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Nancy Bornn is a workplace investigator and HR expert witness from the Los Angeles area. She has over 30 years of experience as an employment lawyer. Ms. Bornn is one of the founding directors of the Association of Workplace Investigators Inc., is a sustaining member of AWI, and has been a Faculty member of the AWI Institute. She is a former member on the Board of Governors of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, and served on its credentials committee. She is a former chair of the Labor & Employment Law Section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association. She is a former chair of the California Employment Lawyers Association. Ms. Bornn also served as a member of the Board of Directors of the National Employment Lawyers Association. Ms. Bornn is a frequent speaker on workplace issues, has published numerous articles in the area of employment law, and is the author of the legal treatise, “Representing California Sexual Harassment Plaintiffs” (James Publishing 2004), updated in part in 2007 (Nancy Bornn A Law Corporation 2007), and the co-author of Practice Pointers for Workplace Investigations (SHRM 2010).
Naomi Butterfield is legal counsel for Merrimack County in New Hampshire where she currently conducts and oversees all workplace investigations. In her nearly 20 years of practicing law in both New Hampshire and Colorado she has counseled both public and private clients regarding strategies for reducing and managing risk, managing leave and wage and hour issues, and performance management. Ms. Butterfield provides training on performance management and conducting EEOC and US Department of Education compliant investigations. She has served as Assistant Attorney General in both the New Hampshire and Colorado Departments of Justice and as General Counsel at the New Hampshire Community College System. As a member of the Bernstein Shur Sawyer and Nelson labor and employment practice group she represented employers in litigation and administrative claims of discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination and retaliation as well as other employment disputes before both administrative agencies and in state and federal court. Continuing her specialization in education law, Ms. Butterfield’s practice focused on student and employment issues in higher education including the investigation of sexual assault and harassment complaints under Title IX, and of discrimination, workplace harassment and bullying complaints. Ms. Butterfield previously served as faculty at the 2015 AWI Institute in Mystic, Connecticut.
Frank A. Cania, MSEmpL, SPHR, SHRM-SCP is the president of DRIVEN HR, LLC, a Rochester, NY-based human resource consulting firm. A business and HR professional for more than 30 years, his professional passion, and primary focus, is on helping business owners, managers, and HR professionals navigate the complex waters of regulatory compliance. Mr. Cania graduated summa cum laude from the Shepard Broad Law Center at Nova Southeastern University with a Master’s Degree in Employment Law. In addition he is certified by the HR Certification Institute as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR), and by the Society for Human Resource Management as a Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP), and in 2015 he successfully completed the Training Institute for Workplace Investigators through the Association of Workplace Investigators. A dedicated husband, and proud father of a son and daughter, Mr. Cania believes strongly in sharing his time and talents through active volunteer roles. Currently, he is Federal Advocacy Director for the NYS SHRM council, and a team captain for the SHRM National Legislative Advocacy Team.
Pamela Clarke is a workplace human rights lawyer and investigator practising in Winnipeg. She has focussed her career on employment and labour relations issues, both as a lawyer and senior human resources leader in prominent Canadian corporations. Ms. Clarke started working in the area of employment discrimination at the Canadian Human Rights Commission in the late 1980’s while attending the University of Ottawa Law School. She has extensive experience in the development of respectful workplace policies, the design and delivery of workplace human rights education, the mediation of disputes and the investigation of complaints. She has trained thousands of individuals on the prevention of harassment and workplace violence as well as instructing HR professionals on the appropriate methods for investigation and response. Since launching her own investigation practice in 2005, Ms. Clarke has investigated over 200 complaints, in a variety of private and public sector, unionized and non-unionized workplaces, often dealing with complex issues and multiple parties. She is a member of the Law Society of Manitoba, the Canadian and Manitoba Bar Associations, the Human Resource Management Association of Manitoba, the Association of Workplace Investigators, and a founding member of the Canadian Association of Workplace Investigators. She is a graduate of the 2015 AWI Institute in Mystic, Connecticut and served on the 2016 AWI Institute faculty in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario.
