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Trailblazer:  one that blazes a trail to guide others

Now I’m not saying that HR Florida is the Steve Jobs of the HR industry but we have done some pretty innovative and creative things in the past several years that have sparked change to the landscape of the human resources profession.

Back in 2008, HR Florida kicked off a new campaign to shed a strategic light on the human resources profession and prove that it was a premier resource for best practices across the state of Florida.  We started by building a presence on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.  Utilizing these social media tools we hit the ground running as one of the first affiliates of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) to implement marketing strategies with such an innovative approach.

In 2009 HR Florida launched the inaugural “blogging team” concept when we welcomed Kris Dunn, Jessica Lee, Michael Long, Laurie Ruettimann and Michael VanDervort to help us share experiences and best practices from our annual conference.  In addition to the tweets and blog posts they were also on deck for a panel discussion regarding blogging and its impact on the human resources profession.

In 2010 HR Florida launched its official blog, HR Mouth of the South; just one more way for us to disseminate and share best practices focusing on human resources, leadership, professional development and social media.  Since its launch we have welcomed guest posts from numerous players in the “social community” of human resources including Dwane Lay, Lisa Rosendahl, and Trish McFarlane.  With the support of our Council, we have continued to pave the way for other SHRM affiliated organizations to jump on the social media bandwagon.  We love to get all nerdy with our human resource friends and talk about social media!

Today our reach far surpasses the borders of the sunshine state.  In fact, each year we welcome more and more human resource professionals to our events from across the globe.  In 2012 we hosted 90 professionals from 30 states across the U.S. and five foreign countries, including Australia, Mexico, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.  How cool is that?

2013 Social  Tech Team

This year we are excited to welcome yet another great team of human resource professionals to our social technology team.

Holland Dombeck
Holland Dombeck

John Nykolaiszyn
John Nykolaiszyn

Chris Ponder
Chris Ponder

Robin Schooling
Robin Schooling

Sarah Williams
Sarah Williams

HR Florida
HR Florida

Over the next few weeks we will share interviews with each of them to make sure you have an opportunity to learn about their backgrounds and get a better idea of why we asked them to join us.  In the mean time, make sure to check out their bios.

Leading up to the conference make sure to get connected with each of them as well as HR Florida.  Follow our hashtag, #HRFL13.  Join our group on LinkedIn or follow us on Twitter.  We’ve even made it easier for you to connect with other attendees through our listly.  Feel free to add your own Twitter handle to the list.

I don’t know about you but I cannot wait to get to Orlando and experience all that is the 2013 HR Florida Conference & Expo!  Help us celebrate our 35th anniversary!

jen_novakJennifer Novak, PHR, has experience in all facets of Human Resources with a focus on recruiting and recruitment marketing. A self-described social-media geek, Jennifer has presented on recruiting and social media to university groups, job seekers, APICS, Southeastern Social Enterprise Alliance Summit, and facilitated social media panels for Suncoast Human Resources Association (SHRMA).  She also served as the VP of Programs for SHRMA. Jennifer earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and is pursuing an MBA with HR concentration.


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  1. I am so proud of our group and how forward thinking and supportive they have been since we first implemented social media. It has been such a pleasure to work with each of our social technology teams. What an awesome group of people. I am very excited to get to network with this year’s team as well. Here’s to 35 years HR Florida!

  2. This post gave me goose bumps. I am so proud of our accomplishments. It is quite amazing given that it’s all done by volunteers in their “spare time.” I salute those volunteers who came before-the ones who led this organization over the past 35 years. I encourage the future leaders. Never ever be satisfied with simply repeating the past. Anyone can do that. Always raise the bar. Our 2013 Conference Team has done just that. They have built on the successes of the past and added innovative events. This year’s conference experience will be like no other. I can’t wait.

  3. I too am proud to be a part of such a fantastic organization run by the most amazing volunteers. The passion that our volunteers have is addictive. Thanks for such a great post Jennifer and for highlighting the “trail” that we have blazed with social media. And, for those that started that trail, THANK YOU! I look forward to our 35th conference. It gets better all the time.

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