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October 22, 2017 - October 25, 2017
All Day
Time Details:
Registration Desk Opens on Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017 at 2:00pm
Bloomington-Normal Marriott Hotel & Conference Center
201 Broadway Ave
Normal, IL 61761
2017 Annual Conference Logo
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39th IPELRA Annual Conference

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Find #IPELRA17 on Twitter!

To view photos of this event, please visit our online photo album

2017 Annual Conference Brochure We are excited to kick off our Conference on Monday morning with two exceptional plenary sessions: Our Keynote Speaker, State Representative and GOP Floor Leader -- Steve Andersson -- will offer a presentation on: 7 Steps to Turn Adversaries into Allies; followed by a workshop on Helping People Know When it’s Time to Leave conducted by Douglas Duckett (Duckett Law Firm). On Tuesday morning, Robert J. Smith, Jr. (IPELRA General Counsel and Partner, Clark Baird Smith LLP) will present a plenary session on An Update on Labor Trends in Illinois.

We are again presenting a Sunday afternoon Pre-Conference Workshop (at no extra charge to Conference registrants) on FMCS Mediation Skills conducted by Rosa Tiscareno (FMCS). And … as in past years, the 2017 Conference features an NPELRA Academy on Sunday; this year Academy II: The Grievance Arbitration Process. We are also excited to announce that we will again be offering the CLRP Exam following the close of the Conference on Wednesday. And ... don’t miss the President’s Welcome Reception on Sunday night, as well as the other networking opportunities throughout the three-day Conference.

  • Registration has ended.
  • NPELRA's Academy II: The Grievance Arbitration Process training on October 22nd, requires a separate registration and registration fee. Registration has ended.
  • The CLRP® Examination will take place on October 25th. This exam is only being offered one time in 2017 and is taking place at our conference! Registration has ended.


Bloomington-Normal Marriott Hotel & Conference Center
201 Broadway Ave
Normal, IL 61761


Attendee materials and session handouts are available for review, download, and/or printing. Just click on the links in the lists below and your document will appear in a separate window. NOTE: Guidebook and session handouts require a password, which will be distributed to all Conference registrants via email on October 13, 2017.

Conference materials are also available on Guidebook via smart phones, tablets or computers (password/passphrase required).

  • To get the Guidebook app on your phone -- visit from your phone's browser.  Follow the instructions to install the app on your phone.  Once the app is installed, enter the passphrase that was emailed to you to get the 2017 IPELRA Annual Training Conference Guide.
  • To access the 2017 Conference Guide on your computer or tablet -- go to and enter the passphrase that was emailed to you.

If you have misplaced your password/passphrase, please contact Debi Stensland at the IPELRA office ( or 847-378-7711).

Attendee Materials:


Session Handouts:
If you cannot find a presentation or handout, please check back. We are updating materials as they become available.

Day/Time Topic   Presenter(s)
SUNDAY 10/22/17

2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Pre-Conference Workshop: FMCS Mediation Skills   Rosa M. Tiscareno (Commissioner, FMCS)



MONDAY 10/23/17
9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. 7 Steps to Turn Adversaries Into Allies   Steve Andersson, IL State Representative
  This session has no handouts.    
10:45 a.m. – Noon
Dealing With Problem Employees: Helping People Know When It’s Time to Leave   Douglas Duckett, Duckett Law Firm



1:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. - Concurrent Sessions    

  Five Things to Consider Before Conducting an Internal Investigation   James Sullivan, Sikich


  Your Well-Being Matters!   Ruth Donahue & Christopher Goldsmith, Segal Company
  Much Smarter Bargaining: Tips & Strategies   Benjamin E. Gehrt, Clark Baird Smith LLP
3:00 p.m. – 4:15 p.m. - Concurrent Sessions    
  FOIA – AAGGHH! (The Dark Side)   Keri-Lyn Krafthefer, Ancel Glink
  It May be Time to Evaluate Your Onboarding and Offboarding Programs   Joy Duce, Sikich
  presentation handout      
  Joint Labor Management Healthcare Committees – “Taking Healthcare Out of Bargaining”   Stephanie Barton, City of Springfield;
Ed Hopkins and Janet Tomlins, City of Peoria
  presentation handout 1 handout 2    
TUESDAY 10/24/17
9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. An Update on Labor Trends in Illinois   Robert J. Smith, Jr., Clark Baird Smith LLP
10:45 a.m. – Noon: - Concurrent Sessions    
  Grievance Arbitration: Strategies for Improving Your Chances   Lisa R. Callaway, Engler, Callaway, Baasten & Sraga
  EEOC & State Agency Update   Carlos Arevalo, SmithAmundsen LLC
1:15 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. - Concurrent Sessions    
  Blurred Lines: Off Duty Conduct & Social Media   Thomas M. Melody, Jason A. Guisinger, and Erin K. Walsh, Klein, Thorpe and Jenkins, Ltd.
  How HR, Labor Relations & Legal Can Be a Partner to the Rest of the Organization   Jill D. Leka, Clark Baird Smith LLP
  Healthcare Challenges Facing Public Sector Employers in 2018 … and Beyond!!   Mike Wojcik, The Horton Group
  Handouts will be distributed at Conference.  
2:45 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. - Concurrent Sessions    
  Managing Employee Leaves   Amy Moor Gaylord, Franczek Radelet PC
  Practical Advice for Maintaining a Harassment-Free Workplace   Susan Glover, Robbins Schwartz
  presentation outline      
  Preparing to Testify in a Deposition   Kelly A. Coyle and Paul A. Denham, Clark Baird Smith LLP
WEDNESDAY 10/25/17
9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Emerging Trends in Human Resources   Wendy Bednarek, City of Batavia; DeSha Kalmar, City of Lake Forest; and Ioana Ardelean, Village of Itasca
10:45 a.m. – Noon Employment Law Update   Kelly Hayden, Management Association