SHRM Chapters and Councils from 11 States Win Pinnacle Awards for Exceptional HR Programs

November 16, 2018

​The 2018 Pinnacle Award winners.

WASHINGTON — The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) today presented 12 affiliates with its Pinnacle Award — the highest honor given to SHRM state councils and chapters for notable contributions to the human resource profession.

Created in 1991, the award is the most prestigious achievement SHRM state councils and chapters can attain, and it honors programs that exceed the standard activities of SHRM local networks in enhancing HR management. 

The awards were presented at this week’s annual SHRM Volunteer Leaders’ Summit, which ends Saturday, Nov. 17.

“These chapters and state councils embody what it means to be HR leaders,” said Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., SHRM-SCP, president and CEO of SHRM. “They are tackling some of the highest-profile and relevant HR issues today at the local level. Some of this year’s winners included programs on combating the skills shortage, employing untapped talent pools such as veterans and those with mental illness, and raising awareness on handling sexual harassment in the workplace.” 

Winning programs were selected from over 80 applications and received a $1,000 prize from Paychex Inc., sponsor of this year’s awards. 

The 2018 SHRM Pinnacle Award winners are:

  1. Northwest Arkansas Human Resources Association – “Providing Re-Certification Opportunities for our HR Community”
  2. West Central Arkansas Society for Human Resource Management – “Partnering with our Community”
  3. HR Florida State Council – “Different Not Less…Fantastic”
  4. Snake River Chapter of SHRM (Idaho) – “Serving our Future”
  5. Central Louisiana Society for Human Resource Management – “Sexual Harassment Awareness and Prevention in the Workplace – A Panel Discussion”
  6. LakeNormanHR (N.C.) – “Partnering with Duke Energy to meet their HR employee development needs and increase engagement”
  7. Human Resources Association of Central Ohio – “Hanging with the Young Professionals”
  8. Oklahoma State Council for Human Resource Management – “OKHR in Indian Country Conference” 
  9. Portland HR Management Association (Ore.) – “Cultivating Member Engagement, Retention and New Member Acquisition with Livestreaming and Satellite Locations”
  10. Greater Valley Forge Human Resource Association (Pa.) – “Supporting Local Veterans”
  11. Greenville SHRM (S.C.) – “Decoding the Mystery of Disability Employment/Rethinking the Ideal Employee”
  12. Virginia SHRM State Council – “Virginia SHRM State Council’s Bold Purpose to Thrive!”

2018 PINNACLE AWARD WINNER PROFILES

Northwest Arkansas Human Resources Association – “Providing Re-Certification Opportunities for our HR Community”
One of the chapter’s goals was to provide re-certification opportunities to its members and community. To do that, it obtained certification approval for monthly membership meetings and sought out additional opportunities. These opportunities included two, daylong workshops, as well as a supervisors’ conference open to its membership and managers working in the business community. The supervisors’ training drew a large audience from many community businesses and organizations.

West Central Arkansas Society for Human Resource Management – “Partnering with our Community”
Since 2016, the chapter has held a monthly drive to meet the needs of individuals and organizations within its local community and assist with workforce readiness. In 2018, the program expanded to involve chapter members. The monthly drives included supplying interview attire and towels for women at a local shelter, books for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library for Literacy, and food for food banks and school children who may normally go without breakfast during the summer, among other items. These efforts provided local families and veterans with tools to gain employment.

HR Florida State Council – “Different Not Less…Fantastic”
HR Florida created a diversity and inclusion initiative to increase community partnerships, employer outreach and support of mental health awareness by providing its 15,000 HR professionals and over 6,300 employers with tools and resources to combat the stigma of mental illness in the workplace. Because the unemployment rate for those with disabilities is twice that of workers without disabilities, HR Florida created the initiative to highlight an untapped talent pool. The state council also partnered with agencies such as the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Florida to emphasize that workers of all abilities bring strengths to the workforce and to highlight the potential of people with autism and related disabilities as an important component of a diverse talent pool.

Snake River Chapter of SHRM (Idaho) – “Serving our Future”
When its community faced a serious labor shortage, the local SHRM chapter took great strides to address it. Snake River Chapter members spent over 400 hours over several months at local schools doing resume and interview prep and teaching classes on finding a job. By partnering with teachers, the chapter became a sought-after resource, receiving requests from teachers throughout the counties it represents. Chapter membership also was positively impacted by participation in the program. 

Central Louisiana Society for Human Resource Management – “Sexual Harassment Awareness and Prevention in the Workplace – A Panel Discussion”
In light of the #MeToo and Times Up movements, the chapter created a panel discussion, “Sexual Harassment Awareness and Prevention in the Workplace,” for the local business community. The goal was to create awareness of workplace sexual harassment, promote understanding of the applicable regulations and present useful strategies for creating a respectful workplace. The chapter believed it was important to provide timely guidance on the topic and viewed this as an opportunity to facilitate conversations on civility and respect in the workplace. The diverse panel and program offered practical solutions for victims, witnesses and businesses, and allowed for an open forum to voice concerns regarding this issue. 

