SHRM Affiliates from 10 States Win Pinnacle Award for Exceptional HR Programs

Nov 22, 2013

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) presented 11 affiliates today with its esteemed Pinnacle Award — the highest honor given to SHRM state councils and chapters for highly notable contributions to the human resource profession.

Created in 1991, the award is the highest achievement SHRM state councils and chapters can attain, and it honors programs that exceed the standard activities of SHRM affiliates in enhancing the creation of effective HR management.

Affiliates from Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Indiana, Louisiana, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Washington and Virginia were presented with the Pinnacle Award during SHRM’s annual Leadership Conference, which ends Saturday, Nov. 23.

“Winners of this award are SHRM affiliates that have shown leadership in the HR profession through innovative and forward-thinking programs,” said Henry G. (Hank) Jackson, president and CEO of SHRM. “Their efforts are a testament to our members, HR professionals, and their commitment to aligning people and business strategies. This year’s winners offer solutions to timely and real-life challenges facing workplaces today, including the skills gap and helping military veterans return to the civilian workforce.”

Winning programs selected from nearly 73 applications received a $1,000 prize, given by ADP Inc., which has sponsored the award for over 20 years.

“ADP is proud to sponsor this prestigious award and to join SHRM in recognizing the recipients,” said Kelly Shanley, senior director of global events marketing at ADP. “These organizations have demonstrated excellence through initiatives that not only advance the HR profession but also have a positive impact on their communities.”

The 2013 SHRM Pinnacle Award winners are:

For more information about the Pinnacle Award, visit

Brief descriptions of the winning programs are below.


Alaska State Council(907) WEB-INAR “Alaska—Where Technology, Certification and Common Sense Converge”

Alaskan HR professionals living outside of Anchorage, the largest city in the state, were faced with the challenge of accessing professional development activities and HR Certification Institute (HRCI) credit due to the state’s geographic restraints. To address this need, the council now offers its members complimentary webinars pre-approved by HRCI.

Washington State Council“Veteran Pre-employment Academy”

The council developed a statewide initiative to help returning veterans transition into civilian employment by partnering with the Washington DVA Veterans Conservation Corps/VetCorps. The program allowed veterans to access available employment resources and to create diversity awareness and military cultural competency. Events and activities included but were not limited to job preparedness/networking events, shadow days, internship opportunities, resume and cover letter clinics, career fairs, and online job search training.

Northshore Region Human Resource Association (Louisiana)“St. Tammany Parish Drug Court Participant Mentoring and Education Program”

Substance abuse and suicide resulting from substance abuse are large problems facing the Louisiana city of St. Tammany Parish. However, instead of incarcerating nonviolent substance abusers, the 22nd Judicial Court offers an intense treatment program. As part of this program, members of Northshore Region offered individuals one-on-one training on a quarterly basis, which covered dressing for an interview, resume writing and interview preparation. The interview preparation segment included instruction on how to respond to drug history and conviction questions.

Anchorage SHRM“Alaska: The Last (Recertification) Frontier”

Alaska’s geographic location presents challenges for certified professionals to earn HRCI credits. Recognizing this obstacle and knowing that managers can be reluctant to approve requests to travel out of state for professional development, the chapter implemented HRCI’s pre-approval program. All Anchorage SHRM programs are now pre-approved for HRCI credits.

NOVA SHRM (Virginia) – “Special Interest Groups”

Over a 15-year period, NOVA SHRM created special interest groups that include compensation and benefits, training and development, talent acquisition and management, employee relations, international HR, government contracting, and senior HR. These groups offer members opportunities to network and develop HR knowledge in a smaller group setting.

Sooner Human Resource Society (Oklahoma)“Smart Work Ethics: Taking Responsibility in the Workplace”

In response to the surrounding business community’s message that today’s employees do not possess the skills needed to advance them past entry-level positions, the chapter partnered with the Central Oklahoma Workforce Investment Board to establish a “Work Ready Certificate” for individuals who successfully complete a “Smart Work Ethics” program — a certificate that they can then share with prospective employers. The program teaches effective steps for taking personal responsibility in the workplace, including experiential training of communication skills, attitude, work ethic, professional image, organizational skills and personal life skills. The chapter was recognized with the 2012 Business Leaders of the Year Award.

NIHRA-Northeast Indiana HR Association“HR Joins the Ranks: Training & Jobs for Our Heroes”

Because Indiana has one of the highest percentages of National Guard/Reservist service in the United States, the chapter saw a natural link and opportunity to provide training to those looking to re-enter the civilian workforce. The chapter developed partnerships throughout the state for its “HR Joins the Ranks” program, which provides skills development, career fairs and networking events for employers as well as military, veterans and their spouses.

Morris County SHRM (New Jersey)“Tomorrow’s Promise”

The New Jersey chapter partnered with Community Hope and the NJ Fallen Soldiers on its “Tomorrow’s Promise” program, which offers human resource professional guidance and support to transitioning homeless veterans. The combined resources of these organizations provide hands-on support to veterans transitioning back into the civilian workforce.

Cullman Area SHRM (Alabama) – “Relaunch CSHRM 2013”

Due to stagnant membership numbers and lack of chapter vision, Cullman Area SHRM sought to rebrand itself. It established a logo and website and also grew its membership by more than 60 percent. To boost chapter growth, it increased professional chapter presence, partnered with local government economic development teams, and offered classes to small businesses in the community that did not have HR staff positions.

NOARK (Arkansas)“Why NOARK?”

After experiencing limited membership growth and hearing that members were no longer seeing the value in membership, the NOARK board developed a strategic plan to better engage, educate and offer training opportunities for members. NOARK is now the largest SHRM chapter in Arkansas due to a 20 percent increase in NOARK membership and 18 percent growth in SHRM membership.

Philadelphia SHRM“Emerging Leaders Initiative”

Noticing that SHRM student members were not transitioning to full PSHRM membership after graduation, the chapter worked with the Scholarship Committee on how it could better engage student members. To remedy this membership obstacle, they created the “Emerging Leaders Initiative,” which provides young professionals with networking, development and leadership opportunities.

Media: For more information or to request an interview, contact Vanessa Gray at 703-535-6072 and or Kate Kennedy of SHRM Public Affairs at 703-535-6260 and

About the Society for Human Resource Management

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world’s largest association devoted to human resource management. Representing about 260,000 members in more than 140 countries, the Society serves the needs of HR professionals and advances the interests of the HR profession. Founded in 1948, SHRM has more than 575 affiliated chapters within the United States and subsidiary offices in China, India and the United Arab Emirates. Visit SHRM Online at and follow us on Twitter @SHRMPress.

About ADP

With more than $11 billion in revenues and more than 60 years of experience, ADP® (NASDAQ: ADP) serves approximately 620,000 clients in more than 125 countries. As one of the world's largest providers of business outsourcing and human capital management solutions, ADP offers a wide range of human resource, payroll, talent management, tax and benefits administration solutions from a single source, and helps clients comply with regulatory and legislative changes, such as the Affordable Care Act (ACA). ADP's easy-to-use solutions for employers provide superior value to companies of all types and sizes. ADP is also a leading provider of integrated computing solutions to auto, truck, motorcycle, marine, recreational vehicle, and heavy equipment dealers throughout the world. For more information about ADP or to contact a local ADP sales office, reach us at 1.800.225.5237 or visit the company's Web site at


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