Carrie Louise Hovell, CPP
On a beautiful Saturday this month, the members of the VSPC Board visited the DoubleTree in Williamsburg to get ready for this year’s conference. Now you might be asking, why would we want to do that? Over the years, you learn each hotel is different and they offer various layouts. The best way to get familiar with the hotel is to see it in person.
Our sales manager took us around the hotel and we were able to check out the rooms for our general sessions, exhibitor hall, breakout sessions, and meals. This helps us to understand how many people can fit in each room, the layout of the overall hotel, and how to best utilize the space we have for our event. The VSPC Board was able to ask the hotel how they would handle transitions and how long they needed to break down or set up rooms. As a board, we need to be aware of the time the hotel needs to complete these transitions in order to avoid long periods of waiting. By being in person, we had opportunities to walk around the entire hotel, meet the staff, and also see how easy it was to get to the hotel.
A very important room we took time to understand the available space was the Ballroom where we will have our Exhibitor Hall. Each year, our vendors select a sponsorship level for our conference. For most vendors, that includes a booth at our Exhibitor Hall. We needed to be sure how many exhibitors we could hold in the hall this year and how to best incorporate them into our event. The Exhibitor Committee was able to walk the space, determine the size of booths we could offer, and how many it could hold with our projected attendance. This was so much easier in person than trying to figure it out from a map.
Each year, the board meets each month to work on the conference and be sure we are ready for October. We could use the help of our payroll professionals to better this conference. Volunteering is essential to our continuous success. Every new person that gets involved brings new ideas and a new point of view. You don’t need to jump on the board to start. Each committee needs help throughout the year and if you are able to step up and help, this message is for you. If you like to post on Social Media. We have Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram. Help us post something once a month. It can be something fun, a lesson you learned, an update you received, or a poll to get people to participate. If you like to write, we could really use help with article submissions. Our newsletter is the event’s communications to almost 3,000 people. We know they see it and we want them to look forward to reading it each month. You don’t have to be an expert writer; we can help people proofread and polish the article before it goes out. If you have a talent for getting donations for door prizes and giveaways, you could help the Donations Committee to be sure we have plenty of diverse prizes for the end of the conference. And there are many more areas where you can help. If you just want to get involved but don’t know how, please reach out to me. We can talk about what you like to do and see where you can help.
Finally, I want to take this time and thank our volunteers for traveling from all areas of Virginia and West Virginia. They took their personal time to check out the hotel and best prepare for this year’s event. I am forever grateful for the commitment of this year’s board and their desire to do the very best for our payroll professionals. Don’t miss out on all their hard work. Utilize early registration and sign up today. We can’t wait to see you in Williamsburg, VA.
The VSPC provides attendees with the opportunity to engage with leading companies displaying and demonstrating their products. We are excited to introduce exhibitors who will be participating this year and offering you an unrivaled chance to experience the latest technology and innovations.
The Year of Change is Upon Us
By Stephanie Salavejus
A career in payroll can be a daunting experience for even the most confident payroll professional. The process has evolved far beyond multiplying hours by a rate and deducting a few taxes, and we need to have reliable resources in place for education and keeping up-to-date on vital information.
The passing of the Tax Cut and Jobs Act bill in December created a sense of urgency for getting year-end completed so that we can begin the process of implementing the necessary changes to our systems. Management and employees anticipate the payroll team to provide guidance and answer their questions, so it is important to prepare.
Various associations work closely with the IRS and will provide periodic updates when new information becomes available, so it is important to keep your channels of communication open. These associations include your local chapters, the Virginia Statewide Payroll Conference (VSPC), the American Payroll Association and VSPC vendors.
The IRS Communications Liaisons released guidance in the form of an in-depth list of answers to frequently asked questions (https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-withholding-tables-frequently-asked-questions), and we recommend sharing the information with vital stakeholders and employees.
The IRS has asked the withholding changes be in place by February 15th, 2018 and to anticipate the release a new Form W-4 that almost all employees will need to complete and sign. But, this is only the beginning of changes that will impact the payroll industry. But you have support from the VPSC, and there is strength in numbers. The Virginia Statewide Payroll Conference continues to grow and evolve every year providing a network of subject matter experts you can rely on for keeping up with changes in tax legislation and best practices for implementing changes.
Experts predict 2018 will be a year of significant changes in payroll. We invite you to join us on October 12-13, 2018 in Williamsburg, Virginia to learn from subject matter experts on payroll legislation and best practices. Learn more about the conference by visiting the VSPC website at www.vspc-apa.com.
