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SHRM CEO and president Johnny C. Taylor, Jr. (Photo: SHRM)

There’s a lot of ground to cover for the 20,000 HR professionals attending this year’s Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Conference, which officially kicked off Sunday afternoon in Chicago. Following a musical performance by America’s Got Talent sensation Kechi Okwuchi (singing, aptly, Taylor Swift’s Fight Song), introductions of the SHRM family of organizations and several Father’s Day references, newly appointed SHRM president and CEO Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., took the stage to set the tone for the conference and a vision that would extend far beyond.

“You can’t find a CEO who is not talking about HR and people,” he said. “They finally get it: people matter. There’s something different right now: they really believe it, they understand that this is critical.”

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Emily Payne

Emily Payne is managing editor at BenefitsPRO. A Wisconsin native, she spent the past eight years writing and editing for various athletic and fitness publications. She holds an English degree and Business certificate from the University of Wisconsin.

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