ASE Compensation and Benefits Conference
June 2021

ASE Compensation and Benefits Conference

Join us each Wednesday in the month of June for ASE’s virtual take on the annual Compensation & Benefits Conference!  

Total Rewards Reimagined

Even before the pandemic, the workplace was undergoing significant transformation and change.  This transformation was driven by a dynamically changing workforce and the demands and opportunities caused by technology and innovation in the science of how work gets done.  Now HR leaders, by design or by necessity, find themselves with a rare opportunity to reimagine their workplaces and with it, their total reward strategies. From remote work to wellbeing to competitive salaries, it is an exciting time for HR.   

Our carefully planned sessions are designed to help attendees:

  • Learn effective total reward strategies that engage the organization. 
  • Identify ways to make a meaningful impact on your organization's bottom line.
  • And of course, be the first to hear the results of ASE’s 2021 compensation surveys.


June 2, 2021; 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. EST - Opening Keynote
Reimagine Success
CJ McClanahan
Author, Advisor, Recovering Overachiever

June 9, 2021; 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. EST
Pay Trends 2021

June 16, 2021; 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. EST
Reversing the "Here's Your Budget" conversation - How to Manage Up 

June 23, 2021; 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. EST
The Coming Focus on Family Wellness Programs 

June 30, 2021; 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. EST
Work Anywhere, Together – The New Reality of Work

Four additional hours of on-demand content will be available.  View the agenda tab for session descriptions.


Through May 5th:

ASE Members: $139
Not Yet Members: $179

After May 5th:

ASE Members: $169
Not Yet Members: $209

To register after June 2nd, please contact ASE Training at [email protected].


This program has been submitted for 5 general credits hours toward PHR, SPHR and GPHR recertification through the HR Certification Institute (HRCI) as well as 5 recertification credit hours (PDC) toward SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP through the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM). The use of these seals is not an endorsement by HRCI or SHRM for the quality of the program. It means that this conference has met the HRCI's and SHRM's criteria to be pre-approved for recertification credit.


Michael Bussa
Partner, KPMG

Michael is a Partner in KPMG’s Global Mobility Services Tax practice and is the global head of KPMG’s Reward practice and the U.S. leader for Global Reward Services. He has more than 36 years of experience advising organizations in the structuring, implementation, and tax and regulatory compliance of global incentive compensation programs.  Michael is responsible for a broad range of U.S. multi-national clients and has extensive experience with a wide variety of complex global incentive compensation matters including design and implementation; feasibility analysis, tax and regulatory due diligence; compliance risk assessment and controversy assistance; analytics-driven program process improvement initiatives to drive efficiency, cost reduction and enhanced end-user experience; corporate tax planning and structuring; global payroll implementation and compliance; merger and acquisition due diligence; US GAAP/IFRS analysis; PMO implementation and rollout and, employee education. Michael’s current and past clients include organizations across all industry sectors. 

Patricia Davidson
Deputy Administrator, Wage and Hour Division, Department of Labor

Patricia “Patty” Davidson has been a part of the Department of Labor since 1987, when she began her federal career as an investigator for the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) in their Dallas, Texas District Office. Throughout her time with the Department, she has held a variety of management positions focused on enforcement and education at the district, regional, and national levels. As WHD’s Deputy Administrator for Program Operations, Patty served was a change agent for strategic enforcement fostering innovative and enhanced compliance approaches. In October of 2019, she focused her efforts leading the agency’s new Office of Regional Enforcement and Support. In February of 2020, Patty joined the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs as the Deputy Director. In March of 2021 Patty rejoined WHD as the Deputy Administrator. In this critical and visionary role Patty joins a dynamic leadership team to help make WHD the strongest organization possible now and for the future.

John Denworth
Principal, KPMG

John Denworth is a Principal at KPMG and leads the firm’s Global Mobility Services practice in Michigan.  John has 20 years of experience in advising clients on overall strategy associated with global mobility considerations, compensation and payroll issues, as well as individual tax implications.  Throughout his career, John has worked with clients across multiple industries and geographies helping those companies to achieve their goals related to the mobility programs while at the same time managing the risks associated with those populations.

