Category: VMS Professionals

2018 VMS Professionals Conference

Over 100 contingent workforce managers from across the United States gathered together this past week for the 2018 VMS Professionals Conference at McDonald’s Hamburger University in Oak Brook, IL. This was the 14th Annual Conference, where industry experts and fellow end-users shared insight on trends and explored how to adapt to what’s coming next.

We heard from leaders from various corporations on what they are doing to attract contingent talent and change their programs: from leveraging a brand and creating a program brand, to leveraging alternative talent such as retirees and freelancers. We heard from Seyfarth Shaw’s Kara Goodwin about real life cases and were provided knowledge to help mitigate risks. Staffing Industry Analysts’s Dawn McCartney shared information regarding technology and personal experiences in the contingent space, proceeded by Genuent’s Kip Wright who helped us understand branding and what others are doing to enhance the candidate experience for contingent workers.

Thank you, Special Olympics Illinois, for stopping by to give us a 50th anniversary preview and share how our companies can get involved.

We look forward to seeing everyone again next year!IMG_3022










TechServe Alliance 2016 Annual Conference

TechServe’s 2016 Annual Conference was held last week in Amelia Island, Florida. For 15+ years, MAKE Corporation has attended this conference which focuses on the issues and trends driving the IT & engineering staffing and solutions industry.
Guest speakers, such as Professor and author Michael Roberto of Bryant University, discussed how to build consensus and align your team behind decisions. Alan Beaulieu, a leading economist with a record of 94.7% accuracy in economic forecasts, dove into what actions businesses should take in response to the economic landscape. Karen Wilson, President & CEO at MAKE Corporation, along with other business owners, discussed how to successfully leverage relationships in a VMS world.

The weekend ended with the TechServe Alliance Executive Women’s Luncheon. This year’s lunch was moderated by Leslie Vickrey, CEO, ClearEdge Marketing, where she interviewed Sue Thaden, President/CEO, CRi, and Karen Wilson, President/CEO at MAKE. The women discussed how they got started in staffing, what risks they took over the years and how they built confidence as a strong female leader in the industry.FullSizeRender

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VMS Professionals 11th Annual Educational Summit & Conference Recap

This past week on June 4th and 5th, the 11th annual conference offered a great opportunity to network with industry peers, hear the latest on legal trends, and gain insight on running a successful program. For those who were unable to attend, the full agenda from the conference is available here.

In addition to conversations around ACA and Total Talent Management, VMS Professionals and MAKE Corporation were proud to host guests from Special Olympics Illinois, President & CEO Dave Breen along with a Global Messenger, Kristin, and presented them with a $25,000 check to show our support. Thank you to Special Olympics for joining us!


Regular monthly meetings in Chicago & Dallas will resume in September. Meeting details will be posted on as they are available.

Save the date: October 24th is the 2015 Special Olympics Inspire Greatness Gala at the Four Seasons Chicago, which will be chaired by MAKE President and CEO, Karen Wilson.

About VMS Professionals:

VMS Professionals is a national association comprised of end user companies networking to discuss best practices in the acquisition and management of contingent labor. Our Mission is to network and educate with the highest professional integrity for the purpose of growing VMS Best Practices and contributing to the industry as a whole. For more information, visit or contact

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A State of the Industry: VMS Professionals Conference Recap

When we launched our blog last month, I shared with you some details from the upcoming VMS Professionals conference. Held on Thursday, May 31 and Friday, June 1, the 8th annual conference offered a great opportunity to meet with industry leaders, learn about the issues and challenges facing our businesses and talk about news and trends that affect us all. Workforce

A full agenda from the conference is available here, but for those who could not attend, I wanted to share some of my key takeaways from this year’s event:

  1. Management of contingent labor is more important than ever. Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA) recently reported that more than $1.8 trillion is spent globally on contingent labor. That number has seen tremendous increase in recent years, and the trend is expected to continue in the upcoming years. This growth demonstrates a profound expansion in complexities of global, multi-disciplined labor categories—and it means that managers of contingent labor are more critical to their organizations than ever.
  2. Legislative trends are making a big impact. In our most recent blog post, I talked about the TechServe lobby day and issues facing our industry. We were very pleased to have George Reardon, Special Counsel at Littler speak to attendees about penalties and impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) healthcare reform law on contingent workforce. He shared important data that explained how the reform specifically impacts contingent labor and the companies that use it. Mark Roberts, CEO of TechServe Alliance also presented on legislative activities and the importance of maintaining workforce flexibility and access to talent. It is important for us all to remain knowledgeable and get involved and it is great to have associations like TechServe Alliance working on our behalf!
  3. The role of contractors in your organization is evolving. Rebecca Pratt Bromet, Partner at Seyfarth Shaw Attorneys spoke to attendees about employment law concerns for employers using contingent labor. Partnering with knowledgeable contingent labor suppliers to ensure access to talent plus compliance with the law is critical. But also, as contingent labor becomes a stronger driving force within organizations (as noted in SIA’s $1.8 trillion spending), contractors are being viewed as much more than temporary labor. They are increasingly seen and valued as meaningful contributors to permanent teams, and an important part of businesses across the globe.

Let me extend my warm thanks to our presenters, exhibitors and attendees at this year’s conference. The conversations provided excellent insights and tools to help our businesses more effectively manage contingent labor.

