GMA SHRM Strategic Summit

Topic:  Creating a Culture of Acceptance and Diversity in the Workplace

Presented by:
- Theresa Gilliland, Author of "In a Moment"
- Helen Taylor, Diversity and Inclusion Specialist, American Family Insurance

Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Alliant Energy Center
Madison, WI


This program has been pre-approved by HRCI for 3.0 hours General Credit.

Click here for important information about HRCI pre-approval.






Registration, Continental Breakfast and Networking





Location & Directions

Alliant Energy Center

1919 Alliant Energy Center Way
Madison, WI 53713

Click here for direction information.

Fees & Registration










GMA SHRM Member Online Registration

Non Member Registration

The GMA SHRM Philanthropy Committee is supporting Operation Homefront by collecting items for care packages to send to troops now mainly stationed in Afghanistan.  Chapter members can bring any item on the Operation Homefront list  to a Strategic Summit or Toolbox and drop it in the designated donation box.  

To support the SHRM Foundation, the committee will also be collecting the following items in new or gently used condition throughout the program year to hold a book sale at the GMA SHRM Human Capital Conference on May 15, 2012 .

Professional development books, Personal development books,  Children’s books, Fiction and DVDs

For more information visit our Philanthropy Information Page.


Presentation Description • Presenter Bio

Presentation Description

This 2 part presentation will first tell a remarkable story and then take a real world look at a local company who leads the way in the diversity and inclusion initiative in the workplace. The program will focus on how to align company recruiting and retention of diverse and special needs applicants/employees to corporate goals in the same areas.

The remarkable story of Teresa Gilliland and the struggles that were placed in front of her would make most people want to give up.  In this part of the presentation, Teresa will share her story and more importantly, help us understand how we can all better accept, work with, and communicate with people with disabilities. You will be provided with a simple workbook entitled, ‘A Guide for Effective Communication and Interaction’.  This is a resource that you can take back to your company and incorporate into your on-boarding sessions with new employees.

The second part of the presentation will take a real world look at a local company who leads the way in the diversity and inclusion initiative in the workplace.  You will hear the story of American Family’s journey to diversity and inclusion in the workplace.  You will take part in the discussion on programs that foster and encourage engagement, retention and development.

Attendees will learn:

1. How to infuse a culture of diversity acceptance in the workplace.
2. How to align company recruiting and retention of diverse and special needs applicants/employees to corporate goals in the same areas.
3. Ideas that you can take back to your workplace to move your company’s diversity initiatives to standard operating practices.
4. How, when faced with seemingly insurmountable odds against you, you can choose to give up or embrace life.

Our Presenters

Theresa Gilliland, author of “In a Moment”, shares her positive attitude and how it helped her survive three life changing events: going blind, her husband’s traumatic brain injury, and her son’s brain cancer.  With her bachelor’s degree in psychology, she has developed a variety of educational, motivational, and inspirational sessions to help others adjust to or become aware of disabilities.

Helen Taylor is a diversity and inclusion consultant at American Family Mutual Insurance Company.  She leads and oversees a multi-dimensional diversity and inclusion strategy. 

Helen began her career at American Family in 1996.   She has held several roles, including:  field training analyst, process improvement specialist, organizational effectiveness (OE) consultant in HR, OE manager, managed the talent management unit in HR and eventually transitioned into the field of diversity and inclusion, which has been her focus for the past four-and-a-half years. 

She was instrumental in the development of American Family’s overall diversity strategy and spearheaded the collaborative formation of the company’s integrated strategic diversity plan, including Business Resource Groups, and a people of color retention study.

Helen is also an active member of and sits on the executive board of the Madison Area Diversity Roundtable. Its purpose is to improve diversity and inclusionary practices within member company organizations and conduct outreach efforts in the greater Madison area.

Helen has also served as a board member for non-profit organizations enhancing the lives of others such as Teen Approach, Inc. in Milwaukee, Wis., and the North/Eastside Senior Coalition of Madison, Wis.

Helen graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Stout with a bachelor’s degree in merchandising with an emphasis in business management.

For more information contact:

GMA SHRM Management Team
2830 Agriculture Dr.
Madison, WI 53718
(608) 204-9814
fax (608) 204-9818

Program Schedule subject to change.