The Business Case for Second Chance Employment Conference

««« Charting a Path Forward with Corporations and Business Schools »»»  

April 4, 2024
8:30 a.m.  – 3:30 p.m. ET


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Erika H. James

Dean, The Wharton School


Erika H. James became the dean of the Wharton School on July 1, 2020. Trained as an organizational psychologist, Dean James is a leading expert on crisis leadership, workplace diversity, and management strategy.

Prior to her appointment at Wharton, Dean James was the John H. Harland Dean at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School from 2014 to 2020. An award-winning educator, accomplished consultant, and innovative researcher, she has paved the way for women in leadership both in education and corporate America. Dean James has been instrumental in developing groundbreaking executive education programs, including the Women’s Leadership program at the University of Virginia’s Darden School.

Dean James is a sought-after thought leader whose expertise has been quoted by The Wall Street Journal, MSNBC, Bloomberg, The Washington Post, and numerous other media outlets. She has been widely recognized as one of the most powerful and influential women in business and education by Barron’sBlack Enterprise, and Ebony.

In addition to her academic responsibilities, Dean James is a board member of Morgan Stanley, The Philadelphia Orchestra and Kimmel Center, Inc., and several organizations that align with her passions for education and advancing women in business. Additionally, she serves as an advisory board member to Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management and as an executive board member to the Indian School of Business.

Her latest book is The Prepared Leader: Emerge from Any Crisis More Resilient Than Before (Wharton School Press) which she co-authored with Lynn Perry Wooten, President of Simmons University. She and Wooten are also co-authors of Leading Under Pressure: From Surviving to Thriving Before, During, and After a Crisis.

Dean James holds a Ph.D. and master’s degree in organizational psychology from the University of Michigan, as well as a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Pomona College of the Claremont Colleges in California.

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Patrick T. Harker

President and Chief Executive Officer, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia


Patrick T. Harker took office on July 1, 2015, as the 11th president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. He was reappointed for his second five-year term effective March 1, 2021. In this role, Harker participates on the Federal Open Market Committee, which formulates the nation’s monetary policy.

As an engineer by training, Harker has continued to apply his research and receive patents throughout his career. He considers the effect of automation on the labor force as “the perfect intersection” of engineering and economics. Other technological influences, including artificial intelligence and machine learning, are also playing a part in the Third District’s and the nation’s economy. By focusing on economic mobility, one of the Bank’s research priorities, the Bank’s researchers are looking for ways to create sustained, inclusive growth through practical applications. Targeting such research to the employment field can help workers, communities, and industries plan for inevitable disruptions by connecting workers to training programs while encouraging discussions on the skills that are vital to a constantly changing market.

Before taking office at the Philadelphia Fed, Harker was the 26th president of the University of Delaware. He was also a professor of business administration at the university’s Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics and a professor of civil and environmental engineering at the College of Engineering.

Before joining the University of Delaware in 2007, Harker was dean and Reliance Professor of Management and Private Enterprise at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to being appointed dean in 2000, Harker was the Wharton School’s interim dean and deputy dean as well as the chair of its Operations and Information Management Department. In 1991, he was the youngest faculty member in Wharton’s history to be awarded an endowed professorship as UPS Transportation Professor of the Private Sector. He has published/edited nine books and more than 100 professional articles. From 1996 to 1999, he served as editor-in-chief of the journal Operations Research.

In 2012, Harker was named a fellow of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS) and a charter fellow of the National Academy of Inventors. He was also named a White House fellow by President George H. W. Bush in 1991 and was a special assistant to FBI Director William S. Sessions from 1991 to 1992.

Harker is a board member of both the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia and its Select Greater Philadelphia Council. He is also a board member at the Science Center in Philadelphia. Previously, he was on the boards of Catholic Relief Services, Pepco Holdings, Inc., and Huntsman Corporation and was a founding member of the board of advisors for Decision Lens, Inc. He was also a nonbanking Class B director of the Philadelphia Fed from 2012 to 2015. Harker has a Ph.D. in civil and urban engineering, an M.A. in economics, and an M.S.E. and B.S.E. in civil engineering, all from the University of Pennsylvania.

Justin Berman

Co-Chairman, Cresset, and Founder, Berman Capital Advisors


Justin Berman is Co-Chairman at Cresset, and Founder of Berman Capital Advisors. In his role, Justin works with multi-generational entrepreneurial families while setting the strategic vision for the firm.

Justin founded Berman Capital Advisors in 2010 as part of his commitment to provide truly objective family office services, wealth management, and investment consulting services to a select group of high-net-worth families. Prior to this, Justin worked in the Private Wealth Management division of Goldman Sachs & Co., where he was a member of the firm’s Leadership Council. He has also served in the Investment Advisory Group at myCFO, Inc., and in the Private Client Group at Arthur Andersen & Co.

Justin graduated summa cum laude from Georgetown University, where he served as Varsity Tennis Captain and was a Rhodes Scholar finalist. He also earned an MBA from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, where he was named a Palmer Scholar.

