HR Excellence Awards

SHRM-Atlanta and the Atlanta Business Chronicle have partnered together to celebrate the best and brightest in Human Resources and People management that are helping create best in class workforces and workplaces! 

The HR Excellence Awards recognizes accomplished HR professionals and teams who’ve achieved new heights in employee engagement and productivity through innovative strategies and outstanding performance in one of eight award categories.

  • Nomination window: February 8, 2019 through April 1, 2019  Nomination Information
  • Judges: Awards are judged by a panel from both Atlanta Business Chronicle and SHRM-Atlanta,
  • Winner Recognition: Finalist and Winners will be honored at an Awards ceremony held June 13, 2019 and featured in a special section of the Atlanta Business Chronicle and SHRM-Atlanta website.


HR Excellence Awards Celebration

June 13, 2019 | Atlanta Botanical Garden Day Hall | 4:30 – 6:30 PM


Registration Information


Nomination Categories:

Chief Human Resources Officer of the Year

This award honors a Chief Human Resources Officer who has unleashed their organization's energy through building and deepening its talent and deploying that talent effectively. 

Finalists:       Mary Beth Allen, CHRO, Emory Healthcare
                       Khara Julien, CHRO, GMS
                       Crystal Williams, CHRO, FLEETCOR

Most People-Focused CEO 

This award honors a chief executive officer whose exemplary abilities to inspire and engage employees and to create strong values within their workplace has proven to be a key factor in the company or organization’s achievements.  

Winner:            Dan Cathy, CEO, Chick-fil-A

Rising HR Star (age 35 and under) 

This award recognizes human resource practitioners that are under age 35 and who have already made a measurable impact on their organizations. 

Finalists:        Kristin Ethridge, Campus Recruiter, Bennett Thrasher
                        Noelle Holdsworth, Employer Brand Manager, T-Mobile USA Inc.
                        Bradford Wilkins, Chief People Officer, Altisource

Leading Transformational Change/Culture 

This award honors a company or organization that has completed a successful people-focused business transformation program and has operated under the new model for at least 12 months.

Finalists:        Anastasia Falconio, Chief People Officer, Kids II Inc.
                       Norman Hill, Vice President of Human Resources, Sheltering Arms
                       H.R. “Shashi” Shashikant, Senior Vice President and CHRO, Novelis

Best Learning & Development and Talent Management Strategy 

This award honors a company or organization that has effectively invested in development of people resulting in measurable success.

Finalists:        Wanda Hayes, Senior Director, Learning and Organizational Development, Emory University
                        Joel Kearns, Vice President, Global Talent Management and HR, First Advantage Corporation
                        Nidhi Verma, Vice President, Learning & Talent Management, Crawford & Co.

Best Total Rewards Strategy 

This award honors a company or organization that has developed a measurably effective compensation and benefits strategy. 

Most Effective Recruitment Strategy 

This award honors a human resources professional who most enhanced recruitment and improved retention at their company/organization. 

Finalists:        Camye Mackey, Chief People Officer, Atlanta Hawks and State Farm Arena
                       Haley Wood, Global Recruiting Manager, eVestment

Most Innovative Use of Technology 

This award honors a company or organization that has used technology to move the human resources function forward, such as application of software and analytic systems, online recruitment or e-learning programs.  

Finalists:        Ann Burris, Assistant Deputy Commissioner for Human Resources, Georgia Department of Human Services
                       David Jones, Chief Human Resources Officer, WellStar Health Systems