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2014 Annual Conference
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Session Descriptions - Series I & II

Recognition Fundamentals and CRP Course Descriptions

Breakout Sessions Series I - Tuesday Jan. 14, 2014

Breakout Sessions Series II - Tuesday Jan. 14, 2014

Breakout Sessions Series III & IV

Breakout Session Series I
Tuesday, January 14, 2013 | 2:30 - 3:30 pm

1A. Five Things Recognition Professionals Can Learn from Successful Sales People

With Theresa Harkins, Inspirus, LLC

Your job description doesn’t say "sales person” — but clearly as a leader of recognition for your organization, you have no bigger responsibility. In this session, we will examine five common practices of sales people and how you can apply the principles in your organization to foster a stronger recognition and rewards culture. Every interaction you have within your organization is an opportunity to sell the value of recognition. After this session, you will have the tools to identify and nurture these opportunities like a sales pro!

Following this session, you will be able to:

  • Describe your organization's vision for recognition
  • Identify and seize opportunities in your organization
  • Recognize opportunities to deepen the roots of your recognition culture

About the Presenter:

Theresa Harkins has been an influential pioneer in the field of employee recognition. Her commitment is apparent throughout her former term as President of Recognition Professionals International (RPI) in addition to being a contributor in the development of the Certified Recognition Professional (CRP) curriculum. Theresa is a visionary in Human Resource leadership, achieving respected certifications as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) and Certified Compensation Professional (CCP). She was an innovator in the deployment of global enterprise employee recognition strategies within Fortune 500 organizations, assisting in the implementation of these initiatives. As a chartered professional in the recognition industry, Theresa had a vision to help eliminate the splintered recognition approach in her organization by creating an aggregated program structure to provide a sense of unity and consistency in the company. This desire drove Theresa to lead the development of the award-winning best practice recognition programs at Delta Air Lines. Theresa currently heads the Solutions division at Inspirus as a respected expert. She consults with clients in the industry to design recognition programs that align with organizations’ cultural goals and needs.

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1B. Bringing the Past to Life in the Future

With Tom Miller, President, Symbolist; Tyneeta Morris, Director, Human Resources, Greyhound

Too often we think the next big thing is based on technology and shrinking display screens. However, when it comes to culture, recognition and driving company values age may be your biggest ally. Join Tyneeta Morris, Human Resources Director at Greyhound and Tom Miller of Symbolist as they explain how they took the legacy of an iconic brand and brought it into the new millennia using a tool many of us thought was dead and buried.

Following this session, you will be able to:

  • Identify how to communicate culture through a recognition and reward system
  • Recognize how history at Greyhound determined that the past was the best place to start with their recognition strategy
  • Identify how legacy tools can be updated for effectiveness in today’s current business climate

About the Presenters:

Tom Miller is president at Symbolist, a behavioral influence and reward company based in Dallas, Texas. In addition to his role at Symbolist, Tom has contributed to the industry by actively participating in Recognition Professionals International, The Recognition Council, Incentive Marketing Association, Forum for People Performance, and Promotional Products Association International. Tom did his undergraduate work at Baylor University and attended Oxford University and HEC University where he graduated with an MSc in Change Management. Tom combines his education with a Texas pragmatism that makes his presentations not only fun and interesting to listen to, but also full of specific actionable content. Audience members never leave without something they can implement immediately when they get back to their desks.

Tyneeta Morris has more than 19 years of broad Human Resources experience in benefits, compensation, employee and labor relations. Tyneeta joined Greyhound Lines, Inc. in 1996 and is currently the Director of Human Resources. Tyneeta oversees all benefits, compensation and employee relations functions. She is responsible for the design, implementation and administration of Greyhound’s health & welfare plans, wellness initiatives, its U.S. and Canadian retirement plans, U.S. Service Award Program as well as a host of other company programs.

Tyneeta was recognized in the October 2008 issue of PLANSPONSOR Magazine for the plan design changes she implemented in the company’s defined contribution plan. The plan was nominated for the Profit Sharing/401k Council of America (PSCA) 2009 Retirement Readiness Award, which honors excellence in plan communication and investment education.