Justin is active in the community and is on the board of trustees of The McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University, Leadership Atlanta, and Grady Health Foundation. He also chairs the board of My Journey Matters, a program designed to help reduce recidivism in young offenders in Atlanta. Justin is also involved in the Young Presidents’ Organization. Justin and his wife, Mara, reside in Atlanta and have three children.n

Patricia Blumenauer

Chief Operating Officer, Philadelphia Works


For 20 years, Patricia Blumenauer has been working closely with city stakeholders to grow the number of quality programs and initiatives available to Philadelphia residents that facilitate their advancement and help them reach their full potential. In her current role as Chief Operating Officer at Philadelphia Works, the city’s workforce development board, it is her charge to manage state and federally regulated investments such as the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and provide strategic oversight to the adult and youth workforce systems. With this responsibility in mind, Patricia helped to drive the redesign of Philadelphia’s TANF service delivery system (EARN) which resulted in an effective, customer-centered approach. Patricia is also responsible for developing strategies to strengthen connections between the Philadelphia workforce system and regional businesses; this includes implementing smart workforce solutions that respond to business needs, increase economic opportunity, and advance job quality for all Philadelphia residents.

In addition to leading policy and program implementation, Patricia guides the data team at Philadelphia Works that provides interpretation of labor market information, technical expertise, and reporting across multiple data systems to meet performance requirements in developing workforce solutions to meet city needs. Under her leadership, Patricia is accountable for the strategic implementation of a regional strategy for delivering apprenticeship services to employers and career-seekers. Likewise, she works with regional partners to drive the Southeast Pennsylvania workforce development planning region’s priorities forward.

Prior to joining Philadelphia Works, Patricia managed behavioral health and intervention programs for children and families in Philadelphia. She holds a master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from Chestnut Hill College and a bachelor’s in Human Development from Cornell University. Patricia currently serves on Philadelphia’s Digital Literacy Alliance and is a Regional Liaison for the National Association of Workforce Boards.

Shawn Bushway

Professor of Public Administration and Policy, The University at Albany and Senior Policy Researcher, RAND Corporation


Shawn Bushway has a Ph.D. in Public Policy Analysis and Economics. He is a Professor of Public Administration and Policy at the University at Albany (SUNY) and a researcher at the RAND Corporation. He was given the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship in 2014 and is a Fellow of the American Society of Criminology. His dissertation in 1996 documented a causal connection between a criminal record and subsequent problems in the labor market. His more recent research on recidivism informed the 2012 EEOC guidance to employers on criminal record checks, and he has helped a number of large employers revise their background check polices. To learn more about his background check research at RAND, click here.

Michael Butler

Director of Client and Community Engagement, Fountain Fund Philadelphia


Michael Butler joined the Fountain Fund in 2023 as Director of Client and Community Engagement, Philadelphia. He will be establishing and leading our Philadelphia office by creating community partnerships, supporting and coaching applicants through the loan process, and connecting Client Partners to additional community resources. Before his role at the Fountain Fund, Michael co-founded and served as the Director of Reentry for the nonprofit Mann Up, where he mentored men and youth impacted by the criminal justice system. His experience and passion for helping those impacted by the criminal justice system will help the Fountain Fund establish a thriving presence in Philadelphia, our newest expansion site.

James Cadogan

Executive Director, National Basketball Social Justice Coalition, National Basketball Association


James Cadogan was appointed the first Executive Director of the National Basketball Social Justice Coalition in April 2021.

Formed jointly by the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association in 2020, the Coalition is a 501(c)(4) advocacy organization that leads the NBA family’s collaborative efforts to address racial inequality and advance social justice.  A first-of-its-kind entity in the sports and media sector, the Coalition leverages the game of basketball’s influence to promote justice policy reforms at the national, state, and local levels.

Cadogan joined the NBA family from Arnold Ventures, a national philanthropy, where he was a vice president overseeing a $90 million grant portfolio on criminal justice reform.  Prior to Arnold Ventures, Cadogan served as the inaugural director of the Thurgood Marshall Institute at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.

Previously, Cadogan served eight years in the administration of President Barack H. Obama, where he was a senior official at the U.S. Department of Justice – holding roles as Counselor to the Attorney General of the United States and as Senior Counselor and Director of Policy & Planning in the Civil Rights Division. Earlier, he served as an attorney-advisor at the U.S. Department of Defense. For his public service contributions, Cadogan was recognized with the Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Service, the department’s highest award for employee performance, as well as the Office of the Secretary of Defense Award for Excellence.

During the 2008 presidential election, Cadogan was a campaign staffer with Obama For America.  He began his career as a litigation associate at Cravath, Swaine & Moore, LLP.

Cadogan received an A.B. from Princeton University and a J.D. from Columbia Law School.  He sits on the boards of Vera Action, Community Change, and Statesmen College Preparatory Academy for Boys in Washington, D.C.

