Event Archive


Managing an Inclusive Workforce through Accessibility - February 27, 2019

Inclusive-WorkforceHRPA London and District Chapter members and guests attended a breakfast event at Windermere Manor on February 27th with Nancy Gowan from Gowan Consulting. Nancy began the conversation about accessibility by stating how every workplace wants to add skills, but what if the most skilled people can’t even get in the door?

One in 7 people in Ontario have a disability and 1 in 5 people are living with mental health issues. The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act makes it law for the province to be accessible to everyone, but imagine if we were proactive in making all workplaces accessible because it is the right business decision, not because we have to.

Leading with the quote “Diversity is being invited to the party, but inclusion is being asked to dance”, Nancy provided us with strategies for creating inclusive design instead of just designing things to be accessible. Inclusive design considers accessibility for all from the very beginning. It allows everyone to feel respected, valued and seen for who they are as individuals.

Some tips for creating an inclusive and caring workplace include:

  • Creating a caring strategy
  • Engaging a caring team
  • Giving them budget
  • Letting the front line caring team lead the way to inclusion
  • Making caring NORMAL in your workplace

It was a great event with lots of learning and take-aways!


Mentorship Pop-Up Event - February 7, 2019


The Mentorship committee held a private dinner event on February 7 to give participants of the program a chance to network with their mentors and mentees. Although the weather wasn't the best, we still had a great turnout! The food and company made it worth it - good conversations, lots of laughs, and leftovers for the next day's lunch! 

Being a mentor or a mentee is all about networking, learning from each other, and growing the HR professional community. It takes as little as one hour a month as you build life long connections. If you are interested in joining the program, send an email to mentorship@hrpalondon.ca to learn more.

The Legal Side of Recruitment - November 21, 2018

Legal-Side-Recruitment1Our Chapter members and guests learned several great tips from Chris A. Sinal, a Labour and Employment lawyer from Siskinds` Labour and Employment group, at our recruitment dinner event last Wednesday night.

Chris opened his presentation by talking about human rights issues during the hiring process and pre-employment testing, recommending to interview in pairs, invest in training your interviewers, and establish an interview questionnaire. He also mentioned that if using the internet to screen candidates, avoid revealing prohibited grounds during the process.

From there Chris moved on to speak about wrongful hiring and the dangers of over-promising. During recruitment, employers have an obligation to ensure that material statements made to an applicant are accurate and not misleading. He also noted that after a conditional offer of employment is made, accommodations still apply.

Chris expressed the importance of being aware if candidates have continuing obligations to former employers, as perceived breaches of these obligations can result in costly litigation and poisoning of the employment relationship.  He recommended to include in an employment agreement that an employee is not under any existing obligations and have them sign off accordingly.

Lastly Chris described the do's and don'ts of conducting reference and background checks. Employers should notify the candidate and get consent, ensure any checks conducted are in compliance with "The Code", and independently verify negative information found.


Thank you to Chris for putting on an engaging presentation and to our Chapter for putting on yet another successful event.

Happy Holidays! We'll see you all again in 2019!

20181025Volunteer Onboarding - October 25, 2018


On October 25 our 2018/19 chapter volunteers gathered for an onboarding event at Storm Stayed Brewing Company. In addition to overview of volunteer expectations and iVolunteer, both current and new volunteers had the opportunity to get to know each other better over some great beer and food!

Annual Legal Update - October 24, 2018

Annual-Legal-UpdateThe London & District Chapter was fortunate to have lawyers from Filion Wakely Thorup Angeletti LLP return for another year with a legal update. The half day conference opened with a welcome from the HRPA’s new CEO Louise Taylor Green, who talked about her vision for the future of the Association.

Rusty McLay kicked off the presenters with what was originally scheduled to be an overview of Bill 148 however; his presentation was expertly adapted to the potential legislative changes announced only the day before. Rusty provided insight into Bill 47 – Making Ontario Open For Business Act (MOOFBA) and the effects it will have on areas of Bill 148. A couple main changes he talked about were:

  • Repeal of 10 PEL days to 8 days, all un-paid with 3 being used for personal illness, 3 for family responsibility, and 2 for bereavement.

  • Minimum wage will stay at $14/hr until 2020

Casey Dokendorff provided attendees with an update on Employment Law, Human Rights, and Labour Law, giving examples of case law to back up her points on:

  • The do’s and don’ts of providing a reference for ex-employees (not liable for defamation as long a reference is truthful)

  • Workplace investigations (employers are not held to a “standard of perfection”)

Danny Parker went over basic principles of attendance management and the new reality as HR professionals – the duty to accommodate. He explained that

  • Fixed and rigid policies will not work

  • Each employee and situation needs to be considered separately and on its own merits

Brian MacDonald walked us through creating/modifying a workplace drug and alcohol policy. Although cannabis is officially legal in Canada, Brian explained that the only real difference now is that possessing cannabis is no longer a crime – almost everything else is the same. He recommended that policies should directly address things like employee expectations, prohibited behaviour and consequences, and accommodation.

It was a morning full of relevant tips and information and a great opportunity for HR professionals to network and learn. Thanks to all the knowledgeable and engaging presenters for another successful legal update!

