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2022 State Conference Information
October 10-11 at Mystic Lake Center



Michael S. Cohen
Monday Opening Speaker

John Kriesel
Monday Lunch Speaker

Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., SHRM-SCP
Tuesday Closing Speaker




Michael S. Cohen concentrates his practice in the areas of employment law training and counseling. Mr. Cohen has trained and counseled employers throughout the country on subjects including harassment prevention; workplace diversity; discipline and discharge; hiring and recruiting practices; performance evaluations; FMLA, ADA and FLSA compliance; leave of absence policies; performance management; workplace privacy; sexual orientation and gender identity in the workplace; substance abuse testing; workplace violence; records retention; conducting background checks; teens in the workplace and managing attendance problems. He has conducted trainings for executives, directors, managers, supervisors and employees in many industries, including financial services, healthcare, pharmaceutical, manufacturing, retail, real estate development, law firms and human services. Mr. Cohen also has conducted trainings for executives, deans and faculty in several institutions of higher education and secondary education. He has conducted more than 250 trainings in the last year.

Mr. Cohen has conducted investigations into claims of harassment and discrimination and has drafted employee handbooks, employment agreements, noncompete agreements and post-termination agreements. He has represented clients throughout the country in EEO and other administrative proceedings.

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If Dr Norman Vincent Peale was writing his incredibly popular book, “The Power of Positive Thinking,” today he would need to add a separate chapter on John Kriesel.

In 2006 Kriesel was nearly blown to shreds by a 200-pound roadside bomb in the parched sands of Iraq, but battlefield angels in army uniforms kept him breathing long enough to reach a field hospital. He died three times and was shocked back to life. Somehow he survived through four hospitals, 35 surgeries and months of recovery. He lost both legs and suffered numerous other major injuries, but it was the loss of two close friends that hurt the most.

The guy who wasn’t supposed to survive and was told he probably would be in a wheelchair the rest of his life walked out of Walter Reed Army Medical Center after nine months. Working with author Jim Kosmo, Kriesel reveals his motivational story in “STILL STANDING: The Story of SSG John Kriesel,” winner of eight national book awards.

Four years after his near-death experience in Iraq Kriesel became a civilian marketing employee with the Minnesota Army National Guard and in 2012 was named Director of Veteran Services for a county in Suburban Minneapolis, Minnesota. He also is a part-time contributor on KFAN Sports Radio and former member of the Minnesota House of Representatives.

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Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., SHRM-SCP, is President and Chief Executive Officer of SHRM, the Society for Human Resource Management. With over 300,000 members in 165 countries, SHRM is the largest HR professional association in the world, impacting the lives of 115 million workers every day. 

As a global leader on the future of employment, culture and leadership, Mr. Taylor is a sought-after voice on all matters affecting work, workers, and the workplace. He is frequently asked to testify before Congress on critical workforce issues and authors the weekly USA Today column, "Ask HR."

Mr. Taylor's career spans over 20 years as a lawyer, human resources executive and CEO in both the not-for-profit and for-profit space. He has held senior and chief executive roles at IAC/Interactive Corp, Viacom's Paramount Pictures, Blockbuster Entertainment Group, the McGuireWoods law firm, and Compass Group USA. Most recently, Mr. Taylor was President and Chief Executive Officer of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.

He is the author of the national bestseller, RESET: A Leader’s Guide to Work in an Age of Upheaval, which delivers a candid and forward-thinking vision for leaders to reimagine their company cultures in a time of global upheaval and presents data-driven strategies to make the necessary foundational reset of all things work. Immediately upon its release in September 2021, RESET was in the top three of the Wall Street Journal’s list of best-selling hardcover business books. All author proceeds benefit the SHRM Foundation, which is committed to empowering HR as a social force for change.

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