Britt-Marie Cole-Johnson is a partner at Robinson & Cole LLP. Ms. Cole-Johnson counsels boards of directors, senior management, and human resources professionals in all areas of employment law with a focus on sensitive, high-risk personnel issues and investigations as well as compliance and training. She is regularly engaged to advise clients regarding personnel policies; affirmative action compliance; pay equity; discipline and terminations; wage and hour issues; disability and reasonable accommodations; leaves of absence; employment contracts; separation agreements; and reductions in force. She also represents employers across various industries in litigation involving discrimination, wrongful termination, workers compensation retaliation, and other employment claims before state and federal administrative agencies and courts.
Jeremy Eaves is the head of employee relations and workplace investigations at DaVita Inc. headquartered in Denver, CO. Mr. Eaves joined DaVita in 2010, and currently leads a team of 30 employee relations advisors and managers responsible for advising on and investigating all domestic employee relations issues for a population of over 45,000 employees. Mr. Eaves’ tenure in human resources spans over 15 years in both the financial services and health care industries. Prior to joining DaVita, he held a variety of human resources positions at ING, Oppenheimer Funds, and KeyBank. In addition to being faculty of the Association of Workplace Investigators (AWI), Mr. Eaves is co-founder of the Colorado New Talent Management Network (CoNTMN). He previously held board positions with Colorado Human Resource Association (CHRA) and Rocky Mountain Human Resource People and Strategy (RMHRPS). A native of Colorado, Mr. Eaves holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism with an emphasis in Public Relations, and a Master of Science in Higher Education Administration, both from Colorado State University. He resides in Broomfield, CO where he has trained for multiple marathons, century cycling events and CrossFit.
Gary Edwards leads the global human resource investigations team at Facebook. He and his team ensure the fair and thorough investigation of complaints and concerns regarding violations of company policy or law. Mr. Edwards joined Facebook in 2012 as its first company investigator and as an executive coach. His professional background spans the fields of manufacturing and procurement operations, business development, sales operations and human resources. Mr. Edwards has had firsthand knowledge of the challenges of managing a diverse workforce, as he has worked extensively in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa, and has also lived in Japan and North Africa. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Tufts University and a master’s degree from Columbia University.
Donna R. Evans is a California attorney who limits her practice to conducting neutral workplace investigations, training and consulting. She has conducted and managed over a hundred workplace investigations into allegations of workplace misconduct including discrimination, harassment, retaliation, violence, bullying, dishonesty, ethical and policy violations and whistle-blowing. Ms. Evans has Director-level experience with a Fortune 200 company, and special expertise and experience with public sector investigations, including investigations governed by POBR and FBOR. Ms. Evans is a renowned trainer and educator and has presented training to thousands of California employees on a variety of employment and leadership topics.
Elizabeth Watson Gramigna is an attorney whose firm is located in Short Hills, New Jersey. Ms. Gramigna has been practicing labor and employment law for over twenty-five years. Her firm’s focus over the past fifteen years has been to provide services that support a non-litigious and client-centered approach of eradicating the effects of harassment and discrimination in the workplace through impartial investigations, mediations, and education. Ms. Gramigna also provides expert testimony in employment matters. In addition to her legal training, Ms. Gramigna is certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) and has her undergraduate degree in Industrial Relations. She is a frequent lecturer, having lectured in New York, New Jersey, and Philadelphia about workplace investigations, including ethical issues presented in investigations, and has authored several publications relating to investigations. Ms. Gramigna is a member of the New Jersey State Bar Association and the American Bar Association Sections on Labor & Employment Law and Employee Rights and Responsibilities, where she serves on the Workplace Investigations and Employee Privacy Sub-Committees. Ms. Gramigna is an active member of AWI. She completed the 2013 AWI Institute, spoke at the 2013 AWI Annual Conference, served on the faculty of the 2015 AWI Institute in Mystic, Connecticut, and has written articles published in the AWI Journal. Ms. Gramigna is an active member of the Society of Independent Workplace Investigators (SIWI), and is co-chair of the Grants Committee for the New Jersey Women Lawyers Association.
