2017 Leadership Conference Recap

The HRMA Leadership Conference was a success! With the highest numbers for registration and attendance at an HRMA conference to date, every session was packed with HR professionals eager to learn from top-notch presenters.
Bob Chapman, Chairman and CEO of Barry-Wehmiller, kicked off the day with a keynote on "Truly Human Leadership". Mr. Chapman is known world-wide for his leadership abilities, and was recently named the #3 CEO in the world by an Inc. magazine article. He inspired the audience to lead with heart and to use business to better the world.

A second keynote during the lunch hour left the packed room speechless. Rodney "Rocky" Sickman, a US Marine Corps Sergeant and P.O.W., talked about "Resiliency". Rocky spent 444 days in captivity after being captured during the American Embassy raid in Tehran. During his speech Rocky recapped his experience, discussing what it takes to be resilient. He captured the attention of every HR leader in the room with his emotional memories. Rocky ended his speech to a standing ovation.

In addtion to top-notch keynotes, the 500+ HR leaders in attendance had the opportunity to hear from industry professionals throughout the day on various topics related to strategic HR, HR law, diversity, and HR careers. Each breakout session was structured to the topic and offered credit toward HRCI and SHRM recertification. Some presenters made use of creative engagement methods such as skits, visual effects, and audience participation. Most presenters were local HR leaders who were giving back by sharing their knowledge and expertise with their colleagues. HRMA is grateful to have such impressive thought leaders and industry experts here in St. Louis!

Between the educational sessions, attendees had an opportunity to visit with over 40 vendors to learn about their products and services. A mystery theater presentation went on throughout the day, and attendees collected "clues" from the vendor booths to help learn "who stole the Pineapple diamond". Those who solved the mystery were entered in a drawing to win a Yeti cooler! One lucky winner, Cara, went home with the prize! Our sponsors and vendors are what make putting on an event this large possible, and HRMA is thankful for each contribution.

The 2017 HRMA Leadership Conference was truly a top-notch event. Thank you to Katie Magoon, this year's conference chair, and the rest of the conference planning committee for organizing such a great event. We hope that all attendees went home with new information that can be used in their respective organization. If you were unable to attend this year, we hope to see you at next year's conference, and all HRMA events in between.