HR Leaders Spotlight: Humans of CAHR19

WONDERING WHAT TO EXPECT AT CAHR19?

Meet the Humans (and HR Leaders) behind the CAHR19 Curriculum!

Best practices, recommendations, and real-life impact coming your way.

Humans of CAHR19: CAHR19 Task Force Want the inside scoop on CAHR19 from HR practitioners seeking transformational education? We interviewed nine HR leaders who’ve been to the California HR Conference anywhere from five to thirty-nine times. They’re the perfect people to ask about the hottest HR topics covered at CAHR19, what not to miss, and why it’s valuable to attend this conference again and again.

These are all local California leaders who have served the HR community in myriad ways. CAHR19 Task Force members have clocked in dozens of volunteer hours selecting the presenters and learning sessions for the CAHR19 curriculum. Some have participated in other long-term roles supporting this conference and host organization, PIHRA. All of them have a combined experience of 103 years attending this conference, having witnessed the full evolution of CAHR19 becoming the robust conference is today.

Let’s see what we can learn from them! After gaining their insights, we have an extra #ProTip for you today – $100 Early Bird savings expire soon on May 31! Join the Early Bird club by registering today and save on your (and your team’s) CAHR19 registration.

HR Leaders Spotlight: Rose WanjohiGet to know Rose Wanjohi!

My name is Rose Wanjohi, PHRca, SPHR. I’m a Director of Human Capital for my company’s Los Angeles & Nevada Market Unit. I have been in Human Resources for over 15 years and I have worked in Manufacturing, Entertainment and Consumer Goods & Packaging. I love being in HR because I get to impact the business, and develop people in their careers every day. I love giving back to the community and serving on the CAHR19 Task Force is one of the way that I give back to the HR profession. I also mentor young professionals and support my community back in Kenya.

What’s special to you about CAHR19?

The content this year is very special for all HR professionals at all levels, from entry level, mid-manager and even the senior HR leaders. There is something for everyone!

How many (PIHRA &) California HR Conferences have you attended?

I’ve attended 7 California HR Conferences.

When the CAHR19 Task Force met to determine the sessions, did you notice an overriding theme for the content?

Innovation!

What are some general topics you’re excited to dive into at CAHR19?

I’m excited for the sessions that highlight what our business leaders look for in their HR partner. I’m looking forward to new California laws, and how HR can stay ahead of them for the businesses that we support.

Walk us through a day at CAHR19. What are some parts of the event that you never miss?

I love the Mega Sessions and the dynamic speakers that PIHRA brings every year – the California HR Conference keeps raising the bar. The HR Business & Strategy, California Employment Law, and Professional Development Tracks have some of my favorite sessions.

Tell us a story about how the conference made a difference in your career?

The California HR Conference has helped me get my HRCI recertification credits, increase my HR knowledge, and I have met some incredible HR professionals through the learning sessions and networking events.

What’s one actionable thing you learned at the 2018 California HR Conference?

I loved the panel session from 3 HR Leaders who spoke about their experiences of “Building a Great Place To Work For All”. They were simple and practical ways of empowering leaders and HR to create memorable experiences for all employees, this helps increase employee engagement and create a great culture.

What is the impact of the California HR Conference on your HR relationships & community?

PIHRA has made the power of learning and networking with other HR Professionals possible. I have made many great connections at the sessions, at networking events and at CAHR19.

Any last #ProTips for our first-time CAHR attendees?

Come with an open mind to learn, make a connection with someone that you didn’t know and make a personal or business impact with your knowledge by applying it. HR can change the world, You can change the world – it starts with us.

HR Leaders Spotlight - Humans of CAHR19: Nolan MarianoGet to know Nolan Mariano!

My name is Nolan Mariano, PHR, SHRM-CP, and I’m currently Regional HR Manager – West at Antech Diagnostics. As a volunteer, I’m a member of the PIHRA South OC Board and the CAHR19 Task Force. You can connect with me on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/in/ngmariano.

What’s special to you about CAHR19?

