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14th Annual Native American Human Resources Conference

January 29-30, 2024

Pechanga Resort Casino – Temecula, CA

Event Details

The 14th Annual Native American Human Resources Conference will be held January 29-30, 2024, at The Pechanga Resort Casino in Temecula, CA. 

There is no better Tribal Human Resource professional development and networking opportunity than with Native Nation Events, and the 14th annual conference will not disappoint. Whether new to the field or a seasoned professional, you’ll gain new skills and connect with peers and pros who will help you achieve your goals and solve your workplace challenges.

At Native Nation Events, we believe networking is at the heart of every conference and ensure that all attendees have ample time to connect and engage. We provide riveting sessions that inspire conversation, breaks built for mingling, and gather the best sponsors that provide actionable solutions to help you reach your goals faster!

 

HRCI Approved Program (11 Credit Hours)

We are thrilled to announce Native Nation Events is an approved HRCI program provider, with attendees receiving 11 credit hours upon conference completion towards aPHR™, aPHRi™, PHR®, PHRca®, SPHR®, GPHR®, PHRi™ and SPHRi™ designations.

HR Certification Institute’s® (www.HRCI.org) official seal confirms that Native Nation Events meets the criteria for pre-approved recertification credit(s) for any of HRCI’s eight credentials, including SPHR® and PHR®.

Extend Your Stay for the Second Annual Tribal Human Resources Leadership Summit 

HR Departments are often underrated and unrecognized as a major contributing voice within a team. This illustrates the need for focused leadership development among HR professionals. In this training, you’ll learn to take a more proactive role to increase your influence among team members and key decision-makers and to take a larger “seat at the table” and lead your organization through the 21st century.

This is an excellent opportunity to bring your team, dig deep, and unlock the true potential inside each of you to transform your enterprise.

Invest in yourself in 2024 and register for both conferences for $1,495.

WHO SHOULD ATTEND:

  • Tribal Government HR Department Professionals
  • Compensation and Benefits Professionals
  • Tribal-Owned Enterprise HR Managers
  • Leadership
  • Talent Acquisition and Retention Professionals
  • Organizational Development and Training Personnel
  • Benefits and Recognition Personnel
  • Legal and Compliance

At Native Nation Events, we pride ourselves on offering best-in-class networking events in a fun and relaxed atmosphere. No need for suits and ties; business casual is the preferred dress code for our conferences. 

Thank you to our Co-Chairs and Platinum sponsors for their continued support, dedication to knowledge, and drive to enhance the Native American community.

Segal Logo Alt TextBlue Stone Logo Alt TextParadigm Shift Logo Alt TExt

Register Now To Attend

For Tribal or Tribal Enterprise Representatives

Tribal Super Early Bird

$845

Tribal Early Bird

$945

Tribal Standard Rate

$1045

Register for Both the Human Resources Conference and the Leadership Summit

Double Conference

$1495

Group Rate (Must have four or more registered)

Group Tribal Super Early Bird

$745

Group Tribal Early Bird

$845

Group Tribal Standard Rate

$945

Industry Professionals

Pro Super Early Bird

$945

Pro Early Bird

$1045

Pro Standard Rate

$1145

HOTEL INFORMATION

Pechanga Resort Casino

45000 Pechanga Parkway
Temecula, CA 92592

Room Rates:
Saturday:
$299 per night
Sunday to Tuesday: $179 per night

Cut-Off Date: December 28, 2023

Booking Code: 5623891

You must mention Native Nation Events or the Native American Human Resources Conference to receive the discounted rate.

Book Your Room Here

14th Annual Native American Human Resources Conference

January 29-30, 2024

Agenda at a Glance

Monday, January 29, 2024

7:30 - 8:30 AM

Registration and Networking Breakfast

Grand Ballroom Main

8:30 - 8:45 AM

Opening Remarks

Grand Ballroom East

Dan O'Connor

Sponsorship Sales Director | Native Nation Events

Jaylon Jackson

Head of Client Success | Corporate Traditions

8:45 - 9:30 AM

Keynote - Human Resources: The Strategic Business Partner

Grand Ballroom East

Jerrod Murr

Founder & Chief Visionary Officer | Paradigm Shift

HR Professionals hold many titles and wear many hats. In this keynote, we will discuss the role of leader as an HR professional. For many years, we have advocated for HR to be considered a strategic business partner, and this conversation will show pragmatic steps to make this theory a reality.

