past event
Employment and Jobs

Five Years of UpSkill America: What’s Next? – Speakers

The fifth anniversary of UpSkill America is coming up and you’re invited to join this special event where we’ll be looking both back at what we have learned about upskilling the last five years and forward to what the upskilling movement needs to achieve in the years ahead. For a full description of this event, click here.



To view a schedule of the day’s events, click here.



Ellie Bertani

Ellie Bertani
Senior Director and Portfolio Owner, Digital Transformation and Reskilling, Walmart US

Ellie Bertani is Senior Director and Portfolio Owner of Digital Transformation and Reskilling within Walmart US, responsible for modernizing our ways of working and preparing for the future of work. She works with the senior leadership team to develop Walmart’s long-term strategy to build agile and product teams, make our home office a great place to work to get the best out of our exceptional talent, and prepare talent for future growth roles within Walmart Inc. She has worked within the US People team since August 2014.

Ellie joined Walmart in July 2013 after receiving her Master of Public Administration from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and her MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management. Her professional career has included fifteen years of experience in the nonprofit, public, and private sectors, including positions with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the U.S. State Department, Third Sector Capital Partners, and Rotary International. She loves comedy, karaoke, and being kept on her toes by her husband and three crazy boys.

Yenis Blanco

Yenis Blanco
Training Manager, McDonald’s

At age 16, Yenis Blanco came to the United States from El Salvador, in hopes of finding opportunities in work and education she didn’t have back home. At the time, she knew a few basic English phrases, like “good morning,” “good afternoon,” and “thank you.” When she started working at McDonald’s at age 17, she began learning English, both informally, by learning new words and phrases on the job as she worked her way up from the kitchen to the cash register, and formally through English Under the Arches, McDonald’s own ESL program. Thanks to her English Under the Arches teacher, Yenis heard about another program available through McDonald’s, Career Online High School.

In 2017, Yenis completed the program and earned her high school diploma in just over seven months, which is about half the time that it takes many students to graduate. In July 2018, she was offered a new opportunity by McDonald’s Franchisee, Luis Gavignano, to become a training manager. She accepted the new job, and now, at age 25, she oversees training programs at 15 restaurants in Maryland, Washington, DC and Virginia. Yenis recently enrolled in Southern New Hampshire University, where she’s pursuing a college degree in Business.

Maureen Conway

Maureen Conway
Vice President for Policy Programs, The Aspen Institute; Executive Director, Economic Opportunities Program

Maureen Conway serves as Vice President for Policy Programs at the Aspen Institute and as Executive Director of the Institute’s Economic Opportunities Program (EOP). EOP works to expand individuals’ opportunities to connect to quality work, start businesses, and build economic stability that provides the freedom to pursue opportunity. Maureen founded EOP’s Workforce Strategies Initiative and has headed up workforce research at the Aspen Institute since 1999. Maureen also curates a public discussion series at the Aspen Institute, Opportunity in America, which brings together voices from business, labor, policy, human services, media, academia, and others to discuss the challenges experienced by many in today’s labor markets and new ideas for addressing these challenges. In addition, Maureen oversees EOP’s leadership development programs, which connect innovators, both within communities and from across the country, to peers working to help low- and moderate-income Americans access opportunity.

Maureen is the author of numerous publications including research reports, case studies, and policy briefs, including co-editing, together with Robert P. Giloth, the book Connecting People to Work: Workforce Intermediaries and Sector Strategies, a collection that brings perspectives from philanthropy, policy, research, and practice together. A featured speaker at national and regional conferences, she is a nationally recognized expert workforce issue and has been quoted in a variety of news media including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and National Public Radio and her writing has appeared in Fast Company, Politico, Quartz,, and other outlets.

Maureen’s previous experience includes consulting for the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in Paris and work for the US Peace Corps, where she advised on the design, management, and evaluation of the organization’s economic development programs in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. Maureen holds an M.B.A. from Columbia University, where she was a Samuel Bronfman Scholar, a master’s in regional planning from the University of North Carolina, and a B.A. in economics and mathematics from Holy Cross College.

Jaime Fall

Jaime Fall
Director, UpSkill America, The Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Program

Jaime S. Fall is Director of UpSkill America at the Aspen Institute, an employer-led movement to expand opportunity for America’s workers and to help our economy and communities thrive by promoting training and advancement practices to help workers progress in their careers and move into better-paying jobs.

