Vic Smith and Dave Puglia Discuss APMA Forum
MONTEREY, CA - Human resources and safety professionals within the agricultural industry will soon gather for the 39th Annual Agricultural Personnel Management Association (APMA) Forum in Monterey, CA. Held at the Monterey Plaza Hotel, January 23-25, 2019, the conference provides educational activities to agricultural companies so that they best understand labor and employment law, human resources, and safety. I had the chance to speak to the two keynote speakers, Dave Puglia, Executive Vice President of Western Growers, and Vic Smith, President and CEO of JV Smith Companies, to find out what this event means for the industry.
“I suppose every industry in every part of the country is challenged by recruitment, retention, and training demands, plus regulatory compliance, but employers in California and especially those in the agriculture industry navigate what must be the most complicated and burdensome regulatory regime in the United States,” Dave begins. “This conference brings together subject-matter experts across a wide range of these issues. It’s really valuable for ag employers, first for understanding those legal and regulatory issues, but also for those who want to go above and beyond as employers of choice.”
According to APMA, Dave was selected as a keynote speaker because he offers a legislative perspective about how different regulations in California and across the nation will affect the industry.
“I’m still processing the election outcomes and how those results might translate into policy affecting our industry,” he continues. “One dynamic to watch in the California Legislature is the degree to which the Democratic supermajority, now at three-fourths of both chambers, faces internal conflicts over issues of concern to the business community. And of course, the really big questions revolve around Gavin Newsom and his approach to agriculture issues. In Washington D.C., the Democratic takeover of the House of Representatives presents some interesting possibilities for a new immigration reform effort.”
Vic Smith was selected to speak about best practices for companies that wish to create and foster an enlightened and motivated workforce.
“First of all, I am honored to be asked to speak at this event. I will be focusing on being ‘the employer of choice.’ I believe we are at the point in our industry where Human Resources is becoming one of the most important components for any successful business,” Vic tells me. “Not that it hasn’t had significant impact in the past, but it will need to be transformational to keep up with future trends.”
APMA also believes in promoting networking, stating that it is one of the best resources for industry knowledge. For those attending, here’s what to expect:
Wednesday’s Opening Program:
- Comprehensive H-2A Program panel presentation
- Special guest workshop with Geni Whitehouse CPA, Countess of Communication
- Interactive activity exploring key topics to help professionals stay ahead of HR issues
Thursday will feature sessions that address emerging issues impacting the industry:
- Employment and Labor Law
- Strategic Management
- Health & Safety
- Human Resources
- Recognition of the 9th Graduating Class of the Human Resource Professional in Agriculture (HRPA) Certificate Program
Friday will feature a Labor and Employment Law Update, as well as:
- Networking lunches, reception and dinner, and popular vendor displays
Stay tuned here to get the latest in industry news!