Tyneeta received a B.S. degree in Business Management from Tulane University and a M.S. degree in Human Relations & Business from Amberton University. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Dallas Fort Worth Business Group on Health (DFWBGH) and the Southwest Benefits Association (SWBA). She is also a member of the Dallas Chapter of the Worldwide Employee Benefits (WEB) Network and Dallas HR.

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1C. Building Better Results through Recognition **New Session**

With Melissa Van Dyke, President of the Incentive Research Foundation

Join the Incentive Research Foundation (IRF) for this fast-paced hour covering up-to-date resources on how to build better business results through reward and recognition. This hour well be hosted by IRF President Melissa Van Dyke and will walk you through recently-released tools and resources that help you do the following: Build the Business Case and Maintain Program Funding, Use R&R to Meet Cross-Organizational Needs, Balance Program Owner and Participant Needs

Following this session, you will be able to:

  • Learn what elements to include in your business case and how to use data (external and internal) to strengthen your case
  • Explain the research-based connection between human behavior and brand promise
  • Understand how to use reward and recognition programs to facilitate change adoption
  • Deliver recognition that isn’t a "thing” and emotional connection and how to meet fundamental human drives
  • Understand the four standards that all non cash awards and recognition must meet to be effective

About the Presenter:

Melissa Van Dyke is President of the IRF. Melissa has responsibility for all day-to-day operational, financial and marketing aspects of the organization. She comes to the IRF from her position as Managing Consultant of the Employee Engagement Practice at Maritz. Prior to this, Melissa held leadership positions in Solution Management, Product Development and Business Technology Solution Management at Maritz. Van Dyke was selected as Incentive magazine’s 2007 "Rising Star in the Incentive Industry” and co-authored the chapter on "Nonmonetary Awards: Experiential, Tangible, and Cash Equivalent Awards” in the fifth edition of the Com-pensation Handbook. Before joining Maritz, Van Dyke worked as a Senior Business Process and Technology Consultant for Ernst & Young LLP.

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1D. Revitalizing your program: how to avoid the cycle of Rinse. Repeat.

With Rhonda Sunnarborg, Senior Business Analyst, MotivAction, and Matt Robb, Business Development Director, MotivAction

Is your recognition program showing its wear? Wondering where to go next? Rhonda Sunnarborg and Matt Robb will take you through proven methods to rekindle interest in your program and drive engagement. This session will focus on key elements found in a successful recognition reboot to help you recommend program enhancements and justify your program expenditures. Join us as we walk through examples from MotivAction’s recognition practice and discuss ways to amp up your current recognition program. See what others have done to enhance their programs and drive incremental revenue. You will leave with concrete ideas to leverage your program investment.

Following this session, you will be able to:

  • Identify opportunities to juice up your program branding, without losing your program’s identity
  • Incorporate program elements tied to financial results
  • Defend high engagement for low cost
  • Identify opportunities to increase program involvement and buzz
  • Identify relevant elements, like mobile, social, and gamification

About the Presenters:

Rhonda Sunnarborg, a Senior Business Analyst and Channel Practice Leader at MotivAction, has more than 20 years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies to change the behavior of employees, salespeople, and channel partners. She is the author of A Culture of Recognition: Building a System to Celebrate Great Performance, a 50-page how-to guide published in 2000. Rhonda has conducted recognition workshops and program development sessions for her clients, in addition to designing their program structures. Rhonda has served on the RPI board and holds a B.A. in Communications/Business from St. Catherine University, St. Paul, Minnesota, and a Master’s Degree from the University of Dallas.

Matt Robb is a Business Development Director responsible for managing the relationship between clients and MotivAction. Matt joined MotivAction in 2010 after more than 10 years of leading teams in incentive & recognition and travel management initiatives. Matt has extensive experience in creating, structuring, and operating engagement and incentive programs from conception through onsite operations and measurement. Matt is a seasoned marketing professional with additional experience in the design and development of incentive and recognition platforms which engage, motivate, and create loyalty for a company and their brand. Matt is a respected leader known for building strong relationships and is responsible for managing client expectations, quality, and MotivAction performance.

