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Stephanie Dorning, J.D.

Stephanie Dorning, JD
Employment Law Counsel
HR Source

Stephanie’s interest in employment law began when she joined the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor. In more than nine years with the department, she acted as lead investigator in over 120 investigations and helped employers across northern Illinois come into compliance with laws such as the Fair Labor Standards Act, Family Medical Leave Act, Davis Bacon Act, and more. Stephanie uses her first-hand agency experience to help employers navigate complicated legal issues and avoid potential violations.

Candace Picture

Candace Fisher, SHRM-SCP, Certified Coach
Director, Organizational Development
HR Source

Candace Fisher is the Director of Organizational Development at HR Source. In this role, her responsibilities include assisting members with design and implementation of training and development programs for their Human Resource staff, supervisory and non-supervisory employees. In addition, Candace facilitates various training sessions at HR Source, including sessions in Spanish. She advises members and assists with organizational issues such as management coaching, change and performance management. She provides human resource, employee relations and supervisory/management services for member organizations via the HR Hotline. 

Prior to working for HR Source, Ms. Fisher was a Human Resource Manager and an HR Generalist for various organizations in the greater Chicagoland area. Her background includes work in training and development, employee relations, labor relations, benefits negotiation and administration, recruiting, workers’ compensation and overall strategic management of the Human Resource function. 

Ms. Fisher obtained a Bachelor of Science degree with honors in Business Administration and a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from the University of Illinois, Urbana, as well as a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Illinois, Chicago. She is a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) as designated through the Human Resource Certification Institute, a Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP) as designated through the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and a Certified Coach.

Kelly Hayden

Kelly Hayden, JD
Chief Legal Counsel
HR Source

Kelly Hayden is Chief Legal Counsel for HR Source, a professional organization providing human resource solutions for member organizations for more than 100 years. In her role, Kelly provides representation to employers before the Illinois Department of Human Rights, the Illinois Human Rights Commission, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Illinois Department of Labor, the US Department of Labor and other state and federal agencies. She also assists employers with hiring, discipline, and termination procedures; preparation of employment agreements; and the drafting and reviewing of employment policies and handbooks. She provides employment law compliance training for managers, supervisors, and HR professionals covering many topics including harassment, discipline and discharge, the FMLA, ADA, social media, employee handbooks, interviewing and hiring and drug and alcohol testing. As a representative of HR Source, Kelly frequently lectures to professional organizations on numerous employment law topics and contributes to the association’s website and has authored articles in numerous trade journals.

Kelly has a J.D. from the Indiana University Maurer School of Law and a B.A. in English and psychology, also from Indiana University. Kelly is admitted to practice law in the State of Illinois and before the Northern District of Illinois, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and the United States Supreme Court.  Kelly came to the Association from a large Chicago law firm where she practiced for nine years defending employers in employment discrimination trials. Kelly is a member of the American Bar Association and its Section on Labor and Employment Law. Kelly has also served as a fire commissioner for the Village of Frankfort Fire Protection District for more than 10 years.

Jason Lauritsen

Jason Lauritsen
Keynote Speaker, Management Trainer, Author

Jason Lauritsen is transforming management as a keynote speaker, trainer, and author. He liberates managers from outdated and inhumane practices so they can cultivate human potential at work and improve people’s lives.

Jason’s advice and teachings are informed by decades of experience as an entrepreneur, corporate executive, and employee engagement researcher. His insights have been described as a “secret weapon” by leaders who strive to create a more engaging and human work experience for their people.

He’s known for his authentic and vulnerable storytelling that challenges you to see things differently. It’s nearly impossible to come away from an interaction with Jason without having your perspective on management changed.

His passion for fixing management likely started with his very first (and very awkward) supervisory job on a corn detasseling crew when he was twelve years old. From there, his relentless curiosity about human behavior and a series of terrible job experiences over the following decades galvanized his commitment to find a better way.

