Small Company HR Summit
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Small Company HR Summit

Between addressing your vendor relationship management to creating more effective feedback sessions, this one-day event will cover many issues you face as a small HR department (or department of one)! Whether you’re a small-to-medium-sized business, startup, or freelancer, you’ll want to join these informative sessions and get in on these takeaways, discussions, and frame-working and start off 2019 right.

 Export to Your Calendar 1/17/2019
When: Thursday, January 17, 2019
From 8:00 AM until 4:00 PM
Where: Space generously donated by Golden Gate University
536 Mission Street
San Francisco, California  94105
United States
Contact: 800-339-4481

Online registration is available until: 1/17/2019
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Small Company HR Summit
Thursday, January 17th

Registration/Networking 8:00 - 8:20am
Program Time 8:30am - 4:00pm

Qualifies for 5.75 General HRCI Recertification Credits (pending approval) / 5.75 SHRM PDCs

Price: Member $295 / General $365 / Join Now $479.97 (includes a 1-year membership with NCHRA)

**Use Code NFP for 10% off of all registration rates for nonprofits.**


8:00 - 8:30am: Registration/Networking

8:30am - 9:30am: Nurture Your Talent: Approaches for the Small Company, presented Ken Sher, President, Sher Consulting

Does your organization have the talent it needs to compete? Not only do you need to recruit great people, but once they join your company, you need each individual to maximize their productivity and the impact while they are there. 

Small-mid-size companies face the challenge of developing their people with limited resources and budgets. Still, highly-engaged teams and motivated employees are critical to your success. Good coaching from managers has been proven to be a catalyst for high-performing teams. Numerous studies show that there is a significant difference in employee performance and attitude between those who receive good coaching and those who don’t. Employees who have managers who are effective coaches are more willing to go the extra mile, are more committed to their job and the company, are less likely to leave the company and feel that they are given real opportunities to grow and improve.

Many leaders feel they are too busy or don’t have enough resources to focus on leadership development and coaching, but this reasoning is why it is imperative to have effective coaches throughout your organization, even when it is small with limited resources. 

After participating, you will:
>> Get development ideas to fit within your resource and budget constraints, addressing individual development and the short and long-term business needs of the organization.
>> Gain practical, workable ideas that will enable HR, regardless of size and budget, to train/coach managers to give effective feedback.
>> Identify multiple ways to recognize and motivate talent beyond traditional financial incentives.
>> Have clear ideas regarding how to develop a motivational environment for your employees.

9:30am - 9:45am: Break

9:45am - 10:45am: Total Rewards Strategy, presented by Nate Wood, Consultant, AJ Gallagher and Armand Bengle, Managing Director, Gallagher Human Resources and Compensation Consulting

The competition for top talent is getting tougher every day. Ensuring top talent stays with your company is a challenge. Top employers understand that their Total Rewards program is the number one tool to attract and retain a skilled workforce. This session will help finance and HR leaders create the right strategy to attract, engage and retain a talented workforce, while also containing the cost of their employee benefits program. Gain insight into what strategies and tactics other employers of a similar size and location are doing with their Total Rewards programs.

In a recent 2018 study conducted by AJ Gallagher, 11,951 midsize employers (100 to 1000 FTEs) responded. Of those that responded:

  • About 500 qualified as best-in-class for healthcare cost control

  • About 450 qualified as best-in-class for human resource management

  • About 125 qualified as best of the best measures of best-in-class healthcare cost control

  • Participants noted successful containment of health plan premium increases (roughly 4% or less premium increase every year) over the last 3 years

  • Participants noted self-assessed healthcare cost management strategy effectiveness

After joining us, you will:

1) Gain perspective on what high-performing organizations have in common.
2) Challenge assumptions about what’s possible, not cast a mold for the idea.

3) Get a sense of where you stand compared to the best in class of a similar size, as well as redefine and refine your strategies, tactics and operational execution to succeed.

10:45 - 11:00am: Break

11:00am - 12:15pm: What To Do When Performance Needs Improvement,  presented by Pamela Delnevo, Human Resources Manager at Murphy, Pearson, Bradley & Feeney

Many managers will meet with their employees to discuss performance and the employee will leave the meeting unclear as to what they need to do to improve. They will state an employee "has a bad attitude" or "doesn't want to do the work," which is not specific or helpful. 

