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Descriptions of Four General Sessions with Speakers

Thursday, June 7

0900 General Session 1: The Challenges and Opportunities of Demographic Change in America
- presentations by David M. Walker, Comptroller General, Government Accountability Office (GAO), and Dr. John W. Rowe, Professor, Columbia University; previously Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Aetna, Inc. and co-author, Successful Aging
1100 General Session 2: Linking the Growing Talent Requirements of Employers with the
Growing Talent Pool of Workers 55+
- presentations by Humphrey J.F. Taylor, Chairman, The Harris Poll at Harris Interactive, and Susan R. Meisinger, President & CEO, Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)
1400 General Session 3: The Imperative for Policy Change
- presentations by John P. Martin, Director for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs, Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD), and Bradley Belt, Chairman, Palisades Capital Advisors; Executive Director, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (2004-2006); previously Senior Vice President, Center for Strategic & International Studies and Project Director, Global Aging Initiative
1600 General Session 4: The Competitiveness of the U.S. Economy in the Global Marketplace
- presentations by Ellen Wilson, Executive Vice President-Human Resources, Fidelity Investments, and Dennis Donovan, Executive Vice President-Human Resources, The Home Depot, Inc. (2001-03/2007)

Thought Leaders

  • Larry Anderson, retired President & CEO, National Older Worker Career Center (NOWCC)
  • Scott A. Bass, Ph.D., Vice President for Research, Dean of the Graduate School, University of Maryland, Baltimore County; leading gerontologist and author
  • Robert B. Blancato, President, Matz, Blancato & Associates; member, Policy and Executive Committees, 2005 White House Conference on Aging
  • Barbara D. Bovbjerg, Director, Education, Workforce and Income Security Issues, Government Accountability Office (GAO)
  • Helen Dennis, nationally-recognized expert on aging, employment and retirement; lecturer for over 20 years at USC’s Andrus Gerontology Center
  • John S. Gomperts, President, Civic Ventures and Chief Executive Officer, Experience Corps
  • Dorcas Hardy, President, DR Hardy & Associates; previously Commissioner, Social Security Administration; Chair, Policy Committee, 2005 White House Conference on Aging
  • Madelyn Jennings, Principal, Cabot Advisory Group; retired Senior Vice President-Personnel, Gannett
  • Paul Kleyman, Editor, American Society on Aging publications
  • Janice M. Magill, Director Strategic Partnerships, Institute for a Competitive Workforce, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
  • Fred Mandell, Co-Creator, HotHouse Innovations
  • Dr. D. Bruce Merrifield, Chairman, PRIDCO; previously Undersecretary of Commerce for Economic Affairs, U.S. Commerce Department; Professor Emeritus, The Wharton School
  • Kenneth F. Murphy, former Senior Vice President, Human Resources and Administration, Altria Group, Inc.
  • Patrick J. Scollard, President, Scollard Associates LLC; previously Chief Administrative Officer, Chemical Bank
  • Michael A. Smyer, Dean, Graduate School of Arts & Sciences and Director, Center on Aging & Work/Workplace Flexibility, Boston College
  • Richard Swanson, consultant and Director of three public companies
  • Mitra Toossi, Economist, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor
  • Betsy Werley, Executive Director, The Transition Network
  • Hon. Harris Wofford, national spokesman for Experience Wave; former U.S. Senator (D/PA) from 1991-1995
  • Mary Young, Senior Researcher, The Conference Board
  • Richard Swanson, Consultant and Director of three public companies

Possible Breakout Topics

  1. What kinds of flexible career options have proved to be most successful in retaining and recruiting older workers?
    1. Have organizations conducted attitude surveys among older workers to ascertain what kinds of career options would be most attractive to them?  If yes, what are the results?
  2. What are the best practices in training and developing older workers?
  3. What kinds of flexible benefits packages have proved to be most attractive to older workers?
    1. Are employers providing retention bonuses for older workers? If so, how are they structured?
    2. What is the experience of organizations with healthcare costs of workers 55 and older vs. younger workers?
    3. What kinds of healthcare options are most attractive and cost-effective for older workers?
  4. What barriers continue to hinder the increased utilization of older workers, and how can they be addressed?
    1. Bearing in mind the inhibitions of defined-benefit pension plans, what can employers with such plans do to retain older workers beyond normal retirement without causing them financial hardship?
  5. How can we better restructure work and deploy older workers in ways that will enhance the bottom-line impact of their experience, while at the same time help to capture and preserve their intellectual and social capital?
    1. What are the best practices in capturing the intellectual and social capital of workers prior to retirement, especially those in mission-critical positions?
  6. What are the true “costs” of replacing older workers with younger ones (i.e., factoring in hiring costs, training/development costs, lost productivity, lost intellectual and social capital, etc.)?
  7. An inter-governmental task force has been organized by the Department of Labor to consider revisions of laws, regulations and policies that adversely impact the utilization of older workers. What can be done to stimulate making changes that are required to support increased utilization of older workers?

Downloadable Documents

Presentations Made at National Conference

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