Thursday, 05 July 2018 19:49

The Scoop: #SHRM18

Written by Patricia Williams, LSHRM President

Learning, laughing, and lip syncing: We did it all at The 2018 National Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) conference in Chicago this June. SHRM is the proud host of the annual conference, which is the largest gathering of human resource professionals in the world. SHRM18 broke the previous attendance record with over 22,000 attendees representing 11 different countries showing up to welcome the newly appointed President and CEO, Johnny C. Taylor, Jr. to the main stage. The conference was outstanding! I was truly honored to attend along with Louisville Society for Human Resource Management (LSHRM) President Elect, Susan Huffmon.

The SHRM conference provides training and development opportunities for human resource professionals to stay current and engage in conversation with subject matter experts about the most trending issues facing the profession. This year’s conference theme challenged HR professionals; Expand Your World! This catchy theme not only references developing a global mind-set when it comes to addressing the national talent crisis but also encourages members to leverage the extensive network that is accessible through the worldwide SHRM family. Johnny C. Taylor Jr., SHRM President and CEO, was very candid in his opening remarks to kick off the conference. “Our organizations need to attract the best people wherever they are. They need to skill up their workers, whoever they are. And they need to be ready for the next industrial revolution, whenever it shows up,” said Taylor.

LSHRM represented extremely well at SHRM18 receiving two prestigious awards of recognition. The SHRM Foundation is a nonprofit arm of national SHRM that champions workforce and workplace transformation by providing research, scholarships, and opportunities for HR professionals to make a difference. Each year, the 500+ chapters and state councils are charged with raising local awareness about the work of the SHRM Foundation and to make a financial contribution to further advance the mission. I had the opportunity to share the impact of the SHRM Foundation and my personal experience having been a 2016 scholarship recipient.

LSHRM was named the #3 Most Charitable Giving Chapter in the World donating over $10,000.00 for the cause in 2017! LSHRM is already planning to exceed that donation in 2018; so be sure to make your contribution and select LSHRM as your local chapter affiliation. If you have questions about how to donate, please email

The other big win came when “Ladies of Louisville+2”, which included Jeff Nally, Tiffany Cardwell, a friend we met from Washington DC, and myself, took 1st Place in the Annual Lip Sync Battle! It was pure joy and pride as we danced off the stage to DJ Khaled’s hit song, All I Do Is Win!

SHRM18 was unapologetically the best conference yet! The hottest session topics included; diversity verses equity, employee retention, the opioid epidemic, and more! Some of the high profile speakers at the conference were the CEO of United Airlines, Oscar Munoz and Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook. We also ran into Steve Gilliland, who consistently ranks among the most in-demand SHRM conference speakers. LSHRM is thrilled to bring Steve Gilliland to Louisville for our 2018 final curtain program in November when he will present his change management keynote; Detour! Registration is open now at, and the first 100 registrants will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win a $500 visa card.

The conference left no detail undone. From bringing the absolute best speakers, coaches, and trainers in the nation to SHRM18, they also made certain that transportation, food, directions, overflow space, break rooms for chapter volunteer leaders, prayers rooms, and anything else you can think of were available. Johnny Taylor’s mission to drive HR with bold purpose, TOGETHER AND FORWARD was evident. My only concern is how they will make SHRM19 in beautiful Las Vegas even better. I am certain that they will try! If you have never been to a SHRM conference, I urge you to make plans to attend in 2019.

I left the conference with renewed energy and excitement about our profession and our ability to make an impact in our organizations and in the lives of people every single day. Don’t miss it! I leave you with this remarkable quote. “Don’t worry when people are talking about you; worry when they stop talking about you. There was a time when organizations didn’t understand the true value of HR. They saw us as necessary but not mission critical. They finally get it! People matter; and this is the moment of HR,” said Johnny C. Taylor Jr., SHRM President and CEO. This is our moment! #TogetherForward #ExpandYourWorld #SHRM18

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Written By: Patricia Williams, LSHRM President

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