Just like every other conference, CAHR19 has amazing speakers. But what makes CAHR19 special is it doesn’t just include those speakers and programs that were popular last year. CAHR19 speakers and programs are relevant, up to date, and meaningful. There are tracks for every type of individual – YP’s up to CHRO’s. Finally, there are so many great HR pro’s to meet and talk about what we’ve learned during the sessions.

How many (PIHRA &) California HR Conferences have you attended?

5

When the CAHR19 Task Force met to determine the sessions, did you notice an overriding theme for the content?

In past years the focus has been to help YP’s learn and grow. This year we had an added focus on growing our HR Executives. There was so much more focus on HR strategy and concept than in the past – it will be really cool to see CAHR19 in action.

What are some general topics you’re excited to dive into at CAHR19?

Topic’s I’m really interested in this year include building on the employee experience, growing our brand, and driving the organization through change. These will help me make a real impact within my organization.

Walk us through a day at CAHR19. What are some parts of the event that you never miss?

Jump in to the early sessions, that’s where some of the best speakers are and that’s where I meet the most dedicated HR pro’s. Run through the booths, get a headshot (it’s time for a new one!) at the Headshot Truck, and network the night away with great people.

Tell us a story about how the conference made a difference in your career?

A few years ago I felt I was stuck – I wasn’t growing in my position and I didn’t have someone to help guide me. So I signed up for the California HR Conference, sat in on some amazing sessions, and met a lot of great HR pro’s. I had more confidence in my ability and friends I could lean on. Now I am happy with where I am at, I feel I’m achieving my personal/professional goals, and I can see the positive impact I’m making on my organization.

What’s one actionable thing you learned at the 2018 California HR Conference?

I sat in on a recruiting analytics session that really helped me bring back new ideas on how we could take the systems we already have, make a few tweaks, and vastly improve time to fill, quantity and quality of the candidate pool, and improve relationships with the hiring teams.

What is the impact of the California HR Conference on your HR relationships & community?

I really enjoy meeting people at the conferences. The most meaningful for me have been with the Young Professional (YP) group. There I can meet and network with YP’s eager to grow their careers and help them out like others have helped me.

Any last #ProTips for our first-time CAHR attendees?

Don’t just sit quietly in the sessions then go back home or to your hotel. Talk to people. Everyone around you is there to learn, and so much more learning happens when you’re talking to one another and sharing your thoughts and experiences.

 

Get to know Carol Box!

While I’m currently working as a consultant, most of my experience has been as a Senior HR Generalist, handling everything for the full cycle of employment experience. My first role was as a liaison with a PEO leasing company. I found I really loved HR and studied at a private university where I received my HRM Certification in 1999. As my company outgrew the PEO, I took on more of the HR role, from recruiting to payroll, then benefits administration, performance management, employee relations and other projects. My favorite role has been to partner with senior HR leadership to take on the transactional, employee-facing roles. I love solving problems, and while sometimes you can’t provide the end result employees want, it’s providing information and assistance that I enjoy. It has been my pleasure to be on the CAHR19 Task Force Committee for the past three years!

What’s special to you about CAHR19?

The California HR Conference is the one place where I can accomplish and learn so much, at a great price. It has everything for all levels of HR expertise – from newbies to senior leadership. We have worked hard this year to provide great learning experiences for as many professionals at all levels, with exciting topics and new speakers. From morning until late afternoon, you’re going to be presented with many choices to assist in your career development. And don’t forget the great networking options in the evening!

How many (PIHRA &) California HR Conferences have you attended?

I attended my first conference in 1998. For 20 years I have seen this conference become such a great, robust event. 

When the CAHR19 Task Force met to determine the sessions, did you notice an overriding theme for the content?

This year we were focused on ensuring that members had opportunities to hear from speakers that had not presented before. We tried very hard to find topics that were timely and provide a full spectrum of learning opportunities.

What are some general topics you’re excited to dive into at CAHR19?

I’m always looking into the HR “crystal ball” to anticipate what new laws and regulations are on the horizon. Plus, the keynote speakers have unique topics this year and are new to me, so I’m looking forward to learning new things. And of course there’s always the alphabet soup of leave laws – nothing like a good refresher!

Walk us through a day at CAHR19. What are some parts of the event that you never miss?

