Over the past 14 years of my ethics and compliance career, I have had the pleasure of attending many SCCE conferences and events.  This year, I was able to experience the 17th Annual Compliance & Ethics Institute, Hosted by the Society for Corporate Compliance and Ethics (SCCE) through 3 lenses.  I attended this year’s conference as a speaker, an attendant, and as a vendor.  Looking through my tri-colored lens, here are the 4 most important takeaways from this year’s conference.


1. Changing of the Guard

Roy Snell, co-founder and CEO of the Society of Corporate Compliance & Ethics, gave his final farewell from SCCE on Monday at the group’s annual conference in Las Vegas. During his farewell speech, Roy captured the essence of the affect compliance professionals can have on people lives.  “Compliance professionals create trust in companies,” Roy said. “Trust in companies creates trust in countries. Trusted countries are more successful in the global economy. Countries that are successful in the global economy increase the standard of living for the lives of their people. You are all part of something that is very, very big.”  Roy’s last day as CEO will be November 1st.  Gerry Zack, who’s been learning from Roy for the past year, will be taking over the role of CEO. I have no doubt Gerry will make his own unique, positive mark at the SCCE and in the world of ethics and compliance. 

2.     Quality speakers

Over the years as the number of the attendees has grown, so has the quality of the presentations.  The SCCE has always done an amazing job of putting together a thought-provoking agenda that offers a wide variety of topics.  This year I was both a speaker in a breakout session, as well as an attendee in other speakers’ sessions.  I attended several sessions, but the one that I enjoyed the most was “M&A Transactions: Tactics and Strategies for Effectively Managing Ethics and Compliance Risk.” Both Kasey Ingram, General Counsel & Chief Compliance Officer for ISK Americas Incorporated, and Louis Sapirman, Former VP, Associate General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer for The Dun & Bradstreet Corporation, deliver an engaging and informative presentation.  They made some great points on the strategic and valuable role compliance plays before, during, and after a merger or acquisition. 


3. Networking

One of the things that I have always loved about attending the SCCE conference is the chance to meet new people that geek out over ethics and compliance as much as I do.  Everyone is always friendly and open to connecting.  I’m a big fan of leveraging LinkedIn and connecting with new compliance peers in real-time. I also thought the LinkedIn booth, which offered a one-on-one learning session on how to elevate your professional profile, was a great idea.  I have always found that most compliance professionals are happy to help each other uncover ideas, share best practices, and spark inspiration.  If you aren’t connected with me on LinkedIn, please feel free to send me an invitation to connect. 


4.     Presenting

My CEO, J Rollins and I had the pleasure of presenting at this year's Conference.  I was a wonderful opportunity to speak on a topic that very important to me and has impacted me directly.  The topic of our presentation was “Building a Corporate Culture that Combats Sexual Misconduct.”  I was very excited to see that we had a full room and very impressed with the level of interest and engagement.  I shared my personal account of being sexually harassed in the workplace at the beginning of the session. It was very empowering to share my story; it’s not something I had ever done before.

After the presentation was over, several attendees came up to me and shared their story of being harassed in the workplace.  I’m still in awe over other compliance professionals getting sexually harassed in the workplace.  If members of the compliance team aren’t safe from harassment, then I’d say that a good indicator that women in other departments are just as likely, if not more, to experience harassment in the workplace too. 

 Overall, I think this years SCCE conference as a big success for ETHIX360 as an organization, as well as me personally and professionally.   We will definitely be attending next year’s annual SCCE conference.  And, if anyone would like a copy of our presentation on sexual misconduct, just send me an email and I’ll send it over.  

Stephanie Jenkins is the Chief Compliance Officer of ETHIX360.  At ETHIX360, our goal is simple, to provide an affordable, flexible and comprehensive answer to employee communication and case management on issues related to corporate ethics, code of conduct, fraud, bribery, environmental, health & safety, and workplace violence.  To learn more about ETHIX360, please visit ethix360.com, or follow us on twitter @ethix360 and LinkedIn.