ERA History​


Employers Resource Association is your local trusted resource for HR Answers and Advice, Training and Development, Legal Issues and Updates, and HR Consulting Services. We serve companies in the greater Cincinnati, Dayton, Columbus, Northern Kentucky and Eastern Indiana areas. Founded in 1946 as the Cincinnati Industrial Institute, 75 companies began the important work of exchanging information and sharing experiences to address common management and labor relations issues.

Organized as an unincorporated business league dedicated to serve the interests of Cincinnati manufacturers, the Institute later approved the admission of non-manufacturing firms, and in 1985, officially became the Greater Cincinnati Employers Institute.

In 1991, in response to growing needs of the employer community, services were again expanded to accommodate a more diverse membership, now including employers throughout the region. An expanded curriculum, including more comprehensive research, communications and human resource services, was offered and we became Employers Resource Association. This name truly represents the focus of our mission.

In late 1996, the Columbus-based Associated Employers of Central Ohio (AECO) was merged into Employers Resource Association proving a benefit to all members with a more comprehensive view of employer information, trends and issues and an even higher level of quality programs and services.

Since 1946, Employers Resource Association has provided low cost, full service human resource support for its members. The advice, information and insight provided by the Association’s staff is essential for members to remain competitive. At ERA, you are one-on-one with a real person. We are here for you, whenever you need us. Staff members are professionally certified human resource experts and average 25 years of experience.

Our high degree of cost effectiveness, especially when compared to the expense of consultants or in-house specialists, is a benefit derived from our non-profit status, the economies of scale and long-term relationships. Our mission is to provide superior, responsive customer service & resources to our members, to assist them in the management of their human resources and development of their business.

Employers Resource Association is one of 68 sister HR associations around the country. These associations provide the same basic services to their regional memberships, and through The Employers Association of America (EAA), share information with the other members of the EAA. Our members who need national data from different geographical areas have this access through reciprocity arrangements with these organizations.


Your Expert. Your Partner. Your Results.

At Employers Resource Association our Vision is to be recognized as THE source for HR.

We pride ourselves in our Mission to deliver superior HR expertise, resources and services. 

Our objective is to exceed the needs of our members, every time.

The strategic priorities that we have identified are:

  • Organizational Effectiveness
  • Expansion and Growth




Hear from a few of our members about how and why they use ERA:

MANE, Inc.
Haag-Streit/Reliance Medical


“The Compensation (Market Review and Analysis) Report from Monique at ERA absolutely exceeded our expectations. The data was clear, detailed and easy to apply to our organization.”

Kate Ringo, Associate Manager Human Resources and Payroll
Agile Pursuits Franchising

I participate in the ERA Roundtable for several reasons:  comradery in the HR field, to stay on top of industry issues, to find real-life help to problems I encounter, and to spend time with others that truly understand the day-to-day struggles of what really happens behind the HR curtain.

Darla Cade
Germaine Solutions

“Working on the Benefits Benchmarking Study, ERA was great from the very first meeting. Jeff was very personable yet extremely professional – – and responded in a timely manner to any and all questions, issues, etc. … I look forward to another collaboration. Thanks!”

Jaylynn Gray, Communication Specialist
USI Midwest 

“Working on our Affirmative Action Plan, ERA was very knowledgeable and efficient. We really appreciated Lori coming on site to review the plan with us!!”

Stacy Toki, Director of Human Resources
BMI Federal Credit Union

“The roundtable meetings are the most professionally therapeutic time you will spend each month. In addition to valuable networking opportunities, the sharing of ideas, topical legal updates, common challenges and solutions is promoted in a safe, open environment.

Carter Young
Shaklee Corporation

“ERA is amazing to work with!  Carol makes completing our Affirmative Action Plan each year a seamless experience.”

Aimee Turchick, Senior Human Resources Generalist
Devicor Medical Products

“ERA is a great resource (for Handbook and Process Reviews).  I consider Barb and the staff part of my A-Team!”

Barb Ebright, HR Manager
Make-A-Wish Foundation, OH, KY, IN

“I will hire ERA again for future (HR) Audits.  They are very knowledgeable, friendly and have great follow through. They have been a tremendous asset during our transition.”

Betty Bollas, Director of Human Resources
Girl Scouts of Western Ohio

“I enjoy the networking and bouncing HR happenings off the group to get a feel of what others are out there doing that our facility may be able to utilize.”

Kelly Laskey
Kutol Products Company

I really do love attending and participating in the roundtables because it offers the opportunity to hear and share new solutions to issues that we all share in the HR world. The opportunity to share some laughs and stories that remind me that I am not alone in the issues that I face as an HR professional. I also find great benefits from hearing the perspective from the professional guests, i.e. attorneys, guest leaders of HR, etc.

Lori Pettit, SHRM-CP
Panacea Products Corp.

