More than 30 human resources professionals gathered around the table Feb. 7-8 in Glen Allen for discussion on a variety of industry topics. The annual HR Roundtable, hosted by the Virginia, Maryland & Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives, provides an ideal environment for networking and development.

Covering the topics of compliance, employment laws and regulations, retention policies, and the Americans with Disabilities Act this year was Jonathan Sumerall from Hancock, Daniel & Johnson P.C. The group also had a productive discussion regarding marijuana regulations led by attorney Parker Thoeni of Shawe Rosenthal LLP.

Providing the annual update on benefits and their relevance to recruitment and retention were NRECA field representatives Bobby Pesakoff and Mike Haire. Accompanying them was Desiree Dunham, workforce programs manager, who briefly presented about NRECA and other workforce resources.

“Besides the opportunity to collaborate with fellow co-op peers, the Roundtable encouraged engaging discussions packed with valuable perspectives on current HR trends, enhancing our strategic decision-making skills,” says Ashley Hash, human resources director for BARC Electric Cooperative. “Ultimately, these interactions contribute to professional and cooperative growth, networking expansion, and the collective advancement of the Association’s human resources practices.”

Other presenters included Dr. Fafa Baker of Rappahannock Electric Cooperative, who discussed the LEAP Program, and Grace Malcom of Delaware Electric Cooperative, who presented on artificial intelligence and data analytics.

The Association thanks this year’s sponsors of the HR Roundtable: Choptank Electric Cooperative, Delaware Electric Cooperative, NRECA and Utilities Employees Credit Union.

–Report by Jim Robertson, Manager of Member Services, VMDAEC.