We will illustrate examples that are useful to the employee, so performance complaints can turn into specific action items. We will describe how to document these conversations, discuss following up, invite discussion as to how this plays out in a small company environment, and recognize generational differences that might come into play. 

Learn how to:
> Hold difficult conversations and document them correctly.
> Draft meaningful performance improvement plans, written warnings, or annual reviews.
> Follow-up with the employee as they strive to improve their performance.

12:15 - 1:15pm: Lunch (provided)

1:15 - 2:30pm: Effective Vendor Relationship Management to Maximize ROI,presented by Christopher Dewey, Senior Vice President, Heffernan Insurance Services and Julius Schillinger, Vice President, Human Resources, Gateway Learning Group

HR vendor relationship management (VRM) isn’t just for large organizations. VRM has become an important HR leadership competency and is increasingly considered a core business function that helps organizations control costs, optimize performance and mitigate risk throughout the vendor relationship life cycle. We will focus on the VRM lifecycle for small to medium-sized companies.

Examine vendor relationship management rules of engagement. Tackle key VRM challenges---like inadequate processes, solutions that do not perform to expectations, unacceptable service levels, lack of vendor responsiveness---and review opportunities to resolve these. Discuss solutions such as nailing your company’s contracts, providing internal staff training, appointing a vendor relationship manager, talking to competitive suppliers regularly, and selecting qualified vendors to fit your scale.  

Takeaways will include a PDF of “The Top 10 VRM Tips for Small Companies” and a sampling of templates and forms (e.g. vendor lifecycle, vendor scorecard), which can become a part of your VRM document library. 
Together, we will:
-- Review a visual roadmap of the VRM lifecycle, and identify common challenges, offering tangible solutions to address them. 
-- Identify best practices in building collaborative vendor-partner relationships and how to leverage best practices to build mutual innovations.
-- Get tips around defining company needs, vendor profiling, risk assessment, vendor solution sampling and selection, contract negotiation, performance monitoring and reporting, and contract renewal / termination.
-- Learn qualitative metrics for each step of the VRM lifecycle to ensure that expectations are aligned.

2:30 - 2:45pm: Break

2:45 - 4:00pm: Creating a Harassment-Free Workplace, presented by Monte Grix, Associate, Hirschfeld Kraemer 

Using sexual harassment law and policy as a backdrop, we will focus on concepts from the HR / management perspective of being sensitive to the perceptions and reactions of coworkers, particularly in the #MeToo era. 

Even if one’s intent is positive, we need to be sensitive to what we may say and do in the workplace, and to dive into the nuances of best practices for investigations.

Even if your idea of spending an hour with a lawyer is a fate worse than death, you will find this last afternoon session dynamic and interactive. 

In this fast-paced session, we will discuss how to recognize the kind of conduct that frequently forms the basis of harassment claims but is seldom recognized as being unlawful. We will discuss what you are legally obligated to do when you become aware of harassment between supervisors and employees, between co-workers, and between customers and/or vendors and employees. 

We will particularly focus on your investigation obligations. In addition to raising our awareness of how actions may be perceived by others, you will also receive empowering supervisory / HR tools.



>> Ken Sher is a Career Management and Executive Coach with extensive experience leading and coaching individuals and managerial teams, ranging in size from 10 to 70 employees,  within fortune 200 companies like Johnson & Johnson and Bristol-Myers Squibb. He shares these experiences in an interactive, engaging and humorous style that motivates his audience to make fast, positive, and impactful changes as individuals and for their organization. Ken’s coaching is focused on elements of  leadership that impact the bottom line. He helps his clients identify personal and professional strategies to focus on the most important criteria, leading to a more fulfilling and balanced professional and personal life.

Ken has led teams ranging in size from 10 to 70 employees. He has helped individuals improve their performance for professional growth which leads to increased productivity and attainment of advanced positions within their organizations and beyond. He also helps leaders develop more cohesive and effective teams leading to increased employee engagement and effectiveness.

