IMA Summit 2018 - Keynote Speakers

Keynote Speakers

Kelli ThompsonTuesday, July 24 | 9:00 – 10:30 am

Business Readiness – Ensuring Our Teams are Ready for What’s Next

In this high energy session, Kelli will help leaders understand their heightened responsibilities in delivering teams and talent that are ready for what’s next.  She’ll provide strategies to ensure teams are able to quickly adapt and change and deliver on the needs of the organization to provide relevant, high-value, services in even mature markets. After all, change is only hard for the unready.

Read the PDF description of Business Readiness – Ensuring Our Teams are Ready for What’s Next

About Kelli Thompson
Kelli is the Vice President of Strategic Development for Reality-Based Leadership, working alongside the global thought leader, Cy Wakeman. Since first partnering with Cy in 2005, the Reality-Based Leadership philosophies of ditching the drama, restoring workplace sanity, and turning excuses into results became the game changing foundation for which she built her love for developing people and leading teams. For more than ten years and through various leadership roles in financial services and healthcare, Kelli earned her Reality-Based Leadership certification and used her extensive knowledge of these counterintuitive leadership practices to deliver amazing results from large scale change projects, leadership roles, and coaching individuals and teams to realize their full potential.

Kelli was hand-picked by Cy to join her company and lead Reality-Based Leadership training programs, leadership consulting, certification, and sustainability programs to help organizations achieve these same levels of success. Kelli’s depth and varied experience in new program development for financial services, healthcare, and education organizations is exceptionally valuable in customizing Reality-Based solutions for clients.

Kelli was awarded the Training Magazine Emerging Training Leader award for her demonstrated leadership in developing, facilitating and generating strong ROI from her training programs. She has been featured on,, Association for Talent Development ( and Becker’s Hospital Review. She earned her MBA and accepted an invitation to be Adjunct Management Faculty at the University of Nebraska – Omaha.

Melissa Van DykeWednesday, July 25 | 10:30 – 11:30 am

Journey Beyond:  Recent Research to Improve Programs and Grow the Industry

Join Melissa Van Dyke, President of The Incentive Research Foundation, as she looks across over a dozen recent IRF research papers to pull forward the most recent data on how to increase engagement, grow programs, and, in turn, improve your business.  Topics will include how organizations are establishing value, using rewards to excel, and designing for effectiveness in 2018.  Melissa will also look into what program owners need from our industry to hit the next level.

About Melissa Van Dyke
Melissa Van Dyke has been President of the Incentive Research Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to research and education on the topic of rewards and motivation in the workplace, for over 8 years. During this time she has proudly helped triple the organization's research and education footprint.   As President, Melissa has responsibility for all day-to-day operational, financial and marketing aspects of the organization. She came to the IRF from her position as Managing Consultant of the Employee Engagement Practice at Maritz. Prior to this, Melissa held leadership positions in Solution Management, Product Development and Business Technology Solution Management and as a Senior Business Process and Technology Consultant for Ernst & Young LLP. Van Dyke has been named one of the "Top 25 Women in the Meetings Industry" by Meetings and Conventions Magazine, selected as Incentive magazine’s “Most Influential People in the Incentive Industry” and authored the chapter on “Using Non Monetary Awards to Support Business Behaviors that Drive Results” in the sixth edition of the Compensation Handbook.