I have to admit I am an early bird, so the keynote and early sessions are a hit. I never miss the Exhibit Hall and the evening networking events. That’s where I renew connections and make new ones. There are so many sessions to choose from that I try to attend!

How has the California HR Conference made a difference in your career?

Every year, the conference allows me to improve and refine my skills. When I was a new member of the HR community, I met people that I could network with and make connections. Those connections came in very handy when I had questions or concerns, just being able to send an email or make a call were often critical to my success. In addition, meeting vendors at the Exhibit Hall provided resources for my employers that I could not necessarily have found on my own – for unique wellness ideas, employee events, benefits and even HRIS options.

What’s one actionable thing you learned at the 2018 California HR Conference?

I really enjoyed learning how to conduct a successful investigation and how important and challenging it can be to remain neutral. The presenter gave me some great takeaways that I was able to use immediately!

What is the impact of the California HR Conference on your HR relationships & community? 

Without the Conference I would not have been able to make as many great connections. The ability to meet not just others from your industry but many with unique ideas has been amazing. The HR community that attends the conference is dynamic, eager to share ideas and best practices and very welcoming! I can’t even narrow it down to one connection – my whole network is PIHRA members and my Board Members in Woodland Hills.

Any last #ProTips for our first-time CAHR19 attendees?

Your Conference Guide (which you’ll receive when you check-in at registration) is your best friend during the Conference. Download the CAHR19 app, plan your sessions (and have some second choices just in case). You’ll be able to view the PowerPoint presentations, learn about the sessions and speakers. Be sure to attend the evening events – it’s not just about learning but also having a fun time while doing it. Take at least one or two walks through the Exhibit Hall – we have great vendors for you to meet. And be sure to stop by the PIHRA Booth if you have any questions or concerns during the Conference (or just to say hi to our volunteers)!

HR Leaders Spotlight: Eileen YipMeet Eileen Yip!

My name is Eileen Yip, and I’m a Client Relationship Executive. I’ve been in HR for over 20 years. Currently I am the Educational Programs Chair for the Pasadena PIHRA Chapter, and a member of the CAHR19 Task Force.

What’s special to you about CAHR19?

Speakers, topics, networking, and learning the new tools for HR practitioners.

How many (PIHRA &) California HR Conferences have you attended?

I’ve attended 6.

What are some general topics you’re excited to dive into at CAHR19?

Artificial intelligence, keynote speakers, and HR compliance.

What is the impact of the California HR Conference on your HR relationships & community?

To be connected with various of HR professional among Chapters and meeting new people. The conference brings together many HR professionals from different industries to this important event once a year to share with the HR community that no one should miss out on.

Any last #ProTips for our first-time CAHR attendees?

Have fun and enjoy your time! Get ready to make new lifetime connections.

HR Leaders Spotlight: Wayne MunyerGet to know Wayne Munyer!

I am currently the Principal of my own HR Consulting business. I have been an HR Professional for over 30 years. I have been a PIHRA volunteer leader off and on since 1991. I served in various positions at the Chapter Level and PIHRA Board level including the Volunteer President of PIHRA in 2013-14, and I currently serve on the Board of Directors as the Regional Representative.

What’s special to you about CAHR19?

Every year I get excited to attend the California HR Conference because I enjoy furthering my knowledge in this great profession. This year, I am excited to hear Daniel Pink. He has been one my favorite people to listen to and learn from. Also, I get to see some of my professional who have become my personal friends. It is always great to see them at least once a year.

How many California HR Conferences have you attended?

This will be my 29th consecutive conference. I attended my first one in 1991.

Walk us through a day at CAHR19. What are some parts of the event that you never miss?

This may sound a little peculiar, but I always enjoying attending the First-Time Attendee session (Monday & Tuesday at 7:30am). It is great to see the energy of the Membership Team and the attendees. I never miss the keynote speakers. They are world class experts in their fields and I always benefit from what they say personally and professionally. I always choose my sessions prior to the conference so I can better plan my day. I always make time for the exhibitors. I have used their services to enhance the companies and clients I have worked for over the years. Last, but not least I make time to network during the day. It could be at lunch, or the Tuesday night events. You never know what new connections you will make!

Tell us a story about how the conference made a difference in your career?

