2017 SHRM-Atlanta Symposium
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Keynote Sessions

The Leadership Lounge: A Conversation with CHRO Coretha Rushing

Coretha Rushing, CHRO, Equifax

Coretha Rushing

What does it take be a leader? Have you ever been curious to learn the personal journey how someone became a CHRO? How did they achieve a seat at the executive table? Was it luck, timing, or hard work coupled with resilience and humility?

Join us for a dynamic conversation with Coretha Rushing, CHRO for Equifax, as she shares her anecdotal stories of how she began her career in human resources, importance of relationships, inspiring others to help propel their careers, leadership and management style, and the importance for HR professionals to commit themselves to developing their business knowledge.

Teela Jackson, Vice President, Talent Connections, will guide the discussion in the morning keynote session.

About the Speaker: Coretha M. Rushing, SHRM-SCP, has more than 25 years of HR experience and has been an active member of SHRM since 1998. She served on the SHRM-Atlanta Board of Directors, which is one of SHRM’s largest chapters. Since 2006, Rushing has been chief human resources officer for Equifax, Inc., a $2.5 billion information and credit monitoring company with 8,500 employees in 19 countries. She has a global responsibility for the Center of Excellence that includes human resources, compensation and benefits, global talent management and leadership development. She also serves as a member of the Equifax Foundation board. Prior to Equifax, she served in several senior HR functions for The Coca-Cola Company, culminating in her being named senior vice president of human resources, where she led all human resource functions for the company.

Coretha began her career as a recruiter and corporate training specialist with R.H. Macy’s & Co., and as the training director for East River Savings and Loan. She also has worked as an executive coach and human resources consultant. She served as a member of the Board for Atlanta’s Big Brothers and Big Sisters and chaired their Finance Committee. She currently chairs the SHRM Compensation/Organization Committee.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in Industrial Psychology from East Carolina University. She holds a master’s degree in human resources and counseling from George Washington University.

Paving the Way for Atlanta’s Next Generation, an Economic Keynote

Dr. Thomas J. Cunningham, Chief Economist, Metro Atlanta Chamber

Thomas Cunningham

Georgia continues to be the #1 state for doing business while staying attuned to the needs of the next generation. Dr. Thomas J. Cunningham, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist with the Metro Atlanta Chamber (MAC), will describe the three pillars designed to support Atlanta’s economic ecosystem.

Reconnect and discover how Atlanta will GROW and recruit new companies while retaining our current roster of businesses and talent, ADVOCATE for a modern and educated workforce, and PROMOTE a culture that supports innovation and diversity.

Metro Atlanta is represented by 29 counties. With a fresh brand identity and key strategic pillars, MAC and Atlanta are poised to accelerate market growth through innovation, collaboration, and advocacy.

About the Speaker: Thomas J. Cunningham is Senior Vice President and the Chief Economist for the Metro Atlanta Chamber (MAC). Tom joined MAC in July 2015 following a 30-year career at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. He is a specialist in open economy macroeconomic policy and regional analysis. At MAC, he manages an internal team that supports the research and advocacy roles of the economic development and public policy departments.

After starting his career at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta as an economist in the Macropolicy group, Tom served at various times as associate director of research, interim director of research, vice president for the Regional group where he was also responsible for the Latin American group, and acting head of the Finance group. He served on the Bank's Personnel, Information Technology, and Risk Management Committees and as a member of the Federal Reserve System's Information Security Group and Technology Services Council. He also was the acting director of, and helped establish, the Bank's Center for Real Estate Analytics. When Dr. Cunningham retired from the Fed, his title was Vice President, Senior Economist and Regional Executive.

He received a bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude, in economics from California State University, Fresno. He earned a master's degree, a master of philosophy, and a PhD in economics from Columbia University. Dr. Cunningham has published numerous professional articles and is a member of the American Economic Association, the Western Economic Association, and the Southern Economic Association.