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1E. Ugh Factor: How to make marketing an essential part of your new recognition program's success

With Jason Thomson, Idealist, Writer, Photographer, Creative Mercenary

"Ugh — I have to come up with a communications plan for the new recognition program?" Too many programs look at marketing communications as a cost centre, an afterthought or just another thing on someone's plate. Join Jason Thomson for a rapidfire hour that shows you why marketing is so essential and how to make it the easy, (mostly) cheap and powerful way to get your program off the ground and growing.

Following this session, you will be able to:

  • Identify why marketing should be the first thought, not the last one
  • Discuss how to integrate marketing into everyday operations — making it easy to conceive and execute
  • Review strategies that get more out of your marketing dollar — from building influencers to using social media

About the Presenter:

Jason Thomson is one of the world's only marketing communications specialists focused on recognition. What's unique is that he brings marketing to the recognition world, as opposed to bringing recognition background to marketing. Full bio here:

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Breakout Session Series II
Tuesday, January 14, 2013 | 3:45 - 4:45 pm

2A. Linking Employee Recognition to Customer Service Scores

With Terry Byrnes, VP of Total Service, Caesars Entertainment

An overview of the current Employee Recognition program focused on the >70,000 Caesars employees across the U.S. Highlights: Why the Service Profit Chain is still relevant; The importance of onboarding new employees/properties; Expanding the platform beyond service to other initiatives; Participant Testimonials; Program Results.

Following this session, you will be able to:

  • Describe how Employee R&R Programs can be implemented in a service industry
  • Summarize key points to linking employee reward and recognition to customer service scores
  • Explain h ow to successfully onboard new employees and properties

About the Presenter:

Terry Byrnes is the Vice President of Total Service at Caesars Entertainment. In this role, Byrnes serves as the chief customer advocate and sets the strategy for Caesar’s extensive customer satisfaction and employee reward programs. Caesars Entertainment Corporation is the world's most geographically diversified casino-entertainment company. Since its beginning in Reno, Nevada, more than 75 years ago, Caesars has grown through development of new resorts, expansions and acquisitions, and now operates casinos on four continents. The company's resorts operate primarily under the Harrah's®, Caesars® and Horseshoe® brand names. Before joining Caesars in 1998, Byrnes held various operational roles in the newly opened gaming markets in Colorado and has an extensive background in sports retailing. Prior roles with Caesars include senior positions in Training, HR and as Customer Service Director for multiple locations in the Las Vegas market. He graduated from the University of Colorado with degrees in Management and Commercial Recreation in 1984.

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2B. Recipe for Success: 7 Key Ingredients

With Dee Hansford, Owner, Dee Hansford Consulting

The RPI 7 Best Practice Standards are essential ingredients for any successful recognition infrastructure. This presentation will engage audience volunteers in the creation of a dish that includes all 7 ingredients. They will explain how each ingredient adds to the overall excellence of a rich and satisfying recognition culture.

Following this session, you will be able to:

  • Communicate to C-suite decision-makers why the RPI 7 Best Practice Standards are essential to a thriving recognition culture
  • Enlist organizational support and buy-in by citing examples of award-winning programs
  • Identify the linkage between the 7 Best Practice Standards and the 3-Dimensional Recognition Model

About the Presenter:

Dee Hansford is an Independent Consultant and founding RPI Board Member with more than 25 years in Recognition Design. She is the former manager of Cast Communication/Recognition at Walt Disney World, Florida, and was consultant to 2002 and 2012 RPI Best Practices Overall Program Recipients.