Jaime has worked in the field of workforce development for nearly 25 years. Previously, Jaime served as Vice President for Talent Sustainability for the HR Policy Association and its nonprofit foundation. Jaime’s government service includes serving as Deputy Secretary, Employment and Workforce Development, for the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency. As a Senate-confirmed leader in the Schwarzenegger Administration, Jaime provided policy and guidance to California’s $11 billion workforce system and the nearly 9,000 employees that made up the entities within the agency. Previously, Jaime spent more than a decade in Washington, DC, working at the US Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration; the National Association of State Workforce Agencies; Fall Communications, a workforce development-focused marketing and website development company founded by him and his wife; and on Capitol Hill.

Jaime was born and raised in tiny rural towns in North Central Kansas. He now resides in Sacramento, California. He has been married to his high school sweetheart for over 30 years and is the thankful father of two awesome daughters. He worked his way through college as a broadcaster before earning his degree in journalism from the University of Kansas.

Lisa Gauthier

Lisa Gauthier
City Council Member, East Palo Alto, California

Lisa Gauthier was elected to the East Palo Alto City Council in 2012 and is currently serving as Council Member. She previously held the positions of Vice Mayor in 2014 and 2018 and Mayor in 2015 and 2019. Lisa is also the Government Affairs Manager at, an online education company in Mountain View, where she supports the company’s community impact programs – including Working Scholars, a community-funded free college initiative.

Lisa is an active board member with Live in Peace, CCAG, CCAG Water Committee, San Mateo County Office of Emergency Services, Stanford Medicine Community Council, San Mateo County Flood and SLR Resiliency Agency and San Francisquito JPA. She is a graduate of Emerge, a leadership program for democratic women and a Regional Area Director for BWOPA (Black Women Organized for Political Action). She was awarded the Athena Award from the Mountain View Chamber of Commerce in 2018.

Lisa earned two associate degrees in business administration and marketing management from De Anza College, and recently earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration with a focus in general management from Thomas Edison University in New Jersey. She is the proud mother of three young adults, longtime resident of East Palo Alto and active community volunteer.

Some of Lisa’s interests include building community pride, advocating for the homeless and affordable housing, and working with the youth and underserved. She is a staunch supporter of Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative, which addresses opportunity gaps faced by boys and young men of color.

Daryl Graham

Daryl Graham
Senior Vice President of Philanthropy, Strada Education Network

Daryl Graham leads strategic philanthropy for Strada Education Network, putting Strada’s insights into action by investing in organizations and strategies that strengthen the pathways between postsecondary learning and employment. Graham joined Strada in February 2017 after more than 15 years with JPMorgan Chase Global Philanthropy in Wilmington, Del. Graham has been recognized with the H. Fletcher Brown Leadership Award, the YMCA Black Achiever in Business and Industry Award, and the Community Reinvestment Act Leadership Award.

Matt Heimer

Matthew Heimer
Senior Features Editor, Fortune

Matt Heimer, senior features editor, oversees Fortune‘s long-form storytelling. He directs the publication’s investment and finance coverage and edits feature stories about technology, healthcare, retail, entertainment and other industries. Matt is a co-chair of the CEO Initiative conference, where he leads working groups on workforce development.

Prior to joining Fortune, Matt was a senior editor at MarketWatch, where he launched the website’s revamped retirement and personal-finance coverage. Previously, he was a reporter, senior writer and deputy editor at SmartMoney magazine, where he won a SABEW Best In Business award for explanatory journalism. Matt holds a master’s degree from Yale Law School, where he was a Knight Journalism Fellow; he’s also a former Jeopardy! Contestant (but not, alas, a former Jeopardy! champion).

Reg Javier

Reg Javier
Deputy Executive Officer, San Bernardino County, California

Reg Javier has worked in workforce development for over 25 years. During this time, he has held positions at all levels ranging from front line staff to executive leadership. Over the course of his career, Reg has worked at the national, state and local levels. His work history includes almost 15 years with the State of California Employment Development Department where he worked in all phases of both Unemployment Insurance and Employment Services. He was then recruited to work for the San Diego Workforce Partnership, the workforce investment board, where he spent 5 years overseeing the entire adult workforce system. He was then recruited to the Boston based Public Consulting Group where he spent 5 years heading up national and international consulting in Workforce Development, Economic Development and Higher Education. In October 2016, Reg joined the County of San Bernardino as a Deputy Executive Officer where he oversees the Economic Development Agency which houses both Economic Development and Workforce Development.

Over the course of his career, Reg has worked on policy development, system designs, redesigns, strategy development, operations, and capacity building at the local, state, and national levels.

Amanda Newman

Amanda Newman
Senior Project Manager, Economic Opportunities Program, The Aspen Institute

Amanda Newman joined the Economic Opportunities Program in June 2016. Her work is focused on advancing equitable outcomes through workforce development and related strategies. At the Institute, she manages projects that explore ways to improve economic opportunity and enhance job quality for low- and moderate-income workers.

