RPI 2019 Virtual Conference
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RPI 2019 Virtual Conference - October 2nd - 9:00am-1:00pm Eastern

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When: Wednesday, October 2, 2019
9:00 AM - 2:00 PM Eastern
Where: Online

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Join Us for RPI’s Virtual Conference on October 2nd from Your Own Office or Favorite Coffee Shop

Discover the latest recognition research and insights from thought leaders and experts in employee engagement, culture and employee/customer experience.


$79 for members/business partners
$99 for subscriber members
$129 basic members
$150 for nonmembers

Looking to have your whole team attend? Email info@recognition.org for team discount information.

Tremendous Value, No Travel 

The RPI Virtual Conference on October 2nd features 5 keynote presentations from thought leaders/experts, online networking with other attendees, discussion board prior to the virtual conference, free Recognition Fundamentals on-demand course ($75 value) and access to recorded virtual conference content for 6 months after October 2nd.


  • George Delta
  • Chester Elton
  • Vicki Hargrove, CRP
  • Amy Hurley, CRP
  • R. Scott Russell, CRP
  • Brad Shuck
  • David Zinger

Virtual Conference Sponsor



Session Previews

Future Trends in Recognition

How the Research is Pulling Us Forward  

Dr. Brad Shuck, University of Louisville

Session Details

The field and practice of recognition is shifting. Cash-based incentives were king just a decade ago and new trends continue to emerge that expand beyond platforms and programs into individualized, custom applications across the employee experience. The research has been clear: the next phase of recognition will be focused on the individual through a purposeful, human connection using technology that is individualized. At the edge of recognition is transformation of the employee experience and a re-tooling of how we are thinking about the power of recognition beyond the walls of work. These trends will drive the employee experience and value proposition at all levels, consider the full employee life cycle, and have defined moments that inspire. In this research-based, yet laid back and information-packed presentation, participants should expect to look toward the future of recognition and examine the trends that will define the next wave of recognition and incentive-based programs for organizations at all levels and sizes.

Learning Objectives

  1. Examine the future of recognition-based programs for organizations at all levels
  2. Summarize current research trends in recognition 
  3. Apply trends into specific points of practice through evidenced-based application
Dr. Brad Shuck

Dr. Brad Shuckis an internationally recognized scholar and thought-leader in the areas of employee engagement, leadership development, and wellness. He is the author of Employee Engagement: A Research Overview (Routledge, 2020) and has published more than 260 scholarly articles, books chapters, and presentations. Shuck is routinely featured in US-based international media outlets including Forbes, The Washington Post, and TIME, as well as international outlets such as Business World Online, India’s Economic Times, and the Hindu Times. Shuck is a tenured Associate Professor in the Human Resource and Organizational Development program at the University of Louisville and a member of the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels. Shuck holds advanced degrees in Counseling, Student Affairs, Human Resource Development, and Adult Education. Shuck was a contestant on Wheel of Fortune a few years back, is a semi-professional drummer, and has been married to his wife for seventeen years. Shuck lives with his wife and daughter in rural Kentucky.

Seize the Second Hand

How to Recognize and Engage Within Moments

David Zinger, Founder and Leader of the Employee Engagement Network

Session Details

Do you have a second?

secondhand clock


The purpose of this webinar isto encourage and enable you to make the most of moments at work for yourself and others, to both ask for a hand and to lend a hand, and to leverage research and practices that has already been used.

Often at work we could use a hand - either someone lending assistance or someone applauding our efforts. But this assistance may be neglected as we craft strategy, scrutinize analytics, or think about the big picture. Perhaps the key to overcoming this neglect are moments, because all employee experience occurs in moments and each of us may benefit by being offered a “second chance.”

Moments matter. Recognition matters. Engagement matters. We need to infuse the moments that matter with recognition and engagement for the benefit of all. I define engagement as: good work done well with others every day. Embedded within each day are a myriad of moments that are infused with the potential to make a difference at work.

During the webinar, you will learn to identify and leverage momentary behaviors that:

  • Contribute to psychological safety
  • Enliven the vigor, absorption, and dedication required for full engagement
  • Foster recognition
  • Improve well-being

Don’t waste another moment, enroll in the conference to start your “second chance.”

David Zinger

David Zinger connects the strength of one with the power of many as an engagement educator, speaker, coach, and consultant. He founded and hosts the global 7500-member Employee Engagement Network. David fuses a down-to-earth Canadian prairie upbringing with a global reach. He has worked on engagement in Thailand, Bulgaria, Malaysia, Canada, United States, Poland, Wales, Turkey, Qatar, Germany, UAE, England, India, Spain, Singapore, and South Africa.

David is a prolific author. He wrote 4 books on leadership, work, and engagement. His last book, co-authored with Peter Hart, was People Artists: Drawing Out the Best From Others at Work. David wrote over 3000 blog posts on work, engagement, management, and leadership.

