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UC People Management Conference inspires personal growth and cultural transformation

People Management Conference workshop

Attendees at UC’s People Management Conference engage in a small group exercise in one of the many workshops.

With a focus on cultural change, UC’s People Management Conference returned to UCLA’s Luskin Center from Aug. 7-9. The conference built on the success of last year’s inaugural event, offering an inspiring training, development and networking opportunity to over 400 attendees from across the system.

“I am so grateful to the participants, speakers and facilitators who brought their energy and expertise to this event, and to our sponsor partners, whose support made the conference possible,” said Donna Salvo, executive director of Systemwide Talent Management. “This amazing group of leaders came together with a shared commitment to shape UC’s culture and lead the organization to even higher levels of success.”

Conference attendees were UC people managers and leaders who have completed the UC-Coro Systemwide Leadership Collaborative, the UC Management Development Program (MDP) and/or the UC People Management Series and Certificate. These highly-motivated participants selected from a roster of dozens of sessions to craft a curriculum tailored to their professional needs.

Workshop sessions highlighted the conference’s core themes. For example:


  • Emotional Intelligence & Diversity: Skills for Leadership Effectiveness
  • Mindfulness @Work — Thrive in the Midst of the Overload


  • Authentic Leadership through Storytelling
  • Well-being, Learning & Purpose: The Three Essential Elements to Build a High-Performing Team
  • Experience Effective Talent Review — Succession Meetings


  • Leadership’s Role in Enhancing UC Culture that Drives Success
  • Change your Culture: Change the Game
  • Successfully Navigating the Stormy Seas of Change

Industry and UC leaders also shared their insights with attendees through keynote speeches and spirited panel discussions. Keynote highlights included discussions of workplace culture by Dwaine B. Duckett, vice president of Systemwide Human Resources, and Shola Richards, director of Training & Organizational Development for UCLA Health. Salvo moderated a “Leadership Huddle” featuring Carol Christ, UC Berkeley’s chancellor, Alexander Bustamante, senior vice president and chief compliance and audit officer at UCOP, and Glenda Humiston, vice president at UC Agricultural and Natural Resources

Awards and recognition

Several awards were presented during the conference to recognize outstanding achievements across the system:

  • Leadership Impact Award: Sonja Colbert (UC Davis)
  • Managing Implicit Bias Awareness: UCLA
  • People Management Partner: Michael J. Beck (UCLA)
  • Highest Location Attendance: UC Riverside
  • Social Star: Heindrick Yu (UC Irvine)

Systemwide Talent Management, the conference organizer, and the UCOP Marketing Communications team celebrated an award of their own, from the national University & College Designers Association (UCDA). The teams received the UCDA Special Event Excellence Award for their exceptional collaborative design work promoting last year’s People Management Conference.

If you would like more information about the event, please contact Donna Salvo or Siena Sarmiento, Systemwide Talent Management implementation manager.

Next year’s UC People Management Conference will be back at the UCLA Luskin Center, Aug. 6-8, 2019.

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