Collective Bargaining Strategies - September 19, 2018


Simon Mortimer and Jodi Gallagher-Healy of Hicks Morley kicked off our 2018/19 chapter season at Elm Hurst Inn with a very informative and entertaining presentation on communication strategies for collective bargaining. During this session they covered the importance of a communications plan (even if your plan is not to communicate), being smart about the use of social media (both how you can use it and knowing the ways it can be used against you), and the do’s and don’ts of communicating during collective bargaining (including a review of some case law). They also provided each of us with a communications checklist and planning template to use within our own workplaces. Many thanks to Simon and Jodi for guiding us to ensure our organizations are properly prepared to engage in strategic collective bargaining.

Bosco and Roxy’s Tour & Social Dinner Event - June 20, 2018


On June 20, HRPA’s London District took its members for a tour of London’s own success story, Bosco and Roxy’s, a Canadian gourmet dog treat company founded in 2010. Bosco and Roxy’s originally started as a dog boarding business called Country Paws, where the founders Jaymie and Michelle Crook baked cookies for the customers on the side. When demand for the treats had increased, it gave the founders a new business to grow into. Not only has this business grown in employees, but size as well by expanding their workforce from 3 to over 125 employees and relocating to a state of the art 30,000 square feet facility. With the additional space and manpower, Bosco and Roxy’s have dominated the North American market by teaming up and contracting with major retailers throughout Canada and the United States with future ventures of expanding into the United Kingdom and possibly China.

A big shout out to the Bosco and Roxy’s team for the amazing tour and chance to create our own treats! 


After packing some biscuits and goodies to fill our four-legged friends’ tummies, the HRPA team make their way to Earl’s Kitchen and Bar for a night of dinner, refreshments, and great company!

20180604Volunteer Appreciation Night - June 4, 2018

What better way to say thank you to all our awesome volunteers then sending them for a night of axe throwing at BATL London!  Of course since we are HR professionals we followed all the safety rules (proper footwear and throwing techniques), but that didn't stop us from having a great time.   After some warm up rounds the BATL staff lead us through a bracket competition, with Michelle Scott and William Versloot facing off in the final round, and William being crowned champion!


Thank you to all our volunteers for another successful chapter year; we couldn't have done it without you!

Annual Business Meeting Event and Management Strategies:  Marijuana & its Impact on the Workplace - May 30, 2018

On May 30 we wrapped up the 2017/18 season with 120+ Chapter members at RiverBend Golf Community.  

AbmDuring the first portion of the evening, Krista Wakefield-Tryon, Chapter Chair, provided us our business update which included:

  • An update on the HRPA
  • Our 2017/18 chapter year at a glance 
  • Chapter committee accomplishments 
  • 2018/19 Board member changes: 
    • Welcome to new Chapter Committee Chairs:  Natalie Varey, Chapter Student Liaison and Vanessa Newcombe, Chapter Communications
    • Thank you to outgoing Chapter Board members: Roberta Wheeler (Past President), Justin Goetz (Director, Membership) and Nicole van der Wolf (Director, Communications)
  • Recognition of our our amazing….
    • Committee volunteers 
    • Mentors and mentees
    • CHRP & CHRL recipients
    • Successful CKE writers
    • HRPA Scholarship recipients

Abm 1 After dinner our guest speaker, Ron LeClair from LeClair & Associates P.C., shared his insights on the potential impact that Bill C-45 will have on the workplace and best practices for HR professionals in dealing with these implications.  Some key points included:

  • One of the fundamental problems with cannabis in the workplace is how to measure impairment
  • HR will likely have more latitude to rely on their own observations when assessing impairment, which poses many challenges
  • Use your existing drug and alcohol in the workplace policies to deal with suspected impairment issues, focusing on health and safety risks, and being careful to remove the stigmatism associated with substance abuse issues
  • Accept medical notes/documentation that confirms addiction from qualified professionals only, and ensure it includes treatment plan, prognosis, etc.
  • There is a lack of reliable testing, and if we do choose to test the usual duty to accommodate rules apply
  • Recent case adjudications are encouraging - the uncertainty seems to favour the employer where the abuse poses a safety threat

It is clear that there is still a lot to figure out before this Bill becomes effective.  Thank you to Ron LeClair for helping us prepare for the uncertain road ahead!

It was a great night to get together with fellow HR professionals, celebrate our great chapter, and develop our skills!  As one attendee put it:  ”Great event last night, Rob was a great speaker really able to hold attention!!!  Was a lot of fun. Venue was amazing and the food……..so delicious!!  Great event.”

Thanks to everyone who was able to make it out!

2017/2018 Volunteers

Abm 2

2017/2018 Mentors & Mentees

Abm 3

2017/2018 and 2018/2019 Board Members

Abm 4

2017/2018 Scholarship Recipients

Abm 5

Abm 6 Abm 7 

Abm 8 Abm 9

Workplace Investigations Workshops – May 17 & May 24, 2018

Highlights from Workshop Part 1

Workplace-InvestigationsJohn McNair and Victoria Yang from McKenzie Lake Lawyers led an amazing two-part workshop on workplace investigations, from theory to interactive exercises. Attendees were able to learn and discuss how to successfully and legally conduct an investigation, with plenty of questions and examples from their own experiences.

The first night consisted of an overview of hot topics and trends (such as increased sensitivity to and consideration of culture, race, gender, and religion), legal definitions of workplace harassment and workplace sexual harassment, and a step-by-step explanation of the investigation process. The realistic exercise at the end allowed attendees to try their hand at defining the scope, planning, and understanding procedural fairness and the standard of proof.

