Chicago Ombuds Day 2019

This event took place on October 10, 2019

Why and How to Establish an Ombuds Office

Program Information

An Organizational Ombuds is a designated impartial person in an independent office within an organization who informally and confidentially helps any employee (or other members of an organization’s community such as students) with a concern. Despite Ombuds providing critical services to an organization, many leaders are unaware of the benefits or how to open an Ombuds office.

Join us as three panelists offer their ideas on how to develop this important service. You will learn about the role of an Ombuds embedded within an organization from an Ombuds who established the Ombuds Office at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago in 2012 and started a new Ombuds Office this year at Argonne National Laboratory in Lemont, Illinois. In addition, you will hear the in-house lawyers at both these organizations explain how the Ombuds Offices originated and the benefits to their respective organizations.

When: Thursday October 10th from 5:00 to 7:00 pm

Where: American Bar Assocation, 321 North Clark St., Chicago, IL 60654, 21st Fl Board Room

Featured Panelists

Bradley R. Ginn joined Argonne National Laboratory in January 2019 to open Argonne’s first Ombuds Office. Before coming to Argonne, Brad established the Ombuds Office at Northeastern Illinois University in 2012. He is recognized by the International Ombudsman Association as a Certified Organizational Ombudsman Practitioner®. Prior to becoming an Ombuds, Brad successfully mediated over 700 cases and trained thousands of individuals in the skills of mediation and conflict management. As part of his practice, he served as a mediator and arbitrator with JAMS and as Executive Director of the Center for Conflict Resolution, a Chicago not-for-profit provider of mediation services and conflict management and mediation training. Brad earned a J.D. from Wayne State University Law School and a B.A. in Honors English from the University of Michigan.

Melissa Reardon Henry is Vice President for Legal Affairs and General Counsel for Northeastern Illinois University. She previously served as the Director of Employee Relations for Purdue University, Senior Staff Attorney for Labor and Employment with the City Colleges of Chicago, and Chief Assistant Corporation Counsel for Employment Litigation for the City of Chicago. Overall, Melissa has been a public sector employment attorney for more than 30 years, representing the federal, state, county, and city government. She currently provides day-to-day counsel to the University and its administrators, represents the institution in litigation, and serves as lead negotiator in collective bargaining. Melissa Reardon Henry graduated from the University of Chicago and received her J.D. from Washington University in St. Louis.

Daniel J. Raker is the Senior Attorney, Labor & Employment for Argonne National Laboratory. He counsels and supports Argonne management in all matters related to labor and employment compliance and represents Argonne in labor and employment matters. Dan is also a Certified Compliance and Ethics Professional (CCEP). Before joining Argonne, Dan worked at an international law firm where his practice focused on labor and employment litigation. Dan received his undergraduate degree from Marquette University and received his J.D. from the University of Illinois College of Law.