Targeted Outcomes:

  • Define your role as a strategic business partner
  • Identify three key areas of influence for HR leadership
  • Discuss 360 degree principles for leading without a title

9:30 - 10:30 AM

Strategies for Rebuilding and Recruiting Your Workforce for the 21st Century

Grand Ballroom East

Dustin Haverkamp, SPHR, THRP - Moderator

Human Resources Operations Specialist | Blue Stone Strategy Partners

Ruth Zaldivar

Human Resources Director | Muscogee Nation Gaming Enterprises

Gordon Pelosse

Senior Vice President of Employer Engagement | CompTIA

Tony Chartrand

Vice President of Human Resources and Talent Management | Pechanga Resort Casino

The current labor shortage has made it difficult for workers to find qualified employees. What strategies are HR leaders currently using to find the best talent? Once you get a potential candidate in the door, how do you keep them engaged?

10:30 - 11:00 AM

Morning Networking Break

Grand Ballroom Main

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Success Stories Behind Employee Longevity

Grand Ballroom East

Joe Tate - Moderator

Director of Human Resources Consulting | GBS Benefits

Crystal Hill

National Director of Tribal Services | USI Consulting Group

Robert Silverang

Vice President of Human Resources | Cabazon Band of Cahuilla Indians and Fantasy Springs Resort Casino

Denise Abrahamson

Director of Human Resources | Spokane Tribal Enterprises

Dale Patricia Merrill

Senior Vice President of Human Resources & Administration | Foxwoods Resort Casino & Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation

Hear from your peers as they explain their success stories with retention. Is it the benefits package? Company culture? Or something else that keeps employees engaged and wanting to stay?

12:00 - 1:00 PM

Networking Lunch

Grand Ballroom Main

1:00 - 2:00 PM - Track A

Deciding the Right Benefits Package for Your Employees

Grand Ballroom East

Nick Nicolls - Moderator

Owner and Founder | GITW Benefits

Allie Plute

Human Resources Director | Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe and 7 Cedars Casino and Resort Properties

Dan Igo

Director of Sales | PTO Exchange

Lynn Saunders

Director of Human Resources | Little River Casino Resort

Unna Patel

Vice President of Sales | FunEx

Mike Chartrand

Team Member Experience Manager | Pechanga Resort Casino

Benefits are a means to attract desirable employees and establishing the right partners is crucial to building a great Benefit Package.  Learn how to choose the best inter-generational benefits strategy in today’s diverse workforce and to build strong partnerships with your leadership, staff, employees, and vendors.

1:00 - 2:00 PM - Track B

Managing Drugs, Alcohol, Violence, and Bullying in Your Workplace

Grand Ballroom West

Alicia Finley, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, THRP - Moderator

Human Resources Director | Blue Stone Strategy Partners

Denise Miño

Human Resources Learning and Development Professional | Chehalis Tribe

Cliessa Williams

Human Resources Director | Coeur d'Alene Casino

Robert Silverang

Vice President of Human Resources | Cabazon Band of Cahuilla Indians and Fantasy Springs Resort Casino

Failing to plan is planning to fail. What do you do when employees break the code of conduct? This could include drug and alcohol abuse, violence, or bullying. Do you have a de-escalation plan? Are your employees aware of the potential legal consequences? Learn about the importance of a crisis management plan and how it can de-escalate harmful situations.

2:00 - 2:45 PM - Track A

Preparing the Future of Your Organization

Grand Ballroom East

Jerrod Murr - Moderator

Founder and Chief Visionary Officer | Paradigm Shift

Alicia Finley, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, THRP

Human Resources Director | Blue Stone Strategy Partners

Cynthia Jaramillo

Senior Human Resources Manager | Isleta Resort and Casino

Preparing your tribe or business for the future means identifying the skills, knowledge, and capabilities needed to fulfill certain positions and then determining the best fit. What types of programs should you implement to create an optimal succession plan, and how do you identify the talent that might fulfill those future roles?

2:00 - 2:45 PM - Track B

The Importance of Clinical Programs In Your Prescription Benefits

Grand Ballroom West

Luke Szymanski - Moderator

Senior Vice President, Consultant Relations | BeneCard

Duane Winship

Senior Director Total Rewards | Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

Lynn Saunders

Director of Human Resources | Little River Casino Resort

In this session, discover how a consultative approach to prescription benefit management delivers a true cost impact while demonstrating pharmacists’ role in enhanced coordination of care. By bringing in pharmacogenetics guides, providers can improve patient safety and reduce wasteful healthcare spending. Additionally, the impact of data mining to ensure current protocols and the roles of scientific innovation and new specialty medications in rising drug costs will be discussed.

