Lunch and Learn

Weds, December 7th, 2022   12:00 – 2:00pm (Registration and Networking Begin 11:30am)
Hilton Burlington Lake Champlain  | Green Mountain Ballroom


Cost to Attend: $75 / Seat |  Reserve Up to 8 Seats for You and Your Team

Registration Open Until November 30th

From its humble beginning in 2010 as a networking opportunity solely for the women of the Roundtable, this event has grown to make important and broader introductions among Vermont’s leading business and thought leaders and their proteges in the private, public and non-profit sectors, and to inspire commitments to be supportive role models for each other. This event now seeks to continue to advance the conversation on leadership issues and address workplace topics affecting all.


Employers throughout Vermont are dealing with an active crisis of employee engagement and retention. No industry has been left untouched by the ongoing disruptions to the workplace driven by the COVID pandemic even as we shift away from acute disease management as the primary focus of how to manage employee safety, satisfaction and continued engagement.

Previous strategies to re-design the workplace during the pandemic focused on quick pivots and tactical sprints to engage in short term successes with each industry adapting its own innovations that included remote and hybrid approaches to the design of how work would be accomplished to support employee engagement and organizational success. This gave way to addressing strategies to assist employees in balancing fatigue, grief and shifting expectations for how long we would be dealing with these impacts to our lives both at work and at home. Sprints turned into marathons, and once again our relationship to the workplace evolved with each successive new wave of COVID and satisfaction or dissatisfaction with the models of accomplishing work that were being developed.

To address the current crisis in employee engagement and retention, new innovative engagement strategies that support employee resilience and enthusiasm must be targeted to enhancing employees’ sense of connection to purpose in their work and that of the organization.

Using his experience as a consultant across industries, Dr. Rob Simpson will define and share the key leadership skills required of senior and mid-level managers to support a new wave of innovation in the workplace to address employee disengagement and how to turn crisis into opportunity.

He will outline a framework that is designed to create an intentional focus on innovative leadership strategies that will help organizations disrupt and exit waves of crisis above their previous baseline of employee engagement and retention. The disruptive leadership skills that will effectively drive engagement and retention will require leaders to innovate prior transformational approaches to Coaching & Mentoring, Culture Management, and Emotional Intelligence that reinforce both employee and organizational purpose and reset employee and leader expectations of how work will be accomplished together going forward.

11:30am  Registration Begins
12:00pm  Networking Luncheon
12:30pm  Program
2:00pm  Adjournment


DR. ROBERT E. SIMPSON, JR., Founder and President
The Difference Leadership Group

As a founding Partner of the Difference Leadership Group, Senior Faculty at the Leadership Development Group and a Fellow at the Institute of Coaching at the Harvard Medical School Affiliated McLean Hospital, Dr. Simpson works to strengthen the critical role that leaders play in supporting organizational resilience and transformation. Visioning is about exploring and finding the right expression of the specific purpose for the leader, team and the organization at the right moment in time. He has spent his career being attentive to this theme, integrating the skills of a seasoned clinician honed by treating individuals at all stages of life challenges with those of a skilled organizational leader. He pays attention to how to integrate the unique stages of a leader’s growth and development with that of the Team they are building and leading in the context of the unique environmental factors influencing this process. His focus on assisting leaders to then establish psychological safety within their teams and in the coaching experience allows leaders to enact true transformation in themselves and their organizations.

From 2006 to 2016, Dr. Simpson served as the President and CEO of the Brattleboro Retreat, ranked by Modern Healthcare magazine as number 12 on its 2016 list of the 15 largest behavioral health providers. In 2013 he launched a new partnership with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont known as Vermont Collaborative Care, LLC. This groundbreaking approach to care management integrates the management of mental health and substance abuse services with those of traditional medical care and supports improvements in the quality, effectiveness, and efficiency of providing care by treating the “whole person” across all conditions setting the stage for Health Care Reform initiatives. During his tenure at Brattleboro Retreat, Dr. Simpson was a member of the Vermont Business Roundtable and served on its board.

Education: • Choate Rosemary Hall, Harvard Trophy • Amherst College, BA, Woodward Scholarship • Simmons College, MSW, Weisenfeld Scholarship • Harvard School of Public Health, MPH • University of Utah, DSW, Phi Kappa Phi., Marriner S. Eccles Scholar in Public Policy.
View Dr. Simpson’s Full Profile


What Leadership Will Look Like in a Post-Pandemic World (Forbes, 3.27.22)
Why Microsoft Measures Employee Thriving Not Engagement (Harvard Business Review, 6.24.22)
6 Leadership Paradoxes for the Post-Pandemic Era (Harvard Business Review, 4.23.21)
Better Bosses: Changing the Way We Lead Post Pandemic (McKinsey, April 2021)

Summary Dr. Rob Simpson Presentation – THE FUTURE OF WORK-Leadership Innovations to Create Meaning

Sherra Bourget, [email protected] or (802) 865-0410

Registrations may be cancelled without penalty to receive full refund until November 28th. After that date, we cannot offer refunds.