Wednesday, November 14, 2018

My SHRM Family at VLS

My time as State Director for Illinois is wrapping up.  I have a lot of emotions about this.  I expressed some of them in an earlier post, as the Illinois State Conference opened up.  Now as we near year’s end it is time for the SHRM Leaders annual pilgrimage to Washington D.C.  I have had the distinct pleasure of getting to attend this event since 2007, missing a couple years along the way.  

Nonetheless, I have attended a number of times and particularly enjoy it.  Why one might ask. Attending the SHRM VLS for long-time volunteer leaders is like getting together with family that you only see occasionally.   This is my second family.  I have a wonderful family and I love them all deeply, AND I love my SHRM Family too.

In my post about wrapping up the Illinois State Conference I referenced the event in song, by calling out the Eagles song “It’s Your World Now”.   On my trip out to DC I listened to another song by Eagles member and great all-around musician Joe Walsh.   Joe wrote a song called “Family”.  There are a bunch of lines that reminded me of all my SHRM friends and my relationship with so many of them.
Here is the youtube version of that recording.

I've been alone most of my life
I've never known what it was like
To end up somewhere and not have to pack
To be among friends I know have my back

But now I'm here where I belong
I've finally found a wife and a home
And a family that matters, means more to me
Than anything I have ever believed

And when we are gathered together
Tell me how blessed can somebody be

Give thanks, break bread, say grace, bow heads
For all of this love that surrounds me
We laugh, we cry, stand together that's why
It's all being part of a family

Tried it before, never felt right
I never dreamed that someday I might
Be part of something bigger than me
It makes me feel humble, finally I see

All that we have is each other
And that's all that I'll ever need

So, thanks SHRM for all the great memories, from all the leadership/VLS events from Crystal City to the JB Marriot to the Gaylord, and thanks to all the SHRM staff who over the years have always made this an awesome event.

And to all of my SHRMie volunteer buddies that I have met over the years, I so value your friendship, your love of our profession, your passion for everything that you do and for being there for me whenever I call on you. 

I hope to see those of you who are attending and share a moment, and to those that aren’t here, you know who you are and how I feel about all of you.

-Dave Ryan State Director of Illinois SHRM

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Musings from An Outgoing State Director

Dave & Donna Mucking it up.
Today, the 17th Annual Illinois SHRM Conference begins with a pre-conference session and a board meeting, late afternoon.  I am excited to attend. I am stoked to see all of my HR friends from around the country  world. I can’t wait to hear Steve Browne and Cy Wakeman speak.  I get to visit with my friend and presenter Renee Robson (Yeah, she is from down under – they do HR there to.)   I get to present a session with my HR Speaking partner Donna Rogers.  

I get to hold a meeting with all the wonderful volunteers who have supported me for the last year and nine months.  This is great! But at the end of the meeting, on Sunday and then again on Tuesday, I will likely be wrought with emotion, as you see my time as State Director is nearly done.   I have talked with many folks who have left this role both in Illinois and other states and they all experience this; the separation anxiety – the thought of leaving.

Then there are all the things I didn’t get done, one could call them failures or just lofty goals.

Next, I think of all of the people and organizations that I have got to touch in this role and it has been a gift.
Dave & Connie at ILSHRM

I am sad my time is coming to close, it has been a true pleasure to get to serve in this role.

To my predecessor Connie Wolgemuth, you are such a wonderful leader, and smart woman I could not have asked for anyone better in preparing me for the role.  You are awesome!

To my successor Becky Krueger, I am so proud of you in all that you have done to date, all that you continue to do and all of the successes you will have as the incoming State Director. You are awesome and I can't wait to see where you take ILSHRM.
My wife Sheila and Becky riding in the back 
of the disco lit Uber in Miami

And to Becky’s successor good luck, you have a marvelous mentor who will prepare you well for upcoming role.

For all of my life I have been an Eagles fan. One of their last recordings was Out of Eden. There was a song on album titled “It’s Your World Now.”  It is a beautiful song written and sung by founding band member Glen Frey.  In the song Glen talks about how his time is over, sadly that came all too soon.  The lyrics speak to me as to anyone who is “moving on” so I will leave you with them – and if you haven’t heard the song go listen to it.

Dave, Steve and John at VLS … a long time ago.
A perfect day, the sun is sinking low
As evening falls, the gentle breezes blow
The time we shared went by so fast
Just like a dream, we knew it couldn't last
But I'd do it all again
If I could, somehow
But I must be leaving soon
It's your world now

It's your world now
My race is run
I'm moving on
Like the setting sun
No sad goodbyes
No tears allowed
You'll be alright
It's your world now

[Verse 2]
Even when we are apart
You'll always be in my heart
When dark clouds appear in the sky
Remember true love never dies
But first a kiss, one glass of wine
Just one more dance while there's still time
My one last wish, someday, you'll see
How hard I tried and how much you meant to me

Find me at the conference I am the guy, off in the distance, who will be bawling uncontrollably on Sunday and again on Tuesday.  

Two last thought... John Jorgenson (the Godfatha of ILSHRM) thanks for getting me involved with this organization.  And Lori Maher-McCombs thank you for joining our team and doing what you do, oh so well!

--Dave Ryan ISC State Director

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Something About Mary

It is thrilling to be a part of the SHRM18 social media team.  As a group, we are given access to just about everything going on with SHRM and the Annual Conference. SHRM also provides us space and tools so that we can produce content and information to help promote SHRM and the event.  I think we do a good job (except for picking up after ourselves in the Bloggers Lounge).

For the bloggers, Mary Kaylor is our main point of contact with SHRM.  Officially Mary, is the Manager of Public Affairs for SHRM.  She is the producer of #NextChat, managing editor of the SHRM blog and is involved with most aspects of social media and many other communication efforts at SHRM.  Mary has been with SHRM Public Affairs since 2008, so she has been doing this for a long time.  I reached out to Mary and told her that I wanted to write a piece about her because I thought it was important that the folks who consume our content know who is behind it and helps to make it happen.

In an effort to give Mary some credit for doing a great job with what she does I asked her if I could write a piece about her and post it on the SHRM blog.  At first, she was hesitant and did not want me to do so, but I persevered.  Mary caved and agreed.  We had attempted to carve out 10 to 15 minutes where I could interview her and ask questions about her role.

The interview did not go as planned. It happened on Saturday as the SHRM Annual Conference was getting underway. Mary had done a presentation earlier in the day I tried to catch her after that but there was no time, there. So, we then decided to try to do this in the Blogger’s Lounge, before she had to speak with some folks at SHRM India.

We sat down, and I asked some cursory questions about her role.  As the conversation began, a couple bloggers dropped by to get their credentials. She quickly helped them and came back.  We picked up again for at least two to three minutes, and in walked more people.

Mary being interrupted by Mike Habermanm and Brad Galin.
After a bit we tried to start again, and got derailed – again.  Mary suggested that I send her some questions via email.  Well that didn’t work for me because I wanted to get something posted about Mary and her role during the conference.  I wanted to communicate the way that she manages over 60 bloggers from around the world and all the content we generate at the Annual Conference. What she does is amazing, and I wanted her to know that we recognize that and appreciate it.

So, this is how the post is going to go.  Mary is consumed with the event and it shows in how her days go.  I know, I speak for all the Blogger when I say that we love Mary and appreciate all that she does for us and for all SHRM members.

If you want to know a little bit more, about her role you can check out this post from last year written by fellow blogger Mark Fogel.