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DSHRM HR Learn: "What Executives Want from HR: Building Strategic and Collaborative Alliances"
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Executives will share their views on HR and provide insight into what's working and what's not.

When: Wednesday, January 23, 2019
5:00pm - 8:00pm
Where: Shriners Silver Garden Event Center
24350 Southfield Road
Southfield, Michigan  48075
United States
Presenter: James M. Smith, Ph.D., Robert G. Riney and Portia Roberson
Contact: Detroit SHRM
(248) 478-6498

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"What Executives Want from HR: Building Strategic and Collaborative Alliances"

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Human Resources professionals can be most impactful when they partner with their CEO and executive leaders to achieve business results. Knowledge of human resources is necessary, but that’s not enough. Today's HR professionals must have knowledge of their company’s industry and the unique business objectives to help create and drive the key initiatives for success. But now that HR has transitioned from an administrative role to be more collaborative and strategic, how are we doing?  Are we respected by most business leaders, are we making a substantial difference by contributing positively to the bottom line?

Executives from several organizations will share their views on HR and provide insight into what’s working and what’s not…

Participants in the program will gain an understanding of: 

  • How to set and manage their goals and expectations for the HR function in their organizations;
  • The key competencies executives value in HR professionals; and
  • The key initiatives that must be implemented collaboratively with HR.

Participants will also receive constructive advice on what executives would like to see HR professionals and administrators manage and change.


5:00 – 5:40 PM                       Networking & Registration

5:40 – 6:30 PM                       Dinner & Announcements     

6:30 – 8:00 PM                       Presentation


HRCI - Approved for 1.5 Business Credits 

SHRM - Pre-approved for 1.5 Credits




Detroit SHRM Professional Members - $50.00
Detroit SHRM Student Members - $35.00

Non-Members - $75.00


REGISTRATION FEES (after January 18):
Detroit SHRM Professional Members - $60.00
Detroit SHRM Student Members - $45.00

Non-Members - $85.00



Cancellations must be received in writing to by January 18, 2019. Refunds cannot be issued for cancellations received after this date; however, substitutions for another person to attend in your place are gladly accepted (please note that members substituting a non-member may result in a higher registration fee).


Consent to Use Photographic Images: Registration and attendance at, or participation in, Detroit SHRM meetings and other activities constitutes an agreement by the registrant to the use and distribution of the registrant's or attendee's image or voice in photographs, videotapes, electronic reproductions and audiotapes of such events and activities by Detroit SHRM and Meeting Coordinators, Inc.



James M. Smith, Ph.D. - President, Eastern Michigan University


Dr. James M. Smith is the 23rd president of Eastern Michigan University. Dr. Smith is an active leader at Eastern, undertaking many positive strategic initiatives. These include the introduction of several new academic programs in high demand areas; appointment of the President's Commission on Diversity and Inclusion; Implementation of diversity and inclusion training among the University's leadership; further development of the University's Strategic Plan; and key appointments to the University's leadership team.


Smith became an elementary and middle school teacher after earning his Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio in 1979. He would go on to earn a Master of Education, Educational Administration, from Xavier University in Cincinnati and a Doctor of Philosophy, Educational Leadership, from Miami University.


Over the next 28 years, Smith served as an elementary school principal, a teaching fellow and assistant professor at Miami, director of the Experiential Program for Preparing School Principals at Butler University in Indianapolis, and director of the Educational Leadership Program and coordinator of doctoral studies at West Texas A&M University. Additionally, Smith was Vice President for Economic Development at Bowling Green State University. Before coming to EMU, Smith served as President of Northern State University in Aberdeen, South Dakota from 2008 - 2015.


Robert G. Riney, President - Healthcare Operations & Chief Operating Officer, Henry Ford Health System

Bob Riney was appointed Chief Operating Officer of Henry Ford Health System in 2003 and President, Healthcare Operations/Chief Operating Officer in 2017. In this role, Bob oversees all hospital and service operations for the six-hospital health system consisting of more than 60 clinical locations, 30,000 employees and annual revenues of $6 billion. In addition, Bob is responsible for Corporate Information Technology, Corporate Facilities & Security, International Strategies, and the System Chief Nursing Office.

Bob, a graduate of Wayne State University, joined Henry Ford Health System in 1978 and has had the privilege throughout his career to work in almost every business unit in the System. As a result of this rare career track, he has a deep understanding of health system operations and organizational culture and its impact on operating performance. His relationship and negotiation skills, as well as his ability to translate complex challenges into actionable solutions, have served him and Henry Ford Health System well.

Bob has held numerous Henry Ford Health System leadership positions, including: senior vice president and chief administrative officer (2002–2003); senior vice president and chief human resources officer (2000–2002); and vice president of organizational design and effectiveness (1998–2000).

Bob is a passionate contributor to the overall quality of the community as well as his profession, and he is often sought out for input on major community strategic issues. His current board and community roles include: chair, Nemours Foundation – one of the country’s largest foundations; vice chair, National Center for Healthcare Leadership (NCHL); board member, past- chair, Michigan Health & Hospital Association (MHA); board member, Detroit Zoological Society; board member, M1 Rail Transit Authority; board member, The Parade Company; and, board member, Hudson-Webber Foundation.

Bob’s past board and community roles include: board president, Mosaic Youth Theater of Detroit; board member, Wayne State University School of Business Administration; board president/board member, Dominican Healthcare Board; board chair/board member, Detroit Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau; board member, ACCESS; president, American Society for Healthcare Human Resources Administration; chair, Leadership Detroit; and board member, American Hospital Association Commission on Workforce.

Portia Roberson, Chief Executive Officer - Focus: Hope

Portia Roberson Roberson joined Focus: Hope as their Chief Executive Officer in mid-September 2018. Prior to joining Focus: Hope, she spent four years as Group Executive of the City of Detroit’s Civil Rights, Inclusion and Opportunity Department, worked to ensure all major economic developments projects within the city adhere to hiring Detroit-headquartered or Detroit-based businesses, allowing Detroit workers opportunities for employment. During her tenure with the City of Detroit, Portia lead the charge on how Michigan and Detroit-based businesses can work together to enhance local employment. Prior to this position, she served as Corporation Counsel for the Law Department, White House Domestic Policy Council for “Strong Cities, Strong Communities” and Director, Office of Intergovernmental and Public Liaison, under Eric Holder, Attorney General.

Roberson is a well-known public speaker, serving as an on-camera analyst on WDIV’s Flashpoint and Court TV and has extensive volunteer experience throughout the Metro Detroit area, serving as a Board Member for Michigan Political History Society, Habitat for Humanity, ACLU and Delta Manor. She is a member of the State Bar of Michigan and the Wolverine Bar Association. Roberson is a graduate of Cass Technical High School, the University of Michigan Ann Arbor where she majored in English and holds a JD from Wayne State University Law School.

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