Dallas…a tough place for any Philadelphia native to visit. Yet given the mission - and company- I had nothing but excitement as I landed at Dallas Fort Worth last Thursday afternoon. I love any opportunity to meet, listen to, and share solutions with SHRM’s volunteer army- even if it’s in the heart of Cowboys’ country.
SHRM’s Regional Council Business Meeting (RCBM) is a yearly gathering of SHRM’s most senior volunteers – serving in each of the state councils- rolling up their sleeves- networking, sharing best practices, and preparing for the year to come. So many of these member-volunteers have already served at so many levels within SHRM’s volunteer network, dedicating years- not hours- to both the HR profession, and our professional society. Listening to their remarkable stories, and witnessing their enthusiasm shows how their commitment is as strong as ever. Their passion goes well-beyond HR tools and resources and career development-- and for volunteers such as Catharine Mirabile it’s both professional and personal.
I met Catharine- who serves as the New Hampshire State Council’s Membership Director- late last summer at the “Tri-State Conference” in Portsmouth, NH, long before the politicians came to town. Re-connecting with her in Dallas at the RCBM gave me a chance to sit-down and ask one very important question- What makes volunteers so committed? For Catharine- and so many others- it’s about giving back, about making connections, life-long friends, and keeping them as she’s moved from state to state, job to job. Through all of those moves, and the changes to the profession, Catharine shared that “SHRM is my constant.” I was quick to remind her that she- and thousands of other volunteers- have been the constant for SHRM, and they make SHRM what it is- a professional society with a personal connection.
As I met with Catherine- and so many other volunteers- I was reminded of the dynamic amongst military families I experienced during my military career. No matter where you traveled – in the U.S. and abroad- when you meet another service-member or their family you shared this immediate bond, a familiarity, and a sense of family. That’s how Catherine- and so many of her fellow volunteers’- see their relationship with SHRM, and a large part of the reason they dedicate so much of themselves to SHRM.