How can organizations help their leaders navigate a complex workplace while taking advantage of emerging opportunities? Explore new ideas and better ways of doing things, and learn to meet difficult situations head-on. Choose from multiple concurrent sessions designed to help increase HR and management’s effectiveness within the organization. This conference is designed for leaders and managers, as well as compensation, benefits and HR professionals at all levels.

Morning Session Descriptions

Introductory Session: Voices of HR

Deborah Dale Brackney, MA, SPHR, Executive VP

Today’s workplace is, of course, a reflection of all that makes the headlines scream. Whether it be the call for equity, creating safe workplaces, managing cultural differences, or planning for the future of AI, Human Resources is the epicenter for integrating the voices of employees, managers, and customers. This session will open up the conference and lay a framework for the day focusing on a model of collaborating in increasingly complicated situations. At the end of the session, participants will leave ready for the conference with a tool that helps embrace the opportunities and challenges of today’s workplace.

Morning Keynote

2030: The Workplace Revolution

Josh Davies, Chief Executive Officer, The Center for Work Ethic Development

The modern workplace is constantly evolving and changing, with some jobs going away (switchboard operator) and others being created (app developer). But every 30 years, a new wave of technology fundamentally changes the workplace. Assembly lines, computers, and the internet all dramatically shifted the nature of work and changed the American workplace. Looking ahead to 2030, there is another revolutionary wave that is going to crash the future of work in America. The combination of automation and artificial intelligence will create a new revolution that will destroy not just jobs but potentially entire industries.

Rather than sit back and hope, now is the time to prepare for the coming reality of 2030. We need to be developing the revolutionaries of the future! There will still be jobs, but they will require a different set of skills and abilities. Learn how to develop the skills that will make you and your job seekers relevant today and in the future. Don’t sit back and let the waves drag you down. Choose instead to ride the coming revolution – and come out on top!


Morning Breakout Sessions / First Set

Legal Update: Compensation and Benefits in the Era of Uncertainty

Sean Reed, Esq.

It’s been quite a year. We’ve seen tax reform, ACA repeal attempts, ACA enforcement attempts, new administrative guidance, rejected administrative guidance, and increasing skepticism from the courts of the propriety of newly created administrative rules. And that’s just on the federal level. State and local governments have been busy as well, particularly in the area of pay equity. In this uncertain landscape, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for employers and benefit sponsors to understand their obligations under the law and to plan for the future. This breakout session seeks to minimize this uncertainty by highlighting the biggest developments in compensation and benefits law over the past year. We’ll cover topics as diverse as the new tax bill, developments on the ACA-front, major agency rule changes, state and local developments, and, of course, what the courts have been up to.

Bridging the Engagement Gap

Alyssa Leonas, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, PHRca, HR Consultant or Valorie Waldon, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, HR Consultant

The engagement gap is the gap between desired employee engagement levels and the actual degree of employee engagement within an organization. Regardless of how engaged your employees are, there is no doubt that if employees were more engaged, your bottom line would be positively affected. Research consistently demonstrates that on average one out of three employees in the U.S. workforce is engaged, which leaves the remaining two out of three workers disengaged. Studies reveal that engagement levels rise when leaders are more transparent, the work is more meaningful, and employees experience a positive workplace culture. Join us to learn more about the engagement gap and strategies to effectively bridge the gap in order to maximize employee morale, productivity, and effectiveness.

Diversity with Intention

Kimberly Searfoorce, Esq., SPHR, SHRM-SCP, ODL Consultant

Many organizations strive to make diversity a priority. The challenge often is determining how to define and sustain it. More than box checking is required to make diversity efforts succeed long-term. One key to supporting a diverse workforce is focusing on encouraging an inclusive environment.

This session will discuss ways that organizations can encourage inclusivity to overcome the challenges in creating a diverse workplace. Ultimately diversity can drive better communication and decision-making, resulting in enhanced opportunities.

Morning Breakout Sessions / Second Set

The Future of Health Plans: Evolution to Revolution

Chris Watts, Partner, Health and Welfare Practice, Mercer

Today’s health market is failing employers, but ultimately it’s on employers to help transform its future. As seen with Amazon’s announcement, companies are actively working to change the industry and those disruptions are moving down market. Mercer will guide you through the current trends impacting the future state of health plans and challenge you to re-think your short and long term benefits strategy.

HR Challenges in Colorado

Chelsea Jensen, MBA, PHR, HR Consultant and Joe Shellhaas, Surveys Manager

It is challenging to manage a workforce having to constantly keep up with regulations, administration, and best practices. Colorado provides its own unique challenges, adding yet another level of difficulty for HR professionals. This session will explore the implications of population growth, marijuana, and low unemployment and provide ideas on how to leverage these challenges as opportunities.