Nancy Farnam, J.D.
Area Senior Vice President, Compliance Counsel, Gallagher

Nancy joined Gallagher Benefit Services in 2017 after working as an employee benefits attorney in private practice for over 25 years.  Nancy has extensive experience counseling both private and public sector employers on design, administrative and legal issues impacting various health and welfare benefit plans, including self-insured and insured health plans, cafeteria plans, health reimbursement arrangements and health savings accounts, and assisting with compliance under the Affordable Care Act, HIPAA, COBRA and other laws. Nancy is a frequent speaker to employer and professional groups, and she enjoys breaking down the technical and complicated employee benefit rules into understandable terms. Nancy has been recognized in the Woman in the Law Best Lawyers Business Edition (employee benefits/ERISA), DBusiness Top Lawyers, and Best Lawyers in America (employee benefits/ERISA). She has received the AV Preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell (peer rated for highest level of professional excellence).

Daniel Freedman
Co-CEO, BurnAlong

Daniel Freedman is the Co-CEO of BurnAlong, an online health and wellbeing video and social motivation platform. Daniel is a former columnist for Forbes and began his career at the Wall Street Journal. He is the co-author of the award-winning, NYT top-10 bestseller, "The Black Banners: The Inside Story of 9/11 and the War Against al-Qaeda", described by the Economist as “one of the most valuable and detailed accounts of its subjects to appear in the past decade.” Daniel previously held senior roles at the United Nations and intelligence consultancy TSG and is a graduate of the London School of Economics. 

Kevin Marrs
Vice President, ASE

Kevin Marrs serves as Vice President at ASE.  In this role, he is responsible for overseeing ASE’s compensation and benefits survey department.  ASE conducts a variety of local and national benchmark surveys, providing data to thousands of organizations in Michigan. For more than 15 years, Kevin Marrs has conducted research and analysis on the total rewards practices and trends of area employers.  Kevin is also responsible for conducting employee surveys for ASE member organizations. Kevin conducts several ASE training programs including Wage and Salary Administration Overview, Conducting Job Analysis and Writing Job Descriptions, and Market Pricing for Results. Kevin holds a Master of Science in Experimental Psychology from Central Washington University and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Detroit Mercy.

CJ McClanahan
Author, Advisor, Recovering Overachiever

CJ McClanahan is a sought-after speaker, author, and advisor. Since 2003, he’s spent more than 10,000 hours in front of entrepreneurs, executives, and their teams helping them to achieve record sales. Shortly after starting his firm, CJ noticed that no matter how much success his clients achieved, few ever seemed to truly enjoy the journey. It didn’t matter if they doubled their income or become CEO – it never seemed to be enough. CJ’s latest book, The Overachiever’s Dilemma; and assessment, The Achiever's Compass; lays out a proven strategy to help overachievers get more satisfaction and joy in their lives while still achieving their professional goals.   

Brooke Rosenthal
Account Executive, JS Clark Agency - An AssuredPartners Company

Brooke Rosenthal joined JS Clark Agency, An AssuredPartners Company, in June of 2013. Brooke brings more than 13 years of customer service experience to her role as an Account Executive. For the last eight years, Brooke has specialized in benefit account management and benefit administration technology. She services more than 20 JS Clark Agency accounts, specializing in complex insurance cases, benefit enrollment technology and employee presentations. In addition to her daily account management responsibilities, Brooke spearheads and oversees the technology initiatives and solutions offered by JS Clark. Brooke attended Central Michigan University. Brooke’s impeccable attention to detail, productivity and efficiency is appreciated by the clients she serves.