Reservations: The Virginia Statewide Payroll Conference group rate of $101/night + tax, is available one day before and after the conference! Call 1 (800) 222-8733 and reference the group name Virginia Statewide Payroll Conference 2018 or group code VSP. You can all so use the reservation website by September 10th, 2018 (or until sold out).
To make your reservation at www.Williamsburg.DoubleTree.com. On the left of the page enter the dates of arrival and select “Add special rate code". Select “Group Code”, where you will enter your "ID code" of VSP. The group rate for this event is $101.00 per night. To get the government rate, check the “Government / Military Rate” box on the left side of the screen. Please contact the hotel directly in regards to accommodations for early check-in and late check out.
Hotel Amenities: The hotel offers complimentary parking, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, modern 24-hour fitness center and their signature chocolate chip cookie!!
Local Attractions: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Williamsburg is the closest hotel to the thrilling Busch Gardens theme park. The hotel offer shuttle service to and from the park (fee applies). While you are in Williamsburg, enjoy a round of golf on one of Williamsburg’s world-famous courses. The hotel offers easy access to dining and shopping at the Premium Outlets shopping mall.
By Corrie Hunt
Williamsburg, Virginia is such a historical place and goes hand-in-hand with the “Payroll Revolution” theme. If you are looking to maximize your stay in Williamsburg, here are some places you may want to explore:
• Visit Historic Jamestown (https://historicjamestowne.org/)
Historic Jamestown is the original site of the Jamestown colony. Located on Jamestown Island at the western end of the Colonial Parkway, this unique site is administered by the National Park Service and Preservation Virginia. Jamestown Settlement is a state-operated living-history museum adjacent to the original site.
• Visit Colonial Williamsburg (https://www.colonialwilliamsburg.com/)
Colonial Williamsburg is a living-history museum and private foundation presenting part of a historic district in the city of Williamsburg, Virginia, United States. Colonial Williamsburg's 301-acre Historic Area includes buildings from the 18th century, as well as 17th-century, 19th-century, and Colonial Revival structures, as well as more recent reconstructions. The Historic Area is an interpretation of a colonial American city, with exhibits of dozens of restored or re-created buildings related to its colonial and American Revolutionary War history. Colonial Williamsburg's Historic Area's combination of restoration and re-creation of parts of the colonial town's three main thoroughfares and their connecting side streets attempts to suggest the atmosphere and the circumstances of 18th-century Americans. Colonial Williamsburg's motto has been: "That the future may learn from the past".
• Visit the Governor’s Palace (https://www.colonialwilliamsburg.com/locations/governors-palace)
The Governor's Palace in Williamsburg, Virginia was the official residence of the Royal Governors of the Colony of Virginia. It was also a home for two of Virginia's post-colonial governors, Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson, until the capital was moved to Richmond in 1780, and with it the Governor's residence. The main house burned down in 1781, though the outbuildings survived for some time after.
• Visit Jamestown Settlement (https://www.historyisfun.org/)
It's a perfect time to visit Jamestown Settlement, where visitors are immersed in the world of America's first permanent English colony. Extensive gallery exhibits and film explore Jamestown's beginnings as a business venture, the impact of European colonization on the Powhatan Indian culture, and the origins of the first known Africans in Virginia. Outdoors, explore re-creations of a Powhatan Indian village and 1610-14 fort and board a replica of one of the three ships that sailed from England to Virginia in 1607.
• Visit Colonial National Historic Park (https://www.nps.gov/colo/index.htm)
Colonial National Historical Park is located in the Hampton Roads region of Virginia and is operated by the National Park Service of the United States government. The park protects and interprets several sites relating to the Colony of Virginia and the history of the United States more broadly, ranging from the site of the first landing of the English settlers who would settle at Jamestown, to the battlefields of Yorktown where the British Army was finally defeated in the American Revolutionary War.
• Williamsburg Ghost Tour (https://colonialghosts.com)
Are you ready to experience Colonial Ghosts, the most authentic ghost tour in Williamsburg, Virginia? Our original stories have earned us accolades as one of the top 10 Ghost Tours in the U.S. and the best ghost tour in Colonial Williamsburg.
• Witches of Williamsburg Tour (https://www.viator.com/tours/Williamsburg/Witches-of-Williamsburg-Tour/d33617-25677P2)
Calling all ghost hunters, this 1-hour ghost tour of Williamsburg delves into the dark history of the city. Alongside a costumed guide, you’ll explore eerie streets cloaked in darkness and listen to tales of horror and hauntings. Learn about the 1626 Virginia witch trials, step on the former site of 18th-century gallows, and listen carefully for creaks of the death wagon on Nicholson Street. On this family-friendly tour, numbers are limited to 15 in order to maintain a spooky atmosphere.
