Pinnacle Award Winners Announced at Volunteer Leaders’ Summit

By Kathy Gurchiek Nov 21, 2016
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​Representatives from the SHRM chapters and state councils that received 2016 Pinnacle Awards on Nov. 18 at the SHRM Volunteer Leaders' Summit, from left to right, are: Jennifer Parker, Cullman Area SHRM (Alabama); Tami Poe, SHRM-SCP, West Georgia SHRM; Kami Golightly, SHRM-CP, Lubbock SHRM (Texas); Loraine Allen, Loraine Allen, West Georgia; Mary LaFontaine, Central Maine Human Resource Association; Shelli Nelson, SHRM-CP, Chicago SHRM; Nora Brandon, SHRM-SCP, Colorado SHRM State Council; Bonita Sonderby, SHRM-SCP, Mile High SHRM (Colorado); Tim Rasch, Portland Human Resources Management Association (Oregon); Tina M. Sharby, SHRM-CP, Human Resources State Council of New Hampshire; Dawn Tacker, SHRM-CP, Central Valley Human Resources Management Association (California).; Laraine Knauss, SHRM-SCP, Garden State Council—SHRM (New Jersey); Nancy Wright, SHRM-SCP, Heart of Illinois HR Council; Tina Smith, SHRM-SCP, Central Illinois HR Group; and Jennifer Hanna, SHRM-SCP, Bloomington Normal Human Resource Council (Illinois).

​Thirteen Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) chapters and three SHRM state councils are winners of the 2016 Pinnacle Award for notable contributions to the HR profession.

The award, created in 1991, honors the best SHRM affiliate programs that enhance the development of effective HR management and make notable contributions to the profession. Winners were selected from 68 applications. Paychex Inc. sponsored this year's awards program, and chapters and state councils each received $1,000 and a crystal award.

Affiliates from Alabama, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oregon and Texas received the award during SHRM's annual Volunteer Leaders' Summit, which opened Nov. 17 in Washington, D.C. Award categories include Advancing the HR Profession, Serving HR Professionals and Enhancing the SHRM Community.

Winners for projects that advance the HR profession are:

Small Chapters—West Georgia SHRM, SHRM-Columbus (Ga.) and East Alabama SHRM

West Georgia SHRM led a collaborative effort with SHRM Columbus, East Alabama SHRM and regional Chambers of Commerce to produce that region's first web-based compensation and benefits survey. It is being used to provide data to local industries for strategic planning and budgeting. The three Chambers of Commerce can utilize it for economic development and to recruit companies to start businesses in that region.

Medium/Large Chapter—Central Valley Human Resources Management Association (California)
The chapter collaborated with the Stanislaus County Business Alliance and Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Calif., to hold a Veterans Job Fair. The goal was to reach 600 job seekers, anticipating that 5 percent to 7 percent would be veterans. The job fair drew 750 job seekers, 10 percent of whom were veterans. The chapter also hosted a social gathering the night before the fair to recognize 60 veteran-friendly employers who were actively hiring.

Mega/Super Chapter—Chicago SHRM

The chapter used social media to deliver original content and to connect with HR professionals who weren't SHRM members or chapter members. It saw an increase in traffic to the Chicago SHRM website and identified a new way to engage members and nonmembers.

State Council—Colorado SHRM

The council has facilitated a Day at the Capitol for the last four years to encourage HR professionals to participate in advocacy on the state government level. In 2016, attendees met with government representatives regarding a proposed sick leave bill. The bill did not pass the House, which the council attributed in large part to its advocacy efforts. One of the bill sponsors contacted an advocacy participant to help rewrite the bill to be more favorable to the workplace. Attendee participation at Day at the Capitol has grown 16 percent since the event was launched.

For projects that served HR professionals, winners are:

Small Chapter—Central Maine Human Resource Association
The Central Maine Human Resource Association partnered with the Maine CareerCenters (a member of the American Job Center Network) and the Lewiston Auburn Metro Chamber of Commerce to host HR Thursdays, a series of workshops to give employers tools and resources to combat the effects of the labor shortage. The workshops also provided recruitment, training and retention strategies and increased access to programming for the local HR community, hiring managers and business leaders.

Medium/Large Chapters—Bloomington Normal Human Resource Council (Illinois), Heart of Illinois HR Council, Central Illinois HR Group

These groups worked together to create an inexpensive medium to educate HR professionals in the community to help them elevate themselves and their organizations. The result was the Central Illinois HR Conference, which attracted 170 attendees who each received five hours of certified training. Twelve companies sponsored the event.

Mega/Super-Mega Chapter—Mile High SHRM (Colorado)

This chapter hosted, for the third consecutive year, a day of learning and networking at the HR Young Professionals Conference in Denver. The program has enabled the chapter to engage an underrepresented demographic and increase chapter membership.

State Council—Human Resources State Council of New Hampshire
The council developed the Diversity Workforce Coalition over a two-year period, and it has become a central source of information and resources for diversity and inclusion topics. Its primary purpose is helping organizations recognize that diversity extends beyond skin color.

For enhancing the SHRM community, the winners are:

Small Chapter—Cullman Area SHRM (Alabama)

The chapter's Human Resources and Management Team Workshop was created to give chapter members and other HR professionals access to information that would help them further their knowledge of HR and develop their skills. The workshop was held at a local college, and students and professors were able to attend, expanding the SHRM and chapter brands. The workshop generated enough revenue that the chapter was able to donate $2,000 each to the SHRM Foundation and the local United Way.

Medium/Large Chapter—Lubbock SHRM (Texas)

The chapter's Young Professionals Recruitment and Engagement initiative was started to create a pipeline of future HR leaders from current college students and recent graduates. The chapter provided education, networking, internships and employment opportunities to the young professionals.

Mega/Super-Mega Chapter—Portland Human Resources Management Association (Oregon)
The chapter responded to members' requests for more personal and professional development opportunities by creating a trio of new programs that:

  • Fostered mentorship by partnering early-career HR professionals with senior HR professionals and providing a 90-page manual to guide them through a monthly process of professional development.
  • Offered emerging professionals with fewer than six years of HR experience an outlet to network and build relationships with other HR professionals.
  • Provide a forum—HR Think Tank—for meaningful discussions on cutting-edge HR topics. Related content is available to kick-start conversations.

The chapter's efforts resulted in a return to Super-Mega chapter status by the addition of 75 members and the creation of 20 new leadership opportunities for volunteers.

State Council—Garden State Council—SHRM (New Jersey)

The council moved beyond sponsoring and financially supporting college and university student chapters in New Jersey to create a College Student Chapter Integration initiative. Through it, the council provides leadership development activities to undergraduate and graduate students. This includes 30-40 student chapter members participating at the annual Garden State CouncilSHRM Leadership Conference, 50-75 student chapter members attending the Garden State CouncilSHRM conference, and student chapter leaders reporting at quarterly state council meetings. 

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