Focus –Align – Transform

Focus –Align – Transform

Author: Anthony Paradiso

Attending the 2018 NYC SHRM Conference on April 27th, 2018 was a great experience.  The conference concentrated on three-core elements, Focus –Align – Transform.  HR was surely at its best!  This was an event that certainly was not worth missing and definitely improved us professionally.

The day kicked off with Jennifer Brown’s morning keynote. {As a side note, I met Ms. Brown at the NYC SHRM Holiday party in December 2016 and read her bestselling book soon afterwards. Her book was fantastic and I certainly recommend reading it} Her keynote was about the power of difference, specifically how diversity and inclusion will drive next generation workplaces. Ms. Brown eloquently shared her own personal diversity and inclusion story and indicated the following: “Give voice to the voiceless”, “The two most important days in your life are the day you’re born, and the day you find out why”, “Leaders evolve in their ability to tell their stories”, and “Diversity is not always visible”.

The concurrent sessions (breakout sessions) that I attended were:

  • Use Technology to Close the Gender Gap & Improve Diversity & Inclusion with Zev Eigen. At this session, we learned that the decisions made today are done at the base level.  HR TechàBetter Workplaces.  It is a better workplace when one is humanistic, diverse, inclusive, and encompass equity.  It comes to no shock that when a company has a better workplace, they seek the rewards with more profit.
  • The other session was Making Sense of #MeToo at Work with Patti Perez. At this session, Ms. Perez discussed various subtopics, such as “harassment” vs. harassment and how sexual harassment affects the company culture, targets, and witnesses, bystanders & colleagues.  She noted that it is important for us to develop a plan to include more women in leadership and that we need to focus more on certain nuances and realistic content.

As the day progressed towards midpoint, there was a fantastic CEO Panel Discussionthat comprised of:

Matt Straz with Namely, Founder & CEO

David Walker with Triplemint, CEO & Co-Founder

William Schiemann with The Metrus Institute, CEO

Sharon Emek with Home Vintage Experts, Founder, CEO & Chair

Tevis Tower with Balanced Integration Corp., Founder & CEO

When one of the panelists referenced the words business acumen, I automatically thought of SHRM’s Body of Competency & Knowledge (BoCK).  The panel also discussed many topics but talked mostly about creating an optimal corporate culture, retaining top talent, and redefining and realigning impactful HR leadership.

The afternoon keynote was Lieutenant Colonel USMC, Robert J. Darlingwhere he addressed crisis leadership and HR decision-making and how to be your best when the worst happens. Lieutenant Colonel Darling discussed the horrific events that occurred on 9/11.  It was an attack on America.  His story is about the White House: 24 hours inside the President’s Bunker. The topic of 9/11 is hard to discuss but it was an honor to have Lieutenant Colonel Darling as the afternoon keynote.  He ended by stating to always, Access – Decide – Act !

It is very important that we grow professionally.  One way to grow professionally is to certainly attend conferences such as the above. I would like to thank NYC SHRM for hosting a brilliant conference and give a special  shout out to Stuart Friedman for bringing me on board to help as a social media volunteer ambassador with the conference committee. Additionally, I thank Industrial U.I. Services for always being supportive with my professional development.

Here’s to professional development and to a successful conference!

What’s next, you ask? I will be attending #SHRM18 in Chicago as a #SHRM18Blogger!!!!

This blog was contributed by Anthony Paradiso who is a Senior Account Executive at Industrial U.I. Services. More information about Industrial U.I. Services can be found at

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