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HR Conference

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Conference Details

  • Overview

    HR Conference Logo


    The HR Conference originally scheduled for October 2, was held as a National virtual HR Leadership Conference on September 1, 2020.

    2020 Vision: Taking HR into the Next Decade

    A must attend, MRA’s annual HR Conference is a full-day conference targeted at HR professionals at all levels. This conference will highlight the trends and best practices that HR professionals need to take their organizations into the next decade. Come and hear success stories from HR professionals and how they moved the needle in their organization. Real-life, practical, cutting edge, hands-on ideas and case studies to give you the vision and focus to elevate your organization. This is one of MRA’s most anticipated events!

    HR Recertification Credits Applied For:

    • HRCI:
      • SPHR – 4.75 HR (General) Credits; 1.25 Business Credits
      • PHR – 6 HR (General) Credits
    • SHRM: 6 PDCs
  • Agenda


    Schedule Sessions
    7:30 a.m. – 8:15 a.m. Registration / Continental Breakfast
    8:15 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. Opening Remarks
    8:30 a.m. – 9:45 a.m. Opening Session: Project Crystal Ball: A Peek at the Future of HR
    9:45 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Break
    10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Session 1: Clear Vision for Total Rewards
    11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Session 2: Future Focus on Talent
    12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. Lunch
    1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Session 3: The Journey to the Top
    2:00 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. Session 4: Employee Experience – The View Looks Good from Here!
    2:45 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Break
    3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Closing Session: A New Era of Company Culture
  • Sessions

    Sessions (in-person and live stream)

    Opening Session

    8:30 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.
    Presented by Dr. Shelton Goode, President and CEO, Icarus Consulting, LLC.
    Project Crystal Ball: A Peek at the Future of HR

    Leading a high-performing HR organization isn’t easy, and the data tells us that the challenges are only going to get tougher in the future. Organizations want more from HR. They want integrated programs, a quick, easy, and affordable source of diverse talent, and a function that enables learning throughout the organization. The top organizations also have expressed concern that resource and development investment in HR is low, and they are frustrated that this a trend that shows no signs of changing.

    HR leaders need strategies to create and sustain an HR function that meets their customers’ expectations not only today –but a decade from today.

    The data tells a story of some HR departments that are functioning at a higher level than their peers and delivering highly effective services. When HR gets it right, they are an essential business partner and a driver of organizational success. When they don’t live up to their customers' expectations, they are an easy target for what has gone wrong.

    Session 1

    10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
    Presented by David Aronson, CEO, Peanut Butter and Kathryn Grimaldi, Director of Human Resources, Paylocity

    Clear Vision for Total Rewards

    Hear from industry experts on two ways employers are "upping their game" when it comes to employee pay and benefits. Learn about the employment and educational trends that make now the time for employers to offer student loan assistance. Learn about the benchmarks and best practices to efficiently and effectively engage employees by helping them tackle student debt.

    Imagine a world where employees are paid today, for the work they did yesterday. Rather than waiting a standard pay period—weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly the concept of "daily pay" is here! Learn how this new way of handling payroll could create huge value for your employees with little impact to your business. Daily pay increases employee engagement and helps attract and retain talent creating value for your employees.

    Stand out from your competitors by offering these contemporary benefits to attract and retain talent!

    Session 2

    11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
    Presented by Heidi Ciha, Vice President of People, Delta Defense

    Future Focus on Talent

    Delta Defense is a rapidly growing organization that is rooted in a deep foundation of core values. Vice President of People, Heidi Ciha will share in this Member Spotlight how Delta Defense has built their employment brand and culture as well as how those are integrated into talent management processes and the employee experience to attract and retain top talent.

    Session 3

    1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
    Presented by Jeff Glasbrenner
    The Journey to the Top

    Jeff Glasbrenner says his "greatest opportunity" in life came at the age of 8 years old. On July 30, 1980, Jeff was involved in a traumatic farming accident, leaving him a below the knee amputee. While most would call this a tragedy, Jeff chose to embrace his circumstances as a unique opportunity, and propelled him to excel at wheelchair basketball, triathlons, mountaineering and being a dedicated husband and father to his two children. In Human Resources, we know how external forces often cause unexpected outcomes. In this compelling session, Jeff will share life-principles to help HR professionals calculate and evaluate risk in the business world, and the importance of leaning on the strengths of your colleagues and business partners to achieve results. Jeff is living proof that his motto in life hard and everything else will follow.

