RPI 2020 Virtual Conference
Register Tell a Friend About This EventTell a Friend

 Export to Your Calendar 9/16/2020 to 9/17/2020
When: Wednesday-Thursday, September 16-17, 2020
10:00 AM - 2:00 PM Eastern
Where: Online

Online registration is available until: 9/16/2020
« Go to Upcoming Event List  

Registration coming soon!

Join Us for RPI’s Two Day Virtual Conference
September 16-17

Discover the latest recognition research and insights from thought leaders and experts in employee engagement, culture and employee/customer experience.


Members/Business Partners
$99 for both days OR
$59 per day

Non-Members, Subscribers and Basic Members
$179 for both days OR
$109 per day

Looking to have 10 or more of your team members attend? Email info@recognition.org for team discount information.

Tremendous Value, No Travel 

The RPI Virtual Conference on September 16-17 features two days filled with thought leaders/experts, online networking with other attendees, and access to recorded virtual conference content for 6 months after September 17.


Day 1 – September 16

  • Leigh Lachman, Verizon
  • Kevin Yip, Blueboard
  • Corinne Selk, CRP, Workhuman
  • Paul Herr, Paul Herr Consulting Inc. & Scott Russell, CRP, CEP, C.A. Short

Day 2 – September 17

  • Felicia Granger, Vancouver Coastal Health
  • Tina Weede, CRP, Peerless Performance & Barbara Nindos, CRP, Peerless Performance
  • John O'Brien, BI WORLDWIDE & Mark Bocianski, Western Union

Virtual Conference Sponsor

ca short

Want to Sponsor? (Click here)

Virtual Conference Agenda

Day 1: Wednesday, September 16, 2020

10:00 am - 11:00 am – Welcome & Keynote

How to Drive Success in a High Performing Environment Leveraging All Aspects of Incentive, Recognition and Employee Engagement Programs.  

Leigh Lachman, Verizon

Session Details
Leigh Lachman, Verizon

Leigh Lachman - As the Employee Experience leader for the VCG - Customer Service organization, Leigh knows that in order to win in the marketplace, you must first win in the workplace. With nearly 20 years of various positions within Verizon, she's become obsessed with creating new ways to educate, engage and motivate employees.

In Leigh’s current role, she leads the following creative teams:

  • Strategy: Build campaigns and comprehensive communication and engagement plans designed to educate and prepare the front line teams to deliver industry-leading experiences to our customers.
  • Content: Write meaningful copy for day-to-day communications including daily newsletters, executive communications, digital signage, etc.
  • Technology: Design, maintain and enhance employee tools and leverage new technology in ways that allow us to better serve our customers.
  • Multimedia: Create visually rich and effective graphics and videos to support incentives, recognition, executive messages and marketing campaigns.
  • Customer Ready: Produce innovative learning experiences that educate, motivate and engage learners across a range of delivery methods.

Leigh started her career as a Retail Sales Representative in our Wireless locations and then spent time as a trainer in New York Metro. She then moved to the National Operations team where she managed executive events and was on the core team that opened the first Wireless Destination Store in the Mall of America in November of 2013. In December of 2013, Leigh moved to Wireline where she had the opportunity to build a culture and communications team from the ground up.

Leigh was in nursing school when she started her career with Verizon and is often heard saying that although we may not end up where we thought we would, she believes we end up exactly where we belong.

11:10 am - 12:00 pm

Survive or Thrive: A Lesson from Elephants and Rats for Developing Organizational Empathy

Kevin Yip, Blueboard

Session Details

Join Kevin Yip, Co-Founder and COO at Blueboard, for a discussion around developing organizational empathy – and the ability to welcome and support your employees in their current state, providing them the runway to truly thrive at work. We'll outline the concept of organizational empathy (what it is, why it matters), with a focus on people-centric values, the foundation for building empathy.

Learning Objectives

  1. Understand the 5 pillar framework for organizational empathy
  2. Learn about innovative programs to promote organizational empathy
  3. Workshop around current company values to support employee experience and promote company culture
Kevin Yip, Blueboard

Speaker Bio: Kevin Yip is a passionate HR Tech entrepreneur focused on helping companies worldwide celebrate and recognize their top talent in a more meaningful way. As Co-founder and COO of Blueboard, a San Francisco-based employee rewards and recognition company, Kevin partners with HR innovators to build exciting employee recognition programs that drive real impact, positively improving employee engagement, wellbeing, motivation and retention rates. Beyond his role as COO, Kevin leads our business development and growth strategy. Kevin is a seasoned professional speaker, having presented on HR thought-leadership topics at NCHRA's HR TechXpo, and NCHRA's HR West Conference, From Day One SF & Boston, Responsive Conference, and Culture First as well as a suite of meet-up panels and webinars. Prior to building Blueboard in 2014, Kevin served as a top analyst at Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC), consulting with Fortune 1000 clients like Levi Strauss & Co., Prologis, and Bechtel Corporation. Kevin graduated with honors, holding a BS in Managerial Economics from University of California, Davis.

