Previous Dates


Nexus: Where Technology & Employment Intersect

We regret to announce that the Nexus forum scheduled for November 16 has been postponed. Thank you to those who registered for the event. We will contact you when a new date has been set. We apologize for any inconvenience.


The critical impact of rapidly changing Technology on the Employment process, from talent acquisition to on-boarding, demands an in depth examination. JVS has assembled a panel of experts representing each part of the employment process as seen through the lens of Technology. Those who attend this forum will walk away with the most current information and resources available to:

  • Prepare the Job Seeker to leverage technology in their employment search
  • Inform HR Professionals on how to make their recruiting and hiring faster and more efficient
  • Educate Employed Professionals on the latest trends and tools to advance their career
  • Formulate a more effective approach for Entrepreneurs to locate and attract the right talent

Fee: $25 per person


Adam Hecktman | Director of Technology and Innovation – Chicago, Microsoft Corporation
Phil Leslie | CEO,
Julie Freund Roth | Manager, Talent Acquisition, Pfiser Essential Health – Commercial
Eric Schweitzer | Vice President, Client Relationship and Marketing, Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.
Jeffrey Blumenfeld | Director, Career Moves, JVS Chicago

MODERATED BY Kathleen Gerhold | Senior Director of Career and Employment Services, JVS Chicago

Nexus_AdamHecktman.jpgAdam Hecktman | Director of Technology
and Innovation – Chicago, Microsoft Corporation
Nexus_PhilLeslie.jpgPhil Leslie | CEO, Nexus_JulieRoth.jpgJulie Freund Roth | Manager, Talent Acquisition, Pfiser Essential Health – Commercial

Adam J. Hecktman is Microsoft’s Director of Technology and Civic Innovation for Chicago and Cleveland. In this capacity, Adam helps the cities' civic leaders – and the communities they serve – use cutting-edge ideas around technology to solve the city’s biggest challenges. He provides guidance on the key issues and opportunities facing neighborhoods and communities today and in the future.

Prior to this role, Adam was the Director of the Microsoft Technology Center – Chicago, helping organizations maximize business value and ensure long-term success when facing their toughest business challenges and opportunities. He has been with Microsoft in Chicago since 1991. Prior to Microsoft, Adam was a consultant for Accenture.

Adam received a Bachelor of Science in commerce and business administration from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is pursuing his Masters of Predictive Analytics at DePaul University. He regularly appears on television, print, and radio, and has authored numerous articles.

Adam has served his community in various capacities and appointments at non-profit, community, and professional organizations including:

  • Board of The Family Institute at Northwestern University (past Chair)
  • Board of Directors of the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center (1871)
  • Founder of the Chicago City Data Users Group
  • Board of Directors of Genesys Works Chicago
  • Board Member of the American Diabetes Association Chicago
  • Editorial board of The International Journal of Innovation Science
  • Advisory Board of IT Knowledge Abilities Network
  • Mayor’s Council of Technology Advisors under Mayor Daley
  • Board Member of GoCivic
  • Past Board Member of the Chicago Children's Museum

A lifelong Chicago resident, Adam lives with his family in the Old Town neighborhood. He can be found on his blog and Twitter.

Phillip Leslie is CEO of Chicago-based RIVS Digital Interviews, the leading provider of video interviewing solutions. RIVS helps job seekers and interviewers advance beyond the initial screening process faster than ever before, getting both sides to a better decision faster.  RIVS was founded in 2012, and has since acquired competitors Async Interview (September 2015), and InterviewStream (December 2016).  The combined company will power over one million interviews in 2017.

Prior to RIVS, Phillip was Chief Innovation Officer at The Neat Company, where he led the company’s product management, engineering, research, and quality assurance teams responsible for NeatCloud, NeatMobile, NeatConnect, and related offerings. He first joined Neat in September 2013 following its acquisition of ProOnGo Expense from ProOnGo LLC, a company he founded in 2008. BusinessWeek called ProOnGo Expense a top-five business app alongside FedEx Mobile, LinkedIn, SalesForce Mobile, and Documents To Go, and further accolades came from Forbes, PC World, NBC, ABC, Chicago Tribune,, and others. ProOnGo Expense was the most popular expense tracking solution in Intuit App Center in 2011 and 2012, prior to being integrated into NeatCloud.

Earlier in his career, Phillip was an engineering manager in Microsoft’s Windows Mobile Group where he was instrumental in bringing game-quality graphics, interactive media, and camera capture to Microsoft’s mobile platforms, and revitalizing Microsoft’s engagements with mobile operators. Phillip can be found speaking about his entrepreneurial experiences at University of Chicago, Illinois Institute of Technology, Drexel University, and other institutions of higher learning. Phillip holds an MBA from University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a Computer Science degree from Purdue.

Julie Roth joined Hospira, a Pfizer company, Talent Acquisition team nearly three years ago. Prior to that she was an Executive Recruiter and retained search firm owner for 9 years. Her early career in marketing for technology companies has given her a unique perspective to being a strong talent advisor. Originally from El Salvador, she is bilingual and bicultural.

Nexus_EricSchweitzer.jpgEric Schweitzer | Vice President, Client Relationship and Marketing, Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. Nexus_JeffBlumenfeld.jpgJeffrey Blumenfeld | Director, Career Moves, JVS Chicago Nexus_KathleenGerhold.jpgMODERATED BY Kathleen Gerhold | Senior Director of Career and Employment Services, JVS Chicago

Eric Schweitzer of Naperville, Illinois, joins global outplacement and executive coaching consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. as a Vice President. He will be responsible for client relationships and business development throughout the Chicagoland area, as well as Illinois and Wisconsin.

Eric possesses a strong client management and global marketing background, with extensive leadership experience. He has led corporate initiatives in business and product-line launches, reorganizations and team development.

Eric joins Challenger from Invesco where he led a team responsible for marketing strategy and communication as Director of Product Marketing. Prior, Eric worked at Northern Trust, serving most recently as Head of Financial Institutions and Intermediary sales and relationship management. Eric also served as Global Head of Product Management and Managing Director of Marketing. He is looking forward to applying his experience with client relationships in his new role with Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

Eric holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance and Economics from Illinois State University. He enjoys spending time with his wife, Tammie, and their four grown children.

Over the last 25 years Jeff Blumenfeld has engaged in successful careers in both the private sector and non-profit management. His private sector experience focused on hospitality in fine dining and multi-unit restaurant management, and as a faculty member of the hospitality management department at Roosevelt University. His non-profit experience over the last 18 years includes management positions for the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago and the Vietnamese Association of Illinois. For the past five years Jeff has been a part of the JVS Chicago Career Moves staff, first as a counselor and then as the counseling staff supervisor. Jeff holds a Masters in Adult Education from National Lewis University and a Masters in Counseling from the Adler School of Professional Psychology.

Kathleen has deep experience at the practice and executive level in working with people with disabilities, employment services, government collaboration, senior level management, personnel, budget and advocacy. Kathleen is a focused problem solver with a can-do attitude.

Prior to working for JVS Chicago, Kathleen worked for 12 years at the Ray Graham Association for People with Disabilities.  Before moving to Chicago, Kathleen was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Kenya, East Africa teaching in schools for the Deaf. Kathleen also has consulted nationally with The Council on Quality and Leadership (CQL) on best practices in providing human services. Kathleen has a Master's degree in Public Policy and Administration from Northwestern University and a Bachelor’s in Special Education from Indiana University.



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