Strategic HR at Mount Washington: Oct 29-31, 2017 – Bretton Woods, NH

Thank you to everyone who made the 2017 Strategic HR at Mt. Washington Retreat outstanding. Below is information from the completed event. Check back in the spring for 2018 information!

Monday, October 30


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

From Silicon Valley to Boston

Can anyone engineer a new place of genius, or is this like trying to engineer a rainbow? Is genius in the first iteration, or in the subsequent tinkering of concepts and delivery? Sunday keynoter Eric Weiner, author of New York Times bestseller The Geography of Genius, rejoins us for breakfast and an informal conversation on whether it is possible to replicate creative brilliance. He’ll focus on Silicon Valley and the attempts to recreate its magic in cities around the country, efforts which have met with only modest success. We’ll take a close look at metropolitan Boston and what makes it an especially good laboratory for this effort. What underlying factors are already at work in Boston – culturally, artistically, attitudinally, and educationally – that is fostering a bio-tech boom and a spillover effect on the rest of New England? Hosted by Charla Stevens of McLane Middleton in Manchester, NH.

  • Approved for HRCI BUSINESS credit and SHRM credit.
  • Pre-registration is required for this session.
  • Please sign up at the Registration Desk in the Lobby

Program Faculty: Charla Stevens, Eric Weiner

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 our operating systems, to our unconscious biases, to the business alliances that will help HR thrive. 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 with Aaron Dignan

The OS Canvas: Rebuilding from the Ground Up

HR Business Allies need to connect deeply with their companies’ DNA. How can you help position your organization to rebuild in an era of swift change and uncertainty? Better yet, how can you help foster participatory change from within? Aaron Dignan, creator of The Ready, joins us from New York City, with the bold idea that HR can lead change, maybe even change that cuts against an organization’s instincts and traditions, and help create a company that can “run itself.” Aaron will focus on the path from transformation to organizational re-design, a path that requires leadership evolution spurring team effectiveness. Return to your workplace with this new design and as a change management and organizational redesign leader. Then watch mindsets change and behaviors spread.

Approved for HRCI BUSINESS credit and SHRM credit.

Program Faculty: Aaron Dignan

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

Aaron Dignan: The Ready Magazine

Program Faculty: Aaron Dignan

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.

11:00 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 - 2:15 pm
The DNA Discussion Project: It's That Last 0.1%

Flowing from our earlier discussions about unconscious bias, we’re going to drill down to the heart of the matter: Have you ever wondered about the true origins of your family, your ethnicity, or race and how that meshes with your family stories? Professor Anita Foeman, founder of the DNA Discussion Project at West Chester University in Pennsylvania and her colleagues – Bessie Lawton and Nate Terrell – reveal the fascinating work of this project, including its underlying science, the protocols for how information is gathered, and most important, how this pool of information opens the doors to sometimes difficult, sometimes fun discussions about perceptions of race and ethnicity. And, in a particularly challenging political environment – how do we talk to one another at home, among our friends, and at work.


Another engaging piece of the puzzle: Over the summer, volunteers from the audience can join in the process, undergo a simple DNA test and questionnaire, and be part of the conversation on stage. We are 99.9% of the same genetic makeup. It’s that last 0.1% that makes us look different from one another.

Approved for HRCI (general) credit and SHRM credit.

Program Faculty: Anita Foeman, Bessie Lawton, Nate Terrell

2:15 pm - 2:45 pm
Dessert and HR Marketplace

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

2:45 pm - 4:15 pm
Monday Afternoon Workshops 

Click on the workshop tabs below for full program descriptions.


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.

9:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Parlor Games

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

9:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Evening Conversations

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

Saturday, October 28 Sunday, October 29 Monday, October 30 Tuesday, October 31