2:45 - 3:15 PM

Afternoon Networking Break

Grand Ballroom Main

3:15 - 4:30 PM

HR Executives Roundtable: Generational Differences

Grand Ballroom East

Scott Nostaja - Moderator

Senior Vice President and National Organizational Effectiveness Practice Leader | Segal

Melinda Iverson

Director of Human Resources | Minnesota Chippewa Tribe - White Earth Band

An Tran

Vice President of Human Resources | San Manuel Band of Mission Indians

Kimberly Pool

Human Resources Director | Cherokee Nation Entertainment

Dale Patricia Merrill

Senior Vice President of Human Resources & Administration | Foxwoods Resort Casino & Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation

Generations are defined not only by their birth year but by their unique worldviews and mindsets. What struggles could you face hiring a workforce composed of differing ages, and how do you create a work environment each will want to stay in?

4:30 PM

Day One Concludes

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

7:30 - 8:30 AM

Registration and Networking Breakfast

Grand Ballroom Main

8:30 - 9:30 AM

AI: Optimizing the Workforce or an HR Nightmare?

Grand Ballroom East

Jay Schillinger - Moderator

President | On-Site Studios

Julio Nuñez

Human Resources Director | Osage Nation

Scott Nostaja

Senior Vice President and National Organizational Effectiveness Practice Leader | Segal

Sara Goss

Talent Acquisition Partner | Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe

Artificial Intelligence is being used by HR departments to hire qualified individuals, determine layoffs, and track performance. But it is also under scrutiny by state, federal, and international governments. Is AI beneficial to your bottom line, or does it come with too many pitfalls?

9:30 - 10:15 AM - Track A

Keeping Up Productivity With Remote and Hybrid Work

Grand Ballroom East

Lynn Faraca-Bond

Senior Vice President of Human Resources | San Manuel Band of Mission Indians

Patrick Higgins

Senior Director of Human Resources | Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Tribes

Nate Cox

Executive Director of Human Resources | Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

Offering remote and/or hybrid positions is one of the many tools to attract and retain qualified employees. But for tribes and casinos, there always needs to be someone in the office or on the floor. How do you balance the front-line workforce staffing with those who have positions that can work from home? What are the underlying and related issues that tip the scales?

9:30 - 10:15 AM - Track B

Product Demonstration: Common Employee Retention Credit Misconceptions

Grand Ballroom West

Adam Taplinger

Director, Business Development | Experian Employer Services

Join us for a discussion on common Employee Retention Credit misconceptions. There is still much confusion among nations’ management leaders regarding whether or not their nations are eligible. We will also address which businesses and employees need to be aggregated when claiming the credit.

10:15 - 10:45 AM

Morning Networking Break

Grand Ballroom Main

10:45 - 11:45 AM

Open Floor Discussion

Spend this hour long session diving deeper into hot topics within human resources. The topics were curated by you and determined to be the most pressing that you needed additional time to discuss with peers.

Topics for Discussion:

  • Strategies for Rebuilding and Recruiting Your Workforce
  • Artificial Intelligence and Talent
  • The Mental Health Crisis and Workplace Wellness
  • Success Stories Behind Employee Longevity
  • Generational Differences

11:45 AM - 12:45 AM

Networking Lunch

Grand Ballroom Main

12:45 - 1:45 PM

Employment Law Update

Grand Ballroom East

Kehl Van Winkle

Attorney | MCTLAW

Sandra McCandless

Partner | Dentons

Scott Wilson

Attorney | Law Offices of Scott A. Wilson

Discuss and discover the latest FMLA and TERO updates, along with the newest federal legislation and what it means for your tribe and business. 

1:45 - 2:45 PM

The Mental Health Crisis in America and Your Role in Helping Employees

Grand Ballroom East

Dr. Darryl Tonemah - Moderator

Mental Health Psychologist and Musician | Benefit Intelligence

Terasita Cowan

Benefits Manager | Muscogee Nation Gaming Enterprises

Zephyr Krapfel

Director of Human Resources | Rolling Hills Casino and Resort

Everyday life stresses can increase burnout and cause depression and anxiety in the workplace. How can you assist employees with mental health issues, and what are the best strategies? Hear from your peers who have implemented successful programs that prioritize employee wellness.

