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S c h e d u l e


MONDAY, Nov. 14


12:30 to 1:00 pm


Workshop sessions

1:00 to 5:00 pm

  • Welcome/Introductions
  • Keynote: Career Development, Ian Baynes
  • Mentor & Train a Multigenerational Workforce, Tiffany Gearhart
  • Emerging Issues at the EEOC, Joe Bontke
  • Industry/Member Panel
  • Speaker Q&A

Networking reception

5:30 to 6:30 pm



6:30 pm



Continental breakfast

7:30 to 8:00 am


Workshop sessions

8:00 to 12:00 pm

  • Employment Law & Legal Best Practices for Recruiting in the Social Media Age, Jack Wisdom
  • Attract Talent and Build Loyalty with Unconventional Perks, Tiffany Gearhart
  • Young Valve Professionals (YVP) Panel
  • Small Group Discussion & Conclusion

Working Lunch for Communications Committee and Careers Advisory Board (Invitation-Only)

12:00 to 2:00 pm                                                    



Visit to learn more about how VMA is working to attract newcomers to the valve industry as part of its Valve Careers Initiative.




Nov. 14-15, 2016



building a better workforce through employee engagement




Marriott West Loop - Galleria



About the Program

At the second VMA HR Workshop: Building a Better Workforce through Employee Engagement, Nov. 14-15, 2016 at the Houston Marriott West Loop by the Galleria, industry experts, a legal authority, and a training & mentoring specialist will offer valuable information and practical resources for employee retention, training and mentoring.


Keynote speaker Ian Baynes, who has served as Strategic Global Marketing Leader for A.W. Chesterton, will address attendees as this year's HR Workshop. With extensive experience in strategic business development and business unit leadership, Baynes will offer a discussion on retention, training and mentoring in the industrial sector, particularly regarding his experience working closely with the successful mentoring program at A.W. Chesterton.


Tiffany GearhartRecruitment and Training Expert for AIRS (an ADP company) returns to the HR Workshop to present two sessions on equally important topics: attracting talent with enticing benefits, and mentoring and training a multi-generational workforce.Tiffany's two presentations at the 2015 HR Workshop were met with rave reviews, and her detailed, tactile resources armed the attendees with recruiting tools that many didn't even know existed.


A session on Legal Best Practices in the age of social media, with attorney and employment litigation specialist Jack Wisdom, will provide attendees with much-needed standards on how to approach recruiting and hiring, as well as training and retention in our modern, digital society. A session on Emerging Issues at the EEOC with the Deputy Director of Houston's Equal Employment Opportunity Commission will offer insight and guidance on a variety of issues that today's human resources leaders need to be aware of. 


Additionally at this year's workshop, VMA member representatives will share success stories and setbacks from which to learn. A variety of panels consisting of members, YVPs (Young Valve Professionals) and special guests will provide the opportunity for free-flowing discussion on the increasingly important issue of retaining the workforce. Attendees will also have several opportunities for networking and knowledge-sharing with fellow members and speakers over the course of the program, which begins mid-day on Nov. 14 and ends mid-day on Nov. 15.


This workshop and the Valve Careers Initiative is a project of the VMA Communications Committee: Tracy Fairchild, chair, Velan; Greg Johnson, vice chair, United Valve; Alan Veteto, Circor; Tim Fries, Powell Valves; Kyndle McMurry, Richards Industries; Kelly Watson, Watson Grinding & Mfg.

Who Should Attend?

Human resource specialists, managers, directors or VPs, or anyone who directs or manages a company's recruiting and retention activities.


Young Valve Professionals Are Also Welcome

Each registered member company is encouraged to bring up to two YVPs (Young Valve Professionals) who are exempt from the registration fee. YVPs are outstanding young workers within VMA member companies, who are recognized for their contributions to their workforce and act as "ambassadors" to the valve manufacturing industry - showing other young people that a career in valve manufacturing is not just for baby boomers.


For the second year, the HR Workshop once again invites these YVPs to attend alongside the HR representatives, not only to give them an opportunity to learn more about the human relations aspect of the industry they are working in, but also to share their experiences as a young worker in valve manufacturing. For attendees of the HR Workshop, this valuable insight into the mindset of the younger worker can make all the difference when it comes to recruiting, hiring, training and mentoring the next generation of valve manufacturers.

Please note:

  • YVPs may be asked to participate on a panel in which they share their experiences in the valve industry with the workshop attendees.
  • YVPs may be asked to record a brief, conversational "interview" on camera for an upcoming Valve Careers outreach video. 
  • YVPs are not required to pay the registration fee, but are responsible for travel and lodging costs.

Need more information on YVPs or who should attend this workshop? Please email Jessica Bello or call 804.739.3956.


Registration open to the industry. Members (only) who register may bring one or two of their YVPs who are invited to attend at no cost, however, members must pay for their employees travel and lodging.

  • MEMBER: Regular registration fee (Oct. 8 - Nov. 13): $425
  • NON-MEMBER: Regular registration fee (Oct. 8 - Nov. 13): $495



The 2016 HR Workshop will be held at the Houston Marriott West Loop – Galleria. Located within one mile of Houston’s popular Galleria area, attendees will enjoy the proximity to first-class dining and shopping, as well as luxurious and contemporary atmosphere and upscale amenities of the hotel.


To book your room at the special rate of $139/night, click here or call 713.960.0111 and mention the VMA HR Workshop.The room block at the hotel is close to filling up, so please make your hotel reservation as soon as possible.


For questions on the HR Workshop program content, contact Jessica Bello, VMA Careers Coordinator.


For questions or assistance registering for the event, contact Malena Malone-Blevins, VMA Meetings Manager.


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