Educated & enriched Total Rewards professionals are invaluable to employers. Rocky Mountain Total Rewards Association (RMTRA) helps foster your expertise by providing up-to-date certifications and access to a community of deeply experienced professionals. Whether you’ve just started your career and are looking to connect or you’re an advanced pro who needs to stay well-informed, RMTRA will help your career grow and thrive.


President's Corner.....Blog Spot!

  • 10/23/2016 2:23 PM | Michele Girard (Administrator)

    Happy Autumn RMTRA Members!

    What a beautiful autumn season we are experiencing here in Colorado.  As we go deep into 4th quarter and planning for 2017, don’t forget to plan to invest in your own professional development – sign up for your 2017 RMTRA - WorldatWork Classes.  Don't forget to use code LN2016 to get maximum discounts!

    I was at a gathering with friends this weekend and handed someone my business card and they asked me “What’s with all the letters after your name?” then I shared my story!  I’m a passionate life-long learner, and very proud of the credentials of certification I’ve been able to achieve and work so hard to maintain; and I’m not done!

    Did you know, there’s an advanced Compensation Certification, for those of us that already have our CCP?  Now there’s two more advanced levels beyond CCP, Advanced Certified Compensation Professional (ACCP), and Master Certified Compensation Professional (MCCP).  Requirements include CCP certification, plus C8 to sit for the exam for these advanced Certs.  C8 is coming to Denver in April 2017 so sign up to reserve your spot with us today!

    2017 is top of mind for us at RMTRA!  The executive team and I have been hard at work building our strategic plan for next year.  We announced our line-up of classes, we’re busy planning our events calendar, and we are solidifying our awesome team of leaders for the 2017 Board!  More on 2017 soon! 

    Lastly, we have one more event in 2016 – December Holiday Luncheon – Grow Your Personal Brand – Grow Your Career, with nationally renowned speaker Val Grubb.  The event is on December 1st at the Brown Palace - don't miss it!

    I love being involved with RMTRA and WorldatWork; it is so exciting and rewarding to directly impact the future of my profession, build connections, and learn new things; and yes - to take pride in showing my credential letters! 

    Warm Regards,

    Michele Girard, CCP, CSCP, SPHR, SHRM-SCP - President RMTRA

  • 08/06/2016 1:38 PM | Michele Girard (Administrator)

    Summer is winding down, Fall is right around the corner and it's Back to School time!  Think about a little professional development and education for yourself!

    We are in the home stretch - The Future of Total Rewards Conference is right around the corner on 9/15/16.  Bring your team - groups of 4 or more get a 15% discount off the regular member rates.  The schedule is final and we have an awesome line up!  Check it out on our Events Page. 

    And if you haven't used your education benefit yet this year, there's still time to sign up, we have C1 and C8 still to go this year and there's still space, so sign up today! 

    Thank you for being a valued member to RMTRA!  

    See you in September!  

    Michele Girard - President RMTRA

  • 06/12/2016 4:17 PM | Michele Girard (Administrator)
    It is my distinct pleasure to announce to membership that your local association to WorldatWork, Rocky Mountain Total Rewards Association is the Global Leader among our peers.  

    RMTRA was awarded the distinguished honor of Association of the Year while at Conference in San Diego last week. Thank you to the amazing team of leaders that run this organization with me that made this award possible. We are one of over 60 local associations worldwide - and the path we are on right now has caught the attention of WorldatWork and they chose to recognize us as best. 

    We are all proud of this accomplishment!  We encourage you all to leverage your connections with this award-winning team, to make your Impact on your career through membership and engagement with RMTRA.  Together we are growing and building our future - WE ARE THE FUTURE OF TOTAL REWARDS, one valued member at a time. 

    More soon! From the sunny Dominican Republic - 

    Michele Girard - Your RMTRA President

    p.s. Hope to see you this week at our Variable Compensation Class, or later this month at one of our 2 exciting programs; 6/23 on Ratingless Performance downtown at History Colorado Center, or 6/30 on FLSA Regs - Practical Application at Maggiano's DTC.  

  • 05/30/2016 8:59 PM | Michele Girard (Administrator)

    Welcome summertime!  This is the time of year for sunshine, school's out, vacations - and a little recharge, before end of year deadlines hit again.