2:45 - 4:00 PM

HR Executives Roundtable: Leading Through Challenging Times

Grand Ballroom East

Scott Nostaja

Senior Vice President and National Organizational Effectiveness Practice Leader | Segal

Tricia Lucore

Human Resources Director | Sycuan Casino

Tonya Fletcher

Director of Human Resources | Cache Creek Casino Resort

Gary Burrus

Executive Officer of Human Resources | Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

Kim Hayes

Vice President of Corporate HR Strategy | Mille Lacs Corporate Ventures

Effective leadership guides your organization through challenging times. Natural disasters, leadership and organizational changes, and other significant events impact your employees attitudes and how they show up to work. Listen to how HR Executives create contingency plans and guide the organization through the various challenges that may arise while keeping employee morale at the forethought. 

4:00 - 4:15 PM

Raffle

Grand Ballroom Main

Sponsor Prize Raffle Drawing will take place immediately after the final session. Winners must be present to win.

4:15 PM

Native American Human Resources Conference Concludes

Denise Abrahamson

Director of Human Resources | Spokane Tribal Enterprises
Read More

Gary Burrus

Executive Officer of Human Resources | Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma
Read More

Mike Chartrand

Team Member Experience Manager | Pechanga Resort Casino
Read More

Tony Chartrand

Vice President of Human Resources and Talent Management | Pechanga Resort Casino
Read More

Terasita Cowan

Benefits Manager | Muscogee Nation Gaming Enterprises
Read More

Nate Cox

Executive Director of Human Resources | Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma
Read More

Lynn Faraca-Bond

Senior Vice President of Human Resources | San Manuel Band of Mission Indians
Read More

Alicia Finley, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, THRP

Human Resources Service Director | Blue Stone Strategy Partners
Read More

Tonya Fletcher

Director of Human Resources | Cache Creek Casino Resort
Read More

Sara Goss

Talent Acquisition Partner | Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe
Read More

Dustin Haverkamp, SPHR, THRP

Human Resources Operations Specialist | Blue Stone Strategy Partners
Read More

Kim Hayes

Vice President of Corporate HR Strategy | Mille Lacs Corporate Ventures
Read More

Patrick Higgins

Senior Director of Human Resources | Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Tribes
Read More

Crystal Hill

National Director of Tribal Services | USI Consulting Group
Read More

Dan Igo

Director of Sales | PTO Exchange
Read More

Melinda Iverson

Director of Human Resources | Minnesota Chippewa Tribe - White Earth Band
Read More

Jaylon Jackson

Head of Client Success | Corporate Traditions
Read More

Cynthia Jaramillo

Senior Human Resources Manager | Isleta Resort & Casino
Read More

Zephyr Krapfel

Director of Human Resources | Rolling Hills Casino and Resort
Read More

Tricia Lucore

Human Resources Director | Sycuan Casino
Read More

Sandra McCandless

Partner | Dentons
Read More

Dale Patricia Merrill

Senior Vice President of Human Resources & Administration | Foxwoods Resort Casino & Mashantucket Pequot…
Read More

Denise Miño

Human Resources Learning and Development Professional | Chehalis Tribe
Read More

Jerrod Murr

Founder & Chief Visionary Officer | Paradigm Shift 
Read More

Nick Nicolls

CEO and Owner | GITW Benefits
Read More

Scott D. Nostaja

Senior Vice President and National Organizational Effectiveness Practice Leader | Segal
Read More

Julio Nuñez

Human Resources Director | Osage Nation
Read More

Unna Patel

Vice President of Sales | FunEx
Read More

Gordon Pelosse

Senior Vice President of Employer Engagement | CompTIA
Read More

Allie Plute

Human Resources Director | Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe and 7 Cedars Casino and Resort Properties
Read More

Kimberly Pool

Human Resources Director | Cherokee Nation Entertainment
Read More

Lynn Saunders

Director of Human Resources | Little River Casino Resort
Read More

Jay Schillinger

President | On-Site Studios
Read More

Robert Silverang

Vice President of Human Resources | Cabazon Band of Cahuilla Indians and Fantasy Springs Resort…
Read More