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2C. The New Age of Recognition

With Ryan Maddux, Marketing Program Manager, Wells Fargo, and Cheryl Miller, Marketing Program Manager, Wells Fargo

In this interactive session, Ryan Maddux and Cheryl Miller will present their perspective on the evolution of recognition within Wells Fargo, indeed within many organizations, over the past decade. They will discuss the impact of workplace culture on employee morale and well-being (e.g. "Traditional" vs. "Leading" workplaces). They will broaden participants’ understanding regarding the significance of work-life effectiveness and flexibility as it relates to engagement, retention and workplace culture.

Following this session, you will be able to:

  • Identify trends in recognition and how they have evolved over the past decade
  • Express how total reward strategy impacts engagement, retention and workplace culture
  • Give examples of the value of work-life effectiveness

About the Presenters:

Ryan Maddux, Marketing Program Manager with the Deposit Products Group (DPG) at Wells Fargo (WF), focuses on enhancing team member engagement through professional development, coaching, recognition and wellness programming. Passionate about diversity and inclusion, team member recognition, and innovation, Ryan brings more than 15 years of industry experience from work with non-profit, government and Fortune 100 companies in the areas of Human Resources, Leadership Coaching, Marketing, and Technology. Ryan works with business leaders and HR professionals to bring consistency, visibility and fairness to team member experience efforts; directly aligned with core retention and talent management strategies. Ryan believes that for businesses to be considered industry leaders in any market and to outshine their competition, they must place their number one asset first…their team members! Ryan completed his M.A. in Organizational Leadership from Augsburg College in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and also holds an M.A. degree from Humboldt State University in California. He recently completed the Work-Life Certified Professional® (WLCP®) certification through WorldatWork and is a Certified Recognition Professional® (CRP®), instructor, and member of Recognition Professionals International®. Ryan resides in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Cheryl Miller has more than 25 years in the Marketing/Communications, Experience and Sponsorship management industries. As a Marketing Program Manager in the Deposit Products Group (DPG) at Wells Fargo (WF), she is responsible for Team Member (employee) Experience. Cheryl’s role involves marketing and communicating WF and DPG strategies, vision, and programs to team members including: Diversity & Inclusion, Recognition, Team Member Connection Survey, Learning & Development, and Internal Events management. As a former member of RPI’s Board, Cheryl has presented the Race for Recognition training at our RPI Naples conference and has facilitated and hosted additional RPI programs. She has also presented at the IEG annual conference and trained other business groups within WF on team member engagement. Cheryl recently completed the Work-Life Certified Professional® (WLCP®) certification through WorldatWork. Cheryl resides in Phoenix, Arizona.

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2D. Recognition Restoration: Choosing the Right Technology Tools

Tina Weede, President, USMotivation

This presentation will focus on new technology tools for employee engagement and recognition that can be integrated into an enterprise or used as standalone applications.

Following this session, you will be able to:

  • Explain the need for enterprise-wide engagement and recognition
  • Identify how technology can help automate recognition efforts, expand program reach and enhance engagement
  • Describe the application of technology tools within employee recognition environments

About the Presenter:

Tina Weede, CRP, has an extensive background in performance improvement and recognition in both business-to-business and consumer marketing. She has designed, implemented and managed incentive programs of all sizes, providing wisdom through measurable results. She has a proven track record of delivering award-winning and successful solutions by utilizing a team approach, acting as an extension of her client’s team. Her vision has produced many innovative new services, which have had a lasting positive effect on the performance improvement business.

Tina’s background is in advertising; she started her career at J. Walter Thompson. In 1990, she joined the communications division of USMotivation (USM). She served as Vice President of Major Accounts, where she was instrumental in helping clients align incentives with their business objectives, prior to being named President in 2010. Under Tina’s leadership, USM has reached many milestones. In 2012, 30% of USM’s associates were trained and designated as Certified Recognition Professionals (CRP) through Recognition Professionals International. Tina’s investment in the CRP training has enabled these associates to further develop their recognition program proficiency and positions them as expert industry resources. USM earned the distinction of Overall Best Practices winner in RPI’s 2013 Recognition Best Practice Awards by demonstrating excellence in all seven of RPI’s best practices.