Highlights from Workshop Part 2

Workplace-Investigations2The second night of the investigations series focused on report writing and interview tactics to complete your investigation. Our engaged group was able to address their questions on best practices as well as learn what is definitely mandatory to have in your investigation reports. We were able to witness a mock interview based on a case study started on the previous night to see what a legal, professional investigator would ask, address, and maintain the topic of the investigation. It was an evening full of takeaways as well as delicious food! 

Our two part workshop created an evening to really engage, learn, and network instead of a formal presentation. If you have topics you would like to see in the form of a workshop, send them to mentorship@hrpalondon.ca to be considered for our next workshop!

London Chamber of Commerce Business Achievement Award – March 21, 2018 


HRPA London and District is proud to be a Silver Sponsor again this year of the London Chamber of Commerce Business Achievement Awards. An award that is designed to recognize human resources excellence in companies of any size that develop and practice successful approaches to protect their businesses from the challenge of labour shortages. Congratulations to Finalists Arcane and Diebold Nixdorf, and to Diebold Nixdorf on receiving the 2018 Excellence in Human Resources Award.

Accommodations in the Workplace – March 20, 2018 

Accommodation-Workplace-LondonOur half-day conference on Navigating Accommodation was well attended with over 70 members from our Human Resources community gathering at the Hilton Doubletree.  Throughout the morning, representatives from Siskinds LLP, Workplace Safety Prevention Services, Ontario Safety Group and Gowling WLG presented information and involved us in discussions on accommodation issues that are at the front of mind of many HR professionals these days.   

Some highlights included:

  • An overview of the Ontario Human Rights Commission
  • Do's and don'ts of accommodating employees with mental health disabilities
  • Best practices to help navigate through accommodations based on creed, including what is important to consider when defining bona fide occupational requirements
  • How the evolution of work and ergonomics is making it more important for us toAccommodation-Workplace-London quantify physical and mental/cognitive demands of the job
  • What are non-negotiables when it comes to confidentiality and transparency regarding an accommodation case, and how listening and understanding to the employee is key
  • What employers can and cannot factor when proving undue hardship, as well as special considerations for different types of accommodations and lengthy medical leaves (when can you permanently fill their role or end the employment relationship)

We want to send a huge thank you to all our business partners for taking the time to share their knowledge and advice, as well as our chapter Professional Development Committee for their efforts in pulling this all together!

Resume Building Workshops – Feb 28 & Mar 5, 2018

Over the past week the HRPA London and District Chapter held two FREE Resume Building Workshops for its members at Fanshawe College and Western University. Students and working professionals from the region attended to improve their resumes and learn employment strategies from an experienced recruitment professional. Thank you to Sarah Angood for leading the workshop to all those that attended!

resume-workshop-1.  resume-workshop-2

WSIB: Return to Work – February 28, 2018

On Wednesday, February 28, HRPA London & District Chapter members were invited to a delicious breakfast event at Goodwill Industries to listen to Anna Aceto-Geurin enlighten us on the topic of WSIB: Return to Work.


Our speaker provided some great advice in tackling difficult WSIB claims which included, breaking down the case into individual problems, maintain an open communication with supervisors and keep them involved in the processes as they are key players, and talk to WSIB case managers in WSIB language using their policies to create a smooth path to get to your goal.

Thank you to the professional development team in organizing this event!

Empowering & Engagement; 20+ member event - January 24, 2018


On January 24th HRPA London and District held an exclusive invite only event; Empowering Performance Through People. As we see our profession and chapter continue to grow, it was an honour to spend a special evening with seasoned professionals that have committed 20 years or more to the HR profession, many past chapter presidents and our board of directors.

Our speaker, Shawn Casemore, offered some great examples of how other's have increased engagement of their employees through mentoring, leadership and involvement in the decisions making, while providing his book The Unstoppable Organization as a physical take away.

Thank you to our professional development team and The London Club for a fantastic evening!

Talent Acquisition Event Summary - November 14, 2017

On Tuesday, November 14, HRPA London & District Chapter members gathered to hear Simon Parkin (Senior Partner and Founder at The Talent Company) speak about what leading organizations are doing to build a competitive advantage in securing top talent in today's market.


Simon delved into the trends and leading practices of Recruitment and Talent Acquisition, starting his presentation with the key message of "Finding, Keeping, Rewarding, and Transitioning" talent. Finding future employees requires more personal engagement. Retention of talent is crucial, especially top talent.


In conclusion, Simon led us through leading practices and his recommendations for organizations. Talent sourcing needs to be more aggressive, always look for ways to make your recruitment process more efficient and effective, be more candidate centric, and try new things!

We would also like to give a big thank you to The London Club for hosting us and providing a wonderful dinner!

Annual Legal Update Summary - October 26, 2017  

Employment-Law-Update1The London & District chapter was fortunate to have Filion Wakely Thorup Angeletti LLP return another year to provide over 190 participants with an annual legal update.   

Peter Thorup kicked it off with an overview of Bill 148 - Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act and  amendments to the Employment Standards Act and Labour Relations Act, highlighting some key considerations for employers when it comes to scheduling, paid emergency leave days, equal pay, and remedial certification.

