Award Categories

awardsThe Strategic HR Excellence Awards & Symposium was developed in close cooperation with leading experts in the people-centered business strategies arena. Participants ranged from large corporations to small corporations, non-profits and public and/or quasi-public agencies.

The Strategic HR Excellence Awards program was established to spotlight outstanding individual contribution. The award recipients have demonstrated “Excellence in strategy, innovation, leadership and
culture” in the profession of Human Resources. The organizers wanted to deliver a powerful message that HR is a strategic business function, not just considered a cost center.

The award categories reflect the requirements of HR strategies that target the right skills, the best people and the right tools to elevate the organization’s effectiveness of growing through and with its people.

Outstanding recipients represent government, for-profit and non-profit organizations with 5000+ employees and less than 5000 employees.

HR Specialist

A HR Specialist is the definitive source of knowledge, technique, or expertise in a specific Human Resource discipline. This individual functions as the organizational ambassador for their knowledge area, and applies their expertise to support an organization’s vision and strategic direction. In addition, they work with management as well as HR professionals in other disciplines to ensure a seamless coordination of issue resolution that impacts multiple Human Resource areas to support the operational functions.

Emerging Leader

An Emerging Leader is recognized in the organization as the “go-to” person who is an active listener, fair decision maker, and, most importantly, a motivating and inspirational communicator. This individual is also active in industry trade organizations and seizes opportunities to work on committees to help greater causes that benefit their industry or their organization.

Strategic Leader

This person proactively develops progressive ideas, best in class standards and improvements. They are constantly thinking about how to improve, not only their area of responsibility, but the totality of the organization. Their management style is to engage in an open and honest manner. They have learned to trade off issues for the future good of the whole, rather than maintaining the status quo. This individual is socially responsible. A strategic leader uses processes of well considered tactics to communicate a vision for an organization or one of its parts. Strategic leadership typically manages, motivates and persuades staff to share that same vision, and can be an important tool for implementing change or creating organizational structure within an organization.

Visionary Leader

The Visionary Leader is a builder and innovator in the HR community. This individual is highly creative, insightful, and bold, presenting challenges that call forth the best in people and brings the team a shared sense of purpose. Self-aware and highly inclusive, this person’s eyes are on the horizon as social innovators and change agents. The Visionary Leader serves the good of the whole and recognizes truth on both sides of most issues. Visionary Leaders search for solutions, transcend the usual approaches and create real breakthroughs. The Visionary Leader is recognized by their peers as a leader among today’s best and brightest.


Our Evaluation Committee of experts are looking for the following factors when reviewing submissions:

  • The creation of people strategies that are fully integrated into the overall business operations
  • Innovative, cutting edge solutions to a business problem or HR challenge
  • Creation and/or preservation of a people-centered culture of high-performing personnel
  • Implementation of programs and practices that significantly strengthened the organizations leadership capability