Due to health and safety concerns related to the Covid-19 pandemic, we have made the difficult to decision to cancel the 32nd Annual SHRA Conference that was scheduled to take place on November 8-12, 2020 in Yosemite National Park. The location and agenda for our next conference has not yet been finalized, but here’s our most recent conference agenda to offer you a feel for the content and flow of our conference.


Travel to Skamania Lodge

– Air travel to Portland International Airport (PDX)

– Drive to the lodge via a beautiful 45-60 minute drive through Columbia River Gorge.

3:00 – 5:00 PM — COOLWORKS CLINIC and FACETIME – New for 2019! Drop-in any time during this optional pre-conference meetup. If you’ve been curious about any CoolWorks system or if you want to chat about the state of your recruiting union, we’ll be happy to connect one-on-one! Dig into your CoolWorks account in real time and have your questions answered by a CoolWorks Team member. Located In the Library Room above the Lodge Lobby

4:00 PM — CHECK IN begins at Skamania Lodge

6:00 – 7: 30 PM — WELCOME RECEPTION – You’ve had a big day of travel and now it’s time to settle in for the Conference. Join us for a glass of wine and fabulous Skamania Fare to help you find your way and kick off SHRA 2019


7:30 – 8:00 AM — Group Breakfast

8:30 – 9:30 — WELCOME TO SHRA 2019 – opening session!

9:30 – 10:30 — GREAT PLACES and GREAT FACES [People and Culture] Sharing the love with Seasonal HR for doing what we do to help employees embrace this unique lifestyle.- Presented by Joey Rovinsky, The Seasonals

Joey is an owner and project manager with The Seasonals.A summer job opportunity came to me from Ketchikan, Alaska. I accepted without a second thought. It was my first taste of the Seasonal lifestyle. The next summer I brought friends who were looking for the same thing I was: Something better. We found that and more and created a magazine and then a website to help others who are better suited for the Seasonal lifestyle than society’s default setting.”

10:30 – 10:45 AM — Morning Break


Noon — 1:00 PM – Group Lunch


1:30 – 1:45 PM — SKAMANIA PRIMER – Get to know your home for the week and make the most of your time here.

1:45 – 2:00 PM — Afternoon Break

2:00 – 4:45 PM — LEADING THE CHARGE [Strategic Leadership; Training and Development; Employee Engagement] Your title might be HR Manager, but are you actually an HR Leader? In this interactive workshop, Dina will challenge you to think differently and Expect Great Things To Happen! By recalibrating and creating subtle shifts in your communication and people processes, you will not only create dramatic results, you’ll also discover impactful ways to guide your fledgling First Time Managers and Supervisors to Leadership Success. Generate ideas for orientation, goal setting, feedback, “stay interviews”, empowerment and more. – Presented by Dina Cipollaro Beck, FUNdamental Training Solutions.

Dina is a SHRA Alumni and a long term SHRA presenter and partner. With a seasonal HR background at Glacier NP and Sierra at Tahoe, working at Tahoe Community College and an extensive career in Counseling, Training, and Development, Dina brings the right combination of spot-on content and delivery to the Conference. Her energy fills the room as she engages and inspires. Fundamental Training Solutions specializes in innovative and interactive leadership and customer service training.

5:30 – 7:30 PM — SHRA – TABLE OF 40! DINNER WITH A LOCAL TWIST – Portland is known for its craft beer scene and strong cultural trends. We’ll hear from one of the local breweries and understand how they stand out in the crowd with everything they do. Dinner pairings will bring food and drink and culture together in true SHRA Spirit.

7:45 – 8:45 PM VIEWING OF THE DOCUMENTARY “AN AMERICAN ASCENT”[Diversity and Inclusion] By taking on the grueling, 20,310 foot peak of the continent’s biggest mountain, nine African-American climbers set out to shrink this Adventure Gap by building a legacy of inclusion in the outdoor/adventure community. The film addresses often overlooked issues of race and the outdoors as it follows the team up the mountain, chronicling the many challenges of climbing one of the world’s most iconic peaks.


Group Breakfast — 7:00 – 8:00 AM

8:30 – 10:00 AM — EMPLOYMENT LAW UPDATE AND WORKSHOP [Legal Compliance] Whether you’re an HR department of one, a new HR manager or a seasoned HR veteran, there’s always something that “you didn’t see coming”. This session helps strengthen your confidence in managing hot topics and compliance challenges, as well as identifying the to-do list “musts” for the coming season. Mark is familiar with our seasonal world and offers concrete examples to help hone your “whack-a-mole” skills. – Presented by Mark Berry, Davis, Wright, Tremaine, LLC

Mark counsels employers on their most challenging employment situations. He provides practical solutions for employers to achieve their goals, while minimizing legal risks, and a comfortable environment in which to ask questions and gain a better understanding of laws and work-appropriate behaviors. An engaging speaker and trainer, Mark frequently conducts highly acclaimed training programs for lawyers, managers, and HR professionals.

