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Building a Place to Belong

Kristen Hadeed, CEO & Founder, Student Maid

Opening Keynote
8:30 AM - 9:30 AM


What would it take to keep an endless stream of college students lining up to clean toilets, scrub tubs, mop up messes, and keep coming back for more? After years of running her own cleaning company and working with businesses in other not-so-glamorous industries, Kristen has learned a thing or two about how to attract and retain talent. What she’s discovered is that it’s not about the job, the pay, the fancy office, or the perks. It’s all about creating a culture of belonging.
The environment is key. In an unhealthy environment, people will feel unmotivated, disengaged, inauthentic, and dissatisfied. If, on the other hand, you create a healthy environment, people will come to work excited and go home at the end of the day feeling valued and fulfilled. 
In this funny, bold and brutally honest presentation, Kristen shares what she’s learned as an entrepreneur who built a cleaning company with an industry-leading retention rate and as a consultant for a wide range of businesses around the world. She’ll challenge you to reflect on the current state of your organization’s culture and to assess candidly what you could be doing better. If your culture is already strong, she’ll help you to take it to the next level. You’ll walk away from this keynote with practical, actionable ideas to make your organization a place where people feel like they belong and want to stay.
Learning Objectives: 
  • Recognize the ingredients of a healthy culture and the correlation between culture and well-being. 
  • Reflect on the current culture of your organization, determine what needs improvement and learn practical actions you can take to bring about change. 
  • Resolve the disconnect between achieving results and maintaining a healthy culture.  
  • Discover how to bring humanity into your work and your organization, and how to keep it at the forefront.  


This program is an approved provider of continuing education units (CEUs) through NWI and NCHEC.

Keynote Biography: 

Kristen Hadeed is the CEO and founder of Student Maid, a cleaning company that has employed thousands of millennials over the last decade and is known for building the next generation of leaders. In addition to leading her own company, she now helps organizations around the world make a lasting, meaningful impact on people by creating environments in which they thrive. She has worked with a variety of industries including healthcare, education, retail, real estate, nonprofit, hospitality, aviation, and consumer products. In 2017, she published her first book, "Permission to Screw Up," in which she tells the stories of her biggest mistakes in leadership. She hopes to inspire other leaders to share their "perfectly imperfect" stories of success to empower people with the knowledge that their most challenging moments can become their biggest leadership lessons. Kristen and Student Maid have been featured in news outlets including PBS, FOX Inc., NBC, TIME, and Forbes. Her first TED Talk has received more than three million hits on YouTube.
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