Message from the President

Megan Hollis

It’s that time of year again! Students are coming back to campus, classes are starting up again, pumpkin spice-flavored everything is returning, and I’m sure your waiting rooms and appointment calendars will be filling up if they aren’t already.

This is also a busy time for your FloridaACE Board. We met earlier in August to close out our annual conference and get started on our 2017-2018 goals. I have outlined them below to keep you updated on what your Board will be focusing on over the next year. If one resonates with you or is a passion of yours, please let me know and we would love to get you involved!

2017-2018 Goals

  1. Explore and propose changes to FloridaACE membership rates and fiscal year
  2. Review FloridaACE Board position selection process and modify select positions to be open to nomination and/or election by the entire FloridaACE membership
  3. Update the MemberClicks platform
  4. Explore hosting a virtual state-wide career fair
  5. Increase webinar offerings throughout the year
  6. Enhance student participation in FloridaACE

We have recently had a change in leadership on the FloridaACE Board. Due to an increase in work involvement and travel our recently elected Vice-President, Stacy Ballinger, had to step down from her role. In her time on the board, Stacy was a strong contributor and supporter of this organization. She stepped up to assist us with the planning and logistics of our most recent annual conference even before she was a board member, and provided extremely valuable insight at our August board meeting. Fortunately for us, she has agreed to stay on in a volunteer capacity to assist the board on our newly developed Finance Committee. Thank you, Stacy, for your continued support!

This change required the board to make a mid-term appointment. Please join us in welcoming John Sheehy (Stetson University) as our new Vice-President! John has a history of proven leadership and support of FloridaACE, as well as experience on the Registration, On-Site Logistics, and President’s Council committees. John, we are lucky to have you with us and know you will do a phenomenal job as Vice-President!

Our next opportunity for you to engage with your fellow FloridaACE members is at the upcoming Drive-In Conference hosted in my neck of the woods, Tallahassee! On November 3, 2017, we will be gathering at the FSU Career Center for a day of professional development and to create new connections. Keep an eye out for updates from Matina Wagner, your Professional Development Director, on the Drive-In. If anyone needs convincing on making the drive to Tallahassee, I will let you know that it is a football weekend. The ‘Noles will be taking on Syracuse on November 4th. Sounds like a great weekend getaway to me!

I’m looking forward to this next year as your FloridaACE President! We have a lot we can accomplish together. Please reach out to me, or any board member, if you have ideas or would like to get involved.


Megan Hollis – 2017-2018 President

Florida Association of Colleges & Employers

2017 FloridaACE Annual Conference Evaluation Report

Written by: Arin Baynard & Ommy Pearson, Evaluation Committee

Arin Baynard


The conference evaluation is designed to give attendees the opportunity to provide insight and feedback of their experience in addition to provide suggestions to improve the 2018 annual conference. Thus, the purpose of the following report is to illustrate the survey results for the conference and to help plan, enhance, and maximize future conference experiences.

The following summary illustrates the survey results for the 2017 conference. The survey consisted of 17 questions where participants were given the opportunity to rate the overall conference, programming, and events, and provide feedback on what they found to be most and least useful/ effective.  A rating scale of Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, Poor, and N/A was used, along with open-ended questions for comments and suggestions. The survey received 72 total responses yielding a 48% response rate. After a review of the 2017 FloridaACE Annual Conference evaluation survey, the majority of attendees (77.78%) who participated described the overall event as “very good” and “excellent.”

According to the rating scale, the overall event received a rating of 4.15 on a 5.0 scale. Additionally, the registration process, FloridaACE website and listserv updates, and conference programming were all well received by conference attendees receiving ratings above 4.0 on a 5.0 scale.

For programming, based on number of respondents ranking the session as “Excellent”, the top rated breakout sessions were:

  • “Who Before Do: How to Help Students Find Better Jobs by Finding Themselves” – 27 (50.94%)
  • “How to Promote Social/Emotional Intelligence in Students for Academic/Career Success” – 16 (39.02%)
  • “Thinking Outside the Box: Creative Approaches to Your Employer & Advising Events” – 12 (28.75%)
  • “Development & Administration of a Career Clothing Closet” – 9 (25.00%)

Additionally, the majority of respondents (71.43%) rated the Roundtable Sessions as “very good” or “excellent”, with the highest rated roundtable being “The Millennial Way: Millennials in the Workplace” ranked as “excellent” by 14 participants. Participants commented that they enjoyed the roundtable sessions being offered on the first day of the conference. Likewise, the opening and closing keynote speakers were both rated as “very good” or “excellent” by the majority of respondents.  Suggestions included creating a more robust and interactive employer panel if this format is used for future opening keynote sessions and having a less interactive closing session.  Additionally, respondents commented on an increased need for program offerings aimed at experienced professionals and those in an employer relations or recruiter role.