    Session 4

    2:00 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.
    Presented by Beth Ridley, Founder and CEO, The Brimful Life and Nate Filzen, Talent Development Consultant, Medical College of Wisconsin

    Employee Experience – The View Looks Good from Here!

    Emotionally-invested workers feel like they are part of something bigger! Learn one strategy employers can implement to foster emotional connections with colleagues, and with the company, to drive employee engagement and commitment, leading to higher productivity and retention.

    Employee onboarding plays a critical role in acclimating new employees to the organization. Getting onboarding right can be challenging, especially for multi-site employers or employers with remote workers. Learn ways to share information and socialize new hires into the company culture. Gain ideas for a well-designed orientation and onboarding program that will help engage and retain new employees.

    Closing Session

    3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
    Presented by Kelly Kauffman, Chief Human Capital Officer, Milwaukee Bucks
    Building a Culture – And an Arena – From the Ground Up!

    Kelly Kauffman, Chief Human Capital Officer for the Milwaukee Bucks, will take you through the process that she underwent while building a new HR department from scratch, and bringing the Milwaukee Bucks business from an NBA-only team to a thriving business with a state-of-the-art arena, entertainment district, G-League team, eSports team – with much more to come.  Kelly will discuss the challenges of not only opening Fiserv Forum from a staffing and operational perspective, but also the exercise of establishing a new organizational culture that quickly became the envy of sports leagues around the world. Looking forward, you’ll learn what plans the HR team has in place to retain their top talent, manage global events such as the Democratic National Convention and support the Milwaukee Bucks in its quest to win the NBA Championship.

  • Speakers


    Shelton Goode

    Dr. Shelton Goode is the president and chief executive officer of Icarus Consulting, a veteran-owned consulting firm that specializes in helping organizations create inclusive cultures that leverage diversity and inclusion for a competitive advantage. Icarus Consulting accomplishes this by developing strategies which enable their clients to attract, develop, and retain highly skilled talent from an emerging diverse workforce and, at the same time, enhance the engagement, knowledge, and skill of current employees. He is a business executive with over 20 years of diversity, inclusion, HR, and higher education experience. He has held executive positions for companies ranging in size from $300M to $11B+. He has developed or implemented talent management programs, performance management systems, sales incentive plans, labor relations strategies, and large-scale culture change initiatives.


    David Aronson

    David Aronson is CEO of Peanut Butter. Aronson has previously founded six businesses as entrepreneur or intrapreneur. He has served as Senior Director of Business Development at Sears Holdings, and Director of Corporate Development at Gevity, an HR-outsourcing firm. He has 20 years of experience, including business development, B2B sales, HR outsourcing, new products, sales ops, and M&A. Aronson has spoken on student loans at the HR Executives Benefits Leadership Conference, LIMRA’s Worksite Benefits Conference, EBN’s Benefits Forum, Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) events, and on Capitol Hill. He can also be found in interviews with the Washington Post, Forbes, and Inc. He holds an MBA in Entrepreneurship & Innovation from the J.L. Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and a BSBA in Finance from Valparaiso University.


    Kathryn Grimaldi

    Kathryn Grimaldi is an experienced HR professional focused on driving retention, succession planning, and employee engagement while ensuring a strong business partnership and consistent collaboration.




    Heidi Ciha

    Heidi Ciha, an HR Executive with 25+ years of HR experience is currently Vice President of People at Delta Defense in West Bend, WI. In this role, she is responsible for the overall alignment of the organization’s people and business objectives and deploying the appropriate talent programs, policies, practices, communications and training to achieve these results. Reporting to Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Tim Schmidt, Ms. Ciha serves as a consultant to Delta Defense’s leadership team and has responsibility for their most valuable assets—their people and culture. She is partnering with the executive team to implement people programs that reinforce the company’s core values, support employee and organization performance and drive professional growth. Heidi Ciha joined Delta Defense in April of 2019 from John Deere where over 20+ years, she held a variety of HR roles in HR Operations, Talent Acquisition and Talent Development. Heidi holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Iowa, and a Bachelors in Business Administration with majors in Human Resources and Management Information systems from the University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh. Born and raised in New Berlin, WI, she is thrilled to be back home.


