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October 6-8, 2024 • San Diego, CA

Tag: interview

Ignite Your Sparkle: An Exclusive Interview with Charley Lapomardo 

Welcome to our latest Speaker Spotlight Blog!  

In this edition, we are thrilled to introduce Charley Lapomardo, affectionately known as “Sparkle.” As an Experience Facilitator, Charley is dedicated to helping professionals excel in their roles by fostering an environment where creativity and authentic expression thrive.  

Join us as we delve into Charley’s journey, their passion for workplace culture, and what you can expect from their highly anticipated session at Culture Summit 2024. 

Q: Could you introduce yourself briefly and share your prominent role within the Culture space? 

A: I am Charley Lapomardo (aka Sparkle), an Experience Facilitator helping professionals be and work their best. I am active in thriving culture-focused communities, including Culture Summit, Culture First San Diego, Covve’s Connection Crew, and Lesbians Who Tech.

Q: What initially sparked your passion for the HR/Culture/People domain, and how has it evolved throughout your career? 

A: I’ve always been a connector, helping people feel safe to express themselves authentically, knowing they belong. As a user researcher at Wayfair, I learned that HR and employee experiences are often neglected in relation to customer experiences. 

 Driven by the desire to make a positive impact on the lives of my coworkers (our captive users), I became an expert student of workplace dynamics, large-scale enterprise systems, and the nature of leadership and power. Frustrated by the indirect influence of the research role, I shifted into an active embedded culture-building role. I created community gathering spaces, memorable group experiences, and process efficiencies to help my team work better.  

Now, through my workshop company, Sparkleworks, I focus solely on collaborative creative problem-solving. 

Q: Can you recount the most valuable piece of work or culture-related advice you’ve received in your journey? 

A: “What makes us special makes us strong.” Sure, that’s from Shrek the Musical and not a mentor, but it’s valuable nonetheless! 

Q: We would like to delve into the session you’ll be presenting at this year’s Culture Summit. What motivated you to choose this particular topic? 

A: Sparkling is my nature, and my purpose is to bear witness to the transformative power of that energy. The Applied Sparkle Workshop: Transforming from Stuck to Energized is among the tools I’ve developed which apply sparkle as a creative catalyst to break down ambiguous problems and generate solutions. I share these insights and resources abundantly, because it is life-giving to see people light up, inspired to take grounded action to build their best life. 

Q: If you had to highlight one compelling reason why attendees shouldn’t miss your session, what would it be? 

A: If you’re sick of soul-sucking meetings and mandatory team-building events, don’t miss this opportunity to unblock your creative energy and get a new perspective on complex problems

Q: Finally, what aspects of the Culture Summit in San Diego 2024 are you personally looking forward to the most? 

A: Creating new memories with existing and new kindred spirit connections in the Culture Summit community. 

Don’t miss Charley Lapomardo’s Applied Sparkle Workshop at Culture Summit 2024.  

This session promises to be a transformative experience, helping you have renewed energy and motivation to ‘Sparkle’ when faced with work challenges! 

Learn more about Charley by visiting their profile on the Culture Summit Website. 

Bridging the Saying-Doing Gap: Transformative Strategies for Cultural Consistency

In the quest to foster consistently great experiences across the employee lifecycle, Derek Newberry, a luminary in organizational culture and design, is poised to illuminate the path at Culture Summit 2024.

 As the Head of Organization + Culture Design at co:collective, adjunct professor at UPenn, and author of “The Culture Puzzle,” Newberry brings a wealth of knowledge and insight into the dynamics of cultural architecture.

His upcoming fireside chat, “Cultural Architecture: A New Approach for Creating Consistently Great Experiences Across the Employee Lifecycle,” promises to equip attendees with the practical tools needed to bridge the often pervasive “saying-doing” gaps within organizations.

Culture Summit caught up with Derek to learn more about his interest in this area and gain a preview to his upcoming session.

What initially sparked your passion for the HR/Culture/People domain, and how has it evolved?

“My fascination with organizational culture began at UPenn, where I received my PhD in Cultural Anthropology. I’m driven by the power of culture to unite people in overcoming challenges and achieving collective greatness.”

Can you recount the most valuable piece of work or culture-related advice you’ve received?

“The notion that humans are the ‘storytelling animal,’ as stated by historian Yuval Harari, resonates deeply with me. Great storytelling is crucial for leading and transforming organizational cultures.”

What motivated you to choose this particular topic for the Culture Summit?

“The pervasive ‘saying-doing’ gaps in organizations, especially post-pandemic, highlight a disconnect between stated values and actual behaviors. My session addresses this critical issue, offering solutions for realignment.”

If you had to highlight one compelling reason why attendees shouldn’t miss your session, what would it be?

“Attendees will gain actionable tools for aligning organizational behaviors with strategic visions, ready for implementation.”

In Summary

Derek Newberry’s session at Culture Summit 2024 offers an unprecedented opportunity to delve into the mechanics of cultural consistency, ensuring your organization’s values are reflected in every action and decision.

Don’t miss this chance to transform your approach to organizational culture and bridge the gap between aspiration and reality.

 Join Culture Summit 2024 in San Diego on Monday, October 7,and attend , “Cultural Architecture: A New Approach for Creating Consistently Great Experiences Across the Employee Lifecycle,” 11:15 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. PT to learn more!

Human-Centric Design in Hybrid Workspaces: An Interview with GoFundMe’s Giana Rodriguez 

As Culture Summit 2024 approaches, we were thrilled to sit down with Giana Rodriguez, Sr. Manager of Workplace & Employee Experience at GoFundMe. Giana brings deep expertise in creating engaging employee experiences that build vibrant workplace cultures. We caught up with her and delved into her approach to managing employee experience in hybrid environments. 

Q1: Can you share what ignited your passion for HR and how it has evolved? 

“I have always had a passion for employee relationships and people strategy. I began developing people programs early in my career in the education and volunteerism space and have always taken an interest in ensuring strong cultures within the organization.” 

Q2: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received regarding workplace culture? 

“The work is about empowering others to succeed, which reflects your success. Once I realized that it was ok that my passion didn’t reside in one field, product, or mission, but was about helping the people doing the work, I felt liberated to follow that passion.” 

Q3: What motivated you to focus on ’employee experience design in a hybrid workplace’ for your session at this year’s summit? 

“Working environments look different from company to company and it can be difficult to find the ‘perfect’ Employee Experience happiness solution. My session is about anchoring Employee Experience work in a foundation that allows for flexibility and creativity while still tracking data and providing space for reflection and forward thinking. It challenges the idea that there is a ‘perfect’ solution, but rather a framework that focuses on meeting people where they are at and addressing their humanity first.” 

Q4: Why should attendees not miss your session at Culture Summit? 

The Workplace & Employee Experience model I will be highlighting can be used for any type of company, employee/volunteer demographic, and with any budget. The session is centered around building programs that are human-centered, easy to communicate value to employees and leadership, scalable, and flexible.” 

Q5: What aspects of the upcoming Culture Summit are you most looking forward to? 

“Connecting and chatting with all of the amazing people who are dedicated to such important work. I always learn new things when I meet people doing the same work and feel a part of something greater.” 

Giana Rodriguez’s insights into employee experience design are invaluable for anyone navigating the complexities of hybrid workplaces. Her session at Culture Summit 2024 will equip you with the strategies needed to foster a supportive and adaptive work environment. Learn more about her session ‘A people-first approach to employee experience design in a hybrid workplace.’