    Recharge your summer with a little professional development! At RMTRA we have a little something for everyone this summer, from enriching Programs to help us gain some new perspective in Performance Management Strategy, Practical application "How To" on new FLSA Regs, Variable Pay Plan design with WorldatWork C12 Certification course, and for those lucky enough to head to sunny San Diego for WorldatWork's Impact Conference.  Can't swing San Diego? - no worries - check out RMTRA's first ever, one day Total Rewards Conference later in September - register now live to gain perspective and insight on the latest innovations in Total Rewards locally. 

    Join your community of Total Rewards Professionals at your favorite summer event we're hosting, or all of the above - take time to invest in yourself!  RMTRA, we are the Future of Total Rewards and the place our members turn to when they need help, with professional development, finding talent and finding work!  

    Enjoy the sunshine and don't forget to recharge!

    Take Care, 

    Michele Girard - President RMTRA

    p.s. Check out this verbatim from Chad Atwell, Product Strategy Director at Oracle, Past President to RMTRA, WorldatWork faculty for C12- Improving Performance with Variable Pay.....don't miss this class! (And did we mention, he's our Emcee at our upcoming Conference in September!)

    "More companies than ever are using some form of variable pay to drive higher organizational performance and augment stubbornly low salary increase budgets.  What's more, I'm seeing may organizations interested in creating a diverse mix of incentives for various populations in their workforce.  Knowing which kind of variable pay is right for the problems you’re facing is critical to having a successful total rewards strategy. The C12 course touches on all the major types of plans and helps you understand how best to design and deliver those plans locally and across the globe."  Chad Atwell, Oracle

  • 05/01/2016 7:00 PM | Michele Girard (Administrator)

    Want to be a better communicator – in Total Rewards?  Take T4:  Strategic Communications in Total Rewards, May 17th – 18th, Art Hotel, Denver, CO from WorldatWork in partnership with RMTRA.

    Guest Blog Spot from Bob Roesch, HR Executive, UCAR & WorldatWork Faculty Member.

    Recently we reached out to Bob and asked if he would share with our membership his thoughts on effective communications in Total Rewards; his verbatim is below.   

    “I teach a number of courses for WorldatWork, and most all courses stress the importance of effective communication in Total Rewards. Without good communications, the full value of most Total reward programs can be lost. I am a true believer in spending a lot of effort and time in planning and developing effective communication programs. From past experience I have seen how a lack of effort in communications can diminish the best Total Rewards program.

     Unfortunately, we don't have much time in the courses I teach to spend sufficient time to really go into communications. It really takes a two day class to do it right. I have always recommended that the participants in my classes sign up for T4 to get the best information on strategic communication for all Total Rewards programs. I was privileged to be on the team that designed to original T4 course 20 years ago, and have been pleased to see the development of that class over the years. You'll learn a lot about communications you will use over and over again.”

    Bob Roesch, HR Executive, UCAR & WorldatWork Faculty Member

    As a Total Rewards Practitioner, I believe that effective communication is of utmost importance to our success.  Our practice requires deeply analytical skills, the ability to spot anomalies a mile away, to be able to perform the analysis, maybe even a little statistics – and then step out of the weeds and communicate our findings and build a story, based on analytics that drives strategy – so from the 2mm level to the 50,000 foot level in one fell-swoop!

    As Bob suggests, one of the top reasons Total Rewards Programs fail is ineffective communication.  This can lead to lack of understanding, confusion, and even mis-administration sometimes; related to something very emotional for all of us – our rewards and pay!  We know immediately if we missed the mark and our listener didn’t get it – when we pay them wrong, or they thought they were getting something else – so they think we paid them wrong and we have to tell them all over again that it’s really right.

    RMTRA is hosting a WorldatWork class, T4:  Strategic Communication in Total Rewards, on May 17-18th.  This is a true Total Rewards class, required for CCP and CBP Certifications.  Sign up today, learn some great strategy and tactics on how to be more effective at Communication in Total Rewards.  It’s a great class – and will give you some great tools that you can apply to be successful, real-time and make meaningful connections through effective communication.  And yes, face-to-face, instructor led training with WorldatWork faculty experts on this topic will make a difference, so sign up today!

    Hope to see you there!

    Michele Girard – President RMTRA

  • 04/03/2016 12:35 PM | Michele Girard (Administrator)

    Hello Members!  Happy Spring!

    Your Board of Directors have been hard at work planning and preparing to attend the WorldatWork Local Network Conference and Total Rewards Conference in San Diego this year, the theme is “Impact.” Register to attend soon, and don’t forget to mention LN2016 to get your maximum discounts as a member of RMTRA.