In Casey Dokendorff's session on progressive discipline and terminations she reminded us that the purpose of progressive discipline is to correct behaviour, and highlighted some things we must do when dealing with a progressive discipline issues:

  • Document, document, document!
  • Be very clear with the employee 
    • 1) on the objective standards of competence required to complete their job, and 
    • 2) that their job is in jeopardy
  • Provide them with the tools and knowledge to improve
  • Afford the employee a reasonable opportunity to improve
  • Be consistent with your application of the progressive discipline policy

She also provided an overview of enforceable and unenforceable termination provisions in offer letters, and how an employer must apply "Duty of Good Faith" when terminating employees.

Brian MacDonald walked us through some of the challenges that workplaces will face with the pending legalization of marijuana in Canada.  In addition to questions around testing and addiction, he said that marijuana is different than alcohol in that impairment effects can vary between individuals (and even some strains create different levels of impairment), and marijuana does have recognized medicinal qualities. Until the new laws are in place it is unclear how arbitrators and courts will handle cases related marijuana use at work, but advised that employers start working on adding this to substance use policies starting now.


Gillian Shearer and Jan Parnega of Sherer Parnega LLP joined as guests on Workplace Investigations and Bill 132, giving us an overview of what workplace harassment and investigation programs must now include.  In a panel discussion, they gave us practical considerations to help answer common investigation questions like:

  • When to engage a neutral third-party investigator
  • What to do if the MOL shows up at your workplace
  • What to do if you get an anonymous complaint
  • How to get witnesses to get over the fear of talking
  • How much detail to provide to the complainant regarding corrective action
  • What to do if the JHSC or union asks for a copy of the report

They pointed us to the Ministry of Labour Practice Guide for guidance on conducting investigations.


The final session of the event was with Danny Parker who reviewed important things for us to know about asking for medical documentation and Independent Medical Examinations.  Bill 148 states that employers can ask for the employee to provide "evidence reasonable in the circumstances" when taking emergency leave, but they are restricted from requesting such evidence from a medical practitioner, so he advised that employers look at the context of the situation to make the determination of what is reasonable. Danny also provided some tips for what to do if accommodation request information is not provided or lacking.

It was a great event with lots of learning and take-aways!

Multi-Generational Workforce and Carol Eyre Memorial Award Event - September 21, 2017

On September 21, approximately 80 HRPA London and District members and guests attended an evening dinner event at the Brookside Banquet Center. Aline Ayoub provided a thought provoking presentation on how to more effectively manage, engage, and retain a multi-generational workforce.

Krista Wakefield-Tryon, President of the HRPA London & District Chapter, presented Katie Wise with the Carol Eyre Memorial Award and Denise Gold from Ability First Coalition was also in attendance to share the coalition’s business-to-business work that aims to bring employers together to share best practices related to hiring and retaining people with disabilities.


Multi-Generational-Workforce2  Multi-Generational-Workforce3


Networking Event June 14, 2017

JuneNetwork1 JuneNetwork2

On July 15 HRPA London and District hosted its best attended June networking event.   40+ professionals, members and students got together at Toboggan Brewing Co. for a fun evening of good food, drinks, and a very educational tour of their on-site brewery.  A wonderful job done by the professional development team in organizing this event.


060117Adventures in Mentoring - June 1, 2017


On June 1 our mentors and mentees met for their Wrap-up Event at Toboggan Brewing. Our small but mighty group represents our growing mentoring program of 75+ participants.

I love hearing the stories... every mentoring relationship is truly unique. Grateful to have been a mentor again this year and been part of my mentee's career journey. On behalf of the Chapter Executive, thank you to all the mentors, mentees and especially our mentoring committee volunteers who helped to make this program possible! Interested in participating in this great program? Stay tuned for fall enrollment!

- Krista Wakefield-Tryon

Annual Business Meeting - May 31, 2017


On May 31 we wrapped up the 2016/17 season with 120+ chapter members at Highland Country Club.  Bill Greenhalgh, HRPA CEO, gave us an Association update, where he reviewed what the HRPA has done and where we are headed.  Outgoing Chapter President, Roberta Wheeler, reported on our chapter's accomplishments, and recognized our volunteers, mentors, mentees, and Chapter Board members.   

2016/2017 Volunteers

2016/2017 Volunteers

2016/2017 Mentors & Mentees

2016/2017 Mentors & Mentees

2016/2017 and 2017/2018 Board Members

2016/2017 and 2017/2018 Board Members

The following 2017/2018 Board member changes were announced effective June 1, 2017:

Welcome to our new 2017/2018 Board Appointments: 

  • President - Krista Wakefield-Tryon 
  • Past President - Roberta Wheeler
  • President-Elect/Vice-President - Andie Camolese
  • Director, Communications - Nicole van der Wolf
  • Director, Mentoring & Workshops - Crystal Willert
  • Treasurer - Kyle Pratt

Thank you to our outgoing 2016/2017 Board Members:

  • Past President - Stephen Sesar
  • Director, Communications - Natali Pupovac-Peters
  • Treasurer - Lindsay Hayes

Adriana Girdler  Presentation

Guest speaker Adriana Girdler provided practical insights on why nothing gets done at work, and how we can work smarter, not harder by asking ourselves four questions and employing just one of her recommended changes.

1.  Are you on the right path?

Make sure you have a vision statement (your company or yourself) and refer to it to help you manage priorities.

2. Are you doing the right thing?   

Have only one #1 priority, keep your priority list short & sweet, rotate the priority list, and tie it back to your vision statement.

