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HR Strategist of the Year Award Winners
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The HR Strategist of the Year Award recognizes the outstanding HR Practitioner for strategic accomplishments within an organization. Awards are given for small, medium, and large organization categories. Past winners of this award represent a wide range of industry types and sizes. Click here for more information about the 2017 HR Strategist Nomination process. Nominations are due July 28, 2017.


Past HR Strategist of the Year Award Recipients




  Dena Wengert, Williams Mullen

Dena Wengert (on left) created the first-ever Employee Engagement Committee at Williams Mullen designed to help communicate the tenets of the firm’s new strategic plan, build culture and increase diversity of thought. The ultimate goal was connecting all these elements to performance and rewards for the organization. Dena was the winner in the mid-sized company category.

Laura Schwertz, McKesson Medical Surgical

In 2013, McKesson Medical Surgical acquired its largest competitor and for 36 months Laura Schwertz (on right) led a comprehensive merger and integration plan that has included every aspect of the business. Long range strategic thinking, industry knowledge and her strong partnerships have made her a winner in the large company category.



Jennifer James

Jennifer James, EVB


Jennifer’s strategic initiative included developing and deploying an attitude of gratitude strategy at EVB, a concept unanimously endorsed. Jennifer worked with the marketing director and members of the HR Strategy Team to make the strategy a reality, achieving among other results, a 26% improvement in employee retention and altering the company culture.


Joan Snyder

Jo Anne Snyder, UNOS


Jo Anne built a singular values based foundation that to unify and drive the culture and bring together a splintered organization. She executed a very inclusive process that resulted in developing 5 core values, Stewardship, Unity, Trust, Excellence, and Accountability.


Deborah Slayden

Deborah Slayden, VCU Health Systems


Deborah created an initiative that has resulted in over 400 work-life benefit programs from helping employees buy their first home to attend to college. This has dramatically improved their abilities to attract and retain quality employees.



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