A first-generation immigrant born in England to Caribbean parents, Cadogan lives in Ward 4 of the District of Columbia with his wife, Maya Martin Cadogan, a non-profit executive and proud sixth-generation Washingtonian.

Michelle Campbell

Executive Director, Defy Ventures


Michelle’s experience includes organizational development consultant for non-profits, leadership roles in non-profits, expertise in basic adult education and workforce development, criminal justice work. Michelle obtained a bachelor’s in economics from the University of Pennsylvania and a Juris Doctor from the University of Virginia. Michelle’s expertise: Organizational development; diversity, equity, and inclusion facilitation; trauma-informed practices; mediation. Michelle believes: The golden rule—treat others the way you want to be treated.

Brian Fabes

Managing Director, Corporate Coalition of Chicago


As Managing Director of the Corporate Coalition, Brian is leading a collaborative of more than 30 Chicago companies committed to using their assets, capabilities, and employee enthusiasm to address economic and racial inequities in the region.  Among other initiatives, participants in the Coalition are changing business practices to hire Chicagoans with criminal records, developing new ways to invest equity capital in the South and West sides of Chicago, and connecting local developers of color with potential business partners and technical supports.

Brian is also Sr. Fellow at NORC at the University of Chicago, where works with NORC colleagues who are supporting efforts to reduce gun violence in Chicago.

For the previous fifteen years, Brian served as chief executive officer of Civic Consulting Alliance, where he forged city-wide collaborations with public, private, non-profit, community, and philanthropic leaders with the goal of making Chicago a great city for everyone to live in and work. During Brian’s tenure, CCA and its partners played a central role in many of the most significant public and civic efforts in the Chicago region.

Before joining CCA, Brian was sr. vice president at National Louis University, associate principal at McKinsey & Company, and associate professor of materials science and engineering at the University of Arizona.

Stacey Friedman

Executive Vice President and General Counsel, JPMorgan Chase & Co.


Stacey Friedman is Executive Vice President and General Counsel for JPMorgan Chase & Co., and a member of the firm’s Operating Committee. She also serves as the Operating Committee Sponsor of the firm’s Digital Assets Group and as the Executive Sponsor of the Office of LGBT+ Affairs.

As General Counsel, Friedman is responsible for the firm’s exposure to legal risk across the globe, including litigation and enforcement matters; advising on products and services; and advocacy in connection with proposed laws, rules and regulations. She joined the firm in 2012, and served as the firm’s Deputy General Counsel and as the General Counsel for the Corporate & Investment Bank prior to assuming her current role in 2016. Previously, she was a partner at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP in their Litigation Group.

She is a member of the board for the National Women’s Law Center, an organization dedicated to fighting for gender justice in the courts, in public policy and in society as a whole.

Friedman holds a J.D. from Duke University and a B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles. Friedman started her legal career as a clerk for the Honorable Gary L. Taylor, United States District Court, Central District of California. She currently resides in New York with her wife and two children.

Bill Heiser

Senior Director of Pathways and Mobility, REFORM Alliance


Bill Heiser serves as the Senior Director of Pathways and Mobility at REFORM. In this role Bill leads REFORM’s efforts to expand economic opportunities to people impacted by the justice system. The Pathways and Mobility team is working to directly combat the stigma and bias so many justice impacted job seekers face in the labor market. To do this the team works to change the narrative around these job seekers, directly engage employers to adopt second chance hiring practices and create opportunities for businesses and job seekers to connect through high impact events.

Bill has almost 20 years experience working in criminal justice reform and workforce development at local, state and national level. Bill joins REFORM after almost 11 years at Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO) where he helped expand CEO’s program and increase public investment in reentry employment services. Prior to CEO, Bill worked at the Urban Strategies Council in Oakland, CA leading local efforts to build effective reentry systems for people coming home from incarceration and the Alameda County Violence Prevention Initiative.

Bill holds a B.A. from Hampshire College in Amherst, MA and an M.A. from the University of Chicago where he focused on sociology.

Heather Higginbottom

Head of Research, Policy & Insights for Corporate Responsibility, JPMorgan Chase & Co.


Heather Higginbottom is the Head of Research, Policy & Insights (RP&I) for Corporate Responsibility at JPMorgan Chase & Co. In this role she oversees the JPMorgan Chase Institute, the JPMorgan Chase PolicyCenter, and Corporate Responsibility’s Insights & Impact team. Collectively, these groups champion evidence-based policy to advance a more inclusive economy through distinctive research, policy analysis, and cross-sector engagement. Under Heather’s leadership, RP&I synthesizes insights gleaned across the firm to elevate systems-level solutions to pressing policy issues at the local and global levels, influence decisionmakers, and advance public-private partnership opportunities.

Previously, Heather served as Chief Operating Officer of CARE USA, an international nongovernmental organization that provides humanitarian and development assistance in over 90 countries reaching 80 million people per year. Heather served as Deputy Secretary of State for Management & Resources for the United States State Department from 2013-2017. In the White House, Heather served as Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget, and as Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Director of the Domestic Policy Council. Heather has held senior positions on Capitol Hill and led policy development in two presidential campaigns.

