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2023 Accelerate User Conference

Learn, Connect, and Accelerate Your EHS & ESG Performance in Nashville, TN.

May 16 to 18, 2023

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VelocityEHS welcomes its family of customers and partners to the 2023 Accelerate User Conference in Nashville, Tennessee, this May! It’s an unequaled opportunity to share and gain insights side-by-side with the exceptional VelocityEHS community, including EHS & ESG leaders from the most admired companies in the world. Don’t miss this chance to take your EHS and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) performance to the next level.

This year’s theme centers on Innovation and ActiveEHS® — the proprietary VelocityEHS methodology which combines deep domain expertise with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning.

Understanding that effective ESG management starts with effective EHS management, the Accelerate User Conference is designed to help you and your business navigate your journey from EHS management to ESG maturity. Come discover all the ways VelocityEHS can help you accomplish key ESG tasks like materiality assessments, green chemistry, tracking of all three scopes of greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs), reporting key metrics, and more!

During this three-day event, you’ll also get an insider’s view from VelocityEHS experts on the enhancements in software technology that our research scientists are developing for future applications, as well as practical solutions that you can use today to achieve operational excellence, maintain regulatory compliance and pursue ESG maturity.

But that’s not all!

You’ll also have onsite access to VelocityEHS partners and exposure to a wide-range of industry best practices in conference sessions and throughout the exposition hall. Better still, you’ll hear real-world examples from customers (like you!) about the ways they have used VelocityEHS solutions to overcome tough business challenges. 

And if that’s not enough…

You’ll also:

  • see AI at work during hands-on experiences on the expo floor
  • earn continuing education unit credits (CEUs)
  • hear from The Rolling Stones pianist Chuck Leavell about his commitment to music and his passion and work in forest conservation
  • have an opportunity to schedule your VelocityEHS Accelerate platform activation
  • network and connect with other EHS professionals like you
  • enjoy music and have fun!

Network with hundreds of VelocityEHS users to learn & grow.


Agenda subject to change.

Day 1: Tuesday, May 16

2:00 PM – 8:00 PM Central

Registration Open | Presidential Lobby

We’ll be excited to greet you when you arrive and ensure that you have everything you need for a successful conference. So check-in, get settled, and let the festivities begin.

6:00 PM – 8:00 PM Central

Welcome Remarks and Reception | Partner Pavilion Expo Hall

What better way to start the end of the day than to mingle and network with your friends and colleagues, the VelocityEHS team and partners over heavy hors d’oeuvres and drinks in the exposition area.

Day 2: Wednesday, May 17

7:00 AM – 8:00 AM Central

Breakfast with Partners | Partner Pavilion Exhibit Hall

Start the conference right by joining your fellow attendees and a cadre of VelocityEHS Partners for breakfast, networking, and the exciting kickoff of our Partner Expo.

8:00 AM – 8:20 AM Central

Welcome Address | Presidential Ballroom D

Speaker: Matt Airhart, President, VelocityEHS

In 1995, Matt Airhart started his career as a plant chemist in the chemicals industry where he was quickly pulled into quality management, EHS, and ISO 9001 certification. Today, as President of VelocityEHS, Matt is still passionate about making workplaces safer and more sustainable by bringing solutions to life that he could only dream about in the mid-90s. Welcoming you to this year’s Accelerate Conference is both an honor for Matt and a much-needed homecoming.

8:20 AM – 8:30 AM Central

Accelerating into the Future

Speaker: Roger Bottum, Senior Vice President of Product, VelocityEHS

As an EHS & ESG professional, you operate in a rapidly evolving environment. In this thought-provoking session, Roger Bottum will explore how VelocityEHS is combining deep-domain expertise with machine learning and other forms of artificial intelligence (AI) to equip you with the capabilities necessary to transcend your business challenges. You will leave this session empowered to seize the opportunities of a volatile marketplace through innovation. You’ll also gain confidence in the continuous improvement cycle of prediction, intervention, and outcomes called ActiveEHS® to deliver Operational Excellence & ESG to scale on-demand.