    Check out our full events calendar and plan to engage with us for professional development locally all year long

    RMTRA is an excellent Local Network to WorldatWork, we are a leading association of nearly 60 associations globally.  We have WorldatWork’s attention because we are doing so many exciting things in growing and building our local community of Total Rewards Professionals; that’s you - our valued members!

    Once a year, WorldatWork awards one local Association with a very prestigious award; Local Association of the year.  We fill out the application each year and send to WorldatWork.  For 2014, we were honored with nomination – for 2015, we’ve set our sights higher!

    The application for this award asks us to reflect and focus on past, which we do.  We honor our past as our foundation to carry us forward in future.  This process has me thinking about our future and sustainability of the successes from 2015 for RMTRA.

    To keep us relevant, and moving forward as an association we must be brave enough to always question and challenge the status quo; this is paramount in my philosophy as a leader. Our future learners and future leaders bring with them an approach to work and learning that we have to bend and adapt to orient towards.  We must stay connected through technology and innovation to continue to move forwards, otherwise, we slip towards irrelevance and becoming obsolete.  2015 was an amazing year as RMCA rebuilt and became RMTRA, and we’re proud of this and we’ve shared that story with WorldatWork in submitting our application. 

    Keep an eye on RMTRA we will continue to exceed our own personal best into 2016 and beyond, in a constant pursuit of excellence for our members and our strong partner WorldatWork; because of that alone I proclaim we are already winners in the eyes of the most important judges; you, our members! 

    We’ve heard some feedback from you that you like what you see, and you’re engaging with us in even greater numbers – which is exciting to see!  In 2016 we plan to conduct a Membership Survey where you’ll have an opportunity to share your thoughts to help frame our 2017 strategy.  In the meantime, reach out anytime to This mailbox is a focal point that reaches the entire team, so make the connection with us and share your thoughts.

    Thank you for engaging with RMTRA – we have many great achievements from 2015 to be proud of – and we’re off to a great start for 2016!  More incredibleness from us soon, I promise!  Hope to see you in San Diego!

    Michele Girard, President RMTRA

  • 03/20/2016 6:35 PM | Michele Girard (Administrator)

    Happy Spring!  One of my favorite things is the bright sunshine the day after a huge snowstorm.  Nothing like Colorado weather; hope you had an opportunity to enjoy the sunshine this weekend!

    I was talking with another fellow Total Rewards Practitioner on my Board a few weeks ago about how “busy” we are this time of year.  I don’t have to tell you that Q1 is notoriously an extreme time of year for us, between Annual Salary Planning, Performance Management, Variable Pay Program Design and Administration, the list goes on and on.  That typically follows an extraordinarily “busy” time in Q4 which is filled with Benefits open enrollment, Variable Pay Plan evaluation and design, and salary surveys, etc.  

    What we came to realize through our conversation is that no longer is our “busy” time as TR Practitioners a focal event, once a year, then the pace goes back to normal, whatever that means. It really is year-round, all the time! 

    To be successful in our field, I think it’s about balance, and pacing yourself, and your energy to go the long haul in a successful, sustainable, credible way.  That’s the true challenge!

    As I reflect on 2015 and all the tremendous things that we accomplished as a Total Rewards Association and we fill out the Association of the Year Application to send to our partners at WorldatWork, a lot of conversation has come up for us as a Board about sustainability.  So much positivity and forward moving momentum is in motion right now for RMTRA – because of the foundation in place, and significant efforts in 2015 to jump start us as a Total Rewards focused association pursuing excellence for our members.  I truly believe we have what it takes! 

    2016 has only just begun, and already we’ve had record attendance at a fantastic event in February where we held our inaugural event at the Art Hotel, with Mr. Kerry Chou, Total Rewards Practice Leader from WorldatWork.  We are ramping up into high gear with our Events calendar, with our first Total Rewards Event in April, where we’ll have two classes running concurrently – whether you’re pursuing CCP, you can take C4, or CBP you can take B3A – and join us for lunch on day 2 of the classes for an Economic Update during a very important election year. And we have so many exciting events this year – check out the Events tab and sign up today.

    Check out the RMTRA difference.  We understand that there are many draws on your attention for engagement, education, and connection – and are very grateful that you chose RMTRA, the place our members turn to when they need help!

