“First time attendee and couldn’t have asked for a better experience! So much learned within a couple of days. Thank you… for your leadership of this incredible community! Already looking forward to next year!

Kellie Evens, Discover Financial

LDP Connect is recognized by SHRM to offer Professional Development Credits (PDCs) for SHRM-CP® or SHRM-SCP® recertification activities.


May 10th & 11th, 2023

Pre-Conference Workshop: Tuesday, May 9th, 2023 (separate registration fee)

12:00 pm

Pre-Conference Workshop: How to Build (or Re-Build) a Quality Early Talent Development Program

Newly offered in 2023 due to popular request! Getting a program started on the right footing can make all the difference between success and trouble. With the LDP Connect maturity model as a backdrop, this half-day workshop will get you focused on the key foundational questions to setting up and running an impactful (and measurable) early talent development program. With an emphasis on clarifying your program’s goals, you’ll be guided through considering proper program structure, curriculum design, and community building among stakeholders. If you’re new to the world of early talent development programs, or if you’re looking to re-vamp an existing program that may need recalibration, don’t miss this workshop. Facilitated by early talent development experts at Wronski Associates – a firm with 40 years of experience building and running early talent programs.

Main Conference Day 1: Wednesday, May 10th, 2023

7:45 am

Breakfast & Networking

8:15 am

Welcome & Introductions

8:30 am

Opening Keynote

Author and Speaker on Organizational Change Dynamics

Dr. Kelvin McCree

Leading from the Middle: How to Influence from Where You Are
Dr. Kelvin McCree is a globally recognized thought leader, six-time author, and international speaker on change management, mental agility and cultivating an agile workforce. His work is focused on helping teams to thrive in the midst of disruption. His ground-breaking new book “The Pivot: Leading the Future of Work” tackles the trends, trajectories, challenges and opportunities in the changing workforce. In this keynote session, “Leading from the Middle,” Dr. Kelvin will address a common challenge for development program leaders – influencing without authority. As we build and manage our programs’ community of supporters, we rely on the willing cooperation of colleagues from the C-suite down to the earliest entry-level employees. How do we build loyalty, inspire decision-making, and influence direction without the power to issue orders? Start your conference with clear strategies and concrete action steps to unlock the leader within!

9:30 am

Networking Break

9:45 am

Concurrent Session 1A

Senior Manager, Finance Talent Development at CVS Health

Dani Noyes

Tying the Knot: Developing an Alumni Relations Strategy for your Early Talent Program

How accountable should we feel for our alumni’s continued growth post-program? While our program’s fortunes are linked to alumni success, there are limits to what we can reasonably offer beyond program. As attrition rates grow, it might be time to think more strategically about our program’s relationship with its alumni. Join Dani Noyes – Senior Manager, Finance Talent Development at CVS Health – for a look at how CVS developed a new alumni relations strategy for graduates of its FLDP. What’s the right mix and type of engagement and continued professional development? How do we manage expectations? How do we think strategically about tightening the bond between program and alumni so that all participants benefit?

Concurrent Session 1B

Vice President, Leadership Programs & Early Career at Synchrony

Vince Bond

What Would you do with better Assignment Managers?

What’s your relationship with your assignment managers? Would you consider them locked-in supporters of your program, or does it sometimes feel like they need more professional development than your participants? So much depends on the strength of our assignment managers: their prowess as a developer of people, and how aligned they are with our program’s mission. In this session, Vince Bond – Vice President, Leadership & Early Career at Synchrony – will take you through Synchrony’s recent initiative to invest in building community among its Business Leadership Program assignment managers.  Hear how creating a space where assignment managers can help each other has led to a stronger cadre of reliable support from the business, better development for both manager and participant, and better outcomes overall. 

10:45 am

Networking Break

11:00 am

Concurrent Session 2A

Manager, Business Immersion Program at Crown Castle

Kimberly Faust

Global Operations Leadership Development Program Manager at J&J

Dylan Gallagher

Director, Enterprise Leadership Development at Cigna

Natasha Hepburn

Panel: Participants to Program Managers - Insights from the Journey from Labor to Management

A change in perspective can make all the difference. While we work hard to maintain alignment between our participants’ goals and our own as program managers, sometimes we just don’t get what they are thinking! What advances could we make if did? What problems could we avoid? In this session, we’ll meet and chat with former LDP participants who have become the manger of the program they completed. What has a change in perspective led them to better understand about the programs they manage? What gaps of understanding do they now recognize between participants and managers, having walked in both sets of shoes? What wisdom can they share on the participant’s perspective that might help us better connect and align with our participants.  Join the discussion! 