3. Are you meeting all day and working all night?  

Enhance the quality of your meetings by turning updates meetings into resolution meetings.  Have a goal of one meeting free day (recommend Mondays), and incorporate a policy that meetings start/end on time.

4. Are you starting and stopping the right activities?  

Maximize what little productive time you have each day by doing things like putting a sign on your office door saying something like "Power Work Hour, come back at 1:00 pm", turning off your email notifications, and forwarding all calls to voicemail.

For more information on improving business efficiencies, productivity and profitability, visit www.cornerstonedynamics.com.

 The Science of HR Decision Making - April 20, 2017

The Science of HR Decision Making

On Thursday April 20, 70 HRPA London & District Chapter members gathered for a chance to hear Brad Markis from McLean & Company speak about The Science of HR Decision Making, the importance of data in making HR decisions, and explained how business satisfaction is HR's key metric.  

Brad then went on to share interesting insights from HR stakeholder data, which highlighted how business leaders often misjudge which services actually matter to them.  McLean & Company has found through research that strong relationships are the core driver to stakeholder satisfaction, and they have developed a model to accurately predict satisfaction, based on relationship and various organizational factors.

In the last part of Brad's presentation he gave us practical guidance on how to leverage HR analytics.  The key message here was to regularly solicit and act upon stakeholder feedback, as that is an important part of building evidence-based HR practices.  Start with having your stakeholders rate the importance of HR services, then have them rate their satisfaction with these services, and talk to them about bridging any gaps.

We are pleased to let you know that McLean and Company has offered to share their presentation, research, and stakeholder survey with our Chapter Members free of charge! Contact Meagan Puterman for more info.

Daring Leadership with Janet Frood - Presented by Medpoint Health Care Centre - March 9, 2017

Daring Leadership with Janet Frood  Daring Leadership with Janet Frood

"Before the workshop I considered being vulnerable meant being weak.  
Now I see someone being vulnerable means they are being courageous in the face of high risk."

The morning of March 9 was filled with self-reflection as approximately 40 Human Resources professionals and other practitioners joined Janet Frood, certified facilitator in Brené Brown's "The Daring Way" at Goodwill Industries.  In speaking about "Daring Leadership", Janet pointed to research that has identified if a workplace wants to be innovative with their leadership, they need to allow for the permission to fail, embrace the humanity and vulnerability of all those involved with empathy. 

During this thought-provoking session, participants engaged in partnered and group discussions. Our understanding of the word "vulnerability" came into question, specifically when it comes to leadership.   Myths were challenged, and our approach to why and who we trust was analyzed.  We were encouraged to give ourselves the permission to fail, along with the permission to rebound, allowing for a faster recovery.  

Thank you to Medpoint Health Care Centre for sponsoring this great event and for all our participants.

For more information, check out Janet's website or her LinkedIn page.

Volunteer Appreciation Evening - February 22, 2017

"Keep It Colourful" - Paint Night with host Jesse Robertson 


We had a great time creating masterpieces at Paint Night, HRPA London and District's Volunteer Appreciation Event. Thanks again to all our wonderful volunteers... we couldn't do it without you!

Navigating Accommodation in the Workplace - February 21, 2017

Navigating Accommodation in the Workplace

On Wednesday, February 22 we were joined by Jennifer Threndyle (AODA Specialist, Workplace Safety & Prevention Services) who presented on the topic of Accommodation in the Workplace. It was a sold out event with over 60 in attendance.  We had a very lively and informative discussion about how to tackle various accommodation obligations within our workplaces. We are thankful to Jennifer for sharing her experiences and expertise with us and to everyone else that participated and contributed to the discussions.

Recruitment in Today's Landscape - November 16, 2016

Recruitment in Today's Landscape

On Wednesday, November 16 we all gathered for an informative recruitment panel at the beautiful Windermere Manor. Our panel was led by Tina for St Joseph's, Barbara for the Original Cakery, and Heidi for Carpool.
Topics ranged from the Number One Challenges Recruiters Face, How to Attract Millennials, Dealing with Short Term  Absences, Attracting the Talent Pool and Using Social Media to Attract The Talent You Want.

It was a useful session that allowed us to share many techniques on what we would like to obtain in our company's recruitment. 

Thank you to our expert panel, our moderator Sarah, and for everyone that participated in the informative session.  

Annual Legal Update Half day conference - October 27, 2016

Annual Legal Update Half day conference

On October 27, 2016 HRPA London & District held it's most revered Annual Legal Update half day conference.  Once again it was a very informative session, presented by Filion Wakely Thorup Angeletti LLP.  To the benefit of this year's attendees the morning began with guest speaker  Dr. Peter Jaffee who spoke to employers' responsibility when they become aware of the warning signs that someone is experiencing domestic abuse or is perpetrating it.   The second half of the morning allowed for a fast talking lawyer series covering four timely subjects.  The following are just a couple of takeaways the attendees left with.

Domestic Violence and the Impacts on the Workplace 

Domestic violence is no longer considered to be only a private matter.  A Canadian study identified one in three women experience domestic abuse, and a third of them report it having effected their workplace in some fashion.  www.learningtoendabuse.ca provides a number of resources to assist with bringing awareness to the work place on what is domestic violence.  By acknowledging warning signs and connecting with external resources who use risk assessment tools, safety concerns can be addressed.

