WORKCON 2018 “Unlocking the Power of Partnerships”

Conference Program & Plenary Overview


Conference Draft Program

Details & descriptions of everything WORKCON 2018; Pre-Cons, Sessions, Plenaries & MORE! Scroll down for a quick overview of the conference plenaries and mini-plenaries. WORKCON Conference Program April 18

WORKCON conference poster, hands reaching toward each other with a blast of energy behind them, pastel bright colors.






Wednesday, May 2, 2018



12:45 – 2:15 OPENING PLENARY Garden Pavilion

The Principles of Successful Partnerships and Collaborations

Gino Chirio, Executive VP for Growth Services, Maddock Douglas

Leveraging over 25 years of experience working with Fortune 500 clients, Gino has uncovered the secrets to keeping collaborative teams focused on reaching their goal. In this opening keynote, you’ll experience what it takes to join with others in making large scale significant change, and the keys to building successful, powerful partnerships.

4:00 – 5:00  AFTERNOON PLENARY   Garden Pavilion  

Partner Power! 

Mike Fazio, Co-Founder & CEO, Workforce 180   

Over the years, I have discovered a major key to successful partnerships is to identify areas of weakness and then make every effort to strengthen them. It means being completely honest with yourself.  It requires you to put ego aside for the sake of achievement. Not so easy, right? Journey with me as we look back, then ahead to the many, many ways we should be, partnering in our communities to achieve performance outcomes!  More about Mike at

Mike Fazio is the Founder and CEO of Workforce180—a national training, consulting and marketing company for workforce boards and non-profits. They have served more than 550 organizations nationwide, from all 50 states, DC, US Virgin islands, Puerto Rico, Guam and Canada!  Mike is a well-known speaker at conferences across the country, but always says “I don’t do speeches”.  Instead, he makes presentations, so the  audience can decide how relevant his content is.  He also hosts the worldwide 180PODCAST ( month and will be available here in The Podcast Zone to conduct free interviews all day May 3.  Learn more here at

Thursday, May 3, 2018



8:30 – 9:45 MORNING PLENARY   Garden Pavilion

Addressing the Great Divide: Closing the Equity Gap

Donna Harris, Co-Founder, 1776

Donna Harris is an American businesswoman and entrepreneur. Donna believes we need to acknowledge the critical work we are engaged in to address the equity gap in the U.S. She will be sharing her thoughts on the importance of a shared vision, and why this bigger why motivates people and moves us toward an even bigger what. 

Donna is part of the Global Entrepreneurship Network, the National Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, the Startup America Partnership and the World Academy for the Future of Women. In January 2013, she co-founded Washington, D.C. startup incubator 1776. She has appeared in Forbes, Bloomberg News, CNN Money, and The Chicago Tribune. 


How to Get Others to Willingly Do What Needs to Be Done, Riviera & Monte Carlo

Silver Rose, Silver Rose Enterprises

Workforce Systems Design and Regional Planning: A Poetic Conversation, St. Tropez 

Walter Dario di Mantova, Partner, Powerminds, Tim Rainey, Executive Director, CWDB Bob Lanter, Executive Director, CWA John D. Baker, President, Core Factors

Walt Di Mantova has spent thirty years in workforce and economic development. He grew the extraordinary teams that built the US’s largest university corporate training center educating over 250,000 employees from Fortune 100 companies and unions in 11 countries. He helped transform – and improve — California’s Community Colleges.  And he is creating unprecedented programs in occupational health and safety, continuous improvement and adult workplace skills.  “I’ve enthusiastically dedicated my work life to one thing: trying to save lives, build jobs, disrupt poverty and reduce trauma through learning. Period.” Walter Dario Di Mantova

Automation, Artificial Intelligence and Digitization, Sorrento & San Marino

Presenters pending

What It Is and What We Need to Know as Workforce Professionals and Educators

Friday, May 4, 2018


8:30 – 9:30 MORNING PLENARY   Garden Pavilion

The Power of Partnerships Deciphered

Moderator: Bob Lanter, Executive Director, California Workforce Association

  • Patrick Henning Jr., Director, Employment Development Department
  • Kim Johnson, Chief, CalWORKs and Child Care Branch, California Department of Social Services
  • Dr. Jeffrey A. Mrizek, Dean, Effective Practices, California Community College Chancellor’s Office
  • Tim Rainey, ED, California Workforce Development Board
  • Joe Xavier, Director, California Department of Rehabilitation

State leaders will share their insights, as well as promising practices from around their state where partnerships are leading to even better outcomes for individuals, for business and for communities.

11:00 – Noon Closing Session    Garden Pavilion

Workforce Jeopardy

End the conference on a fun note while reflecting on what you have learned and what ideas you are taking back home.


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