MAKE-ing a Difference – TechServe Lobby Day 2012

Recently, I had the unique pleasure of attending my 8th TechServe Alliance Lobby Day. Held May 16 through 18 in Washington, D.C., the legislative conference offered a unique opportunity to meet one-on-one with Senate and House representatives to talk about the issues and challenges facing the IT and staffing industries.

As CEO of MAKE, I take great pride in representing our organization and our industry, discussing matters of importance and becoming involved in driving legislation. As a citizen of the United States and a business owner, I couldn’t help but draw the following benefits from the conference:

  • The opportunity to educate. Lobbying offers a unique opportunity—the opportunity to educate representatives about the challenges and issues facing our industry. With the barrage of issues and information thrown at our nation’s leaders, Lobby Day presents the chance to truly educate these representatives not only on the “what,” but the “why,” “how” and “who.”
  • The opportunity to make a real impact. Interacting with our representatives and learning about the inner workings of our government was incredibly enlightening and empowering to me as both a business owner and a citizen of the United States. Actually being on Capitol Hill and discussing issues that affect both me and my business is incredibly profound, and makes me extremely proud to be an American.
  • The opportunity to build real relationships. As I mentioned previously, this was my 8th TechServe Alliance Lobby Day. Over the years, I’ve met with many representatives to discuss issues of importance, and I am proud to say that I have been recognized as a returning representative for our industry. The ability to build rapport and long-term relationships with our elected officials is an amazing opportunity, thanks to the TechServe Alliance.

I’d like to give a special thanks to some of the representatives who gave me an extended opportunity to meet and talk with them about pressing issues for the staffing and IT industries. In particular, Senator Chuck Grassley (IA), Representative Joe Walsh (IL) and Representative Peter Roskam (IL). During the conference, I met with each of these elected officials to discuss multiple laws and initiatives, including:

  • Clarification of the Computer Professional Exemption. While our nation’s government works swiftly to change law to accommodate advancements, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) has not kept pace with changes in the IT industry. Antiquated language written before the advent of the Internet is affecting the rights of many IT professionals. It simply has not kept pace with the constantly changing needs of this industry. Other industry representatives and I fully discussed the necessity for change in this critical area.
  • Increased Educational and Training Opportunities in IT for U.S. Workers. Nationally, we are facing a shortage of highly skilled IT professionals. TechServe Alliance supports public policy initiatives that seek to increase the availability and attractiveness of education and training for U.S. professionals in high-tech fields. In particular, the STEM Coalition (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Education Coalition) has been striving to increase high-level tech training and opportunities in our nation.

What are the issues at the top of your list? We’d love to hear your opinions or input on challenges facing IT professionals today. Let us know in our comments section!

Welcome to MAKE’s Take – Gearing Up For The VMS Professionals Conference

As we continued to look for additional ways to engage with our valued candidates and clients, we knew it was time to “get social.” The cornerstone of our new social effort, our blog MAKE’s Take will be used to share our expertise with you through career tips, IT news and other useful information.

We will be updating this blog frequently, so please check back often! Plus, don’t forget that our blog is just the beginning. Be sure to “like” or “follow” us on our new Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter pages. We look forward to connecting with you there!

The MAKE Difference
Here at MAKE, we take pride in our extensive experience and knowledge in IT staffing and recruiting. We are dedicated to the growth and development of the IT services industry through involvement with organizations such as TechServe Alliance, Staffing Industry Analysts, and VMS Professionals. In fact, I am the proud co-founder of VMS Professionals, a national association of end-user companies that network to discuss best practices in the acquisition and management of contingent labor. We are deeply committed to giving back to the community—a belief that permeates our entire team from top to bottom and we hope that some of our activities will inspire you to MAKE a difference in your community!

VMS Professionals 8th Annual Conference
Hiring and managing your employees through VMS can have a dramatic impact on your business, its goals and ultimately, your bottom line. As we strive to refine and expand VMS best practices, we are pleased to exhibit at this year’s conference. Stop by our table to learn more about MAKE’s services!

The VMS Professionals 8th Annual Conference will be held in the Hamburger University at McDonald’s Corporation in Oak Brook, IL on Thursday, May 31 and Friday, June 1. This year’s theme is “VMS – Evolution or Revolution? Is your Contingent Workforce Program Gaining Ground or Continuing to Fight Battles?”

During this two-day event, industry leaders will be presenting on a range of topics that affect organizations across locations, industries and markets. Our keynote speakers will be addressing critical issues in managing the workforce, including:


  • George Reardon, HR legal consultant to a variety of business organizations, will speak about “Healthcare Reform and Its Impact on Contingent Workers.”
  • Mark Roberts, TechServe Alliance CEO, will present on “Key Legislative & Regulatory Developments Impacting Both the Client and Vendor Communities.”


  • Rebecca Bromet, labor attorney with Seyfarth Shaw will present on “Employment Law Concerns for Employers with Contingent Workers.”

In addition to our keynote speakers, both days will also feature discussion panels and information sessions about other topics facing employers and the contingent workforce. We are excited about our lineup of speakers and panels, and look forward to another lively, engaging conference.

Registration for the 8th Annual VMS Professionals Conference is open until Friday, May 25. Register now through the VMS Professionals website, or feel free to contact me with any questions. We hope to see you there!

And stay tuned to MAKE’s Take. Our entire team is excited to share knowledge and expertise with you, and we welcome your feedback! If there are topics you’d like us to discuss here on the blog, please feel free to share them with us in the comments section below.