Whistleblower Protections for Employees 

Through policies, codes of conduct, and ethical business practices, the use of a hotline can provide you with some information to begin investigations.  Consider asking if they have told any other authority, you would not want to be investigating something that someone else is already looking into.

Best Practices in Hiring 

An employee contract should be provided at the same time as the offer when possible.  At the least provide clear language that the offer is conditional to 

the signing of the contract and that this should always occur before or at the start of the first day of employment.

Bill 132 Sexual Violence and Harassment Plan Act 

Compliance came into force September 6, 2016.  Your policy must include input from the Joint Health & Safetycommittee.  Different to other investigations the resolve is to be shared with the person who reported it.   

Employee Resignations and Employer Rights 

Reasonable notice is determined by a number of factors; length of service, seniority of position, possible fiduciary duty, and impact upon employer of their departure.  You do not have to simply accept a two weeks' notice if there is a financial impact to adjust for the loss that goes above what would have been incurred if proper notice had been given.  As well be concise in the wording of how much notice is to be given when an employee quits.  Minimum two weeks is standard, however consider more concise language like two to four weeks, so as not to experience a situation where someone may give a couple months notice.

Volunteer Orientation - October 20, 2016


On October 20, the HRPA London & District executive committee held a volunteer onboarding session for our new volunteers. During this session Roberta Wheeler, Chapter President, shared the Volunteer Orientation Manual, reviewed recent changes with HRPA, chapter strategic goals, volunteer roles & responsibilities and volunteer commitment. 

Thank you to all our amazing volunteers for the wonderful work that they do all year long. It is because of the time and effort that these people put in that allows our chapter to operate successfully and put on all the great events throughout the year.

Mentor Program Kick-Off - October 13, 2016


Even though our Mentor Program kick-off get together was held on October 13, we're still accepting applications for mentors and mentees!

Mentors are always needed so if you're an HRPA member looking to give back to the HR community - now is the time! If you are new to HR looking to connect with other HR professionals - join our program and receive notifications to future networking events!

Experience Innovation 2016 - Sept 22, 2016

Carol-Eyre-Memorial-Award-2016On Thursday September 22, the HRPA London & District chapter held its September event: Experience Innovation 2016: Transcending Corporate Challenges & Achieving Success at Fanshawe College. It was an evening of networking with fellow HR colleagues, a wonderfully catered meal, the presentation of the Carol Eyre Memorial Award and an engaging and thought provoking discussion on Innovating HR.

Roberta  Wheeler, President of the HRPA London & District Chapter presented Samantha Elliott with the Carol Eyre Memorial Award. The Carol Eyre Memorial Award is presented annually to a graduating student who has successfully


completed the Human Resources Management Certificate at Fanshawe College who has also demonstrated involvement in community activities as well as volunteerism. Congratulations Samantha!

John Zettler, the Director of Talent Strategy & Development with the Dale Carnegie Business Group, engaged the attendees with various opportunities to discuss topics such as “How can HR be more strategic?”“What gets in our way of being Innovative?”, and “In What Ways Can We……” by examining what is our current state, what is the desired outcome, and in what ways can we (IWWCW…) make that happen.

Sept-2016-eventFor additional resources and research on being innovative go to www.dalecarnegie.ca​ to view various newsletters, review blogs, and sign up for daily quotes and weekly motivation.

​Chef's Club at Aroma - June  ​9, 2016​


2016 HRPA London & District Chefs

On Thursday June 9, HRPA London & District members got together at the Aroma Restaurant. The event started with some savoury appetizers, members had a chance to mingle and network. We were then divided into four groups; Salad, Soup, Entrée and Dessert. The instructor shared some excellent cooking tips and we played "Food Trivia" and "Name that Tune". 

Salad Team 

2016 HRPLD's Chef Club Champion!

The Salad group made delicious greens with mandarin oranges & coconut. The soup was an incredible butternut squash. For the Entrée, we had pepper grilled chicken with feta & spinach. For the dessert, we had Cinnamon Phyllo Tulips. The Salad team was crowned to be the HRPLD's Chef Club Champion! It was a wonderful evening, a perfect way to kick off the summer. 

Adopting Human Capital Analytics Workshop – May 25, 2016​

On Wednesday May 25th a number of HRPA London & District members were given the opportunity to learn and grasp a better understanding of the application of Human Capital Analytics.  A review was provided, a number of questions were answered, and those in attendance were able to apply the process to a case study.  Everyone walked away with some new found ideas of how to approach Human Capital Analytics and strategies in how to apply them in their own workplaces​.

Annual Business Meeting (ABM) - May 17, 2016​


2016 Volunteers

On Tuesday, May 17th, HRPA London & District hosted their Annual Business Meeting (ABM) to a sold out crowd at the Highland Country Club. Our chapter president, Roberta Wheeler, discussed what has happened in our local chapter during the 2015/2016 term, what is on the horizon, and the direction of our association as a whole. She introduced our chapter executive, recognized our volunteers, mentors and mentees and congratulated those who have successfully attained one of the HR accreditations (CHRP, CHRL or CHRE).


2016 Mentors and Mentees

This informative presentation was followed by an eye opening and entertaining presentation by Dr. Nick Bontis, in which he discussed the importance of our scarcest resource –our attention –, and the reality of where we spend most of our time. With the unavoidable information bombardment that is upon on, we need to better learn where to focus our attention. Dr. Nick Bontis also discussed the value of our inhabitable intellectual capital and how to best manage this intellectual capital within our organizations.

