SAN ANTONIO, TX – After last year’s virtual 2021 Human Resources Forum, members were ecstatic to be returning to a face-to-face, in person meeting. With three days of productivity and fun planned, 15 companies around the nation flew to Texas, excited and eager to learn. “The best part is knowing I have the network, but to participate in person is just phenomenal,” Donna Anderson of Peterson Sheet Metal said.

Deb Whitworth of HR Studio Group, LLC was a highlight of day one, where she dug into succession planning and what that looks like. “Succession planning goes hand-in-hand with career advancement,” Whitworth said. With numerous handouts, members had plenty of opportunities to reflect on their own professional success, in addition to being provided charts and real-life examples on how to work through investigations and complaints in the workplace.

“Since I am new to HR, Deb gave many good ideas for me to take back to management,” Elyse Schuman of Wiegmann Associates said, “I am excited to give them new ideas.”

After a successful first day of learning, members returned for another day of training. Day two had many productive topics, but the guest speaker, Susan DiGraitis, was one of the segments found to be highly informative. DiGraitis facilitated an open-discussion workshop with an emphasis on performance management. “Perfection is the enemy of progress,” DiGraitis said. “You need to constantly evaluate.” The time spent with DiGraitis was full of large group discussions, breakout groups, and time for reflection. “I am definitely going to build off her information and implement a review for our personnel,” Jeff Adams of Mechanical Service & Systems, Inc. said. The onboarding presentations by Schuman and Rita Swegheimer of Standard Plumbing & Heating were also found to be beneficial to the members. Schuman shared her company’s new hire training while her onboarding binder was passed around for each attendee to review in detail. Swegheimer established the importance of onboarding to establish good rapport.

Day three started with Cary Dixon of Blauch Brothers who created a presentation on a New Hire Training Program. Dixon shared various diagrams he utilizes during this training process, which correlated experiences with creating positive outcomes. “This was my first Unified event, and I am so grateful for having been included,” Dixon said. “I can't wait to attend the next one to continue learning and sharing best practices with the teams.”

Overall, the time spent in San Antonio with The Unified Group was advantageous to all who attended. “I learned SO much from really intelligent people. I felt very welcomed and supported,” Kelsey Alstrup of Legacy Mechanical Systems said. “I’m grateful for the willingness of others to share ideas and suggestions.”
If you or someone you know is interested in attending an upcoming meeting with The Unified Group, contact Janet Kelleher at (815) 546-6211 or