other women leaders while at home. I felt more connected than ever to the women in the industry.”

–Maggie Williams, director of performance, Corporate Brokers

Mary Ann McLaughlin“It was a truly wonderful experience to see the many women in this industry who are dedicated to making a difference in their companies, their teams, and their talent coming together. It was like stepping into a forcefield—the energy, the willingness to support each other, the passion for becoming stronger leaders, and the gratitude for the opportunities and each other was palpable.”

–Mary Ann McLaughlin, managing partner, Butler Street Consulting

Are you ASA-certified? Participate in THRIVE 2021 and earn up to 3.0 continuing education hours toward maintaining your ASA credential.

Interested in sponsorship opportunities? Contact Kim Kelemen at 703-253-1169 or Sarah Senges at 703-253-2042.


ASA Workforce MonitorMore than three-quarters of employed U.S. adults (79%) are satisfied with their employers’ pandemic-related return-to-work plans. Download the infographic »

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