Heather holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Rochester and a master’s degree in Public Policy from the George Washington University. Heather serves on the Board of Directors of the U.S. Soccer Foundation and is a Trustee of the Urban Institute and the Batten School of Public Policy at the University of Virginia.

Jeffrey D. Korzenik

Chief Economist, Fifth Third Commercial Bank


Jeff Korzenik is Chief Economist for one of the nation’s largest commercial banks and a prominent advocate of Fair Chance/Second Chance hiring. A regular guest on CNBC, Fox Business News, and Bloomberg TV, his perspective on the economy, markets, manufacturing, and the workforce are frequently cited in the financial and business press. He is an award-winning writer whose work has been published in the Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, The Harvard Business Review, The Hill and other outlets.

Jeff is the author of the groundbreaking book, “Untapped Talent: How Second Chance Hiring Works for Your Business and the Community” (HarperCollins Leadership, April 2021), which shares the business case and best practices for hiring people with criminal records. In recognition of his work on the interaction of the criminal justice system and the labor markets, Jeff was elected to membership in the Council of Criminal Justice.

Jeff is a graduate of Princeton University, with an A.B. in Economics and a Certificate of Proficiency in Near Eastern Studies.

Dane Linn

Senior Vice President of Corporate Initiatives, Business Roundtable


Dane Linn is Senior Vice President of Corporate Initiatives at Business Roundtable. In this role, Linn leads efforts that bring together the organization’s membership to make collective progress and apply best practices on issues such as worker training, diversity, investments in rural communities, veteran and second chance employment, and engagement with small business suppliers.

He previously oversaw the Education & Workforce Committee, advancing the BRT’s positions on education reform, U.S. innovation capacity and workforce preparedness. He is also the lead staff member for the Immigration Committee, promoting an approach to immigration reform that will help drive U.S. economic growth and keep the American workforce globally competitive.

Linn joins the BRT most recently from The College Board, where he served as Executive Director of state policy. Prior to The College Board, Linn served as Director of the Educational Policy Division of the National Governors Association (NGA) Center for Best Practices. During his 16 years in this role, Linn represented governors’ education policy issues at the federal level and to state and local associations. He also co-led the development of the Common Core State Standards, which have been adopted by 46 states.

In addition, Linn has led national efforts to ensure more students are college- and career-ready and worked on issues related to STEM, early childhood, Perkins and the Workforce Investment Act, and high school redesign. Before joining the NGA, Linn worked for 14 years in the education system as Coordinator of the Office of Special Education Programs for the West Virginia Department of Education, Principal of Guyan Valley Elementary School in West Virginia, and teacher and later the Assistant Principal at Matheny Grade School also in West Virginia.

Linn is a Ph.D. candidate at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and holds a master’s degree in Education Administration from West Virginia Graduate College and bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and Special Education from Cabrini College.

Alyssa Lovegrove

Teaching Professor, Academic Director, Georgetown Pivot Program, Georgetown University McDonough School of Business


Alyssa is a member of the faculty in the McDonough School of Business where she is a Teaching Professor in the MBA and Undergraduate programs. She is also the Academic Director of the Georgetown Pivot Program, a non-degree certificate in business and entrepreneurship for formerly incarcerated individuals.

Alyssa began her career in finance as a corporate relationship manager at Bankers Trust Company, and then joined management consultants McKinsey & Company, where she focused on the financial services and consumer retailing sectors in the US and Europe. She left consulting to become the co-Founder of the Great Little Trading Company (GLTC Ltd), a UK-based online and mail-order retailer of children’s household products.

After ten years, Alyssa stepped down from day-to-day management of the company and became an advisor to both commercial and social sector start-ups. She returned to the US in 2007, and launched New Venture Mentors, a platform to support aspiring entrepreneurs from underserved economic communities. She is also currently an advisor to local non-profits including Broad Futures, which work with employment partners to provide internships for learning disabled young adults, and Dog Tag Bakery, an entrepreneurship-based transition and re-entry program for disabled vets and their caregivers.

At Georgetown, Alyssa teaches courses in entrepreneurship and management. She also serves as senior advisor to the Georgetown Entrepreneurship Initiative. Alyssa has a Bachelor of Arts (honors) in government from Harvard University, an MBA (finance/public administration) from the NYU Stern School of Business, and a Doctorate in Social Work from the University of Southern California.

Coss Marte



Entering prison in 2009, Coss was clinically obese. At only 24 years old, he was told that unless he began to prioritize his health and wellness, he was at high risk of a potentially fatal heart attack. As a result, Coss found fitness, and shed over 70 pounds in 6 months. People started to notice, and soon enough, Coss was leading workouts in the prison yard. During his incarceration, he helped 20 inmates to lose a collective 1,000 pounds.