Nick Bontis 

Dr. Nick Bontis

Thank you to everyone that joined us for this evening full of helpful information, thought provoking ideas, and many laughs.

Leveraging Generational Diversity  – April 19, 2016 ​​

Leveraging-Generational-DiversityOn Tuesday April 19, more than 65 participants had the distinct pleasure of listening to Nora Spinks speak at the Best Western Stonebridge Inn on "Leveraging Generational Diversity". 

Nora was able to educate us and help us scratch the surface on many HR issues that we all face with our multigenerational workplace. Nora’s review of the challenges and opportunities presented with 6 generations in the paid workplace was relevant and compelling. We learned tips to tap into the diversity of Baby Boomers, Trailing Boomers, Gen X, Millennials, Gen I workers, and to prepare to adapt to the newest generation of workers coming up - those most influenced but pop culture, mass media and app technology!  She successfully transferred her knowledge in a light and humorous manner that made the experience quite enjoyable. 

Leveraging-Generational-DiversityWe want to thank Nora for all of her assistance and knowledge.  We welcome you look into the different techniques and information Nora provided, and to contact her to assist your organization today.​

Making Wellness Count – March 31, 2016 ​

Wellness Conference 1  

On the morning of March 31st, 2016 HRPLD hosted a half day conference in collaboration with Sun Life Financial and Ivey; Making Wellness Count. The conference began with Erin Dick, Director, Client Relationships, Health and Wellness, Sun Life Financial, and Dr. Michael J. Rouse, Associate Professor, Ivey Business School at Western University presenting details from The Sun Life-Ivey Canadian Wellness Return on Investment (ROI) Study.  Canada’s first research study of this magnitude providing benchmarks and best practices, with the results to be published in a future issue of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Magazine.

Wellness Conference 2  

Two main statistics to take away from the key note are; The study shows wellness programs save 1.5-1.7 days of absenteeism. As per Stats Can, absenteeism ranges from 4.7-11.2 days per year. Indicating wellness programs provide a 14%-36% savings. 

Wellness Conference 3  

Studies have also shown that it is important to incorporate physical activity throughout the day, just doing it on the weekend does not make up for the lack of it during the week.  The simplest thing to start with is increasing your water intake and standing up more often throughout the day.​

Concurrent Sessions

2015 Sun Life Canadian Health Index, presented by Adria McKay, Director of Business Development, Health & Wellness, Sun Life Financial  and Kevin Press, AVP, Market Insights, Sun Life Financial.  

The results of 2015 Sun Life Canadian Health Index revealed some interesting insights into health perceptions, attitudes, and behaviours.  It revealed that most Canadians are willing to make changes to prevent health issues, and the majority plan to make those changes in the next six months, but over half of Canadians lack the willpower to actually make the changes.   Workplace wellness programs help chip away the barriers that prevent people from taking that next step.  

Canadian Health Index London HRPA (PDF)​

Sticking to It: The Use of the "Group" in the Promotion of Adherence to Workplace Wellness Programs, presented by Shauna Burke, Assistant Professor, School of Health Studies at Western University.  

Studies have shown that 47% of Canadians are not active enough to achieve health benefits, and that the physical activity we do does not counter act the effects of our sedentary life style.  Planning activities that incorporate groups, follow up and smart goals assist with helping employees stick to the program.

Sticking to it - London HRPA (PDF)

Financial Fitness:  Exploring the link between Health & Finances, presented by  Paula Zinken, Workplace Solutions, Sun Life Financial &Naren Daniels, Director or Retirement & Savings, Sun Life Financial.  

Financial stress is one of the leading causes of stress, so is important to incorporate financial wellness into your health and wellness programs.  Sun Life's Workplace Solutions seeks to create this link by providing financial education to employees.   Create presence when communicating your wellness programs to your employees to ensure they are in the know.

Financial Fitness - London HRPA (PDF)

Mindfulness in Organizations, presented by Ellen Choi, PhD Candidate, Organizational Behaviour, Ivey Business School at Western University.  

Attendees were given the opportunity to participate in a couple of mindful practices and reviewed the science behind the benefits of doing so.  A very quick and easy practice to be incorporated into your day, at any time. Mindfulness has been proven to improve performance and productivity. 

Mindfulness - London HRPA (PDF)

​Student 2 Business (S2B) - March 2, 2016​ ​

Student 2 BusinessOnce again, the HRPA London and District Chapter sponsored a successful S2B. With over 600 students and 125 employers registered, the keynote speaker Bobby Umar gave tips on personal branding and networking in a highly entertaining and interactive keynote.  Our own chapter executive members, Andie Camolese, Marwa Salama, Stephen Sesar and Robin Flax provided insight and practical advice on what can set you apart in a competitive job market during the HR panel discussion with excellent moderation by Jessica Brady from AM 980.​ ​

Engagement by the Numbers - February 24th, 2016


Bright and early on Wednesday, February 24th, Mocha Shriners Centre hosted a large crowd of human resources and financial professionals. This year’s partner event with Financial Executives International (FEI) Southwest Ontario chapter was a great success, featuring Valerie Charlebois and Jayna Koria from Mercer as they presented the findings of Mercer’s 2015 Inside Employees’ Minds Survey.​ 

Engagement-by-the-NumbersValerie and Jayna did a great job presenting the surprising findings on what motivates employees, what makes them stay with a company and what makes them leave. The study also relieved the differences in generational priorities and perceptions, as well the changes in employee needs. The presentation provided some tips on how to address these changing demands and satisfy the majority of employee needs. ​Learn more about this fascinating survey on mercer.ca.