Concurrent Session 2B

Manager, Member Experience at Veris Insights

Jordan Blair-Paladino

Recruiting & Retaining the Next Generation of Talent

Gen Z is the most educated, online, and racially and ethnically diverse generation in US history. Their demographics and experiences make their expectations of employers and work different than previous generations. And in 2025, Gen Z labor force participation will outpace Baby Boomers. We know that recruiting and retention strategies honed for older generations will fall flat with Gen Z. On the flip side, employers that learn Gen Z priorities now and adapt quickly have a unique opportunity to accelerate past competitors. In this data-driven session, Veris Insights’ Jordan Blair Paladino will dive into the firm’s recent analysis of Gen Z employees to uncover what attracts them and keep them engaged. Attendees will leave the session armed with data, best practices, and next steps to solidify a foothold in the future war for talent.

12:00 pm


1:00 pm

Community Interactive Session

Topic Tables: ‘Idea Snack” discussions
The landscape of managing early talent pipeline programs has changed dramatically over the past twelve months. The best help we get is from each other. What is your most pressing challenge as you navigate the new environment? Where do you need ideas, guidance or validation from your peers? Choose from several “topic tables” for open group discussion in this interactive community session. Stay with the same group, or pop in and out of these moderated intimate chats. Leave with ideas and confidence.

2:15 pm

Networking Break

2:30 pm

Concurrent Session 3A

Senior Director at IMA

Lisa Beaudoin

Manager of Strategic Partnerships at IMA

Matt Workman

DE&I for Early Talent: Actionable Solutions for Progress

Perhaps you’re meeting your diversity hiring objectives, or perhaps not! Either way, now is the time to create a culture in your program that supports the development, promotion, and retention of your diverse hires.  This session will dive into findings from the IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants) report on Diversifying Global Accounting Talent: Actionable Solutions for Progress. The report contains original research and details the results of a fifth, capstone study focused on solutions for progress. The study represents one of the largest collective DE&I initiatives in the history of the global accounting profession.  And the findings apply well beyond accounting! Join the IMA for a deep look at what you can do to develop and keep your diverse early talent.

Concurrent Session 3B

Manager, Talent Management at Cardinal Health

Michele Williams

Leading change: Revamp your career development program to recruit talent and meet business needs

The next generation of early career professionals are pursuing increased flexibility and a more direct path to making an impact. This has challenged the status quo of many long-standing talent development programs and encouraged Cardinal Health to look at their current talent program and how to best recruit incoming talent as well as solve business needs.

Maybe you’re thinking about leading fundamental change in your program, or perhaps one area of it. In this design thinking-style session, Michele Williams, Manager, Talent Management at Cardinal Health will lead you through the challenges she faced in leading transformational change within Cardinal Health’s long-standing early career development program. You’ll collaborate with colleagues on how to tackle each stage of the re-vamp process and learn first-hand the steps that Cardinal Health took to update their talent program. Leave the session better prepared to analyze the current state of your talent development program.

3:30 pm

Networking Break

3:45 pm

Rapid Fire Session

Program Management Topics
A popular LDP Summit tradition. Participant volunteers share a best practice, learning or challenge with the audience in 7 minutes or less. A quick exchange of actionable ideas on program management to take home.

Rapid Fire Session

Recruiting Topics
A popular LDP Summit tradition. Participant volunteers share a best practice, learning or challenge with the audience in 7 minutes or less. A quick exchange of actionable ideas on recruiting to take home.

5:00 pm

Evening Reception

Main Conference, Day 2: Thursday, May 11th, 2023

8:00 am

Breakfast & Networking

8:30 am

Leadership Consultant at Wronski Associates & Former LDP Sponsor

Ken Warman

Managing a Structured yet Flexible Program: An Exercise in polarity management

Has your program been subject to retention issues either during or post program? Is it due to a lack of flexibility or customization in meeting the individual needs and wants of your program associates? How flexible can your program be and still stay true to its mission? How can we achieve the organizational goals of the program while at the same time delivering on individual flexibility?

In this session from Wronski Associates, Ken Warman will lead us through an interactive workshop where we will examine the constraints imposed by our resources and mission, and find a workable balance between prescription and flexibility. Together we will reframe the challenge to capitalize on the inherent tensions between a highly structured program and a program that fosters a culture of customization.

9:30 am

Networking Break

9:45 am

Concurrent Session 4A

Program Lead, Analytics Development Program at Cigna

Holly Doyle

Boosting Program Diversity by using the Resources You Already Have

Most early talent development programs learn that building a sustainable pipeline of diverse talent takes more than just showing up on campus to recruit. Long-term success emerges from relationships that endure. But investing in a relationship with a target institution can be daunting. What sort of relationships can we build and where will the resources come from? What commitments must we make, and how will we keep ourselves accountable? Join Holly Doyle, Program Lead for Cigna’s Analytics Leadership Development Program, for an in-depth look at Cigna’s recent success in becoming a strong curriculum partner for two targeted HBCU’s. Hear the rationale of their approach, what resources were required and how they were secured.  Leave the session empowered to reach your diversity goals by leveraging the resources you already have.