Upon release, Coss faced the same barriers other justice-involved people experience: difficulty finding stable housing, being turned away from prospective job opportunities, and the feeling of stigma and judgment based on his past mistakes. While it was an uphill battle for Coss, he knew based on his experience, that he had something to offer: a chance to get healthy, a good paying job, and a community of support. Coss continues to emphasize his commitment to hiring formerly incarcerated individuals –– giving them the second chance they deserve. Since opening in 2016, CONBODY has employed over 100 justice involved people  as trainers – and not one of them has reoffended.

The concept of CONBODY came to founder and CEO, Coss Marte, at a low point in his life. Coss grew up in the Lower East Side of New York –– not far from where CONBODY is now located. But his neighborhood has changed drastically from what it once was. Coss recalls growing up in one of the “poorest and most overpoliced communities in New York City.” He was exposed to drugs, crime, and addiction at a young age. To make money, he started selling marijuana –– then cocaine –– to his classmates at 13 years old.

Coss spent his adolescence in and out of jail. During his final stint in the criminal justice system, Coss served 4 years in prison for a drug-related offense. In fact, it was while he was stuck in a 6×9 solitary confinement cell, that he reflected on the life he wanted to create for himself that he came up with the idea for CONBODY.

Today, Coss is a husband, and a proud father of two – a 15-year-old son and 1-year-old daughter. Being an entrepreneur and a parent of a young child isn’t easy, but Coss is proud of what he is building and he wants to provide a better future for his daughter. The CONBODY community has been extremely supportive of Coss’ desire to be a good dad to his daughter. Because its hard to balance work and parenthood, Coss sometimes brings his baby to class, and lifts her up (instead of normal weights) during his workouts. In the future, Coss hopes to expand his business to other states, and he’s already begun that journey. In addition to having a physical location in Manhattan, CONBODY does workouts in prison, and offers online classes that people from all over the world can complete at home.

Finding fitness in prison truly changed Coss’ life, and upon release, Coss turned those learnings into a successful business venture.  To learn more visit the CONBODY website or follow him @conbody on social media.

Aedan Macdonald

Executive Director and Founder, Justice Through Code, Tamer Center for Social Enterprise, Columbia Business School


Aedan Macdonald, conceptualized, and developed Justice Through Code (JTC), a partnership program between the Center for Justice and the Tamer Center for Social Enterprise at Columbia Business School. JTC aims to end the cycle of poverty that contributes to incarceration by providing life-changing access to the education, opportunities, and networks necessary to enter into careers in the tech industry.

In his role as Executive Director of JTC, Aedan oversees the growth, development, and management of the program. He also serves as a professional skills instructor for the program, teaching workshops on networking, leadership, and career management.

Sandra Navalli

Adjunct Associate Professor and Managing Director of the Tamer Center for Social Enterprise, Columbia Business School


Sandra Navalli, OAM, is an adjunct faculty and Managing Director of the Tamer Center for Social Enterprise at Columbia Business School, which educates leaders to use business knowledge, entrepreneurial skills, and management tools to address social and environmental challenges. The Center offers courses, experiential learning programs, research and community-focused initiatives, including the Tamer Fund for Social Ventures which provides seed grants for social and environmental ventures. Newer initiatives focus on Inclusive Entrepreneurship, Capital for Good (which covers the full capital spectrum from ESG and impact investing to venture philanthropy); Business and Climate Change; and the Re-Entry Acceleration Program (where MBA students teach financial literacy and entrepreneurship in prisons). She has over a decade of experience in the impact field, and previously worked in business and product development for an education technology social venture, management consulting, microeconomic policy, and in corporate law. In 2020 she was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for service to international education. She received an MBA from Columbia Business School and honors degrees in Economics and in Law (B.Ec./LL.B.) from the Australian National University.

Wallace Peeples

Chief Marketing Officer, REFORM Alliance


Wallace “Wallo267” Peeples is a Multi-Hyphenated Entrepreneur, Top Rated Podcaster, Social Influencer/ Activist, 3x Ted X Speaker that has impacted  millions, Globally. Named one of the most “Pivotal Culture Disruptors” of our time.

A revered Cultural Advisor, Wallo267 is the Chief Marketing Officer of Reform Alliance and a highly sought-after, treasured thought leader that has captivated the hearts and minds of a diverse spectrum of people utilizing his unwavering, humanitarian gift to humor, provoke and incite prosperous mindset shifts and awe-inspiring change.

Damon J. Phillips

Robert Steinberg Professor, Professor of Management, The Wharton School


Damon J. Phillips is a Robert Steinberg Professor of Management at the Wharton School. Phillips leads the Wharton WORKS program and instructs the School’s Reforming Mass Incarceration and the Role of Business class. Prior to joining Wharton, he was the Lambert Family Professor of Social Enterprise at Columbia University Business School. He received his Ph.D. from Stanford University. Before joining Columbia in 2011, he was on the faculty of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business (from 1998-2011). During the 2010-2011 academic year he was a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. Phillips has expertise in social structural approaches to labor and product markets, entrepreneurship, innovation, organizational change, strategy and structure, as well as social network theory and analysis. His industry specialties are markets for professional services (law, consulting, investment banking) and culture (music industry).