    Jeff Glasbrenner

    Jeff Glasbrenner’s opportunity in life came on July 30th, 1980 at the age of 8 years old. On that day, Jeff was involved in a traumatic farming accident, leaving him a below the knee amputee. Most would call this a tragedy, but Jeff says it was his greatest opportunity. He chose to embrace this unique opportunity and has continually excelled at Wheelchair basketball, triathlons, mountaineering, and being a husband and dedicated father to his two children wheelchair basketball, Jeff holds a National Championship scoring record with 63 points and 27 rebounds in one game. He has played in Europe Professionally for three years (Madrid, Spain and Rome, Italy). Jeff is a three-time Paralympian (2000 Bronze medal, 2004 and 2008 games) and a two-time World Champion (Gold Medal). Jeff has proven that his motto in life works…work hard and everything else will follow. His motivational public speaking and his positive attitude continue to inspire people all over the world.


    Beth Ridley

    Beth Ridley believes a positive, connected and committed organizational culture is critical to business success. That's why she combined her 25 years of corporate leadership and management consulting experience with her expertise in diversity and inclusion and positive psychology to launch, The Brimful Life, a consulting firm that works with executives to strengthen their leadership teams and transform organizational cultures to better support the organization’s vision and strategic goals. In addition, The Brimful Life podcast series, keynote presentations and workshops inspire and equip leaders to develop a positive mental mindset and lead with optimism. Beth has lived and worked in London, Tokyo, Johannesburg, Bangkok, Boston and New York City. She has a BA in English Literature from the University of Virginia, a MA in International Relations from Tufts University and an MBA from Columbia University. Beth lives a brimful life by spending time with her husband and three kids and with running, speed skating and watching cooking competition shows on TV which is ironic because she hates to cook.


    Nate Filzen

    Nate Filzen is a Talent Development professional specializing in leadership development, training facilitation and performance management. Throughout his 11 years at MCW, Nate has been involved in nearly all aspects of development including; onboarding new employees, managing the leader development program at the Medical College of Wisconsin, administering the performance management system, being certified as a facilitator of Crucial Conversations and Crucial Accountability, creating development programs for teams and individuals, and a keynote speaker for several retreats. Nate loves to share his knowledge and work with others to help them achieve their career goals.



    Kelly Kauffman

    Kelly Kauffman is the Chief Human Capital Officer for the Milwaukee Bucks, a Sports and Entertainment organization within the National Basketball Association. With over 20 years of Human Resources experience, Kelly joined the Bucks staff as a Human Resources Executive with the task of creating the organization’s first Human Resources department from the ground up. The Human Resources function at the Bucks was implemented to set the foundation in building a world-class sports organization by supporting the team’s long term strategy and goals, including the construction of a new arena, practice facility and ancillary development that has increased the breadth of the Bucks’ reach in the community. Prior to joining the Milwaukee Bucks, Kelly held various leadership roles in HR at Badger Meter, Racine Federated, Bombardier Recreational Products and Moore Business Forms where her focus has been on employee relations, talent management, organizational development, compensation and benefits, training and mergers and acquisitions. Kelly holds a Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology from Marquette University. She currently resides in Mount Pleasant with her son, Lyle, and daughter, Audrey.

  • Fees


    Registration Fees:

    • $250 Member Early-bird (before September 4, 2020)
    • $300 Member (after September 4, 2020)
    • $375 Nonmember

    Cancellation and Refund Policy:
    Attendee substitutions may be made at any time and are encouraged when the original registrant cannot attend. If you must cancel or reschedule, please notify us at least three (3) business days prior to the program to receive a refund of the program price, minus a $50 processing fee. Cancellations or date changes made less than three (3) days prior to the program will incur the full registration cost.

  • Accommodations and Special Requests

    Accommodations and Special Requests

    Please contact us at 800.488.4845 or [email protected] in advance for any accommodations, special requests, or dietary needs. Nursing mothers, please ask the MRA representative at the front desk or the program instructor to show you our private area. Food and beverages provided at conferences, programs, and Roundtables will vary. If you have any special dietary needs (gluten-free, vegetarian, allergies, etc.), please contact the MRA location in advance, so we can provide an appropriate meal.

Thank You to Our Sponsors!

Sponsoring MRA events is a tremendous opportunity to bring your message of business value to our growing membership of organizations HR professionals and business leaders. Our members represent all industries including manufacturing, service, distribution, finance and health care! 80% of event attendees are new at each event offering you the opportunity to network with new contacts. We are very excited about the event this year and hope you can join us!

For more information on sponsorship and exhibit booths, call Katie Chapman at 262.696.3365 or [email protected].

Signature Sponsors:





Sponsors: (Wisconsin)

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