12:10 pm - 1:00 pm

Same Investment, Higher Returns: Re-architecting Your Total Rewards Budget to Drive Employee Connection

Corinne Selk, CRP, Workhuman

Session Details

In a matter of weeks, the COVID-19 pandemic has radically transformed our work and personal lives. Traditional incentives such as annual bonuses are no longer enough to keep employees inspired. To boost engagement, organizations need a year-round rewards strategy that will help create long-term emotional connections with their employees. This session will highlight the impact of gratitude in these times of uncertainty, and the ROI of carving out an employee recognition budget from your total rewards pie.

Learning Objectives

  1. Why companies should reward people more frequently throughout the year and the key factors to keep in mind for crafting a recognition and rewards program that can help boost morale and deepen connections, while maximizing ROI.
  2. How crowdsourced pay has the power to help build a strong employer brand, boost employee happiness, and drive employee performance.
  3. How to find the budget for a program that rewards employees for their performance throughout the year and how to overcome internal obstacles around new approaches to slicing up the total rewards pie.
Corinne Selk, CRP, WorkHuman

Speaker Bio: Corinne Selk has been working with Workhuman as a solutions consultant for three years. A recognition solution expert and advisor, she passionately conceptualizes, communicates, and demonstrates how Strategic Recognition and making work more 'human' can drive a company's business performance and key people metrics. Corinne combines her 20 years of business and HR experience to assist companies with delivering recognition solutions that create positive employee experiences, increased engagement and retention, and stronger cultures.

1:10 pm- 2:00 pm

How Did We Get Employee Motivation so Horribly Wrong?

Paul Herr, Paul Herr Consulting Inc., Speaker; R Scott Russell, CRP, CEP, C.A. Short, Interviewer

Session Details

How did we arrive at a world where: 1) only 30% of employees care about their work, 2) half of us will suffer from a mental illness, and 3) crime and drug abuse are rampant? Much of the blame can be placed at the feet of a small group of engineers who cobbled together a concept called "scientific management" 100 years ago. The speaker will expose "scientific" management for what it is; a demeaning, un-scientific, inefficient system that fails to tap into the power and energy of the human spirit.

Learning Objectives

  1. Explain a fundamental flaw in the capitalist system; a complete misunderstanding of human motivation.
  2. Provide a greater appreciation for the elegant motivational "engine" and hums or sputters inside all organizations.
  3. Explain how to bring out the best in people by activating the motivational "cylinders" described in the Harvard 4-drive model.
Paul Herr

Speaker Bio: Paul Herr - Researchers at the Incentive Research Foundation (IRF) and Maritz discovered my book, Primal Management, and my five-drive model of employee motivation six years ago. They noticed that my approach was very similar to the popular 4-drive model developed by the Harvard Professors, Nitin Nohria, the current dean of the Harvard Business School, and Paul Lawrence, and organizational behavior pioneer. Since then, I have: written a research report on behavioral science for the IRF, spoken at an Enterprise Engagement Alliance (EEA) event in Chicago, and marketed my Horsepower System™ employee-engagement software to prominent companies in the incentive, reward and recognition industry. It is the only human-performance software based on the Harvard 4-drive model.

R Scott Russell

Speaker Bio: R Scott Russell - Scott has more than 15 years of experience in Rewards & Recognition. He is a Certified Recognition Professional (since 2006), as designated by Recognition Professionals International and has served as an officer on their Board of Directors since 2012. He is the current President of RPI. Scott began his career in Rewards & Recognition as the Corporate Sales Manager for RedEnvelope, where he focused on Holiday Gift Giving for employees & loyalty programs. Scott brings his passion for engagement and unique style to his daily life with C.A. Short Company. When Scott isn’t busy recognizing, motivating and inspiring others, he can be found riding his horse, songwriting or traveling the globe, where he encounters other cultures and studies their engagement practices. He lives by his always positive motto, “If at first you don’t succeed…Redefine success.”

Day 2: Thursday, September 17, 2020

10:00 am - 11:00 am - Welcome & Panel Discussion 

Welcome & Intro to Best Practices and 2020 Best Practice Awards

Details Coming Soon

Session Details


11:10 am - 12:00 pm 

Shaking it up: Trying Out a Grassroots Approach to Grow Team-based Recognition

Felicia Granger, Vancouver Coastal Health

Session Details

Trying out a brand new, non-corporate approach to enhancing recognition is scary, and it shouldn't be! Hear about how a grassroots approach for team-based recognition generated energy, excitement and permission to grow a culture of learning and innovation. This presentation will outline how adopting a grassroots approach through a "Give Thanks" challenge enabled teams to implement their own practices to show and grow appreciation. Session will share innovative ideas, ROI and key learnings.

Learning Objectives

  1. Describe how team-based innovation was unlocked through a grassroots pilot recognition challenge.
  2. Discuss evaluation framework for team-led recognition initiatives.
  3. Identify ways to bring more grassroots innovation to your recognition strategy.
Felicia Granger, Vancouver Coastal Health

Speaker Bio: Felicia Granger is the Manager of Program Development for Recognition & Change in People + Culture at Vancouver Coastal Health in Vancouver, Canada. Felicia Granger helps organizations enhance strategy, transformation and recognition through innovative approaches to engagement, marketing, and program design. With over 15 years of experience ranging from healthcare, technology and graphic communications, Felicia brings a passion for switching things up, learning fast, and connecting with people through caring and humour. She enjoys cycling, travel and good coffee.


