HDI Information Technology Conference 2019
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By Fancy Mills

Fancy will be interviewing Vanilla Ice in an informal Q&A keynote presentation, asking questions about transformation, evolution, and reinvention. Learn more about this exclusive interview below!

In the 1990’s there was a transition from hair bands that dominated the 80’s to a grunge rock angst ridden culture explosion. But before grunge took over and ruled the world, in 1989, one of the most iconic songs (that sampled an iconic song) was recorded, ready to usher in a new decade – that song is none other than Ice Ice Baby by Robert Van Winkle aka Vanilla Ice. No matter where you were when you first heard it, the song transports you back in time. There’s no denying that the catchy lyrics and video left indelible marks on many of us. I remember listening to Vanilla Ice driving around in my senior year in high school with my friends singing at the top of our lungs and attempting (for me quite poorly) to imitate dance moves, to watching my husband and his friends go crazy dancing when this song came on during our wedding reception in 2002.

Speaking of moves, from his explosion on the scene in the 90’s, Vanilla Ice’s career has taken many turns and twists that I’m sure he never predicted. Vanilla Ice has transformed into an entrepreneur, philanthropist, and reinvented himself along the way. That’s what I will focus on when we chat live and in person at HDI 2019 Conference & Expo! What were your inspirations, aspirations, and goals as a 16-year-old when this song was written? How did you navigate the evolution of your career as some doors closed and others opened? How do you decide which doors to open?  Did you seek out new knowledge and skills specifically related to home improvement and business or was it organic? What is your advice to those of us who are going through our own transformations?

I read a great article in Fast Company by Alicia Morgan titled What you can learn from Vanilla Ice and I loved what she says about reinvention and success:

“The key is to be present when something good is happening to you, appreciate it, and move on. It seems Mr. Van Winkle is finally doing that. The good news is that when you reinvent yourself, when you see yourself as more than just one thing or one achievement, you open yourself up to all sorts of new success and the world again can seem limitless. Which it is. You only have to try something new.”

We all make resolutions or goals at the start of the year, like being present, appreciative, forward thinking, and to live with a positive mindset. This is something that we can learn from Vanilla Ice. It’s only January, I can’t wait until April when we get to experience the Vanilla Ice effect for ourselves live and in person at HDI 2019 Conference and Expo.


As the Director of Training and Content for HDI, Fancy brings more than 20 years of experience specializing in consulting, training, and human resource development. Her main area of focus has been working with service and support centers and contact centers across various industries to optimize their performance. As an ICMI and HDI Business Associate, she certified thousands of service and support professionals, managers, directors, analysts, agents, technicians, and corporate trainers around the world in virtual and classroom environments. In addition to training, she has developed and facilitated customized curriculum and training and consulted for Fortune 500 companies in the areas of customer service, customer experience, quality management, workforce management presentation, communication, and time management skills. Fancy has also served as a speaker for various industry conferences and events such as Fusion, HDI, and ATD and holds a master’s in human resource development with a specialization in adult education from Texas A&M University. A fifth generation Texan, Fancy lives in Austin with her husband Kevin, son Mills, and their tabby cat Sparky. She's an avid sports fan, including supporting the Dallas Cowboys and all Texas A&M sports. Her favorite team is anyone her son is playing on!