The #StateLineCrew is an informal group of human resources professionals primarily from Southern Wisconsin and Northern Illinois that meet regularly near the Wisconsin-Illinois “state line” to network, share stories and ideas, support one another, and bond over food and beverages. The group formed shortly after the 2018 SHRM Annual Conference & Exhibition in Chicago and continues to evolve.
Four #StateLineCrew members (Paul LaLonde, Kyra Matkovich, Jeff Palkowski, and Mary Williams) will be participating as part of the #SHRM19Blogger Team at the 2019 SHRM Annual Conference & Exhibition in Las Vegas.
Read more about the #StateLineCrew from our previous SHRM Blog post “Meet the #StateLineCrew – Introduction.”
Now, meet #StateLineCrew #SHRM19 Blogger, Paul LaLonde…
What is your day job?
I am VP of Operations & HR at Voluntary Action Center in Sycamore, IL. We're a nonprofit that provides community transit and nutrition services to seniors, persons with disabilities, and low-income persons.
What is your experience/involvement with SHRM?
I've been a member of national SHRM since 2014, and a member of the IL Fox Valley SHRM group since 2016. I currently, serve as Secretary of the Board of Directors for the IL FV SHRM.
What are you most looking forward to as a #SHRM19Blogger?
Sharing my thoughts and perspectives with HR pros across the country and learning from them and how their experiences can enhance my own!
Name one speaker or session that you are most looking forward to at #SHRM19.
There are two speakers I am most looking forward to. Erich Kurschat of Harmony Insights, who speaks Sunday afternoon, and Karlyn Borysenko from Zen Your Work. Both are such amazingly positive people whom I respect immensely.
What does the #StateLineCrew mean to you?
What began as an informal networking group has grown into a group of friends. I have such great respect for this group of HR people on a professional level, but more importantly on a personal level! I look forward to our meetups more as friends than as pros. We talk about our lives, our families, and our dreams. It's already grown in scope more than what I originally envisioned.
Why should others consider similar meetups like the #StateLineCrew in their areas?
Connecting with people on a friendship level is SO important in any profession, or any lifestyle. I consider these people my friends, more so than my colleagues. However, at the end of the day, making meaningful connections in any context is important. The #StateLineCrew has helped me keep my focus on getting better as a person.