Sydney Howell is Associate General Counsel, Global Employment, at Twitter, Inc. In this capacity, Ms. Howell leads the Employment Law and Employee Relations functions, providing advice to executives, Human Resources (HR), and business stakeholders on a full range of employment matters such as recruiting, hiring, training, performance management, employee relations, compensation, terminations, restructurings, contingent workforce matters, benefits, employment issues in M&A, internal investigations, and general compliance. She has facilitated the launch of more than 20 offices worldwide, and is responsible for establishing and managing country-specific protocols, policies, and employment contracts. Before her time with Twitter, Ms. Howell was Principal at Howell Employment Law for 8 years, during which she also served as Of Counsel to the Kastner|Kim group of firms. And before that, she was an Associate with the law firm of Brobeck, Phlegher and Harrison. Ms. Howell has also worked for various human rights causes and organizations, including the South African Human Rights Commission, and organizations dedicated to advancing the rights of women and children. She received her J.D. from Berkeley Law (Boalt Hall) at the University of California, Berkeley.
Monica Jeffrey is a founding partner at JMJ Workplace Investigation Law LLP, one of the first law firms in Canada to devote its practice exclusively to conducting third party neutral workplace investigations. Prior to becoming a full-time workplace investigator, Ms. Jeffrey practiced in employment and labour law for 10 years, working with public and private organizations across multiple industries and sectors, including unionized and non-unionized workplaces. She has experience in a diverse number of workplace matters and has represented and advised both employees and employers in the past. Throughout her career, Ms. Jeffrey has conducted workplace investigations including those involving grievances and formal complaints of human rights discrimination and harassment, bullying and employee misconduct. However, since she began to conduct workplace investigations on an exclusive basis in early 2013, Ms. Jeffrey has gained significant experience dealing with numerous complex issues including multiple and anonymous complainants, multiple respondents, highly politicized and sensitive matters. Ms. Jeffrey is a sustaining member of the Association of Workplace Investigators (AWI) and received a Certificate of Completion from the 2013 AWI Institute. She and her partner are the conveners of AWI’s local circle in Toronto. Ms. Jeffrey was a faculty member at the 2015 AWI Institute in Mystic, Connecticut, and is Chair of the 2016 AWI Niagara Institute.
Emily Kaufer is the manager of human rights, harassment and privacy compliance at Air Canada. Ms. Kaufer conducts formal workplace investigations involving allegations of harassment, workplace misconduct and violations of policy. She delivers training to employees and managers on human rights, harassment and respect in the workplace, and manages employee privacy requests. She also supports Management in dealing with workplace conflict at the informal level. Prior to her employment as a workplace investigator, Ms. Kaufer was an attorney at a multimedia company, where she practiced entertainment and labour law. She is a graduate of McGill University Faculty of Law in Montrael. Ms. Kaufer is also a member of the Association of Workplace Investigators and the Canadian Association of Workplace Investigators, and a graduate of AWI’s 2015 Training Institute in Mystic, Connecticut.
Karen Kramer is an employment law attorney specializing in workplace investigations. Since forming Kramer-Wiese (now known as Kramer Workplace Investigations) in 2000, Ms. Kramer’s practice has focused primarily on conducting personnel investigations involving allegations of discrimination, harassment and retaliation, as well as misconduct and disciplinary matters. She previously litigated employment law matters with Porter Scott and worked as an Employment Law Attorney with LexisNexis. Ms. Kramer’s experience includes testifying in depositions and during administrative proceedings regarding completed investigations. Ms. Kramer has conducted hundreds of workplace investigations for public agencies, and is well versed in the Public Safety Officers Procedural Bill of Rights and the Firefighters Procedural Bill of Rights. She has also conducted many complex and high profile investigations involving high level public employees and elected officials. Ms. Kramer is a graduate of the University of California, Irvine (1989) and University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law (1992). She is a Director of the Association of Workplace Investigators and currently serves as AWI’s Treasurer. She has spoken at AWI’s public sector seminars, is a graduate of the AWI Training Institute, and has served as adjunct faculty at the AWI Institutes for several years. Ms. Kramer is the Chair of the 2016 AWI Santa Barbara Training Institute.
