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Who Will Be This Year’s HR Tech Opening Keynote?

Shark Tank's Barbara Corcoran will share strategies for getting people on the path to greatness.
By: | August 5, 2019 • 2 min read

Reality TV star Mike Rowe speaks to attendees during last year’s HR Tech opening keynote.

The HR Technology Conference has featured many distinguished opening keynoters over the years, and 2019’s event will be no different. Barbara Corcoran, a star of ABC’s Shark Tank, will officially open the conference with a presentation titled “How to Lead Your Team to Greatness.”

Barbara Corcoran

In addition to her role on Shark Tank, where for nine seasons she’s served as an “investor/Shark,” helping to evaluate pitches on the show and ultimately investing in over 80 businesses to date, Corcoran is a sought-out motivational speaker and author of the book Shark Tales: How I Turned $1,000 into a Billion Dollar Business! During her talk on the afternoon of Oct. 1 at The Venetian Las Vegas, Corcoran will delve into topics such as hiring the best people and establishing an atmosphere of innovation in the workplace.

Corcoran’s own story is a compelling one. According to her official bio, she got “straight D’s in high school and college” and went through 20 jobs by the time she turned 23. Shortly thereafter, she borrowed $1,000 and started a small real estate firm in New York, which ultimately became The Corcoran Group, one of the largest and best-known brokerages in the U.S.

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Last year’s HR Tech Conference featured Mike Rowe, producer and star of Dirty Jobs. Rowe interspersed his humorous recollections of adventures and mishaps on his show with an urgent call to attendees to take a hard look at whether the jobs they hired for truly required a college degree: “We keep sending kids off to four-year colleges to accrue lots of debt while studying for jobs they’ll never get,” Rowe said. “Meanwhile, there are 6.6 million unfilled jobs in the U.S. that don’t require a college degree and, in many cases, pay north of 100 grand per year. And yet we’ve eliminated shop class from so many high schools.”

Other opening keynoters at past HR Tech events have included Josh Bersin, Marcus Buckingham and Laszlo Bock, former chief people officer at Google.

This year’s HR Technology Conference will be held Oct. 1 through Oct. 4. Click here for more details.

Andrew R. McIlvaine is senior editor at Human Resource Executive®. A Penn State graduate, Andy also spent two years in the U.S. Army prior to attending college and attained the rank of sergeant while serving in the Army Reserves. He can be reached at [email protected]

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