NAPBS 2019 Mid-Year Conference Report


2019 NAPBS Mid-Year Legislative and Regulatory Conference
Washington D.C. March 24-26, 2019

This year’s conference was well attended with another new record 472 attendees compared to last year’s 442. The number of exhibitors grew from 36 to 42. NAPBS conference attendees are an active community eager to share and hear about background screening happenings.

The Berg Consulting Group team arrived to beautiful cherry blossoms outside the airport doors.  Great timing NAPBS!  Our team used the conference event app which proved to be a great way to connect with attendees and suppliers, maintain our schedules, submit session evaluations, view event photos and see social media activity related to the conference. The conference location couldn’t have been more convenient being only minutes away from the DCA airport. The hotel facilities were great and the entire conference flowed very smoothly. Temperatures in the exhibit hall were comfortable and the food was tasty. Nice work.

The conference kicked off at the networking sessions. One of the best parts of these conferences is seeing colleagues and friends on the first day.

Sunday night’s opening ceremony was a full house where NAPBS chair Angela Preston (Sterling) welcomed attendees. Angela shared that there were too many new accredited background screening companies to mention. In addition, she and Melissa Sorenson, NAPBS Executive Director recognized NAPBS chairs, officers, board members and volunteers for their many self-less hours of dedication to the association. A new advisory group was recently approved by the board, the Diversity and Inclusion group which will be led by the ever-present, ever-capable Perry Morgan of Innovative Enterprises. Details on this new group are forthcoming from NAPBS. View the current listing of committees, councils and advisory groups HERE. Involvement on these committees is rewarding and helpful.

Immediately following the opening ceremony was dinner in the exhibitor showcase.  After this, the hotel restaurant and bar were filled with NAPBS attendees until the wee morning hours for some great data exchange.

Fun Times

The conference is obviously not all about partying but a multitude of thanks goes to Innovative for their annual Monday night “no sales zone” party with fun, food and more. At the party there was great camaraderie, energy, music, a giant Pac-Man and a lot of fun on the dance floor.

  • Event past chairs know how to get on the dance floor and have fun:
    • Christeen Cunneen (Hire Image) “dancing” on the shoulders of Nate Borsh (SJV)
    • Julie Hakman (AmericanChecked) was doing her thing
    • Judy Gootkind (Creative Services Inc) finally found her way on to the dance floor as well
    • Angela Preston was looking good too
  • Kim Castellanos (Innovative Enterprises) is still the best dancer!!
  • USAFact‘s Pam Davidson and Cheryl Franklin danced the night away with the rest of us but, like me, wanted some rock from the 50’s and some twistin’ from the 60’s.
  • Vince Pascarella of Wholesale Screening Solutions made his usual grand entrance on to the dance floor but his exit was much quicker than in past years.
  • Mark Feasby with Triton Canada stood out on the dance floor with his glow-in-the-dark socks and managed to work off quite a few calories.


Educational Session Highlights

General Sessions

Brent Smoyer with NAPBS shared his update on the Legislative front. The key takeaway here is privacy. Some legislators are misguided in thinking they are protecting their constituents by redacting information from public indexes. It is NAPBS’s mission to educate these legislators on the need for access to this critical information.


William Simmons and Chad Kaldor of Littler Mendelson, P.C. presented “Employers and CRAs as Partners: 5 Tips for Enhancing Compliance and Applicant Experience”. The messages here are: 1) doing upfront work to lay out a highly detailed formal process for compliance and for disputes and 2) Set up clear communication to clarify roles and responsibilities. Get the critical personnel together, note key pain points, evaluate written agreements against practices and orders.

Scott PalerDeWitt LLP presented “Fine, You Win! Let’s Talk About California”. Compliance challenges under California law continue to grow.  Given California’s lawsuit happy culture, high rate of class actions, and inviting damage award possibilities, all CRAs and end-users are well advised to stay on top of legal developments and technical legal requirements.  They are also well advised to carefully think through their overall California compliance strategy.

Advocacy Day Training:

Francine Friedman and Chase Hieneman of Akin Gump led this session. The two key topics for discussion on the hill include: PACER and Data security/privacy. More than 100 members were registered for the day to hold over 80 sessions with our representatives on the hill!

Always drawing a crowd, Pam Devata from Seyfarth Shaw LLP spoke at a session titled “Regulatory Rumblings and Litigation Landslides” to share new legal theories from the plaintiff’s bar, CFPB areas of concern and long-standing risks that continue to be relevant.