I do not remember the year, but the speaker was Marcus Buckingham, one of my favorite speakers of all time, who spoke about the importance developing my strengths as an HR Professional and as a person. I was going through some struggles personally at the time and when he completed his message, I felt it was directed right to me. Since then, my outlook on how I succeed in my personal and professionals has assisted me with the successes I have had throughout my life and my career.

What is the impact of the California HR Conference on your HR relationships & community?

Attending the California HR Conference it has helped me become the HR professional I am, and will continue to be. I have developed lifelong relationships with the members of my profession that I could not done anywhere else. Whenever I’ve needed to reach a fellow constituent for a certain need, the relationships I have developed at the conference have been there for me.

What’s one memorable connection you made – how did you meet?

I have had a lot memorable connections, but since I have to choose one it was a year that I was president and a few of us were planning to spend some time together. That year I had a suite and I had a group of people come to my suite to play pool and just hang out. A fellow HR professional from England, who was one of the speakers at the conference came with a mutual friend. We connected immediately and today we still stay in touch.

Any last #ProTips for our first-time CAHR attendees?

A. Attend the First-Time Attendee Orientation.
B. Plan out the sessions you will attend before the conference.
C. Visit as many exhibitors as you can.
D. Attend all of the extra events that conference has to offer. Especially the Tuesday night event.
E. Check out the PIHRA Foundation Booth. Support our future HR leaders.
F. Network, network, network. Exchange at least 10 business cards a day. If you are in transition make sure you have business cards available.
G. Do not miss the keynote speakers!
H. Buy in to the conference experience. You will get more out of it if you prepare to receive knowledge.

CAHR19 HR Leaders Spotlight: Humans of CAHR19 - Kayt ReardonGet to know Kayt Reardon!

I’m the Director of HR for a children’s entertainment company. I’ve been working in HR for 14 years and love every minute of it. To support PIHRA, I help out with the conference Task Force and anywhere else I’m needed. Last year I did an interview with a college student to help them discover new career paths.

What’s special to you about CAHR19?

The community aspect of the conference as a whole. Additionally, of all of the HR conferences I’ve been to, CAHR always has the best sessions!

When the CAHR19 Task Force met to determine the sessions, did you notice an overriding theme for the content?

Employee engagement felt like a major theme for 2019. Though agility, change management, and pay equity also seem like hot topics.

What are some general topics you’re excited to dive into at CAHR19?

I’m looking forward to spending some time on more strategic aspects at CAHR19 – how to better align HR with company goals, how to revamp the candidate experience during recruiting, and of course – California law updates.

Walk us through a day at CAHR19. What are some parts that you never miss?

Arrive in time to get coffee and a good seat for the Keynote! Attend the morning sessions, cruise the exhibit hall, have some lunch, then off to the afternoon sessions. Many vendors have cool events and parties in the evening that you’ll miss out on if you don’t stop and say hi to everyone.

Tell us a story about how the conference made a difference in your career?

Through the conference, I’ve made professional and personal connections that will stay with me forever. Last year I was considering new opportunities and mentioned this to a vendor that I’d never met before. He asked a few key questions about what I was looking for, and then took me around the exhibit hall introducing me to tons of other vendors who may have connections that could land me a dream job. Although I ended up in a completely different company, the connections I made from that afternoon have been incredible.

What’s one actionable thing you learned at the 2018 California HR Conference?

I always leave the conference energized with new ideas to implement when I get back to the office. At CAHR18, I walked away with many new methods for helping to improve the overall culture at my last company.

What is the impact of this conference on your HR relationships & community?

The California HR Conference allows me to feel more connected to the HR community as a whole, which is especially important when you work as an HR department as one. As for connections – I met my go-to Workers Comp broker at a CAHR Conference a few years ago. We met because his company was raffling off a great prize! To this day I consider him a good friend and excellent resource.

Any last #ProTips for our first-time CAHR attendees?

Build your schedule in advance and be sure to schedule in some time for the exhibit hall. Also, book your spot at the Headshot Truck as soon as you can!

