What Makes a Keynote Sing?

25th Anniversary Stage at the Maine HR Convention

A pitch-perfect keynote speech should set the mood and strike a chord with the audience. A masterful blend of stage presence and meaningful content. That’s why we take considerable time each year searching for keynoters who do just that, assisted by a network of friends around the country who steer talent our way.

There will be seven keynotes during the 2020 Convention week, and I’m very happy to announce the opening and closing acts for next May. Catherine Carr visits from Albuquerque, New Mexico to open the Convention on Tuesday. She is an HR leader from Médecins Sans Frontières, better known as Doctors Without Borders. The closing keynote on Friday features the dramatic, yet “drama free” return of author Cy Wakeman from Omaha, Nebraska, last seen on our stage in 2016.

Why Catherine? Values, purpose, and mission inspire Catherine Carr into action. She was a successful HR leader searching for more, when one day she called her Mom to casually mention she was joining Doctors Without Borders in Kenya, a path that would ultimately take her to the civil war in Syria. From there the story unfolds. The “H” in HR reflects our common humanity, something we should never forget, and we certainly won’t after this keynote.

Why Cy? Is it even possible to top Cy’s drama-ditching, reality-based leadership talks from her earlier visits to the Samoset? Yes indeed, as she brings her mission of calling HR to greatness full circle with an in-depth study of accountability, self-reflection, and the realization that “the happiness of you and your employees is not correlated to your circumstances, but rather to the amount of accountability you take for your circumstances.”

Stay tuned next month, as we begin to roll out the rest of the 2020 program faculty.


Bud Bernstein

Curator for the Maine HR Convention

Strategic HR U.S.