Summit Presenters

Evea Kaldas

Evea KaldasSenior Learning Specialist  - HD Supply

Evea Kaldas is a Training Specialist on the Learning and Development team at HD Supply, located in Atlanta, Georgia. In her role, she is responsible for the creation, facilitation, and continuous improvement of both in-person and virtual instructor led training courses. Within both the in-person and virtual platforms, Evea is responsible for driving learner engagement and associate success as a result of their participation in learning courses at HD Supply.

Prior to her current role, Evea began her career with HD Supply on the Talent Acquisition team following her graduation in 2016 from Appalachian State University where she obtained her masters in Industrial-Organizational Psychology and Human Resource Management. She completed her undergraduate degree at Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville, Georgia with a major in Psychology and minor in Management.

Evea and her fiancé currently live in the Atlanta area with their two dogs.

Bryce Woods

Bryce WoodsSenior Director, Strategy Planning & Analytics - TIAA

Bryce started his education at App State earning his Bachelors in Psychology and a few National Championships as a member of our football team. He went on to earn his Masters in I/O Psychology from UNCC and a Master Black Belt in Six Sigma from Villanova. Bryce is currently a Senior Director in Talent Acquisition at TIAA, and heads the Talent Acquisition Operations and Workforce Planning team. For the last 10 years Bryce has worked in the field of workforce planning and analytics. From building personality and IQ assessments to running a mature analytics and planning shop of more than a dozen people, Bryce has seen many of the obstacles facing analytics shops and experience his fair share of failures along the way.

Joseph Lewis

Joseph LewisSenior Program Manager, Innovation and Operations - AXA Equitable Life

Joseph Lewis is a thought leader with experience in leadership, data analytics, diversity and learning. With a non-traditional human resource experience, he brings tactical knowledge of the challenges beyond the academics of the discipline. With over 21 years of corporate experience, Joseph has held numerous roles including Operations Manager, Financial Analyst, Data Analytics Manager and for the past two years as an Innovation and Operations Manager in Talent Management, Learning  & Development.

For AXA, Joseph has led the domestic LGBTQ and Ally employee resource group since 2009; and building on the framework of the US model, launched the global Ally resource group in 2014, leading diversity initiatives for over 50 global entities. Joseph co-designed a new corporate leadership inclusion curriculum that was delivered to the Executive Committee of AXA Equitable Life and over 300 director level employees. Joseph continues to push the boundaries of what diversity means and challenges the focus on visible diversity.

Joseph graduated, as an adult, summa cum laude from Columbia College in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in International Business and Financial Services and currently is enrolled at Southern New Hampshire University where he is seeking his Master of Science in Data Analytics.

Melissa Reagen

Melissa ReagenManaging Director, Head of Research, Americas - Nuveen Real Estate

Melissa leads a team of research and strategy professionals focused on the U.S. direct real estate market. Collaborating closely with our global head of research, her deep U.S. expertise contributes to our market leading research capabilities, which inform all investment decisions. Melissa is a member of the Americas investment committee, as well as the global R&D team, which identifies global, regional and structural trends, ensuring our research feeds into every stage of the investment process as well as product development.

Prior to joining Nuveen Real Estate in 2017, Melissa was with MetLife Investment Management where she oversaw all research and strategy related activities with a focus on real estate. Previously, she was with Aberdeen Asset Management where she created its Americas research platform.

Melissa graduated with a B.A. in Economics from The University of Chicago and an M.B.A. from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business. She serves as the chair of the National Council Real Estate Investment Fiduciaries research committee and is a member of the National Multifamily Housing Council research committee and the International Council Shopping Centres North American research task force. Melissa is also active in the National Association of Real Estate Investment Managers and Pension Real Estate Association.

Yalcin Acikgoz

Yalçın AçıkgözAssistant Professor, Department of Psychology - Appalachian State University

Dr. Yalcin Acikgoz is an assistant professor of I/O Psychology in the Department of Psychology at Appalachian State University. He began his professional career in the Turkish Army as a second lieutenant after graduating from Turkish Military Academy with a BS in Systems Engineering. After serving in various positions in the Army, including fires team leader at a mechanized brigade, a deployment in Afghanistan, and cadet team leader in Turkish Military Academy, he decided to take on a different type of challenge and pursue an academic career in the field of I/O psychology. This led him to his second trip to the USA (the first one was for Basic Officers Leaders Course in Fort Sill, OK), where he pursued an MA degree in I/O Psychology in Appalachian State University. After graduating with an MA degree in 2013, he went back to Turkey and assumed a Manpower Analyst position in the Turkish General Staff HQ. Simultaneously, he began his Ph.D. education on I/O psychology at Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey. In 2016, he earned his Ph.D. and joined Appalachian State University.

