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SIOP 2009 in the Crescent City: Welcome From the Conference Chair

Julie B. Olson-Buchanan
California State University, Fresno

Join us for the 2009 SIOP conference in New Orleans!  Hundreds of devoted SIOP volunteers have put together an extraordinary conference in an unbeatable location. As is clear in the highlights below, there are many, many terrific activities to choose from including our interactive preconference activities, our top-notch program with several special speakers and events, and numerous networking opportunities.  And, you’ll be doing all of this in the French Quarter in New Orleans!  What more could you ask?! A timeline and highlights are listed below.

What Should You Do Right Now?

Run, don’t walk, to your nearest computer to make sure you can join us for the 24th Annual SIOP Conference.

Make hotel reservations.  The main conference hotel is the beautiful Sheraton New Orleans.  You can book online (http://www.siop.org/Conferences/HotelInfo.aspx) or call 1-504-525-2500 (be sure to explain you are with SIOP).  If there are still rooms available, we strongly encourage you to make reservations now!

There are several reasons why you will want to stay in the conference hotel:
• The hotel is terrific!  It has excellent guest rooms and amenities, as well as very nice interior architecture.  Plus, it is conveniently located by the French Quarter, with its amazing restaurants, shopping, and nightlife.
• Staying at the conference hotel will provide you with the most convenience for all the conference events.
• It helps SIOP. SIOP must book blocks of rooms for its conference years in advance.  If the room block is not used, SIOP is liable for the unbooked rooms (a standard practice in the industry). 

Register for conference and preconference activities.  To get the best conference registration rate and receive a copy of the program booklet in the mail, you need to register for the conference by February 15.  Plus, the earlier you register, the more likely you will be able to get into the terrific workshops, pre- and postconference events, and Friday Seminars!  If you register after the early registration deadline, you can pick up a copy of the program at the conference while supplies last.

Make travel arrangements.  Book your flight with Atlas Travel (800-776-2852) and receive discounts on Northwest and American Airlines.  Northwest Airlines is giving a 5% discount on published fares of at least $120 each way from hub airports (Detroit, Minneapolis and Memphis) and 7% discount on published fares of at least $100 each way from non-hub airports (roundtrip travel only).  Use code NM32X.   American Airlines is offering a 5% discount off normal published fares.The meeting authorization number is A9839AW.

Discounts are also available from Airport Shuttle, the official ground transportation company providing shared ride van service to and from the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport.They offer a $2.00 discount on all round trip tickets booked online through their Web site.  Get the link at www.siop.org/conferences/.

What Should You Do on April Fools Day?
Preconference Activities

You have a lot of options on the 1st of April!  SIOP has a number of interactive, informative ways for you to engage in a preconference activity.  See below for some brief descriptions.

Workshops. The Workshop Committee headed by Suzanne Tsacoumis has prepared 15 outstanding workshops for the 2009 conference on Wednesday April 1.  These professional development opportunities have been planned with the generous input and feedback from many of you.  The workshops have been carefully designed to bring you the most up-to-date thinking and practice in our field.  Check out the extraordinary panel of nationally and internationally recognized experts—both from inside and outside of I-O—who will lead this year’s workshops.  Be sure to register early to ensure your first choices!

Placement.  If you have a job to fill or are looking for a job, we strongly encourage you to use SIOP’s Placement Center. Managed by Larissa Linton, the SIOP Placement Center provides the opportunity for job seekers and employers to exchange information through an online database before, during, and after the conference.  It also provides some meeting space so job seekers and employers can arrange to meet at SIOP.  The onsite service is provided from April 1 to noon on April 4.

Master’s Consortium.  Due to popular demand, the Master’s Student Consortium will be making its 3rd appearance this year (from 1:00 to 7:00 pm).  The consortium is designed for students who are enrolled in master’s programs in I-O psychology and OB/HRM. The program includes an impressive lineup of speakers who graduated from master’s programs and have excelled as managers and consultants for some of the nation’s most successful organizations. Speakers will meet with small groups of students and participants will attend two workshops, a question and answer roundtable, and a social hour. If you have any questions about the consortium, please contact Pauline Velez at Pauline.velez@allstate.com.