Jason Rowe
Manager, Survey Services, ASE

Jason Rowe joined ASE as a Survey Analyst in June of 2008. In July of 2011 he was promoted to Manager of Survey Services. In that capacity he is accountable for creating, administering, compiling and analyzing all of ASE’s surveys. In addition to working on surveys, Jason regularly responds to members’ questions about survey data and supplies them with specific survey-related and salary information. Before joining ASE, Jason worked for a major lending company analyzing the financial viability of retail dealerships in the manufactured homes industry. Jason has a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Michigan State University.

Michael Stack
CEO, Applied Fitness Solutions

Michael Stack is an Exercise Physiologist, founder, and CEO of Applied Fitness Solutions. He oversees all fitness operations for AFS, including system development and practitioner education. In addition to his role with AFS, Mike is a clinical professor for the University of Michigan’s School of Kinesiology and Eastern Michigan University’s Exercise Science Program. He also sits on the American Heart Association’s Heart Walk Executive Leadership Team, is a member of the U of M Kinesiology Alumni Board of Governors, and is on the Board of Directors for the Michigan Fitness Club Association. Michael received his Bachelor’s Degree in Kinesiology from the University of Michigan and is currently a Masters of Public Health Candidate at University of Michigan. Additionally, Mike is an American College of Sports Medicine Exercise is Medicine Level II practitioner (ACSM – EIM Level II), a National Strength & Conditioning Association Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (NSCA-CSCS), and a Center for Disease Control Diabetes Prevention Program Lifestyle Coach.

Russ Wakelin
Chief Experience Officer, Payscale

Russ has spent nearly three decades optimizing the design and delivery of B2B software solutions in a variety of highly regulated industries. He’s tackled complex problems in both the public and private sectors including the utility industry, municipal and state governments, submarine maintenance for the U.S. Navy, and healthcare HR. It was this last, the healthcare HR space, where Russ discovered most compensation teams are in desperate need of new tools, better data, and innovative thinking. Thus his passion for compensation was born.

Conference Agenda

June 2, 2021; 10:00am - 11:00am EST
Reimagine Success
CJ McClanahan, Author, Advisor, Recovering Overachiever

Discover what’s possible when you focus on what’s most important. Today, most professionals experience more prosperity than at any other time in human history. But stress and anxiety are at an all-time high.  Something is deeply wrong.  CJ McClanahan’s research and 10,000 hours coaching hundreds of high-impact leaders led to an assessment called The Achiever’s Compass.  More than 1,000 leaders in more than 20 industries responded and the results were staggering. More than 80% of professionals aren’t enjoying the journey. Every promotion and achievement leaves them feeling more overwhelmed.  It doesn’t have to be this way.  Learn how to get more satisfaction and joy in your life while still achieving your professional goals.

June 9, 2021; 10:00am - 11:00am EST
Pay Trends 2021
Kevin Marrs, Vice President & Jason Rowe, Manager, Survey Services, ASE

As we enter a new phase of the pandemic and hopefully near its end, compensation strategy is even more relevant than ever before. The economic fallout caused by the virus and our attempts to mitigate its effects have and will continue to impact wages. This informative session will provide timely insights from ASE’s recent benchmarking activity including the recently released 2021 ASE Compensation Surveys. The session will include a review of salary movement based on data collected in early 2021 as well as important economic factors that have and will continue to impact local wages and salaries.

June 16, 2021; 10:00am - 11:00am EST
Reversing the "Here's Your Budget" Conversation - How to Manage Up
Russ Wakelin, Chief Experience Officer, Payscale

Compensation sits at the intersection of optimizing profit, managing risk, and planning for growth.  Asking questions like, "Are we paying this candidate fairly?" or "How do we incentivize best performance?" are integral to ensuring that HR leads in attracting and retaining talent.  Join Payscale’s Chief Experience Officer Russ Wakelin as he walks you through the key elements of identifying the jobs you need to defend.  Learn how to bring the right data to your leadership team in order to have a persuasive conversation around compensation strategy and how it should inform talent and business strategy.

