Emmy Award

Emmy Award Reception

KPBS Studio, San Diego CA

Minneapolis, Minn —
Billy McLaughlin celebrated the honor of receiving an Emmy the best way he knows: by giving back. On November 8, Billy held a special Emmy Award Reception Concert celebrating those people who in some way played a part in what led to his achievement. The concert included some familiar “Billy” tunes along with a sneak preview of his upcoming “Simple Gifts” tour. Grateful for the recognition, Billy paused momentarily to acknowledge those who supported him. His schedule, however, shows no sign of slowing down; nor does the anticipation of award-winning music he continues to produce, given what he previewed that evening.
Click here to read previous Emmy posts.
All photos taken by TJ Jensen

Minnesota SHRM 2013 Conference
Minnesota SHRM 2013 Conference

Minnesota SHRM

Minnesota Society for Human Resource Management (MNSHRM) State Conference

On October 13, Billy McLaughlin kicked off the annual conference for the Minnesota Chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). The conference brought together human resource professionals and consultants for new ideas, shared thoughts and best practices in employee engagement, education and new ways at looking at HR problems. Following his kickoff speech, Billy, accompanied by his string quartet, added an unprecedented element to the evening’s festivities as well.  For an event that is typically filled with continuing education and legal content, Billy and his ensemble were a deviation from the norm. Attendees responded positively to Billy’s addition.
Mary Gummerson, office manager for McGladrey LLP and chair of this year’s SHRM event, said that Billy exceeded expectations. “He wonderfully related the HR profession into his experiences and challenges while entertaining us. He also reminded us through his challenges that the thinking we need to do to solve a problem is not always in front of us.” Mary commented that the SHRM conference does not usually have a musical component. “It was a good fit. Members raved about it; I heard people mention that Billy was fantastic.” She added that Billy’s combination of entertainment and speaking contributed to the overall success of the conference. “He has overcome difficult challenges to become an incredible inspirational speaker who reaches people on an emotional level,” she added.
Jennifer Taschner, human resources director for Fiduciary Counselling, Inc., was among the attendees at the SHRM event. She said, “The foundational core of our work is to know, understand and have empathy for the employees we serve. Yet, there is so much separation due to legal paperwork and compliance updates. Billy’s story brought me back. He made an emotional connection through which I was able to share in his trials, experience his success and see the happiness he now has for the work he is doing.”
In response to hearing Billy’s music at a SHRM conference, Jennifer said, “Music is important in everyone’s life; it touches us in many ways. When I was growing up, we had an improvisational music instructor in grade school. She taught us the value of free-form learning. That understanding has translated into my professional life. Through Billy’s music I am reminded to think creatively, especially in a world that is constantly changing. In my HR role, it’s important to see individuals for what their talents are.  Billy’s combination of music and an emotional message made sense, especially speaking to this group. He is an inspirational singer, songwriter and presenter with a unique style that you wouldn’t expect.”
All photos taken by TJ Jensen

spirit of success
Spirit of Success

Spirit of Success

I had the opportunity to be a presenter at the Spirit of Success Entrepreneurial Summit October 17th.  I want to share with you some feedback I received from a new colleague and friend, Terri Wilcox, at Resultants for Business, Inc.  She put into words what I hope many others discover upon hearing my story and seeing me present.

“I wanted to let you know how great the presenters were at the Spirit of Success.  I especially wanted to thank you for placing Billy McLaughlin in the morning to kick off the day.  At first I was skeptical.  I saw those guitars up there waiting for the speaker and as a business person attending strictly to glean new knowledge and strategy about business I was automatically disappointed with what I was expecting to be a long hour.  That didn’t happen.

“As the presenter started to speak, and then play I first thought, ‘What am I going to get from this?  He’s just telling us about his personal story.’  Then I started getting wrapped up in the total experience…the words, the business messages, the story, and the music.  All were interspersed so that small nuggets of information infused into my brain.  What seemed to be a scattered approach became more deliberate for learning.
“You see, many business leaders are pressed for time. They do not have the luxury of time to be creative.  Their brains are working on the left side constantly.  We look for structure, black and white answers, and concrete learning points…’give it to me straight and give it to me fast.’  Billy forced my brain to switch to the right side and for one hour allowed me to open up the gates of creativity and innovation.  I don’t care how concrete our thinking, everyone has the ability to be creative in their own way…it’s a matter of choice.  But what most busy people do, when in business, is to turn off their creative sides. Yet one of the most dangerous issues we observe today is watching a business grow and mature yet lose their ability to innovate. Once the innovation is lost, the business suffers.  It cannot adapt to change so readily.
“Billy helped me to see business concepts I already knew, but in a creative way.  My mind started racing, thinking about those concepts differently and actually applying some ideas right there on the spot.  This presenter opened me up to accept the other presenters for the rest of the day.  No wonder he got a standing ovation.”

-Terri Wilcox, SPHR, Business Advisor, Resultants for Business, Inc.

Pictures taken by TJ Jensen

SimpleGifts New CD Released
SimpleGifts New CD Released


SimpleGifts is proud to announce the release
of their new CD – WinterGrace!

WinterGrace is now available for purchase (Tuesday, November 5th)!  Like all the CDs that came before it, WinterGrace features traditional music that tells the real story of Christmas arranged and performed with a modern twist. Familiar classics include “O Little Town of Bethlehem”, “Hark the Herald Angels Sing”, and “Little Drummer Boy” while the lesser known title track provides a fresh but timeless melody from the hills of Appalachia.

To purchase your copy of WinterGrace, click here.  MP3 downloads will be available by Friday, November 8th.
We are looking forward to having you join us for the holidays!  Click here to see all our 2013 tour dates.
-Billy & SimpleGifts
Sneak peek – WinterGrace, title track



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