For the last sixteen years, I have had the honor and privilege to work with and serve SHRM volunteers from 20 different states (not all at once!). I know that our 6,000 volunteer leaders have made SHRM a more successful, more impactful, and larger association than we could have been without them. We owe our volunteers a great deal. The Volunteer Leaders’ Summit is one way we say thank you.
As I look back on how these volunteers have affected my life, I recall how I was “one of them” for about five years before becoming a SHRM staff member. I feel fortunate to get paid for what I loved doing already. Volunteering for SHRM has been the best thing I ever did for myself and my career. I know many of you feel the same about your own experiences.
Many years ago, when I first began my HR career, a more experienced colleague from another company asked me if I had ever heard of SHRM. He told me it was THE professional association for HR professionals. I immediately joined SHRM and from that point on, I knew I wanted to get involved.
As a volunteer, I met fascinating, passionate, caring people who made a difference in my life. We all had fun together and bonded over a shared interest in the profession.
When I ask our members why they volunteer, I hear reasons like these: 1) to give back to the profession and mentor others, 2) to develop leadership skills, 3) to meet other volunteers and network, and 4) to have fun. Now that I am a SHRM staff member, it is so gratifying to me to be able to serve those who find volunteering as meaningful and productive as I did.
So, at this time of Thanksgiving, the SHRM staff gives thanks to all of you who serve our members, give back, and make our professional association successful. Thank you for your long hours of hard work and dedication to the largest HR association in the world. Be proud of what you helped build.