It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year…

Christmas came early this year for the Compliance world, with the Health Care Compliance Association, Women in Compliance, and European Compliance and Ethics Institute all happening over the course of 12 days.  It was incredibly intense, but also a fabulous chance to connect with so many peers and friends in compliance across the world. 

National Harbor / HCCA

The festivities started last Sunday in National Harbor, Maryland, with 3000 participants at the Health Care Compliance Association’s conference. 


I performed the keynote on being a Wildly Effective Compliance Officer, then did a session with the fantastic Calin Elardi on making training Relevant, Impactful and Fun.  The head of the Office of the Inspector General spoke before my keynote, and he stated that a recent survey found that 91% of CFOs ranked corporate culture a critical element of business success.  While this is an impressive figure, it begs the question- who are the other 9% who still don’t get it?!?

Women in Compliance Conference and Awards

From National Harbor, I jetted back to London for the Women in Compliance Conference and Awards.  The Women in Compliance Conference was an intimate affair, which lead to a strong feeling of camaraderie and the ability to let down our guard while sharing our victories and frustrations.  My favorite session was chaired by Kathryn Higgs of Tesco and Elizabeth Wilks-Wood of the Ritz Group.  They taught us all about how to build a personal brand within the compliance profession.  They cited a survey that found that although 60+ percentage of the people working in compliance are female, two out of three of the CCO jobs are held by men.  Hopefully conferences like this one will move us toward better gender parity in the top spots.

On Thursday, I had the great honor of presenting the Women in Compliance Awards.  Although we didn’t win our categories, our client Royal Mail Group won the In-House Compliance Team of the Year Award.  It was a beautiful event, and I couldn’t have been prouder to have been both a participant and a judge.


European Compliance and Ethics Conference, Prague

I’m writing this on my way home to London from Prague, where I presented the keynote at the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics’ European conference.  I spoke on the topic of my next book, how to be a Wildly STRATEGIC Compliance Officer (link to the Facebook Live post:  The conference brought together people from all over Europe, and included many Americans as well as new friends from Brazil and Asia. 

In addition to presenting at the conference, I had a personal milestone, as my company, Spark Compliance Consulting, had its first booth at a conference!  Having a home base at the conference was fantastic and it marks a professional first for me and my business partners.


I finished the day recording a podcast with Tom Fox, Jonathan Armstrong and Ruth Steinholtz discussing the effect that Brexit may have on compliance, the international compliance movement, and the confluence and divergence of ethics and compliance as concepts.

What’s Next?

Things should calm down for a little while in the run-up to the publishing of my second book, the Wildly STRATEGIC Compliance Officer Workbook (May 9th!).  Then I’ll be keynoting at the ABA’s Regulatory Compliance Conference in June, followed by the fall conference season, including a pre-conference speech bringing Wildly Effective techniques to the SCCE Conference in Vegas.

Nothing is as heartening and inspiring as being with my compliance family throughout the world.  For those of you reading this- thank you!  You make it all worthwhile!  See you in…. Denver, Chicago, Las Vegas…etc….in the fall!