Amanda has a prior background in education policy and has worked in nonprofit and public sector organizations, including the Government of the District of Columbia. Amanda completed a Master’s in Education Policy at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education, where she worked with the Center for Education Policy Research and Boston Public Schools. A former educator, Amanda taught middle school Literature and remedial reading in Bridgeport, Connecticut. She is also a graduate of Wesleyan University’s College of Letters, where she earned high honors for her thesis project in literary and political theory.

Nick Pinchuk

Nicholas T. Pinchuk
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Snap-on

Nick Pinchuk is chairman and chief executive officer of Snap-on Incorporated.
Nick has had an exemplary career serving his country, his company, and the American workforce. He received his M.B.A. from Harvard, and his Master and Bachelor of Science Degrees in Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Nick served our country in Vietnam as an officer in the United States Army.

He currently serves on the board of directors of Columbus McKinnon Corporation, the National Association of Manufacturers, The Manufacturing Institute, the Manufacturer’s Alliance for Productivity and Innovation, and Carthage College. Nick served as the chair of the advisory board for Skills for America’s Future at The Aspen Institute.

Prior to Snap-on, Nick was president, global refrigeration operations at Carrier Corporation, a subsidiary of United Technologies Corporation. Before then, he was with the Ford Motor Company, where he held various financial and engineering positions.

Nick is widely recognized for his leadership in education and workforce development. SkillsUSA named him Champion of the Year for supporting the growth of a skilled workforce. IndustryWeek inducted him into the Manufacturing Hall of Fame. In addition, the International Technology and Engineering Educators Association has recognized him for his contributions to education.

Daniel Porterfield

Daniel Porterfield
President and CEO, The Aspen Institute

Dan Porterfield is President and CEO of the Aspen Institute. Previously, Dan served for seven years as the President of Franklin & Marshall College. He has been recognized as a visionary leader and advocate for expanding educational opportunity and improving the human condition and was named a White House Champion of Change in 2016. Prior to his appointment at Franklin & Marshall College, Dan served as Senior Vice President for Strategic Development and an English professor at his alma mater, Georgetown University, and for four years as a senior public affairs official in the US Department of Health and Human Services. He earned B.A. degrees from Georgetown and Oxford—where he was a Rhodes Scholar—and his Ph.D. from The City University of New York Graduate Center where he was awarded a Mellon Fellowship in the Humanities.

Eva Sage-Gavin

Eva Sage-Gavin
Senior Managing Director, Talent & Organization Consulting, Accenture

Eva Sage-Gavin is senior managing director of Accenture’s Global Talent and Organization consulting practice. She leads the team that helps Accenture’s clients harness digital technologies and evolve their workforces to innovate, unlock new sources of value and “lead in the new.” She also plays a pivotal role in shaping the practice’s market strategy, including offerings and investments. Sage-Gavin is honored to be recognized as a Top 100 HR Tech Influencer by HR Executive for shaping the world of HR Technology and helping to determine its future.

Sage-Gavin has more than three decades of broad experience in Fortune 500 global consumer, technology and retail corporations. She has served in C-suite roles and as a Chief HR Officer at Gap, Inc., PepsiCo, Disney Consumer Products, Sun Microsystems and Xerox.

As a senior advisor at Boston Consulting Group (BCG), Sage-Gavin contributed to BCG’s CEO Advisory practice, directly coaching CEOs. She also served as a senior advisor to G100 companies, supporting CEOs, board directors and chief human resource officers.

The first female member of multiple public technology company boards, Sage-Gavin served as Co-chair of Women Corporate Directors, Bay Area chapter.

Sage-Gavin is executive in residence at the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations, as the former chair of the Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies and is a recipient of the William B. Groat award for lifetime achievement in the field of human resources. She is a guest lecturer at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business and at the Santa Clara University Leavey School of Business. Sage-Gavin has served as vice chair of Aspen Institute’s Skills for America’s Future advisory board and is a Fellow of the National Academy of Human Resources.

Eva holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial and labor relations from Cornell University.

Shweta Srivastava

Shweta Srivastava
Director of 21st Century Employability, Microsoft

Shweta Srivastava is Director, Skilling Future Generations at Microsoft. In her current role, she has led a variety of initiatives focused on driving skill and employability for Higher Ed individuals in 21st-century growth areas like AI, Data, Cybersecurity, and Computer Science

Shweta has over 14 years of global and multi-industry experience in human resources as well as product development in learning organizations. She has led many enterprise-wide initiatives and demonstrated expertise in L&D strategies, design thinking, product development, career development, leadership development, competency modeling and leading enterprise-wide change initiatives. She is known for her ability to influence, innovate, collaborate and drive impact.

