Monday, September 21, 2015

ILSHRM in the Books

This year was a bifurcation point for Illinois SHRM. We moved the conference from Oak Brook to Tinley Park.  The reason for the move was two-fold.  The move was supposed to help us reduce the cost of putting on the event, and the board was hopeful that it would result in an increase in attendance.  ILSHRM also made a planned effort to go nearly paperless, opting for all information to be disseminated via our Crowd Compass on line app.

Janine Driver showing Hank Jackson the "power" handshake.
The unofficial total for the event was 553 paid attendees and a guestimate of another 150 folks, including speakers, exhibitors and volunteers. All told we had about 700 folks in the house for the two day event.  Another change was going from three to two keynote speakers.  There is no doubt that both of our keynoters knocked the socks off of everyone.  Janine Driver was our opening speaker, and she was simply amazing.  She even had SHRM CEO Hank Jackson (who was in attendance at ILSHRM) participating in her presentation.

Our closing keynote speaker Bill Rancic is a hometown boy and talked of growing up “right down the street” in Orland Park.  Bill shared some great insight into his success and how he deals with and manages people, a great message for all of the HR folks in attendance. At the close of his presentation he was doing a little Q. & A. with the audience.  When asked about his television mentor Donald Trump, Bill would only say that he liked Mr. Trump and that he was a good man.

From the conversations I had and that were overheard all of our breakout sessions got high marks.  This blogger’s opinion is unscientific, but I am sure will be borne out by the evaluations, which were completed on our conference app.  I can honestly say that all of the sessions I attended were well executed.
We also had a couple social events, both Sunday evening and Monday evening.  While both events were well done, I would have like to have seen more attendees at each.  In fact I would have like to have seen all of the attendees at both events, but that is probably not going to happen.  On Monday we had the pleasure of listening to a folk/rock grunge/blue-grass group called The Way Down Wanders

As was mentioned earlier, we did have a sort-of surprise visit from SHRM CEO Hank Jackson. Hank joined us on Monday morning and spoke to the crowd sharing the direction of the organization and the current hot topics.  ILSHRM is fortunate to have had Hank join us as he only has plans to attend two state conferences this year.

There also were some things we could do better.  This is my list of things I will be recommending to the board.
  • ·         Ensure that the Wi-Fi service meets our needs
  • ·         Speed up the Food service
  • ·         More seating for lunch
  • ·         Better control of room temperatures

I believe that the collective reviews will show that the conference was successful.  Whether or not the location was an improvement remains to be seen.  We will see what our attendees have to say. And once those results are in we will do our best to share that information.

To those who attended and participated in our 2015 ILSHRM Conference, a BIG THANK YOU.  To those who missed the event, we will soon have a date for you to add to your calendar, so check our website for that information.

Dave Ryan ISC SHRM Director Elect

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Look Whose Coming to #ILSHRM15

Tomorrow is the pre-conference day for Illinois SHRM 2015 style.  This year we are in a new location, with a new State Director and we are trying something different things with our opening keynote speaker. So we have thrown caution to wind and are going for it, to see how this works out.
Cathy Plouzek (Past state director) with Hank Jackson
And we have one other thing up our sleeve.  We have a special guest joining us on Sunday and Monday.  The Big Guy, Mr. Hank Jackson, in the flesh.  I do not know what he has in store with his visit, but I am sure it will be enlightening and exciting, just having him join us Sunday night and Monday morning. On Monday he is going to speak to all of the attendees and share what he has for us.  You can see that Hank's connections to ILSHRM Leadership is strong, as the paparazzi has done his homework well, in the pictures to the left.  He always seems to be a good sport about pictures. Introduce yourself to him, he is actually a very friendly fellow! 
Cathy Plouzek (Past State Director, Hank Jackson
and Connie Wolgemuth (Current State Director)

Otherwise our conference planners Sabrina Baker and Julie Rischmiller have done an outstanding job of putting together a line up of sessions which will provide you information on most everything that is currently going on in the field of Human Resources. It would be at this point to where it would be appropriate to thanks them for their 12 months of work in putting this event together.

In our break out sessions, we have a number of returning favorite speakers, ones that are a hit year after year like Mike Vandervort, Broc Edwards, Lisa Callaway,  and Dwane Lay.  We also are bringing in some new blood like Heather Kinzie, Mary Faulkner and local Chicago Favorite Bill Rancic. 

On Monday evening, we are going to give everyone time to go grab some dinner and then get back to the conference venue around 6:30 to listen to The Way Down Wanders perform.

The event should be epic.  You can follow the twitter activity with the hashtag #ILSHRM15 and you can see more on our Facebook Page as well.

And if your are attending please DOWNLOAD THE ILSHRM App as this will be the guide to the event.
See you soon!

- Dave Ryan Director Elect ISC SHRM

Monday, March 30, 2015


The theme of the 2015 ILSHRM Conference is Level Up Your HR Game. Our intention is to meet practitioners where they are while encouraging them to "level up".  We want to stretch the imagination, encourage courage and help you be better where you are while strategically planting seeds for the future.

We believe that one of the ways HR practitioners can Level Up Their HR Game is by learning from business leaders outside of the HR space.  Sure, we will have tons of HR and recruiting pros sharing their knowledge in amazing concurrent and mega sessions, but on the big stage, we wanted business leaders outside of HR to help give us new perspective.

To that end, I am very excited to announce that the ILSHRM15 crowd will be hearing from Chicago native, Bill Rancic.  Bill Rancic burst onto the national scene when he was hired by Donald Trump as the winner of the first season of NBC’s breakthrough program “The Apprentice”.

Currently, Bill is speaking to businesses and organizations around the world on motivational and business topics, developing real estate in Chicago, and producing and appearing in several television programs.

A published author of a New York Times best-selling book, Bill wrote You're Hired: How To Succeed In Business And Life. This book chronicles Bill's successful life, experience and proven advice. He continued to make a name for himself as an author by writing Beyond the Lemonade Stand to help educate and motivate young people worldwide about the value of money and how to leverage skills, talents and abilities at an early age.  All proceeds from the sale of this book have gone to charity. Bill has also co-authored I Do…Now What with his wife Giuliana Rancic where they share secrets to everlasting love.

Bill's keynote session will consist of 45 minutes of speaking followed by 15 minutes of Q&A.  Bill's books will be available in the bookstore and he will be doing a book signing at the end of his session.

We are very excited to hear and learn from Bill and his experience.  If you'd like to read more about Bill you can read his full bio on our website.

We have much more to share and will be revealing our second keynote, concurrent sessions and pre-conference workshops in the next few weeks. Stay tuned to the blog, website and mailing list for more.

To register for the conference, visit

Hope to see you in September,

Sabrina Baker & Julie Rischmiller

ILSHRM Conference Co-Chair