2011 CHRA Spring Forum

Wednesday, April 27, 2011 (7:00 AM - 3:00 PM)

Employment Law, Legislative Activity, Benefit Management and Benefit Innovation

CHRA Introduces the Inaugural Spring Forum for HR Professionals

CHRA is meeting the needs of HR Leaders, like you, through our first annual Spring Forum.  Featuring Michael Aitken, Director, Governmental Affairs for SHRM.

Learn the latest information in the rapidly changing employment law and legislative arena, how the changes are shaping innovation and benefit maximization and how HRDs and CFOs are positioning their organizations.

Prepare yourself and your company for success in this dynamic environment by attending the CHRA Spring Forum.

Featured Sessions

  • Employment law updates
  • Legislative updates
  • Benefits panels
  • Benefits Fair 2011 for HR professionals

Legislative Update Sessions

HR Public Policy Outlook for the 112th Congress and the Obama Administration
Presented by Michael Aitken, Director, Government Affairs, SHRM

The 2010 mid-term elections produced historic results.  The GOP captured control of the House of Representatives by gaining over 60 seats -- the most by any party since 1946.  They also picked up six Senate seats, resulting in a slimmer Democratic majority in the Senate for the 112th Congress.  

Learn what these results mean for human resources in 2011, especially the impact they will have on the agenda on Capitol Hill and in the federal regulatory agencies.  Information on the current legislative climate for Colorado will also be featured.

Click Here for Session Handouts

SHRM Advocacy Team: Shaping HR Public Policy
Presented by Michael Aitken, Director, Government Affairs, SHRM

As an HR professional, you are uniquely positioned to shape the development of federal and state workplace laws and regulations.   This presentation takes you through the basic steps of becoming involved in the public policy process;  best practices for contacting, meeting, and building lasting relationships with elected officials and their staffs;  and effective ways of communicating the HR professional’s perspective on key workplace issues.    You will also learn about the initiative SHRM has launched to create a nationwide member advocacy network of HR Advocates, collectively known as the Advocacy Team, or A-Team.

Click Here For Session Handouts

Opportunity Lost-When Hard Work is not enough for Colorado Families
Presented by Frank Waterous, The Bell Policy Center
Introduced by James M. Schultz, MBA, CPT, Pretty Good Consulting, Inc.

As part of the Legislative Affairs focus, this session introduced by Jim Schultz will focus on the 2010 report prepared by The Bell Policy Center on the economic state of Colorado families.  Frank Waterous, of The Bell Policy Center, will review findings of the report which impacts all of us in Colorado.  This important information helps focus our legislators on actions needed in Colorado for our families.  Following Frank’s presentation, Jim Schultz will discuss the Colorado Human Resource Association Workforce Readiness Initiative for 2011 and encourage attendees to be active in the initiative.

Click Here for Session Handouts

Handout 2

Legislative Update Speaker Information:

Michael Aitken, Director, Government Affairs, Society for Human Resource Management

Mike Aitken has been the Director of Governmental Affairs for the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) since 2003.  SHRM is the world’s largest association devoted to human resource management. He is responsible for all SHRM governmental affairs endeavors; including managing and developing the organization’s governmental affairs strategic focus.

Prior to joining SHRM, Mike served for 14 years as Associate Director for Governmental and External Relations at the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR), which represents the human resource professionals at 1,750 higher education institutions.

Previously, he worked on state public policy issues at Bonner & Associates, a public affairs firm in Washington, DC.  Mike is currently a member of the Editorial Board of Employee Benefits for Nonprofits and serves on the Board of Directors for Unemployment & Workers' Compensation (UWC), as well as the Board of Trustees for the National Foundation for Unemployment Compensation and Workers’ Compensation.  He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of San Diego.    

Frank Waterous, PhD, Senior Policy Analyst, Bell Policy Center

Frank has 25 years of experience working on a broad range of public policy issues and in higher education. Prior to joining the Bell, he was a senior policy analyst for the Colorado Community College System and a senior analyst for the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) in Denver.  Frank holds a bachelor of arts degree; two master of arts degrees; and a Ph.D.

James M. Schultz M.B.A., C.P.T., President, Pretty Good Consulting

Jim developed his Human Capital Management skills over a 30 year career with Walgreens, a “Good To Great”  company.  His responsibilities as Divisional Vice President - Performance Development covered a wide range of H.R. areas: distance learning, training, management and executive development, productivity improvement, knowledge management, human factors engineering, instructional design, systems documentation, human resource planning, H.R. information systems and media production.

Jim now resides in Denver, Colorado where he is President of Pretty Good Consulting, Inc. and specializes in Human Capital Development. He serves on the Board of the Colorado Human Resource Association as Director , Workforce Readiness and serves as Treasurer for the Front Range Chapter of the International Society for Performance Improvement. 