Morning Break — 10:00 – 10:15 AM


Grab and Go Lunch — Noon – 1 PM

12:30 – 6:30 PMFULL AFTERNOON OF SHRA ADVENTURES Skamania is THE perfect place to spread your wings and fly – literally and figuratively! We’ll be working with Skamania Lodge Adventures to get you out on the Aerial Challenge Course, Zipline through the trees in the Heart of the Columbia River Gorge, and channel your inner Lumberjack while trying your hand at Axe Throwing (we guarantee this is the only HR conference with this activity as a highlight!). Bring your swimming suits for the lap pool and the hot tub, your gear for the fitness trail, hiking and/or golf. Stress relief? Fresh air? Making memories? Doing something that scares you? We’ve got your back.

Group Dinner — 7:00 – 8:30 PM

8:30 PM +SHRA FAMILY GAME NIGHT – Keep your frolicking-mojo moving or find a new fave with SHRAPoker (there’s a long tradition here!), Mexican Train Dominoes, Snerts, and Karaoke


Group Breakfast — 7:00 – 8:00 AM

8:30 – 11:00 AM — HR THINK SHOP [Strategic Leadership; Recruiting and Retention; Training and Development] – Problems + People + ThinkShop = Solutions. Karen will custom design this Think Shop to help us zero in on challenges we face in our seasonal HR world. When teams take the time to ask the right questions and to think about different answers, they arrive at the best solutions together. We’re compiling a list of some of the top red button issues you are facing, and she’ll help us see what’s next. – Presented by Karen Grosz, Canvas Creek Team Building

Karen Grosz has been described as a dynamo and catalyst for change.  Growing up near Mt. Rushmore gave Karen a passion for high ideals, living in Alaska for 25 years, and now Montana, have given Karen a frontier spirit full of can do, will do, and let’s do it together energy. 

Morning Break — 11:00 – 11:15 AM 

11:15 – 12:15 AM — WE’LL LEAVE THE LIGHT ON FOR YOU – SEASONAL RESIDENCE LIFE CONSIDERATIONS [Diversity and Inclusion; Retention; Housing] – Let’s face it – having 24/7 employees – eating, sleeping, breathing, living, working, recreating together – is a blessing and a curse. Many of us come into our role with solid HR skills, but hello, opening a dorm with 12 feet of snow outside? room assignments? roommate agreements? gender neutral bathrooms? training residence life staff? When did I sign up for this?? Julia will guide us with best practices and resources galore. – Presented by Julia Nicolson, Assistant Director of Residence Life, Reed College

 Julia leads the Residence Life Department’s recruitment and on-boarding for professional and student staff at Reed College in Portland.

Group Lunch – Noon – 1:00 PM 


 1:30 – 2:15 PM – INSTAGRAM or INSHRAGRAM? Maybe the photo you see on social media is reality or maybe it’s #fakenews. Imagine what snapshot you’d share if asked for your best – and your worst – days of summer. We’ll be polling SHRA attendees to help tell the real untold tales of Seasonal HR. Don’t worry – you’re among real friends and we’re in this together, after all.

2:15 – 2:30 PM — Afternoon Break

2:30 – 4:30 PM – BE A ZEBRA! [Strategic Leadership; Training and Development] During Interviews, Orientation, or a simple “How’s your day going?” conversation – are you actively engaged in listening and responding with “Shohsin”? Shoshin is a word meaning beginner’s mind. It refers to having an attitude of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconceptions, just as a beginner would. It’s time to break out of the been there / done that mindset and Katie will introduce you to Basic Theater Improvisation Techniques which will enhance your ability to keep all rehearsed lines onstage and out of the work environment. Improvisation will help sharpen your listening and response skills when interacting with employees and co-workers. – Presented by Katie Mangett, Content Development Specialist, Yellowstone National Park Lodges

Katie has an extensive history including Hospitality Industry Training and Development, Theatre, Teaching and Experiential Education Coordinator at Johnson and Wales University. Her 2019 summer was spent on the front lines of seasonal orientation and training in Yellowstone, so she’s up to date on current peoples, trends and tales of woe – or tales of “Whoa!”

6:00 – 7:00 PM TRADITIONAL SHRA GIFT EXCHANGE and CELEBRATION Bring along a gift item from your property or local area valued at ~$20. You’ll take a chance with what you might end up with in this wacky exchange, but we promise you’ll have many laughs in the process!



Depart from Skamania Lodge – no formal conference activities.

“The annual SHRA conference is a “must-attend event” for any Seasonal HR professional! The three-day conference provides outstanding opportunities for education, networking, and fun in iconic locations with peers from across the nation who face the same HR challenges you do. The conference is dynamic and interactive, and skillfully helps both new and old attendees feel part of the SHRA family – 2019 was my 10th SHRA! I’m anxious to find out where the next destination will be and am looking forward to attending many more events in the coming years!” – Dax M.