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Special Section


The Show Goes On for the 40th Annual Payroll Congress

By Kiko Martinez


Imagine a spotlight suddenly hitting the stage of a popular Broadway musical like “West Side Story” or “Wicked” after a couple of years on hiatus. Visualize the colorful stage scenery, and the elaborate costumes worn by the talented performers as they sing catchy showtunes and swing to choreographed dance numbers. What an incredible feeling it must be for both the audience and the cast to experience something that had been anticipated for so long.

As the theatrical saying goes, “The show must go on,” and the APA and Global Payroll Management Institute’s (GPMI) infamous “show” will also forge ahead with the in-person return of its annual Payroll Congress. After two years of exclusively virtual Congress events, this year, the APA and GPMI will come together for the 40th anniversary of the conference where payroll professionals from countless industries can expand their careers with educational insight from U.S. and global experts from around the world.

From May 10-13, payroll professionals will put their computer camera functions on hold and gather in person for four days of educational workshops, networking opportunities, a vendor Expo, and a series of inspirational keynote and guest speakers at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas.

“We’re extremely excited about returning to Payroll Congress for our first in-person event since 2019,” said Dan Maddux, APA Executive Director and GPMI President. “It’s been a challenging couple of years for everyone, but we have persevered and can now come together once again to share all the exciting things we’re doing in the industry we love.”

Registering for the 40th Annual Payroll Congress by March 4 will give you the following:

  • Up to 19 RCHs for the live event (plus 2 RCHs for attending both virtual bonus events; read more below)
  • More than 80 educational workshop sessions
  • Four days at the Expo
  • Free access to Virtual Congress (June 22-23) for additional education and up to 14 more RCHs

The APA and GPMI annual Payroll Congress provides you with the opportunity to build a personalized educational program tailored to your organization’s needs. But first, if registered by March 4, you will have access to two Bonus Events.   

Bonus Events Offer Analytics, Leadership

Again this year, there will be two virtual bonus events that will help kick start your payroll education. The two bonus events are live, exclusive 90-minute sessions that will not be available on demand. Register by March 4 to enjoy both for free.

The two events include James Medlock, CPP, Payroll Compliance Educator with Medlock & Associates, and Mark Thornton, CPP, CPA, Payroll Tax Supervisor with Southern Company, on March 9; and Dr. Kilolo Kijakazi, Acting Commissioner at the SSA, on April 13.

Medlock, who is APA’s former Director of Education and Training, will present “Data Analytics: The Collision of Payroll Data and Reports” on Wednesday, March 9, along with Thornton, a co-presenter. The duo will explain why analytics are the key to the success of 21st century payroll professionals, and what payroll and non-payroll-related data is required to develop useful payroll analytics.

Learning objectives for this first bonus session include:

  • Explaining and planning the development of payroll analytics
  • Discussing how payroll analytics can detect and prevent payroll fraud
  • Describing payroll analytics that monitor payroll operations
  • Presenting the results of payroll analytics to management

    Then on Wednesday, April 13, join the Acting Commissioner at the SSA for “Leadership Perspectives: Modernizing Policies and Procedures to Improve Business Services.” During this Congress bonus session, learn about the SSA’s mission to provide “financial protection for our nation’s people” and how that directly involves the work of payroll professionals through management of employment taxes.

    Learning objectives for this second bonus session include: 

  • Grasping the challenges on what the SSA is doing to reach its goals
  • Discovering more about the SSA’s modernization project and payroll engagement
  • Gaining the edge on the services and resources available to payroll professionals

Now, let’s take a closer look some of the other noteworthy events that will take place during the 40th Annual Payroll Congress May 10-13.

Workshops x Payroll Education

Payroll experts will lead more than 80 workshops in the following seven education tracks:

  1. Benefits and Compensation
  2. Global Payroll
  3. Late-Breaking Legislative and Regulatory Updates
  4. Payroll Management and Operations
  5. Technology
  6. Professional Development
  7. Payroll Thought Leadership

Once again, attendees can also join motivational speaker, entrepreneur, and author Pegine during this year's Leadership Excellence Series. The series is an exhilarating journey, celebrating the unique traits inside each individual and how communication manifests success. Sessions during the series include the following:

  • “Making Friends in Your Leadership Network”
  • “Refortify, Revisit, and Regroup in Business and Life”
  • “Build A Can-Do Attitude: I’ve Got the Power, She's Got the Power, We've Got the Power”

Be sure to visit the Payroll Congress “Education Tracks” webpage to see the complete list of workshops. 

