The Greater Merrimack Valley Human Resource Association

An affiliate of the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) serving and advancing the HR profession through educational programs, legislative updates, and networking.


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Upcoming events

    • 02 Apr 2020
    • 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
    • Comfort Home Care, 147 Pelham Street, Methuen, MA 01844, 2nd Floor
    POSTPONED DUE TO Coronavirus


    8:00 AM - 8:30 AM Check-In & Networking
    8:30 AM - 8:45 AM Welcome New Members & Guests/Chapter Business
    8:50 AM - 9:00 Sponsor
    9:00 AM - 4:00 PM Program - Detailed agenda below

    Topic:  Annual Legal Update


    (Full day program - Fee applies, Continental Breakfast and Lunch Included)



    Topics as outlined will remain the same, but the dedicated times may vary slightly)

                                        Program Overview (9:00-9:10)

    In this introduction, participants will be provided an overview of the presentation topics, timing and schedules for the program, attendance requirements for obtaining credit, an description of the nature of the program as guidance and not legal advice, and how questions will be handled during the programs.

                                        Lessons from the Year’s Top Cases &                   

    Regulatory and Statutory Update (9:10- 10:20)               

    A comprehensive overview of some major legislative, regulatory and case law developments, including developments at Massachusetts and Federal agencies, and significant court decisions under Federal and Massachusetts law (NH discussed in later section).  This program will also include a Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave law update.  The PFML update will provide an overview of steps employers should take now to ensure readiness for 2021 when the benefit begins, including review and integration of current leave and short-term disability policies with the PFML benefit, updating employee handbooks and policy manuals as appropriate, review of job descriptions to comply with PFML fitness for duty requirements, and steps to take to be ready for the anti-retaliation provisions. 

    Wage and Hour Update (10:20 -10:50)                  

    This presentation will focus on Massachusetts and Federal wage and hour rules. It will provide an update on recent decisions and changes in wage and hour laws, including the revised overtime regulations under the FLSA, updates from the federal Department of Labor, and review of significant court decisions impacting employers.

    Break and Networking (10:50-11:05)

    Toolkit for Meeting Reasonable Accommodation Obligations (11:05 – 12:00)             The presentation will both review reasonable accommodation obligations under the ADA and highlight tips from the toolkit for successfully engaging in the reasonable accommodation process and determining whether an accommodation is required and/or reasonable.  There will be suggestions for dusting off and improving your reasonable accommodation policy and making sure managers understand their obligations.

    Lunch (12:00 – 12:30)

    Discipline and Discharge:                                                               

    Practical Guidance and Best Practices (12:30 – 1:30)                          

    This presentation will focus on guiding principles for corrective action, including when and how to make choices between discipline or a performance improvement plan; retraining and education or mentoring/coaching/counseling; behavioral training/referral to EAP or reassignment/demotion/transfer.  The how’s and why’s of documentation will also be discussed. 

    Break and Networking (1:30-1:45)

    Employees are Talking, but is there Such a Thing                                   

    As Free Speech in the Workplace? (1:45 – 2:45)  

    This presentation will look at the limitations employers can, and, in some cases, must place on speech in the workplace.  Increasingly, discussions about political, religious, and cultural beliefs are taking place in the workplace, as well as conversations/views around sexuality and gender identity.  These discussions often lead to conflict among employees.  This presentation focuses on steps employers should take to avoid harassment and discrimination claims based on these workplace discussions.  The presentation will also look at balancing an employee's right to be free from harassment under Title VII with the right to engage in protected concerted activity under section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act, i.e. the tension between the two 7's.  We will look at employer responses when the discussions go too far, the role of social media, and employer best practices for preventing and limiting conflict.

    New Hampshire Law Update (2:45 – 4:00)

    Debra Dyleski-Najjar, Esq.

    Najjar Employment Law Group, P.C.

    OUR SPEAKERS from the Law Firm of:

    Murphy, Hesse, Toomey and Lehanne, LLP & our own Debra Najjar of Najjar Employment Law Group, P.C.

    April 2020-Bios.docx

    Cost of this event is:  

    GMVHRA Member $95.00

    Non-Member $115.00

    10% discount for 2 or more attendees from the same organization.   Discount cannot be applied at registration but will be refunded after the event.

