Welcome From Our Co-Chairs

Welcome to Anchorage – Big Wild Life! On behalf of the Alaska SHRM State Council, we welcome you to the 74th Annual NHRMA Conference & Tradeshow, October 1-3, 2012.


Anchorage is a place of wild abundance. The people, the land and our surroundings create a larger-than-life existence. Our days are longer, our nights are brighter and the day-to-day is lived on grand scale. Anchorage is simply spectacular and we invite you to experience its majesty!


In keeping with the strong tradition of the past 73 NHRMA Conferences, this year’s conference promises to be both informative and fun! Our theme – HR Leaders Driving Change – emphasizes the critical role HR plays to stabilize and champion organizational change. Throughout the Conference, attendcees will be exposed to and participate in learning opportunities that teach value-added HR strategies to ensure change efforts deliver lasting results.


Our Pre-Conference intensives, concurrent workshops, Keynote Speakers and networking opportunities will focus on topics such as Organizational Effectiveness & Talent Development, Total Rewards, Workforce Planning & Employment, Strategic Management, and Employment Law & Legislation. Global presentations will be interspersed throughout the tracks to ensure participants gain exposure to How We Work.  How the World Works. General, strategic and global HRCI credits will be offered.


And speaking of a Big Wild Life, the Conference will open with Iditarod Champion Martin Buser.  Buser was born in Winterthur, Switzerland and became fascinated with sled dogs while still a teen. He came to Alaska in 1979 to enhance his knowledge of care and training of sled dogs and ran his first Iditarod in 1980.


Martin spends a large percentage of his personal time speaking with youth on the humanitarian care of animals and the spirit of the Iditarod. A favorite celebrity of the children of Alaska, Martin treats them with surprise visits from his dogs during many of these appearances.


Following an exciting first day of education set aside time to attend our Welcome Reception. Network with conference attendees, visit exhibitors and bid on silent auction items benefiting the SHRM Foundation.

On day two, we are honored to have Father Michael Oleksa as our Keynote Speaker. Recognized as an "Elder" by the Alaska Federation of Natives, a Distinguished Public Servant by the Board of Regents of the University of Alaska, and honored by the Alaska State Legislature and the National Governors Association, Dr. Oleksa is a storyteller who seeks to foster greater understanding across boundaries of race and culture. Father Oleksa is a leader in the development of cross-cultural education in Alaska, an educator of Alaskan teachers, and a student of Alaska Native languages and cultures.


Our evening event will take place at the Anchorage Museum. Plan on being AMAZED as you explore the art, history, and science the Anchorage Museum has to offer. Local Alaskan Native Artisans will be available displaying their works of art for purchase.


Wellness is a key component to any healthy work environment. Keynote Speaker and veteran stand-up comedienne, Diana Jordan will close the Conference sharing her humor and enthusiasm as she shares her own life experiences and how humor helped her heal. Diana has been entertaining audiences for over twenty years. When Diana appeared on Oprah for the first time, Oprah Winfrey selected her as "One of the funniest people on the planet," right alongside Jerry Seinfeld, Robin Williams and Bill Cosby. Don’t miss this entertaining closing event.


While you are here, plan to spend an extra day or two exploring the wonders of Alaska. Anchorage is a unique, year-round destination with once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Rich Native culture, abundant wildlife, spectacular scenery, a thriving city center, and unrivaled wilderness experiences thrill travelers of all ages.


We look forward to seeing you!



Patty Billingsley, SPHR, CCP
Harbor Enterprises, Inc.


Patty Hickok, SPHR, GPHR
Director, Alaska SHRM State Council