8:30 AM – 9:20 AM Central

Changing the Game with ActiveEHS®

Speaker: Dr. Julia Penfield, Associate Vice President of Machine Learning, VelocityEHS

Now that the stage has been properly set for ActiveEHS, a demonstration is in order. Join VelocityEHS’ AVP of Machine Learning, Dr. Julia Penfield, for a session of fun and magic that proves you have every reason to be optimistic about the present and future of EHS & ESG.

9:20 AM – 10:15 AM Central

Product Roadmap with Accelerate Activations

Speaker: Jason Weiss, Chief Technology Officer, VelocityEHS
Speaker: Andrew Holmes, Associate Vice President of Product, VelocityEHS
Speaker: Ken Lupo, Associate Vice President of Software Development, VelocityEHS

“Making workplaces safer and more sustainable” is more than a mission statement at VelocityEHS, it is a promise from our Product and Software Development Teams to yours. One of the best places to see it in action is in our Product Roadmap. This session will answer the questions: How does market research inform the roadmap? What are some recent releases and upcoming roadmap highlights? What’s so special about the Accelerate Platform architecture? And finally, what’s the activation schedule for the platform?

It’s time to get excited about the VelocityEHS Product Roadmap, and after this session, you’ll know why.

10:15 AM – 10:30 AM Central

Morning Break

Take a moment to let it all soak in, then come back refreshed to hear about seven solutions that can help you do EHS & ESG right.

10:45 AM – 11:30 AM Central

VelocityEHS Today | An Overview of VelocityEHS Solutions

Speakers: VelocityEHS Solutions Executives: Blake McGowan, CPE | Dave Risi, CIH, CSP | Julian Moffat | Marc Juaire

Join Four VelocityEHS All-Stars as they provide a guided tour of the VelocityEHS Accelerate Platform Solutions, unlocking the features and benefits that matter most to you on your EHS and Sustainability journey.

11:30 AM – 1:00 PM Central

Lunch + Partner Expo + Accelerate Activation Meetings

The morning’s learning and connecting is sure to work up an appetite. Break bread and compare notes with your fellow attendees. Discover new perspectives at the Partner Expo and engage with the VelocityEHS team to discuss your activation on the Accelerate Platform.

1:00 PM – 2:00 PM Central

Partner Spotlights | 3 Partners, 3 Topics

Tackling ESG and Risk takes a village. Luckily, the VelocityEHS ecosystem includes a community of Partners with the talent, experience, insight, and creativity to help achieve your goals on a timetable that respects your business needs. During this time frame, three of our Partners will each present a 15-minute mini-session on a chosen topic.

2:00 PM – 2:15 PM Central

Afternoon Break

Rehydrate, check your email, grab a snack – then make certain you’re back in your seat for the next session – because it is sure to be standing room only.

2:15 PM – 3:15 PM Central

Keynote Session: Chuck Leavell | Rock ‘n Roll and the Environment

Speaker: Chuck Leavell, Rock & Roll God and Author of Growing A Better America: Smart, Strong and Sustainable

What does a Grammy Award winning musician famous for his time in the Allman Brothers Band and four decades touring with The Rolling Stones know about sustainability? A whole heck of a lot as it turns out.

Don’t miss this 60-minute keynote session with one of the greatest pianists in rock ‘n roll, Chuck Leavell. He’ll entertain with stories from his 50-year career playing with artists like Eric Clapton, John Mayer, The Black Crowes, The Indigo Girls, Blues Traveler, Train, and many, many more. He will also inspire with insights from his work on forestry, environmental issues, and climate change. Named an Honorary Ranger by the US Forest Service, Chuck was featured in the 2020 documentary Chuck Leavell: The Tree Man. He is the co-founder of the Mother Nature Network, now known as and author of four books on sustainability and forestry.

Come sit at the cool kids’ table. Sustainability rocks, and Chuck’s going to prove it!