June 23, 2021; 10:00am - 11:00am EST
The Coming Focus on Family Wellness Programs
Daniel Freedman, Co-CEO, BurnAlong 

Calamities often accelerate change. One area where we’re already seeing change for the positive is with employers and insurers understanding the necessity to consider the happiness and wellbeing of employees’ families. Simply put, if the people supporting the employee are unhappy and unhealthy, that affects the performance and happiness of the employee. We see the shift firsthand at BurnAlong. In January, pre-COVID, maybe one out of every 100 employers would ask about programming for children or parents of employees. These days it’s the reverse, 99 out of every 100 asks.   Employers are already seeing how the approach benefits the employee: when employees add their families, they are 4X more likely to be engaged! 

June 30, 2021; 10:00am - 11:00am EST

Work Anywhere, Together - The New Reality of Work
Michael Bussa, Partner, KPMG; John Denworth, Principal, KPMG

Having to respond to what could be the fastest social change in modern times, companies worldwide enabled remote workforces nearly overnight. What started as an extraordinary “work anywhere” pilot is now considered permanent in many organizations’ operating model framework.  As a result, the new reality is a world where we focus on the work, instead of where it happens. This can be best described as, “Work anywhere, together.  In this session KPMG will share their perspective on how organizations are addressing the potential tax, regulatory, talent, and total rewards implications of global remote work arrangements.

On-Demand Session
Updates and Insights from the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division
Patricia Davidson, Deputy Administrator, Wage and Hour Division, Department of Labor

From large companies to small companies, wage and hour compliance continues to challenge even the most sophisticated companies.  Join ASE for an informative conversation with Patricia “Patty” Davidson, Deputy Administrator with Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division as she discusses her agency’s priorities under the Biden administration, including new regulations, guidance and policies, and what employers can expect in the future.

On-Demand Session
Ten Critical Topics to Tackle in 2021
Nancy L. Farnam, J.D., Area Senior Vice President, Compliance Counsel, Gallagher

Employers are faced with a multitude of compliance challenges when offering employee benefits  –  some old and some new. Those challenges can range from meeting disclosure and reporting deadlines to fulfilling HIPAA Privacy and Security regulatory requirements. When faced with broad requirements, it may be difficult for an employer to know which challenge to tackle first. In this program, we will provide a thorough rundown through critical regulatory and legislative issues and share practical steps to ensure that your compliance strategy continues on track.

On-Demand Session
Integrating Wellness Programs Into a Comprehensive Benefits Package
Michael Stack, CEO, Applied Fitness Solutions

Workplace wellness is more than just a strategy to reduce healthcare costs. In today’s highly competitive marketplace, wellness programs are a viable and important element of a comprehensive benefits package. This session provides a historical overview of common wellness programs as well as a framework to evaluate and implement wellness programs of varying scale into your benefits package.

On-Demand Session
Building Your Company’s Competitive Edge with Benefits
Brooke Rosenthal, Account Executive, JS Clark Agency - An AssuredPartners Company

Employee benefits are one of the top line items of any employer’s budget right next to payroll and office space. An organization’s benefits package can be a huge driver of recruiting and acquisition. According to Metlife, 76% of employees say that benefits are a factor in deciding whether or not they accept a job. A strong and robust benefits package can be a powerful tool to help your organization along the way. As the workforce grows more diverse, a one‐size‐fits‐all benefits package cannot accommodate the full range of employee benefits wants and needs. A well thought out and diverse benefit plan can be the key to successful company culture, talent retention and acquisition, and low turnover. Drawing on real life case studies, this informative on-demand session will help you identify areas in which you can diversify your benefit offerings and rise above the competition.

2021 Sponsorships

To inquire about a sponsorship, email Nick Corrado at [email protected]

Corporate Sponsor

Conference Sponsors


Supporting Sponsors


Through May 5th:

ASE Members: $139
Not Yet Members: $179

After May 5th:

ASE Members: $169
Not Yet Members: $209

To register after June 2nd, please contact ASE Training at [email protected].

Position your organization to THRIVE.

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