Lynn D. Lieber has practiced employment law exclusively on the management side for 25 years. She began her legal career in San Francisco at Littler, the renowned leader in the field of employment law. She later moved to Fisher & Phillips LLP, where she became an equity partner in 1995. Ms. Lieber was the founder and CEO of Workplace Answers, a full-service employment law training company specializing in web-based training solutions. Under her decade-long direction, Workplace Answers trained millions of employees around the globe in preventive employment practices. Ms. Lieber sold Workplace Answers in 2010, and now engages in her true passion–workplace investigations, and in-person training of employees and supervisors.
She regularly counsels employers on employment-law related matters and assists them in policy and procedure development, and review. She also regularly conducts educational training webinars for thousands of attendees. Ms. Lieber has represented hundreds of private and public entities in harassment and discrimination charges, and litigation. She has testified as an expert witness in unlawful harassment matters, and frequently conducts “remedial/sensitivity” training for employees, supervisors and executives who have been accused of workplace wrongdoing.
She graduated Cum Laude from the University of the Pacific in California. She earned a J.D. from Santa Clara University School of Law, where she served as the technical editor of the Computer and High Technology Law Journal. She is a graduate of the AWI Training Institute and has spoken at AWI annual conferences, and served as an adjunct faculty member at several AWI Training Institutes.
Eli Makus has a broad range of experience in public and private sector employment law. His practice focuses on conducting impartial workplace investigations involving a variety of claims, including harassment, discrimination, retaliation, fraud, regulatory compliance and corporate malfeasance. He has also investigated citizen complaints of misconduct by public officials. In addition to his investigations practice, Mr. Makus helps employers comply with California’s complex employment laws through advice and counsel and practical training for leaders. Prior to co-founding Ellis Buehler Makus LLP, Mr. Makus served as in-house employment and medical staff counsel for a major California healthcare system. At the law firm Hanson Bridgett LLP, Mr. Makus defended public and private employers in state and federal court actions and administrative proceedings. Mr. Makus received his law degree from the University of California, Davis. He is a Director of the Association of Workplace Investigators and chairs AWI’s Seminar & Webinar Committee. He is a popular speaker at AWI seminars and annual conferences, and is a graduate of the AWI Training Institute.
Judy Mims received her BA in Political Science, Phi Beta Kappa, from the University of Idaho and her Juris Doctorate from Howard University School of Law. Ms. Mims works on employee relations investigations at Microsoft Corporation. Prior to that she led a team of attorneys at Microsoft responsible for discrimination investigations globally. Before that, she was an Assistant Attorney General representing public agencies, including the University of Washington, in all employment and labor union matters. Ms. Mims also served for 7 years in an administrative HR role in higher education at the University of Washington School of Medicine, working on various policy and employment matters involving tenured medical faculty. Ms. Mims served on the King County Bar Association Young Lawyers Division Board as a Trustee and Chair from 1999-2001. From 2002-2006, she was the Public Sector lawyer/representative and Chair (2006) of the Executive Committee for the Labor & Employment Section of the Washington State Bar Association. Ms. Mims received her Certificate of Completion from the 2013 AWI Training Institute, was a speaker on a panel on Corporate Investigations at the 2013 AWI Annual Conference, co-presented AWI's 2014 and 2015 Workplace Investigations Basics programs in Seattle, was on the faculty of the 2015 AWI Institute in Mystic, Connecticut, and is a member of the AWI Board of Directors.
Reuben Mjaanes is a Senior Legal Director at Medtronic, Inc., where he has served as in-house counsel in Medtronic's Employment Law Group since 2006. In his role at Medtronic, Reuben provides advice and counsel to Human Resources (HR), Employee Relations (ER) and Managers on a wide range of employment related issues. He also conducts training for HR, ER and Medtronic managers and employees on employment related topics, respect in the workplace, performance management and investigations. Reuben coordinates Medtronic's Employment Law Group's investigation process and team. Prior to joining Medtronic, Reuben was a partner at the Minneapolis, MN law firm of Lindquist & Vennum where he worked in the Employment Law area (handling litigation and advice and counseling). While at Lindquist & Vennum, Reuben was named a Minnesota Lawyer Rising Star. Reuben is a Madison, WI native and attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Reuben taught for three years before attending law school.