12:10 - 1:00 pm  

Next Generation Engagement, Recognition & Incentives

Tina Weede, CRP, Peerless Performance; Barbara Nindos, CRP, Peerless Performance

Session Details

Next Generation Engagement, Recognition & Incentives Key Value Drivers

Learning Objectives

  1. Sales & Profitability - Largest Investment
  2. Enhancing Company Culture & Engagement - Longest Term Investment & Strongest Benefit
  3. Enhanced Customer Experience & Loyalty - Longest Term Benefit
Tina Weede

Speaker Bios: Tina Weede - Tina's passion and purpose, the reason she get up in the morning, are People. By gaining a better understanding of Why people do what they do and how they do it, she has been able to help companies reconnect with their employees, enhance relationships with their customers and drive greater profits. Years ago, she saw a need to shift from providing Incentive, Rewards and Recognition fulfillment services to providing insight, strategies and solutions tied to purpose and trust. Tina became heavily involved in research initiatives and studies, trying to learn as much as possible about the workplace of the future, the generational mix, the brain sciences and how emotions drive everything that we do. She knows today that by gaining a better understanding of How people feel and What people think we can have a positive impact on communities, relationships and profitability...This is Why she loves what she does. Tina has been a leader in the Engagement, Recognition and Incentive space for more than 30 years. She currently is the President and CEO of Peerless Performance and a Strategic Alliance Partner with C.A. Short Company. She currently serves as the Vice President of Research and Content for The Site Foundation Board of Trustees. Tina is also a Past President for Recognition Professionals International (RPI).

Barbara Nindos

Barbara Nindos - Barbara is Chief Development Officer at Peerless Performance and is CRP certified and a member of the Society for Incentive Travel Excellence. At Peerless Performance their Trust with Purpose approach has been the driving force for Barbara. She has been engrained in creating effective incentive programs that are no longer about occasional travel, rewards or compensation. But are now about achieving specific performance and results-focused benchmarks and then driving those outcomes to shift employee behaviors with the goal of building long- term relationships within the brand and sustainable revenue growth.

And because enhancing the quality of people’s lives is also at the heart of Peerless Performance...A portion of the proceeds from the company go to two non-profit organizations, Megan’s Smile and Confetti Celebrations which she has been affiliated with for over 17 years.

1:10 pm - 2:00 pm

A Culture of Inspiration: Western Union's Global Journey

John O'Brien, BI WORLDWIDE & Mark Bocianski, Western Union

Session Details

This session leverages RPI's best practice standards to drive Western Union's culture of recognition across the world with their 12,000 employees. It integrates the power of moments, from attracting associates to the company, to on-boarding, everyday recognition, achievement day & referrals. WU includes peer-to-peer, manager discretionary, on-the-spot recognition and social recognition as well as celebration days to inspire employees. We will share results and the impact on the organization.

Learning Objectives

  1. Understand the data that supports retention/turnover and engagement
  2. How to design an effective global recognition system for over 200 countries, different cultures and multiple generations in the workforce
  3. How to leverage technology to engage leadership, managers and employees
John O'Brien

Speaker Bio: John O'Brien - As Vice President of BI WORLDWIDE's Employee Performance Group, John O'Brien's primary focus is to develop employee engagement strategies and solutions that change the behaviors of employees to align with our customers' business objectives. An expert in Employee Recognition Strategy, he educates HR professionals around the world on how to best engage their employees through employee engagement strategies, solutions and best practices. John works closely with customers, leading account design strategy to drive engagement in customer program audiences, and achieve measurable results. O'Brien joined BIW in 1984 following graduation from St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud Minn. where he earned a Bachelor's degree in Behavioral Psychology and Communications.

Mark Bocianski

Speaker Bio: Mark Bocianski is currently the VP, Global Head of Talent & Learning at Western Union. Mark leads the overall talent and learning strategy including talent acquisition, leadership development, succession planning, performance management, employee engagement, onboarding, manager and corporate learning. Prior to joining Western Union Mark was the Senior Vice President of Global Talent Enablement at Hewlett Packard Enterprise. During his tenure there he developed and executed HPE's global talent strategy, encompassing executive talent acquisition; talent enablement; succession planning and performance management; employee engagement; and leadership, manager, and professional development. Prior to joining HP in February of 2012, Mark was the VP, Global Head of Talent Development at Aon Hewitt, a leading provider of human resources consulting and outsourcing services. He was focused on driving all learning, performance, and succession management; leadership and management development; talent review; and employee engagement. Over his 17-year tenure with the company, Mark held numerous roles including leading HR technology, implementing HR outsourcing solutions, managing outsourcing operations, and maintaining P&L responsibility for a book of BPO clients.

This website uses cookies to store information on your computer. Some of these cookies are used for visitor analysis, others are essential to making our site function properly and improve the user experience. By using this site, you consent to the placement of these cookies. Click Accept to consent and dismiss this message or Deny to leave this website. Read our Privacy Statement for more.