Keilon Ratliff

Chief Diversity Officer, Kelly


When Keilon Ratliff was named the first Chief Diversity Officer at Kelly in September 2022, he stepped into the role with more than 24 years of experience in the staffing industry, a passion for breaking hiring barriers for underemployed talent groups, and a track record of success with clients and job seekers.

As chief diversity officer (CDO), Ratliff leads the development and execution of the company’s diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) strategy, including programs and partnerships to attract and retain a diverse and inclusive workforce for Kelly and its clients.

Prior to being named CDO, Ratliff was a driving force behind the growth of the company’s Equity@Work initiative, which makes employment more accessible for job seekers who face discrimination. His pioneering work included a pilot project that inspired the launch and catalyzed the growth of Kelly 33, an initiative that connects Kelly clients with job seekers who have a non-violent, non-relevant criminal background.

A solutions-driven leader, Ratliff previously led the automotive, energy and finance business at Kelly Professional & Industrial, where he was responsible for driving growth and profitability within these industries in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. He has also served as vice president of operations at KellyOCG, the outsourcing and consulting business of Kelly, where he was responsible for operational delivery within the industrial and manufacturing industry. Prior to that he was an operations leader in the Strategic Accounts and Operations Group at Kelly. In total, he has 21 years of experience with the company, serving in several additional key roles throughout his tenure.

Ratliff is a Six Sigma Green Belt and holds a bachelor’s in psychology and human resources and an MBA from Ohio Dominican University. He has been named to Staffing Industry Analysts’ 2021 List of DEI Influencers. He lives in Columbus, Ohio with his wife, two sons.

Jim Seward

Director, Veterans Justice Commission, Former General Counsel, South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard, and Colonel, U.S. Army


As general counsel for South Dakota Republican Gov. Dennis Daugaard, Seward led development of the state’s 2013 criminal justice reforms, as well as historic juvenile system improvements that helped the state cut new commitments to youth facilities by half. A veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom, Afghanistan and a former active-duty serviceman, Seward is a former enlisted combat arms soldier and now serves as Colonel, U.S. Army.

Johnny C. Taylor, Jr.

President and Chief Executive Officer, SHRM


Johnny C. Taylor, Jr. is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). Recently named one of the “Most Influential People Shaping Public Policy” in our nation’s Capital by the Washingtonian Magazine, Mr. Taylor’s career spans more than 20 years as a lawyer and an executive, serving at IAC, Paramount Pictures, Blockbuster Entertainment Group and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, among other organizations. He is a Vice-Chair of the Board of Trustees at his alma mater, the University of Miami; a member of the United Way Worldwide Board of Trustees; Independent Director of the Flores & Associates corporate board and a member of the corporate boards of Guild Education, and XPO Logistics (NYSE: XPO). He previously served as chairman of the President’s Advisory Board on Historically Black Colleges and Universities and on the White House American Workforce Policy Advisory Board. Mr. Taylor is a weekly contributor to USA Today, a Fellow of the National Academy of Human Resources and a SHRM Certified Professional.

Assata Thomas

Executive Director of the Office of Reentry Partnerships, the City of Philadelphia


Assata Thomas, Executive Director of the Office of Reentry Partnerships for the City of Philadelphia. As Executive Director she sets a clear vision and direction for a comprehensive citywide approach to improving reentry outcomes, including the development of partnerships to create a citywide network of services that address a variety of social services needs among individuals returning from incarceration with a goal of reducing recidivism.

Immediately prior to her appointment as Executive Director Ms. Thomas served as Chief Community Justice Officer of the Institute for Community Justice (ICJ), a Program of Philadelphia FIGHT. As Chief, she oversaw the effective execution of ICJ’s aims to provide support, education and advocacy for individuals, families and communities who are impacted by mass incarceration.

Assata has over two decades of experience in the social services field which commenced with her training as a Corrections Officer with the State of New Jersey, during which time she held the distinction of having been the first female President of the Corrections Officers Training Academy of New Jersey. She received a BA Degree with honors in Africana Studies and Urban Studies from Rutgers University and her Masters of Restorative Justice from Vermont Law and Graduate School.

Assata maintains an unflagging commitment to social justice and building a society emancipated from the socially inequitable and [calloused/profoundly destructive] system of mass incarceration; a society where even the most vulnerable communities have equal and unrestricted access to healthcare, to justice and to unqualified protection of their safety and security.

She is a passionate advocate on behalf of those affected by mass incarceration; and, moreover, having lived through the experience of a felony conviction, is uniquely qualified to speak with credibility and authority to the issues facing all who have been affected by the system – such as the challenges faced by returning citizens for a fair chance at social rehabilitation, healthy reintegration back into society and the chance to (re)design their futures and destinies. Ms. Thomas’ personal trajectory and hard-won successes fuel her passion to help others and they offer a concrete and inspiring example for others that, despite the odds, success is possible.

