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The View from the Top: Strategic HR (Career Series #13)

HR executives from Genzyme, Staples and IBM review Talent Acquisition and Talent Management strategies. For HR professionals, learn how to identify high-potential staff. For employees or job seekers, learn HR strategies to advance your career.

Description: Regardless of the economy, Human Resources strategy continues to set apart organizational winners in the talent war.  Our panelists will address strategic issues their organizations face in the areas of Talent Acquisition and Talent Management within large global companies.  Areas of interest include:
  • Identification, development and management of "high-potential staff"
  • Succession planning and avoiding career derailment
  • Issues of the aging workforce, managing knowledge transfer in industries where offshoring/outsourcing is underway, including how to create the next generation of leaders in this model
  • Is there a new role for Human Resources?
Panelists: The MIT Sloan Alumni Career Development series is designed to serve our Alumni throughout their careers.

This event series is produced in collaboration with Keystone Partners.




Elaine Varelas is Managing Partner at Keystone Partners and has over 20 years experience in career-development consulting.  She is responsible for corporate relationships including corporate sales and strategic marketing for the firm and its divisions.  Elaine's experience spans a broad range of industries and businesses, including Fortune 500 companies, start-up ventures and not-for-profit organizations.  Elaine has expertise in successfully resolving complex career-management issues, including workforce planning, career center design and implementation, redeployment and large-scale multi-site restructurings.  Elaine is a contributor to’s Job Doc Blog, columnist for The Hire Authority and has shared her expertise with readers of the Wall Street Journal, Boston Business Journal, and Boston Globe. She frequently addresses professional associations throughout New England. 

A graduate of the Management Development Program at Boston University, Elaine holds a M.Ed. from the University of Vermont and a BA from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. She is a member of the Boston Club and also serves on the Board of Career Partners International, a partnership of career-management consulting firms which Keystone Partners co-founded in 1987.


 Joan Wood is Senior Vice President, Leadership and Organizational Development at Genzyme Corporation, a global biotechnology company with more than 12,000 employees worldwide.  She is responsible for the overall development of Genzyme Corporation's global biotechnology workforce. Her focus is in the areas of management and leadership development, and organizational development, diversity and college relations. Programs under her direction include Genzyme's Mobilizing Talen initiative, and Genzyme's MBA Management Development and Summer Internaship Programs.  Previously, Wood was Senior Vice President at Scudder Investments, where she led the Learning and Development function for Scudder's U.S. Mutual Fund Group and oversaw customer education for the AARP family of funds.  Ms. Wood also previously was Director of Curriculum Development for Service Delivery University of Fidelity Investments.  Ms. Wood's current special interest is in executive coaching, particularly in the areas of visionary and metaphoric thinking and conflict resolution.   

Shira Goodman is Executive Vice President of Human Resources, responsible for Staples’ global HR strategies and programs that advance the company’s commitment to be the world’s best office products company. Shira joined Staples in 1992 and has served in a number of leadership roles across the company. She recently served as Executive Vice President of Marketing responsible for Staples’ marketing, advertising, public relations and charitable giving programs and led the company’s global business integration efforts following Staples’ acquisition of Corporate Express in 2008. She previously held senior executive positions in the company’s delivery business units which serve business customers of all sizes.

Shira came to Staples from Bain and Company where she was a Manager. Staples was one of her clients and she helped develop the strategy to launch Staples’ catalog business.

Shira sits on the Board of Directors of CarMax, Inc. A native of Chicago, she was raised in Minneapolis.  She holds a Master of Management Science degree with a concentration in strategy and marketing from MIT’s Sloan School of Management, a J.D. from Harvard Law School and a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University.

 Michael Markovits is currently Vice President, Business and Technical Leadership responsible globally for succession planning, leadership development (including management and executive development), technical and business leadership pipeline management, and executive recruiting. Mike joined IBM in May 2004 as Vice President of GEOC (Global Executive and Organization Capability) responsible for succession planning, executive development, and organizational improvement consulting for IBM.  

Before coming to IBM, Mike was at GE for 19 years. In his most recent role, he was at GE Crotonville, responsible for GE’s leadership and executive education activities.  Prior to that, Mike led GE Capital’s Center for Learning & Organizational Excellence where he was responsible for training, education and change management globally for GE Capital.  In the years prior to that, Mike held a successive series of HR, organizational change, and six sigma quality leadership roles within the Aerospace, Aircraft Engines, Plastics, and Financial Services business units at GE.  

Mike has a BA from Oberlin College, a Masters in Education from Harvard, and an MBA from the Sloan School of Management, MIT.


Date: October 5, 2010

Time:  6:30 - 7:00 PM networking & heavy hors d'oeuvres, 7 - 8:30 PM program 

Place: MIT Sloan School E51 - 315

Price: Free for SACB Alumni Members
         $20 for Alumni Non-Members
         $40 General Registration

Boston Skyline Panorama courtesy Nietnagel © 2010
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