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On behalf of UPHRA and the Superiorland Chapter of SHRM, we are pleased to present the 16th annual H.R. Fall Forum to be held on Friday, September 13 at the Island Resort and Casino in Harris, MI. The fall Forum has become the U.P.'s premier H.R. training event with a variety of information needed by any size organization in any field. Plan now to attend--this is an event you can't afford to miss.


Keynote Speakers

John Zorbini has spent his career helping organizations understand the strategic link between effectively managed human capital and successful business results. John’s unique background and experiences as a senior executive, professional speaker and certified leadership coach, combined with his collaborative and results-focused approach, makes him ideal to consult, coach and facilitate all levels of leadership. For 30 years, John held various leadership roles for three of Wisconsin’s largest employers, spending 25 of those years in the Chief Human Resources Officer position. Having an intimate understanding of the complexities and daily challenges of senior-level leaders has enhanced his ability to quickly relate to and strengthen the leadership capabilities of those he coaches. As a professional speaker, John has delivered hundreds of workshops and presentations and continues to be a much-in-demand facilitator and speaker. Additionally, John has over 20 years of university-level teaching experience as an Assistant or Adjunct Professor at Marquette, Concordia, Cardinal Stritch and Mount Mary Universities, where he taught courses in Business and Communications. John received his bachelor’s degree from West Liberty University and his master’s degree from Marquette University. He completed his Fellowship for Healthcare Executives at the Healthcare Advisory Board in Washington, D.C. He has served as a board leader or member for numerous governmental agencies, civic groups and not-for-profit organizations, including Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s Council for College & Workforce Readiness and the Wisconsin Hospital Association’s Workforce Development Council. He currently serves as Chairman of the Washington County Ethics Board and as an advisor to numerous professional, educational, and community organizations.


Henry Reyna is an experienced security consultant, master firearms trainer, and self-defense instructor who’s passionate about giving people the training and tools they need to protect themselves, their families, and their businesses from those who would do them harm. He’s a retired law enforcement officer and former police instructor of Pressure Points and Control Tactics (PPCT), edged weapon defense, ground fighting, and firearms. As a result, he’s currently the most active NRA firearms instructor in the Great Lakes Bay Region—having trained more than 12,000 students in his career.

As a 31-year veteran of the Saginaw Township Department, Reyna also investigated homicides, burglaries, armed robberies, and sexual assaults. He’s a certified crime prevention specialist trained in the use of lighting, alarms, and surveillance cameras—earning several commendations for outstanding performance in solving home burglaries, along with the Chief's Commendation for Outstanding Performance in the crime prevention unit.

Business owners now look to Reyna to help them keep their employees and customers safe, while also reducing their vulnerabilities and limiting their liability exposure. His clients range from multi-national Fortune 500 companies to small businesses, as well as churches, schools, clubs, and other nonprofit organizations.

In 2008, he formed Secure Solution LLC to offer courses throughout Mid-Michigan on self-defense, concealed weapons and advanced handgun training, and surviving an active shooter and other acts of violence. He also conducts security assessments and creates customized security training programs—including robbery prevention and response, church security training, and conflict resolution through verbal de-escalation.

His engaging and practical presentations on all of these subjects and more make him a sought-after speaker throughout Michigan.


Cassie Sobelton is a motivational, inspirational and corporate Detroit-based speaker focused on health, wellness and balance. She is currently on her 2016 Speaking + Book Tour, Back to Balance, where she shares her personal journey to achieving wellness, easy "health upgrades", and her tried-and-true tips and tricks for living a more balanced life.

Cassie's unique background in the corporate wellness industry and  her own personal health struggles allow her to connect with both executives and employees alike. Her platform is one of wellness - both inside and outside of the workplace - providing insight on and guidance for living a more balanced life. 

In Cassie's current talk, Back to Balance, she shares her personal journey to health and wellness. As a career-driven professional, Cassie was working over 60 hours a week, neglecting her body and overall wellbeing. A serious medical condition was the wake-up call she needed to start making health a priority.

After a decade of research, education, trial-and-error, Cassie shares valuable information, resources, health upgrades and philosophies that allow individuals to take control of their lives and find balance in Mind, Body and Spirit. 

Breakout Session Presenters

Robert Simandl,
Esq., CPA, Shareholder- vonBriessen & Roper, s.c.

Bob Simandl has over 30 years of experience advising clients on a wide range of employee benefit, labor and employment law issues. This experience enables Bob to advise clients on human resources (HR) law issues taking into consideration all areas of opportunity and vulnerability, including the litigation of HR law-based claims. He has extensive experience in advising employers in employee benefit plan design, issues associated with ill and injured workers, labor negotiations, and multi-employer health and welfare plan and pension plan vulnerability and compliance.

