Meet The Disruptors: Shelley Smith of DisruptHR Hampton Roads, VA

Who are the people that are taking the lead in disrupting the future of work?

They’re the official Disruptors (Organizers) of DisruptHR events held in cities around the world. Each week, we’ll introduce you to one of these intelligent, inspiring, and beautiful people (okay, pick two) who have stepped up, and volunteered to organize a Disrupt HR event in their city.

Shelley Smith of DisruptHR Hampton Roads (Disruptor #178)

LinkedIn – [Shelly Smith]

Twitter – [@PremierRapport ]

Who are you, and what do you do in your “day job”?

Shelley D. Smith, CEO Premier Rapport, Inc.






How did you first hear about DisruptHR?

A colleague of mind, Mark Tunstall called me and said you have to check out this website. I did and was blown away. I immediately reached out to Jennifer for more information to get involved.

I am a disruptor at heart, so the name immediately grabbed me and hooked me in for more.

Why did you decide to raise your hand and become an organizer for DisruptHR events in Hampton Roads?

Every area needs these events, the energy, the disruption. If not me, then who? If not now, then when? So, I jumped in.

How many events have you organized?

DisruptHR Hampton Roads (757) is starting our second year – so, just 2 events. We had 97 at the first and 126 at the second. We are estimated big growth for round 3 this spring, closer to 250.

What types of people/industries have attended your events?

I am happy to say we have a wide variety of attendees. Owners, those in the c-suite executive realm, as well as up and coming HR practitioners, and a variety of consultants, plus a few well-known local TV celebrities.

What are you most proud of that has come out of being involved with/organizing DisruptHR events?

Our speakers, we had 12 the first round and 10 the second. They all brought their A game with innovation, thought-provoking topics with a ton of energy.

Our venue was amazing both times, along with the music and food. I can’t forget to mention a ton of networking happened. Loved the deals made on the floor connecting sponsors to attendees.

What kind of feedback have you received from those who attended prior DisruptHR Hampton Roads events?

Yes, they were waiting to speak to myself and the other organizations after both sessions to tell us how amazing it was – 75% of our attendees from the first time attended round 2.0 so that must mean we nailed it and brought something new, some needed disruption.

Plus one of our speakers and fellow organizers had the number 1 spot in video views one week. That kicked up the aftermath a notch as well. Good stuff.

What is your favorite DisruptHR Talk, and why?

Elizabeth Veliz in from 1.0 – her talk was titled The F-Word In Corporate America. She is a killer speaker and her talk was about accountability. Her opening grabbed you for sure. It’s a must-see talk.

Giving Employees The F Word (The Right Way) | Elizabeth Veliz | DisruptHR Talks from DisruptHR on Vimeo.

Based off of the Talks and conversations at your events, what do you feel are the areas with the biggest opportunity for disruption?

The need to get out of your comfort zone. Go beyond, stretch your possibilities and be far more agile.

What excites you or frustrates you about the future of work, your career and/or DisruptHR?

A.I. is going to change things. It’s cool and scary at the same time. In my business, I help a company to focus, refocus, fix leaks in their company culture. Change is happening now with AI and so much more in our environments.

I am so happy owners/executives are moving faster towards an understanding of how their workplace environment affects their bottom line. Plus, I love helping them tweak or rescue them to get there. Get to the company culture they envisioned.

What’s Happening With DisruptHR Hampton Roads:

DisruptHR Hampton Roads Community Page

DisruptHR Hampton Roads Facebook Page

DisruptHR Hampton Roads on Twitter (@DisruptHR757)

#DisruptHR757 Twitter mentions


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