Keynote Speakers


Andy Brantley

CEO and President, College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA HR)


Higher Education HR – Moving From Getting The Work Done To Providing Strategy And Leadership


Andy Brantley has served as president and chief executive officer of CUPA‐HR since July 2005. With the leadership and guidance of high-functioning boards and great national office colleagues, Andy has led the transformation of CUPA‐HR.

The association has grown from 1,500 member institutions to almost 2,000, and from 6,600 institutional representatives to more than 17,600. Attendance at the annual conference has doubled, as has CUPA‐HR’s annual revenue. In 2007, the association built a new office home and paid off the mortgage in less than three years. The association has created focused strategic priorities, launched new chapters, created a learning framework, and made diversity and inclusion a cornerstone of its work while strengthening its position as the source of higher education compensation data and as the voice of higher education HR on Capitol Hill.


Erika Garms, Ph.D.

Garms Group, Inc.


The Brain-Friendly Workplace: Addressing Organizational Challenges


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Dr. Erika Garms is an organizational learning and change expert with a gift for translating cutting-edge science into powerful workplace practices. As CEO and Principal Consultant of Garms Group, Inc., she leverages neuroscience in developing people and shaping healthy and effective organizations.

Erika has played a number of consulting and leadership roles in her 26-year career, including serving as an internal consultant, an organization development unit manager, and an organization development/change/executive management consultant with two large, global management consulting firms. She also helped to establish start-up consultancies. Erika has worked with public sector and private sector organizations across many industries.

Erika earned a BA and an MA from the University of Colorado, a PhD from the University of Minnesota, and post-graduate certificate from the NeuroLeadership Institute/Sussex University. Garms is the author of, “The Brain-Friendly Workplace: Five Big Ideas From Neuroscience That Address Organizational Challenges” (ASTD Press, 2014). She is a regular speaker at conferences, company meetings, management retreats, and workshops.


Craig Hickman

Business Unit President and Senior Leadership Consultant, Partners In Leadership, Inc.


Be the Hero! Create a Culture of Accountability

Craig is a Co-Author of Partners In Leadership’s classic New York Times Bestselling book, The Oz Principle. He is a Business Unit President for Partners In Leadership and presides over the Chicago area office. Craig has accumulated over 30 years of management and consulting experience since receiving his MBA at Harvard University. Prior to joining Partners In Leadership, Craig was CEO of the specialty chemicals division at Headwaters Incorporated (NYSE:HW), where he turned around the struggling division and formed a joint venture with Evonik Degussa GmbH.

Craig has assisted his clients to expand revenues, reduce costs, increase profits, develop new products, improve service quality, strengthen management and leadership, facilitate culture change, accelerate organizational learning and drive greater accountability for achieving key results. Articles, commentaries and reviews of his work have appeared in The New York Times, Businessweek, Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, USA Today, Working Woman, Success Magazine, IndustryWeek, Nation’s Business, Training & Development, Training, HR Magazine, Across the Board, Boardroom Reports, Journal of Business Strategy, Executive Excellence, The Times (London), Canadian Business and various other newspapers and magazines worldwide.