About floridaace

FloridaACE is the Florida Association of Colleges & Employers. FloridaACE membership includes representatives from higher education institutions within the state, including public and private colleges and universities; community colleges; technical school career centers and co-operative education personnel, as well as industry employers who recruit on Florida campuses. FloridaACE helps build Florida’s workforce by promoting innovative internships, cooperative education, and career opportunities through partnerships among career professionals in education, government, and industry. 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.

Authentic Leadership

Calvin Williams, Florida State University

“Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.”  Oscar Wilde 

Authentic leadership with its ability to create positive work outcomes and improve performance in the workplace has been shown in research to be a leadership style that can enhance job satisfaction for direct reports.  The authentic leadership theory has AAEAAQAAAAAAAAiAAAAAJGE4YWE3NTg0LWFkZjAtNGE3OC1iYWNkLTY1YTJhOWUwNjQyOAevolved over the past decade and has application within multiple work environments.  The authentic leadership theory is focused on leaders who display self-awareness, internalized moral perspective, balanced processing and relational transparency.  The ability for a leader to build and promote a positive work environment may enhance the performance of the work group. The self-awareness, internalized moral perspective, balanced processing and relational transparency dimensions overlap because of the core concept of authenticity.  The relational aspect of authentic leadership focuses on the relationships the leader has with direct reports, peers and supervisors.


The leader has a full understanding of their strengths, values and weaknesses and how others view their leadership ability.  The leader must be able to grasp the concept of their self-view and how it effects the work environment

Relational transparency

Relational transparency involves the leader presenting their authentic self, which helps build and develop trust by sharing true thoughts and feelings and displaying appropriate emotions. This transparency and openness creates a nurturing work environment and shows direct reports they are valued and appreciated.

Internalized Moral Perspective

This authentic leadership characteristic is evident when leaders integrate their personal morals with self-perspective and keep them separate from the organizational and societal influences.  They can separate and maintain their internalized moral perspective from outside influences.

Balanced Processing

This characteristic highlights the leader’s ability and willingness to gather viewpoints from others prior to making a decision.  The authentic leader seeks views and opinions even if they contradict their original viewpoint on the issue.  This allows the authentic leader to make decisions best for the work environment and not just for their own agenda.  Balanced processing eliminates a defensive or negative position when receiving information from others within the organization.  This helps the authentic leader build trust as direct reports know their opinions and thoughts are expected and valued.  The level of trust built with direct reports is determined by how consistent the leader is when receiving and processing information received from others.


The following conclusions were drawn from research 1) authentic leadership is significantly correlated with job satisfaction, 2) the four authentic leadership characteristics are significantly correlated with job satisfaction and 3) job satisfaction is best explained by the authentic leadership characteristic balanced processing.

How can you integrate authentic leadership within the work environment?

First-Time at #FloridaACE17

FloridaACE Workshop CBarriosCathy Barrios, Assistant Director of Experiential Learning, Florida State University

I am immensely grateful to FloridaACE and the FSU Career Center for providing a burgeoning young professional and student with the opportunity to both attend and present at this year’s conference. FloridaACE created a welcoming environment to not only meet like-minded career service professionals eager to share their experiences, but to also learn from each other about best practices and innovative ideas trending in the field that we could take back with us. It was inspiring to see the collaborative energy placed by all in events geared toward improving and providing opportunities for students to reach their professional goals during and after their college experience.

At FloridaACE, I attended various workshops that contributed to my tool belt of innovative ways to continue supporting student needs and conducting effective outreach to employers. I also co-presented a workshop with my colleague, Lauren Kume, on “How to Launch a Matched Job Shadow Program” to other interested post-secondary institutions and employers.  It had been a year since FSUshadow, our one-day job shadow program held over winter and spring break, was developed and launched by the FSUshadow team and then met with enthusiasm from both students and employers. The FSUshadow program is truly a one of a kind opportunity for students to gain access to shadowing employers, community partners, alumni and friends of the university and learn about a wide variety of career fields and industries in the process.

I enjoyed sharing and connecting with FloridaACE conference attendees about our journey and the promising results achieved after two successful sessions. We could not have done it without the support and partnership from our colleagues in higher education and the community members willing “Take a Nole to Work” in and out of state. The next opportunity for students to gain first-hand experience through FSUshadow is during the 2017 Winter Break session, December 18-21st, 2017. To learn more visit: http://www.career.fsu.edu/employers/build-your-brand/fsushadow


Recap of Board Meeting and Goals

Megan Hollis, Florida Association of Colleges and Employers

Can anyone else believe that we are already halfway through October? Where does the time go?download

Your FloridaACE board has been working hard to accomplish the goals that we set over the summer. As a reminder, here are the goals we established –

  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


Goal #1 has been a research project for Michele Groves, your FloridaACE Treasurer. Upon examining the financial ramifications with our Accountant and consulting previous board members about the reasoning for the set-up of the current fiscal year, the second part of that goal has been tabled until next year. We are continuing to examine the current membership rates to create a more equal pricing structure between our membership types.

Goal #2 is currently being led by your FloridaACE Past-President, Alicia Smyth. The FloridaACE Board has always served as the selection committee for new board members (as written in our Constitution). The way to join the board has been to demonstrate your interest through committee service and involvement in FloridaACE. To open the playing field more to all members, we are looking at creating a nomination and election process for representative board positions.

Goal #3 has been tirelessly pushed forward by Tara Stevenson, your FloridaACE Information Management Director. She is the genius behind the FloridaACE website and anything to do with your online FloridaACE experience. I’m excited to see the changes our system upgrade will bring!

Goal #4 is still in progress. There is an increase in the number of virtual career fairs being offered and FloridaACE is striving to offer new and innovative services to our member institutions and employers. If you have a passion for this, please let us know! We would love to use your talents here.