    Happy Spring, remember to recharge your batteries, and pace yourself for the long haul!  RMTRA will be right here along with you moving all of us forward; we are a relevant, excellent, member-focused Total Rewards Association!

    Michele Girard – RMTRA President 

  • 02/07/2016 9:00 PM | Michele Girard (Administrator)

    What Makes a Winning Team?

    I have a confession to make, I’m not much of a football fan.  That having been said, I did follow the Bronco’s this year, and I’m wearing a Manning jersey while I write this – so maybe I am now!  We won the SuperBowl tonight, handily!

    We outplayed the other team in both defense and offense, had strong leadership, and showed great teamwork, and I loved the tip of the hat to the old guard with former superstars in the sidelines!  (Remember when Elway was our Superstar!)

    I think about RMTRA and the amazing team of leaders we have serving our on our Board of Directors now, and as our panel of experts in Past Presidents.  This may seem a bit cliché, but it’s true.  For 2016 we have a team of superstars!  As I embark on the beginning of my 2 year term as President of this excellent association – there are critics that think I am nuts for agreeing to do this for 2 years, concurrently, first time ever in our association’s history.  I can tell you, from the bottom of my heart, I never would have agreed to do it on my own – fortunately I don’t have to.  That’s my segue towards announcing this year’s Board of Directors and supporting Chairs.

    When I was asked to take this role, I didn’t think I was “ready.”  I thought it was in my 5 year plan, but not now.  Then I thought about it – my philosophy, as a leader, surround yourself with those that “bring it” and they will help you to succeed – so carpe diem, and to that end, it is my distinct pleasure to announce my first installment of Acorn Stories – RMTRA Members Helping Members:  2016 RMTRA BOD & Supporting Chairs.

    Membership:  VP:  Donna Garcia, Chair:  Alberto Ghersi

    Education:    VP:  Delaine Orendorff, Chair:  Erica Holcomb

    Programs:  VP:  Connie Haney, Chairs:  Candy Siderius, Mary Christof, Domenica Ortega with Debbie Rowe (Conference)

    Technology:  VP: Scott Holland, Chair:  Alethea Taylor

    Communication:  VP:  Vialet Rayne, Chair:  Blair Malloy

    Operations:  Treasurer:  Debbie Rowe and Secretary:  Kim Weidl

    Hope to see you all at our first event of the year on February 11th at Art Hotel, where we proudly welcome Mr. Kerry Chou, Global Practice Leader on Total Rewards from WorldatWork.  I’m proud to say we have record attendance right now at this event – at 90 (a few spots left so sign up tomorrow!). 

    Check us out!  I’m proud of this little non-profit we are so passionate about – RMTRA is a leading association globally.  We are a team of innovative leaders in the Total Rewards Profession, forward-thinking, and member-focused!

    More soon!  For now – adrenaline winding down from a stellar victory for our home team.  See you all Thursday!

    Warm Regards,

    Michele Girard – President RMTRA

  • 01/10/2016 2:43 PM | Michele Girard (Administrator)

    Happy New Year to our fabulous members of RMTRA!  We have this awesome new website and I am making my very first Blog Post as President of RMTRA today; new beginnings!

    One of my New Year's Resolutions has to do with becoming more "tech savvy" so looking forward to exploring more ways to build and grow connections throughout our association through technology - like this blog!  I really want to explore two-way (or 200-way!) communication, too, to hear from you.....more soon, so check back to often!

    You can also join our group on LinkedIn.  Just changed today to RMTRA - from RMCA as part of our continuing rebranding. Follow us on Twitter, too!  We're just starting to tweet!  I'll also be introducing "Acorn Stories" soon where I'll share and highlight noteworthy things like Members helping Members, current exciting Events, and other cool stuff through our various communication platforms.

    New Years is a good time to contemplate fresh starts, and professional development. You owe it to yourself to Come Grow With Us!  We have 8 classes this year we're hosting through WorldatWork, and many cool Programs coming up - so join us for lunch or breakfast, make, grow, and build connections!  Map out your Professional development plans for 2016 NOW!  Check out our Events Page and sign up today! 

    Thank you for being part of RMTRA.  We recognize there are lots of options and draws on our attention for connection and we appreciate our members.   If you're reading this and you're not a member - please join and come check out the RMTRA difference; we are the place our members turn to when they need help.

    Hope to see you soon!  Check back often - I have the blog bug and this stuff is fun!

    Michele Girard, President RMTRA



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