Special events, meals, and receptions with the highest rating were:

  • Enterprise Closing Banquet (4.57/5.0)
  • Enterprise After Party (4.50/5.0)
  • Welcome Cocktail Reception (4.32/5.0)

Suggestions included offering food options for those who are vegetarians or have food restrictions such as gluten allergies.

In general, participants commented that they enjoyed networking with their peers.  Overall suggestions included providing hotel accommodations that are less remote and better designed for networking. The FloridaACE Board of Directors and Conference Committee members will review the feedback collected to effectively plan future conference events and programming.



#FloridaACE18 Drive-In


Flyer 2018

The 2017 Drive-In Conference on November 3rd is a time for making connections and networking with Florida ACE members.  Register now so that you can connect with new people and meet up with old acquaintances.

We are excited about Florida State University hosting the event this year at their new career center in Tallahassee!  Tours of the facility will be offered during the lunch break and we will hear from FSU staff about implementing industry best practices and the many innovative career readiness initiatives at the university.  If you attended last year’s Drive-In at UCF, then you know how much information Florida ACE packs into the sessions and discussions.

We encourage member schools and employers to reach out to other colleges and businesses in your area to promote this must attend event. It is a great way to introduce the resources of Florida ACE to new people in the field.  Registration is limited to the first ninety people who sign up!

FloridaACE Drive-In Conference Registration

“Urgent! You Need to Show Your Work!”

Ben HeinsBen Heins – Coordinator, Internships and Service Learning – USF Sarasota-Manatee

Early in my time at USF Sarasota-Manatee’s Career Services, it was revealed that I studied, read, and wrote poetry fairly extensively ever since I was in my early twenties. My then-supervisor bought me a very thoughtful gift soon thereafter: a book that grounded many work-related philosophies I held and taught me several new ones that I practice every day. Unbeknownst to her, that book – Show Your Work by Austin Kleon – was written by a poet who taught me the craft of erasure, one of my favorite poetic styles. It was one of life’s full-circle moments that made a deep impact on me as a professional and as a person.

In Kleon’s book – a follow-up to his bestselling Steal Like an Artist – the goal is to work in 10 new “ways of operating” to more effectively tell your story. When applied to the work we do as practitioners of career services, Kleon’s suggestions help prioritize and publicize data collecting, which in turn amplifies our narrative without losing the human, collaborative element. In each of the 10 sections, he keeps the language approachable and easy to internalize. Let’s check out the chapters:

  1. You Don’t Have to Be a Genius
  2. Think Process, Not Product
  3. Share Something Small Every Day
  4. Open up Your Cabinet of Curiosities
  5. Tell Good Stories
  6. Teach What You Know
  7. Don’t Turn into Human Spam
  8. Learn to Take a Punch
  9. Sell Out
  10. Stick Around

Each of these 10 parts have excellent, pertinent strategies we all can use. Little nuggets abound – some more relevant than others, depending on what speaks to you. For example, every day, I still seek touch points with my “scenius” – a scene of like-minded individuals whose collective of ideas is greater than any single member’s; an “ecology of talent,” as Kleon puts it, that is critical to forward movement. I take time every day to give credit where credit is due because it leads to stronger relationships and new, fruitful connections. At a low cost, these lessons and many more are available now and can help elevate the quality of our work to a new level.

Alternatively, email me, and I’ll gladly mail you my copy to borrow. (


Carmen Ellis and her first-timers takeaway! #FloridaACE17

Carmen Carter, M.S. – Assistant Director for On Campus Recruitment – Career and Talent Development – FIU


FloridaAce was such a wonderful conference, as a career service professional it is always invigorating listening to other institutions and learning about the programs and initiatives that they’re implementing to help students. I received so many takeaways and cool ideas that I plan on using at Florida International University. I valued meeting colleagues from other institutions as well as hearing from employers/ recruiters on ways we can work better together.