I joined the HR Roundtable because I was looking to connect with other HR professionals in a casual but constructive environment. I have received a lot more from the roundtable than I expected. The group moderator, Jeff, allows us to talk about what we want to talk about. It is nice because our conversations will sometimes start with a benefits or pay issue and then go to an employee termination or a policy issue. We never know where the conversation will go but it is always very interesting to hear from others in the field. It is also good to hear from Jeff since he is an expert in the field and he can shed light on the legal changes and what they may mean for our companies. It is nice to hear from other HR people who work in other industries because we all have the same fundamental issues. I get a lot out of the conversations and I look forward to them.

Cassidy Siler-Smith
Human Resources Supervisor
Greater Cincinnati Behavioral Health Services

Participating in the monthly HR Roundtable is one of the many great benefits of membership with ERA! Through referrals and feedback from the group, I was able to reduce the mark-up charged by temporary staffing agencies. This more than paid for the cost of the roundtable. I love the informal discussion and small group size because it allows for more meaningful and timely discussion, and to build trust among the participants. We support each other, we share information, and we laugh!

Julie Blankenship
A2 Z field Services

Hearing from other managers’ experiences on different personnel issues gives me a better a understanding of how to handle the same issues if they arise at my work place.

Annette Twedt
Pratt Industries, Inc. – Springfield Corrugator

ERA Roundtables are a great way to meet with local peers to discuss relevant HR topics and build a network of individuals to seek input when you have questions or need feedback. It’s a great way to get to know others in our role, and to see and hear about the challenges and successes facing each of us in our market. The ERA facilitators do a great job of keeping the group informed of new/changing laws and new topics for the group to discuss, lighthearted topics to keep things fun, as well as a being a sounding board when any members have questions or concerns. It’s like talking to the HR Hotline in person!

Caryn Santee

“Your company did a great job communicating training expectations to me.  Ralph’s (Coaching Skills for Managers) class went extremely well.  Well worth the money.”

Jennifer Thompson, Human Resource Specialist
Ohio Shared Information Services

“I have found great value in the HR Beat mini-surveys, the templates in HR Central, and being able to reach an expert almost immediately via the Hotline. As a one-person HR department, I find your help to be very valuable. I am loving ERA!”

Renée B. Jordan
Columbus Oncology and Hematology Associates
An Ohio Oncology & Hematology, LLC Practice

ERA’s monthly HR Roundtable is a meeting I look forward to each month, and one which I hate to miss. Of all the regular meetings I attend, the HR Roundtable is the most productive, most informative. First of all, when the name “ERA” is attached to something, I know it will be quality, that information I receive will be accurate, and timely. Second, Monique Kahkonen is an able, well-qualified, knowledgeable facilitator who not only leads us to what is legal and practical, but what is realistic. Her sense of humor is a bonus. Third, the group that assembles is a group that I value, and whose needs reflect my own. This ERA Roundtable has gotten the “Tom’s Most Practical 2 Hours of the Month” award for several years running.

Thomas Brunner
Waibel Energy Systems

I love that as HR Professionals we come together and accept the fact we don’t have all the answers. Through the HR roundtable we gain support from other HR professionals that have encountered similar situations and can provide ideas or solutions. It also keeps us on our toes for up-coming or recent changes in legislation.


“Our attendees (at the Leadership Skills for Group Leaders class) said that Gary was the best trainer they ever had. He pushed them beyond the material in a good way to apply the concepts.”

Tina Seibert, HR Manager

“Employers Resource Association was extremely helpful (with our Employee Engagement Survey).  Carol and Brandi were really patient with the process and all my many questions!!”

Cindy Nichols, Vice President
Reis-Nichols Jewelers

Attending ERA’s HR Roundtables are so valuable because I am able to learn from other HR professionals who share resources and best practices, while also learning which HR strategies have worked at companies similar to mine. Whether I was just starting in the HR field to now being a seasoned veteran, I always have at least one takeaway from each roundtable.

Greg Benua

I joined the Roundtable to have the ability to discuss issues that arise hoping that I would be able to gauge our company’s response in comparison to that of other companies. It is an opportunity to discuss issues with people who are or might have dealt with similar situations and to hopefully get some insight into how they are handling them. The roundtable is invaluable for information on the latest laws, rules and trends happening that affect the HR world. I have been able to take the discussions and glean from them useful information that I can then implement within our company when needed. It is reassuring that other individuals and companies are experiencing some of the same issues we are….lets me know that even though there are issues, it is on a broader scope and not necessarily something that we are doing wrong. Jeff is wonderful in leading the discussions and directing the information. He is a great resource for information and knows exactly who I need to talk to if he cannot provide the answers to my questions.

Laura Poe
HR / Office Manager, Pivotek

“ERA was outstanding to work with (on Leadership Training).  Dawn worked closely with us to modify programs to fit our culture.  Very dynamic and engaging – participants LOVED her and her examples.”

Tracy Moser, HR Director
Hobart Brothers Company