    The registration deadline is March 25, 2020. Full refunds are available prior to the deadline.  After this date a cancellation fee of $25.00 per person will apply or you may send an alternate to the event without additional charge.  To request a cancellation or to make a change please send and email to

    Our Key Sponsor: Interested in Sponsoring? Contact Julie Moore at

    LOCATION: Comfort Home Care, 147 Pelham Street, Methuen, MA01844 - 2ND Floor  (Subject to change)

    More information and online registration:

    Annual Legal Update

    *Join GMVRA’s LinkedIn group to share knowledge with your HR colleagues*

    For more information:


    • 28 Apr 2020
    • 7:00 AM
    • 29 Apr 2020
    • 5:30 PM
    • Manchester Downtown Hotel, Manchester, NH

    Subject: Postponing the GSHRC in April

    Dear State Council member:


    On behalf of the Granite State HR Conference I wanted to make you aware of some news we have needed to share with all of you regarding the upcoming conference.


    • In response to the COVID-19/Coronavirus situation the New Hampshire State Council leadership has decided to postpone the 2020 Granite State HR Conference (GSHRC) to this Fall.
    • All completed registration fees will be transferred to the new conference in the Fall. Should the new dates not work with your schedule, you will be refunded in full.
    • Details on the new dates will be provided in the coming weeks, as more is known about the status of hosting in-person events in the coming months.
    • We will continue to keep you updated via email, website and social media as soon as we have more information.


    As we are all aware these are unprecedented times and we need to remain as flexible and fluid as possible.  Although disappointing it is the right thing to do.  I am asking that if you could share the information in particular the chapter Presidents on your respective websites and through social media it will be greatly appreciated. 


    Thank you all for everything you are doing to make this conference successful.  This is a mild adjustment given the more serious health situation we face.  Let’s hope that by the fall we can all say remember when.  Thanks.



    2020 GSHRC Conference Chair


    David S. Twitchell

    David S. Twitchell, SHRM-SCP, CCP, CBP

    Vice President, Human Resources

    Catholic Charities New Hampshire

    587 Maple Street

    Manchester, NH  03104

    (w) 603-663-0257

    (c ) 802-291-4999

    (f) 603-606-1538

    • 07 May 2020
    • 8:00 AM - 10:30 AM
    • Comfort Home Care, 147 Pelham St., Methuen, MA 01844 - 2ND Floor

    Thursday, May 7, 2020

          8:00 AM - 8:30 AM Check-In & Networking
                 8:30 AM - 8:40 AM Welcome New Members & Guests

                 8:40 AM - 8:50 AM Chapter Business / Legislative Update
                 8:50 AM - 9:00 AM Sponsor
                 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM Program

    Approved for 1.50 SHRM credits, HRCI credits pending

    Topic: Thriving in an HR Department of One.... or More

    In many small and midsize companies, the human resources department consists of one person, aka “The Department of One” (DOO).  As such, they handle every HR function for the entire organization including recruiting, onboarding, training, compensation, benefits, employee relations, compliance, technology, analytics and strategy—and are frequently responsible for other business processes at the same time.  

    Join us for an informative program about how to thrive in an HR Department of One where will discuss the following:

    • Changing how companies view HR
    • Understand what the “C” Suite/Management want
    • Building credibility
    • Solo HR challenges and suggestions
    • Taking HR to the next level
    • Action Plan for HR Department of One
    • Tools, Tips, Techniques & Resources


    Catharine Mirabile, SHRM-SCP, SPHR


    CGI Business Solutions

    171 Londonderry Turnpike, Hooksett, NH, 03106
    (603) 232-9325,

    Catharine is the Chief Human Resources Officer at CGI Business Solutions and has over 25 years of experience in the Human Resources field. She currently manages the HR Support and Benefits Administration Department of CGI, which includes compliance, benefits administration, COBRA and human resources solutions for CGI's clients. She has a diverse background in the area of human resources, including compliance, staffing, employee relations, training, benefits, compensation and payroll. Catharine has utilized these skills in a variety of industries including banking, manufacturing, and technology firms.   She has served in a variety of volunteer leadership roles in her local chapter and state level with SHRM and is currently the Director for the HR State Council of New Hampshire, on the Board of Directors for NAPBA (National Association of Professional Benefits Administrators) and on the Board of Trustees with Catholic Charities New Hampshire.  In addition, Catharine is heavily involved with workplace advocacy efforts with SHRM, serving as an Advocacy Captain.  Catharine has her bachelor’s degree in Organizational Communication from the University of Central Florida and is a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) as well as a Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP).

