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SHRM Foundation Honors Former Congresswoman Walorski and Others at Its Annual Tharseō Awards

SHRM Foundation hosts the second annual Tharseō Awards in Chicago, IL.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The SHRM Foundation announced today the winners of its second annual Tharseō Awards. Tharseō (thar-seh'-ō)—derived from the Greek word for "courageous, confident and bold"—highlights leaders at the forefront of innovating and shaping the work experience. Recipients will be honored during a black-tie gala at the Field Museum in Chicago, IL., on October 17, 2022. The awards ceremony will celebrate the visionaries, innovators and change agents who create impact within their organizations and far beyond it.

"Each of the winners that we honor exemplifies what it means to be a visionary," said Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., SHRM-SCP, president and chief executive officer of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). "Tharseō sheds light on the leaders who chart courses both within and for the workplace. Individuals like these allow ingenuity to flourish and thrive on creating a better world."
The recipients are:

  • CEO of the Year: Bob Chapman, Chairman & CEO, Barry-Wehmiller

Chapman is the chairman and CEO of Barry-Wehmiller, a St. Louis-based global industrial equipment and engineering solutions firm. Recently named the No. 3 CEO in the world by Inc. magazine and a Top 10 Social Capital CEO by International Business Times, Chapman has transformed Barry-Wehmiller using a unique blend of strategy and culture called Truly Human Leadership. Today, Barry-Wehmiller is a thriving $3.5 billion organization of 12,000 team members who experience a caring culture and meaningful work that honors their dignity and unique talents. Chapman also focuses on helping individuals and companies adopt his Truly Human Leadership strategy. He launched a nonprofit that offers empathetic listening training to communities, a consulting business to transform organizational cultures and leadership approaches, and numerous initiatives with K-12 schools and business schools to bring Truly Human Leadership skills to young people—tomorrow’s business leaders.

  • Policy Transformer of the Year (Awarded Posthumously): Former Rep. Jackie Walorski

    Representative Walorski represented Indiana's second district in the U.S. House of Representatives from 2012 to 2022. Before her service in the House, Walorski served in the Indiana House of Representatives 21st district from 2005 to 2010. While serving as a Ways and Means Committee member, Walorski was the top Republican on the worker and family support subcommittee. Walorski helped introduce bills that supported workers and Americans with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout her career, she championed legislation to increase access to mental health services and better support Americans with caregiving responsibilities. This award is being given posthumously to Rep. Walorski and is being received by her family.

  • Ram Charan HR Innovation Award: Kausik Rajgopal, EVP, People and Sourcing, PayPal

    Rajgopal leads PayPal's HR, Procurement, and Real Estate teams and oversees strategies on global workforce planning, spending/supplier relationships and PayPal's approach to real estate future of work initiatives. Rajgopal's leadership style blends senior leadership experience and expertise in human resources, technology and payments. Before joining PayPal, Rajgopal had experience at McKinsey & Co., leading its HR, Procurement and similar functions for global operations across various industries and sectors.


"These extraordinary individuals are honored by the Tharseō Awards because they raise the bar for global leadership," said Wendi Safstrom, president of SHRM Foundation. "Each awardee has demonstrated the rare characteristics we look for in Tharseō winners: innovation, foresight and a keen ability not only to adapt but lead in a rapidly changing landscape. We are proud of our 2022 winners and their incredible impact on the field of HR and the world of work."

The jurors of the Tharseō Awards evaluate candidates through multistage qualitative and quantitative measurements. The criteria for each award category encompass leader ingenuity, implementation, and overall impact on the company and global workforce.

The SHRM Foundation is committed to empowering HR as a social force for change. To learn more about the Tharseō Awards, its esteemed jurors and selection process, please visit
About the SHRM Foundation
Founded in 1966, the SHRM Foundation is the 501(c)(3) philanthropic arm of the world's largest HR professional society, SHRM. SHRM represents more than 300,000 HR professionals across the globe, impacting 115 million workers and their families. The SHRM Foundation mobilizes the power of HR for positive social change in the workplace. Its robust resources, meaningful partnerships and evidence-based programming educate and empower HR professionals to hire diverse talent, build inclusive workplaces, prioritize workplace mental health and wellness, develop and support the next generation of HR professionals, and help employees find purpose at work and beyond. Learn more at


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