Tina has been a member of The Society of Incentive & Travel Executives since 2009. She is also a member of The Incentive Marketing Association, where she most recently served on the executive committee of the Performance Improvement Council. She is Vice President on the board of directors of Recognition Professionals International.

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2E. Recognition Strategies in the Health Care Arena (Health Care Panel Presentation)

Amy Hurley, Program Director of Recognition, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center; Carole Erken, Human Resources Director, Kaiser Permanente; Gail Ann Rawlinson, Human Resource Advisor, Recognition Services, Alberta Health Services; JoAnn Grantham, Recognition Program Manager, the University of Michigan Health System; Melissa Minkow, Patient Experience Leader, pCare

Join some of North America's best health care and hospital systems in an engaging panel to discuss the importance of recognition in health care. Moderator and participants are industry experts in recognition and health care. Hear them share success stories and best practices as well as the challenges they face recognizing a workforce that never stops and is always changing.

Following this session, you will be able to:

  • Outline key s trategies for allocating resources
  • Name 3 challenges to r ecognizing a diverse workforce ranging from environmental workers to brain surgeons
  • Explain the role patients and healthcare consumers play in recognition and rewards
  • Share some of your own best-practice ideas

About the Presenters:

Amy Hurley is the Program Director for Recognition at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus, Ohio. She has responsibility for providing recognition tools for more than 19,000 faculty and staff in a 24/7/365 large health system with more than 55 locations. Amy is a Licensed Social Worker and a Certified Recognition Professional. She is proud to sit on the Board of Directors for Recognition Professionals International and chair the Best Practices Committee.

Carole Erken is the Human Resources Director for Kaiser Permanente Panorama City and Antelope Valley in California. Kaiser Permanenete is the largest Health Maintenance Organization employing over 150,000 employees nationally. In her current role, Carole is accountable for all human resources functions within the Panorama City and Antelope Valley service areas, which include strategy, integration, planning, recruitment, training, reward and recognition and labor relations for approximately 5,000 unionized health care employees. Ms. Erken has also received her Senior Certificate in Human Resources from the Society of Human Resources Management and is a Certified Recognition Professional from Recognition Professionals International (RPI).Her professional interests include employee recognition, performance management, high performance work teams and developing collaborative partnerships. Ms. Erken has served on the RPI board for the past eight years and has written articles and spoke on the importance of employee recognition.

Gail Rawlinson has worked the past 7 years in Recognition Services for the province of Alberta Health Services as Human Resource Advisor. She has witnessed the merging of 13 small organizations into one large entity. Gail’s challenge has been transitioning from a staff of 4 for 30,000 employees and 2,000 physicians to only having 5 staff for 100,000 employees, 8,500 physicians and 22,000 volunteers. She and her team are still in the initial stages of launching their recognition programs and we will learn how they have created an overall recognition strategy based on the best practices to reach every level of the organization.

JoAnn Grantham is the Recognition Program Manager for the University of Michigan Health System and manages recognition initiatives for more than 20,000 employees. Her goals are to ensure that these initiatives reach all level of the institution and that leadership realizes the significance of aligning them with employee engagement. JoAnn is a Senior Human Resource Professional and has more than 20 years’ experience.

Melissa Minkow speaks nationally on the topic of employee recognition and the patient experience. Throughout her career, she has focused on increasing patient satisfaction, clinical process improvements, hospital HCAHPS and employee recognition. She is the Patient Experience Leader for pCare and leads its Interactive Adoption Process. Ms. Minkow has been a member of RPI since 2008. She is a Certified Recognition Professional and currently serves as RPI's Executive Vice President.

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2014 Annual Conference

Each conference breakout and keynote address is approved for .1 CEUs as approved by IACET. Recognition Professionals International (RPI) has been approved as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET), 8405 Greensboro Drive, Suite 800, McLean, VA 22102.

Thank You, Business Partners

2016 Recognition Professionals International

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St. Paul, Minnesota 55114
Phone: 651-290-7490 | Fax: 651-290-2266 |