David knows work and organizations from the inside out. He worked 15 years as the employee assistance counselor and career development coach at Seagram, Ltd. Today we would call his work: employee engagement counsellor and coach. This plant site was the global maker of Crown Royal and David was instrumental in fostering personal and career engagement for this organization. In addition, David taught Education and Counselling Psychology at the University of Manitoba for 25 years.

All In - How Great Leaders Develop a Culture of Belief and Deliver Big Results

With Chester Elton

Session Details

The Dilemma

your culture is your brand

While most leaders understand their most reliable competitive advantage comes from their people, few know how to get their teams “all in”—convincing employees to buy into the strategy they’ve put forward. If a culture is clear, positive, and strong, then people will believe what they do matters and that they can make a difference. If a culture is dysfunctional—chaotic, combative or indifferent—employees will spend more time thinking about why the people sitting next to them should be fired than getting fired up themselves.

The Research

Teaming up with research giant Towers Watson, #1 bestselling author Chester Elton presents the findings of an unprecedented 300,000-person study conducted in the worst of the recession for his book All In. Based on this breakthrough research and his extensive consulting experience with a who’s-who of successful organizations, he presents a simple roadmap that all managers can follow to create a high-achieving culture in their own teams where employees are engaged, enabled and energized.

The Result

Elton offers specific how-tos for each step, and tells fascinating stories of leaders in action that vividly depict just how these powerful methods can be implemented. Audiences will learn: 

  • the 3 research-based characteristics of the world’s most profitable, productive organizational and team cultures;
  • the 7 steps today’s most successful leaders use to generate buy-in;
  • how managers at any level can build a productive workgroup culture of their own where employees commit to the culture and give an extra push of effort.

#1 Bestselling Business Author, Organizational Culture, Employee Engagement and Teamwork Expert

Chester Elton

One of today’s most influential voices in workplace trends,Chester Eltonhas spent two decades helping clients engage their employees to execute on strategy, vision, and values. Is Ranked as a Top 30 Global Guru in both Leadership & Organizational Culture.

He has been called the “apostle of appreciation” by Canada’s Globe and Mail, “creative and refreshing‚” by the New York Times, and a “must read for modern managers” by CNN. Elton is co-author of the multiple award-winning New York Times and #1 Wall Street Journal bestselling leadership book, All InThe Carrot Principle, and The Best Team Wins. His books have been translated in more than 30 languages and have sold more than 1.5 million copies worldwide.

Elton is often quoted in publications such as the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Fast Company and the New York Times. He has appeared on NBC’s Today, CNN, ABC, MSNBC, National Public Radio and CBS’s 60 Minutes.

Elton serves as a leadership consultant to firms such as American Express, AT&T, Avis Budget Group and Procter & Gamble.

The Legal Side of Recognition, Rewards and Incentives

George Delta, Counsel, The Incentive Federation, Inc.

Session Details

The incentive, rewards, and recognition marketplace continues to evolve.  Studies have shown that merchandise programs continue to outperform cash-based programs in the incentive, reward, and recognition marketplace for a variety of reasons.  Yet, even within the realm of successful programs, change is inevitable.  While the future is difficult to predict, one potential shift is toward more individualized reward and recognition programs, especially customized, less scalable programs that use use technology to reward and motivate employees.

The Incentive Federation was established in 1984 as the legislative arm of the incentive marketplace.  As part of its function of monitoring legislative and regulatory developments, the Federation also has an educational function.  In this capacity, the Federation has also sponsored and conducted research that raises the profile of incentive marketplace. 

There have been considerable legislative and regulatory changes during the last few years.  This presentation will focus on the tax and legal treatment of various incentive, reward and recognition programs and current legal/regulatory issues of importance.  It will focus on tax-advantaged safety and service awards programs, which were under attack in the House version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.  Fortunately, through a well-timed legislative initiative, we were able to convince important members of the Senate Finance Committee to retain section 274(j), which provides preferential tax treatment for safety and service awards programs, as an important tool for businesses that wanted to reward ad protect their employees.                  

This presentation will also review how different types of businesses and industries understand the (a) regulatory/compliance, (b) tax, or (c) compensation issues that might arise among the various incentive, reward, and recognition programs available to them.  In doing so, it will discuss a recent IRF survey that seeks to measure responses across various industries to legal, regulatory, and compliance issues that might have to be addressed depending on the type and nature of the program.  While responses in that survey varied somewhat, overall, respondents too frequently identified legal and regulatory issues where none exist.  As a result, this survey may raise some questions and concerns regarding whether there is an adequate understanding of regulatory/compliance, tax, or compensation issues in the incentive marketplace, and what can be done to educate end users in the proper use of incentives.

