Strategic HR at Mount Washington: Oct 27-29, 2019 – Bretton Woods, NH

Thank you to everyone who joined us for the 2018 Retreat!

The following information is from the completed event. Check back in the spring for updates on the 2019 Retreat.

Monday, October 29


6:30 am - 5:00 pm
Registration Re-Opens

Registration remains open throughout the day.

6:45 am - 8:30 am
An Elegant Breakfast Buffet


7:00 am - 8:00 am
Early Bird Session

Facilitating Ethical Corporate Behavior

When HR is Caught in the Middle

Charla Stevens, McLane Middleton

Ambiguous workplace scenarios land on your doorstep almost every day. It could be a #MeToo moment, the behavior of an executive or top sales person, or some other allegation of misconduct, all of which require confidentiality and discernment on your part. It’s in just those moments you need to know how to navigate among your responsibilities to your employees, your employer, and yourself. Charla Stevens leads this breakfast roundtable discussion, which will include role playing and audience participation. We hope you will leave this session thinking about these issues: 1) how to help your employer chart an ethical code of conduct; 2) how leading by example instills ethical patterns of behavior for your employees; 3) how to deftly steer an investigation or other line of inquiry; and 4) how you can look in the mirror and feel good about your work and yourself.

Pre-registration is required for this session.

Approved for SHRM credit and HRCI BUSINESS credit.

Program Faculty: Charla Stevens

8:00 am - 5:30 pm
HR Marketplace

Our Business Partners are available to share information on their products, services, and HR issues of the day.

Your Monday Host

Ed Hurley-Wales moderates our “Strategic Monday,” bringing together a range of topics from HR innovation, to a look at metrics in action, and on to the D&I role for working moms. Ed is the Vice President of Market Diversity and Inclusion for ADP, and he serves as Board Chair at NEHRA, the retreat’s programming partner.

8:30 am - 9:30 am
Opening Keynote: The Three Box Solution

How HR Can Lead Innovation

Vijay Govindarajan

Isn’t it time to open the door to innovative work in the HR sphere? There are just a few simple things getting in the way of that task – the present, the past, and the future. Vijay Govindarajan, acclaimed author and Coxe Distinguished Professor at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, offers a path forward with his three box solution. In this creative keynote, VG (as his friends call him) will help you manage the present, selectively forget the past, and create the future. The first box – the present – is where most of our energy goes every day. It’s existential, but are we managing wisely and efficiently? The second box – the past – is intriguing. Most of us think we’re good at remembering what works and disassociating ourselves from what doesn’t work. Is that so? The third box – the future – is the denouement. How do we convert brilliant ideas into reality? VG provides us with the framework and vocabulary to move on all three fronts, opening the door to creative work and providing you with the tools to help innovation flourish.

Approved for SHRM credit and HRCI BUSINESS credit.

Program Faculty: Vijay Govindarajan

9:30 am - 10:00 am
Meet the Author and Book Signing

Vijay Govindarajan: The Three Box Solution

Program Faculty: Vijay Govindarajan

9:30 am - 10:00 am
Break with Our Business Partners

Visit our Business Partners to view their products and services for the executive HR community.

10:00 am - 11:45 am
Strategic Monday Experiential Workshops

Your choice of four vibrant, strategic sessions where you “go to work” with participatory exercises and lively discussions. With appreciation to our workshop sponsor Career Management Associates and Dale Carnegie.

Click on the workshop tabs below for full program descriptions.


11:45 am - 1:00 pm


1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
KEYNOTE: The Strategic Value of Goodness

Tony Tjan

What does goodness mean in the context of Human Resources and the venture capital that energizes businesses new and old? In the Monday afternoon keynote, Tony Tjan, CEO of Cue Ball in Boston, Massachusetts (the only venture capital firm that started as a nail salon) offers this standard for goodness. It’s where people and organizations commit to going beyond competencies to think and act on values. Tony makes the point that while some business failures are attributable to bad ideas, more failures are connected to matters of ethics and leadership. The best leaders are less concerned with herding followers and more invested in grooming other leaders. And this is how HR can lead, by recognizing that the strategic value of goodness, good people, and good work aligns more with character than with measurable competencies. You’ll leave this session thinking very differently about who and how you hire.

