Home Business St. John business HR EXPERTS TO ADDRESS CONFERENCE



Aug. 2, 2001 – The Virgin Islands Human Resources Management Association (VIHRMA) in collaboration with Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak and Stewart, LLC (Ogletree Deakins), will be hosting a workshop entitled "Winning the Human Resources Challenge in the Virgin Islands." The full-day event will be held on beginning at 8:30 a.m. Aug. 6, at the Wyndham Sugar Bay and Beach Resort. The featured speakers for the event include Reginald E. Jones and W.A. Hilton Clarke.
Jones, former commissioner of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) will speak on "Harnessing Workplace Diversity." Jones joined Ogletree Deakins, one of the nation’s largest firms representing management in employment and labor matters, as a shareholder in its Washington, D.C. office in October, 2000. Jones was originally nominated to the EEOC by President Clinton and unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate for a term that ran from July 29, 1996 to August 27, 2000.
On October 3, 2000, the president nominated Jones for an additional five-year term of office. However, citing his belief that he can make greater contributions toward the diversity and productivity of the American workplace from the private sector, Jones declined the nomination.
Throughout his term at the EEOC, Jones was a key player in shaping and defining the many policy pronouncements issued and judgments made by an activist commission. Always an advocate of proactive strategies to prevent workplace discrimination and achieve productive diversity, Jones was the moving force behind the EEOC’s "Task Force Report on ‘Best’ Equal Employment Opportunity Policies, Programs, and Practices in the Private Sector." This 1998 publication was designed as a broad overview of the positive practices with which corporate America is addressing its obligations to equal employment opportunity and workplace diversity. It has been widely hailed as one of the leading resources for employers seeking to implement best employment practices.
Prior to his appointment to the EEOC, Jones was minority counsel and staff director for the United States Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources’ Labor Subcommittee, from 1989 to 1993. During his term with the committee, Jones was significantly involved in the 101st and 102nd Congresses’ enactment of many landmark legislative issues, including the Civil Rights Act of 1991 and the Americans With Disabilities Act. Before joining the U.S. Senate staff, Jones was a partner with Seyfarth, Shaw, Fairweather & Geraldson, where he specialized in employment discrimination counseling and litigation.
The other featured speaker, W.A. Hilton Clarke, is the first vice president of the Caribbean Employers Confederation, of which VIHRMA is the newest member. Founded in 1960, the CEC is a regional body comprised of employers’ organizations from the entire expanse of the Caribbean. The CEC now has 16 members, including organizations from Trinidad, Jamaica and Bermuda, just to name a few.
The mission of the CEC is to advance the interests of its members in the development of sound human resource and industrial relations practices, the preparation for the integration into the global economy, as well as to manage the process of hemispheric integration and the development of social dialogue.
In addition to his role as an officer in the CEC, Clarke is also the vice chairman of the Employers’ Consultative Association of Trinidad & Tobago, which is Trinidad’s member organization in the CEC. Clarke formerly held positions as vice president for government relations for BP Amoco, PLC and Human Resources Manager for Amoco Trinidad Oil Company, among other positions. Clarke will speak on developing labor issues in the Caribbean.
The conference will also feature a presentation by local labor and employment attorney Charles E. Engeman of Ogletree Deakins on recent changes to VI Labor and Employment Law, including a discussion of the amendments to the Wrongful Discharge Act and the current status of the Unemployment Insurance laws. There will also be panel discussions on "Hot Topics in the Virgin Islands," "Preventing Workplace Problems Before they Start," and "How to Build an Effective Organization." Panelists include Executive Assistant Commissioner of the Virgin Islands Department of Labor John Sheen; Courtney Wynter, general manager of AT&T of the Virgin Islands, Richard Berry, general manager of Bellows International, Michele Lane, director of human resources of Marrriott’s Frenchman’s Reef; and Kevin Rodriguez, of the Virgin Islands Division of Personnel.
All human resources professionals and business managers are urged to attend this important workshop. For more information, contact Marcia Jeffers at 776-6500, extension 4424.


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