    Our Sponsor:

    Interested in sponsoring? Contact Julie Moore at


    Comfort Home Care

    147 Pelham Street, 2nd Fl

    Methuen, MA 01844

    IMPORTANT NOTE:  Please be sure to park in the side parking lot to the left of the building and not in the front spaces. - Thank you for your cooperation!

    For more information:

    Contact: Lisa Lemieux, PHR, SHRM-CP

    Phone: 978-204-3207

    • 04 Jun 2020
    • 8:00 AM - 10:30 AM
    • Comfort Home Care, 147 Pelham St., Methuen, MA 01844 - 2ND Floor

    Thursday, June 4, 2020

          8:00 AM - 8:30 AM Check-In & Networking
                 8:30 AM - 8:40 AM Welcome New Members & Guests

                 8:40 AM - 8:50 AM Chapter Business / Legislative Update
                 8:50 AM - 9:00 AM Sponsor
                 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM Program

    Approved for 1.50 SHRM credits, HRCI credits pending

    Topic: Behavioral and Mental Issues: How to Make It OKAY to Ask for Help

    Our employees are much more than workers who show up, do their jobs and go home at the end of the day. We’re all human and have many different roles, responsibilities and challenges in our lives. As an employer, how do you support the varying needs of employees and let them know it’s OKAY to ask for help, to seek professional support for mental, emotional and behavioral issues? Seth Moeller and Jonathan Sheff of KGA, a New England based provider of Employee Assistance Programs, will share their expertise and experiences in helping HR professionals create a welcoming, supportive and productive environment for your employees.

    Our Speakers:

    Jonathan Sheff
    Senior Account Manager, KGA, Inc.

    Jonathan joined KGA in January, 2019. He brings over 20 years of experience developing, delivering and managing Employee Assistance Programs. He is a nationally recognized Executive Coach and a Certified Emotional Intelligence Examiner. Additionally, Jonathan provides a wide range of specialty training and consulting on topics such as Managing Change, Strategic Planning, Handling Stress and Performance Improvement.

    Jonathan holds a BA in Psychology from Antioch College and Masters Degrees in both Social Work-Clinical and Public Health-Healthcare Management from Columbia University.

    Seth Moeller
    President, KGA, Inc.

    Seth Moeller joined KGA in January 2011 and became President in 2013. Seth works with clients and prospective clients to ensure alignment between KGA’s services and the evolving needs of
    today’s employers. He brings twenty years of experience in organization effectiveness and development from consulting, financial services, health care, and technology. Seth services on
    the Board of Directors for the National Behavioral Consortium, a national association of employee assistance and managed behavioral health organizations.

    Seth holds a BA from the University of Vermont and an MA in Organizational Psychology from Columbia University.

    Our Sponsor:

    Interested in sponsoring? Contact Julie Moore at


    Comfort Home Care

    147 Pelham Street, 2nd Fl

    Methuen, MA 01844

    IMPORTANT NOTE:  Please be sure to park in the side parking lot to the left of the building and not in the front spaces. - Thank you for your cooperation!

    For more information:

    Contact: Lisa Lemieux, PHR, SHRM-CP

    Phone: 978-204-3207

Past events

05 Mar 2020 Leadership Sustainability – How to Build Resilience and Prevent Burnout in a 24/7 World
06 Feb 2020 Building HR Analytical Capabilities
09 Jan 2020 Massachusetts Health for SMALL Business - BONUS PROGRAM
09 Jan 2020 The Top 10 List. What HR Professionals Need to Know About Social Security, Medicare, and the Aging Workforce
12 Dec 2019 Narcissism in the Workplace
07 Nov 2019 Surviving the Life or Death Gap – (Blue-U Defense Presentation)
03 Oct 2019 The Performance Review Journey
18 Sep 2019 GMVHRA Evening of Networking
05 Sep 2019 Criminal Records and Second Chances: Hiring Employees in 2019
06 Jun 2019 Positive ROI: Effective Mentor Program Design for Workforce Development
02 May 2019 Lessons from the Trenches: Tips and Strategies to Avoid Employee Lawsuits
30 Apr 2019 Granite State HR Conference
04 Apr 2019 Annual Legal Update
07 Mar 2019 The Key to Productivity-Why Happiness Matters at Work
07 Feb 2019 Holding Employees to Accountability in the Workplace and Ensuring Commitments of Engagement!
03 Jan 2019 Leading Strategic Change Management Through Employee Engagement
13 Dec 2018 Effectively Navigating the Conflict Spectrum
13 Nov 2018 TPSU Half-Day Fiduciary Training Program
01 Nov 2018 It's Not the Money: The Reasons Employees Quit
04 Oct 2018 Do these Wage and Hour laws still make Cents to You?
13 Sep 2018 GMVHRA Evening of Networking
06 Sep 2018 Medical Marijuana
18 Jul 2018 TPSU Half-Day Fiduciary Training Program
07 Jun 2018 Five Habits of Destructive HR Leaders (Workshop)
03 May 2018 Why We Argue and How We Reconcile
05 Apr 2018 Working to 65 and Beyond… Understanding Medicare, and its Impact on Group Health Coverage
26 Mar 2018 "2018 Granite State HR Conference"
01 Mar 2018 Annual Legal Update
01 Feb 2018 “Responding to Sexual Harassment Complaints in the Post-Harvey Weinstein World”
11 Jan 2018 Energize Passion and Performance
07 Dec 2017 Subject - The Massachusetts Act to Establish Pay Equity: Six Months Out. Are you ready?
02 Nov 2017 Navigating Employee Leave: How to Comply with the Law and Keep Your Business Afloat
05 Oct 2017 “Leadership in Safety: The Alpha and Omega of a Successful Company”
04 Oct 2017 2017 “Women in Technology - Lift & Climb” Event
03 Oct 2017 GMVHRA Evening of Networking
28 Sep 2017 2017 NH Statewide Leadership Conference
07 Sep 2017 Leading with Emotional Agility for HR Leaders
01 Jun 2017 How to Handle Difficult Conversations
04 May 2017 Motivating & Engaging Employees with Non-Monetary Rewards
06 Apr 2017 Annual Legal Update
02 Mar 2017 Wellness Event
02 Feb 2017 ERISA Update: Enforcement Initiatives, Common Mistakes Discovered on Audit, Correction Programs, Plan Sponsor’s Fiduciary Obligations, and the New Fiduciary Rule.
05 Jan 2017 Active Shooter: "Surviving an Incident of Violence"
01 Dec 2016 Lean HR: It’s for ALL HR Professionals!
03 Nov 2016 "The Future of HR: Promoting Business Success in a Changing Global Workplace"
06 Oct 2016 Medical Marijuana in the Workplace: Navigating Potential Potholes
01 Sep 2016 “The Fair Labor Standards Act: Preparing for Implementation of the New White Collar Overtime Exemption Rule”
08 Jun 2016 GMVHRA - 2016-06-08 - “Top Ten Issues When Drafting and Negotiating Separation and Severance Agreements”
11 May 2016 GMVHRA - 2016-05-11 - "The Secret Behind the Curtain of the Wizard of Oz: Building Your Skills to Be an Awesome Coach"
13 Apr 2016 GMVHRA - 2016-04-13 - "2016 Legal Update"
09 Mar 2016 GMVHRA - 2016-03-09 - "2016 Wellness Event- What’s your Wellness Strategy?"
10 Feb 2016 GMVHRA - 2016-02-10 - "Human Connection: A Lost Art in a Noisy World"
13 Jan 2016 GMVHRA - 2016-01-13 - "Employee Handbooks: Legal Compliance and Best Practices"
09 Dec 2015 GMVHRA - 2015-12-09 - "Understanding Workplace Violence"
04 Nov 2015 GMVHRA - 2015-11-04 - "HR And The Aging Workforce: Strategies and Best Practices"
14 Oct 2015 GMVHRA - 2015-10-14 - "Workplace Investigations: 10 Common Mistakes"
10 Sep 2015 GMVHRA - 2015-09-10 - "Developments in the Law of Noncompetes and Other Post-Employment Restrictions"
10 Jun 2015 GMVHRA - 2015-06-10 "Managing Employee Leaves of Absence: Navigating New Laws and Old Challenges"
13 May 2015 GMVHRA - 2015-05-13 "EEO And AAP - How Does It Impact Me And My Company?"
08 Apr 2015 GMVHRA - 2015-04-08 "Wellness Event- Real Ideas for your Organization"
11 Feb 2015 GMVHRA - 2015-02-11 "The New Ambush Election Rules by the NLRB: What Employers Need to Know about Union Organizing Drives"
14 Jan 2015 GMVHRA - 2015-01-14 "Workforce Analytics: Create a Game-Changing Performance Culture"
01 Jun 1990 1990 Annual Meeting


183 Rockingham Rd., Ste 2 East

c/o Landmark Benefits

Windham, NH 03087


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