Amy Oppenheimer has over 30 years of experience in employment law as an attorney, investigator, arbitrator, mediator, trainer, and administrative law judge. She has trained employees and employers throughout the US in how to prevent harassment, investigate workplace harassment, discrimination, and retaliation, in diversity in the workplace. She has performed impartial investigations for a large range of employers, public and private, large and small.
A trial qualified expert in State and Federal court, Ms. Oppenheimer has testified for plaintiffs and the defense about employment practices in preventing, responding to and investigating workplace harassment. She has testified at deposition, arbitration or trial more than 60 times. Ms. Oppenheimer is the author of numerous articles about harassment and discrimination, and is co-author of one of the few books about the practice of investigations, Investigating Workplace Harassment: How to be Fair, Thorough and Legal, (Society of Human Resource Management, 2003). She speaks frequently on these issues. Ms. Oppenheimer is the founder and past president of the Association of Workplace Investigators, Inc. (AWI), past president of Berkeley Dispute Resolution Services, and an advisor to the executive committee of the Labor and Employment Law Section of the State Bar of California.
Cara Panebianco is a seasoned workplace investigator with several years of experience helping organizations conduct investigations. Ms. Panebianco has been a Senior Employee Relations Consultant for TriNet, where she conducted hundreds of workplace investigations, and developed and delivered training on the disability accommodation interactive process, paid sick leave compliance, and harassment prevention. She received her Juris Doctor from Golden Gate University School of Law and her Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude, from Texas A&M University. She began her legal career in employment law, representing plaintiffs in litigation and administrative proceedings, and later transitioned to advise employers on compliance. Ms. Panebianco is a member of the Association of Workplace Investigators (AWI) and served as faculty at the 2015 and 2016 AWI Training Institutes.
Stacey Perrin brings over 20 years in-house legal experience with a passion for human rights to emphasize a work culture of care, respect, accountability and trust. Her current global role oversees Employee Relations and HR Compliance best practices for 78,000 employees in 130 countries. She is responsible for establishing global HR Compliance policies and practices (including global workplace investigations strategy and training) to help employees understand and model appropriate behaviors in order to support a positive, productive work environment. She is known for fair and objective workplace investigations, her candid personality, and her ability to resolve issues effectively and efficiently as a compassionate listener, investigator, collaborator and thought leader.
Michael A. Robbins is AWI's Immediate Past President and is the current Chair of the Los Angeles County Bar Association's Labor & Employment Section. He is President of EXTTI, Incorporated, a company he founded more than 18 years ago. EXTTI provides expert testimony, training and investigation services in employment matters. He is a frequent lecturer and author on employment issues. Mr. Robbins has conducted and/or supervised over 500 workplace investigations and has served as an expert witness in over 500 employment cases—mostly on workplace investigation and interactive process issues. In addition, he has served as a Federal Consent Decree Monitor. Prior to forming EXTTI, he was a labor & employment attorney for 20 years, including four years as in-house counsel and 16 years in two nationally recognized law firms. Mr. Robbins graduated Phi Beta Kappa from San Diego State University and received his JD degree from UCLA School of Law. In addition, he is a fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, a founding member and Past President of the Society of Independent Workplace Investigators (SIWI), and a Charter and Sustaining member of AWI.
Keith Rohman is the president of Public Interest Investigations, Inc. (PII) in Los Angeles, a firm with over 30 years’ experience assisting corporations, government entities and attorneys. He has been involved in many high-profile cases, including litigation related to the torture of prisoners at Abu Ghraib, allegations of shootings of Iraqis by Blackwater, Inc., the trial against Los Angeles police officers accused of beating Rodney King, and numerous capital murder cases. He served as the court appointed Monitor in the matter of Pierce v. Orange County, et al., a federal ADA class action case filed on behalf of disabled inmates at the Orange County Jail.
