Thursday, October 12

8:30 AM-9:00 AM

Registration & Networking

9:00 AM-9:25 AM

Welcome and Overview of the 2023 Grand Challenge: Workforce Disrupted


Paige Ouimet

Executive Director, Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise, Associate Dean for the PhD Program and Professor of Finance, UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School
9:25 AM-10:15 AM

Panel Discussion: Framing the New Equilibrium

An aging workforce combined with shifts in what workers expect from their jobs has collided with changes in demand for talent. Workers and businesses both want flexibility and purpose, but what they mean by those words is different: working from home vs. adaptation; socially conscious vs. more productive. How are employers and employees thinking about those differences and what are the mechanisms for reconciliation.


Gerald Cohen

Chief Economist, UNC Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise

Delisa Alexander

Board Director, Qlik; Sophos; Symechron

John Haltiwanger

Dudley and Louisa Dillard Professor of Economics, University of Maryland and 2023 Kenan Institute Distinguished Fellow

Jeffery Swearingen

Global SVP, PepsiCo
10:15 AM-10:45 AM

Networking Break

10:45 AM-11:15 AM

Keynote: An Economist’s Guide to Immigration Reform

Immigration is one of the most contentious policy issues, and Congress has failed to make any significant legislative progress in decades. The result is an incoherent policy landscape and significant operational challenges on the ground. At the same time, immigration and immigrant integration remain critical to future U.S. workforce growth, innovation and government fiscal solvency. Watson will discuss the key findings from the economics literature and their implications for where to focus immigration reform efforts.


Tara Watson

Professor of Economics, Williams College, Director of Center for Economic Security and Opportunity, Brookings Institution and 2023 Kenan Institute Distinguished Fellow
11:15 AM-12:00 PM

Plenary Panel Discussion: Navigating the Great Resignation & Beyond

This panel offers a deep dive into the complex forces that drove the “Great Resignation,” the ensuing “Great Talent Reshuffle,” and the emerging “Great Stay” phenomenon in the wake of the pandemic. Discover the motivations behind individuals leaving their jobs, exploring new opportunities, or reassessing their career paths. We’ll explore the implications for businesses and strategies to adapt to this shifting labor landscape. Join us to gain insights into workforce trends, retention challenges, and innovative approaches for a workforce in transformation.


Sekou Bermiss

Associate Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship, UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School

Barbara Entwistle

Frank Hawkins Kenan Distinguished Professor of Sociology, UNC Chapel Hill; Training Program Director, Carolina Population Center

Jeff Korzenik

Chief Economist, Fifth Third Bank

Bruce Van Saun

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Citizens Financial Group, Inc
12:00 PM-1:15 PM


A Conversation with NC Senator Michael Lee on Meeting NC’s Future Workforce Needs

North Carolina has been recognized for the second consecutive year as the best state for business in the country. The state’s economic success is driven by the state’s robust workforce pipeline. Senator Lee will discuss North Carolina’s strategic approach to sustaining this competitive advantage.


Greg Brown

Distinguished Professor of Finance and Sarah Graham Kenan Distinguished Scholar, UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School

Thomas Stith

CEO, The Michael Thomas Group, Inc., Former President, North Carolina Community College System, and 2023 Kenan Institute Distinguished Fellow

Senator Michael V. Lee

North Carolina General Assembly

A Video Message from U.S. Senator Thom Tillis


Thom Tillis

U.S. Senator for North Carolina
1:30 PM-1:45 PM

Networking Break

1:45 PM-2:45 PM

Breakout Sessions

Meeting NC's Labor Needs: Policy and Partnership

Discussion on government programs, public-private partnerships, and education pipelines aimed at meeting North Carolina’s labor needs. Explore the role of policy in workforce development.


Anita Brown Graham

Gladys Hall Coates Distinguished Professor of Public Law and Government, UNC School of Government; Director, ncIMPACT Initiative

Joshua Levy

Senior Policy Analyst, North Carolina Department of Commerce

Gary Salamido

President and Chief Executive Officer, NC Chamber

Leading in a Hybrid World

Gain insights into best practices for managing remote and hybrid teams. Understand the importance of adaptable leadership in a world with greater workday flexibility and evolving team structures.


David Hofmann

Hugh L. McColl, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Leadership and Organizational Behavior and Senior Associate Dean of UNC Executive Development, UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School

Jeneén Felder

Director, Global Emerging Talent Recruiting, Cisco

Stephanie Headley

Senior Vice President, North America Skin Care and Global Olay, Procter & Gamble

Kathy Boden Holland

Chief Executive Officer, Consumer Safety Technology
2:45 PM-3:00 PM

Networking Break

3:00 PM-4:00 PM

Breakout Sessions

Workforce Development Pipeline Blueprint: A Case Study in Public-Private Synergy

Join us for an insightful panel discussion that delves into Wolfspeed’s pioneering efforts in forging private-public partnerships and initiatives aimed at cultivating a sustainable and skilled workforce pipeline. Our panelists will share their experiences and strategies for creating a mutually beneficial ecosystem that fosters innovation, job growth, and economic prosperity. Discover how collaboration can shape the future of workforce development in the tech industry in NC and beyond.