HR Leaders Spotlight: Virginia FloresGetting to know Virginia Flores

My name is Virginia Flores, and I’ve been a Director of HR for over 25 years. This year I’m a member of the CAHR19 Task Force. It was wonderful experience learn the process for selection and to collaborate with peers. We focused on selecting relevant topics with solid content for attendees. We all committed to take the time to review the submissions that select those with information needed for today’s HR professional.

I always encourage individuals wanting a career in HR to join PIHRA, and attend the monthly chapter meetings, as an introduction to the profession. The annual PIHRA Legal Update is always a must for me.

How many (PIHRA &) California HR Conferences have you attended?

Over 20!

Which topics are you excited to dive into at CAHR19?

Wage & Hour. Staying on top of the details in recent regulations and litigation case studies is so important on a Federal compliance level, and especially in California.

What are some parts of this event that you never miss?

General sessions with the keynote speakers are a must for me.

What is one memorable connection you made that impacted your career?

I met Mike Deblieux in the early 90’s at this conference. We met having lunch at the same table in back of the exhibit hall. Over the years, we have maintained a connection and built a friendship. Mike has been a valuable resource for me over the years. I obtained my SPHR because of Mike, and met Baskaran, who was part of the study group and became a friend.

Any last #ProTips for our first-time CAHR attendees?

Be prepared to network, make eye contact and conversation with other attendees, review your selection of sessions – have a back up plan (just in case), highlight vendors you are interested in meeting at the exhibit hall, and give yourself extra time for those vendors you hadn’t planned on meeting.

HR leaders spotlight: Herb CallahanMeet Herb Callahan! 

My name is Herb Callahan, I am Vice President of HR for Food Processing for Golden State Foods. I retired from the Marine Corps in 2005 and have been working in HR in Southern California ever since. I have attended numerous conferences over the years and am always scouring the local chapters for good monthly content. I consider membership in PIHRA to be a necessary “Tool of the Trade” and encourage as many HR colleagues as I can to join and attend the California HR Conference or PIHRA monthly meetings. There are always relevant topics that someone will benefit from.

What’s special to you about CAHR19?

I think this year’s focus on diversity and inclusion, analytics, along with ensuring we have the best presenters presenting the most relevant topics is going to make this year fantastic.

How many California HR Conferences have you attended?

I have attended at least 4 or 5 conferences over the years and paid for just as many that I had to pass off to another colleague due to a work conflict.

When the CAHR19 Task Force met to determine the sessions, did you notice an overriding theme for the content?

This was my first year as part of the task force, so the first thing I noticed was the diversity of the task force and how many different industries were represented. I also immediately recognized and was excited to see how determined this team was to ensure we were bringing the most relevant content to the attendees. The discussions we had about each topic and presenter were deep and meaningful. Attendees can rest assured this group of HR professionals dedicated significant personal time and effort to make sure this is one of the best conferences yet.

Which topics are you excited to dive into at CAHR19?

Analytics always excite me, but being new to a global role, I am excited to hear some of the global content.

Walk us through a day at CAHR19. What are some parts of the event that you never miss?

I always arrive early to network with other “early birds.” After that, I never miss the keynote speakers and never miss an opportunity at lunch to network with as many folks as I can. I might be a little different in that I typically don’t look for old friends, but look to find new ones at lunch. Finally, the exhibition hall is always a must see. I always have a need to look at a new provider for something so I do a little research first to map out my visit. Even if I don’t have a need, the exhibition hall can inspire new thoughts and ideas to bring back to work with me.

Tell us a story about how the conference made a difference in your career?

At my very first conference, when I was very new to HR, I was in the exhibition hall and I found a vendor I was acquainted with at their booth. He took me through an event they were doing where they were giving away gift cards. I failed at the event, and in hindsight I am embarrassed that I failed, but that vendor was kind, educated me on what I missed and gave me the gift card anyway. I walked away thinking that I have a lot to learn. Fast forward 15 years and I know now that without PIHRA and that spark the vendor gave me, I might not have had the exciting and rewarding HR career I have had.

What is the impact of the California HR Conference on your HR relationships & community?