He was appointed by the L.A. County Board of Supervisors to the Equity Oversight Panel (EOP) of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, a civilian oversight board that oversees Internal Affairs investigations of discrimination allegations at the LASD. PII was contracted to investigate discrimination complaints against elected officials and high-level County executives with the County of Los Angeles, and was selected by the City of Los Angeles as an investigator for the Special Committee on Investigative Oversight which handles similar investigations. Mr. Rohman served as the executive director of Los Angeles City Office of Discrimination Investigation, which conducted more than 300 employment discrimination investigations, and provided recommendations to the City Council on restructuring how the city handled these matters. Mr. Rohman is an adjunct professor of law at Loyola Law School, where he teaches fact investigation. He is also a sustaining member of AWI and has been a popular speaker at AWI annual conferences, seminars, webinars, and Institutes.
Alexander Sperry is an employment attorney and partner with Van Dermyden Maddux Law Corporation. He has dedicated his career to providing counseling, training, investigative and litigation services to public and private employers. Mr. Sperry began his career in the Bay Area as a litigator with Littler Mendelson PC. He then spent the next nine years practicing with Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP’s nationally ranked employment group. Alex has also worked for the U.C. Davis Health System, where he provided a full range of labor relations services to university management and staff. Today, Mr. Sperry focuses on conducting workplace investigations and training employers and employees on best practices. He has conducted investigations for both public and private employers, in a variety of settings, including state and local government, healthcare, law enforcement, high-technology companies and educational institutions. Mr. Sperry is a frequent lecturer on workplace-related issues. In particular, he has studied and lectured on ethical issues in employment, including presenting “Workplace Ethics: Your Responsibilities” training to multiple groups. Mr. Sperry is an active member of the Association of Workplace Investigators, Inc. He co-authored "Applying the California Supreme Court 'Mixed Motive' Analysis in Workplace Discrimination Investigations", published in the July, 2013 AWI Journal. He also co-presented the AWI Webinars "The Attorney Investigator: Avoiding Ethical Missteps" in January 2014 and "Retaliation: Tips and Techniques for the Workplace Investigator" in August 2014, the Electronic Data session at the AWI Training Institute in February 2014, and served as a full time faculty member of the 2015 AWI Training Institute.
Vida L. Thomas has conducted workplace investigations for 23 years. She serves as Of Counsel to the Labor and Employment Group of Weintraub Tobin in Sacramento, California. An AV-rated attorney, Ms. Thomas heads up her firm’s workplace investigations unit. As the Co-Chair of the Association of Workplace Investigators (AWI) Committee on Guiding Principles, Ms. Thomas helped develop AWI’s Guiding Principles framework for workplace investigations. She advises employers regarding all aspects of employment law and human resources management, serves as an expert witness in state and federal employment lawsuits, and mediates litigation and non-litigation matters. Ms. Thomas has conducted scores of workplace investigations for private and public employers, and is experienced in complying with California’s Public Safety Officers Procedural Bill of Rights and Firefighters Procedural Bill of Rights. She has considerable experience investigating matters within a union setting and is particularly adept at investigating complex matters involving high-profile employers and individuals. Ms. Thomas has been
qualified as an expert on investigations in federal court and frequently trains attorneys,
human resources and EEO professionals on how to conduct legally effective workplace investigations. She routinely conducts sexual harassment prevention training for state agencies and private companies. Ms. Thomas is a graduate of the 2015 AWI Institute in Mystic, Connecticut.
Sue Ann Van Dermyden is Senior Partner at Van Dermyden Maddux Law Corporation, an investigations law Firm. The Firm hosts a team of nine attorneys dedicated almost exclusively to conducting workplace and campus investigations throughout California and Nevada. Ms. Van Dermyden has been an employment attorney since 1993, and since 2006, has focused her practice on conducting workplace and campus investigations, acting as an expert in state and federal litigation matters, and teaching seminars on employment-related matters. Ms. Van Dermyden was a founding member of the Association of Workplace Investigators, formed in 2009. She has held virtually office and served on virtually every committee in AWI, and currently serves as its Board President. She is also the co-chair of the Workplace Investigations Subcommittee of the American Bar Association, Employee Rights & Responsibilities section. Ms. Van Dermyden was listed in Northern California Super Lawyers in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014. Ms. Van Dermyden is a popular speaker at AWI annual conferences, seminars, and Training Institutes, and has been on the faculty of the AWI Training Institute since its inception.