Goal #5 has started strong! Our dynamic duo of Employer Members, Teri-Anne Brennan of Enterprise Holdings and Dannon Monroe of American Traveler, coordinated our first ever webinar just for employers in early August. With the noted increase of schools in Florida switching to Handshake, they worked with the Handshake team to offer an employer training webinar on this new system.

Goal #6 is the brain-child of our Membership Development Director, Stacy Lanigan, and State University Member, Bill Blank (also our two most recent President’s Award winners!). The work done by career services offices is vital to college student development and our employer partners, but how do we ensure the future of our field? Get students involved early! We have always offered Graduate Students reduced membership rates and conference rates for the FloridaACE Annual Conference. We recently expanded that offering to our Drive-In Conference! For only $20, Graduate Student members can take advantage of this fun learning and networking opportunity.


We are making progress! As always, your input and talents are appreciated and welcomed. If you see a goal that speaks to you, feel free to contact me or the board member currently leading that charge. We would love to get you involved!


2nd Annual Drive-In

Megan Megan Hollis President Florida Association of Colleges & Employers

Good afternoon FloridaACE Members,

Have you registered for the 2nd Annual FloridaACE Drive-In yet?

The Florida State University Career Center is excited to welcome everyone to Tallahassee for this fun event!

Our schedule runs from 8:30am-3:00pm and includes a great lineup of 2 keynote speakers and 4 breakout sessions. We will also be providing tours of the FSU Career Center.

I am excited to announce our two keynote speakers!

Jennifer Fonseca of Palm Beach Atlantic University and Dr. Darren Brooks from Florida State University will be joining us to share their experiences and perspectives on creating connections.

Jennifer Fonseca, Palm Beach Atlantic University

Jennifer Fonseca Jennifer Fonseca’s Purpose Title is Destiny Activator. Regardless of her job, job title, or employer, the core of WHO she is, is one who stimulates and sets in motion purpose and calling in individuals. Armed with over 20 years of experience working in higher education at both private and public institutions, she finds herself at home in Career Development. Over the last decade Jennifer developed her 5P Process© to help individuals find meaningful and engaged careers. Her 5P’s are Passion, Purpose, Personality, Proficiencies, and Profit Centers. Through this process individuals (and even employers) pull out their potential, explore the possibilities, find intentional ways to practice and prepare, develop professionalism, and experience peace as they figure out their WHO before their DO©! (She really likes the letter P!) Jennifer is an ENFJ. Strengths: Communication, Empathy, Restorative, Harmony, and Connectedness. Jennifer currently serves as the Destiny Activator / Assistant Director of Career Development at Palm Beach Atlantic University, while managing her private coaching practice.

Dr. Darren Brooks, Florida State University

Dr. Darren BrooksDr. Brooks has more than 20 years of experience in executive leadership in the areas of information technology, human resource, sales, learning and performance improvement in both the private and public sectors. He has extensive experience in talent acquisition and development, learning systems design, human performance technology, program evaluation, project management, and change management. Prior to his faculty role in the FSU college of business and appointment as the Executive Director of the Center for Human Resource Management, Dr. Brooks held numerous executive level positions including Deputy Secretary (CHRO-state of Florida), Director of Human Resources, Director of Shared Services Operations, Director of Administrative Services-IT, Chief Information Officer/Applications Development Director, Senior Human Resource Business Partner, Regional Recruiting Director, Senior Learning Manager, and Learning Design Manager/Performance Consultant.

Registration is only $35 for FloridaACE Members!

You won’t want to miss the conversation and the information you’re sure to use when you get back to campus. Looking forward to seeing you in Tallahassee!

Click here for registration

Stacy Lanigan and Bill Blank Receive 2017 FloridaACE President’s Award

At the 2017 Annual Conference in June, 2016-17 FloridaACE President Alicia Smyth presented the President’s Award to not one, but two recipients: Stacy Lanigan (Senior Career Coach, Lynn University) and Bill Blank (Director, Career Development, University of Central Florida). 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.

“There are many people I would have given this award to if I could, but I determined early on who those individuals would be. The wonderful thing is that after I made my decision – which was back in November – they both continued to take initiative to do great things to better the association,” stated 2016-17 President Smyth.

Of Stacy Lanigan, Smyth said ,”Her motto might as well be ‘how can I help?’ She was crucial in helping us pull off our first annual drive-in conference. Stacy enthusiastically stepped up when others had to step down and was available to do anything that needed to be done to make the event a success. In fact, the push for FloridaACE to host our first drive-in conference began with Stacy. Stacy also volunteered at every opportunity to pitch in and help in the planning of the 2017 Annual Conference, going above and beyond what was expected at every turn.”

Bill Blank also played an essential role in planning and executing the drive-in conference. “As director at the host university, he did everything and anything to make sure the event ran smoothly and nothing fell through the cracks. Additionally, Bill took on a board initiative to increase our graduate student engagement and numbers at the conference. He is very committed to this cause and even started a job board at the conference to help graduate students find jobs, which is a value-add to everyone. Even now, he is continuing this initiative,” Smyth stated.

Stacy Lanigan has served on the FloridaACE Board of Directors since 2016, but has been an active volunteer since she became a member. She has served on numerous conference planning committees and has been Co-chair of the Communication & Outreach Committee since its inception in 2014. Lanigan began her tenure on the Board as Private College/University Member and is currently serving as Membership Development Director. She received the FloridaACE New Member Award in 2015.

Bill Blank has been the State University Member for the FloridaACE Board of Directors since 2015. He is chairing a subcommittee to increase student participation to increase interest in the fields of Career Services and University Relations/Recruiting and provide a pipeline of talent for our respective professions.

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.

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.