Equal Opportunity Seminar Speaker Bios
SEENA FOSTER, ESQ., Title VI Consulting
Seena Foster, Principal of Title VI Consulting, assists administrators, equal opportunity professionals, and private sector businesses to understand the civil rights laws that apply to their programs, activities, and operations. Her background includes 24 years as Senior Legal Advisor to the Labor Department’s Office of Administrative Law Judges, where she drafted decisions and orders and developed resources and aids promoting consistency and efficiency in several national adjudication programs. In 2012, Ms. Foster received the U.S. Secretary of Labor’s Exceptional Achievement Award “for outstanding leadership and legal guidance in helping the Office of Administrative Law Judges address the major changes in law” stemming from enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Ms. Foster also served on detail as a Senior Policy Analyst to the Labor Department’s Civil Rights Center (CRC) and, in 2003, she led a team of specialists to conduct disability-based technical assistance reviews, prepared materials for limited English proficiency compliance reviews, prepared determinations issued by Director Annabelle Lockhart resolving numerous discrimination complaints, and presented at the CRC/NASWA national equal opportunity forum. In 2006, Ms. Foster received the Secretary of Labor's Equal Employment Opportunity Award for her work at the CRC, and, on request by the CRC, Ms. Foster continued to serve as a workshop presenter at subsequent CRC/NASWA equal opportunity conferences conducting workshops on conducting discrimination complaint investigations and writing determinations, and addressing harassment and hostile environment complaints in educational programs and activities.
Currently, Ms. Foster offers consultation services, assists in the development of policies and procedures, works with State and local equal opportunity officers to conduct discrimination complaint investigations, and conducts onsite civil rights training for state and local governments, focusing on the delivery of federally-assisted programs and activities in the areas of workforce development and education.
She also provides consultation and conducts onsite civil rights training for private businesses to promote compliance with Title II of the Civil Rights Act, and she conducts training to promote nondiscrimination in Disadvantaged Business Enterprise programs and activities. Her award-winning book, Civil Rights Investigations under the Workforce Investment Act and other Title VI-Related Laws: From Intake to Final Determination, and her highly popular on-demand webcasts covering compliance and discrimination complaints investigations have been applauded by equal opportunity and compliance professionals for their clarity and content.
Ms. Foster has a Juris Doctorate from The George Washington University Law School, and she carries certification in federal workplace mediation from the Northern Virginia Mediation Service as well as mediation certification from the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI). Ms. Foster also is a member of the Human Rights and Discrimination Law committees of the International Bar Association.
ROBERT GREGG, ESQ., Boardman and Clark Law Firm
Bob Gregg, co-chair of the Labor & Employment Practice Group at Boardman & Clark Law Firm of Madison, Wisconsin, has been professionally involved in employment and civil rights work for over 30 years. He has designed the work and service environment policies and procedures of numerous employers, schools and universities. He litigates employment and civil rights cases. As a founding faculty member of the Department of Defense Race Relations Institute, he developed anti-discrimination programs for military bases worldwide. As Chief Equal Rights Officer for the Wisconsin Personnel Commission, he was responsible for implementing some of the first anti-harassment and anti-bullying policies and practices in the United States.
Mr. Gregg is nationally recognized for his work on respectful workplace in education, employment and service provision, and has helped numerous public and private employers. A recognized educator and trainer, Bob has conducted over 3,000 seminars throughout the United States, and has authored numerous articles on practical employment issues, civil rights and management practices.
Bob Gregg holds a BS degree in business; Master of Social Work; Juris Doctorate; and has completed all course work toward a Doctorate in Education Administration. He is a national faculty member of the American Association for Access, Equity & Diversity, National Speakers Association and served on the Board of Directors of the Department of Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute Foundation.
SANDRA K. HUENEMAN, Principal, Manchester Consultants
From June 2003 to June 2004 and August 2011 to Present Ms. Hueneman has served as the principal consultant with Manchester Consultants (self-employed), Pt. Barrington, IL. In that capacity she provides consulting and advisory subject matter expert services to clients in all facets of EEO and Affirmative Action Compliance, including support for OFCCP compliance reviews, Mock OFCCP Self-Audits, Compensation Analyses, Talent Acquisition disposition code design & setup, HR policy development, design of job groups, AAP management and various other areas of HR compliance assistance including but not limited to development and delivery of HR training to all levels within an organization.
