Despite the quick turnaround from DEAM13, the DirectEmployers 2014 Annual Meeting and Conference (DEAM14) was better than we could have imagined! With record attendance, amazing presenters, and several chances to network and mingle, this year’s conference was the best yet. Along with the general sessions, our agenda gave attendees the opportunity to choose three concurrent sessions each day, ultimately tailoring their conference experience to suit their specific interests.

While each track didn’t have one particular focus, a number of the sessions were submitted and approved for HRCI credit, adding even more benefit for attendees. Let’s take a look at some of the highlights and key takeaways from Concurrent Workshop A.

Day One

Rosaly Morsheimer and Angie Grilliot of UnitedHealth Group presenting at DEAM14.

After an amazing keynote speech from employment law attorney John C. Fox and a quick lunch break, everyone parted ways to attend the sessions of their choice. First up in Concurrent A were Angie Grilliot and Rosaly Morsheimer of UnitedHealth Group as they outlined their geographically based strategic sourcing plans that focused on underutilization and outreach for compliance. Attendees of this session were given examples of how to apply their AAP information to their talent acquisition strategy as well as why they should document and track sourcing activity for compliance purposes.

Next up, Tracy Hudson Spicer of the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) spoke to the commission’s strategic plan in regards to social media and arrest and conviction record usage by employers and it’s effect on the laws that they enforce. This included the top 5 rules and trends for social media and employment law, as well as a quick fact/myth game with drink tickets for the evening’s networking reception as the prize for the first to answer correctly.

Tracy Hudson Spicer of the EEOC presenting at DEAM14.

A quick “retro break” complete with root beer, popcorn and old fashioned candies preceded the day’s final session led by Meg O’Connell and Deb Russell of Global Disability Inclusion. In this presentation, the two elaborated on the benefits of hiring from the disability community (comprising 19% of the U.S. population), as well as the record keeping and tracking requirements established through the new changes to Section 503.

Key Takeaways:

  • Building relationships and documenting interactions is key to the success of having a comprehensive and compliant diversity strategy
  • The problem with social media in employment law lies not in the use of social media channels but what the recruiter does with the information that they learn.
  • A disability employment program is fully evolved when it is able to successfully leverage the fullest talents and usable skills of those with disabilities

Day Two

James Pierce of Piercing Strategies and David Scheffler of Pinnacle Affirmative Action Services presenting at DEAM14.

James Pierce of Piercing Strategies and David Scheffler of Pinnacle Affirmative Action Services kicked off day two with an engaging session on the major changes of VEVRAA and Section 503, including the benchmarks and outreach that fall on the employer in order to be compliant.

Second in line was DirectEmployers Member Sheryl Von Westernhagen of OfficeMax and corporate disability consultant, James Emmett. In this inspirational and energetic presentation, the two discussed the development of a disability and inclusion strategy, as well as best practices for making it work for both the organization and their employees with disabilities.

DirectEmployers Member Sheryl Von Westernhagen of OfficeMax and corporate disability consultant James Emmett presenting at DEAM14.

Prior to lunch on day two, Concurrent A ended with DirectEmployers’ very own VP of Compliance & Partnerships, Candee Chambers. Known for her knowledge and experience with OFCCP compliance and successes with the audit process as a former employer, Candee detailed the changes put in place by the Final Rule and how employers can realign their strategies to remain compliant.





Key Takeaways:

  • Your recruitment processes should first change as regulations and audit focus changes, then flow to your ATS and other technologies
  • The four pillars of Future Disability & Inclusion are: Stakeholder Buy-In, Financial Sustainability, Messaging and Engagement and Partnership
  • Outreach, outreach, outreach!

DirectEmployers VP of Compliance & Partnerships Candee Chambers presenting at DEAM14.

Thank you to all of our wonderful speakers; we truly appreciate you taking the time to share your stories, experience, and successes with our attendees! Members, keep in mind that you have access to all of the presentation slides in Pipeline. We encourage you to revisit the sessions you attended, take a look at some of the sessions you missed, and print copies for future reference. Stayed tuned for track B and C highlights!




Interested in presenting at DEAM15? We are now accepting speaking proposals! Visit to submit your proposal! 

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