All session presentations can be found by NAPBS members at:

CRA News

  • Universal Background Screening (Arizona) was recently acquired, with Berg Consulting Group acting as intermediary (the group’s 66th industry deal)
  • Appriss acquired CrimeFinders
  • Cisive acquired PreCheck
  • Greg Dubecky (Corporate Screening Services Inc.) was feeling really happy about Corporate Screening’s new platform that will dramatically improve their internal efficiencies and give management “big data” insight.
  • I heard that G4S told all their screening clients to find another provider. I have not confirmed this, but why would anyone do that when we would be happy to find them someone to take over those clients and they could at least get paid for their clients either straight up or as an earn-out.
  • Congrats to Triton Canada for passing the stringent requirements to be awarded the Uber account for Canadian searches.
  • NY legislature is proposing to increase the price of NYOCA to some place in the range of $90-$100.
  • First Choice is in the process of moving to new digs
  • Know It All sold to County House Research

People, Places, Stuff, Changes

  • Jeremy Hix moved to VeriScreen
  • Jim Geisinger of Rooney Insurance recently celebrated his 50th year with the business! Congratulations to Jim on this admirable achievement. That’s loyalty.
  • Kerstin Bagus is now at NetForce Global
  • Frank Philip moved to FRS
  • Brittany Adams (formerly RapidCourt) is back in the industry after several years of absence. She is now with Appriss but still doing her charity thing on the weekends.
  • Brianna Gooch, new compliance person for Atlantic Backgrounds
  • Heidi Patti is now with Innovative
  • Andy Cashman (former EmployeeScreenIQ) is now with Wholesale Screening Solutions
  • Kevin Johnson seems to be thriving in his new role at RapidCourt
  • Vince Brodt with (SJV) was the quietest he has ever been. You OK Vince? 
  • Marc Bourne is now with FS Solutions
  • We are starting to see some experienced talent become available as a result of PreCheck being acquired and the continued integration of HireRight/GIS. Remember to post your credentials on the industry recruiting website:
  • Seems like we saw quite a few new sales people at many vendors; these professionals seemed to be additions, not replacements
  • Can anyone compete with Mike Hovorka (Orange Tree Employment Screening) for someone who always has a smile and something good to say?
  • Don Owens is back in the industry.
  • Chuck Salvia (formerly with IDValidation) can still get you CBSV and ITRV (let us know if you need these).

Time Flies Category

  • Linda Mack’s (Global Investigative Services) grandbaby is already 4. Seems like only yesterday when Linda ran from the conference to be there for the birth.
  • Sara Doggett with Roundstone is 3 months away from the birth of her second child, a daughter.
  • Ariga Haghoubian with CrimeFinders got engaged
  • My grandson was at Colgate on Saturday and the University of Rochester on Monday, interviewing for college (Oy Vey!, time does fly)
  • My granddaughter is starting her own videography company in Boston and will cater to companies, colleges and celebrations.

Screening Services

  • Continuity screening will be a growing service offering for  CRAs. With Appriss and the new-to-the-industry eMotive offering competing arrest records we are seeing this service heat up. In addition, First Advantage just announced their expanded partnership with Appriss to offer this service to their clients. Pay attention  CRAs.
  • Reference checks are migrating toward the earlier stages of recruiting cycle. Thus the increasing popularity of candidate-driven, automated reference checks. Is this service offered by your CRA?
  • Social media searches are climbing out of the closet for pre-employment and for continuity screening. Remember social media searches can report both negative information (bad activities) and good information (candidate very active in some charity or family activities).

Seven Takeaways from the Conference

  1. PACER – NAPBS is continuing its efforts to have identifiers shown
  2. Data Privacy and Security
  3. The industry is strong and CRAs are seeing continued growth
  4. Stay on top of legal developments and educate your clients
  5. Add new services
  6. Our industry remains a seller’s market; Now is a great time to explore selling or acquiring
  7. We received many kudos for the second edition of Berg’s Background Business Benchmarking Blue Book (placed in the conference bag this year). The second edition can be found online HERE.

Thanks to everyone who made it to this year’s mid-year conference. Plan to come to the annual conference in San Antonio, September 8-10. The conferences are critical to our industry as we grow in size and exposure at a fast pace. Stay connected to legislative and business changes to help your CRA succeed. I look forward to seeing you in Texas.



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