Luke Szymanski

Senior Vice President, Consultant Relations | BeneCard PBF
Read More

Adam Taplinger

Director, Business Development | Experian Employer Services
Read More

Joe Tate

Director of HR Consulting | GBS Benefits
Read More

Dr. Darryl Tonemah

Mental Health Psychologist and Musician | Benefit Intelligence
Read More

An Tran

Vice President of Human Resources | San Manuel Band of Mission Indians
Read More

Cliessa Williams

Director of Human Resources | Coeur D'Alene Casino
Read More

Scott Wilson

Attorney | Law Offices of Scott A. Wilson
Read More

Kehl Van Winkle

Attorney | MCTLAW
Read More

Duane Winship

Senior Director Total Rewards | Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma
Read More

Ruth Zaldivar

Director of Human Resources | Muscogee Nation Gaming Enterprises
Read More

Conference Co-Chair

Segal Logo Alt Text

Platinum Sponsors

Blue Stone Logo Alt Text
Paradigm Shift Logo Alt TExt

Product Demonstration

Gold Sponsors

Gitw Benefit Logo Alt Text
Law Office of Scott Logo Alt Text
USI Consulting Group Alt Text

Exhibitors

Tribal First Logo Alt Text

Media Sponsors

If you’re interested in sponsoring this event, please reach out to our sales team at sales@nativenationevents.org or call them at 201-857-5333 for additional details.

HR Professionals, Tribal Leaders & Enterprise Representatives

Sponsors and Industry Professionals

The 14th Annual Native American Human Resources Conference at the Pechanga Resort Casino was a tremendous success! Attendees enjoyed insightful sessions with timely information, terrific networking, and met with industry partners who provided phenomenal solutions. Enjoy some of the pictures below; we hope to see you next year!

Images from the opening keynote address by Jerrod Murr of Paradigm Shift Leadership. His electrifying presentation set the tone for a phenomenal two days of sessions ahead.

The "Strategies for Rebuilding and Recruiting Your Workforce for the 21st Century" panel was dynamite, featuring from left to right Tony Chartrand of Pechanga Resort Casino, Gordon Pelosse of CompTIA, Ruth Zaldivar of Muscogee Nation Gaming Enterprises, and Dustin Haverkamp of Blue Stone Strategy Partners.

Hearing from Joe Tate of GBS Benefits, Crystal Hill of USI Consulting Group, Dale Patricia Merrill of Foxwoods Resort Casino and Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, Denise Abrahamson of Spokane Tribal Enterprises, and Robert Silverang of Fantasy Springs Resort Casino and Cabazon Band of Cahuilla Indians on "Success Stories Behind Employee Longevity" was a treat for our attendees.

We had a full house for our "Deciding the Right Benefits Package for Your Employees" session. Mike Chartrand from Pechanga Resort Casino, Unna Patel of FunEx, Allie Plute from Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe and 7 Cedars Casino and Resort Properties, Lynn Saunders of Little River Casino Resort, Dan Igo of PTO Exchange and Nick Nicolls of GITW Benefits led a riveting discussion.

So many wonderful conversations were heard around the exhibit hall. Whether it's continuing lessons learned from sessions during networking breaks, or learning more about a sponsor, the chatter was undeniable.

"Preparing the Future of Your Organization" brought the energy! Moderated by Jerrod Murr of Paradigm Shift Leadership and featuring Alicia Finley of Blue Stone Strategy Partners and Cynthia Jaramillo of Isleta Resort Casino, this was an interactive session that brought everyone into the discussion!

We wrapped up day one with a HR Executive Roundtable: Generational Differences. What a dynamite discussion moderated by Scott Nostaja of Segal, featuring panelists An Tran of San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, Melinda Iverson of Minnesota Chippewa Band - White Earth Tribe, Dale Patricia Merrill of Foxwoods Resort Casino and Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation and Kimberly Pool of Cherokee Nation Entertainment.

The 14th Annual Native American Human Resources Conference opened up on Tuesday with the hot-topic session of the year - "AI: Optimizing the Workforce or an HR Nightmare?"

Breann Y.S. Nuʻuhiwa of Dentons moderated the "Keeping Up Productivity With Remote and Hybrid Work". Panelists Nate Cox, Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, Lynn Faraca-Bond, San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, and Patrick Higgins, Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Tribes shared their perspectives that all attendees enjoyed.

Meet Our Advisory Board

Native Nation Events is excited to announce the 14th Annual Native American Human Resources Conference's Advisory Board. This esteemed group of leaders acts as a guiding hand in preparation for the upcoming event; helping to ensure each session is packed with timely content and is full of value. Please join us in welcoming the 2024 member class.