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Inspiring and recognizing UC leaders systemwide

Photos from the 2019 People Management Conference

From August 6–8, 2019, Systemwide Human Resources gathered more than 400 leaders from throughout UC at UCLA’s Luskin Conference Center for the third annual UC People Management Conference, an unforgettable two days’ worth of learning, mentorship and networking opportunities. Conference attendees learned about current management topics and future management priorities, connected and collaborated with their peers, exchanged best practices and continued their development and growth as UC people managers and leaders.

“This conference highlights people leaders at UC who, in addition to being committed to improving and developing themselves, are committed to providing an engaging employee experience, supporting the development of their colleagues’ careers,” said conference sponsor Donna Salvo, executive director, Systemwide Human Resources. “This was by far the most successful and energizing conference we have ever had!”

Advice to UC leaders, from UC leaders

This year’s theme was “Building a Culture of Collaboration and Trust,” which expanded upon the conference’s evergreen theme, “Grow, Empower, Lead,” with a special emphasis on interpersonal relationships.

Many senior UC leaders offered their insights on leadership, culture and collaboration throughout the conference, including UC President Janet Napolitano and:

  • Regent Eloy Ortiz Oakley, UC Board of Regents
  • Rachael Nava, EVP, COO and Chief of Staff to the President, UCOP
  • Cheryl Lloyd, Associate Vice President, Chief Risk Officer and Acting Vice President, Systemwide Human Resources, UCOP
  • Michael J. Beck, Administrative Vice Chancellor, UCLA
  • Jonathan Grady, Associate Vice Chancellor and Dean of Students, UC Merced

Special guest speakers included Jenny Dearborn, CEO, Actionable Analytics Group, and Martha Dietzel, marketing and partnerships specialist, School on Wheels. Dearborn’s presentation focused on the future of work — how artificial intelligence can be an opportunity for the workforce rather than a threat. The School on Wheels led a conference participant community event to support K-12 students experiencing homelessness. Read featured speakers bios.

On Thursday morning, Donna Salvo engaged President Napolitano in a keynote session about her career journey, her role in affirming and advancing UC as a premier, global institution and her vision for leading UC into the future. The president answered questions from conference attendees. She shared her vision for management and leadership at UC, including how to creatively work with longstanding and complicated policies, as well as the importance of diversity and the attractive nature of mission-driven work in the face of a competing private sector. She encouraged managers to focus on building strong relationships and to show appreciation for employees in order to motivate and retain them. She shared personal stories from her career that highlighted the important roles that managers and mentors can play.

The president also shared how she measures her own progress: At the end of each week, she reflects upon the question, “What have I done to move the organization forward?” She encouraged managers to do the same and to engage their employees and organizations in similar discussions to help UC achieve its mission and vision.

Award-winning leadership

A highlight of each year’s People Management Conference is recognizing UC leaders for their efforts on the university’s behalf throughout the year. Congratulations to the employees recognized this year!

2019 People Management Partner Award: Yvette Gullatt, Vice Provost for Diversity and Engagement and Chief Outreach Officer, UC and Interim Vice President, Student Affairs, UC

This award recognizes a UC leader who:

  • Demonstrates exemplary leadership and continuous commitment in support of leader and manager development programs and initiatives
  • Identifies opportunities and collaborates with systemwide and location human resources, as well as with executive leaders, to implement leader- and manager-development programs
  • Champions leader and manager development in their own areas of responsibility
  • Effectively role models and influences leaders to continuously grow their own managerial awareness and develop others’

2019 Culture Champion: Kelly Adams, Senior Director of Development Regional & Parent Giving, UC Santa Barbara

This award recognizes a UC manager who:

  • Role-models integrity; courage to make important, but difficult, decisions and commitment that inspires others to follow
  • Harnesses their position of influence to instill confidence in others, finding ways to engage, collaborate and unite people from different functions to meet an organizational goal or need
  • Reinforces elements that help the organization succeed, and changes those that are no longer productive, to help shift people in the right direction
  • Recognizes they can’t achieve success alone and builds trusted relationships

Most Completions of the People Management Professional Certificate and Managing Implicit Bias Series: UCLA (Represented by Michael J. Beck, administrative vice-chancellor, UCLA

Greatest Number of Conference Attendees: UC Merced and UC Riverside

2019 Conference Social Star: Heindrick Yu, Manager, Office of Information Technology, UC Irvine — a two-time winner!

Attend next year’s People Management Conference

Each year, the UC People Management Conference features an exciting agenda of events, including:

  • Breakout sessions and workshops guided by UC leaders and external speakers about human resources and management best practices
  • Inspiring and insightful keynote addresses
  • An exhibitor hall
  • Community and wellness events
  • Pre-conference networking reception dinner
  • And more!

To attend next year’s event — taking place August 4–6, 2020, again at UCLA’s Luskin Conference Center — complete one of UC’s three systemwide leadership development programs:

Questions about the conference? Contact

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