• Busch Garden’s Howl-O-Scream (https://buschgardens.com/williamsburg/events/howl-o-scream/)
Howl-O-Scream is an annual special event that occurs at Busch Gardens Williamsburg. The park remains operational during the day and transition to Howl-O-Scream at night. The event features haunted houses, "scare zones", and live entertainment. It is a seasonal event in the Fall of the year, tied to Halloween.
As our selected charity for 2018, Transitions’ implements a host of services including a 24-hour hotline; emergency, short-term, and transitional shelter; support groups; safety planning and legal advocacy; information and referral; art and play therapy; and outreach to underserved populations. Transitions’ services are available at no charge.
Transitions engages in a host of collaborations with allied community agencies to expand available services to survivors and their families, including partnerships with local Human Services departments; Commonwealth Attorneys and Victim Witness Offices; the Hampton-Newport News Community Services Board; the Center for Child and Family Services; Alternatives; the Office of Human Affairs; local schools and universities; and a host of other organizations. Transitions’ is also actively involved in the prevention of future violence by working to promote healthy relationship education among youth in schools.
With our support through the needs list, we can provide a large part of the supply needs they need to adequately meet the families. Let’s make this year the largest gathering of supplies from each chapter at this year’s conference.
Bedding & Linens
By Corrie Hurt
Social Media Contest Revealed...
Social Media is one of the largest platforms of communication. This year’s conference will experience a surge of excitement as we unroll a new contest to all attendees. This conference will feature the hashtag #VSPC18 on everything posted on social media. We will be tracking the pictures and posts throughout the conference. The person with the most posts during the conference will win a gift card (VSPC Board Members are NOT eligible for this contest).
Details will be communicated at our general session during the first day of the conference and information will also be included in the welcome packets that you will receive during registration. The idea behind this contest is to create a phenomenal hype about the conference and encourage more interaction and participation by attendees. There will be some new twists at this year’s event and more social interaction and networking possibilities. This year’s payroll conference will create a whole new revolution and we challenge you to be a part of this! Don’t forget the $350 early bird registration is going on now. Visit our website at http://vspc-apa.com/ to register today!
Please check us out at www.ctwvapa.org. We invite you to join us for our March 16th chapter meeting. Our meetings are held at American Public University, 393 North Lawrence Street, Charles Town, WV 25414 at 2 pm. The topic is “Procurement with a Focus on the Requests for Proposals (RFP) Process” with speaker Kathy Elgin, CPPO, CPBB. For those wanting to know more about what you need to know about RFP and more, this course is for you. Pending approval of 1.5 RCH credits for this meeting. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or register online for this event. We look forward to seeing you at our chapter meeting!
Hampton Roads Chapter – HRAPA
The Hampton Roads chapter is off to another exciting and eventful year. We offer congratulations to our member Sharon Byrum for winning a registration to the APA’s 36th Annual Congress at our February meeting! We would also like to invite you to join us for our next chapter meeting on April 12, 2018, where Alice P. Jacobsohn, Esq. from the National APA will inform us on updates in payroll legislation and governmental relations. Please visit our website at www.hrapa.com to find out more about our chapter and to register for the April meeting. We look forward to seeing you there. Follow us on Twitter @HR_APA.
Colonial Capital Chapter of the APA
The Colonial Capital Chapter can’t wait to be the host chapter at this year’s conference in Williamsburg. We had a great presentation from Stephanie Salavejus, CPP on the topic of Online Payroll - Internet Security. I know after attending the meeting I thought more about the internet and the security access when accessing the web. Stephanie showed us the main ways we relax habits can expose to security breaches. Look for more information for our next meeting in the March Newsletter.
What does Williamsburg have to offer?
By Jasmine Jones
Great, you have registered for the conference and you have booked your room at the DoubleTree Williamsburg. You decided to stay after the conference and make a weekend in Williamsburg. But now you don’t know what you want to do while you are there. All the way up to the last newsletter for the conference I will let you know the many different attractions, events that are going on in Williamsburg Virginia. Williamsburg has something to offer for everyone. From the amusement park attractions to historical locations at every turn to the shopping at the Williamsburg outlets to dining and wine tasting. Your stay will be full great memories.
With this newsletter introduce to you the Williamsburg Tasting Trail. If you are a wine connoisseur exploring the Williamsburg Tasting Trail has to be at the top of your list. The trail starts at the Alewerks Brewing Company and ends at The Williamsburg Winery, Ltd. Click on the https://www.visitwilliamsburg.com/sites/default/master/files/Williamsburg_Tasting_Trail_brochure_final_8.5.2016.pdf for more information The Williamsburg Tasting Trail.