3:15 PM – 5:00 PM Central

Networking + Partner Expo + Accelerate Activation Meetings

Keep the good feeling going with a little extra time and space to talk shop with new friends, follow up with one of our Partners, or dig in on the Accelerate Platform with the VelocityEHS Team.

5:00 PM – 10:00 PM Central

Group “Audit” of the Wildhorse Saloon

The Wildhorse Saloon in downtown Nashville opened in 1994 with Reba McEntire famously herding a stampede of cattle past its front doors. At 66,000 square feet, it boasts the largest dance floor and restaurant in Tennessee. So, we’ll need all boots on ground to help us explore and enjoy the food, drink, music, and dancing available at this iconic venue!

Of course, we recommend that you bring the proper PPE: cowboy boots, belts, buckles, and your best cowboy hat. Or you can simply come as you are…either way, it promises to be an unforgettable night out on the town with lots of music and laughter. Be there or be square.

Day 3: Thursday, May 18

7:00 AM – 9:00 AM Central

Breakfast | Partner Pavilion Expo Hall

There’s no let up at the Accelerate Conference. Day 3 is an action packed, so make sure you are fueled and caffeinated

8:00 AM – 8:15 AM Central

Closing Remarks | Partner Pavilion Exhibit Hall

Speaker: John Damgaard, CEO, VelocityEHS

Join John for a brief but fun recap of conference highlights and some parting thoughts as you head into your final presentations.

Concurrent Sessions | Locations TBD

9:00 AM – 10:00 AM Central

Topic: CEU Course | Ergonomics & Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I): It’s One in the Same
Presenter: Blake McGowan, CPE, Solutions Executive, VelocityEHS

As investor demand for environmental, social and governance (ESG) information rises, organizations expect business leaders to develop a strategic approach to corporate sustainability and integrate ESG risk management into their financial and operational models. This includes improving diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) in the workplace.  

So, how does ergonomics relate to DE&I? Well, ergonomics is defined as “designing the workplace to match human performance capabilities for the general working population.” A diverse, equitable, and inclusive (DE&I) workplace makes all workers feel a sense of belonging and that they have the support of organization leaders. The connection between ergonomics and DEI is this: Ergonomics designs for both males and females; people of all generations, shapes and sizes, and people of different races, ethnicities, and cultures. As ergonomics professionals, we have failed to educate business leaders on this connection. Until now.  

During this session, participants will learn:  the connection between ergonomics and DE&I how ergonomics can accommodate all genders, ages, fitness levels, capabilities, generations, races, ethnicities, cultures, among others in the workplace will be discussed. 

Topic: Breaking Down the SEC’s Proposed ESG Disclosure Rule
Presenter: Julian Moffatt, Principal Solutions Strategist, ESG, VelocityEHS

The SEC has proposed mandatory climate-related disclosure requirements for all public companies; from disclosing the material impact climate risk will have on the business to publicly setting climate-related targets, businesses are seeking solutions to help navigate the new requirements.

In this presentation, Julian Moffat, Principal Solutions Strategist for ESG at VelocityEHS will provide an in-depth look at the SEC disclosure requirements and share how organizations of all sizes and maturity levels can start or adapt your ESG programs to align with the SEC disclosure requirements. Julian will also dive into the role of carbon management software and how solutions like the ESG Solution from VelocityEHS can help your business report and disclose your carbon-related activities with ease.

Topic: Machine Learning: What Is It and Why I Need It?
Presenter: Dr. Julia Penfield, Associate Vice President of Machine Learning, VelocityEHS

Topic: Executive Roundtable| Managing a Global EHS Program: Challenges, Risks, and Opportunities
Presenter:Kent Hatcher, CPE, Senior Global Executive, VelocityEHS

10:15 AM – 11:15 AM Central

CEU Course | Building the Foundation: How Mastering the EHS Essentials Helps You Ensure Compliance and Pursue ESG Maturity
Presenter: Marc Juaire, Solutions Executive, Safety, VelocityEHS

An EHS manager’s job is never done. You have many safety and environmental compliance obligations to track related to widely applicable regulations. These challenges compound during times of fast regulatory change and expanding responsibilities.

