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PIHRA and Burnham Benefits: Finding Community in the HR World

The Professionals In Human Resources Association (PIHRA) has played an integral part in Burnham’s growth in the human resources industry. For years, our staff has been attending PIHRA’s events throughout California, joining and leading at local chapter meet-ups and networking with passionate human resources professionals to build strong, trusted relationships as we grow within the industry together. 

Originally founded in 1944, PIHRA’s mission is “to engage, elevate and serve the California human resource community through innovative programming, professional development, and high-impact networking opportunities.” With 17 professional chapters, volunteer opportunities, and engaging events happening every week, they are easily one of the most resourceful organizations for any HR professional. 

PIHRA and Burnham Benefits

Burnham’s Vice President and Managing Director, Nathan Ackeret, has served on the Board of Directors for PIHRA Southern California for 2016-2018 as the Chairman for the PIHRA Los Angeles chapter. During that time Nathan attended PIHRA LA monthly meetings and mixers regularly, as well as the annual Legal Update Conferences and the annual CA HR Conference. Nathan recalls this time of involvement as critical for his networking opportunities, stating “Being involved on the board and attending meetings regularly offers an opportunity to serve and support the local HR community, develop deeper business and friendship relationships, understand HR’s challenges and needs, and stay in touch with the HR profession.”  

The yearly California HR Conference is the pinnacle of their conferences, giving professionals an opportunity to discover everything needed to excel in the world of human resources and facilitates conversations about navigating California’s notoriously complex regulations so that every professional can leave the event eager to elevate their position in their organization. At the CAHR 2019 event, there were 2700 attendees with a whopping 70+ speakers presented on every crucial HR matter: HR Compliance, California Employment Law, Business & HR Strategy, Talent Management, Global HR, Total Rewards, Professional Development, Nonprofit HR, and the CHRO function. 

“When Burnham supports PIHRA, it’s representing Burnham’s true purpose – promoting wellness through meaningful connections in the human resources industry.”

This conference is a pinnacle event in the California HR industry because it allows professionals to see the latest HR products and solutions from more than 170 exhibitors, offering everything from applicant tracking technologies and forecasting and management software to wellness programs and screening and assessment tools. This lets the professionals interact with the future of human resources technology in a way to prepare them and educate them for what’s ahead for the HR landscape.

Nathan continues about the importance of PIHRA’s events, “The conferences offer touchpoint opportunities to be in contact with both clients and prospective clients and to gain additional HR knowledge. The conferences create an excellent branding opportunity for Burnham within the business community, including the broker community and future opportunities to recruit great talent we meet through these conferences.”

The greatest strength in developing such a solid relationship with PIHRA, as Burnham has, is the opportunity to bond with the very individuals and organizations that would serve as inspiring partners. Burnham Consultant, Merrell Botello, is on the PIHRA Riverside chapter board as Program Co-Chair and finds that PIHRA has given HR professionals a breath of fresh air when it comes to unique industry events. “One of the greatest parts of participating at PIHRA events is that you can easily network with the people that are within your community. The different chapters and interesting events always bring fresh eyes and unique tools to relevant subjects we’re all facing in the industry.”

PIHRA and the HR Landscape

What makes PIHRA different from other HR industry organizations? Merrell continues, “PIHRA delivers real HR. When you go to these events, they aren’t afraid of provocative subjects because that’s the truth of what our industry is facing. Breaking down the rules and systems with exciting opinions and topics. This allows HR professionals to talk and create innovative programs.” Educating professionals as a unified community about “real HR”- in a holistic sense has now become a touchstone element for PIHRA. PIHRA Riverside will be hosting an upcoming event on March 5th titled “#RealHR-Riverside – Who Cares About HR?”. This topic is vital for everyone in the workforce because it acknowledges that in such a high-stress career, it is critical that you take care of yourself so that you can continue effectively caring for others. Attendees will learn about brain processes that impact professional effectiveness, exploring ways to interrupt negative thinking patterns, identifying ways to maintain mental health, and more. 

So, for HR professionals looking to grow their book of business while also bettering themselves through an authentic and well-established team of fellow professionals, joining PIHRA is a no-brainer. Not only do you get to expand your knowledge about issues facing the industry and add to your toolbox of resources, but you also get to build deep bonds with experts, vendors, and carriers that will benefit your business dealings in the long run. With PIHRA, it’s not a “one man for themselves” mentality, as felt in many other sterile conferences and organizations. The PIHRA team wins together by learning and growing together, and that is the differentiator.

When asked what the goal is for Burnham when attending PIHRA events, Merrell said “PIHRA events revolve around genuine community building in order to find key solutions to the issues we all face in our line of work. At PIHRA events, I truly enjoy serving as the connective tissue that links brokers, carriers, and sponsors to one another. By doing this, it helps provide the right opportunities to the right people, and that’s what this community is all about. When Burnham supports PIHRA, it’s representing Burnham’s true purpose – promoting wellness through meaningful connections in the human resources industry.”

Now is the perfect time to get involved with PIHRA! PIHRA Riverside is currently offering the 2020 PIHRA VIP Pass! Offer only good for Riverside meetings and socials.

With the 2020 PIHRA Riverside VIP Pass, you can receive access to ALL PIHRA meetings and networking mixers for one low price for the year! Chapters with VIP Pass include Coachella Valley, Gateway Cities, North Orange County, Pasadena, Riverside, South Bay, and South Orange County. For more information, please visit their site

To sign up TODAY to attend the “#RealHR-Riverside – Who Cares About HR?” Event on March 5th, visit this link to sign up for the event.


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