Employment Law Update Sessions

Legal Ramifications of Social Media and Your Business
presented by Jim Thomas, Director/Owner, Minor & Brown

Businesses use social media--Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, blogs, etc.--for everything from marketing to recruiting prospective employees.  The speed, ease and reach of social media, however, make it a liability trap.  This session will offer tips on limiting legal risks in areas including intellectual property, defamation, and employment practices.

Employment Law Update
presented by Colin Walker, Director, Fairfield and Woods

2011 continues to be an active year for federal agencies such as the EEOC and others with increased budgets to audit and prosecute organizations.  There is a focus on immigration laws and audits happening in many organizations, including the recent instance with Chipotle Restaurants and the loss of 450 staff due to immigration issues.  HR professionals need to be aware of the areas that are under current legal scrutiny with regulatory agencies, and be sure that management training in their organization is appropriate.

Click Here for Session Handouts

Employment Law Update Speakers:

Colin A. Walker, Esq., Fairfield and Woods, P.C.

Colin A. Walker focuses on employment law and commercial litigation. He has litigated numerous employment cases, including cases involving executive contracts, noncompete agreements, trade secrets, fair labor standards, and wage/commissions claims. 

In addition to employment litigation, he counsels employers on employment policies and practices, terminations, discipline, and many other employment issues.  From 1995 to 1999, Colin was a criminal prosecutor with the State’s Attorney’s Office for Baltimore County, Maryland.  In that capacity, he tried hundreds of bench trials and numerous jury trials at both the misdemeanor and felony level.  

Jim Thomas, Owner and Director, Minor & Brown PC

Known for dedication to his clients and passion for his profession, Jim Thomas takes pride in a balanced perspective that keeps work enjoyable and business and community sustainable.  From untangling day-to-day issues that can confound businesses to realizing long-term strategies, Jim strives to be more than just a great legal advisor. 

Jim combines law, business and community in two blogs and his ongoing experiment with social media—Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and blogging—was featured in the February 2011 The Docket magazine published by the Denver Bar Association.  Jim is very active in the community; investing his time, money and passion in a vibrant future for Colorado. 

Benefits Panels

New Benefit Innovations and Updates
The world of employee benefits is constantly shifting and growing due to new benefit options in the marketplace as well as changes in government regulation.

Here’s a chance to discover innovative benefit options and alternatives for your organization. We’ve included information on retirement options, wellness, employee assistance programs and programs that assist in managing medical insurance costs. This session will offer a great opportunity to learn something new and get answers to your questions about the latest trends in benefits.

Benefits Brokers Discuss How to Optimize Current Benefits
Hear ideas and tips on managing benefits in a cost effective manner from the experts. This dynamic panel will discuss opportunities and alternatives to help you manage your benefits program more effectively. The panel will also discuss the possible impact of Healthcare Reform and how you can prepare for the changes. Questions from the audience are highly encouraged.

HRDs and CFOs on Current Benefits Strategy
This panel will discuss their benefits packages and the challenges they face managing their current benefits programs.  We will hear perspectives from three different organizations and will have an opportunity for questions.

With the focus on legislative affairs, this panel will feature Colorado lobbyists and political commentators who will discuss the current Colorado legislative environment with particular focus on HR-related programs, including workforce readiness and healthcare reform.  There is also significant union activity in the state and this will be discussed.  The session will be facilitated by Denise Kay, Colorado SHRM Legislative Affairs Director and will feature  Don Knox, Editor, State Bill Colorado and a representative of the Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry.

Learning Objectives:

1)      To educate attendees on the information available to any HR professional on tracing Colorado legislative information.
2)      To educate attendees on the interaction of lobbyists and other professional s with Colorado legislators and how this can assist a HR professional in tracking legislative action
3)      To encourage HR professionals to be involved and seek out information on Colorado legislative issues. 

Benefits Panel Members:

New Benefit Innovations and Updates
Ken J.
Beitel, Advisory Board Chair, The Renewable Energy Initiative (TREI), Jennifer Place, Employee Assistance/Workplace Programs Director, Peer Assistance Services, and  Patrick Coughlin, Managing Principal, ClearPath Retirement  Partners
Facilitator:  Timothy Schermerhorn, Cherry Creek Benefits

Benefits Brokers Discuss How to Optimize Current Benefits
William Bishop
, Vice President, Lockton Companies, John Lowdermilk, President, Lowdermilk & Associates, and Andy Neff, Benefits Consultant, Cherry Creek Benefits
Facilitator: Aaron Webb, Senior Account Executive, Fall River Consulting

New Benefit Innovations and Updates

Cade Ross, BridgeHealth, Jane Cooper, President and CEO, Patient Care and Les Meyer, Vice President, HealthNext
Facilitator: Aaron Webb, Senior Account Executive, Fall River Consulting

HRDs and CFOs on Current Benefits Strategy
Judy Jackson
, HR Manager, PrimeStar Solar,  Tim Schmidt, CFO, Aurora Denver Cardiology, and  Michelle Hammond, Controller, TAKRAF
Facilitator:  Kathy Yeager, Kathleen Yeager Consulting

Benefits Fair 2011 for HR Professionals

2012 Open Enrollment is looming and so is the question “What are we doing with benefits for 2012?” 

Proactive HR professionals will be ready to discuss their current total rewards and benefits package, as well as to present new innovative options.  What is even better for that enterprising HR professional is having enhancements to the benefit package that are cost-effective and impactful for the organization’s population! 