Ken is a member of the Life Sciences Trainers & Educators Network (LTEN), the Association for Talent Development (ATD), the Five O’clock Club, and a member of the National Speakers Association Academy. Ken’s passion is helping people and teams better themselves. He also provides one-on-one consulting, as well as workshops, in a variety of career management and leadership topics. You can contact Ken at,, or learn more at

>> Nate Wood is a consultant with Gallagher, specializing in helping employers build effective strategies for their Total Rewards programs.

>> Armand Bengle is a Managing Director and member of the Human Resources and Compensation Consulting and Benefits Consulting practices in Gallagher’s Western Region. He is a business consultant and executive bringing principles of strategy and planning to human capital management and finance issues, including workforce management, organizational design, compensation, benefits and service delivery issues. Armand has more than 30 years of experience in all phases of the design and financing of benefit and compensation programs. He has served in executive capacities in several consulting firms. 

He was a founder and the Chief Operating Officer for MedFx. His firm specialized in improving the quality of medical care delivery by changing consumer and provider behaviors through the application of evidence-based medical guidelines and applying quality improvement techniques to reduce the variance of medical practice patterns, including clinical reengineering. He has served in executive positions with several national and international consultancies. Armand holds the M.B.A. with concentrations in Finance and Marketing as well as  a B.S. in Chemistry, and a B.S. in Biology, from the University of San Francisco.

>> Pam Delnevo is an SPHR/SCP-certified Human Resources and Employee Relations professional with over 18 years of experience in the law firm environment. Her expertise is in providing guidance and coaching to managers on performance management: from holding difficult conversations, to preparing written warnings, performance improvement plans and annual reviews, and in performance follow-up. Pam has also done extensive work in training, and has delivered the two-hour ‘Preventing Sexual Harassment’ program for managers several times. Pam was President of the Golden Gate Chapter of the Association of Legal Administrators in 2015/2016.

>> Julius Schillinger is Vice President, Human Resources and an officer of the company for Gateway Learning Group, a San Francisco-based provider of therapy to children on the Autism spectrum. Previously, he was HR leader for Aurora Behavioral Health, a 14-hospital system of psychiatric care facilities. For 10 years, he was Director HR and VP Account Management for Fortune 200 health insurer, Health Net Inc.  Earlier, he was Chief Human Resources Officer for NextCard, an online consumer credit provider. Julius also spent 7 years as VP Global Human Capital for Cap Gemini Ernst & Young’s professional services unit, leading EY’s Human Capital & business growth consulting practice.


Julius is a published writer-photographer, received his Master’s from University of Southern CA., and subsequently was on USC’s MBA advisory board. He completed his doctoral work at Kent State University.  As an adjunct professor, Julius teaches among the highest student rated courses at University of California, Santa Cruz. He frequently speaks at national and regional conferences on emerging HR trends and cloud-based workplace health & well-being programs.


Julius is an avid collector of California wines, and an active runner, completing thirty 5K races annually.  He resides in Sonoma, California with his wife and 16-year-old daughter.

>> Monte Grix is an associate in the firm’s Los Angeles office. He has represented a variety of employers with respect to labor and employment matters, including manufacturers, electronics distributors, general construction contractors (union and non-union), high tech service companies, retailers, aerospace companies, government contractors, agricultural companies, and educational institutions. His practice emphasizes both litigation and counseling in traditional labor and non-union settings.

On the litigation side, Monte handles employment discrimination, harassment and retaliation claims, wage and hour class actions and employment-related trade secret/intellectual property/non-competition claims. Monte has successfully litigated for his clients in arbitration, at trial, and on summary judgment. On the advice side, Monte counsels employers with respect to a broad range of employment law issues, including wage and hour compliance, record-keeping, and employee disability accommodation. He also has experience conducting neutral investigations for private sector employers with regard to internal discrimination, harassment, wrongful discipline complaints, and ethics compliance, internal employment eligibility (I-9) audits, and OFCCP compliance matters.

Monte also is bilingual in Spanish and conducts employee trainings in both Spanish and English.



Cancellations received less than seven calendar days from the program date are not refundable. If cancellation within seven days of the program is unavoidable, a credit for a future event will be granted, minus a $75 administration fee ($15 for regional meetings). Credits must be used within one year of issue. A substitute attendee is allowed at the applicable NCHRA member/non-member rate in lieu of credit. Separate cancellation policies apply for the HR West Conference and Certification Preparation Courses.