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Panel Event

Panel Event

High performing teams in the workplace: Inspiring messages from an Olympic bronze medalist to HR professionals

Tuesday, August 6
11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
The Village School Middle School Campus
2005 Gentryside Dr, Houston, TX 77077
*Free surface lot parking available*


What makes teams in the workplace high-performing?  What is the driving force behind why some companies, team members, or business units perform better than others? 

Join us for an inspiring presentation led by Olympic Medalist and consultant, Irene Montrucchio, who will share her methods to clarify and explain five competencies that are key for a team: Strategy, Clarity, Open Communication, Resilience and Effective Leadership. She will share what team dynamics are, the team development stages, how to build the team and some tactical advice and tools that will help teams.

Afterward, you will hear from expert panelists that will share their experiences in organizational teamwork and why inclusion and diversity are a vital element within the very foundation of thriving teams.

The use of this seal confirms that this activity has met HR Certification Institute’s® (HRCI®) criteria for recertification credit pre-approval

This program is valid for 1.25 PDCs for the SHRM-CP® or SHRM-SCP®

Presenting speaker and panelists

Irene Montrucchio; Olympic Medalist and Consultant at Lincoln Leadership Advisors

Irene has enjoyed success as a world-class athlete in the sport of synchronized swimming. She represented her native Spain in competitions around the world, including the London Olympic Games in 2012 where she earned a bronze medal. Since then, her spirit of competition and drive has given her a passion and interest in professional leadership development and corporate teamwork. Irene frequently speaks to audiences of all ages and backgrounds, and uses her own journey in competitive sports to illustrate the way individual teamwork can impact the greater success of an organization. Using powerful storytelling through sports analogies, she frequently speaks to corporate professionals and participates in seminars as a keynote speaker sharing her valuable professional experience and insights on high-performing teams and leadership. As an expatriate herself, Irene understands the challenges one can have moving to the U.S. She is fluent in Spanish, English, Catalan, and Italian.

Irene joined Lincoln Leadership Advisors in 2017. As a consultant, Irene is responsible for recruiting high-quality candidates for senior and executive-level positions on behalf of clients who represent a diverse number of industries. Irene also generates market intelligence reports, conducts assessments, researches target-profile companies, and oversees other talent-management consulting projects.

Katherine Brewer; Head of School at The Village School - Nord Anglia

Katherine Brewer is originally from Nashville, Tennessee in the United States. Her career in education began in her hometown as a high school English teacher before joining the Carol Morgan School in the Dominican Republic, which started her journey as an international educator. After four years as a teacher and High School Assistant Principal, she moved to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia where she served the International Community School of Addis Ababa as the Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment and later became the Deputy Head of School. She joined Shanghai Community International School as the Head of School in 2014 where she ran and operated a school of 1,300 students on two campuses. Most recently, Katherine moved back to the United States in 2018 after accepting the Head of School position at The Village School. Her experience as an international educator continues to serve her well as Village ranks as the #1 Most Diverse Private High School (Niche Rankings) in Houston, Texas, with over 1,700 students from over 60 different countries.

Not only is Katherine an accomplished educational leader in her career, but she has also earned her BA from Middle Tennessee State University, her MA from Belmont University, and is currently working on her EdD at Lehigh University. She believes that the primary goal of education today should be to equip students to answer the question, “What problems in the world do you want to solve?” and then to provide them the tools to successfully do just that.

Marife Alvarez PHR, GMS; Senior International Mobility Advisor at BP Americas

Marife is an experienced Human Resources Specialist with solid expertise in the oil industry in the areas of human resources, benefit administration, international mobility, service contract management, budget planning and control, and staff supervision.

Marife started working at BP Venezuela in 1998 and was transferred to Houston in 2008; As a Senior International Mobility Advisor, Marife is responsible for managing the expatriate life cycle from pre-assignment to repatriation ensuring high efficiency on service delivery. She advises assignees and the business on relocation policies and compensation. Marife has global experience in working with expats into/from UK, Argentina, Australia, Iraq, UAE, Egypt, Angola, Azerbaijan, Brazil, Algeria, Mexico, Canada, Oman, Uruguay, Peru, Turkey.

Marife holds a Specialization in Management-Human Resources Sciences, a Bachelor’s in Business Administration, and an Associate Degree in Advertising. Marife is married with two boys, Sebastian 9 and Rafael 6.

Panel Moderator

Zoran Perunovic; Director of Executive Education at Rice University

Zoran has more than 20 years of experience in executive education and management consulting with hundreds of clients in Europe, North America, Asia, and Africa. He has expertise in a wide area of managerial disciplines, like design and implementation of innovation strategy and processes, development and leadership of complex innovation networks, management of technology, entrepreneurship, market research and marketing management, strategic analysis and design and implementation of corporate strategy, design of service and customer experience, and strategic operations management.

Prior to Rice, Zoran served as a tenured faculty and academic director of the Executive MBA program at the Technical University of Denmark, DTU Executive School of Business. He is an advisor to the Texas Medical Center Innovation Institute, co-editor of the Applied Innovation Review at UC Berkeley, and an accreditor at AMBA, major international accreditation body for EMBA programs. He holds a Ph.D. in management from the Technical University of Denmark and M.Sc. and B.Sc. in Organizational Sciences from the University of Belgrade.

Zoran is passionate about executive education, management consulting, innovation in general, and particularly in health care, energy, and maritime industries, cross-industry innovation, and system thinking. Mountaineering, hiking, skiing, swimming, geography, history, and study of social milieus, also make him tick.


Limited seating is reserved for HR or Global Mobility practitioners only. If you are a service provider, please contact 832-715-8979 to register yourself along with a corporate client guest(s) or to be placed on a wait list.


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