LakeNormanHR (N.C.) – “Partnering with Duke Energy to Meet Their HR Employee Development Needs and Increase Engagement”
The chapter, which was chartered in 2016, quickly developed a reputation for its practical, quality educational programs at monthly meetings. That reputation led to a request by Duke Energy for the SHRM chapter to bring educational programs and certification credits to its company onsite and online, so that its entire HR community could receive current and consistent training opportunities. This was a large project, as Duke Energy employs over 250 HR professionals at its Charlotte, N.C., location. Since the time of its first program with Duke Energy in 2017, the chapter has hosted six programs and reached an average of nearly 75 Duke Energy HR employees per session. Due to the program’s success in 2018, the partnership also increased from monthly to bi-monthly sessions. 

Human Resources Association of Central Ohio – “Hanging with the Young Professionals”
As the future of its membership and the HR profession, young professionals were the focus of the chapter’s program to engage them in the community. The group created the first-ever Young Professionals Week in Columbus, Ohio, which included over 50 events, 30 community and business partners and over 2,000 young professional participants. The chapter was also the main sponsor and partner for programs such as Leadership Lessons, where leaders spoke to young professionals about lessons learned and best practices that helped them succeed. The group also led “Coffee Conversations,” a monthly, casual event for young professionals to gather over coffee, and discuss relevant business concerns and trends. Since implementing these initiatives, the chapter has had a steady increase in membership each month—75 percent of which fall into the young professional category.  

Oklahoma State Council for Human Resource Management – “OKHR in Indian Country Conference” 
Understanding the challenges and opportunities that come with working within a Sovereign Nation, the council created a half-day conference, where speakers educated tribal employers on policy development, statute implementation and succession planning. The conference also provided the tribes with an opportunity to learn more about SHRM and the value SHRM can bring to all human resource professionals.

Portland HR Management Association (Ore.) – “Cultivating Member Engagement, Retention and New Member Acquisition with Livestreaming and Satellite Locations”
One of the chapter’s objectives was to grow membership and increase member engagement and retention. After surveying members, it found a variety of factors contributing to a membership decline, including business growth in the suburbs and increased traffic getting to and from the city. In response, it began livestreaming its monthly programs to satellite locations across the Portland area. The program resulted in a 19 percent increase in monthly program attendance and an increase in new members by 23 percent over the previous year. The livestreamed programming also allowed the chapter to provide recertification credits via its monthly meetings to a wider audience.

Greater Valley Forge Human Resource Association (Pa.) – “Supporting Local Veterans”
The chapter established a three-part program to support and connect U.S. veterans and employers. The first goal was created to provide veterans with resources to re-engage and rejoin the job market after deployment or active duty. The second was established to provide employers with information on the benefits of hiring veterans. Additionally, the chapter provided employers with education and resources to recruit and retain top veteran talent. The third was to raise money for local veterans through veteran-mission driven organizations. The goal of this was to help local, veteran-mission organizations achieve their objectives through financial stability and employment support. All program goals were met, and chapter members began hiring veterans to work in their organizations. The chapter held successful events with high attendance and raised over $16,000 for the Travis Manion Foundation and $1,000 to date for the Southeastern Veterans Center.

Greenville SHRM (S.C.) – “Decoding the Mystery of Disability Employment/Rethinking the Ideal Employee”
The chapter created a Lunch & Learn series and conference session to educate HR professionals, managers and business owners on the myths and misconceptions associated with hiring those with disabilities. The committee’s strategy had two objectives, which were to address the myths and to offer solutions for effectively and efficiently employing people with disabilities. The committee selected as speakers HR practitioners who had already successfully recruited, hired and integrated disabled employees into their workplace. Additionally, the session presenters provided examples and lists of resources for recruitment and support, processes and forms for best practices, including accommodations. 

Virginia SHRM State Council – “Virginia SHRM State Council’s Bold Purpose to Thrive!”
Despite repeated successful state conferences, many of the almost 4,000 SHRM members-in-chapters didn’t know or understand the work of the state council. Therefore, the council created an initiative to increase visibility, engage with chapter volunteers statewide, and expand its value proposition to all its 14,000-local chapter and national members. Over the course of the council’s “Volunteer Appreciation Campaign,” the state director visited each chapter, and thanked board members for their time and commitment. Each chapter board member was presented with a personal note and customized appreciation gift for the chapter. Additionally, the state director wrote letters to the chapter volunteers’ companies, thanking them for allowing their employees time to serve. Each chapter was challenged to set specific initiatives to THRIVE! in 2018. Those chapter initiative efforts are currently under way.

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

About the Society for Human Resource Management
The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world’s largest HR professional society, representing 300,000 members in more than 165 countries. For nearly seven decades, the Society has been the leading provider of resources serving the needs of HR professionals and advancing the practice of human resource management. SHRM has more than 575 affiliated chapters within the United States and subsidiary offices in China, India and United Arab Emirates. Visit us at shrm.org and @SHRM. 

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