Bob counsels employers on all aspects of workplace compliance including hiring, disciplining and terminating employees, accommodation obligations, wage and hour issues, affirmative action, discrimination complaints, non-competition agreements and employee handbook design and development. He has represented employers before the federal district courts, National Labor Relations Board, 7th Circuit Court of Appeals and a number of administrative agencies and tribunals, including the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission, Wisconsin Equal Rights Division and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

He works with employers to develop standard procedures and forms for FMLA compliance, factoring in the obligations of the employers under the Americans with Disabilities Act and workers’ compensation laws. He also counsels employers on disability discrimination and accommodation concerns. Bob served as an advisor to several legislators in drafting the federal Family and Medical Leave Act and served on the Wisconsin Family and Medical Leave Task Force as an appointee by the Wisconsin Governor.

Bob assists employers in addressing benefits issues for employees and retirees including multi-employer pension plan withdrawal liability analysis, evaluation, contract planning and contesting of assessments. He counsels employers during organizing campaigns and strikes and represents employers in grievance arbitrations and proceedings before the National Labor Relations Board. He has served as chief spokesperson for numerous labor contract negotiations.

Bob is a member of the State Bar of Wisconsin and is also a certified public accountant. He is the co-author of “The COBRA Guide: COBRA Compliance for Wisconsin Employers” (2000) and author of the “Family and Medical Leave Law Compliance Manual” (1993). He is a frequent speaker on the FMLA, ADA and ERISA.


Shawn Premer
CHRO- Consumers Credit Union and Director-Michigan SHRM

Shawn holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Northwood University and an MBA with a focus in Global Business Studies from Cornerstone University. Shawn also holds SPHR, SHRM-SCP, and Certified Corporate Wellness Specialist (CCWS) certifications. A wife of 25 years and a mother of three, Shawn is also an avid runner and yogi. In 2016 she was honored as Michigan’s Top HR Professional by the Michigan Council of SHRM. She also serves as the Director of the Michigan Chapter of Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM), the board of Southwest Michigan First, the advisory board for Kalamazoo Valley Community College’s Groves Facility, and chairs the board of Senior Services of Southwest Michigan. In addition to the organizations listed above Shawn also founded and chairs the Kalamazoo Area Wellness Networking group, which includes over 20 area organizations who come together to share wellness best practices.   


Laura Katers Reilly
Attorney at Law at Kendricks, Bordeau, Keefe, Seavoy & Larsen, PC

Laura is a Marquette native. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan and her law degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School where she served as editor-in-chief of the Wisconsin Law Review. Laura maintains her Wisconsin licensure as a member of the State Bar of Wisconsin.

Laura serves as a management representative on the board of the U.P. Labor-Management Council and is active in other local and civic organizations. She has also been named as a "Rising Star" in Michigan Super Lawyers.  She has a general practice with an emphasis on management-side labor and employment law, business law, real estate, and estate planning.


Susan Douglas MacGregor
Attorney at Kitch Attorneys & Counselors

Susan MacGregor is head of the Kitch Law Firm office in Marquette, MI.  She works in a variety of different practice areas, including health care, medical malpractice defense, employment law, governmental tort liability and workers’ compensation.  Prior to joining the Kitch firm, Ms. MacGregor founded the Marquette office of another Michigan firm and worked as a career law clerk in the U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan.

Ms. MacGregor is licensed to practice law in Michigan and the U.S. District Courts of Eastern and Western Districts of Michigan and the U.S. Court of Appeals Sixth Circuit. In addition to her distinguished legal practice, Ms. MacGregor is involved in various professional organizations.  She has also served as an adjunct faculty member of Northern Michigan University and the Michigan Technical Education Center (M-TEC), and is a frequent contributor to “Upper Peninsula Business Today”.

Ms. MacGregor is AV® Peer Review Rated by LexisNexis/Martindale-Hubbell.  The AV Peer Review rating is the highest rating allowed.  It attests to a lawyer’s legal ability and professional ethics, and reflects the confidential opinions of the Bar and the Judiciary.

Ms. MacGregor received her J.D., cum laude, from the Valparaiso University School of Law.  She earned a Bachelor of Science, magna cum laude, from Ferris State University.  She also earned a Certificate from the International Association of Defense Counsel Trial Academy in Boulder, Colorado.

Rick Popp
Management Consultant, HR Executive, Community Leader

After nearly 30 years in a variety of positions in Human Resources at Ford Motor Company, multiple board appointments/roles, and several community service projects, Rick Popp has recently started a management consulting company to continue serving others through his passion for people, organizations, teams, and individual performance. His expertise and focus of his new business is in unleashing the potential of organizations, teams, and individuals through innovative organization design, dynamic facilitation, and performance coaching. For more information on Rick’s new business, go to

Prior to his retirement from Ford Motor Company, Rick was most recently the Executive Director of Human Resources for Ford North America. In that role, Rick was a member of the senior leadership for Ford North America and the global HR leadership teams. He was responsible for HR Business Operations, which included individual, organization, and team coaching & capability development; driving culture; organization design; performance management; succession planning; compensation planning; targeted executive recruiting; and related responsibilities. Rick played a pivotal role with the Ford North America leadership team in transforming how Ford operates, implementing agile product business teams, breaking down functional and other deep cultural barriers, and producing significantly improved business results in the market. Prior to his final position at Ford, Rick was responsible for oversight of the in-market Human Resources functions in Asia Pacific, Europe/ME&A, South America, and North America markets, as well as HR for Lincoln, Autonomous Vehicles, Team Edison (Electrification) and global Marketing, Sales, & Service.