To move beyond compliance, you must develop programs and management systems that establish leading indicators and embed EHS into existing programs such as operational excellence. You need a good handle on operational risk, including completion of risk assessments, and prioritization and control of risks, and to manage recurring tasks inspections, audits, emergency planning and response, management of meetings, EHS training, and tracking and follow-up on corrective actions.

This presentation will give you guidance to master essential EHS management so you can move toward a more proactive, best practice-centered approach. Marc Juaire, Solution Executive for Safety and Operational Risk with VelocityEHS, will cover some foundational elements of EHS management, drawing upon his many years of experience as a Corporate Director of EHS and Process Safety Manager. Along the way, he’ll discuss the benefits of following international safety standards such as ISO 45001, ISO 14001, and ISO 31000. You’ll also learn how the solutions in our VelocityEHS Accelerate® Platform can help.

Topic: Sponsored Session
Presenter: VelocityEHS Partner

Topic: Product Spotlights | 3 Customers, 3 Topics
Moderator: Greg Cresswell, AVP, Customer Success, VelocityEHS
Thousands of companies rely on VelocityEHS solutions. In this 60-minute panel presentation, you’ll hear from three of them in a series of engaging 15-minute flash sessions.

Topic: Executive Roundtable | Best Practices for Utilizing EHS Software
Presenter: Blake McGowan, CPE, Solution Executive, VelocityEHS

11:30 AM – 12:30 PM Central

Topic: CEU Course | Effectively Completing and Utilizing Physical Demands Analyses
Presenter: Rick Barker, CPE, CSP, Principal Solutions Strategist, VelocityEHS

Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), conditions relating to overexertion and repetitive actions, are the single largest cause of workplace injuries. Effectively addressing MSDs requires a multi-pronged approach. Physical Demands Analysis (PDA) is a foundational tool in controlling the risk and costs of MSDs. The presenter will discuss:

  • • 4 primary ways that PDAs are used to address workplace MSDs
  • • Common challenges associated with PDAs
  • • Tips for completing PDAs more efficiently and accurately

The session is geared towards those with previous experience completing or using the results of PDAs, while those new to the topic will learn the key concepts associated with PDAs.

Topic: CEU Course | Bowtie Analysis Tools: How Successful Companies Manage Risk
Presenter: Marc Juaire, Solution Executive, VelocityEHS

Bowtie analysis alone does not reduce operational risk, but it offers an effective way to synthesize information about risk pathways and related preventative and mitigative controls into one easily understood diagram. They aid in efficiency, provide focus for risk managers, and, when done right, they have the power to prepare workers to take action to prevent incidents and their consequences.

In this session, we’ll examine a real-world incident within a risk bowtie, illustrating how the tool helps to identify, define and prioritize controls – for the most effective operational management process across your organization.

Attendees will learn how risk bowties:

  • • Help identify critical controls and implement management systems to ensure control effectiveness
  • • Help train employees about workplace risks
  • • Contribute to incident prevention and improve engagement with safety programs
  • • Pull together information from many types of risk assessments
  • • Enable employees and facility management personnel to visualize and manage risk controls
  • • Help organizations manage risks across multiple facilities
  • • Contribute to a more holistic framework for risk management that easily evolves with your processes and strategies

Topic: Contractor Management & Permit to Work
Presenter: TBA

Topic: Executive Roundtable | Emerging Trends in EHS: What’s Your Concerns?
Presenter: Blake McGowan, CPE, Solution Executive, VelocityEHS

12:30 PM Central – Depart

All good things must come to an end…just not in this case. As you leave Music City and the Accelerate Conference, you will be at the beginning of your next journey with a passion that has been renewed by fellowship, affirmed by evidence, and set aflame by purpose.


Early-Bird | January 11 to Feb 11 | $895/ticket

Regular | February 12 to April 22 | $1095/ticket

Last Minute | April 23 to May 15 | $1295/ticket

Virtual Only | Anytime | $495/ticket

(Please Note: The VelocityEHS hotel block + special rate expires on 4/22!)