Congratulations to the 2017 John T. Brownlee Leadership Award Recipient, John Sheehy

Alicia Smyth, 2017-18 Past President, Florida Association of Colleges & Employers

Brownlee Award Recipient, John Sheehy, with two of his three nominators, Erin Minta and Sandi Ohman

The Florida Association of Colleges & Employers is proud to announce that this year’s John T. Brownlee Leadership Award recipient is John Sheehy. John has been a Career Development Coordinator and Student Success Coach at Stetson University, working with business students, for over 11 years. John has been a member of FloridaACE since 2010 and immediately began serving as co-chair of the Conference Registration Committee. Additionally, he has served in leadership roles over the years for the On-site Logistics Committee and President’s Council. John’s enthusiasm for service also earned him the New Member Award in 2012.

It was John’s efforts in his role as Chair of the Colleges of Central Florida Career Consortium (CCFCC) that helped him to stand out as a leader within FloridaACE. For instance, John came up with the idea to develop a registration reimbursement program to incentivize CCFCC members to submit program proposals to present at the FloridaACE Annual Conference. Members who were accepted were entered into a drawing. In the past two years, six FloridaACE conference registrations have been paid for by CCFCC. Additionally, each member school was able to receive reimbursement for up to two members to attend the 2016 FloridaACE Drive-In Conference. During John’s time as Chair, he also established the annual CCFCC reception at the FloridaACE conference, created a chair position for social media and marketing, established committees, and promoted the idea of creating awards for high achieving members and students of member institutions. FloridaACE was also able to partner with CCFCC to co-sponsor SoACE’s President’s Reception last year when their annual conference was in Florida.

The John T. Brownlee Leadership Award was established in 1987 by the Florida Association of Colleges & Employers (FloridaACE) in recognition of John T. Brownlee’s contribution and tireless efforts on behalf of the organization. It is the highest honor that a member of FloridaACE can receive and the list of recipients is a “who’s-who” of outstanding career services and human resources professionals who have led the way to make FloridaACE the exemplary organization that it is today.

In order to be considered for the Brownlee Leadership Award, a member must receive two letters of nomination. John received three. Excerpts from the nominations John received:

“John has been dedicated to his profession through his work on the leadership team of the CCFCC.  His enthusiasm and passion are evident in his commitment to the members of this group as well as the students served.  John regularly schedules meetings, connects its members to professional development opportunities and just plain gets things done.” – Mark Colvenbach, Director, Office of Career Services, The University of Tampa


“John’s leadership style includes modelling collaboration, professionalism, service to the industry, persistence, and vision.  As the Treasurer for CCFCC, I grew under his leadership because the single-minded pursuit of his vision pushed us to expand as a consortium and to develop individually as professionals.  Additionally, John is quick to make newcomers feel welcome and to encourage service and engagement, thereby assisting new career services professionals to develop swiftly and to become successful practitioners, while simultaneously ensuring the progress and ongoing success of organizations such as CCFCC and FloridaACE.  I consider it a privilege to have worked so closely with him these last 3 years, and to have witnessed his exemplary leadership.“

– Erin Minta, Program Manager, Career Services, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University


“John’s passion and enthusiasm has spilled over into the FloridaACE organization.  He has suggested and led sponsorship opportunities by CCFCC at the FloridaACE conference, encouraged volunteer and presenter opportunities by CCFCC members, and led by example by volunteering himself at previous conferences and events.”

– Sandi Ohman, Assistant Director, Career Services, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

On behalf of FloridaACE, congratulations to John receiving this award! Having worked with John for many years through both FloridaACE and CCFCC, it was a sincere honor to announce John as the recipient and to hand him the award on stage at the Annual Conference this year. It is truly inspiring to see someone’s leadership, hard work, enthusiasm, passion, and service rewarded when you know first-hand how well-deserved it is.

The call for nominations for the 2018 John T. Brownlee Leadership Award will be announced in the November. Please consider nominating a dedicated FloridaACE member who has made a significant contribution to the association and/or the career services or university relations/college recruiting professions. Board members are not eligible. A list of past award recipients and selection criteria can be found on the Brownlee Leadership Award page of the FloridaACE website.


Meagan is looking forward to getting involved at #FloridaACE18

Meagan Jones – Assistant Director of Career Planning – Saint Leo University Meagan Jones

“I was very excited to attend the FloridaACE conference as a first time attendee. I had the opportunity to meet and connect with numerous employers, vendors and professionals in the field. FloridaACE members welcomed first time attendees with open arms which allowed for an exchange of wonderful pleasantries, and as a result long lasting personal and professional friendships were established! In the future, I am looking forward to attending FloridaACE next year as well as getting involved in several committees!”