Three Elected to SHRM Foundation Board of Directors

Betsy Larson chosen as board chair for 2017-18

Nov 24, 2015

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Three new members have been elected to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Foundation Board of Directors for 2016.

Elected to three-year terms, beginning on Jan. 1, 2016, are:

  • Jim Link, chief human resources officer, Randstad North America, Atlanta;
  • Melissa Dawn Simkins, president, Velvet Suite, Atlanta; and
  • Ian Ziskin, president, EXec EXcel Group LLC, New York.

Board member Elizabeth (Betsy) Larson, SHRM-SCP, CCP, vice president, compensation at MassMutual, was elected chair designate for 2016. She will serve as chair of the board in 2017 and 2018.

In addition, four members were re-elected to the SHRM Foundation board:

  • Edward Lawler III, Ph.D., distinguished professor of business and director of the Center for Effective Organizations in the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California;
  • Sara Rynes, Ph.D., John F. Murray professor of management and organizations in the Tippie College of Business at the University of Iowa;
  • Elizabeth (Libby) P. Sartain, principal, Libby Sartain LLC; and
  • Tina Sung, CAE, vice president, government transformation and agency partnership, Partnership for Public Service.

Lawler will serve a two-year term. Rynes, Sartain and Sung will serve three-year terms.

Foundation board members are elected by the SHRM Foundation and SHRM boards of directors.

Also serving on the board in 2016 will be:

  • Tom Darrow, SHRM-SCP, founder and principal, Talent Connections LLC and Career Spa LLC, who serves as chair;
  • Karen B. Paul, Ph.D., leader, Global Measurement Center of Expertise, 3M;
  • Jeff T. H. Pon, SHRM-SCP, Ph.D., chief human resource and strategy officer, SHRM; and
  • Ann Marie Ryan, Ph.D., professor of organizational psychology, Michigan State University.


Jim LinkJim Link is chief human resources officer at Randstad North America. He and his team are responsible for managing all aspects of HR, including the Randstad Center of Learning Excellence. Link’s 25-year human resource career has included multiple assignments at General Electric and The Pillsbury Co. He also has been a member of the senior management team of Porsche Cars North America as general manager, human resources. He is a frequent speaker on leadership dynamics, cultural differences, generational diversity, and the role of value and contribution in performance management. He serves on the board of SHRM Atlanta. Link holds a Bachelor of Arts in public relations and a Master of Arts in organizational communication from Murray State University.
Melissa Dawn SimkinsMelissa Dawn Simkins is president of Velvet Suite, an innovative brand development firm. Her company’s brand leadership system focuses on building the next generation of leaders for Fortune 500 companies. Among her clients are the National Football League, the National Basketball Association, Gillette, Home Depot, Southern Co. and Boston Scientific Corp. Simkins has been featured on CNN, CNBC and other national media outlets discussing brands in crisis. She has previous tenures at Procter & Gamble, Victoria’s Secret, Baxter Healthcare and Nationwide. Simkins is the author of Brand Me: Make Your Mark — The Ultimate Playbook for Personal Branding. Simkins holds a Master of Science from the Integrated Marketing Communications program at Northwestern University and a Bachelor of Arts in public relations from Otterbein College.
Ian Ziskin, SHRM-SCPIan Ziskin is president of EXec EXcel Group LLC, a human capital coaching and consulting firm he founded in 2010 following a 28-year career as a corporate business executive. He also serves as CEO of CLEAR Institute, a strategic partnership focused on coaching and leadership effectiveness. His previous experience includes senior leadership roles at three Fortune 100 corporations: Northrop Grumman Corp., Qwest Communications International and TRW Inc. In 2007, Ziskin was elected a fellow of the National Academy of Human Resources. He is the author of two books, THREE: The Human Resources Emerging Executive and WillBe: 13 Reasons WillBe’s are Luckier than WannaBe’s. Ziskin holds a Master of Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University and a Bachelor of Science in management from Binghamton University.

The SHRM Foundation is a leading funder of HR research. Over the past three years, the SHRM Foundation has awarded more than $1.8 million in grants to fund academic research with practical implications for HR. It also awards $170,000 annually in education and certification scholarships. In a special multiyear program, the Foundation is currently working to identify and analyze critical trends likely to impact the workplace in five to 10 years.

For information about the SHRM Foundation, visit

Media: For more information, contact Kate Kennedy of SHRM Media Relations at 703-535-6260 and or Vanessa Gray at 703-535-6072 and

About the SHRM Foundation​
The SHRM Foundation was founded in 1966 as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit affiliate of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). The SHRM Foundation advances global HR knowledge and practice by providing thought leadership and educational support, and by sponsoring, funding and driving the adoption of cutting-edge, actionable and evidence-based research. Visit and follow us on Twitter @SHRMFoundation.


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