24th Annual Lee Hakel Doctoral Consortium.  The consortium is designed for upper-level graduate students in I-O psychology and OB/HRM doctoral programs, generally third- or fourth-year students who have completed most or all course work and are working on their dissertations.  Presenters at the consortium will include academic and practitioner experts who can offer unique perspectives on the opportunities and challenges faced by
I-O psychologists today, as well as the key developmental experiences that can lay the groundwork for a successful career in industrial and organizational psychology.  Doctoral programs may nominate one student per program to attend the conference. Nomination forms will be sent out in January to the doctoral program contact. For further information on the 2009 consortium, please contact Suzanne Hawes at srhawes@scj.com.  

Junior Faculty Consortium: The Fourth Annual Junior Faculty Consortium (JFC) will continue to serve as a vital resource for SIOP’s pre-tenure faculty members. Based on feedback from last year, the 2009 JFC will have more time for questions and answers, more time for networking and socializing, and a forum for discussing relevant issues in more detail and setting goals to ensure participant success in the upcoming year. Sessions will encourage lively discussion and will cover topics such as research, funding, dos and don’ts regarding the tenure process, and advice on publishing and serving as a reviewer. For more information, contact Mark Frame at frame@uta.edu.

SIOPen Golf Tournament. Ron Landis is in charge of the annual SIOpen golf tournament, which will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 1 at Oak Harbor Golf Club in Slidell, LA. Oak Harbor is located about 20 minutes from downtown New Orleans and has been recognized as the #1 semi-private course in New Orleans. Opening in 1992, Oak Harbor was nominated by Golf Digest as “America’s Best New Course of the Year.” The Pete Dye inspired course makes good use of railroad ties and bulkheads around the many bayou waterways that intersect the layout.  The tournament fee is $85 and includes golf, cart, prizes, range balls, and transportation to and from the course.

New Member/Conference Attendee Reception.  Program Chair John Scott and Membership Chair Adrienne Colella invite all new SIOP members or first-time conference attendees to attend “How To Get the Most From the SIOP Conference.” This session is held on April 1 at 5:00. The session will start with a short introduction to the conference, followed by some terrific networking and mingling opportunities.

Welcome reception.  Finally, everyone is invited to SIOP’s general welcome reception from 6:00–8:00 p.m. on April 1.  This is a great way to connect with other conference goers. 

What About During the SIOP Conference?
April 2–4, 2009


The conference kicks off with the opening plenary and finishes with the closing plenary and reception. These are all-conference events that you won’t want to miss.  In-between these all-conference events you will have to make many diffcult decisions.  The challenge is not to find an interesting session but to figure out how many of these numerous interesting, informative sessions and special events you can squeeze in.
Opening Plenary. The conference officially kicks off with the opening plenary session on Thursday morning, April 2.  After the awards (Chair Wendy Boswell) and new Fellows (Chair Ann Howard) are presented, SIOP’s incoming president, Kurt Kraiger, will introduce our SIOP president, Gary Latham. Gary Latham will present his presidential address.  The combination of Kurt’s dry wit and Gary’s “understated manner” should prove to be memorable!

Program, Program, PROGRAM!!  Of course the centerpiece of any SIOP conference is its program.  Program Chair John Scott, who has no doubt been living and breathing the SIOP program for the last several months, has created a truly amazing conference program. Please see his article in TIP for more specific details as I couldn’t possibly do it justice here.  Some of the major highlights of the program include:
• Thursday Theme Track “Evidence-Based Management”
• Saturday Theme Track “Corporate Social Responsibility”
• Special Invited Speakers including:
 • SHRM President Laurence (Lon) G. O’Neil as a keynote on Thursday as part of the theme track
 • Peter Gollwitzer, NYU as keynote on Friday morning
 • APA President James Bray as a keynote on Saturday morning
• Terrific set of Friday Seminars and Community of Interest sessions

Fun Run.  Paul and Pat Sackett and Kevin Williams return as organizers of the 5K Fun Run. Set your alarm early for a 7 a.m. start on Saturday, April 4; we’re working on a course along the Mississippi River that is walking distance from the conference hotel, thus making it easy to get back to the conference for morning sessions.

