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First up was George Johnston, partner for labor and employment at Venable LLP, a nationally recognized labor and employment practice. Mr. Johnston handles employment litigation — discrimination, wrongful discharge, breach of contract and other employment-related actions. He serves as Venable LLP chief operating officer and head of its Litigation Division. In fields as diverse as biotechnology, government contracting, education, banking/financial and others, his subject-matter knowledge is combined with his legal experience to produce compelling advocacy for his clients.

BEYA seminars cover various topics, including diversity and inclusion, leadership and training and many more. Below, Mr. Johnston summarizes what attendees will gain from the three seminars that will be led by Venable at the BEYA STEM Conference Thursday, February 5 to Saturday, February 7, 2015.


‘Metrics Matter: Measuring the Success of Your Company’s Diversity Effort’

“What that seminar will do is look at how we get meaningful benchmarks to figure out how to continue our diversity efforts which so many companies are investing so much time. Are they working? Are we focused in the right areas? Are we taking the right initiatives and approaches to realize the goals that will help our return on investment?

For the first time, Mr. Johnson added, there will be cutting-edge data evaluating initiatives targeting people with disabilities and veterans.

‘Remedying Sexual Harassment in Colleges and Universities: Legal and Practical Strategies’

“I really wish I had thought of this myself but I have to give credit to Tyrone Taborn (CEO of Career Communications Group and founder of the BEYA STEM Conference) for this topic because it was his idea: ‘Remedying Sexual Harassment in Colleges and Universities: Legal and Practical Strategies.’

I think we all know why that’s such a hot topic. You only have to open your newspaper or go to your blog to see that every single day there’s something happening. There’s a huge controversy over the Rolling Stone article involving the University of Virginia…That article is in the process of being discredited, but what is true is that all across the country colleges are grappling with huge numbers of sex assault claims. I think most educators would agree that they are not doing a very good job of it. So we hope in this seminar to talk about practical strategies for remedying the problem and ways to address this serious issue.”

The number of undergraduates subjected to sexual assault is somewhere in the region of 1 in 10 or 1 in 5, Mr. Johnston added.

‘Gay, Lesbian and Transgender Discrimination in the Workplace: Speaking Out About Inclusion and Workplace Bullying’

“If campus assault is the number one hot topic, certainly GLBT has got to be a close second. Every month there are legislative developments on the state and local level. And on the federal level, President Obama, earlier this year, issued an executive order requiring federal contractors not to discriminate against the LGBT community. Very recently, the federal agency involved has published final regulations on those topics. There’s a lot happening in those three areas and there would be a lot for folks to hear about.”

Mr. Johnston counsels clients on affirmative action compliance and workforce diversity. For more than 30 years, he has worked effectively with enforcement agencies on the federal, state and local levels, and has trained agency personnel.


Talia Fox, a pioneering personal power, talent development, and training expert, was the second panelist. She is president and CEO of KUSI Visions, a leadership and management training firm. Fox has written over 200 training curricula and workshops that have motivated and inspired sustainable behavior changes.

Fox will present three seminars over the three-day BEYA STEM Conference. Price said he saw all three – ‘Personality, Leadership and Emotional Intelligence: Strategies and Assessments’; ‘Leadership Excellence in Action: A Roadmap to Inspire and Engage People and Teams’; and ‘I Just Want to be Successful: Leadership, Lyrics and Life’ – as being centered on leadership.

“George talked about what can happen at the very top level with policies and procedures and I am going to look at the micro, at what individuals can do, not only to be more effective leaders but also impact change at whatever levels they are.”

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