Ms. Thomas has partnered with several grass root organizations rooted in social justice, criminal justice reform and ending death by incarceration. She continues to demonstrate her civic advocacy through her membership in Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated.

Jason Whyte

Founder, President & CEO, National Reentry Workforce Collaborative (NRWC)


Jason Whyte, is the Founder, President & CEO of the National Reentry Workforce Collaborative (NRWC), a network of organizations that spans across 173 cities in 40 states. He is responsible for casting the vision and guiding the collaborative’s strategic direction, leading the creation of innovative resources to close gaps in the reentry workforce field, and driving value to stakeholders that engage in NRWC. Jason served as the Director of Partnership Strategy at the Latino Coalition for Community Leadership (LCCL). In this role, he develops strategies and builds relationships to expand the organization’s work in Fair Chance Hiring. Before joining the LCCL, Jason led operations and strategy for the OIC of America national network, where he secured over $30M in federal and foundation funding; replicated national initiatives, programs and projects that support the organization’s ambitions of breaking the cycle of poverty; and expanded a national reentry program from one to ten cities. Jason served on a committee that provided expert advice to the Office of America Innovation at the White House. Jason holds a BS in Business Administration from Biola University and an MBA in Economic Development from Eastern University.

Joeann E. Walker

Senior Attorney, CEO Action Racial Equity Fellow, Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc.


Joeann E. Walker is a Senior Attorney in the Law Department of Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc., based in New York City. With over a decade of experience in construction litigation, Joeann joined Con Edison in 2019, bringing her wealth of expertise to the team. Currently, she serves as a leader in the CEO Action for Racial Equity fellowship, a business-led initiative aimed at addressing systemic racism and social injustice while enhancing societal well-being through strategic public policy and corporate engagement.

Within the fellowship, Joeann plays a pivotal role in empowering businesses to adopt fair chance hiring practices, guiding them through assessment, education, employment, and engagement initiatives. Notably, she led a successful policy advocacy effort for Con Edison and the CEO Action for Racial Equity fellowship for the New York Clean Slate Act.

Before her tenure at Con Edison and involvement with the fellowship, Joeann litigated civil rights cases encompassing disability discrimination, racial profiling, asylum, and representation of D.C. prisoners before the U.S. Parole Board Commission.

Joeann is an active member of Con Edison’s Law Department’s Diversity and Inclusion Council. She also contributes her time and expertise to various professional organizations, including the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity and the Minority Corporate Counsel Association.


Joeann holds a Bachelor of Arts degree (with honors) in Political Science from the University of Mary Washington, Fredericksburg, VA, and a Master of Science in Elementary Education. She earned her Doctor of Jurisprudence (with honors) from the University of New Hampshire School of Law, Concord, NH, solidifying her commitment to excellence in both legal practice and societal impact

Tonie Willis

Founder and Executive Director, Ardella's House


As a visionary leader, Tonie’s advocacy supports access to transitional housing for family reunification. This has been a priority especially when as many as 60 percent of incarcerated women are mothers. Her work at Ardella’s House provides assistance to over 800 women and their families annually and offers a continuum of care in the areas of employment, housing, family, health and wellbeing, and criminal justice compliance. She is also the brainchild behind “Life Interrupted,” a 12-week program to help women plan a productive post-incarceration life.

Tonie is no stranger to the hurdles that formerly incarcerated women face when they are released. As someone with lived experience, she knows that it takes support systems to get one’s live back on track after incarceration. Tonie’s own story of incarceration began over 30 years ago when she was incarcerated on drug charges. Following her release, she has never looked back. Ardella’s House is a beacon of light for women. Through the programs at Ardella’s House, women learn to be their own advocates. Of her experience she says, “being incarcerated is probably the lowest point in your life, when you’re stripped of everything and you become a number and treated like a caged animal, but many animals are treated far better than incarcerated women.” Tonie inspires women to overcome the stigma of incarceration and to reach higher heights.

Over the years Tonie has received many honors including being selected as a “Game Changer” by CBS and has been honored by City Council for her compassionate advocacy for women. In 2016, Tonie was appointed by Mayor James Kenney to serve on the Philadelphia Commission for Women where she continues her advocacy on behalf of incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she has been a leader in providing resources to women released from jails and prisons by providing food, masks, transportation, and housing referrals. Tonie was recently appointed to the board of the City of Philadelphia’s Office of Community Empowerment Opportunity where she elevates the economic and employment needs of formerly incarcerated women.

She is a former member of the Parole and Probation Advisory Board, serves on the Incarcerated Women’s Working Group on behalf of the rights of incarcerated women, and is a member of the Council of Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls. Dedicated to her late mother, Ardella Willis, Ardella’s House is a place with a purpose to bring hope, lift women’s spirits, and foster dignity for incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women. This was Ardella’s life’s work and now, it has become Tonie’s life’s work too.


