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William Shepherd

William J. Shepherd, Ph.D., is the Director of Enterprise Learning and Development at The Wendy’s Company.

Will is a talent management leader with experience in talent acquisition, training and development, succession planning, performance management, human capital analytics, and organizational culture and effectiveness. He has worked internally in the financial services, telecommunication, and quick service restaurant industries as well as entrepreneurial start-ups funded with venture capital. He also has experience in professional services as a consultant to a wide variety of industries.

Prior to joining Wendy’s, he worked at Huntington National Bank where he had a wide range of roles and talent management responsibilities, including talent acquisition processes, talent development, organizational culture, and employee retention. Prior to Huntington, he worked for the international human capital consulting company Personnel Decisions International where he consulted to a wide variety of organizations and industries, including Target, Sears, LensCrafters, International Monetary Fund, Amtrak, AutoNation, American Express, Citibank, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and General Mills.   He started his career at Verizon in the Employee Selection and Competency Development Group.

Shepherd obtained his doctoral and master’s degree in industrial/organization psychology with a minor in quantitative psychology at Bowling Green State University. He received his bachelor's degree in finance and psychology from The University of Northern Iowa. He is a licensed psychologist and a member of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP). He has served on various SIOP committees, including Membership, Professional Practice, and Leading Edge. He has held the Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) designation. He has also served as an adjunct professor at Bowling Green State University, Concordia (MN), Minnesota State University, Kent State University, and The Ohio State University teaching at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

He has presented at The Conference Board's conferences on Executive Coaching, Talent Management Strategies, and Onboarding. In addition to presenting at various conferences, his research has been published in academic journals such as Personnel Psychology, International Journal of Selection and Assessment, Employment Relations Today, and the International Association for Human Resource Information Management. He has also contributed as a subject matter expert in stories for a wide variety of media outlets such as National Public Radio and HR Magazine.

He is a Board Member of the Friends of the Columbus Metropolitan Library and has previously served on the Board of Leadership Columbus.  He lives in Dublin, Ohio with his wife Kimberly and their three children.


Presentation: Elevating Succession Management: During A Time Of Crisis And Change

Abstract: The global credit crisis had a dramatic macroeconomic impact on financial services organizations that required them to quickly adapt their corporate strategies and supporting talent management strategies. This case study will describe how one such organization evolved its succession management program during a time of C-suite leadership changes, government regulations, and organizational restructuring.


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