That is the goal of the CHRA Benefits Fair and Spring Forum.

Leading exhibitors will be there to make your life as the HR professional easier and provide you with options and information on new or different benefit options designed to compliment your current benefit package. 

Want something new to offer during Open Enrollment?  Now is the time to learn about the best, new benefit offerings. 

Let our exhibitors help you and your company meet the needs of your employees.

Exhibitor Information

HR Certification Credit

HR Certification Institute Pre-ApprovedThis program is pending approval.

The use of this seal is not an endorsement by the HR Certification Institute of the quality of the program. It means that this program has met the HR Certification Institute’s criteria to be pre-approved for recertification.


Breakfast – 7:15 am
Opening Session  -- 7:30-8:15  Welcome and Introductions Amy Downing, Employment Services Supervisor at Center for Work Education and Employment (CWEE) and Ken J. Beitel, Advisory Board Chair, The Renewable Energy Initiative (TREI).

Denise Kay introduces a Legislator Panel, including State Representative Joe Miklosi and Su Ryden, who will discus the importance of HR support and involvement in legislative actions.

Benefit Fair / Break 8:20-8:55

Celebrate the kickoff to Clean Energy Month in May with The Renewable Energy Initiative and their press conference.

Concurrent Sessions

Legal / Employment Law



2011 Employment
Law Update

Colin Walker
Fairfield and Woods

Advocacy and Legislative Practices

Michael Aitken,
Director, Government Affairs, SHRM

Benefits Panel on New Benefit Innovations

Concurrent Sessions
10:15 – 11:30

Legal / Employment Law



Legal Ramifications of Social Media and Your Business

Jim Thomas, Director/Owner
Minor & Brown


Opportunity Lost- When Hard Work is not enough for Colorado Families

Frank Waterous,

The Bell Policy Center

Introduced by Jim Schultz with closing comments on the CHRA Workforce Readiness Initiative

Benefits Panel - Benefit Brokers Discussing How to Optimize Current Benefits

Award Ceremony: State Senator Linda Newell will receive the first CHRA Honorary Membership
Keynote Speaker: Michael Aitken, Director, Government Affairs, SHRM
Legislative Update: National and Colorado

Benefits Fair Finale: Exhibitors draw Door Prizes
Visit Exhibitors 1:15-1:35

Legal / Employment Law

Concurrent Sessions
1:45 - 2:45



Panel Discussion on Following Available Legislative Sources

Benefits Panel on New Benefit Innovations

Benefits Panels - HRDs and CFOs On Current Benefit Strategy

3:00 Visit to Colorado State Capitol

Registration Information
                                              Early                      After April 22nd
CHRA Members  
                   $ 79                       $99
Prospective Members             $149                      $169
Register and Join CHRA         $204*                     $224* (*Save $25 Processing Fee)

Corporate Table (10 people)   $1,200

Individuals interested in volunteering will receive a $15 rebate, please contact CHRA at 303-696-8585 for more information.

Breakfast, Lunch and Snacks are included.
Please contact the CHRA office to request a vegetarian meal at info@chra.org or (303) 696-8585.

Ride the RTD Light Rail (be green)

The RTD Light Rail is a convenient and green way to attend this event.  The 16th Street Station is about 3 blocks from the hotel and you can use the 16th Street Mall Shuttle to get even closer to the Crowne Plaza Hotel Downtown Denver.  Please click on the link below to direct you to the RTD Light Rail website for the schedule.

“I was happy to see the recommendation about taking Light Rail and the link to the Light Rail schedule. It was so easy and stress-free taking Light Rail.  I was able to read my emails during the ride. Then it was an easy walk to the Crown Plaza Hotel. It was a productive commute and I even got a little exercise! I will definitely take Light Rail the next time the meeting is downtown!”

Dana M. Davis, SPHR
Vice President, Human Resources Department
Lockton Companies, LLC

RTD Light Rail Schedule

Parking Information
The Crown Plaza Hotel offers daily rate parking - on a space available basis – via the front drive of the hotel.

Additional parking
Central Parking: Corner of 15th/Glenarm
Tremont Parking Garage: behind our hotel (15th/ Glenarm)
Pavilions Parking Garage: Enter on Welton St, between 15th and 16th Streets

Cancellations for full refund are accepted until April 25. Fees are due if notice of cancellation is not received by that date. Substitutions are accepted. If you require assistance or need information regarding access, call the CHRA office.

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