The 2017 SHRM Annual Conference & Exposition, this year in New Orleans, is going to have an underlying theme to it this year. This will be the last year that we will hear from Hank Jackson our leader. While I am not an insider of SHRM at the highest levels, I have been around a long time and have seen how the organization has moved forward and grown under his leadership. When Hank took over, a lot of things needed a lot of attention. And Hank guided the organization through some rough waters, not only when he took over, but through other matters as well.
I have always enjoyed listening to him speak at every event, but especially at the SHRM Annual Conference & Exposition. His background has been in finance, accounting and such, as he is a CPA by trade. But, he has adapted to the HR world. It is my opinion, that he has continued to embrace his role and become more and more outgoing, like so many of his members. He has never been afraid to put himself “out there”. A few years ago, at an Illinois SHRM State Conference Hank was drawn into a keynote presentation, on “telling the truth” by Janine Driver. She razed him a bit and he was a good sport about it.
In my good fortune, to attend many SHRM events Hank (which he goes by, but I somehow feel I should do like the Wall Street Journal and call him Mr. Jackson) has usually been a speaker. He makes me feel good about being a SHRMie; those of us that “bleed blue” are surely going to miss his leadership. He is always available to pose for pictures, and is just a nice fellow.
Hank has lead us though the discourse with the SHRM Members for Transparency. Hank always took the high road on this matter, but held his ground.
More recently, Hank was at the helm when we had the big whohah over the SHRM Certification matter and the separation from HRCI. This was a tough issue, and again, Hank never wavered on this. At least in my mind we are past this now and pushing ahead with the SHRM Certifications.
As I reflect on Hanks tenure, and my role in the organization, those are a couple of the big things that come to my mind. Hank has been a strong leader and he will be missed. We wish him well in his next endeavors whatever that may be. I hope we still see him around from time to time, just like we see Sue Meisinger at some of the annual conferences.
Thank you, Hank, for your guidance and leadership, and for your service to our organization, The Society of Human Resource Management.