Our History of Previous Meeting Topics:

February 12, 2020

An Introduction to Southwest Health Alliance, a healthcare purchasing cooperative

During the February DAHRM meeting, we will be educating small business owners and HR representatives about the SW Health Alliance, which is part of the Peak Health Alliance.  The Peak Health Alliance is a health care purchasing cooperative with the goal of reducing health care premiums, while maintaining local and high quality care, through the power of community collaboration. Peak was able to reduce premiums in Summit County, CO by 20% and we hope to reduce premiums in the Southwest Health Alliance region by 5-10%. The SW Health Alliance region includes La Plata, Montezuma, San Juan, and Dolores counties and is officially affiliated with the Peak Health Alliance. Our goal is to have a Peak Plan available to individuals, small & large employers, and self-insured groups by January 2021.

We are requesting letters of intent from large employers to demonstrate the potential scope of the Peak Plan in our negotiations with providers and carriers. We currently have 3,500 potential lives interested in reviewing a Peak Plan, and we would love to get that number up to 5,000 potential lives.  The letter is non-binding and states that you will review a Peak Plan when it is in the marketplace and consider it. There is no commitment at all in signing the letter, but it is instrumental in demonstrating our community’s interest in the Peak Plan. You can visit the Local First Foundation website for more information on local leadership and meetings

Date/Time:   Wednesday February 12, 12pm – 1pm
Location:  Community Room at TBK Bank
Catering:  Nature’s Oasis

December 5th, 2019

Changing our Perceptions of Stress  by Nicola Dehlinger with Pura Vida Healthcare


Stress and overwhelm have reached epidemic proportions in our modern society. It seems like there’s no escaping it! However, we have more power over stress than we realize – and it’s all about perception. Join us for this engaging discussion about how to change how we relate to all that we balance daily in our everyday world!

Date/Time:   Thursday, December 5th, 12-1pm
Location:  LPEA Board Room
Catering:  Bird’s

November 5, 2019- How Small Employers Can Afford Healthcare with Aaron Webb from Black Diamond Benefits 

Fall means employee benefits season and this year is getting interesting already. In the constant shuffle of pre-election year politics, there are bold healthcare agendas making the news like the draft proposal of Colorado House Bill 19-1004; known locally as the Public Option. Meanwhile, price and competition incentives seem mostly flat or headed for inflation.

Where do you focus amidst the noise? How do you separate the hyperbole from action items? As your team prepares for benefits renewal, you’d better be paying attention this year!

Using 3 separate case studies we’ll take a closer look specifically into:

1. Employee cost savings as consumers of healthcare
2. Employer renewal prediction
3.Trending non-insurance solutions for increased employee engagement and healthcare provider satisfaction

Date/Time:   Tuesday, November 5th, 12-1pm
Location:  TBK Bank
Catering:  Jimmy John’s Box Lunch

October 2019- Mindfulness in the Workplace with Cindy Schmidt


Mindfulness is often viewed as either a touchy-feely fad or valuable management tool that can lift an entire workplace. A new comprehensive analysis of mindfulness research suggests the latter—that injecting a corporate culture of mindfulness not only improves focus, but the ability to manage stress and how employees work together.

Date/Time:   Tuesday, October 22nd, 12-1pm
Location:  TBK Bank
Catering:  Nature’s Oasis

September 2019- Inclusion, Diversity and Acceptance in the Workplace with Lexie Stetson-Lee


The Civility First Durango Program is a voluntary pledge program initiated by the City of Durango’s Community Relations Commission. After years of surveying residents, the Commission found that citizens wanted a program to directly address the need for civil, welcoming behavior within our community. The Civility First Durango Program is the first rendition of the effort to promote respect and diversity among residents and visitors who live, work, shop and play in our City. It matters how you treat people–from your staff to your suppliers to your customers. Businesses who take the pledge will receive a decal, intended for display on their front of their shop. Individuals will be given a sticker. The collateral matters little compared to what our community gains in embracing efforts that work to include all.





July 2019: Building a Team by Suzy Phare with Real Ideal Coaching

Bill Taylor once said, “Players win games, teams win championships.”  Building an effective, dynamic and on-task team is a critical component of success for every great and aspiring leader.  Influential leaders are not a one person show and really are only as great as the sum of their parts. Team building is a constantly moving target and needs attention every step of the way.  Join this class to learn about the importance of the role you play on your team and how to create and support an engaged group that works towards the same goals and objectives with minimal conflict and drama.

Date/Time:   Tuesday, July 16th, 12:00 – 1:00 PM
Location:  TBK Bank- Community Bank
Catering: Yellow Carrot


June 2019: Performance Management 2.0 by Betsy Fitzpatrick

In this session, we’ll take a look at the new best practices for performance management, including popular feedback methodologies and cutting-edge companies’ approaches. You’ll take away some practical tools that you can start using today!

Date/Time:   Tuesday, June 11th, 12:00 – 1:00pm
Location:  LPEA Board Room






May 2019: Social Styles by Phil Bryson

Many companies and leaders talk about teamwork and its importance. But few employees really understand its value in the corporate setting. Phil Bryson’s presentation promises to provide a “wake-up call” to catalyze people to shift their focus from past success and day to day survival… to taking risks, relating to the team powerfully and achieving unprecedented team productivity.

Date/Time:   Wednesday, May 15th, 9:00 – 11:00 AM
Location:  TBK Bank Community Room

April 2019:  Employment Trends by Kelly Quach and Elizabeth Helvey, Durango Adult Education Center
This presentation will provide HR representatives with an update on national, state, and regional employment trends. The presenters will discuss trends in education and training and the resources in Southwest Colorado available to develop a more highly skilled workforce.  The presentation will include an interactive discussion on local hiring needs and workforce development practices.

Date/Time:   Wednesday, April 17th, 12:00 – 1:00 PM
Location:  TBK Bank Community Room






March 2019:  It’s Not About the Money! by Suzy Phare, SPHR, Real Ideal Coaching
Do you know that over 80% of the time a company gives an employee who is threatening to leave more money to stay in a job, the employee departs within a year anyway?  When employees want to leave a company, they usually have good reason.  Join Suzanne Phare of Real Ideal Coaching in learning what else might be behind their threats to leave and how you can keep good employees engaged so they want to stay!

Date/Time:  Thursday, March 14th, 12:00 – 1:00 PM

Location:  DoubleTree Hotel
$17 for members, $20 for non-members







February 2019:  Changes in Healthcare by Dr. Ken Bates
This session will provide a review of changes in healthcare and trending healthcare options. We will also touch on HSA and FSA accounts.

Date/Time:  Thursday, February 28th, 12:00 – 1:00 PM

Location:  DoubleTree Hotel
$17 for members, $20 for non-members


January 2019:  Annual Membership Mixer

Tuesday, January  16, 2019

Location:  Ska Brewing
5:00 – 7:00 PM
Free Event


Click here to review our previous topics 2017-2018.


Click here to review our previous topics 2014-2016.