October 4-6, 2017
at The Westin Lombard Yorktown Center in Lombard, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago
THE NRWA CONFERENCE 2017 RECAP
By Jean Austin, 2017 NRWA Conference Chair
The NRWA conferences are known for their programming excellence, networking opportunities, and fun, and the 2017 conference was no exception! On October 4-6, 2017, resume writers from coast to coast gathered in Chicago to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the National Resume Writers’ Association and to take part in an extraordinary lineup of speakers and events.
HONORING THE PAST
Present on this special occasion were several NRWA founders, as well as early members who were instrumental in developing our association’s structure, policies, and procedures. Marty Weitzman, the first president of the NRWA, addressed attendees during the Founder’s Banquet. His description of the founders’ vision for the association and how they worked together to make that dream a reality was inspiring. He said it never occurred to him that the association would be stronger than ever after 20 years, saying “Tonight, as I looked out at the audience, I thought — we did something good. We did something good!” Marty’s standing ovation showed that his audience agreed. The National Resume Writers’ Association remains the only national nonprofit organization specifically for resume writers, with the only comprehensive certification program that has withstood the test of time.
The annual awards ceremony followed the Founder’s Banquet, with the Vivian Belen Award being presented to Jean Austin, 2017 Conference Program Planning Chair. Norine Dagliano, who has been a passionate advocate for correct grammar as well as developer and instructor for The NRWA’s “Writing Excellence” program, was awarded the Industry Hero award — a well-deserved companion to the Vivian Belen Award she received in 2016.
One of the most enthusiastically received events of the 2017 conference was the ROAR Reveal. Winning ROAR resumes were blown up to poster size and individually revealed as the writers’ names were announced. Conference attendees spent time following the awards ceremony — and during the rest of the conference — studying, discussing, and learning from each document.
CELEBRATING THE PRESENT AND EMBRACING THE FUTURE
In keeping with the conference theme of “Celebrating 20 Years of Resume Writing Excellence,” the NRWA was fortunate to be able to bring together three keynote speakers with ties to the founding or the very early years of the association. Louise Kursmark, in her opening keynote address, “Celebrating the Past, Predicting the Future,” discussed changes in the resume writing industry and the workplace during the past 20 years and shared her predictions for the future and the challenges we will be facing. In her presentation “Ditch the pitch! Dance on the edge of vulnerability — and connect more than ever before!” Deb Dib, an NRWA founder and editor/publisher of the initial NRWA newsletters, talked about the brand authenticity and the power of embracing and revealing one’s own vulnerabilities to engage and assist clients. Pat Criscito covered an immense amount of material in her “ATS Update 2017.” Susan Britton Whitcomb’s closing keynote, “Who Do You Long to Be…Today, Tomorrow, in 20 Years?” was philosophical and inspiring, as she touched upon not only the NRWA’s history and future but that of attendees.