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Director of HR, Bridgewater College
When you live near the Shenandoah Mountains, you get used to spectacular views. Vikki Ingram has been enjoying them for more than two decades.
Ingram, who holds an MBA, is a past president of
the Shenandoah Valley, Va., chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and was named Shenandoah Valley HR Business Leader of the Year in 2011.
Last year, she became the military liaison for SHRM’s Virginia State Council, which represents 19 local SHRM chapters. She has the ideal background for that post. She spent 10 years in the U.S. Air Force; her son is on active duty with the Air Force; and her husband, three brothers and late father all served in the military as well.
How did your Air Force experience prepare you for HR?
When I started my first HR position at a medical center, I had no experience other than one undergraduate course, and no one was available to show me the ropes. Fortunately, my military training taught me how to think strategically and to embrace any challenge. The military emphasizes leadership and soft skills such as communication and relationship-building, because with them people can be trained to do just about any job. It also provides clear rules and a chain of command.
What do you hope to accomplish as military liaison for SHRM’s Virginia State Council?
My first initiative is to educate HR practitioners on the value that veterans bring to the workforce and how to translate their training and skills for civilian positions. I’m also working on a pilot project for hiring veterans with a goal of establishing best practices that can be used by SHRM chapters across the country.
What are you passionate about?
Helping people and making a difference in their lives. I have always chosen to work for smaller organizations that believe in providing the personal touch. I am never too busy to help my employees.
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