HR association touts benefits of membership

Phil Castle, The Business Times

Kirstin Guptill

Kirstin Guptill cites a number of benefits to joining the Western Colorado Human Resource Association.

That includes the information and other resources offered at meetings and conferences as well as the networking and sense of community.

It’s a combination of professional and personal development Guptill values most. “It’s probably what catapulted my career to where it is today.”

Guptill works as human resource and travel manager for Reynolds Polymer Technology, a Grand Junction-based manufacturer of engineered acrylic and polymer products.

She also serves as president of the WCHRA board of directors. In that role, she works to encourage others to take advantage of the benefits of membership the way she did.

The WCHRA has scheduled an event to not only show appreciation to existing members, but also introduce potential members to the organization.

The free breakfast event is set to begin at 7:30 a.m. July 15 at the Bookcliff Country Club at 2730 G Road in Grand Junction. Online registration is under way at

The event will offer a networking adventure, Guptill said, in sending participants on imaginary trips to different locations using different modes of transportation. In traveling to tables set up as destinations, participants will enjoy an opportunity to meet others. Participants should bring business cards to exchange with their travel companions.

“It’s just something fun. It’s going to be completely crazy,” Guptill said.

There’s a more serious side to the event, too, in strengthening connections among existing members and acquainting potential members to the WCHRA.

The organization is a one of six Colorado chapters of the Society for Human Resource Management. With more than 285,000 members, SHRM is the largest association in the world devoted to HR management.

While the WCHRA serves the needs of HR professionals, Guptill said that mission extends to business owners, managers and others. “This is for anyone who’s working with people.”

The WCHRA offers information and resources about a variety of topics related to HR management, including changes in state and federal employment laws and regulations, conflict management and workplace culture.

In addition to various classes, monthly programs and annual conferences, information is available from members who share their expertise and experience, Guptill said.

Members serve as a sounding board of sorts to help each other address problems, she said. “We leverage each other’s experience to make us all better”

The WCHRA also help those members who want to earn professional certifications study for and take the required examinations.

The WCHRA also  offers memberships and resources to students at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction. An additional effort is under way to connect with young professionals to the Grand Valley and help them with their careers.

Guptill said she hopes more people take advantage of the benefits of membership in the WCHRA whether they’re HR professionals or others who want to better manage people and succeed in their careers. “We want to be an inclusive group that helps people grow.”