The HR conference has become a staple for me and a necessary tool. I have met lots of great folks and developed lots of great relationships over the years. One of the earliest connections I have made and used over the years was Jacquelyn Thorpe from “Train Me Today.” When I first met her I was incredible impressed with her expertise, experience and of course her personality. The first time I used her to help with some training at my company she and her team knocked it out of the park! My 40 or so managers talked about her training for years and it really changed their minds on how to most effectively partner with HR. I have not worked with Jacquelyn for a while, but I still make recommendations for folks to reach out to her at least a couple times a year.

Any last #ProTips for our first-time CAHR attendees?

There is some much great content that you really should map out which presenter you want to see, which vendors you want to meet with, and make a commitment to meet a certain amount of new folks each day. Break away from the colleagues you work with and sit next to someone new, eat lunch at different tables, talk to the presenters…and don’t forget to have some fun!

HR Leaders Spotlight: BaskaranGet to know Baskaran!

My professional title is Principal Consultant for Hila Solutions, LLC, a “soup to nuts” HR Technology advisory firm for small, mid-size and enterprise firms in identifying right HRIS/HCM systems and help them in implementing, project management through ‘go live.’ My passion for giving back to the HR community continues with service as the PIHRA Programs Chair.

On Twitter you can find me at @baski_ la, and you can connect with me on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/in/baski.

What’s special to you about CAHR19?

Every CAHR conference has been special to me, but as the 2019 Programs Chair, I am even more excited for #CAHR19 and very eager to see the fruits of the hard work of exceptionally gifted, committed team efforts of the 18-member Task Force, and the hard work of the unsung heroes at PIHRA Home Office.

How many (PIHRA &) California HR Conferences have you attended?

At least 11 conferences.

What’s not to miss at CAHR19?

The topics that I want to dive into at CAHR19 are HR Tech-related sessions, HR compliance, and general HR topics. I am keenly looking forward to the CHRO Mega Session Panel on Wednesday to hear from some of the biggest and most happening companies in SoCal. I’m also looking forward to Monday’s Great Place to Work Mega Session Panel, the Sunday Night Comedy Show, and the Tuesday Night Music Show.

How has this conference made a difference in your career?

HR conferences are all about learning new things, meeting new friends, and building a mutually beneficial friendship. I have learned and grown immensely from attending the California HR Conference; I am grateful for it.

What’s one actionable thing you learned at the 2018 California HR Conference?

I remember how the Great Place to Work organizations value their workforce, and what it takes to make them a “best place to work.” I also appreciated the value of endurance from Scott Kelly’s keynote session.

What is the impact of the California HR Conference on your HR relationships & community?

The California HR Conference has made tremendous difference to me personally and professionally – I am blessed to meet and make so many meaningful connections.

Any last #ProTips for our first-time CAHR attendees?

Plan your sessions; you can’t make it to all the sessions, so plan the sessions ahead of time, use the conference app to identify the people you want to connect with, prepare the elevator speech, be yourself. I use the conference app to plan meet and greets between sessions, during lunch breaks, etc. After the conference, please follow-up with the people, you met to build the relationship further!

We thank the entire #CAHR19 Task Force for their dedication to the human resource profession.

Cheryl Wyrick
Mark Christensen
Herbert Callahan
Carol Box
Justin Buntin
Liz Nguyen
Wendy Garcia
Monica Vega-Lopez
Jennifer Cummins-Martin
Nolan Mariano
Rose Wanjohi
Dr. Rober Adamik
Naureen McMillan
Karen Nash
Eileen Yip
Virginia Flores
Kayt Reardon
Baskaran Ambalavanan

Meet HR Leaders and trusted peers at CAHR19.

It’s never been more important to surround yourself with a trusted professional community. Grow your HR community and strengthen your career at the friendliest HR conference with the most robust sessions!

Want to save $100 on your registration? All it takes is three easy steps:

Step 1 – Browse our 2019 Session Sneak Preview, our CHRO Mega Session Panelists, and our Featured Speakers (here and here) to see a snapshot of the value you’ll bring back to your company.
Step 2 – Download our Attendee Justification letter to gain approval for you and your team to attend.
Step 3 – Don’t forget to register! Our Early Bird pricing ends May 31, and this month will be gone before we know it. 

 

Invest in your professional present and future. Register to join 2,700 fellow HR pros August 25-28, 2019 in Long Beach, California!