Inspiring Resilience in Challenging Times

Anitra Lesser, M.Ed., Professional Coach, Mediator, ODL Consultant

This interactive session will strengthen your awareness and offer applicable tools to help you:

  • Gain practical ways to engender more resilience to mounting pressures
  • Discover key components to building resilience and perseverance in yourself and your organization
  • Deepen your understanding and ability to work with the mindset and neuroscience behind motivation and a positive psychology approach to addressing problems


Afternoon Session Descriptions

Afternoon Keynote

Violence at Work: Recognizing and Responding to Risk

John Nicoletti, Ph.D., ABPP, Nicoletti-Flatter Associates

Violence at work is a topic that over the years has been getting increased news coverage. Organizations should no longer assume it couldn’t happen to them. How do you reduce the risk of this happening in your workplace? Join nationally recognized Police & Public Safety Psychologist, Dr. John Nicoletti, who will provide key information on this topic. He will address what he refers to as the pre-event threshold and the event threshold. The pre-event threshold includes what you do to prevent an attack. The event threshold focuses on steps an organization should take when an individual is perceived to be a potential threat. Sample policies and legal information will also be provided as supplemental material to this session.


Afternoon Breakout Sessions / First Set

Incentive Plans: Foundations, Rewards and Risks

Mark Cicotello, MBA, SPHR, GPHR, CCP, CECP, SHRM-SCP, HR Consultant

Having a variable pay program as part of your total rewards program is very common. What is less common is an understanding of the design dynamics and impact to employees and the organization of these programs. In this session, we will cover: why variable programs are so popular, how they are constructed, the elements of an effective plan, and the benefits of variable pay plans and the risks if not properly designed and implemented. There is a cliché among compensation professionals regarding incentive/variable pay plans. The cliché is, "The good news about incentives is that they work, and the bad news about incentives is that they work." Attending this session will help you avoid this conundrum.

Five Things HR Knows and Every Manager Should Too

Tammeron Trujillo, M.Ed, SPHR, GPHR, SHRM-SCP, Director, Human Resource Services

Human resource professionals know how to efficiently hire employees, manage legal risks, and reward employees; these are skills useful for any manager. This session is for managers who want more insight into why HR does what it does. And for HR professionals who may have a hard time answering the question, "What exactly does HR do," this session will provide examples of the importance of the knowledge and experience HR brings to any high-performing organization.

Workplace Collaboration

Anitra Lesser, M.Ed., Professional Coach, Mediator, ODL Consultant and Julie Auger, MOD, ODL Consultant, or Eric Daly, M.A., GPHR, ODL Consultant and Peggy Penberthy, M.S., SPHR, SCP, ODL Consultant

Workplaces lacking collaboration waste time and resources. They are less creative, have higher turnover, lower trust, longer lead times, and lower employee satisfaction. Collaboration requires a skill-set and a mind-set, both of which can be learned. Please join us for this stimulating session on how you can cultivate greater collaboration in your workplace.


Afternoon Breakout Sessions / Second Set

Pay Equity: Trends, Risks, and Solutions

Brian Ayers, Esq., Managing Attorney, Affirmative Action Plans, and Amber Cruz, PHR, CEBS, SHRM-CP, HR Consultant

  • What does equal pay for equal work really mean? How can employers be sure they are following the law when there is a host of federal, state, and local laws all defining equal pay and equal work differently? This presentation will explore:

    The recent wave of state and local laws that have been enacted enforcing pay equity, and what proposals are on the horizon;

  • How to conduct a proactive pay equity analysis that will give employers a window into their current vulnerabilities as well as a path forward to compliance; and

  • Options for adjusting an employee’s pay if there are discrepancies uncovered during the analysis process, as well as making and communicating any recommended changes to the compensation practice.

Finally, this presentation will cover the emerging trend of pay transparency among organizations and how a company’s commitment to equal pay in the workplace can build a stronger employer brand with which to attract and retain key talent. Join us for this informative session.

Speak Up! Engaging in High-Stakes Conversations Up, Down, & Across the Organization

Evan Abbott, MA, SPHR, Director, Organizational Development and Leadership, and Diana Sadighi, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, HR Consultant

The topics seem to be getting more difficult–unconscious bias, harassment, inclusion, engagement–but the conversations are not getting any easier. This is especially true when we have to engage in conversations with upper management or across the organization to peers. How can we effectively "speak truth to power" when the stakes are high and values are in play? This session will review key aspects of high stakes conversations and skills HR, Managers, and employees across the organization can use when trying to engage in important conversations when power dynamics are in play.

Design Thinking – Innovation by Process

Julie Auger, MOD, ODL Consultant, and Levi Lindsey, MA, ODL Consultant

Have you been stuck on solving a complex problem with many facets? Do the common and current customs of inquiry and action provide the support you need to meet the emergent challenges in today’s workplace? Design Thinking could be the answer! Design Thinking is an iterative process in which we seek to understand the user, challenge assumptions, and redefine problems in an attempt to identify strategies and solutions not apparent with our initial understanding. Leadership today requires creativity, implementation, and effective judgment—thus great leaders are also great designers. While focusing on linear thinking limits our ability to fully understand the whole issue, Design Thinking provides a process to focus on stakeholders to discover inclusive solutions. In this session, we will explore the Design Thinking process and how it may be incorporated into leading with intention and sustainability.


Course ID #SPEC992

Class Details

No offerings for the remainder of the year. Check our new course catalog coming out this fall.

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