Dr. Acikgoz has a variety of research interests including employee recruitment and job search, job choice decisions, applications of social media in human resources, and applicant reactions to selection procedures. His main research interest is on applicant perspective to employee recruitment and selection. He teaches introductory psychology, personality psychology, and industrial psychology at the undergraduate level and performance appraisal at the graduate level. Aside from his research and teaching, Dr. Acikgoz enjoys spending time with his wife and his two daughters in beautiful Boone.

Cynthia K Miller

Cynthia MillerVice President of Human Resources - Carolina West Wireless

Cynthia Miller is the Vice President of Human Resources at Carolina West Wireless in Wilkesboro, NC. In her role, she oversees all aspects of the "people" side of the business, from recruiting to leadership development to benefits administration. Prior to her current role, she spent 15 years in multiple Human Resource roles at the Fortune 50 home improvement retailer, Lowe's. She did her undergraduate studies at Meredith College in Raleigh, majoring in Business and Psychology. After college, she explored a variety of jobs in different industries until she decided to pursue her real passion of setting people up for success and helping them reach their full potential. She then attended Appalachian State University and graduated with a M.A. in I/O Psychology and HR Management. She and her husband and daughter recently moved back to the High Country and live in Banner Elk.

Elma Lloyd

Elma LloydProgram Manager, HR Learning & Development - AXA Equitable Life

Elma Lloyd is a Sr. Manager on the HR Learning & Development Team which is responsible for driving the AXA Equitable Life continuous learning strategy. In her role, Elma is responsible for increasing learner engagement through multiple digital learning platforms (LinkedIn Learning & Coursera) directly managing ILT & VILT development programs and curating digital learning journeys for teams.

Elma started her career at AXA Equitable Life in 2012 in the Wealth Management organization working on AXA Advisors Online Learning, Leadership Development and Recruiting. Prior to joining the HR Learning & Development team, Elma worked closely with field leadership to develop and execute recruiting strategies.

Elma graduated from Appalachian State University with a M.A. in I/O Psychology & HR Management and a B.A. from UNC Charlotte.

Tim Huelsman

Tim HuelsmanDirector, Industrial-Organizational Psychology and Human Resource Management (IOHRM) Master’s program - Appalachian State University

Dr. Tim Huelsman is Professor of Psychology and Director of the IOHRM Master’s program at Appalachian State University. Since arriving at Appalachian in 1997, he has taught graduate and undergraduate courses in organizational psychology as well as program evaluation, research methods, statistics, and personality. His professional interests are broad and include personality and mood in the organization, organizational assessment, and organizational culture and climate. His consulting work generally focuses on strategic planning, organizational assessment, program evaluation, and organizational development. Tim's interest in D&I started early—on his first-ever consulting job in 1990.

Tim is a past Chairperson of the North Carolina I-O Psychologists and as a member of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology he co-authored the Guidelines for Education and Training in Industrial-Organizational Psychology and participated in the creation of the annual Master’s Student Consortium. Tim was presented with the University of North Carolina Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2014 and was inducted into Appalachian State University’s Academy of Outstanding Graduate Mentors in 2013. He earned his Ph.D., M.S., and B.S. in Psychology from Saint Louis University.

Originally from St. Louis, MO, Tim loves photography and is an avid sports fan (St. Louis Cardinals, St. Louis Blues, Arsenal football, SLU Billikens) and loves playing basketball. He resides in Boone, NC with his wife Jeanie (Women’s Fashion Buyer for Mast General Store) and son Calvin (rising senior at Watauga High School).

Daniel Manware

Daniel ManwareResearch Associate - Nuveen Real Estate

Daniel Manware joined Nuveen Real Estate in February 2017. As a Research Associate, he is responsible for evaluating local market dynamics and trends in order to create strategic investment recommendations, providing data and analytics for the construction of new fund products in order to achieve out-performance, and authoring topical white papers. Daniel also supports the build out of Nuveen Real Estate's data and analytics platform. Daniel earned his B.S. in Finance and Certificate in Real Estate from The University of Connecticut School of Business. He is a member of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) and New York Private Equity Network (NYPEN).