Open dialogue and peer-to-peer learning is a cornerstone of our conference agenda each year. Candid conversations with your peers allow you to advance your understanding of complex compliance and recruitment challenges and provide you with the opportunity to advance your education–what more could you ask for? Regardless of whether you are new to the field of HR or a seasoned veteran, our sessions are designed to accommodate all levels of knowledge, and then some! Learn how Charles Lilly of Hub International has expanded his understanding of regulatory changes and incorporated that knowledge into his day-to-day activities.


Q: How many times have you attended DirectEmployers Annual Conference (DEAM)?

A: I have attended every DEAM since 2013–five so far, not including this year!

Q: Explain how your experience at DEAM is different from other conferences?

A: DEAM is different from other conferences because you get the opportunity to learn from executives, leaders, compliance experts, service providers and recruiters from a variety of industries through presentations and networking activities. It’s one of the few large-scale events where practitioners get the chance to candidly discuss key issues we face within our organizations in compliance, outreach and recruitment marketing initiatives.

Q: If you were to choose three words that described DEAM, what would they be and why?

A: Knowledgeable, educational, relevant and of course fun! 

Q: How have you used information that you’ve discovered at DEAM and incorporated it into your company’s strategy?

A: I use a variety of resources to keep as current as possible with changing regulations across the US and embedding those within our business processes. I view DEAM as a great resource to learn what peer organizations are doing to navigate changing legislation while still boosting productivity. Every year, I return from DEAM with a list of ideas to make us better!

Q: What is your favorite memory from DEAM?

A: So, so many, it’s tough to decide! I think my favorite memory was when Candee received the WOW Award at DEAM17 that was awarded by a surprise guest, her mentor.

Q: What have you gained as a repeat attendee of DEAM? 

A: The connections I’ve made at DEAM are priceless.

Q: How has DEAM expanded your peer-to-peer networking?

A: I try to stay active on DirectEmployers Community as much as possible. I know what it’s like to be looking for answers and not know where to go and this forum is a great place to ask anything and seek advice. It’s always great to meet people I interact with on the Community throughout the year in person at DEAM and match a face with a name!

Q: With budgets being cut for HR travel, how do you justify your travel to DEAM?

A: I’m only able to attend a small number of conferences per year and DEAM is one that I make a priority to attend.

Q: We love seeing your favorite photos from past DEAMs. Do you have one you’d like to share? (Bonus points for sharing one with your peers!)

A: My favorite DEAM photo is hands-down the group photo from DEAM16 with Dan Hoffman, Scarlet Pettit, and Anne Sheffield! I still have it sitting on my desk.

Q: Any other additional comments you’d like to share about DEAM or DirectEmployers?

A: DirectEmployers has a hands-on approach to working with their members and I haven’t experienced anything like it working with any other organization or vendor in our industry. The countless number of resources and experts available at your fingertips who are just a phone call away make getting the job done easier. DirectEmployers is truly an outstanding resource to the contractor community.

Thank you, Charles, for supporting us! It’s Members like you who make what we do worthwhile. Based upon the photo above, you can tell our attendees like to cut loose after a day of learning and enjoy their time with one another. Charles is without a doubt one of the Members we look forward to seeing each year thanks to his amazing personality and infectious smile and laughter. Want to experience our conference for yourself? Register to attend today! If you have questions feel free to reach out to us by emailing for more information! We’re looking forward to helping you ‘Create‘ your own DEAM memories to share!

See you in Seattle!

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