Mary Feurerbach, MBA, PHR, SHRM-CP, Certified Veteran Inclusion Captain

Mary is an experienced Benefits Administrator with a over fifteen years of demonstrated work history in the Human Resource field with ten years in the hospitality industry. Skilled in Employee Benefits Design, Personnel Management and Policy Development.

Outside of her paid position, Mary has been an active volunteer with the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) for over ten years. She has served as President of her local chapter and in her most recent role serves as Workforce Readiness Chair for the SHRM state chapter in Michigan, MISHRM. In this role, she is a certified SHRM Foundation Inclusion Captain for Veteran Hiring. 

Mary has a Bachelor of Business Administration from Western Michigan University and a Masters of Business Administration from Baker College, she holds professional certifications from SHRM and the HR Certification Institute. 

Stephen Gillotte  Employment Counselor
GCDF WD- Veterans' Employment Services, Michigan Talent Investment Agency. 

Stephen Gillotte has spent the last 22 years in workforce development and the past 20 years working exclusively with veterans. Stephen is currently the Intensive Services Coordinator for the State of
Michigan, Talent Investment Agency, Veterans’ Employment Services. Acting as a liaison between the VA’s Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors statewide and the State of Michigan’s Veterans Career
Advisors, he ensures that veterans utilizing their vocational rehabilitation and employment benefits are receiving the proper services and direction.

Stephen serves as the Central Upper Peninsula Chair and Employment Committee Chair for the Upper Peninsula Veterans Community Action Team (UP VCAT), as a resource team member for Accelerate UP, a community project that helps create successful entrepreneurs, while expanding and creating businesses in Marquette County, and as a committee member of the Marquette Alger Regional Education Service Agency’s Career Technical Education (CTE) program. Stephen has a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Lake Superior State University, he is a Michigan Registered Social Service Technician, and a Certified Global Career Development Facilitator.

Patrick Greeley
Attorney at Law at Kendricks, Bordeau, Keefe, Seavoy & Larsen, PC

Patrick grew up in Marquette.  He received his undergraduate degree from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin, and law degree from Marquette University Law School in Milwaukee.  During law school, Patrick was editor-in-chief of the Marquette Law Review and worked two years as lead research assistant for the dean.  He returns to the Upper Peninsula having gained experience as an associate in a large Milwaukee-based law firm.

Patrick maintains his Wisconsin licensure as a member of the State Bar of Wisconsin.  Patrick has a general practice with an emphasis on civil litigation, as well as a background in banking, collections, and real estate.

Conference Program

Click below to download the full conference agenda/program

Conference Program


Registration fees are $65 for UPHRA members and $85 for non-UPHRA members in advance and $100 the day of the conference.  The cost includes a light continental breakfast, lunch, education sessions and conference materials. Advance registration will close on Monday, September 9 at 11:59 p.m.

Golf Outing/Welcome Reception

U.P. Fall Forum registrants, sponsors and presenters are encouraged to arrive the day before to attend a fun and casual golf outing sponsored by EHIM. Tee times will begin at 1:00 pm.  All skill levels are encouraged to participate and rentals are available if needed

Not able to make it in time to golf? Please consider attending the welcome reception at the Sweetgrass stater shack located directly behind the Island Resort and Casino conference center from 6:30-8:30 pm. Appetizers and cocktails will be served. 

This event is graciously sponsored by EHIM.

Please register below for the Golf Outing and/or Welcome Reception:

Golf Outing/Welcome Reception Registration


Hotel Room Rates

Reserve a room at the Island Resort and Casino by August 29 to receive the discounted rate of $90.95 for Thursday night and $128.01 for Friday night.  When making the reservation, please refer to block #1351DR- UPHRA Fall Forum.

Day of Details

  • Not sure how to get to the Island Resort and Casino? Click here.
  • Click here for a map of the convention center
  • Registration begins at 9:00 a.m. and the event kicks off promptly at 9:30 a.m. 
  • Coffee, tea and breakfast goodies will be available during registration
  • Be sure to bring plenty of business cards and visit our exhibitors as they will be raffling off an assortment of amazing prizes.  Additionally, have each exhibitor sign off on the card you receive at registration for a chance to win our GRAND DOOR PRIZE!
  • The Island Resort and Casino runs on EST though it technically lies in the Central Time Zone.  Therefore, be wary of relying on your cell phone (or other devices which may convert automatically) as a watch!

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