​HRPLD Event; Emotional Intelligence in Action, 20+ year member event​ - Jan 11, 2016


On the evening of January 11th, HRPLD hosted its 20+ year membership event at the Highland Country Club.  After enjoying a lovely three course meal and the interaction of 35 members and guests in attendance, Janine Higgins from Western Continuing Studies offered an engaging and enlightening session where participants increased their understanding of Emotional Intelligence.   

The good thing is that through practice you can improve your emotional intelligence, and it typically gets better with age.  You may not be able to control a situation, however you do make the choice as to how you respond to it.  Don’t get high jacked by your amygdala, learn to dim your emotional reaction and use words to describe how you are feeling.

The next HRPLD event on February 24th is a breakfast meeting, FEI Partner event; Engagement by the Numbers: The Transforming Employment Experience.

​Community Engagement for HR Professionals - Nov 26, 2015

On November 26, 2015, HRPA London and District organized a wonderful panel of speakers; Jennifer Tozer volunteer with HRPLD in various roles, Kelly Ziegner from United Way London & Middlesex, Dharshi Lacey from Pillar nonprofit network, and Sean Quigley from Emerging Leaders London, moderated by Megan Walker Executive Director of the London Abused Women's Centre.


The London Ukrainian Centre served as a wonderful venue, large space, and delicious food.  Will have to remember to stop by on a Thursday from 12-5pm to pick up some of their homemade perogies or cabbage rolls soon.

It was a very engaging event allowing for the panel, moderator, and those in attendance to share their thoughts and experiences on "Community Engagement for HR Professionals". Topics such as cultivating your skills set and improving your professional practice, providing you with leadership experience, governance vs hands on, personal opinion vs being a representative, succession planning for boards, and challenges of being on more than one board, were wonderfully discussed.  If you do end up on a Board of Directors, make sure you understand your responsibilities and the liabilities, ask for an orientation to the board.


Some people got involved as volunteers to allow them to learn more about the city, build and strengthen relationships, some were specifically invited, or it was for an organization their family members were a part of or utilizing. Pillar nonprofit network offers workshops and training for those interested in learning more about being on a Board of Directors, and improving your current skills if you are currently on one.

Their webpage also lists organizations that are actively seeking volunteers.

Ultimately the key piece of advice was to find something that you are passionate about, interested in volunteering your time for and that motivates you.  Approach an organization that offers you those things, find out how you can volunteer, be it on a committee or even to be a part of their Board, because your passion, energy, and time will be appreciated.

111515Volunteer Energizer - November 15, 2015


We had our Volunteer Energizer for our wonderful 2015/2016 volunteers at Palasad! They got to learn more about the chapter and about volunteering, as well as meet the executive. The night was full of good food and a chance to show off some bowling skills. Thank you to those that came out! We're looking forward to a great 2015/2016 year!

​2015 Employment Law Conference in partnership w/ Filion Wakely Thorup Angeletti LLP

2015-Employment-Law-ConferenceIt was another insightful, informative, and entertaining Employment Law Half Day Conference!

Lindsay Doyle spoke about of the implications that Social Media can have in a workplace. From staff using twitter in attempts to get drugs delivered to their workplace, to sexist comments being shouted during a news report. If you don’t have a social media policy yet, get one! 

This is one of the most highly attended HRPA London and District Chapter events of the year and always a great day. If you missed this year, you will most defiantly want to attend next year.​

Sobering Thoughts: Hosting Social Function with Alcohol and How to Reduce Your Liability ​​- October 15, 2015:

Sobering Thoughts

On October 15, 2015, HRPA – London and District was happy to once again host Mary Lou Brady, Partner at Siskinds The Law Firm, for a presentation entitled “Sobering Thoughts: Hosting a Social Function with Alcohol and How to Reduce Your Liability”. ​It was HRPA – London and District’s first event in St. Thomas. The St. Thomas-Elgin Public Art Centre served wonderfully as an intimate location for this event, and Yoda’s catering provided everyone with very delicious, customized pasta dishes.Mary Lou spoke to what is an employer’s liability when alcohol is permitted at a work sanctioned event. Ultimately, unless you can do without having alcoholic drinks at the event, then as an employer or social host you could always potentially be liable. A number of precautions you can take are listed on Mary Lou’s blog​​​. Two relevant cases were also referenced. Hunt v. Sutton Group Incentive Realty Inc., 2001 CanLII 28027 and Childs v. Desormeaux, 2003 CanLII 25348. Ultimately, do not let things get out of hand and have a designated staff member monitor the event to ensure everyone’s safety remains a priority.​​

Creating a Culture of Recognition - September 24, 2015

Culture-of-Recognition On September 24, 2015, HRPA – London and District was happy to host Margaret Brown and Rebecca Hoke of McLean& Company for a presentation entitled “ Create a Culture of Recognition: Drive Engagement, Improve Retention and Increase Profitability”. The presentation did an excellent job highlighting the link between recognition and performance.​


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