George Delta

George Delta advises clients on a variety of corporate and individual tax issues including mergers and acquisitions, the tax treatment of complex financial transactions, tax planning, commercial transactions, cancellation of indebtedness issues, the innovative use of net operating losses, the taxation of pass-through entities, and lobbying and government affairs.  Mr. Delta has expertise in various aspects of the incentive, promotion, and reward and recognition fields, including safety and service achievement awards, gift cards, escheat law, sweepstakes, the taxation of awards and incentives, and sales taxation.  He is counsel to the Incentive Federation Inc. and has represented trade associations in the incentive, promotion, and reward and recognition fields, as well as other tax-exempt organizations.  He also has expertise in commercial transactions involving the Internet, including the taxation of such transactions, and in negotiating, drafting, and managing performance contracts and contracts for the sale and purchase of intellectual property and other goods and services.  He has represented clients before the Internal Revenue Service, the U.S. Tax Court, state tax courts, and state tax agencies.  He has published numerous tax articles, articles on gift cards and the law of escheat, and co-authored the treatise, Law of the Internet (Wolters Kluwer 4th ed. 2017). 

In addition, Mr. Delta assists individuals, families, and small business owners with their estate planning needs. He prepares estate plans, including wills, various types of revocable and irrevocable trusts, powers of attorney, and advance medical directives, each specifically tailored to the individual needs of the client.  Mr. Delta also advises business owners, from formation and corporate governance to business succession planning, including the purchase and sale of small to mid-size businesses.

7 Best Recognition Practices to Make Your Recognition Program World Class

Vicki Hargrove, Amy Hurley, R. Scott Russell

Session Details

Effective and impactful recognition strategies in organizations don’t happen by chance. It requires rigor and discipline to plan, execute and implement a recognition strategy that drive employee engagement, retention and recruitment.

The objectives of this session are to:

  • Introduce the RPI 7 Best Practices
  • Discuss how the BP can assess your recognition program
  • Review action planning based on assessment

The seven RPI Best Practices are:

  1. Recognition Strategy
  2. Management Responsibility
  3. Recognition Program Measurement
  4. Communication Plan
  5. Recognition Training
  6. Recognition Events and Celebrations
  7. Program Change and Flexibility

For over 20 years, Recognition Professionals International (RPI) has been driving employee engagement and culture through recognition. RPI is the association leader at the forefront of workforce recognition through its sole focus on recognition education, CRP ® certification and 7 Best Practice Standards®. With organizations from all sectors, our members are HR practitioners and business professionals who are at the leading edge of recognition building and sustaining successful employee engagement, talent development and retention practices.

RPI’s 7 Best Practice Standards® are based on knowledge gained from academic literature, professional conferences, and shared experiences in developing successful recognition programs. These standards have been amended periodically to reflect the lessons learned from previous program cycles, including suggestions from RPI Best Practice Standards® judges and award recipients. They are designed to be useful for the creation and evaluation of recognition programs in the public and private sectors, large and small organizations, and organizations with single or multiple locations or functions.

The purposes of the 7 RPI Best Practice Standards® program are to:

  • Establish objective standards for evaluating employee recognition programs;
  • Recognize organizations that successfully implement recognition programs; and,
  • Provide illustrations of recognition RPI Best Practice Standards® with RPI’s membership.

Join RPI Board Members, CRP course authors and facilitators who will lead you through the value of the Best Practices and show real-life examples in each area so you can start, re-energize and grow your recognition strategy.

Vicki Hargrove

Dr. Vicki Hargrove, CRP, Hargrove Business Consulting
Dr. Vicki Hargrove is a seasoned professional with a high level of energy and desire to over deliver on agreed upon outcomes.  She relates to those in the C-suite and to the hourly employees and has a proven record of success in the areas of employee recognition and engagement, leadership development, performance management, innovation program design and execution and change management. 

Dr. Hargrove’s  career of over 27 years included extensive experience in the HR area (HR Generalist, Training Director, Performance Management, and Engagement Consultant).  Her thought leadership as an internal business consultant for an organization with 60+ global businesses was demonstrated in the areas of change management, leadership development, recognition and innovation.

She has been one of the authors of the Certified Recognition Professional (CRP) Courses and has facilitated multiple CRP sessions.

Amy J. Hurley

Amy J. Hurley, LSW, CRP, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center
Amy Hurley is a licensed social worker and a certified recognition professional.  She leads the recognition services for The Ohio State Wexner Medical Center in Columbus, Ohio. Amy views her job as a strong advocate for the  faculty and staff and works to create and maintain effective recognition tools for all 25,238 people at the medical center.  She will celebrate 20 years with the medical Center in November.  She currently serves as President of Recognition Professionals International, a professional association dedicated to the art and science of employee recognition.

R. Scott Russell

R. Scott Russell, CRP, CEP, CA Short Company
Scott Russell is a 20-year veteran of event management and recognition from his days as a concert promoter in Southern California to his most recent 12-year stint in Operations (Employee Experience) with Verizon Wireless. Scott is currently the Director of Engagement Strategies for the C.A. Short Company based near Charlotte, North Carolina. He works day in and day out to promote the value of recognition and engagement to his staff, his clients, and others. He is the current Executive Vice-President of RPI.


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