May 2022 Annual Conference

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May 2022 Annual Conference

May 10, 2022 @ 9:00 am - 1:30 pm CDT


This Event is In-Person Only.

In-Person check-in starts at 8:30 am and we will have a networking session from 9-10.  This will give us a chance to re-connect and enjoy each other’s company. Coffee/Tea will be provided.

EIHRA chapter announcements will be at 9:45 am and our speakers will begin promptly at 10 am.

There is plenty of room to socially distance in the room at Mt Mercy Graduation Center.


Session 1 (10 am – 11 am)
Unmet Need’s” – An Employee Perspective and A Key Trend update from Mercer’s Annual National Survey of Employer Sponsored Benefit Plans.

Jim Green
Jim is a part of the leadership team for Mercer Iowa.  Jim serves as Lead Consultant/Strategists and Relationship Manager on larger clients with complex structures and challenging strategic needs. His focus is on strategy and financial impact, including underwriting and cost projections, trend mitigation, employee engagement and communication strategies, health and wellness solutions, technology and benefit outsourcing options, and compliance support. His career includes 20 years as a Human Resources consultant, and 8 years as a health underwriter for both managed care and PPO health plans.  He is a licensed producer in all 50 states. Jim holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Illinois Wesleyan and a MBA in Finance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Tom Mitchell
Tom is a Principal and Account Manager within Mercer’s Research & Experience Practice, located in Chicago, IL. In this role, Tom partners with clients to understand organizational priorities and stakeholder needs, design custom research approaches, create data-based storylines, and consult on action planning approaches. For nearly thirty years, Tom has consulted with clients in conducting qualitative and quantitative research projects in the areas of engagement, employee experience, and rewards.
Tom has worked with numerous organizations to help design customized research approaches and identify priority areas and action-planning activities to bring about sustainable organizational change. He has particular expertise in working with clients who are transitioning research models and their change management needs, as well as helping mature organizations elevate their engagement programs.
Over his career, Tom has consulted with both first-time and ongoing research initiatives, with extensive experience in questionnaire design, data analysis and interpretation, results reporting, and action planning. Prior to joining the firm, he worked for Aon Hewitt, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Willis Towers Watson in the areas of employee research and workforce analytics.
Tom holds a Master of Public Administration from Southern Illinois University and a Bachelors of Arts in economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


Session 2 (11 am – 12 pm)
Human Resources Near and Far

The expertise of HR has changed over the years, but even more rapidly with the onset of Covid-19. HR professionals have had to adjust at an overwhelming pace. This session will take place with a panel of 2-3 professional HR sources with at least 25 years of experience. They are going to go through a series of questions pre-loaded with time for possible questions at the end. Topics include: organizational management, financial planning on HR growth, recruiting hot topics, compliance issues on the rise, and other factors affecting their day to day operations.

Cherrie Spurlin
Cherrie Spurlin, an all-around enthusiastic leader. Cherrie is an Executive Director for the Management Resource Association (MRA). Those who have worked with Cherrie describe her as a very optimistic person.  Cherrie believes people are a company’s greatest asset, and true leadership is about taking the time to mentor, coach, and develop others. Cherrie brings over 17 years of experience leading teams in multiple industries. She is currently a doctoral student in Strategic Leadership and a certified human resource professional. Cherrie is an Advisory Board Member for the Salvation Army and is passionate about volunteering in the community. She also led a human resources department which was a recipient of the Corridor Business Journal’s Award in Nonprofit Talent Engagement.

Tracy Tunwall
Tracy Tunwall, SPHR, is the President of the Iowa Senior Human Resource Association and received her BA in Business from the University of Northern Iowa, Masters in Business Administration from St. Ambrose University, and Ph.D. in International Business from Northcentral University. Tracy worked in industry for 20-years, primarily in Operations and Human Resource Management; most recently as Vice President of Human Resources at Frontier Natural Products Coop. Tracy has worked the past decade in academic administration and as an Associate Professor of Business, Business Department Chair, Faculty Chair, and Sustainability Fellow. Tracy teaches a wide variety of courses in sustainability, management, and communications, and currently serves on the Executive Leadership Team for the American Heart Association Go Red for Women.


Lunch Break 12 – 12:30 pm (boxed lunch provided)


Session 3 (12:30 pm – 1:30 pm)
Affirmative Action Plans (AAPs)- The “What” and the “Why”

This is an introduction to Affirmative Action Plan requirements and compliance. Many organizations are bound to comply by the OFCCP and don’t know it. This presentation will break down the importance of compliance, and what having an AAP can do for the nation with diversity and equality.

Samantha Rogers
Samantha Rogers is the Human Resources Business Director at the Skywalk Group and a proud Forty Under 40 award recipient of the class of 2019. She is certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources and has successfully partnered with over 150 organizations to align their strategic initiatives with their daily operations and workforce culture. Her specialties include strategic planning, risk management, employee relations, and compliance with federal and state employment law. Currently, Samantha serves as the Student Liaison Chair on the Eastern Iowa Human Resources Association (EIHRA) board, is a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) member of the Junior League of Cedar Rapids (JLCR) and is on the Human Resources Advisory Boards for United Way of East Central Iowa (UWECI) and Kirkwood Community College.


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May 10, 2022
9:00 am - 1:30 pm CDT


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Mt Mercy Grad Center
1650 Matterhorn Dr NE,
Cedar Rapids, IA 52402 United States
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