Panel Discussions with Entrepreneurs & HR Professionals Who Have Done It.

Thursday, August 1, 2019 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Spaces – Chicago, Near North Side
1500 North Halsted Street, Chicago, IL 60642 

Free Cocktails provided by Catan Pisco

Team of young designers team in a meeting
Building a winning team culture is the key to running any company or organization.

Building a winning team culture is the key to running any company or organization. In this event, we invited seasoned entrepreneurs who have built cross-functional teams of various sizes and hired experienced contractors. We also have HR professionals to share their tips and insights.

For Founders and Business Owners

  1. Learn how to spot and attract top-notch talents 
  2. Get ideas on how to build a result-driven team with the right incentives
  3. Understand the best Human Resource Practices for startup and small companies 
  4. Learn how to identify toxic players in your team and when/how to get rid of it.
  5. Get practical tips on how to prevent legal issues when you hire, promote, or fire someone.

For Service Providers and Freelancer

  1. Hear from the founders what kind of contractors they keep on their retainers
  2. Get practical tips from HR professionals on best practices and legal protection
  3. Learn how to get noticed and increase your chances of getting hired by business owners 

For Jobseekers and Startup Employees

  1. Expand your network in Chicago with both founders and HR professionals 
  2. Find out what business owners and hiring executives are looking for in new recruits
  3. How to excel and contribute to a startup company environment.
  4. Understand what metrics are used in employee performance evaluation


Jeffrey Dirrenberger

Jeffrey Dirrenberger

Founder of VAULT Innovation, Partner of GamerzArena, Co-Founder of Leaf Trade

I have over 10 years of exposure and experience in creating consumer applications, B2B software products, and launching startups. I pride myself on identifying market opportunities and executing cutting edge strategies to achieve monetization. Over the past decade, I have seen the launch of hundreds of digital products including applications for Chicago Tribune, Kate Somerville, National Restaurant Association, Navteq, and BabyFirst TV. My experiences led me to found my own company in 2012 — Vault Innovation Group, in Chicago. Vault is a venture studio that focuses on helping entrepreneurs and businesses build custom apps to help grow their business.

Laurie Rompala, Attorney, Investigator, and HR Consultant at Valentine Austriaco & Bueschel P.C.

Laurie Rompala

Attorney, Investigator, and HR Consultant at Valentine Austriaco & Bueschel P.C.

  • For nearly twenty years, Laurie has advised and counseled clients on a broad range of employment and business matters. Laurie has served in chief roles at AmLaw100 and 200 law firms, and she has reorganized and led departments responsible for all areas of talent, human resources, diversity, compliance, and other initiatives impacting owners, professionals, and staff members. As chief people officer, and as an in-house counsel, Laurie has been a strategic business partner in addressing sensitive risk management, cultural, contractual, and compliance concerns. She has also represented clients in coverage, employment, commercial disputes, and professional liability litigation.
  • Laurie’s experience and training inform her thoughtful and results-oriented approach to her clients’ business needs. She began her career as individual contributor in mission-driven organizations, and she has continued to serve as a volunteer, mentor, coach, and leader. Laurie’s direct, curious, and empathetic communication style allow her to identify stakeholder needs and develop trust with people at all levels within an organization. Her unique background allows her to work closely with her clients to understand their business objectives and financial drivers, help balance risk and human considerations, and effectively achieve their goals.
  • Laurie represents and advises businesses in policy and compliance matters, human resources and employment practices, contract and risk management issues, and employee legal issues, including terminations and claims before administrative agencies. Laurie conducts independent workplace investigations and provides training and consulting services.
  • She advises and counsels employers on policies, leave-related issues, wage and compensation matters, employee relations, EEO/AAP, FLSA, Title VII, ADA, FMLA, harassment, discrimination, retaliation, disciplinary matters, whistle-blower complaints, workplace violence, safety, other internal policy violations, and diversity and inclusion issues. Laurie has also advised and counseled clients regarding WARN Act, multi-site reductions in force, as well as voluntary early retirement programs.
  • Laurie has trained and been certified as a Civil Rights Investigator (ATIXA), Mediator (CCR) and Coach (NALP). Laurie is a member of the Trial Bar for the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