On-Site Donations.  As an extension of the Saturday Theme Track (Chair Sara Weiner) on corporate social responsibility, SIOP will be accepting donations for the Make It Right Project in New Orleans to sponsor the construction of a house.  Donations will be collected during the conference or can be made anytime at www.makeitrightnola.org.  SIOP will also be collecting donations for local charities (details will be posted on the SIOP Web site).

Networking.  The program has been designed to provide multiple networking opportunities for conference attendees, so be sure to take advantage of them!  Some of these networking opportunities include sponsored coffee breaks during the conference (mid-morning and mid-afternoon), general receptions on Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday, as well as International, Leading Edge, CEMA, and LGBT and Allies receptions. 

Closing Plenary.  We are extremely pleased to announce our closing plenary speaker, Dr. Steve Kerr of Goldman Sachs.  Dr. Steve Kerr is a senior advisor at Goldman Sachs and former chief learning officer (CLO). A pioneer in his field, Steve was one of the first corporate educators to hold the CLO title, which he assumed during his tenure at General Electric (GE). He spent more than 7 years at GE as CLO and vice president of leadership development, where he reported to Jack Welch. Previously, Dr. Kerr served on the faculties of The Ohio State University, the University of Southern California, and the University of Michigan. He was dean of the faculty of the USC business school from 1985 to 1989. Dr. Kerr is a past president of the Academy of Management. He is an acknowledged author, editor, and speaker, and he has contributed to many academic and popular publications on management and organizational behavior. His well-known publications are The Boundaryless Organization (Jossey-Bass, 1995; coauthor); Ultimate Rewards (Harvard Business School Press, 1997; editor); and a Fortune article titled “Risky Business: The New Pay Game” (July 22, 1996). Dr. Kerr earned a PhD in management and organizational psychology from the City University of New York.

Closing Reception.  Following the Closing Plenary, SIOP will host a can’t-be-missed closing reception featuring great New Orleans music and food. SIOP has managed to book New Orleans’ hottest band, The Bucktown AllStars (http://www.bucktownallstars.com), a nine-piece band known for its broad appeal!  The closing reception will also feature a New Orleans food tasting where you will be able to sample a wide variety of New Orleans specialties. 

Postconference Activities
April 5, 2009

SIOP Volunteer Project.  In lieu of a traditional preconference business tour, this year we will be offering the opportunity for SIOP members to work together after the conference as volunteers in the New Orleans area on a particular project sponsored by Target.  SIOP volunteers will complete an elementary school library makeover!  The space is limited, so sign up now.  Registration fees will be donated to the Make it Right Project in New Orleans.

Flavors of the French Quarter: A Walking Tour and Creole Cooking Class.
Local Arrangements Chair Tracey Rizzuto invites you to a short walking tour of the French Quarter that will lead you to the New Orleans School of Cooking where you will learn the secrets of Creole and Cajun cuisine (9:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m.).  Key ingredients of basic Louisiana cooking will be seasoned with a little history, trivia, and lore, as a chef guides you step-by-step in the preparation of classic dishes such as gumbo, jambalaya, bananas foster, and pralines. You’ll be invited to enjoy the tasty dishes created during the class, and wash it all down with the local Abita brew, iced tea, and New Orleans coffee and chicory. Bon Appetit!

Immediately Afterward
Post-Postconference Activities


Conference Evaluation.  After you have returned home and are fully recovered from SIOP 2009, expect a postconference survey from Conference Evaluation Chair Eric Heggestad.  We will use your feedback to help us plan our next conference in Atlanta 2010.

See you in New Orleans!

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