The Voices of SHRM Volunteer Leaders #SHRMLead


Over 850 HR leaders attended SHRM’s 2014 Volunteer Leaders’ Summit at the Marriott Marquis in Washington, D.C., this week. The annual summit brings together and celebrates the work that the organization’s volunteers do for SHRM and the HR profession throughout the year. Below some members share their experiences of being a SHRM volunteer leader and member.


"Volunteering with SHRM provides countless opportunities for development and leadership from which I have benefitted tremendously. I love it because it keeps me motivated while allowing me to give back to SHRM, community and profession and meet fantastic HR people!"

-Patty Hickok

Vice president, Northwest Human Resource Management Association

Director of employee relations, NANA Development Corporation


“It is encouraging to hear of others' best practices and be able to implement them in my chapter, state council as well as my workplace. I feel I stay ‘in the know’ especially in legislative and compliance areas. My volunteer role has been an invaluable experience.”

-Sally Roberts

Director-elect, Georgia State Council

HR director, Morris Communications


“I have been a SHRM member since 2002. The national organization provides amazing resources to its professional members. Being a national member means I am part of a huge network of HR professionals, and I frequently reach out to local chapter members for advice or support.”

-Amy West

President, West Tennessee SHRM

HR director, Jackson State Community College


“My favorite memories have to do with attending the national conferences with my local chapter and state network of SHRM members.  I’m at the point where I do not want to miss the national conference! In addition, some of my favorite memories include participating on a SHRM panel with colleagues from the same field. It has been a tremendous learning experience for me.”

-Carolyn Broderick

Past president, Jersey Shore Association for HR

Senior consultant, DeFoe Associates, LLC


“I am a SHRM volunteer because I enjoy doing things for others that result in positive outcomes. I get pleasure from seeing a project from inception to successful implementation and realizing members are benefiting from my efforts.”

-Patty Billingsley

Treasurer, Alaska SHRM State Council

Director of HR, Harbor Enterprises, Inc.


​ "My membership in SHRM provides me with the research, expertise, tools and resources I need to provide the best quality human resource services to my clients. I can depend on SHRM and trust them to have the most cutting edge, current data and information, which helps me stay in the forefront of my profession.​"

-Michael Letizia, 

State director, California State Council of SHRM

President, Letizia HR Solutions, Inc.


“I volunteer for me and for those who follow in the HR profession. Having my SHRM membership allows me to stay up-to-the minute with my knowledge of HR. My favorite memory from being a SHRM member and special expertise panelist is being asked my opinion on what matters in the field of HR.”

-Trisha Zulic

Membership director, California State Council of SHRM

HR director, Efficient Edge


“I became a SHRM member because of all the networking and professional development opportunities available.”

-Connie Burnette

President-elect, Lynchburg Regional SHRM

Vice president and HR manager, Wiley Wilson


“My favorite part of the Volunteer Leaders’ Summit was the Capitol Hill visit. That was worth the trip to D.C. in itself.”

-Tim Kelley

President, New Orleans SHRM

HR director, Flowers Baking Company


“I love attending SHRM events not only because of the content, but because of the people. People are the reason I love HR.”

-Melanie Olsen

President, Twin Cities HRA

Global onboarding manager, 3M


“Being a SHRM member has provided me with the continuing educations opportunities I need to remain certified. It also gave me an opportunity to obtain a wide network of HR colleagues across the country.”

-Debra Thompson

Board of director, Southeast Kansas Human Resources Association


“I have been a SHRM member since 2004. I was motivated to become a SHRM member, after meeting Deb Cohen, senior vice president of knowledge development at SHRM, through my master’s program. I was inspired by her leadership. Being involved with SHRM has supported my career growth, which hasn’t failed me yet.”

-Danielle Tope

Community service director, Northern Virginia SHRM

HR generalist, GW Medical Facility Associates


“This was my second year attending the newly named Volunteer Leaders’ Summit and this year was even better than the last.  Networking with other State Council Directors is invaluable to gather new ideas, share best practices, commiserate on similar issues, and simply make contacts to call in the future.  The elevated energy at the conference is contagious.  Thank you for this opportunity to learn, share and grow!”

-Susan L Simmons

Program director, Elizabethtown SHRM

Human Resources Director, First Federal Savings Bank


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