WorldatWorks Alliance for Work-Life Progress Announces 2012 Work-Life Rising Star Honorees

April 18, 2012 — Scottsdale, Ariz. — WorldatWork’s Alliance for Work-Life Progress (AWLP), an entity that defines and recognizes innovation, best practices and work-life thought leadership, honored the recipients of this year’s AWLP Work-Life Rising Star Recognition Award in a gala event held April 17 in Scottsdale, Ariz. Now in its sixth year, the Work-Life Rising Star Award recognizes stellar individuals who exhibit a combination of professional and personal attributes that demonstrate emerging leadership and growing contributions to the work-life community.

“Once selected, our growing cadre of Work-Life Rising Stars is expected to take on responsibility for contributing in demonstrable ways to the field. We provide them opportunities to engage with a variety of luminaries and encourage them to “pay it forward” by identifying and mentoring the best of work-life talent coming behind them,” said Kathie Lingle, executive director of AWLP. “This is a long-term effort to identify and nurture the next generation of work-life leaders, who will continue to find new ways to ensure that every workplace becomes a great place to work.”

This year, three professionals have been selected to join AWLP’s community
of Work-Life Rising Stars:

Kristen Piersol-Stockton—Associate Director for Workplace Solutions, KPMG LLP
Stockton is responsible for managing work-life, diversity and inclusion, organizational effectiveness and corporate social responsibility for 4,000 employees and partners in KPMG’s Atlantic region. She develops strategies that position KPMG as a great place to work and build a career, including health and wellness, mentoring, diversity and inclusion, work-life effectiveness and corporate social responsibility. She is a steering committee member of the Greater Washington Work-Life network.

Debra Schafer — Founder and CEO, Education Navigation (
Schafer is a work/life practitioner, speaker, writer, and education advocate with more than 20 years of corporate experience in director-level positions in human resources and marketing communications. She founded Education Navigation, Inc. in 2010 to help organizations support working parents who have children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, ADD/ADHD, learning disabilities, and other “hidden differences. She describes the years that begin after child care, continuing from kindergarten through high school graduation and into college transition, as a period where the work/life balance demands facing employees with children who are struggling in school as years where “chronic and crisis issues” impact all areas of this fast-growing segment of the workforce. The need to establish awareness, programming, and targeted supports for these 12+ years of an employee’s “life cycle” is her mission. She has spent the past decade in special education providing consulting, advocacy, and coaching to parents navigating the complexities of their children’s diagnoses and the educational arena.

Debbie Edwards Veihdeffer — Director, Work-Life Integration, Northrop Grumman
As director of work-life integration for Northrop Grumman’s Electronic Systems sector, Veihdeffer has established a comprehensive set of work-life integration programs that have benefited thousands of employees. She has been instrumental in the design and implementation of such well-received programs as flexible work arrangements; emergency back-up care for child and elder care; educational planning and counseling for parents of college students; a homeowner’s discount program; wellness programs to improve employee health and well-being; and disabilities resources that provide mentoring and support to employees with disabilities and family members and advocated for the construction of mother’s nursing rooms. She was instrumental in the launch and continued support of Employee Resource Groups for women, female engineers, employees with disabilities, parents and newly-hired employees. In 2010, Veihdeffer was honored with the prestigious Work-Life Balance Award from the Society of Women Engineers.

This year’s Work-Life Rising Stars will be joining a growing cadre of peers who are evolving into the next generation of work-life leadership. They will have the opportunity to enhance their careers in work-life through exposure to leaders in total rewards strategy as well as a variety of activities for professional development. They will also be involved in the selection and mentoring of subsequent years’ Rising Stars.

To learn more about how to nominate someone for next year’s Work-Life Rising Star Recognition Award, visit

About WorldatWork’s Alliance for Work-Life Progress®WorldatWork’s Alliance for Work-Life Progress advances work-life as part of an integrated total rewards strategy. This alliance defines and acknowledges best practices and innovation, facilitates dialogue, and elevates work-life thought leadership. Each year, the alliance leads a national awareness initiative celebrating October as National Work and Family Month. Recognizing that work-life encompasses a wide array of programs, the WorldatWork Society of Certified Professionals established the Work-Life Certified Professional (WLCP®) designation in 2007.

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