October Master Series

 Registration is closed for this event
MASTER SERIES Transform Your Thinking: Community Resources for Diversity in Hiring Tuesday, October 15, 2019 1:15 PM – 4:45 PM ***Registration for Master Series Only***


***Recertification Units are Pending***

Workplace diversity and inclusion is a top priority for HR professionals. Diversity hiring is hiring based on merit with special care taken to ensure procedures are free from biases related to a candidate’s age, race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, and other personal characteristics that are unrelated to their job performance.


In the United States, many organizations follow the Federal EEOC (U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) guidelines. Confusion over diversity hiring sometimes lies in the mistaken perception that the goal of diversity recruitment is to increase workplace diversity for the sake of diversity. The goal of diversity hiring is to identify and remove potential biases in sourcing, screening, and shortlisting candidates.

The diversity discussion begins with the October luncheon speakers sharing the experience of Restoration Pizza in their partnership with community organizations that provide for the employment of differently-abled individuals and continues in the HRMA Master Series with speakers from three distinct organizations who share the community services they each provide and employment, inclusion and challenges faced by those served by the respective organizations.

Understanding How Veterans Bring Value to Your Organization: How You Can Easily Integrate Hiring Practices for This Highly-Skilled Workforce

Bobby Ehrig, Chief Executive Officer, NM Veterans Integration Center (NMVIC), http://nmvic.org/volunteer.html


Bobby Ehrig is the Chief Executive Officer of the NM Veterans Integration Center. He is a retired Army Master Sergeant of 17 years, and combat wounded Veteran of the Iraq War, Bobby has experienced diversity on a level that many will never understand. Using knowledge gained working in over 11 different countries, teaching and training thousands who had different cultural, social and language backgrounds, Bobby has adapted to society and helped hundreds of Veterans and companies work collectively to unify staff and look beyond social norms and differences. As the CEO of the Veterans Integration Centers (VIC), one of the only nonprofits in NM that helps literally and at-risk homeless Veteran families with housing and other services, Bobby has used over a decade of experience in business to create a working environment where trauma, compassion fatigue and the stress of the workplace has enabled staff to support each other regardless of their differences or the daily grind.

Bobby speaks regularly to national audiences on topics addressing new opportunities for growth, overcoming obstacles in the face of failure, and how to achieve greatness regardless of your barriers or trauma.



Many organizations have Veterans in the workforce, but don’t know it. They are some of the most trained and disciplined employees that can improve any company and its culture. By understanding the Veteran community, the challenges they face with reintegration (some may have misnomers about their problems), and what can be easily done to improve your own hiring practices, you will see the value of hiring Veterans and how your company can honor their service while improving your bottom line.


The mission of the NM Veterans Integration Center is to enable Veterans and their families to achieve stable housing, financial security and a renewed sense of community. Since 2005, the Veterans Integration Center (VIC®) has supported over 12,000 Veterans and their families throughout New Mexico. With a primary focus on ending Veteran homelessness, the VIC is responsive to all Veteran needs and helping our nation’s Heroes and their families, from every generation, find resources and services to meet those unique needs. The VIC serves over 450 Veteran families each year through a multitude of programs and housing services including Emergency, Transitional and Rapid Re-Housing models that enable a Veteran, and their family, to end the cycle of homelessness by moving toward sustainability and independence. The VIC also gives back by supporting over 1100 needy families in the community with our Food Pantry providing over 87,000 pounds of food annually to impoverished families.


Learning Objectives:

  • Understand who is a Veteran and the barriers they face in reintegration with society and the workforce
  • Learn how to identify Veterans in your organization and the value their training and experience can bring to your company


  • Develop strategies to create a Veteran-friendly hiring program that will improve your company’s bottom line

Second Chances: The Recently Released Entering the Workforce


Gary Mares, Peer Support Worker, Best Chance, http://bestchancenm.org/


Gary Mares is a Peer Support Worker at Best Chance. While in prison, Gary was trained by Project Echo as a Peer Educator to facilitate incarcerated men on community health topics including hepatitis C and addiction. Project Echo provided him with hope and a new outlook for life outside the walls, and he was able to rejoin society and give back to his community.