Frankly Speaking

This year’s Keynote Speakers range from a spoken-word poet to a futurist.

Entrepreneur, entertainer, and poet Sekou Andrews will present “The Audacity of What If?” on Tuesday, May 10. Andrews will speak on how to help global brands humanize their messaging and how to defy convention, deny limitations, and define yourself by engaging your imagination and learning new strategies.

Sponsored by rapid!, Andrews’ interactive presentation will allow Congress attendees to ask questions like, “What if we could define business our own way?” and “What if our way could set the standard for our industry?”

In “The Algorithmic Leader” on Wednesday, May 11, futurist Mike Walsh will present a vivid portrait of the companies, technologies, and global forces shaping the age of machine intelligence. What is the true potential of human intelligence in the 21st century? Walsh just might have the answer. His presentation, sponsored by ADP, will explore how industries can stay competitive in an age where platforms can anticipate a company’s needs, and robots can do nearly everything a human can do today.

On Thursday, May 12, motivational speaker Marilyn Sherman will present “The SEAT of Success: How Top Performers Never Settle for Balcony Seats.” During this presentation, Sherman will teach attendees how to avoid feeling stuck in frustration with their professional and personal goals. She will also demonstrate how people can have more success by shifting their mindset, acting on their goals, and motivating themselves to take a front-row seat in their own life.

In addition to the three Keynote Speakers, Payroll Congress will feature experts who are highly respected in the payroll industry. This year’s industry expert speakers include Iggy Svoboda, CPP, Senior Manager of Payroll and Mobility at Clif Bar & Company, and Martin Armstrong, CPP, DBA, Vice President of Payroll Shared Services at Charter Communications, who was featured in last month’s PAYTECH issue as a Prism Award recipient.

Back to In-Person Awards, Networking

One of the big reveals of Payroll Congress will be the two recipients of the 2022 Payroll Woman of the Year and the 2022 Payroll Man of the Year, so don’t miss out on that exciting news during the Opening General Session May 10.

Other awards that will be handed out during Congress week include awards for Meritorious Service, Special Friend of the Board of Directors, Special Recognition, and the education grant recipients. Also, be sure to find out which chapters will win the coveted chapter awards at the Chapter Exchange Reception and Awards on May 9, including the prestigious Chapter of the Year.

Plenty of special guests will be on hand during Payroll Congress throughout the week. They include Dan Maddux, APA Executive Director and GPMI President; Bruce Phipps, CPP, APA President; Lois Fried, CPP, APA Immediate Past President; Michael Bateman, CPP, 2021 Payroll Man of the Year; Lisa Poole, CPP, 2021 Payroll Woman of the Year; and Patricia Fripp, CSP, CPAE, who will serve as a moderator.

Find Payroll Products, Service Providers at the Expo

Learn about the latest in payroll products, technology, and tools at the largest payroll Expo. There, you can connect with leading industry product service providers. Congress sponsors (as of press time) ADP, Alight, DailyPay, Experian, Immedis, Netspend, Oracle, Paychex, rapid!, UKG, US Bank, and Wisely Pay by ADP will be on hand with a host of other vendors eager to show you how their products can benefit your company.

Special events happening in the Expo include the following:

  • Networking Lunch, Cocktail Reception and Dinner, Costume Contest, and Exhibitor Drawings on May 11
  • Global Reception, Networking Lunch, and Exhibitor Drawings on May 12

The Expo will be open from 6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. PDT on May 10 (Expo Grand Opening and Cocktail Reception); 12:00 p.m.-8:15 p.m. on May 11; and 9:00 a.m.-2:15 p.m. on May 12.

Other Exciting Congress Happenings

Since it’s been more than two years for many attendees to have the chance to network at an annual Congress, meet up with Payroll Congress veterans and newbies at the REUNITE Meet & Greet on Tuesday, May 10 at 10:00 a.m.

Then, you’ll have another chance to expand your network and meet social media enthusiasts at the Payroll Congress Tweet Up on Tuesday, May 10 at 11:00 a.m. Even if you don’t tweet, stop by to learn some social media training from members of the APA’s Social Networking Committee so you can make the most out of social media during your week at Payroll Congress.

Ready to make even more memories? Then come ready to have some fun at the Annual Payroll Congress Party on Wednesday, May 11, 8:00 p.m.-11:00 p.m.

So, are you ready to return to in-person Payroll Congress and see all of your payroll peers? Then register today at, and we’ll see you in Las Vegas at the 40th Annual Payroll Congress May 10-13.

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Kiko Martinez is Associate Editor of Membership Publications for the APA.