An individual registration ticket includes:

  • All meals and beverages for the entire three-day conference
  • Welcome reception
  • 20+ conference sessions
  • Access to the virtual platform
  • Hands-on experiences using AI + machine learning
  • Networking opportunities with your EHS peers
  • After-hours party + transportation
  • An incredible keynote session featuring Grammy Award winning musician Chuck Leavell
  • much more!
Register Now

Keynote | Chuck Leavell

Musician & Environmentalist

About the Musician

Chuck Leavell has been pleasing the ears of music fans for more than 40 years. His piano and keyboard work have been heard on the works of Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones, George Harrison, The Allman Brothers Band, The Black Crowes, Aretha Franklin, Chuck Berry, Train, John Mayer… and many other prominent artists.

In fact, you can hear stories from some of these musicians (and over 80 more!) about his talent, career, and environmental work in the cinematic documentary Chuck Leavell: The Treeman which began streaming in December 2020.

Chuck got the opportunity to see Ray Charles in concert when he was 13 years old. That’s when he decided what he wanted to do when he grew up. Two years later, he appeared at the legendary studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, where he played on several records, including Freddie North’s Soul Classic, “Don’t Take Her, She’s All I’ve Got.”




About the Environmentalist

Also, a respected author, he has authored four books. His most recent, “Growing A Better America: Smart, Strong and Sustainable” offers sustainable methods to help manage America’s growth pains in transportation, energy, and housing. He also co-founded The Mother Nature Network (now The site is now the world’s première website for environmental news, information and education.

In addition, he is a renowned environmentalist and tree farmer! He and his wife Rose Lane were given the ultimate honor for their outstanding stewardship of their own forest, Charlane Plantation, by being named National Outstanding Tree Farmers of the Year in 1999.

Leavell sits on several environmental boards, including The American Forest Foundation, the U.S. Endowment for Forests and Communities, The Georgia Land Conservation Council and others. His passion for forestry and the environment have elevated him to one of the most respected leaders in the field.

Meet the Speakers

Matt Airhart

Matt Airhart

President, VelocityEHS

Matt Airhart leads the teams that are responsible for the full customer journey, including marketing, sales, and operations across all VelocityEHS companies. Matt has been with VelocityEHS for over fourteen years. Matt holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and Environmental Studies from Ohio Wesleyan University.

Rick Barker

Rick Barker, CPE, CSP

Principal Solutions Strategist, VelocityEHS

Rick Barker facilitates skill and knowledge-building activities relating to safety management systems, industrial ergonomics, human performance, and human factors. Rick holds a Master of Arts in Human Factors from the University of Dayton in Dayton, Ohio. Rick is a Certified Professional Ergonomist and Certified Safety Professional.

Roger Bottum

Roger Bottum

Senior Vice President of Product, VelocityEHS

Roger Bottum leads product strategy, product planning and market intelligence for VelocityEHS. He has decades of experience in risk management software and in enterprise SaaS software. Roger holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Economics from Colorado College and attended the Kellogg School of Business.

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Greg Cresswell

AVP, Customer Success, VelocityEHS

Greg Cresswell is a leader on the Customer Success team. He directs his team to help customers, in all enterprises and industries, maximize the value they get from VelocityEHS solutions. Greg holds a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology with a specialization in Ergonomics from the University of Waterloo. He has achieved recognition as a Certified Professional Ergonomist (CPE).

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John Damgaard

CEO, VelocityEHS

John Damgaard advises CVC Capital on private equity and growth investments across multiple industries. John served as CEO of MatrixCare, growing revenues and EBITDA nearly sixfold in seven years. He served as VP & GM and SVP & COO of Mediware Information Systems. He holds an MBA with Distinction from Bradley University, and a Bachelor of Arts of Computer Science and Mathematics from the University of Northern Iowa as a Presidential Scholar. 