His experience ranges from startup CEO to Fortune 1000 executive. He also spent several years leading the Best Places to Work program for an HR technology company, where he gained deep insight into some of the best workplaces in the world.

Jason is the author of two books, Unlocking High Performance: How to use performance management to engage and empower employees to reach their full potential and Social Gravity: Harnessing the Natural Laws of Relationships.

Tara Nesser

Tara Nesser

With experience at hyper-growth technology startups in roles such as Director of Talent Strategy, Head of Training and Development and Head of People, as well as previous leadership and executive roles in talent acquisition and development, Tara has been there. 

She has seen how investment in the right people can result in productivity, creativity, and efficacy gains. 

Passionate about people development, she founded LevelUp to help companies move through various stages by keeping their people central to their culture and development, and therefore, their success. 

Level Up has worked with a wide variety of companies including Pinterest, Chief, Chicago Booth, The Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Cincinnati, Clearcover, Public Rec, Techstars and more. 

Kathryn O'Connor

Kathryn O'Connor, PHR, SHRM-CP, CCP, GRP
Director, Compensation Services
HR Source

Kathryn O'Connor, PHR, SHRM-CP, CCP, GRP is Director, Compensation Services, for HR Source.  Kathryn leads both the compensation and survey departments, ensuring Chicagoland employers have access to accurate, timely benchmarking data for compensation, benefits, and human resources practices.  Kathryn consults with employers on compensation system design, pay range development, adherence to wage and hour laws, and performance management systems.  Kathryn holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Northwestern University.  

Ben Opp

Ben Opp, SPHR
HR Hotline Advisor
HR Source

Ben Opp, SPHR, serves as HR Hotline Advisor at HR Source, an association of employers in the Chicagoland area providing comprehensive and thoughtful HR support. Ben advises HR teams and executives regarding compliance, leading practices, difficult employee relations situations, and every other imaginable topic in the HR field.

A California native, Ben began his career as a professional classical musician and has since held leadership roles in sales, accounting, and human resources. His 19 years working in small business, including arts organizations, an engineering firm, and an industrial service company, lend him empathy toward the unique challenges of small and growing organizations and a holistic understanding of integrated business operations.

Ben holds a Bachelor of Music from the University of the Pacific, a Master of Music from the University of Rochester's Eastman School of Music, and the Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) certification from the Human Resources Certification Institute.

Sonal Shah

Sonal Shah, JD
Assistant Director, Employment Law Services
HR Source

Sonal Shah is Assistant Director of Employment Law Services for HR Source, a professional organization providing human resource solutions for member organizations for more than 100 years. As part of her practice, Sonal has represented employers against wrongful discharge and discrimination claims in front of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Illinois Department of Human Rights, and the Illinois Human Rights Commission. Sonal also has significant experience counseling employers on properly complying with the law and managing their workforce; preparing employment and severance agreements; drafting/revising disciplinary and termination notices; and crafting employment policies and handbooks. In addition, she provides employment law compliance training for managers, supervisors and HR professionals. Sonal also contributes to the Association’s monthly newsletter and website.

Sonal came to HR Source from a large Chicago law firm where she represented public and private employers, from the smallest private companies to corporations exceeding 10,000 employees, on a broad range of labor and employment law matters arising under federal and state law.

Sonal has a B.S. in Business Administration from The Ohio State University and a J.D. from Washington University in St. Louis.

Julie Voges

Julie Voges, SHRM – SCP, SPHR, IPMA
Regional Managing Director – HR Consulting 

As a strategic business partner, Julie’s approach relies on her experience as a big picture thinker and team player who works to find the right balance and the best outcome for everyone. 

A long-term vision combined with a focus on building a strong foundation have helped her serve clients in a variety of industries including diversified financial services, non-profit, manufacturing, healthcare, hospitality, technology, utility, and government. She uniquely understands the critical relationship between human resources and business goals, having successfully completed projects such as opening a new hotel as well as a Children’s Museum. Julie is a champion for change demonstrated by working hands-on to positively influence the work environment with a keen interest on the impact on people.   


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