11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m

The prosperity of all Americans is linked to the success of our nation’s economy. Leading business leaders and industry experts agree that having immigrants in our workforce is key to the continued growth of our economy. Are immigrants on employment visas meeting a labor shortage or taking jobs from Americans? Do these immigrants have the skills they need to meet the needs of employers and help our nation’s economy thrive?

Featured Speakers

Pia M. Orrenius (Moderator)

Vice President & Senior Economist, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas

Pia M. Orrenius is a labor economist working on regional economic growth and demographic change. She manages the regional and microeconomics group in the Dallas Fed Research Department, is executive editor of the quarterly publication Southwest Economy and co-edited Ten Gallon Economy: Sizing up Economic Growth in Texas. Her academic research focuses on the labor market impacts of immigration, unauthorized immigration and U.S. immigration policy. She is co-author of the book Beside the Golden Door: U.S. Immigration Reform in a New Era of Globalization.

Orrenius is affiliated with several academic institutions. She is research fellow at the Tower Center for Political Studies at Southern Methodist University and at the IZA Institute of Labor in Bonn, Germany, as well as adjunct scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. Orrenius is also adjunct professor at Baylor University (Dallas campus), where she teaches in the executive MBA program. Orrenius was senior economist on the Council of Economic Advisers in the Executive Office of the President, Washington, D.C., in 2004-2005, where she advised the Bush administration on labor, health and immigration issues. She holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of California at Los Angeles and bachelor degrees in economics and Spanish from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Tim Brown

President & Chief Operating Officer, Chobani

As President & Chief Operating Officer of Chobani, LLC, Tim Brown oversees the full spectrum of the business for America’s No. 1-selling Greek yogurt company, including the sales, marketing, legal and finance teams. Prior to Chobani, he served as Chairman, President and CEO of Nestlé Waters North America Inc. (NWNA), where he was responsible for the third-largest nonalcoholic beverage company in the U.S. Under Brown’s leadership, the company boasted an unrivaled portfolio of popular, quality refreshment brands with an emphasis on water as healthy hydration, with $4.3 billion in annual net sales, 8,500 employees, and 29 plants and operations in more than 140 communities.

After beginning his career at Procter & Gamble, Brown joined NWNA in 1988, known in its early stages as The Perrier Group of America. He spent nearly 30 years with Nestlé and was instrumental in transitioning bottled water from a niche product to the No. 1 beverage in America.

Tim serves on the boards of the Connecticut Council for Education Reform (CCER), the Business Council of Fairfield County, the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO) and the Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI). He is a former board member of Toronto’s nonprofit Harbourfront Corporation, the Food and Consumer Products Canada & Grocery Foundation, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Stamford and the ABA.

Rosanna Maietta

Senior Vice President of Communications & Public Relations, The American Hotel & Lodging Association

As Senior Vice President of Communications and Public Relations at the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), Rosanna Maietta is responsible for driving the strategic planning for all of the association’s internal and external communications and increasing visibility for the dynamic hotel industry in and outside Washington, D.C. She is also responsible for strengthening outreach to key stakeholders and media as well as developing targeted, integrated campaigns to raise awareness about key issues important to the industry. Maietta and her team are tasked with enhancing member communication to the more than 25,000 association members who represent large global brands, independent properties, bed and breakfasts and everything in between. She also runs the association’s Foundation, aimed at empowering current employees and aspiring talent through scholarships and workforce development initiatives.

Maietta came to AHLA following almost nine years at the Washington, D.C., public relations and strategic communications firm FleishmanHillard, where she was a senior strategic counselor and manager responsible for developing communications strategies and education public education campaigns. In her time there, she worked for major global brands, Fortune 500 companies, global development nonprofits and foreign and domestic governments. Previously, she served as media relations manager for Newsweek magazine, and from 1993 to 2000 was a radio anchor and reporter for major outlets in Rome, Italy. She is a graduate of Ryerson Polytechnic University in Toronto, Canada, and holds a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism.

Kathleen McLaughlin

Senior Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer; President, Walmart Foundation

Kathleen McLaughlin is senior vice president, chief sustainability officer for Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., and the president of the Walmart Foundation.

In these roles, Kathleen is responsible for that focus on using Walmart's strengths to create economic opportunity for individuals and foster inclusive economic development; enhance the sustainability of food, apparel, and general merchandise supply chains; and strengthen the resilience of local communities. Last year, in addition to business initiatives investing in people and businesses in supply chains, the company surpassed over $1.4 billion in giving worldwide, including $1 billion of food donations.

McLaughlin joined Walmart in 2013. Before that, she spent over 20 years with the global consulting firm McKinsey & Company.

McLaughlin earned a bachelor's degree from Boston University, and she also earned a master's degree from Oxford University, where she was a Rhodes Scholar.

Tom Nassif

President & Chief Executive Officer, Western Growers

Tom Nassif took the leadership reins of Western Growers in February 2002. His broad and distinguished leadership experience, along with his background as a labor attorney for the agricultural industry, made the former U.S. ambassador a natural choice to lead the fresh produce industry into a new era. Through coalition building and an aggressive approach to addressing the key issues confronting the industry, Nassif has taken Western Growers to a new level of prominence and influence.

Nassif’s remarkable career is highlighted by his service in President Ronald Reagan’s administration, where he worked in several capacities. In 1981, he was appointed Deputy and Acting Chief of Protocol for the White House. He was promoted to the position of Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near East and South Asian affairs in 1983, and in 1985, President Reagan appointed him ambassador to the Kingdom of Morocco, where he served until 1988.

Following his tenure as a U.S. ambassador, Nassif worked as chairman of Gulf Interstate Engineering in Houston, an oil and gas pipeline company. He then worked as president of Los Alamos Land Company, developing industrial and commercial business parks on the U.S.-Mexico border. He later became a managing partner of Aequitas International Consulting, an international business and political consulting company.

Nassif received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from California State University, Los Angeles, and his Juris Doctorate from California Western University School of Law in San Diego. He is a recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor and the Distinguished Alumni award from the School of Business and Economics, California State University, and is an honorary Doctor of Law from California Western University School of Law in San Diego. Nassif currently serves on the Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee in Washington, D.C., and is one of the three national co-chairs for the Specialty Crop Farm Bill Alliance. He has been an active Christian all his life and is an ordained deacon in the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church.