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Kent Hatcher, CPE

Sr. Global Enterprise Account Manager, VelocityEHS

Kent Hatcher partners with companies to develop, manage, and sustain global EHS programs using software solutions. Kent holds a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from the University of Waterloo and a Master of Science in Ergonomics from Loughborough University. He is a Certified Professional Ergonomist.

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Andrew Holmes

AVP, Product Management, VelocityEHS

Andrew Holmes is a product leader that is passionate about turning customer and user problems into solutions. Andrew has been with VelocityEHS for over twelve years, working in a variety of roles in Customer Experience and Product. In his current role, Andrew applies his experience and passion for problem solving to make workplaces safer and more sustainable. Andrew holds a Bachelor of Science in Computing and Information Sciences from the University of Guelph. 

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Marc Juaire

Solutions Executive, VelocityEHS

Marc Juaire combines his EHS, Operational Risk, and ESG experience to define vision and strategy to deliver best-in-class solutions and making workplaces safer and more sustainable. He has twenty-eight years of experience as an EHS and ESG professional, providing strategic direction and leadership in EHS auditing, compliance and training.


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Ken Lupo

AVP, Software Development, VelocityEHS

Ken Lupo leads multiple teams of software developers and engineers focused on developing software solutions that help organizations save lives, limbs, and the environment. Ken has over twenty-five years of experience in software development and technology. Ken holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Walsh College University in Troy, Michigan, and is a certified Project Management Professional.

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Blake McGowan, CPE

Solutions Executive, VelocityEHS

Blake McGowan joined VelocityEHS in 1999. Blake holds a Certificate in Leading Sustainable Corporations from the University of Oxford, a Master of Science in Human Neuromechanics, and a Bachelor of Science in Biomechanics & Neurophysiology from the University of Waterloo in Canada. He has achieved recognition as a Certified Professional Ergonomist.

Julian Moffet

Julian Moffatt

Principal Solutions Strategist of ESG, VelocityEHS

Julian Moffatt contributes his expertise in ESG product creation for VelocityEHS. He also oversees the VelocityEHS ESG team. Julian studied Environmental Resource Studies at the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ontario.

Julia Penfield Profile

Julia Penfield, Ph.D.

Associate Vice President of Machine Learning and Data Sciences, VelocityEHS

Dr. Julia Penfield leads Research in the R&D department of VelocityEHS, where she has worked on a range of machine learning and data science projects. Julia received her Ph.D. in the application of machine learning in electrical engineering from the University of British Columbia in Canada.


Dave Risi

Dave Risi, CIH, CSP

Principal Solutions Strategist of IH, VelocityEHS

Dave Risi is a board-certified industrial hygienist and safety professional, with over 30 years of EHS experience. Dave has a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Safety & Health from Ferris State University and a Master of Science in Industrial Hygiene from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Plan Your Trip

Hotel Information

Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center
2800 Opryland Drive
Nashville, TN, 37214

VelocityEHS has discounted room rates until April 21. Book now and save!


Getting There

From the Nashville International Airport (9.1 miles)



1. What does my registration include?

An individual registration ticket gives you access to the entire three-day event, including:

  • All meals and beverages
  • Welcome Reception
  • Conference sessions
  • Continuing educations unit courses
  • Access to the virtual platform
  • After-Hours party + transportation
  • An incredible keynote session featuring Grammy Award winning artist Chuck Leavell

2. Are there group rates available?

Yes, there is. A reduced rate of $795 will be provided to groups of 3 or more.

3. What's the dress code?

Dress in the attire that makes you feel at your best. Business casual is recommended.

4. What's the cancellation policy?

For a full refund, you can cancel your event registration within one week (7 days) of the conference. Cancellations must be made in writing and email to [email protected] For hotel cancellations, contact the reservation desk.

5. Is there a hotel block?

Yes. VelocityEHS has secured a room block and a reduced rate until April 21. So, make your reservation today!

I have a question, who do I ask?

Direct your question to [email protected] A VelocityEHS events team member will respond shortly.

See You in Nashville!

Register Now