SHRM Announces 2011 Pinnacle Award Winners


By SHRM Online staff November 21, 2011

Seven professional chapters and two state councils were awarded the coveted 2011 Pinnacle Award for focusing on issues such as homelessness, the midterm elections and workplace diversity.

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) announced the winners Nov. 18 during its 2011 Leadership Conference in Arlington, Va.

The awards program began in 1991 and honors the highest achievements in SHRM chapter and state council operations that enhance the development of effective HR management.

Nearly 70 applicants vied for the annual award, which ADP, Inc. sponsors.

“Choosing winners in a contest like this implies that there were entries that lost, but that really isn’t the case with the Pinnacle Awards,” said Robert LaGow, manager, volunteer relations, for SHRM.

“Every one of our 20 finalists represent hundreds of hours of hard work and dedication on behalf of communities all over the country, communities that benefited thanks to SHRM members. I know that our judging committees, both internal and external, had a difficult time in choosing those programs that stood above the others. Every one of these entries can stand as an inspiration to other chapters and state councils.”

Each winning chapter and council receives $1,000. Chapter presidents and state council directors receive a diamond Pinnacle pin; board members of each of the winning groups receive replicas of the pin.

Chapter winners are:

San Antonio Human Resource Management Association: “Overcoming Homelessness Through Employment Readiness.”

Chapter members taught interviewing skills and conducted mock interviews with homeless people trying to re-enter the workforce.

This program involved collaboration with Haven for Hope and SAMMinistries. Haven for Hope is a nonprofit organization that provides job training, education and behavioral health services. SAMMinistries provides shelter and other services to the homeless and persons at risk of becoming homeless.

Heart of Illinois Council: “ELITE Youth Program.”

The chapter partnered with the Peoria Park District program in a 10-week in-school program to work with 170 students at seven high schools.

The chapter created and updated the program’s curriculum, provided guest speakers, taught the skills and attributes needed in applying for a job, and assisted with a student job fair.

Southern Minnesota Area Human Resource Association: “Your Face Here.”

The chapter partnered with the Greater Mankato Diversity Council and Greater Mankato Growth, a local chamber of commerce and economic development organization for this first-ever community diversity program.

The chapter was the lead planner and sponsor of the program, which featured a cast of six professional actors and an employment law attorney serving as moderator. The program showcased how discomfort with issues such as national origin, age, race, gender and physical and mental disabilities play out on a daily basis at work.

The Human Resource Association of the Midlands: “Legislation at Work.”

The chapter developed a campaign in 2010 to offer quality programming that focused on legislative topics of the day affecting HR professionals.

The multipronged program included in-depth legislative topics at chapter meetings; six 15-minute legislative updates at chapter meetings; quarterly governmental affairs sessions that qualified for HR Certification Institute credit; a day interacting with Nebraska’s congressional delegation; a forum with a senator who held a critical swing vote in pending legislative issues; and a comprehensive “Day in the District.”

West Central Arkansas SHRM: “Managers Seminar.”

Since its inception in 2004, this chapter program has trained 766 managers and supervisors. The one-day annual event includes a motivational keynote speaker and five hours of concurrent topics that range from hiring and firing, performance reviews and employee motivation.

Attendance has grown from 53 registrants in the first year to 261 registrants in the eighth year. The program serves as a chapter fundraiser; in eight years it has brought in $50,000 in profit. This caused the chapter’s board to eliminate chapter dues for 2012.

South Puget Sound Chapter of SHRM: “U.S. Military HR Inclusion Plan.”

The chapter is working to educate the thousands of military personnel in the state who provide HR support for military organizations about SHRM and the resources available to SHRM members.

Among its outreach tactics: capitalizing on chapter members’ connections with the local military community, encouraging certification through the HR Certification Institute, and offering networking and educational opportunities.

*The Savannah Area Chapter of SHRM: “Preserving Human Capital: Workplace Violence Awareness and Preparation Initiative.”

The chapter partnered with the Effingham County Sheriff’s Office and the Georgia State certified law enforcement trainer to create an HR Certification Institute-approved presentation on workplace violence.

Designed to be implemented in four phases over 11 months, the program includes a one-hour certified educational presentation; a two-hour “train the trainer” session; two hours of classroom training and immersion into an active shooter training simulation; and a Hispanic translation to meet training and safety needs of that population. Educational tools included a CD, lesson plans and an organization policy and planning template.

State council winners are:

Ohio SHRM State Council: “HR Makes a Difference—An HR 101 Seminar for Small Business Owners and Operators—An Enterprising Leadership Program.”

The council conducted this program in several Ohio communities. It provides basic information to small business owners who have fewer than 50 employees and no HR staff. Its six modules take the business owner through the employee lifecycle, from recruitment through retirement, and address common concerns such as remaining compliant legally.

Kansas State Council of SHRM: “KS-SHRM 2010 Elections Committee.”

The council wanted to build stronger relationships with elected officials and assist local chapter members with becoming acquainted with candidates running for office.

The program included conducting a candidate survey that allowed chapter members to identify candidates’ positions on issues pertinent to key HR subject matter; meet-and-greet events, candidate interviews and debates; a voting guide, and a “Get Out the Vote” campaign. The council sent post-election congratulations and conciliatory letters to candidates.

Winning Pinnacle programs will be featured in a best-practices webinar that SHRM will post at itsVolunteer Leaders’ Resource Center. SHRM Online and HR Magazine will profile winning programs.

Related Resources:

SHRM Pinnacle Awards Program Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), SHRM Communities, Volunteer Resources


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