Gregory B. Fairchild

Isidore Horween Research Professor of Business Administration, The University of Virginia Darden School of Business


Gregory Fairchild is the Isidore Horween Research Professor of Business Administration at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business and associate dean for Washington, D.C., area initiatives. He is also the Dean and CEO of UVA | Northern Virginia. Since 2001, he has taught strategic management, entrepreneurship and ethics in Darden’s MBA and Executive Education programs. Professor Fairchild’s long record of public impact work revolves around the education needs of currently incarcerated citizens. He is co-founder and vice chair of the nonprofit Resilience Education, the mission of which is help remove the “Scarlet Letter” of a felony conviction by providing courses in business and job readiness to individuals reentering society.

Panel: The Role of Business Schools in Addressing Second Chance Employment

Mark Elliott

Head of Military and Veteran Affairs, JPMorgan Chase & Co.


Mark A. Elliott is Managing Director and Global Head of Military and Veterans Affairs for JPMorgan Chase & Co. He oversees firm-wide, veteran-focused efforts around three strategic pillars: Employment, Small Business and Strategic Initiatives, and Acclimation and Development.

Over nearly three decades serving in the U.S. Army, Mark commanded units at the company, battalion and brigade levels. Retiring as a Colonel, his assignments in both conventional and special missions units took him around the world including two deployments to Iraq, with his last serving as aide-de-camp to the commander of all forces in Iraq. Most recently, he Mark Elliott was the Director of the Army’s Land Warfare Network at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.

Mark joined JPMorgan Chase in 2015 as a senior strategist on Global Technology Infrastructure’s Strategy and Transformation team where he supported the firm’s efforts to create new ways of interacting with customers in a digital environment.

He holds a Bachelor’s of Science in physics from the University of Alabama, a Masters in Telecommunications Management from Southern Methodist University, and a Masters in Strategic Studies from the National War College in Washington, D.C.

Panel: Veterans and Second Chance Employment

Sarah Glover

Vice President, News and Civic Dialogue, WHYY


Sarah Glover is the Vice President of News & Civic Dialogue at WHYY. Glover is the former managing editor at MPR News, Minnesota Public Radio.

Previously, she worked as a social media editor and strategist at NBC Owned Television Stations and NBC10 Philadelphia. She is also a former staff photojournalist at The Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News.

Glover served two historic terms as the 21st president of the National Association of Black Journalists, the largest organization in the U.S. for journalists of color founded in 1975.

She has a dual bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and College of Arts & Sciences. Glover received an MBA from Temple University Fox School of Business and a Master of Arts degree from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania (PennWest). Glover was a 2021 Nieman Visiting Fellow at Harvard University.

Panel: Changing the Narrative Part 2: How Companies and Thought Leaders Are Redefining Second Chances

Ken Oliver

Vice President, and Executive Director, The Checkr Foundation


Ken Oliver is the VP of and Executive Director of the Checkr Foundation. was formed to operationalize Checkr’s Pledge 1% commitments and social impact initiatives.’s mission is to Build a Fairer Future of Work: One Job at a Time by redefining the narrative around the 77M Americans who suffer from an arrest and conviction history. Ken’s work focuses on record clearance, talent development through reskilling and upskilling programs, employer development through DEIJ practice, change management, and public policy.

As a proximate leader, Ken’s own remarkable journey started in 1996 when he was sentenced to 52 years to life in prison under California’s three-strikes law for “joyriding” as a passenger in a stolen car. He spent close to 24 years in prison, 8 of them in solitary confinement, for reading a book written by a former member of the Black Panther Party. With the support of Stanford University and the Corporate law firm Mayer Brown, Ken won a civil rights lawsuit against the state resulting in a monetary settlement and his release from prison in 2019. Shortly after his release, Ken became a paralegal at a public interest law firm and, shortly thereafter, a state policy director. In 2020, Ken became a co-founder and the Executive Director of a nonprofit reentry organization created to provide justice impacted people with meaningful pathways into the technology and knowledge-based economy, where he secured a historic investment of $28.5M.

Panel: Changing the Narrative Part 1: How Data and Research Are Dispelling Myths About Second Chances

Lizzy McLellan Ravitch

Workplace Reporter, The Philadelphia Inquirer

Panel: Building Local Second Chance Ecosystems Through Community Partnerships

Talmon Smith

Economics Reporter, The New York Times


Talmon Joseph Smith is an economic reporter for the Business section of The New York Times. He covers nationwide macroeconomic developments, labor markets and the intersection of financial markets with pocketbook issues.

Before joining the Business section, he worked as a staff editor in the Opinion section, editing columnists and regular contributors as well as commissioning guest essays from a variety of outside voices about economics, policy and culture. He graduated from Tufts University in 2016 and afterward worked as a visiting scholar at the N.Y.U. Journalism Institute. While in college, Talmon completed an internship at a Washington-based nonpartisan think tank on campaign finance, tracking networks of moneyed influence and evaluating the economic arguments of corporate lobbyists engaged with both sides of the political aisle. Before joining The Times in 2018, he worked at GQ Magazine. Talmon was born and raised in New Orleans.

Panel: Business Perspectives on Skills-Based Employment and Second Chances