The prospect of solid advice from local experts seems to have Employers and HR Professionals filling the seats for the Commerce Concepts seminars. The seminars, which provide education for Employers, HR Managers, and Benefits Coordinators over a gourmet lunch, cover a whole range of topics from utilizing Twitter as a workplace tool, to dealing with employee misconduct.
Now beginning its seventh year, the five scheduled luncheons have become increasingly popular among Portland area professionals, and continue to bring together local business people and top experts in employee relations, legal issues, fiduciary responsibilities, and cost-cutting strategies. Already, registrations for several the 2009 events are more than double the number at the same time last year. “The luncheons offer tools for cutting costs and increasing efficiency, which are certainly extra-popular in the current economy,” said Jed Schlanger, President of The Commerce Company, the organizer and sponsor of the events. In addition to earning HRCI credit, guests who choose to stay 15 minutes past the events’ conclusions can participate in a discussion about the markets and economic conditions with Investment Advisor Representatives from The Commerce Company.
Past attendees speak highly of the seminars. "The presentation over lunch is fantastic," said Allen Hunt, Executive Director of the William Temple House. "They (The Commerce Co.) are aware that most of us are small businesses and can't afford week-long seminars." Linda Bailey, HR Director at Pear Bureau Northwest and participant for the 7th straight year adds, “this is critical information…the stuff HR professionals need to know.”
The series begins on September 17 with Retirement Plans: Costly Mistakes and Essential Solutions, presented by Jeff Bean, Principal, Pension Plan Specialists, PC. On October 1, Investigating And Resolving Alleged Employee Misconduct will be presented by Susan Eggum, Principal, Cosgrave Vergeer Kester LLP. Communicating with Employees: Handbooks, Intranets, even Twitter will be presented by Judy Clark, SPHR®, President, HR Answers, Inc. on October 15. 401(k) Plan Testing: The Never Ending Story, will be presented on October 29 by Paul Hartwig, QKA, Premier Retirement Services, Inc., followed by Cut The Costs, Keep The Benefits: Leveraging Plan Premiums on November 12, presented by Eric Graham, President, Montgomery & Graham.
The presentations are held from 11:30 am to 1 pm in Cheatham Hall of the World Forestry Center. Cost per session is $15 and includes a gourmet lunch and dessert catered by Vibrant Table. Each event offers HR professionals one hour of HRCI credit. Parking is free. The Commerce Company is donating 20% of all registration fees to the Oregon Food Bank.
The Commerce Company (thecommco.com) was founded in Portland in 1995 and provides corporate retirement and investment planning for small to mid-sized businesses throughout the Northwest. An independent registered investment advisor, The Commerce Company also has a wealth management office in Tacoma, Washington.