Approved for SHRM credit and HRCI general (HR) credit.

Profile: From his first days as a newspaper delivery boy in Newfoundland, Tony Tjan has engaged in creative entrepreneurship. His path led to Harvard, the early ups and downs of the business of the Internet, the restructuring of the Thompson Reuters media conglomerate, and on to Cue Ball, which has contributed to the success of the likes of Miniluxe, Virgin Pulse, Dubset, and Landit. Tony is the author of “Heart, Smarts, Guts and Luck.”

Program Faculty: Tony Tjan

2:00 pm - 2:30 pm
Meet the Authors and Book Signing


Tony Tjan: Good People                  Lisa Prior: Take Charge of Your View

Program Faculty: Lisa Prior, Tony Tjan

2:00 pm - 2:30 pm
Dessert and HR Marketplace

Visit our Business Partners to view their products and services for the executive HR community.

2:30 pm - 3:30 pm
PLENARY: Metrics that Matter

Let Numbers Tell a Story

Bob Selle, Ocean State Job Lot

Shannon Shallcross, BetaXAnalytics

What’s the best way to tell the story of your organization? In the estimation of Bob Selle (CHRO of Ocean State Job Lot in North Kingston, Rhode Island), it’s using numbers – not just for numbers sake – but rather as a means to describe the direction of your business. In this fireside chat with his independent data expert, Shannon Shallcross (CEO of BetaXAnalytics in Providence), Bob shapes the narrative of employee health and wellness at Ocean State, employing metrics from the health data sphere. Our duo will demonstrate how they determine what to measure, and how they gather, analyze, and report the numbers with integrity. Witness that being an analytics expert in the HR sphere can be more than a cost savings vehicle; it can help you arrange for the right mix of investments for your long-range planning.

Approved for SHRM credit and HRCI BUSINESS credit.

Program Faculty: Bob Selle, Shannon Shallcross

3:45 pm - 4:30 pm
PLENARY: Gender Equity, Diversity, and the Working Mom

Initiatives That Improve Your Talent Acquisition

In ten years, approximately one-third of New England’s labor force will be 65 years or older, leaving vacancies in highly skilled roles across industries. Liisa Rajala, associate editor of NH Business Review, will close our Monday afternoon programming by highlighting steps companies are taking to attract and retain a diverse workforce, in some cases utilizing state programs and funds. In her coverage, Liisa has seen how companies are reexamining their workplace culture and policies to attract younger workers and have put even further emphasis on women. W.S. Badger & Company in Gilsum launched and led a coalition of businesses in the Monadnock Region to adopt its successful babies-at-work program. And Bensonwood Custom Homebuilding in Walpole renovated a private space for new mothers to breast pump. Vital Marketing in Portsmouth rebranded its company and grew its profits by incorporating a social interview (where applicants mingle with potential coworkers), organizing a weekly meal prepared by a chef and scheduling group exercise sessions. A shortage of skills has led other companies to develop custom training programs. Easterseals in Manchester successfully hired 20 individuals from the Congolese, Nepalese and Bhutanese community from its in-house training program developed in coordination with English as a Second Language instructors. Liisa will share ambitious initiatives as well as list small steps companies can take to attract talented workers in different segments of the labor force.

Approved for SHRM credit and HRCI general (HR) credit.

Program Faculty: Liisa Rajala

4:30 pm - 5:30 pm
Reception and HR Marketplace

Visit our Business Partners to view their products and services for the executive HR community.


6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Dinner tonight is on your own…well, not exactly on your own. This is an opportunity to connect with new friends you’ve met at the Retreat.

8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Parlor Games

Scrabble, Yahtzee!, Poker, and more! Join us for casual gaming, bar talk, and camaraderie.


9:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Evening Conversations

The Cave is open for a chance to reconnect with your HR friends.

Saturday, October 27 Sunday, October 28 Monday, October 29 Tuesday, October 30