Lori Wolner is the founder and principal of Renlow Associates, LLC, a licensed private investigation company dedicated to providing objective, balanced and thorough workplace investigations in a timely manner. She has conducted hundreds of workplace investigations over her 30-year career as an external and internal investigator in both the public and private sectors. She began her career as an EEO Investigator for the City of Indianapolis before advancing into the HR field as an employee and labor relations professional. Prior to starting Renlow, Ms. Wolner held multiple senior-level HR leadership positions with Sysco Corporation, a Fortune 100 company. Her responsibilities included managing the enterprise’s HR compliance work relating to EEO, AAP and Diversity as well as performing in the field as a Vice President of HR for two unionized distribution centers. Throughout her 23-year tenure with Sysco, Ms. Wolner's expertise and experience were utilized by the organization to conduct critical, complex investigations. She has provided extensive training on HR compliance issues and also on how to conduct defensible investigations. Her workshops have been presented to business leaders, managers, supervisors and HR professionals.
Ms. Wolner received a BS degree with Honors in Criminal Justice from Indiana University and attended the Robert H. McKinney School of Law: Indiana University for 2 years. In 2016, she became a licensed private investigator. Ms. Wolner is an active member of the Association of Workplace Investigators (AWI) and is AWI’s Houston Local Circle Leader. She is a graduate of AWI’s Institute in Niagara Falls and has achieved the AWI-CH designation. Lori is a Senior Certified Professional of the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM), and a member of HR Houston Management Association and the Texas Association of Private Investigators (TALI). She also provides consulting services on employee relations and workplace investigations for hrQ, a national executive recruiting and HR consulting firm. Ms. Wolner is a past board member of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), MFHA (Multicultural Foodservice Hospitality Alliance), and SER (SER -Jobs for Progress.) She is a past member and conference co-chair of the Women’s Foodservice Forum (WFF).
Susan Woolley has practiced law for 25 years and has extensive experience with discrimination and workplace investigations. She served as the Director of Investigations for court-appointed Civil Rights Monitor in the landmark settlements in the Denny's race discrimination litigation, assembling and supervising a team of investigators which conducted workplace investigations in 49 states. She has since served as an expert and consultant in the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, and private corporations to design, implement, and monitor departments to investigate and remediate race discrimination. The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors appointed her to the County Equity Oversight Panel which reviews and evaluates workplace investigations conducted countywide by the County's staff of over 15 EEO investigators. Ms. Woolley conducts workplace investigations of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation for government entities and private businesses. Prior to specializing in investigations, Ms. Woolley worked on complex business and civil rights litigation. Ms. Woolley is an adjunct professor at Loyola Law School, where she teaches Fact Investigation with Keith Rohman. She practices law and conducts investigations from her office in Pasadena. Ms. Woolley graduated from Stanford Law School and clerked at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California. She was a Skadden Fellow. Ms. Woolley is a member of the Board of Directors of AWI and currently serves as the Editor of the AWI Journal.
Julie Yanow has practiced exclusively in the area of employment and labor law for thirty years. She founded EquiLaw in 2003 in order to focus on workplace investigations and training. Ms.Yanow has conducted many hundreds of investigations and has trained and/or coached thousands of employees across the spectrum of workplaces regarding topics such as the prevention of harassment, discrimination, and retaliation, and the art of conducting workplace investigations. She serves as an expert witness for plaintiff and defense counsel regarding workplace issues and is an independent ATIXA-certified Title IX investigator. Ms. Yanow is a Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude graduate of the University of California, Berkeley. She received her J.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles. For the Los Angeles County Bar Association (LACBA) she serves as Secretary if the Labor and Employment Law Section.