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May 24, 2005
WorldatWork: The First 50 Years
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By Catherine Moreton, J.D.

Attendees at WorldatWork's 50th Annual Conference and Exhibition in New Orleans were treated Monday to a presentation that reviewed the history of the compensation profession as well as current trends in the field.

The video provided a historical account of WorldatWork's first 50 years from its beginnings as the American Compensation Association (ACA) to the present emphasis on total rewards in a global economy.

The ACA was formed in 1955 to provide a source for compensation knowledge and over the years has grown to be a source for knowledge and professional development in compensation, benefits, and total rewards.

In 1976, it launched its certification program for compensation professionals known as the CCP and in 2000, the organization's name was changed to WorldatWork to reflect the emphasis on total rewards and the global economy.

Business & Legal Reports Managing Editor Susan Prince greets visitors to BLR's booth at WorldatWork's Annual Conference & Exhibition in the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans.
Today, WorldatWork has more than 24,000 members, approximately 800 of whom are from outside the United States. In fact, 250 international members representing 36 nations are attending this year's conference.

The video featured messages from Michael L. Davis, CCP, chairman of the organization's board of directors, and from WorldatWork President Anne Ruddy, CPCU.

Following the video presentation, Davis spoke about the strategic role for compensation in any organization, exclaiming that "this is our day."

Compensation is now front and center in the public policy arena on issues such as Social Security reform, executive compensation, and health care costs and, according to Davis, this provides a strategic opportunity for compensation and benefit professionals. Davis encouraged WorldatWork members to make the most of the annual conference and return to their companies better informed and ready to make a difference.

Ruddy encouraged those attending the conference to attend the educational sessions most important to their work and to return to their companies with new ideas and the tools to advance both their own careers and the profession.

More coverage of WorldatWork's 50th annual conference and exhibition is available in our special section.

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