Trisha Degg

Trisha Degg

VP, Talent Programs and Operations, Illinois Technology Association

Trisha is the VP of Talent Programs and Operations for Illinois Technology Association – a business services organization focused on helping great tech companies scale. Trisha helps ITA’s 500-plus member companies navigate Chicago’s talent pool to find the best of the best. With almost 10 years of corporate recruiting, campus recruitment, and HR experience, Trisha excels at finding new ways to locate talent, and is passionate about networking. She works with the heads of HR/Talent at ITA companies to help develop and refine their procedures and processes. Trisha’s specialties are talent attraction and retention, organizational development, manager training, interview skills/resume writing, building and refining internship programs, and employment branding. Trisha also heads up the overall programming of ITA, including setting the strategic direction of all ITA’s events and programming, confirming they bring value to the membership-base. She also acts as Executive Director of ITA’s philanthropic arm, TechForward. TechForward’s goal is to support STEM education in Illinois, focusing on under-served communities to help promote diversity in STEM careers.

Trisha works closely with the local community, including universities throughout the country, to help build strong talent pipelines. She speaks at panels and guest lectures in classes, conducts one-on-ones with students, and builds relationships with campus career centers. She also serves on the strategic planning committee for ThinkChicago, sits on Innovation Council, and works on talent initiatives with America’s Urban Campus and World Business Chicago. Trisha also volunteers her time with General Assembly & ChiTech Academy, to support future tech talent in Chicago. She is also a board member of Expanding Your Horizons Chicago (EYH), helping support STEM education for middle school girls.

Alex Glenn

Founder of and [See Profile]

Alex is the host of The Marketing Automation Discussion podcast. He’s spent his 15-year career helping tech founders and teams to build and execute creative growth systems.


Human Prediction

We care about diversity and though we’re not perfect, we’re always working on diversifying the perspective, experience, and backgrounds contributing to our team. Our team ranges from awesome and curious beginners to talent leaders and Software/Product/Data engineers who have worked at Thoughtworks, DRW Trading, Groupon, Prismatic and IDEO.



Promotable closes the analytical talent gap by delivering education solutions that empower data-enabled career opportunities. For individuals, our part-time 5 hour per week in-person or live-online education solutions are after work, taught by current practitioners from industry-leading companies, and designed to help you gain the digital skills to have become successful in today’s economy. We also create custom solutions for companies which help companies save time, become more efficient, and open a new pool of in-house analytics talent. [See Profile]

Build 312

Build 312

Founded in 2017, Build312 is a Chicago-based community that aims to bring together young entrepreneurs, interesting perspectives and innovative ideas. Through various online and offline activities and events, we exist to connect entrepreneurs with resources, investors, and each other. Join the movement to build yourself, build your ideas and build a better future. [See Profile]


A full service, creative working environment with a unique entrepreneurial spirit, where ideas develop, businesses build and relationships evolve.

Catan Pisco Logo

Catan Pisco

Delivering the spirit of the south to its neighbors of the north through Catan Pisco. Whether your Pisco is served on the rocks, smoked & neat, or in a cocktail, let Catan take you to the luxurious flavors of Chile through a glass.


J.P. Lamp

J.P. has been involved with HR and Tech networking events in both Milwaukee and Chicago for the past handful of years. He’s a former recruiter who also has a technical background and took a stab at running a tech startup for a while. He recently shifted his career to become an Account Executive at HumanPredictions working with recruiters and hiring managers to hire more engineers for their teams. He’s passionate about HR, new technologies and podcasting. [See Profile]

Bella Luz Photography

A big thank to our photographer Kevin Geisler for capturing these amazing shots of the event.

Thursday, August 1, 2019 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Spaces – Chicago, Near North Side
1500 North Halsted Street, Chicago, IL 60642 

Free Cocktails provided by Catan Pisco