Prior to that position, Ms. Hueneman served as a Program Analyst with the U.S. Department of Labor, OFCCP National Office, in Washington, D.C. Her responsibilities included reviewing and responding to congressional inquiries, performing a full range of analytical and editorial duties for the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Program (OFCCP), Division of Program Operations, Quality Assurance Branch ensuring closed compliance evaluations and complaint investigations comply with OFCCP protocol. Sandra co-authored revisions to the 1) Federal Contract Compliance Manual (FCCM); 2) Case Management Specifications as the system was being updated; and 3) Conducted a study of the timeliness of case closures nationwide; 3) Co-authored OFCCP’s Quality Assurance Manual, developed and delivered training on OFCCP’s Quality Assurance protocol to all OFCCP field and national staff.
Her previous employment includes service in the private sector as a Human Resources compliance manager and Senior Affirmative Action Advisor for a major law firm. For most of her career, she also served at the OFCCP’s Chicago District and Regional Office in positions ranging from Compliance Officer to Assistant District Director. Ms. Hueneman is the Region V Director for the American Association for Access, Equity and Diversity (AAAED) and serves on the AAAED Board of Directors.
VANESSA SHERIDAN, Director of Transgender Relations & Community Engagement, Chicago’s Center on Halsted
Vanessa Sheridan is an expert business consultant, a respected author, a highly skilled transgender inclusion/awareness trainer, an in-demand speaker on transgender workplace issues, and a leading national voice for transgender equality and gender authenticity. She is currently the Director of Transgender Relations & Community Engagement for Chicago's Center on Halsted, the third largest LGBT community center in the United States. Since 1991, Vanessa has helped organizations enhance their cultural competence through her professional business services.
A two-time national Lambda Literary Award finalist for her pioneering books on transgender spirituality.
Has authored numerous articles for publications such as the Huffington Post, the Advocate, Diversity Business Magazine, Echelon Magazine, Insight Into Diversity Magazine, and Lavender Magazine.
Honored by Metropolitan State University of St. Paul, MN as “One of 40 Alumni Who Are Making A Difference.”
Featured prominently in Transitions, a travelling corporate diversity and inclusion educational initiative produced by the Stonewall National Museum & Archives.
Former member of the national Transgender Advisory Committee for Out & Equal Workplace Advocates. She is also a former (and the first transgender) member of the Board of Directors for the Stonewall National Museum and Archives.
Subject of feature articles in the Minneapolis Star Tribune and Chicago's Windy City Times.
Author of the groundbreaking business book, The Complete Guide to Transgender in The Workplace--the first hardcover, full-length volume on this leading-edge topic ever released by a mainstream publisher.
ANN JUNKER, Northwoods Web Solutions
Ann Junker has 20 years of website design and development experience. She focuses on User Experience and Accessibility to create meaningful interactions that are usable by all. Ann is Nielsen/Norman Group UX certified, is earning a Master’s Degree in Human-Computer Interaction from DePaul University, and is IAAP CPACC - Certified Professional in Accessibility Core Competency certified. She writes blog posts for the Northwoods Blog on accessibility and user experience and also has been published in UXPAmagazine.org regarding her process of learning accessibility and best practices.
JIM BROPHY, Northwoods Web Solutions
Jim Brophy leads the website strategy and digital marketing practices at Northwoods Web Solutions and has been a management consultant on website best practices for over 20 years. Jim is a current judge for the Web Marketing Association’s annual WebAward Competition and teaches website strategy and digital marketing workshops and courses held at Northwoods and throughout Southeast Wisconsin and Northern Illinois. Jim also consults on digital best practices for Non-Profit organizations and how they can use digital to work harder and smarter to support their causes.
TARA COWE-SPIGAI, Equal Rights Officer with the Department of Workforce Development – Division of Employment and Training
Tara Cowe-Spigai is an Equal Rights Officer with the Department of Workforce Development – Division of Employment and Training. For the past 2 years Tara has investigated discrimination complaints under Wisconsin's Fair Employment, Public Accommodations, and Fair Housing Laws. Currently she provides EO/CR technical assistance to One Stop Centers.
Tara spent more than a decade as a teacher in Maryland, Florida, and Massachusetts. She spent an additional four years as an assistant principal in Massachusetts before moving to Wisconsin and charting a new course on her career path.
She is a graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park with Bachelor's degrees in both History and Education. She received a Master of Education in Organizational Leadership from Endicott College and Master of Arts in Educational Technology from Pepperdine University.