Workplace challenges have never been greater than in this era of globalization, economic uncertainty and accelerated technological change. At the same time, nimble workforce management is ever more critical to an organization's success.
The 15 winners of Workforce Management's first Game Changers award competition have demonstrated the kinds of skills and achievements that are so necessary in the competitive 21st century workplace.
The winners are all rising stars, 40 years old and younger, who are making their mark in human resources and other areas of workplace management. They come from corporations, startups and not-for-profits, and they are finding innovative ways to create a new generation of leaders, shed light on how companies compensate and treat their employees, bridge global cultural differences in HR management, and use social media to facilitate employee collaboration.
Winners were chosen by Workforce Management's editorial staff from a pool of approximately 50 nominees. We considered not only professional accomplishments but also community service and other achievements.
Managing director, Charles Schwab & Co., San Francisco
Dana Aspillera, 34, makes sure her team has an active presence in the community for seeking out new talent.
Co-founder and vice president of product and marketing, Glassdoor Inc., Sausalito, California
Tim Besse, 31, was nominated in part because he motivates his staff to think on their feet and to come to meetings with thought-out ideas to help spur progressive conversations.
Manager of talent management, Doosan Infracore Construction Equipment, Seoul, South Korea
Nicholas Christenson, 30, has discovered that uniting the strengths of HR practices for his company in the United States and South Korea has been invigorating.
Director, Automatic Data Processing, Norcross, Georgia
Jennifer Cozier, 38, is interested in the science of people and how to get the best out of a team, which translates into her personal standing as an individual who cares about talent.
Sara Sutton Fell
Founder and CEO, FlexJobs
Sara Sutton Fell, 37, created FlexJobs to streamline the job-hunting process for those looking for something besides full-time work. She has also built a collaborative culture for her 16 employees, many of whom are scattered across the country.
Human resources manager
Orlando (Florida) Airport Marriott
Julie Heitzler, 29 is recognized by her peers as a savvy leader and represents a future in which HR leaders are trusted business partners.
Founder and managing partner, Bounce Collective, Richmond, Virginia
Kelly Lewis, 39, works with schoolchildren, either in their own leadership learning groups or as part of what she calls "Leaders as Learners," which brings adult clients into a sixth-grade classroom once a week for six months for a new approach to learning.
Global human resources director, BroadVision Inc., Redwood City, California
Lisa Lyssand, 38, initiated blog posts to spur interest in the use of internal social media and drew up guidelines to help employees stay within the company's legal, technical and social bounds.
D. Zachary Misko
Vice president, Kelly Services' Outsourcing & Consulting Group
D. Zachary Misko, 39, calls himself a "brand differentiator," saying it makes sense that an expert in the staffing field would do a better job of spreading the word about his company's services rather than a marketing manager who may not know as much about the business.
Tiffani Murray, 34, is taking her technology know-how from the corporate world to help her clients advance their human resources strategies through social media.
Manager, human capital consulting,
PDRI, Arlington, Virginia
Ryan O'Leary, 35, leads a team that is creating the job-discovery portion of a Web portal for what President Barack Obama has called the "9/11 generation" by thinking of new, better and innovative ways to produce better returns for his customers.
Human resources manager, Delta Dental of Kansas, Wichita
Laura Picking, 29, created a job-shadowing program through which employees sign up to follow two jobs for two hours each after employees expressed curiosity about other departments.
Founder and CEO,
Yammer, San Francisco
David Sacks, 39, is a CEO who practices what he preaches, saying his goal is to create a corporate culture that is very open and transparent, which helps lead to a happier, more engaged workplace.
Benedict 'Ned' Salvador
Senior director, Integra Business Processing Solutions Inc., Manila, Philippines
Benedict "Ned" Salvador, 33, makes sure that those around him recognize that the knowledge-process-outsourcing industry provides not only a good career-development path but also careers in which employees' ability is maximized.
Manager, talent development, Sprint Nextel Corp., Overland Park, Kansas
Wendy Savlin, 35, produced a series of short videos that employees could access from the company's intranet. The videos have helped cut training costs while creating unexpected benefits for the company.