In 1997 when I first joined the largest HR organization in the world (now approaching 300k members), I really had no idea what an impact that organization would have on my life. The organization is the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM). My best friend since Kindergarten actually recommended I join since I was doing HR work in addition to training employees. She had been a member of the local Central Illinois Chapter of SHRM (CIC-SHRM) for years and highly recommended that I join to network and develop my skills. Boy did that ever happen in a big, big way! I had previously been an active member of the local and national American Society of Training and Development (ASTD). Active in ASTD was nothing like active in SHRM. From that day forward I have grown as well as the chapters and state council within Illinois. Of course, all this did not occur without some very active, hard working, and dedicated volunteers along the way.
National SHRM Leadership Conference with a delegation from Illinois of 30 plus. The reason that is such a big deal is when I joined the organization I had no idea what the Illinois State Council of SHRM was or even that it existed. Over the years, I heard the same thing from so many others in the state. Although the organization, which acts as a liaison between the national association and all of the chapters and at large individual members, was in its infancy back then little did we know just how much progress would be made in such a short time.
When I first started attending this conference at the start of the decade we only had a couple people from our entire state. I remember meeting and seeing delegates from other states gather in droves. Texas and Indiana seem to jump out from memory. They all had matching shirts and pins to show off their team spirit. Little by little each year the awareness grew and our chapters began to become more active partly due to our encouragement. They were always invited before but we really helped them understand that their roles are bigger than what they do locally. We gave the chapter presidents voting rights at the state level as well as began to share profit in our growing state conference. Last year Illinois SHRM had its biggest conference ever with more than 750 attendees. Prior to that year our norm was 300 to 400 and our max had been around 500.
We have made progress in other ways too primarily by reinstituting the position of District Director and traveling all over the state to conduct an ISC Road Show and the latest SHRM Foundation DVD roundtable program on such topics as Succession Planning, Recruiting & Retention, Ethics, and much more.
With over 59,000 HR professionals in the state and over 10,000 of them belonging to the largest HR organization in the world—we are proud to be representing all of them. So to say I am proud to be in the company of 30 other highly respected and valued volunteers throughout the state is an understatement. I am ecstatic! Thanks to our director we are going to be showing our team spirit too like the other big states for the very first time. All in “Cardinal” red (representing our state bird) sporting our fairly new logo! HR has a presence in this state and we mean BUSINESS! ISC-SHRM is a resource for all things HR and we do know “NEXT” for business of all sizes. Call us anytime!
- Donna Rogers - President Elect ISC-SHRM