Dr. Joseph R. Blasi, FGE
Joseph Blasi is a distinguished professor and sociologist at the School of Management and Labor Relations at Rutgers University where he teaches the undergraduate and graduate courses on corporate governance. He is a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. His work includes economic sociology, the social and economic history of the corporation, and public policy, particularly broad-based employee stock ownership, profit sharing, gain sharing, and stock options in corporations, in countries, in industries, for example, with a study of Silicon Valley, and in different historical periods of American history.
He has written 13 books including Employee Ownership (Harper and Row, 1988), The New Owners with D. Kruse (HarperCollins, 1991), Kremlin Capitalism with M. Kroumova and D. Kruse (Cornell University Press, 1996), A Working Nation with various co-authors (Russell Sage Foundation, 2000), In The Company of Owners with D. Kruse and A. Bernstein (Basic Books, 2003), and Shared Capitalism at Work with D. Kruse and R. Freeman (University of Chicago Press, 2010). His articles have appeared in the British Journal of Industrial Relations, Industrial Relations, and the Industrial and Labor Relations Review, among others.
Cherie Curry, FGE
Cherie is the Director of Global Equity at Hilton. She has overall management responsibilities for Hilton’s Global Equity Plans. She has a broad depth of experience in all facets of equity compensation with responsibility for strategic planning, worldwide regulatory and tax compliance in over 100 countries, global communications, vendor management, overhang, burn rate and stock plan reserve analysis.
Cherie's issuer experience includes oversight of employee stock plans in various M&A transactions, development and implementation of ESPPs, working with internal and external partners on best practices for share plan requests, new vendor implementations, insider trading compliance, accounting and valuations, and overall plan administration.
Cherie holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland’s College of Behavioral and Social Sciences and has earned her CEP.
Yael Elbaz-Roiter, FGE, CEP
Yael has broad experience of building and running global projects and programs. Design, implementation, communication plans, and management, for equity compensation and recognition plans.
At Teva Pharmaceuticals, Yael was responsible for managing the global recognition program for over 42K participants and the company's equity programs in over 67 countries, Shareholders database and company dividend process.
Yael’s experiences and responsibilities also includes management of affiliate transactions and the insider trading policy, proxy and financial reporting, M&A transactions, monitoring and implementation of regulatory developments worldwide, as well as administration of special equity-related projects which included but were not limited to the options exchange program, special dividend/dividend reinvestment issuance, share depository transition and stock plan system conversions.
Vastly experienced in equity plan systems and broker equity administration services, Yael also works closely with NYSE, TASE (Tel Aviv stock exchange), custodian banks and brokers worldwide and frequently speaks at equity compensation-related events.
Karen Needham, FGE
Wave Life Sciences
Karen has over 40 years of dynamic experience and leadership in the equity compensation industry. In her most recent role, Karen is responsible for the global equity administration and compliance for Wave Life Sciences as well as the multi-state U.S. payroll.
Prior to this role, she held management roles in client relations and education for 3 of the largest equity administration software providers. Karen began her career with Wang Laboratories where she was responsible for equity compensation in over 50 countries. She subsequently oversaw the equity administration for Genzyme, including the administration of employee equity plans for its numerous tracking stocks.
Karen is a member of GEO (Global Equity Organization), NASPP (National Association of Stock Plan Professionals) and is a Certified Equity Professional (CEP).
She was recently honored as a Fellow of Global Equity at the 2019 GEO International Conference.
Tom Paleka, FGE
Tom Paleka joined Gallagher in September 2008 as Vice President of Global Compensation, a newly created role. Promoted in 2016 to lead the global rewards function, he now has overall responsibility for guiding the company’s equity, compensation, benefit, and mobility programs, as well as the payroll organization. In 2018, he was named as an officer of the company.
He has been instrumental in designing the company’s long-term incentive plans, securing shareholder approval of five of Gallagher’s long-term incentive and employee share plans, automating many compensation and payroll processes, and driving a global benefit philosophy.
Tom joined Gallagher from Tellabs, a large telecommunications manufacturer of infrastructure equipment. While at Tellabs, he designed and managed sales compensation programs and was promoted to Director of Global Compensation and Benefits in 2005, with responsibility for all broad-based and executive programs. Prior to that role, he had twenty years of extensive background in the telecommunications industry with AT&T and Ameritech in sales compensation, direct sales, sales management, and sales operations.
Tom has served on the Global Equity Organization (‘GEO’) Board of Directors since 2017 and is co-chair of the Issuer Advisory Council. Tom has served as a judge for the GEO Awards for several years, the last two as co-Lead Judge. He also has been an active member of the Fidelity Stock Plan Services Client Advisory Board. He has spoken at many conferences for such organizations as GEO, Certified Equity Professional Institute, Equilar, World at Work, Conference Board, and the National Association of Stock Plan Professionals (‘NASPP’). In addition to his professional organizations, Tom has also served on the Junior Achievement DuPage County Board of Directors from 1994 to 2000 and 2007 to present, and as a volunteer since 1982.
Pat Sims, FGE
Pat has been part of the share plan community for over 20 years.
Originally as a share plan consultant at Mercer, and then in 2002 she joined Orange as part of the in-house share plan team. Pat then moved to Rio Tinto in 2009, and in January 2015 moved into freelance and consultancy work. Since then, Pat has provided support to several global companies on their share plans, and related projects. This includes Pearson, Vodafone, AstraZeneca, BT, Nokia, J Sainsbury's and Rio Tinto.
Pat is an active member and supporter of GEO, and speaks at their conferences and other conferences and } seminars on a regular basis.