Main Goals of our Chapter.

• Learn. Come learn how other HR leaders rose up and strategies to move professionally forward.

• Discover. Success stories and and ideas you did not know existed plus feedback on what works.

• Connect. Mingle with other top HR leaders to pick up on best practices, mentors, and ideas.

About the Planning Organization?

The HR Leaders Association ( is a fast growing membership organization of over 30,000 HR in executive and leadership positions who are committed to the development and advancement of HR in the corporate arena. Each of our 70 metro-based chapters and 30 state-based chapters features successful top local HR executives who volunteer to share their ideas, strategies, and what worked for them with other rising and aspiring HR at our monthly meetings or annual conferences. The overall planning of the HR Leaders Association's yearly events and chapter meetings is managed by the Executive Summits which is dedicated to supporting a number of associations globally. The co-planners of the conference series are:

Shelley Taft  
Shelley joined the team 14 years ago and serves as a Senior Program Director responsible for events planning and speaker selection for a number of our events. Before joining our team she had a similar role with Vistage (a worldwide association of CEOs) for 12 years.

Ginger Whatley  
Ginger is an accomplished events manager with a proven record of planning dynamic events with diverse audiences. She has particular expertise in strategy and events participation. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the University of Georgia.

Melissa LeEllen  
Melissa plans, directs and initiates marketing for a number of our events. She has extensive success both in events planning and communications across a number of industries. She holds a Bachelors of Science from Augusta State University.

Barbara Willis  
Barbara is responsible for keeping our planning team on task and efficient. Barbara is highly personable, communicating directly with our speakers and members to ensure their expectations and outcomes are exceeded before and after event day.

Maria O'Mailey  
Maria is helping along our product line with event planning and speaker booking. Maria is highly diversified and has studies all across the globe, including her masters degree in Communications and Globalization from Aalborg University.

  Ginger Whitley  
Ginger is responsible for events planning and moderation across a number of our key conferences and events. She holds a Bachelors in Management and holds her MBA from the University of Phoenix.

Lori Evans  
Lori serves as an Events Planner and Moderator responsible for events planning and speaker selection for a number of our events. She has a deep background in special events, expos, and trade shows. She was a Communications Major at Hofstra University.

Julie Carpenter 
Julie leads our research and publications function responsible for member services. These include meeting summaries, monthly book summaries, best practices and news. She has a Master of Professional Writing from the University of Memphis.

Shannon Houze 
Shelly Fisher    
Shelly joined our team late last year for Shelly Fitz-gerald who left to pursue other opportunities. She serves as an events planning director responsible for key events, chapter speaker and event planning, and responsibility for our annual conferences.

Will Special Diet Meals be Available?

Yes, vegetarian/vegan meals will be available upon request (identify yourself to the hotel staff once seated).

Are the Facilities ADA Compliant?

Yes, there is handicapped access to all main entrances and conference areas. We can also make special accommodations if needed (please contact the hotel to coordinate).

How Soon Can I Login to the Online Resources?

You may login to view the Columbus HR Leaders Community online resources (included in your registration) immediately after registering (note: use your email as the password the first time and you will then be prompted to create a unique password). The only exception to the immediate access is group tables as we enter those people into the registration system manually (allow 2-3 days from when you submit your group table reservation names/emails).

May I Cancel?

Yes, you may cancel for a full refund up until a week before the event at which time we will have paid the hotel for your meal and seating costs which is most of the registration expense. You may wish to keep your registration as then you will automatically receive recordings of all the speakers and you will also have access to the Columbus HR Leaders Community for a full year (new speakers monthly, articles, book of the month, mentoring access and more. If you still wish to cancel please start a chat.

May I Be a Sponsor or Speak?

Potentially yes, if your product or service adds value to the participants. Please see the Sponsorship page for more info. If you have a special story or topic that would inspire the audience please send it to for consideration

Do you Have a Negotiated Overnight Room Rate if Needed?

We don't reserve a room block for overnight rooms as most attendees are within commute distance of the hotel so the rooms usually go unused and then we are charged for them. If you need a sleeping room we recommend which often has discounts for the event's hotel or one nearby.

What is the Dress Code?

For years we have said Casual yet everyone still shows up in Professional clothing so we have given up and now say "Professional" :)

How Did You Find Me?

It is always from one of two sources. Either a past registrant suggested your name to be invited to this year's conference, or we researched your name, title and what you do on LinkedIn and thought you would be a good fit with the other attendees.

Are there Continuing Education Credit Hours (i.e. CEUs, CPEs, etc)?

Not automatically as credit approvals are state-by-state but you can manually submit the agenda in most states for credit. Also if you login you can print a completion certificate if needed for each speaker's presentation.

How Much is the Registration Fee to Attend?

Go the the Event page to view the registration fee.

Does the Location Ever Change after Registration?

Yes, on rare occasion the registration outgrows the hotel's available event room capacity where it makes sense to change to a hotel with a larger ballroom on that day. We encourage all registrants to check back on the site within 1-2 weeks of the event to verify the location for safety (you don't want to miss half the first speaker's message by the time you get to the right place).

When is the Next Summit After This One?

In most cities it is yearly although in a few cities like New York, LA, Boston, etc the Summits get too big and so for better networking/culture we do them twice yearly to get the crowd down to a more optimal size. Also keep in mind that when you register you will also receive monthly benefits for a full year (live webinar each month with a top woman leader discussing what worked, videos of other HR leaders posted each month, articles monthly, book summary monthly, and access to the city's mentoring list, and much more all included). Many HR register even if they have a date conflict to be able to access these extended benefits throughout the year.

Registration Terms?

Our full attendee registration terms are located  Here


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"I really liked the presentations."  - Felix Malave, GlobeNet

"I liked the variety of presentations."  - Greg Fleck, Landstar Systems

"I enjoyed the variety of presenters."  - Jason Ricci, Johns Eastern Company

"I enjoyed the networking."  - John Barry, ITech Consulting Partners

"I attended and enjoyed the vendor presentations the best."  - John Ball, Director, United Way

"The presenters and presentations were all excellent – I appreciated the breaks that allowed us to talk with the vendors at the tables that presented and to speak with the vendors that were only tabling."  - Josette Dzencelowcz, Travelport

"I attended and appreciated that there wa a large turnout."  - Justin Redifer, ProviderTrust

"I liked the networking the best. I think this years was the best I have been to. Keep up the good work."  - Mark Ridings, TWRA

"I liked the variety of speakers that attended and the how each of them brought something new and exciting to the table to learn from."  - Lauren Ewers, HR Coordinator, Veristor Systems