The theme of this year’s NEI Talent Agility Symposium was The Art of Talent Agility: Weaving It All Together. More than a dozen industry experts shared their thoughts on the latest trends and strategies to consider while participants enjoyed the opportunity to network with peers, exchange ideas and receive up to eleven CRP recertification credits!
Several sessions received perfect scores of 5, with most sessions receiving scores in the 4.5 to 4.8 range. We received comments such as “Thought the topics and presenters were great.” “Loved this!” “Excellent session.” “Very informative on China.”
Pre-Symposium Workshops at NEI Headquarters
NEI hosted Domestic and International track workshops at our new headquarters the afternoon prior to the Symposium start. Both sessions scored 5 out of 5 for content! Designed to get back to the basics, each workshop focused on key elements that have the biggest impact on relocation programs to build a strong foundation of knowledge.
Welcome Reception at Joslyn Art Museum
Our welcome reception took place on Tuesday evening at the Joslyn Art Museum—internationally recognized for its collection of artists’ permanent and traveling exhibits.
Kate Dodge welcomed everyone and provided some insights regarding the history of this architectural masterpiece of the modern Art Deco that opened in 1931. The museum operates solely on donations and is free to the public.
Many of our guests took advantage of the guided tours, especially to see the works of Sheila Hicks, a Nebraska native whose artistic works are housed in the collections of major museums around the world. Her fiber-based works reveal a remarkable understanding of color, line, and texture with large hanging installations and elaborate weavings from across Hicks’ prolific career. Her work inspired this year’s Symposium theme of “weaving it all together” as a metaphor of how our industry provides so many layers of service and requirement complexities in transitioning families all over the world.
Wednesday Educational Sessions
Beginning Wednesday, after a warm welcome from Kate Dodge, NEI President, and Randy Wilson, NEI CEO, the Symposium began its offering of a wide range of topics.
- Lump Sum Programs and Technology. Lump Sum programs continue to grow in popularity and companies are looking for self-help solutions to support this segment of the relocation population that receives limited assistance. NEI’s latest technology tool was demonstrated by Mark Bartasis, NEI Client Relations Manager, who walked participants through NEI Let’s Go!to show how it can benefit Lump Sum recipients and guide them through the relocation process.
- U.S. Domestic Strategies Breakout. Three main topics were addressed in this breakout: Managing Costs, Enhancing the Employee Experience and Group Moves. The panel spent about a third of its time on each of these key areas and provided sound strategies to improve the various elements of each main category. The U.S. Domestic Strategies panel included (L-R) Kim Clare, Kari Iverson, Mark Bartasis, moderator Mitch Ulrich, SVP of Global Mobility Strategies, Kayla Conrad and Beth Olson.
- International Strategies Breakout. Similarly, the panel on the International Strategies breakout selected three critical topics: Policy Development, Tax Compliance and Enhancing the Employee Experience. Michelle Moore, NEI Chief Global Mobility Officer moderated the panel with guest speakers (L-R) Mollie Ivancic, Director of International Services, Lisa Eggershausen, NEI Client Relations Manager, Janine Jarecki, NEI Expense management Controller, Jessie Leng from NEI APAC Pte Ltd (Singapore), and Shannon O’Byrne, NEI International Account Executive.
- Active Shooter/Killer with Sgt. Robert Wondra. Our highest rated session helped individuals understand the realities of an active shooter/killer situation. Today in our world, anything can happen anywhere. The frequency with which terrorist attacks, workplace violence and other tragic events occur is increasing at an alarming rate. This session helped our participants prepare for a worst case scenario. Following the presentation, several guests asked for more information so they could investigate a similar presentation for their companies.
Round Table Discussions. Always a popular session, topics covered included Home Sale Inspections, Cost of Living Differentials, Rotational Programs and Internships, and Executive Services. Participants selected the two topics that were of greatest interest to their individual companies’ needs.
- Gen Y: Driving Changes to the Workplace. It’s no secret that this generation is shaking up the workplace and challenging the status quo. This session examined how two companies are adjusting recruitment strategies and work environments to meet and exceed the expectations of millennials, while stimulating creativity to benefit their respective organizations.
Reception and Dinner Event
Following a full day of great educational and networking sessions, participants were ready to wind down and relax at the reception and dinner event.
As everyone sat down, Kate and Randy took the stage to congratulate and recognize a number of our long term clients who were in attendance with awards—including two ten-year, two 15-year and one 25-year partnership awards. Additionally, NEI announced the names of companies that could not attend, but will receive partnership awards, including: four ten-year clients, two 15-year clients and one more 25-year client.
As the evening came to a close, our guests were invited to weave their way through a crossword puzzle where a winner from each table received a gift card before retiring for the evening.
Thursday Educational Sessions
Two more sessions were scheduled on Thursday, including:
China and Brazil Challenges with Temporary Living and Household Goods Service Delivery. Marti Briney, NEI VP of Global Client Relations, moderated this session with guest panelists Alahna Krueger from AMBER Lodging, Natalie Nisivaco, President and COO of Nelson Westerberg International who addressed issues in China, and Rudy Planavsky from Champion International Moving, Ltd. along with Miguel Tosoni from Oakwood Worldwide who addressed issues in Brazil.
Stabilizing Leadership Presence in the Midst of Change.Symposium Keynote Speaker, Joy Martin, Ph.D. from Leadership Resources, presented an engaging workshop that challenged people to look at recent major transitions to assess what happened at each stage and what could have been done to move through each phase more smoothly. An exercise in “values” helped everyone become more focused on what was really meaningful in their lives, which lead to a strategy that addressed the target behavior each participant wanted to achieve, the anticipated challenges they might face and how to prepare for potential solutions to those challenges.
Preparing for Next Year
We are already looking ahead to next year and hope you will be able to join us. We encourage you to let us know what topics might interest you the most as it won’t be long before we start setting up the programming for our 2017 Talent Agility Symposium.
Please contact your NEI representative with any suggestions you might have!