Fernando Sanchez-Arias

Director, Learning Organization The Home Depot

A highly accountable people, culture, and change executive with a solid business mindset and bias for action, Fernando combines a rigorous doctoral and executive Ivy-League education from Wharton School and the Graduate School of Education of the University of Pennsylvania with hands-on practice and experience building business alliances and developing leaders in Fortune 100 companies, oil & gas manufacturing enterprises, consulting firms, chambers of commerce, professional associations, and non-profits organizations from more than 70 countries.

Fernando has shared his views on leadership, learning, cultural intelligence, diversity, change, and innovation in scientific, academic and business congresses organized by prestigious entities such as the ICC (International Chamber of Commerce), WCF (World Chambers Federation), JCI (Junior Chamber International), UNESCO, UNICEF, World Bank, Organization of American States (OAS), ATD (Association of Talent Development, formerly known as ASTD), FIDAGH (Inter-American Federation of Human Talent Management), WFPMA (World Federation of Personnel Management Associations), IFTDO (International Federation of Training and Development Organizations), HR Houston, ATD Houston, and CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development of the United Kingdom).

A business leader who balances his work as an executive with his engaging keynote speeches, transforming coaching sessions, and practical articles, Fernando is highly competent linking people with bottom-line results as a member of boards of directors and executive leadership teams. A values-based servant leader, certified coach, versatile problem and conflict solver, critical and strategic thinker, Fernando is an innovator with high self-initiative, able to communicate and engage with people vertically and horizontally across organizational and social levels with a customer and citizen centric approach.

He was the 59th World President of Junior Chamber International (JCI) in 2004, chairing the JCI World Congress, in Fukuoka, Japan, as well as JCI Executive Vice-President assigned to Europe in 2001, chairing the JCI European Conference of Young Leaders, Entrepreneurs, and Active Citizens, in Tampere, Finland. He served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Association for Talent Development - ATD (formerly ASTD and Vice-President of the US-Mexico Chamber of Commerce in Houston. He was the Chief People Officer of The Home Depot's Global Custom Commerce and was recently transferred to the headquarter of the multibillion retailer in Atlanta to lead a project developing people leaders for the overall enterprise, serving as a director reporting to The Home Depot’s Learning Organization.

Fernando is the author of the personal and professional leadership book “Learning to be a Dolphin in a Sea of Sharks” and has been a guest contributor and columnist for digital and print newspapers and business magazines in different countries, such as “Executive Excellence”, “T+D Magazine”, “T&D Brazil”, “El Universal”, “Economia Hoy”, “Calidad y Productividad”, and “Alliance Magazine”, among others. Fernando has lived and worked in Latin America, Asia, Europe, and the United States. He runs, practices Yoga, Tai-Chi, and Aikido. Fernando is fluent in English, Spanish, and Portuguese.

Check out the incredible speaker line-up to see who will be joining Fernando.

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