The 2018 HR Florida Conference & Expo was one for the books! In its astounding 40th year, the event brought together more than 2,500 HR professionals, distinguished speakers and presenters, and sponsors from around the world to learn, engage and collaborate on the latest trends and happenings impacting the human resources industry. The four-day conference served as an opportunity for attendees to not only connect and network with one another, but also bond over a variety of activities. These activities included the conference’s first-ever 5K race that honored this year’s selected charity – The Dan Marino Foundation, a Monday night social party hosted by HR Rocks, water aerobics (for the attendees who wanted to take a swim at 6:30 in the morning!), and a performance by multi-platinum award-winning music artist and Florida native Flo Rida.
This year’s remarkable keynote speakers were Academy Award-winning actress and activist Marlee Matlin, legendary football coach and sports analyst Lou Holtz, and actor, best-selling author, motivational speaker and U.S. Army Veteran J.R. Martinez. From laughing to learning, it was an honor to hear from these extraordinary individuals who had incredible stories to tell and advice to give. In addition to the keynote speakers, this year’s conference involved 120 sessions covering a variety of topics related to business management and strategy, workforce planning and employment, HR development, compliance, compensation and benefits, employee and labor relations, risk management, HR science and professional development.
HR Florida had the privilege of working with The Dan Marino Foundation as this year’s charity partner. As disabled persons are individuals who are often underrepresented in the workplace, HR Florida wanted to bring this issue to the forefront of attendees’ minds in an effort to enact positive change for those with disabilities and the workforce as a whole. HR Florida would like to thank the attendees who donated to this incredible organization during the conference and the local chapters who made separate donations – your generosity and kindness will touch many lives.
The Council also presented two prestigious awards during the conference. The HR Professional of the Year Award was given to long-time SHRM member Mark Codd. Sponsored by Fisher Phillips, Codd’s application highlighted his continued contribution to the HR profession. The HR Volunteer of the Year Award was presented to HR Florida diversity director Eve Sweeting. Sweeting was recognized for her unwavering dedication and passion for serving as a champion for diversity and inclusion.
HR Florida cannot thank everyone enough who made this year’s conference a raging success. This event would not be possible without the commitment, perseverance, loyalty and enthusiasm from the volunteer team, presenters and sponsors. We also want to recognize The Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center for being such a gracious host and providing us with an amazing venue space.
It will be hard to top this amazing year, but we anticipate the 41st conference will give the 40th a run for its money. We hope you all can join us next August to experience it for yourselves!
To register for the 2019 HR Florida Conference & Expo, visit hrfloridaconference.org