Strategic HR at Mt. Washington: Oct 24-26, 2021

The following information is from the completed 2021 event. Please check back in the spring for details on next year. 


Tuesday, October 26, 2021

6:30 am - 1:00 pm

Make Registration your first stop and pick up your Strategic HR badge. Badges are required for entry to any Retreat areas or activities. Registration is located in the Conservatory.

Registration Sponsor:

7:00 am - 8:30 am
Conference Breakfast

Breakfast Sponsor:

7:00 am - 8:15 am
EARLY BIRD: Ask the Lawyer

What’s Keeping HR Awake at Night?

What’s it all about? Most of our working lives have been turned upside down by Covid. Labor management lawyers are no exception to the rule, as many of us in HR seek “round the clock” access and have a newly discovered appreciation for legal counsel. Remote work and the path of the pandemic raise questions every day about leave laws, wage and hour, accommodations, investigations, independent contractors, the applicability of laws, and so much more. Mt. Washington veteran Debra Weiss Ford from Jackson Lewis will take to the stage this morning to offer a few legal gems and take your latest round of challenging questions in this breakfast session moderated by David Ciullo from Career Management Associates. 

Why you’ll want to participate in this session. 

  • Discuss the areas of employment law seeing the most activity and posing the greatest risks during Covid.  
  • Discover ways to triage and mitigate the immediate issue, while at the same time thinking strategically to manage the long-term implications of the problem. 
  • Leave this session with a better sense of when you need to “pick up the phone” vs. “go it alone” when handling a range of employment issues. 

Approved for SHRM and HRCI General (HR) Credit. 

Program Faculty: David Ciullo, Debra Weiss Ford
Tuesday Early Bird Sponsor:

8:30 am - 9:45 am
KEYNOTE: The Common Denominator of Our Times

Recognition of workplace anxiety and what to do about it.

What’s it all about? It makes no difference whether you’re a leader, manager, or employee peer, there’s a universal thread pulling at all of us, and that is anxiety. It’s the root of much disfunction as it weaves through all aspects of our lives and is particularly demonstrable during Covid times. That is why we have invited Chester Elton to deliver the closing keynote. He’s the #1 bestselling author of The Carrot Principle and Anxiety at Work: 8 Strategies to Help Teams Build Resilience, Handle Uncertainty, and Get Stuff Done. His conversation is designed to take us in two directions at the same time – to bring us all down a notch and then elevate our HR instincts for empathy and gratitude. 

Why you’ll want to participate in this session. 

  • Explore the sources of workplace stress and anxiety and how they relate to our conference themes of DE&I, return to the workplace, and the future of the profession. 
  • Consider strategies that reduce stress and cultivate calm, with an emphasis on management practices that focus on weathering uncertainty, balancing overload, beating perfectionism and lack of confidence, and strengthening social bonds.  
  • Demonstrate how those creative techniques don’t have to come at the expense of impactful conversations, performance, and values. 

Meet Chester at a book signing immediately following this keynote! 

Approved for SHRM and HRCI General (HR) Credit. 

Program Faculty: Chester Elton
Tuesday Keynote Sponsor:

9:45 am - 10:15 am
Coffee Break, EXPO, and Book Signing

With Chester Elton.

Bookstore & Book Club Sponsor:

10:15 am - 11:45 am
Starting from Scratch

Reimagine the possibilities for HR.

What’s it all about? Where are we headed as a profession, and what does this mean for you? The events of the last 18 months have spurred changes in how HR operates and how our teams interact with work and each other, prompting this fresh look at human capital and the guidance we are providing employees to help them navigate change. The challenges are great, but so are the opportunities. We’re going to ask you to imagine starting over, because like it or not, that’s where you are. You’ll hear from two HR leaders particularly suited for this role. Susan Miele, PhD who is capping a distinguished HR career as Chief People Officer for Gingko Bioworks, a young biotech company in Boston. Andrea Goodkin, SPHR, SHRM SCP, Exec. VP, Human Resource Consulting at HUB International in Chicago, where she advises on a range of leadership, talent, and human capital issues. Mim Minichiello, one of our renowned program moderators poses the questions, engages the audience, and helps bring the conference full circle.   

Why you’ll want to participate in this session. 

  • Consider how recent external forces have prompted a renewed look at human capital strategy, exceptionalism, and how we measure and value success. 
  • Re-evaluate the structure of your organization’s HR functions and your leadership role in fostering new approaches to the employer-employee equation, the technology play, and metrics and analysis. 
  • Discover how you can shed old assumptions and rules that no longer work while still holding true to your values. 

Approved for SHRM and HRCI Business Credit. 

Program Faculty: Andrea Goodkin, Mim Minichiello, Susan Miele
Workshop Sponsor:

11:45 am - 12:15 pm
Lunch and EXPO

12:15 pm - 1:00 pm
Be a Better Business and Inspirational Leader

The key strategic takeaways from the conference.

What’s it all about? A successful conference often is measured by one defining moment of instruction. We will have explored a lot of ground during your 2021 Mt. Washington visit and therefore believe that there is more than one golden nugget to share, whether gleaned from the stage or from your sidebar conversations. Ryan Picarella, Exec. VP of Growth and Partnerships at LifeGuides and Julie Develin, Senior Partner at UKG, have an ambitious plan towards that end. They will be tracking and whiteboarding the retreat from start to finish with twin goals in mind. The first is to highlight their views on what will bring you success on your return to the office. The second (and more important) is to draw out your ideas of the key takeaways. Engage! 

Why you’ll want to participate in this session 

  • Review the retreat’s best practices for aligning DE&I strategies with your values and overall strategic direction.
  • Reconsider how the external forces changing the nature of the workplace and the definition of work itself will drive how you think about your HR leadership role and how a new direction for HR can inure to the benefit of your organization.  
  • Leave with a better grasp of the big picture and long-range forecasts for the HR profession and how you can leverage that information when building your human capital strategies. 

Approved for SHRM and HRCI Business Credit. 

Program Faculty: Julie Develin, Ryan Picarella
Saturday, October 23, 2021 Sunday, October 24, 2021 Monday, October 25, 2021 Tuesday, October 26, 2021