Shweta is passionate about the future of work and learning and strongly believes that no one should get left behind in this digital revolution. She enjoys collaborating on this topic with her colleagues and thought partners, and frequently participates in panel discussions, presentations, and podcasts.

Her work experience spans across large global companies like Microsoft, Cigna, Aditya Birla, and Tata Motors. Shweta completed an MA in Economics at the University of Mumbai, and an MBA at the Asian Institute of Management, Manila.

Van Ton-Quinlivan

Van Ton-Quinlivan
CEO, Futuro Health

Van Ton-Quinlivan is a nationally recognized thought leader in workforce development, quoted in The New York Times, Chronicle of Higher Education, Stanford Social Innovation Review, U.S. News & World Report, and other publications.

Her distinguished career spans the public, private, and non-profit sectors. She is currently CEO of Futuro Health, a $130 million non-profit established to address the allied health workforce shortage in the nation starting with California. She previously served as executive vice chancellor for the nation’s largest system of higher education – the California Community Colleges – and grew public investment in workforce programs from $100 million to over $1 billion during her tenure.

Her awards include being named White House Champion of Change under the Obama Administration, California Steward Leader, and Stanford University mediaX distinguished visiting scholar.

Chris Trout

Chris Trout
Vice President, Learning & Development, Organization & Talent Solutions COE, The Walt Disney Company

Chris leads Disney’s learning and development practice which includes setting strategy, overseeing company-wide efforts for leadership and executive development, on-demand learning, and employee education investment programs, as well as producing operations and business-specific training.

The establishment of the ground-breaking Disney Aspire program is a recent achievement for Chris and his team. Aspire is widely recognized as the most comprehensive employee education investment program in the US, and Chris continues to oversee its growth towards its full potential of employees and their career aspirations.

Chris has been with Disney for over thirty years – he previously served at Walt Disney Parks & Resorts as Vice President, Human Resources & Organization Development from 2009 – 2012 and as Director, Organization Development from 2007 – 2009. Chris earned a M.Ed. from Boston University and holds a B.S. from Johnson & Wales University.

Kimberly Vaughn

Kimberly Vaughn
IT Project Manager, IT Governance, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Kimberly Vaughn is an IT Project Manager, IT Governance at Federal Reserve Bank in St. Louis. In her current role, she has led a variety of initiatives focused on driving innovation and ensuring application compliance.

Kimberly has nearly 25 years multi-industry experience in Social Work, Education, Financial Services as well as Technology. Three years ago, she made a mid-career change into Information Technology as a developer. She made this change without any prior IT knowledge or experience, through the non-profit organization LaunchCode. Her colleagues know her best for her growth mindset and servant leadership.

Kimberly is a parent to two college students. She was the first national Alumni Association President to the LaunchCode Organization, and currently serves on the Friends of LaunchCode Board.

Lauren Weber

Lauren Weber
Workplace Reporter, Wall Street Journal

Lauren Weber writes about employment and workplace issues for The Wall Street Journal, where her coverage has included the evolution of contracting and contingent work as labor models, legal issues in the workplace, the use of sophisticated pre-hire assessments, controversies surrounding the classification of independent contractors and employees, among many others. She arrived at The Wall Street Journal in 2011 after a stint as a private investigator. Lauren has also been a staff reporter at Reuters and Newsday, and her freelance work has appeared in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, and other newspapers. She is the author of In Cheap We Trust: The Story of a Misunderstood American Virtue, a cultural history of frugality in the United States.

Amanda Winters

Amanda Winters
Amanda Winters, Program Director, Economic Opportunity, Center for Best Practices, National Governors Association

Amanda Winters is a Program Director in the Economic Opportunity Division of the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices, where she serves as an advisor to state leaders on postsecondary and workforce policies. Most recently, Amanda’s work has focused on state postsecondary financing, state longitudinal data systems, short term credentials, work-based learning, occupational licensure, state higher ed oversight, and connecting education and work. Prior to this position, Amanda was Assistant Director for Academic Affairs at the Illinois Board of Higher Education. Amanda holds a bachelor’s in history from the University of Missouri-Rolla, a bachelor’s in criminal justice and a master’s in history from the University of Illinois- Springfield.

Event information
Tue Jan 21, 2020
12:30pm - 5:00pm EDT
The Aspen Institute
2300 N Street NW Suite 700
Washington DC 20037