Mr. Mares was released from prison on November 20th, 2018. In January of 2019 he enrolled at Central New Mexico Community College to obtain a certificate as a Community Health Worker (CHW). In August he completed the CHW program and he is awaiting state certification. Mr. Mares also recently completed training through the State of New Mexico Office of Peer Recovery and Enhancement (OPRE), is awaiting state certification as a Certified Peer Support Worker (CPSW).

In January 2019 Gary started a position as a Peer Support Worker at Best Chance, a peer-led nonprofit serving men recently released from prison in the Albuquerque area with material support, support groups, and case management. He is currently enrolled at CNM to obtain a certificate as a substance abuse and mental health counselor and an Associates Degree in Social Work.

Best Chance is a peer-led nonprofit serving recently released men in the Albuquerque area with material support, support groups, and case management. Services are tailored to the individual to alleviate stress during the initial transition from prison and provide individuals with resources to fulfill basic needs. A pressing concern is establishing a stream of income to be self-sufficient and fulfill conditions of supervision.

A key piece of transition planning emphasized by Best Chance’s Peer Support Workers (PSW’s) is assisting recently released participants in finding employment. Individuals often face significant challenges in entering the workforce, and typically have little employment history and underdeveloped skills and etiquette for gaining and keeping employment. Best Chance PSW’s plan each participant’s path to employment based on individual strengths, interests, and challenges. Preparation for the workforce includes exploring strengths and experience, resume building, interview role-play, assistance with online applications, and job leads to employers that are known to hire those with criminal convictions. Best Chance has established relationships with employers and refers participants for jobs. Best Chance also currently provides contract work to five formerly incarcerated men who provide peer support services.


Learning Objectives:

  • Explore challenges for recently released individuals entering the workforce
  • Demonstrate the ways nonprofit Best Chance assists
    recently released in finding and maintaining employment
  • Provide overview of Best Chance services for the recently released


Transgender 101 for HR Professionals


Adrien Lawyer, Co-Director and Co-Founder, Transgender Resource Center of NM, https://tgrcnm.org/


Adrien Lawyer is the co-director and co-founder of the Transgender Resource Center of New Mexico. The TGRCNM is the only organization that provides a wide array of services solely for the transgender community of the state of New Mexico, including food, clothing, monthly bus passes, rapid HIV testing, counseling and much more. Adrien has presented Transgender 101 more than 1100 times all over the state of New Mexico and has been instrumental in doing advocacy at the individual and policy levels. For instance, TGRCNM worked for several years with Albuquerque Public Schools to implement transgender student policy. He is a transgender man and a father and is working for equality and accessible resources for the entire transgender community.




Did you know that transgender folks are twice as likely to experience unemployment? For transgender people of color that goes up a staggering four times! Transgender people experience discrimination and even physical violence on a consistent basis. Transgender 101 will be an introduction to transgender people, their lives and issues. We will talk specifically about concerns regarding employment settings. Transgender people are not known and understood by others, and this training is meant to address this lack of information and experience.  Adrien Lawyer, Co-Director of the Transgender Resource Center of New Mexico, provides basic training including a chance to engage in a dialogue and answer your questions directly.


Learning Objectives: 

  • Participants will understand basic definitions of and differences between designated sex at birth, gender, gender expression and sexual orientation 
  • Participants will be able to name and define the term used to describe non-transgender people 


  • Participants will be introduced to specific data and concerns transgender people face regarding employment 
October 15th, 2019 1:15 PM   through   4:45 PM
Indian Pueblo Cultural Center
2401 12th Street NW
Albuquerque, NM 87104
United States
Event Fee(s)
Master Series Donation- Bronze $ 25.00
Master Series Donation- Silver $ 50.00
Master Series Donation- Gold $ 75.00
Master Series Donation- Platinum $ 100.00

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