Check out next months newsletter for more to do in Williamsburg.
By: Elizabeth “Liz” Burroughs, CPP
You might be asking, “What impact does the Donation Committee have at the conference?” The results of the Donations Committee are seen at the end of the conference. In a way, the Donation Committee gets to represent saving the best for last.
Throughout the year, the Donations Committee works to obtain donations for our door prizes. We reach out to stores and restaurants we think will be able to donate a gift card or merchandise we can give away at the end of the conference. Many members of the board reach out to companies they do business with to see if they wish to participate and donate something to our door prizes.
If you have a place you frequent and want them to participate, please do not be afraid to ask them to donate. We have a donation letter we can send you if you need it. Just email Liz Burroughs at email@example.com.
By Martha Seemiller
Do you know how the tradition of the Rockefeller Christmas Tree in NYC was started? Do you know when the IRS first started withholding payroll tax and why? These and other fun, interesting facts around payroll will come to light this year as we begin our VSPC journey of “Payroll – Then and Now”. I am so excited about this conference as we get to go back in time and see all the interesting things that went on in the payroll world back in History. Did you know that people in ancient times used to get paid with “beer”?
The Rockefeller Christmas Tree was started in 1931 when workers, waiting for the paymaster to hand out their pay, started decorating a small tree, put up by some of the workers, with garland and tin cans.
The US tax system was put in place in the 1940’s when the federal government was raising money for the expenses of World War II.
Look for more fun and interesting facts in the upcoming newsletters.
By Carrie Louise Hovell
Last month, we introduced you to our board. We have two more members we would like you to learn more about. Each one of us had a different journey to the VSPC and volunteering on the board. I hope these volunteers inspire you to join our efforts to bring our payroll professionals the best statewide conference.
My journey with the Virginia Statewide Payroll Conference started in 2003. I had attended the VSPC in 2002 and they were asking for volunteers. This was my chance to give back to the payroll community and make a difference to the payroll professionals. I wanted to share my passion for payroll and accounting with my payroll professional peers and the youth. This was a great way to give back to society. Not knowing that the first initial step has allowed me to grow in my professional career and gain a multitude of friends along the way.
I have over 28 years of accounting and payroll experience including 19 years with PenSoft. I’m currently the Director of Support and Training for PenSoft. Oh, my I’m telling my age. I graduated from University of Maryland overseas division in Helderberg, Germany with a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science.
I'm an active member of the American Payroll Association (APA) and held my CPP, since 2000. I currently serve on multiple APA committees such as APA Hotline, Chapter Mentor Program-CHAMPS and Government Relations Task Force-IRS Issues. I also had the privilege to serve on the Education Grant Board Leadership committee and Chapter Recognition Committee. I received the APA Meritorious Service Award in 2012 and the APA Special Recognition Award in 2017.
I’ve been a member of the Hampton Roads of APA (HRAPA) since 2003 and have held multiple board positions and I currently serve as the Chapter Advisor and Webmaster. I was one of the founding members of the Colonial Capital Chapter of APA (CCC). I’ve been a guest speaker for the local HRAPA and CCC, the Money Matters National Education Day, Thomas Nelson Accounting Class and the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Club-Women’s Forum. I’ve been an instructor for the CPP study group as well.
Needless to say, volunteerism is my blood. The VA Statewide Payroll Conference committee is a great bunch of people to work with and the sole purpose is to provide the knowledge and education to the payroll professional to succeed in their workplace. I would like to leave you with a famous quote from Martin Luther King Jr.
“Everybody can be great. Because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and your verb agrees to serve…. You don’t have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”
Jasmine Jones, CPP
Working in payroll was not on any of my plans for my life. I bet most people say that. I started working for PenSoft in October of 2007 in the sales department. While I was working in the sales, I wanted to know about the software we sold as well payroll itself. I began to study for the FPC exam. When the opportunity came along to transfer to the department that processes payroll, I jumped on it. I became a Payroll Specialist. With my new position, I took my FPC exam and passed. When I was eligible I took and passed my CPP exam. I currently am the Tax Librarian for PenSoft and work closely with the software programmers researching and maintaining the Federal and State forms and tax tables.
I joined the CCC chapter in 2009 where I developed a network of professionals that helped me grow my payroll knowledge. Being part of the CCC and having my certification gave me the opportunity to go to the statewide payroll conference. My first conference I offered to help the hotel committee at the conference and I have been part of the conference board ever since. I have enjoyed being part of the committee that proceeds the conferences every year for our fellow payroll professionals each year.