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A Night of Networking & Learning

Each year, the Villanova Graduate HRD Program invites students, alumni, faculty and our local HR community to join us for a night of networking & learning.  To learn more about student events held throughout the year, visit our VUSHRM page here.  To see event information from some of our previous Annual Networking Receptions, click the year: 2016, 2017, 2018.  Click here to return to the main VUHRD event page.

The 2017 Event


Creating a Culture of Innovation in Your Organization

Tuesday, March 21st from 6-8PM

The Villanova Room | Connelly Center
Villanova University

The 2017 ANR event theme was SEEING INNOVATION: Creating a Culture of Innovation in Your Organization. The event featured speakers giving TED-style talks on how to discover innovation in any organization!  Guests were given an opportunity to ask questions during a panel discussion with all the speakers and share new ideas and learning during networking time! 

Keynote Speakers

Futuristic thinking is the ability to imagine, envision, project, and predict what has not been realized.  Successful innovation depends on this skill.

--Shawn Kent Hayashi


Founder & CEO of The Professional Development Group LLC


Shawn Kent Hayashi is the founder and CEO of The Professional Development Group LLC, Executive-in-Residence for the Lehigh University MBA Program, and a global expert in developing inspiring leaders and high performing teams. Growth, innovation, and elevated performance and profits are the results of Shawn’s work as an executive coach, speaker, and high performing team consultant.  Shawn facilitates growth in leadership ability, emotional intelligence, communication skills, collaboration, and building trust and stronger relationships.  Her clients include entrepreneurial companies, Fortune 500, and associations around the globe.  Shawn has been featured in The New York Times, Forbes, and FastCompany.  Her TEDx talk on The Future of Talent@Work forecasts coming changes to the workplace, the growing need for collaboration, and the power of engagement. Shawn is also the author of six business communications books, including the best-selling Conversations trilogy and How to Improve Your Emotional Intelligence at Work & in Relationships. 

Visit The Professional Development Group’s website.

Innovation is a culture; you don't have to be the CEO to foster innovation at your organization.  Everyone has the power to make a difference.

--Liz Brenner


Vice President, HR Marketing & Engagement at SAP


Liz Brenner is Vice President of Human Resources Marketing and Engagement at SAP. She is a customer advocate who enjoys the intersection of HR and marketing and has an eye for simplicity.  In 11+ years at SAP, Liz has found success in roles spanning operations, marketing, and HR. In her current position, she applies marketing acumen and expertise to build strategies and programs that are engaging for our employees.  Liz is part of the SAP Social Sabbatical Program, where she spends a portion of her time working with a local non-for-profit organization.  Prior to SAP, Liz worked in operations and consulting in the energy industry, including many years as a consultant for a top firm.  Liz is a certified coach. She consults and mentors on social media strategy, blogging, personal brand, and career development. You can learn more about Liz on her blog Lead with Intuition or LinkedIn.


Liz's Talk: "Growing a Culture of Innovation: Small Changes for Big Impact"

Innovation stems from curious people, an open and competitive environment, and a desire to change the status quo. 

--Lisa Fazzolari


Talent Manager, Human Resources at Warby Parker

Lisa Fazzolari is a Talent Manager in Human Resources for Warby Parker.  Warby Parker is a transformative lifestyle brand with a lofty objective: to offer designer eyewear at a revolutionary price while leading the way for socially conscious businesses.  By engaging directly with consumers, Warby Parker is able to offer ultra-high-quality, vintage-inspired frames for $95 including prescription lenses and shipping!  Warby Parker focuses on the bigger picture, too: social innovation is woven into the DNA of the company.  For every pair of glasses purchases, a pair is distributed to someon in need.

Lisa is responsible for payroll, benefits, compliance and employee relations for the company's 1,000+ employees.  Prior to Warby Parker, she worked as an HR Manager at Criteo, an online advertising startup that went public in 2013. Lisa is also a Villanova Alumni - Go Wildcats!  You can connect with her and learn more about her here.

Lisa's Talk: "Innovation at Warby Parker... It's in our Digital DNA"

2017 Event Videos

Thank you to the VUHRD Graduate Assistants for creating these videos that were shared during the VUHRDANR.


The first video kicked off the event and presented ideas on innovation and culture creation.  

The second presented guests with questions about innovation that they could discuss during the networking time.

The second presented guests with questions about innovation that they could discuss during the networking time.


2017 Schedule

5:00-6:00pm | Registration & Networking

6:00-6:15pm | Welcome by Hosts:

           Hallie Thompson & TJ Brown,                      VUHRD Alumni

6:15-7:00pm | Speaker Talks: 

           Shawn Kent Hayashi

           Lisa Fazzolari

           Liz Brenner 

7:00-7:30pm | Networking & Dessert 

7:30-8:00pm | Panel Q&A with all Speakers

8:00pm         | Closing Remarks

8:00-8:30pm | Networking

2017 Sponsors

Shawn's Talk: "Facing the Future: Creating a Culture of Innovation in Talent Management"

2017 VUHRDANR Pictures

The Graduate Assistants who planned the event sporting their 'Seeing Innovation' t-shirts & decoder glasses.
Our hosts for the event, VUHRD Alumni TJ Brown & Hallie Thompson.
The winners of the decoder glasses game took home a Jay Wright signed Championship basketball and several of Shawn's books!
During the event, guests participated in a game using decoder glasses to solve a word puzzle hidden on signs throughout the event.
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