Concurrent Session 4B

Director, Global Learning & Development at Dell Technologies

Mara Travers

Retention through Expanding Career Perspective: Fostering a focus on career enablement

Many new hires join our programs because we promise them a high-touch, structured development experience. The participants enjoy the comfort of that promise on their first day as we immediately funnel them into our onboarding process, place them into a quality role, provide them a mentor and incorporate them in a program for accelerated growth. As gratifying as this direct attention can be to the participant, how well are we articulating that the near-term experiences of the program exist primarily to enable their long-term-career progression at our company? Join us for a look at Dell’s recent efforts at bringing an increased focus to long-term career progression among its program associates. Learn the metrics they used to understand their challenge, the initiatives developed to meet that challenge, and the results achieved.

10:45 am

Networking Break

11:00 am

Concurrent Session 5A

Former Business Director at Otsuka Pharmaceutical

Rob Jindal

Making the Grade: Curriculum Choices in Times of Change

Your program’s curriculum is one of its defining components.  There are lots of choices to make about content, delivery and measurement; and while last year’s choices may have seemed to fit the business needs like a glove, it may be “loosening up” as the business evolved. How can you create a system for properly recalibrating your curriculum?  Join Rob Jindal, former Business Director of Otsuka pharmaceuticals’ sales development program, for an iterative journey through building relevant curriculum.  What are the hard choices? How do you know if it’s working?  When is it time to change?

Concurrent Session 5B

Manager, Talent Programs at Comcast

Kelly Crane

Off-Boarding: The End of the Journey or the Beginning?

Given the investments made in your participants, and risks associated with transition points in-program, it’s important to make sure your off-boarding process bonds your recent graduate to the company.  Participants need an appropriate place to “land” – one that feels like a strong continuation of their career journey.  But the more control we assume over the process, the less accountability we pass to the participants. What is the proper level of support in the off-boarding process, and how to we empower program graduates by delivering both useful guidance and a strong sense of ownership? Join Comcast for a discussion of the core issues they recently navigated in working out a new off-boarding process, including matching, support level, managing expectations and defining a career journey. Whether your off-boarding process is highly prescriptive or completely hands off, this session is a chance to take a deeper look at whether your approach is supporting your objectives.

12:00 pm


1:00 pm

Breakout Session 6A

Facilitated Small Group Discussion
Senior Practitioners’ Meeting – Moving Forward Together
If you have oversight over multiple development programs at your organization, join your peers at this facilitated forum on big-picture strategic issues in early career development and programming. Participants will spend most of their time examining select topics in small groups and then briefly share conclusions/observations with the larger group. Topics will include early career talent management in the workforce of the future, proper program calibration and alignment with strategy, and other topics determined by participants in advance. The objective is to connect senior practitioners and generate useful strategic ideas.

1:00 pm

Breakout Session 6B

Facilitated Small Group Discussion
Functional “Club” Roundtables
LDP Connect often get requests from our members for more opportunities to meet and speak with people managing programs similar to thier own. Functional “Club” Roundtables are the live equivalent of the virtual “Club” calls we’ve been holding since the Fall of 2021. Bring your questions and expertise to a group of your peers on running development programs like yours. Our best ideas, solutions and relationships come from these informal conversations.

2:00 pm

Networking Break

2:15 pm

Manager of Continuous Improvement at J.M. Smucker Company

Dr. Matt Lebeck

Do Your Participants Welcome Feedback? Building Self-Awareness and Comfort with Critique

To seek out potential criticism is not a natural, comfortable act, yet our development programs depend on delivering a healthy portion of it in regular, “constructive” doses.  Self-awareness is the starting point of professional growth and feedback is the key.  But have we properly prepared our participants for a steady diet of feedback, both positive and negative? Many of our program participants are high achievers and have had limited exposure to failure. What if they resist critique? In fact, how prepared are we to hear, embrace and act upon commentary about our own performance? Dr. Matt Lebeck, Manager of Continuous Improvement at The J.M. Smucker Company (and popular past LDP Summit speaker) will lead us into how Smucker’s developed a cultural desire to receive feedback.  Learn about how to encourage critique in the politest of work environments, building self-awareness and jump-starting team trust and growth.

3:15 pm

Close and Networking


University of Pittsburgh
123 University Place
Pittsburgh PA, 15260

Questions? Please contact [email protected]

Some Participating Organizations

LDP Connect includes professionals from many of the world’s marquis employers, including 40% of the Fortune 100..

The 2024 Reports are here!
Early Talent Program Data

Rention rates, NPS scores, Diversity metrics

Curiculum elements, Program structure & more!

From 165 early talent development programs

Across 97 organizations and 10 functional areas


The Early Talent Development Conference of the Year

Minneapolis, MN

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