Looking out from an empty stage !!

Well, we did it !!  The 39th Annual Ohio HR Conference – HR Rocks !! – has been performed.  It was exhilarating and exhausting.  There was an incredible flow of positive energy around every corner and many friends from the world of Social Media were pivotal to its success.

The attendees were engaged, upbeat and experienced a State Conference that tried to loosen the edges of conference traditions.  For instance, the OHRC Committee had a lounge which was decorated with a beaded curtain that lead into a vast room of lava lamps, comfortable furniture and, of course, rock music !!  The halls were filled with classic rock flowing all around people as they moved from session to session.  The Mosh Pit (exhibit hall) was always full and the resource partners in their decorated booths caught the vibe of engaging the group instead of being seen as just selling their wares.

The Kalahari staff were incredible and responded at each and every question and need.  This was during a week where the CEO of Kalahari was coming in for the wedding of one of his daughters.  We met him and he felt that the Ohio HR Conference and his amazing resort fit well together !!

So, I’d like to wrap the incredible week with some thank you’s.

First of all – thank you to the attendees !!  You chose to come out and get away from your desks to try something new and I hope it paid off in providing new ways for you to ROCK HR at your workplace !!

Secondly – to my Committee !!  If I hear one more piece about HR practitioners who don’t care or represent our profession, I will personally introduce you to each member of my Committee who will show you true business leadership with a sense of joy, drive and intent !!  They put on an incredible concert !!!

Third – to HR friends from Social Media who traveled from far and wide to attend (spy) and bring incredible energy, insight and support.  It was so cool to hang out with Tammy Colson and Frank Zupan at our incredible Wine Tasting and to mill around with John Jorgensen, Dave Ryan, Brad Galin, Joan Ginsberg and Bryan Wempen throughout the week was amazing because I could always find them and hear words of encouragement.

Fourth – to Social Media leaders who brought their talent and presented.  Thanks to Mark Stelzner, Benjamin McCall, Paul Hebert, Jennifer McClure, Bill Boorman, Mike VanDervort, Simon T. Bailey, China Gorman, William Tincup, Elizabeth Borton and Stephanie Thomas.  Now, don’t get me wrong – I thought ALL of our speakers rocked it !!  What this group did was put a real face on Social Media and HR.  They came engaged, stayed through the conference and made it amazing.

Fifth – For William and Bryan to promote Drive Thru HR to practitioners and for them to feature one of my committee, Clay Morris, during the week.  They continue to bring the HR profession to life !!

Finally – You have to end with a story . . .

A few years ago we agreed as a Committee to stop giving out plaques or crystal desk weights for service when you end your term as Chair.  We decided to be more personal and ask what people would like (novel idea) or get something that fit them, their personality, etc.  Well, my Committee outdid themselves this year.  Here is what I received . . . a signed copy of U2’s The Joshua Tree album (my fave group !!) and a signed copy of an HR Rocks album that our Marketing guru, Mike Medoro, created with signatures from each committee member and each speaker.  When I received them, I broke down and cried.

I am humbled to have been the Chair of this event.  I am floored it even happened.  And even more than that, I am proud to see that our profession now knows that HR ROCKS !!!!!

And now to help Fred plan 2012 – it’s going to be amazing !!!!



7 thoughts on “Looking out from an empty stage !!”

  1. Steve – you and your committee truly outdid yourselves this year. The chosen theme flowed seamlessly throughout the conference, and your opening was truly one for the books (or the youtube stations – #ahem http://www.youtube.com/user/tammycolson#p/a/u/0/j0Czr90a4dM)

    Meeting your committee for the wine tasting – I was impressed with their passion, professionalism, and commitment to truly having some fun at OHSHRM. I felt welcomed – and each person I interacted with was so incredibly helpful.

    Thank you for all you do for the Ohio Conference. Your passion is contagious. Keep passing it on.


  2. Steve and Ohio State HR Committee: The conference vibe and riff was original, epic and continually fun.

    There was rock-n-roll and music everywhere I mean every detail was covered, Bravo! Bravo! I was able to sit-in with some of the “in-conference” committee meetings and heard about some the not-so perfect things (behind the curtain) happening of which decisions had to be made. The team talked and decisions were made and the team always was positive, funny and thinking about their customers (HR professionals) who committed their time and resources to attend.

    Again, you have a very special (in a good way) group of folks in Ohio. I loved my time with you all.

  3. I continue to be jealous that my home state can’t seem to create the type of vibe, energy, passion and fun that seems so effortless when coming from you and Ohio. I was particularly impressed with the way you encouraged the vendors and presenters to follow your theme.

    I’ll miss you so much when I move to Florida.

  4. Steve, the conference was awesome! I could not have had a better experience. I learned a lot of valuable information and can’t wait to share it within my company and fellow GCHRA members.

    Congrats to you and your committee!

  5. Wouldn’t have missed it for the world!! I truly feel I was a part of something history-making…thank you to Steve, committee, and EVERYONE who had a part in making it ROCK!!!

  6. This year truly ROCKED! There was so much energy around the conference from the dynamic speakers to the entertainment. The social events were well planned and communicated so that all could network and get to know each other. This was the first year of attendance for our HR Admin (who was skeptical at first) and she truly enjoyed the conference, speakers and events. During the opening one of the ladies at our table said ‘Wow, I’d hate to have to be the chair-person who follows this year’s event.’ So Fred, we’re all rooting for your homerun and look forward to an exciting event next year too!

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