Centerpoint Newsletter February 2019

Kelly Dahlman Headshot



Kara Sime Headshot


Greetings from the HR Tomorrow Committee!




Kelly Dahlman and I are very pleased to be co-chairing this year’s conference planning committee, along with committee members Kate Andrews, Kevin Brennan, Brandon Lukach, Larry Morgan, and Rachel Yates. We have been working hard since last summer to bring you another exceptional professional development conference. Whether this will be your first time attending HR Tomorrow or you’re a seasoned veteran of the event, we welcome you to campus to help explore “The Why of Work.”




This year we’ll be celebrating 40 years of showcasing the latest research and practices that HR professionals can draw upon for their work. While every year we take a look at the changes in our workplace, this year we'll look at why people work, and what employees value at work.




We are more than excited to announce our two keynote speakers:




  • Laurie Marsh, Executive Vice President of Human Resources at Ecolab
  • Peter Navin, Chief Human Resources Officer, Grand Rounds, Inc. and author of The CMO of People: Manage Employees Like Customers




In addition, we’ll have a full slate of outstanding breakout session speakers, who will address, among other topics, how companies are utilizing cutting-edge AI and analytics practices; why engagement matters and how to foster it; cognitive science's insights into how to foster collaboration; creating a workplace where employees thrive; and building a coaching culture at your workplace.




And we’re proud to offer, for the third year in a row, an HR Tomorrow Scholarship, provided to an HR professional working for a nonprofit who would not otherwise be able to attend. If you’d like to be considered for a complimentary ticket to attend, please apply here by March 1.




We will once again be applying for recertification credits through HRCI and SHRM; what better way to get credit for honing your professional skills and credentials?




We invite you to visit the HR Tomorrow website where you’ll see the wide range of topics and outstanding speakers on the schedule. Registration is now open and the conference is expected to sell out, so, don’t delay! This conference remains one of the best professional development events in town!




Kara Sime, ‘96
Kelly Dahlman, ‘16
HR Tomorrow Committee Co-Chairs




Resolving to Make Changes
Each New Year motivates us to create resolutions for ourselves. Whether the goal is to change one of our physical habits, complete a new challenge at work, or connect more with our loved ones, we all aim to become the best we can be. Sharing our resolutions can help keep us on track toward our goals. Let the goals made by members of our CHRLS community inspire you to accomplish yours, and encourage others to follow theirs! 


2019 HR Tomorrow




Registration Now Open for HR Tomorrow Conference!
We hope you’ll be able to join us in Minneapolis on April 12 for the 40th annual HR Tomorrow Conference, “The Why of Work.Registration is now open. A list of speakers and our generous sponsors can be found on the conference website. How many conferences have you attended? As we look back over the past 40 years of excellence in professional development programming, we’d love to hear from alumni and other HR practitioners who’ve attended multiple conferences; let us know how many you’ve attended at There may even be a prize for the most conferences attended!








February is University of Minnesota Alumni Association’s Career Month
Throughout February, the University of Minnesota Alumni Association (UMAA) is rolling out a series of webinars, workshops, Facebook Live discussions and networking events around the world to ignite career success. Whether in-person or virtually, alumni and students can gain valuable career development and grow their professional networks through this series








Happy Anniversary to the Carlson School!
2019 marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of the business school at the University of Minnesota. Throughout the year we’ll be celebrating our past and looking ahead to our future. Visit the Centennial website to take a walk down memory lane, learn how we are connected to tomorrow, to innovation, to the world, and to one another, and attend an alumni event near you.




Mentoring Program Kicks-Off
Thanks to the 44 MA-HRIR alumni who’ve committed to serve as mentors during 2019 as part of the CHRLS Alumni Mentorship Program, and kudos to the 44 current students who recognize the value of being matched with an HR professional willing to share their time, expertise, and advice. The program kicked off on January 28 with an in-person event, followed by a virtual meeting the next day for those unable to attend in person. There are still openings for additional mentors and mentees; contact if interested.

Team Mindfulness and Productivity: What’s the Connection? 

Mary Zellmer-Bruhn




It’s safe to say mindfulness has gone mainstream in the U.S. Millions of Americans now use the technique—essentially a form of nonjudgmental awareness—to help relieve stress, manage chronic pain, and more. In perhaps the surest sign of its acceptance, the business world has embraced variations on “mindfulness at work” programs. Several past studies have focused on how such programs affect the workplace. New research from Professor Mary Zellmer-Bruhn adds to that body of research by zeroing-in on mindfulness’ impact on business teams. As Zellmer-Bruhn explains, the theory behind mindfulness is that it helps individuals improve their focus and interrupt automatic reactions. “I realized those benefits could certainly help teams,” she says. “So the question became: What would mindfulness look like in a team environment?” 




Each issue of Centerpoint highlights a member of our alumni community, a current student, and a member of our staff or faculty. Learn more about alumna Kelly Marshall, first-year MA-HRIR student Joohwa Jin, and CHRLS staff member Mindy Bahr.

Want to get the latest news from the CHRLS? Wondering who the next 1st Tuesday speaker will be? Interested in seeing photos from campus? Stay connected with your alma mater by following our social media sites:​

  • LinkedIn - find our group (Carlson School of Management - HRIR) here 
  • Facebook - find our page here
  • Twitter - find our feed here
  • HRIR Blog - find our blog here and sign up to follow it (in the bottom right-hand corner of the page)
  • Brian Bemmels, ’84 PhD-IR, retired from the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia in July 2018
  • Angela Chen, ’99, is pursuing a PhD in Management at Melbourne University
  • Kelsey (Milligan) Gresbrink, ’16, is a compensation analyst at Center for Diagnostic Imaging
  • Laura Grimlund, ’17, is an HR systems analyst at Carbon Black
  • Gregory Hundley, ‘81 PhD-IR, passed away in October 2018
  • Liana Karimova, ’16, is a people and culture manager at Opus One Solutions
  • Shayantani Mallik, ’16, is a talent partner at WhatFix
  • Rachel Matzek, ’10, is an HR director at Comcast
  • Kevin Mottram, ’10 is director of early in career hiring at Twilio
  • Tom Norman, ‘09 PhD-HRIR, '98 MA-HRIR, was promoted to professor of management at California State University-Dominguez Hills
  • Jonathan Osborn, ‘15, is a senior talent management specialist at Polaris
  • Jodell Swenson, ‘93, is director of human resources at Minnesota Housing
  • Tara (Whitesides) Sztykiel, ’10, is a human resources director at Uniform Color Company