Mark Little

Executive Director, NCGrowth

Pamela Howze

National Director of Workforce Strategies, National Institute for Innovation and Technology

Jerry Jones

Executive Director, Center for Workforce Engagement, Durham Technical Community College

Shawnice Meador

Senior Director, Global Talent Management, Wolfspeed

Margaret Robertson

Vice President of Workforce Development, Central Carolina Community College

The Gig Economy: Transforming Work as We Know It

Explore the viability of the gig economy and its impact on traditional work structures. Discover how companies can tap into this flexible, on-demand labor market and adapt to changing workforce preferences.


Camelia Kuhnen

Director of Research, Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise; Faculty Director, CREATE; and Professor of Finance, UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School

Candace Burnett

Vice President, Partner Resources, Starbucks

Mohammad Jarrahi

Associate Professor, UNC School of Information and Library Science

Albert L. Wright, Jr.

President and CEO, West Virginia University Health System
4:00 PM-4:15 PM

Networking Break

4:15 PM-5:15 PM

Workplace Talent, Skills and Economic Competitiveness: A Fireside Chat with UNC Kenan-Flagler Dean Mary Margaret Frank

Join UNC Kenan-Flagler Dean Mary Margaret Frank, IBM’s Tim Humphrey and former Domino’s CEO Ritch Allison for a discussion about the changing nature of the workplace and the skills necessary for both workers and companies to compete in today’s economic environment. This executive briefing is part of the Dean’s Speaker Series, hosted by the Kenan Institute in partnership with UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School and made possible through the generous support of the Archie K. Davis Endowment.


Ritch Allison

Retired CEO, Domino's Pizza, Inc.

Mary Margaret Frank

Dean, UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School

Tim Humphrey

Chief Analytics Officer, North Carolina Senior State Executive and RTP Senior Site Executive, IBM
5:15 PM-6:30 PM


Friday, October 13

8:30 AM-9:00 AM

Registration & Networking

9:00 AM-9:30 AM

Keynote: The Influence of Mega-Threats on Individuals at Work

Despite recognizing the importance of societal events, organizational scholars and practitioners alike rarely are prepared to address the effects of these events on their employees. Leigh will discuss a series of research papers where she explores the effect of societal events, or “mega-threats,” on employees in the workplace, as well as initial findings from new research examining the broader effects of mega-threats on individuals who share identity with victims of a mega-threat and those who are members of a different racially stigmatized identity group. Taken together, this work yields important theoretical and practical implications about the significant influence that societal events which occur outside of organizations have on employees when they enter the workplace and on individuals in society more broadly.


Angelica Leigh

Assistant Professor of Management and Organizations, Duke Fuqua School of Business and 2023 Kenan Institute Distinguished Fellow

Shimul Melwani

Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior and Associate Dean of the Undergraduate Business Program, UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School
9:30 AM-10:15 AM

Panel Discussion: The Purposeful Company: Beyond Profits

Explore how companies can cultivate a greater sense of purpose in their work and attract employees who seek meaningful contributions. Discuss the importance of corporate social responsibility and purpose-driven missions.


Mike Christian

Bell Distinguished Scholar and Professor of Organizational Behavior, UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School

Mike Barkley

Former CEO, KIND Snacks, Board Director, Higher Ambition Leadership Alliance

Dana O’Donovan

Social Impact and Monitor Institute by Deloitte Leader, US Purpose and DEI Office, Deloitte

Katie Wu

Associate Director, Sustainable Investing, Private Markets, Manulife Investment Management
10:15 AM-10:45 AM

Networking Break

10:45 AM-11:15 AM

Keynote: Succeeding in a Constantly Changing World

In this talk, we will discuss the key ingredients for organizations and individuals to succeed in a constantly changing world. We will address the need to be open, adaptable, and constantly learn. The talk will explore the SCALE Learning model as well as learning from failure.


Arvind Malhotra

The H. Allen Andrew Distinguished Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship, UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School
11:15 AM-12:00 PM

Panel Discussion: Future-Proofing Skills for the Modern Workforce

Explore the vital skills essential for success in today’s ever-evolving workforce, spanning hybrid work models, emerging technologies, and the diverse needs of the modern workforce.


Stan Ahalt

Dean, UNC School of Data Science and Society

Theresa Barber

Vice President, HR People Systems and Analytics, SAS

Mark McNeilly

Professor of the Practice of Marketing, UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School

Tammy Samuels

Executive Director, Career & Leadership for MBA & Alumni, UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School
12:00 PM-1:15 PM


Panel Discussion: Anticipating Tomorrow’s Challenges

Look ahead to the challenges that the next year may bring, encompassing emerging technologies, shifts in globalization, monetary policy impacts, and their effects on businesses and the workforce.


Paige Ouimet

Executive Director, Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise, Associate Dean for the PhD Program and Professor of Finance, UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School

Wayne Busch

Group President – Consulting & Digital Transformation Services, NTT DATA Services

Albert L. Wright, Jr.

President and CEO, West Virginia University Health System
1:15 PM-2:00 PM

Networking Reception


Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise

Leveraging the Private Sector for the Public Good

Established in 1985 by Frank Hawkins Kenan, the Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise is a nonpartisan business policy think tank affiliated with the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School. The nonprofit institute and its affiliated centers convene leaders from business, academia and government to better understand how the private sector can work for the public good. The institute leverages best-in-class research to develop market-based solutions to today’s most complex economic challenges. In doing so, the institute aims to support businesses and policies that better the lives of people in North Carolina, across the country and around the world.

A Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise Event