Why FloridaACE is for YOU!

Megan Hollis, Florida Association of College and Employers

The FloridaACE membership renewal period is now open for 2017! Current members can dsc_0133renew their membership by logging on to their FloridaACE Account, powered by MemberClicks (2016 memberships expire January 1, 2017). In addition to membership management, MemberClicks also offers features such as exclusive members-only content, discussion boards, email listservs and a social networking platform to enhance your membership experience.

FloridaACE provides professional networking with Florida-wide visibility, enhances professional development through leadership opportunities, delivers updates on Florida workforce initiatives and trends, and promotes recruitment resources and strategies. Some other advantages include: Continue reading

Good Times, Valuable Information, and Great Networking at FloridaACE Drive-In

By Robert (Bob) Nealon, Career Coach – Lynn University

Let’s start with some honesty.  Waking up at 3:15 a.m. was no fun at all, especially considering that my fiancée had a similar wake up time earlier in the week as she left for a business trip.  Two exceptionally early starts during the week can lead to a tired body and cranky spirit if you let it and, I wasn’t going to let it get the better of me.  I quickly reframed my attitude as I started my journey to meet my Lynn University (and FloridaACE) colleague, Stacy Lanigan.  I wasn’t sure what to expect when I left my house at 4:00 a.m. to head to my first FloridaACE event on the UCF campus last Friday.

Shortly after arriving to meet Stacy for our carpool effort, I got to meet her dog, Savannah.  I felt like I already knew her as I’ve seen her pictures and videos on social media.  She is even cuter in person; just ask Stacy.  I was excited to meet her because I’m a dog lover as we have a black Labrador mix named, Chloe, and also the name of our Wi-Fi home network honoring our crazy hound dog.  We can’t be the only ones who have done this, right?  The only downside to meeting Savannah was that she didn’t seem to warm up to me as I had hoped.  Although truthfully, I don’t blame her.  I’m sure I was incredibly scary looking as it was before 5:00 a.m. and I was without my first cup of coffee so she probably sensed my lack of energy and enthusiasm.

We arrived on the UCF campus and made our way to the Career Services & Experiential Learning Building.  What an incredible building!  We were greeted warmly by the UCF career staff including Dr. Bill Blank, along with FloridaACE President, Alicia Smyth.  This was only the start of the great morning to come.

The keynote address from Dr. Calvin Williams, Putting on the Ritz, was informative and impactful and provided the over 80 Drive-In event attendees with several valuable takeaways.  The only thing that could have made his presentation better would have included a smoke machine, special lighting, and pyrotechnics so he have had the entrance he wanted and deserved.  This might have been the only thing that the UCF Career Center didn’t have.

I also was fortunate enough to attend Tim Harding’s breakout session, A 21st Century Mindshift: Cultivating a Culture of Career Readiness and Competency Development.  It was enlightening and exciting to hear about the great work being done at the University of Tampa.  UT students leaving not just career ready (“Spartan Ready”), but ready to succeed in their careers.  There was much to consider and plenty to be excited about as career services evolves to better serve our students.

It was also an honor to help moderate one of the breakout sessions with my colleague including four local employer representatives answering questions about hiring practices at their respective companies.  I had fun and gained further insight into hiring practices that I can offer to the students I serve on my campus.

While I was new to the group, I was able to meet some new connections during the event too.  All of the members were very friendly and open to conversation.  I’ve been to numerous professional association meetings, conferences, and special events during my career.  However, this event was really well done.   I congratulate the FloridaACE steering committee on a fun, informative event.  Great job!

I am excited to be a FloridaACE member and am already looking forward to upcoming events including the 2017 Annual Conference at the Saddlebrook Resort and Spa in Tampa taking place June 14-16.  Hope to see you there!

FloridaACE Honors CCFCC with President’s Award

Alicia Smyth, 2016-17 President, Florida Association of Colleges & Employers

CCFCC LogoAt the 2016 Annual Conference in June, 2015-16, FloridaACE President Adam DeRosa presented the Colleges of Central Florida Career Consortium (CCFCC) with the Florida Association of Colleges & Employers President’s Award. The President’s Award is awarded at the discretion of the current President and may not be given every year. It is intended to recognize the member or group’s contribution to FloridaACE and serves as an example of their impact to those in our profession.

“For years, CCFCC has been a major supporter of FloridaACE.  This support has been both monetarily through the President’s Council and administratively through consistent volunteering at the board and conference committee level.  CCFCC members are the spirited heartbeat of FloridaACE, always the life of the party.  The support from CCFCC has helped FloridaACE grow and thrive,” stated 2015-16 President DeRosa.

CCFCC MembersThe CCFCC consists of career centers from the following SACS-accredited ICUF institutions in Central Florida: Bethune-Cookman University, Eckerd College, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Flagler College, Florida Institute of Technology, Florida Southern College, Rollins College, Saint Leo University, Southeastern University, Stetson University, The University of Tampa and Webber International University. The organization began in the late 90s and has continued to grow and thrive over time thanks to strong leadership and an annual Career Expo, an event that brings in revenue used to support members with professional development opportunities and to sponsor conferences such as FloridaACE and SoACE.

derosa_sheehyThis year, CCFCC not only sponsored FloridaACE at the President’s Level ($3,000 and above), but also incentivized CCFCC members to submit proposals to present at the conference by providing four conference registration scholarships. Additionally, CCFCC hosted a reception for members and employers during the conference and will be partnering with FloridaACE to serve as a co-sponsor of the SoACE Conference in December.

CCFCC Chair John Sheehy accepted the award on behalf of the organization. When asked about the partnership, he shared the following:

Although separate organizations, the CCFCC and FloridaACE are very much connected and possess similar goals in regards to the professional development of our members and the overall career development of our students within each of our respective schools.

I have witnessed and participated in the growth of both organizations over the past eight years, and am proud to have assisted in their advancements.

The ongoing sharing of information and collaboration between the two organizations and their member institutions is without a doubt a strong, driving force within our profession; not only in Florida, but also nationally, as we interact with those outside our region during conferences and symposiums.

As Chair of the CCFCC, FloridaACE has been a critical component of the development process for members. Cross-organizational participation is heavily encouraged and supported by programs, such as providing conference registration fees for members whom are selected to present during the annual conference. I am a strong believer of creating new initiatives, but when a catalyst is already in place, which will reach the same goal, let’s not “re-create the wheel.” – John Sheehy

2012 marked the inaugural year of the FloridaACE President’s Award.  This award was established to recognize FloridaACE members who go above and beyond throughout a given year to meet the needs of membership and provide an opportunity for the association to reach the next level. A list of past recipients is available on the FloridaACE website.