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SHRM Transparency Group Reveals Strategy to Run for SHRM Board Positions

June 25, 2012
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After months of trying to meet with SHRM leaders to continue discussing their grievances, the SHRM Members for Transparency have given up their efforts and have decided to run a slate of candidates for seats on the organization’s board in the fall election.

The group, which was formed by Society for Human Resource Management leaders and current members who are critical of recent board decisions, made their announcement at a news conference on June 24 before the start of the 64th SHRM Annual Conference & Exposition.

“A SHRM member told me, ‘If you want to change society, the way you should do it is change the board,” said Mike Losey, a former SHRM president and a founding member of the transparency group.

The group has met twice with association leaders since last year’s conference in Las Vegas, but after the second meeting in March, SHRM leaders decided to discontinue the meetings, according to Kate Herbst, a transparency group member and now a board candidate.

“We felt trust developing between the two groups and we were optimistic at that time,” Herbst said. “But then they couldn’t meet here, they couldn’t meet there. Their tactic was delay, delay, delay. We realized that they weren’t going to change.”

In addition to Herbst, a former chair the HR Certification Institute, other candidates include:

  • Marilyn Hoppen, a senior vice president and HR director for Kitsap bank in Washington state and president of the West Sound Human Resources Management Association.
  • Losey, the past president and CEO of SHRM.
  • Susan Warner, an attorney and president of Human Resource Troubleshooters

The group is also seeking two more candidates.

The SHRM transparency group formed in 2010 shortly after the incumbent board voted to nearly double the annual honoraria paid to board members and to allow reimbursement for business-class travel. Those have been at the heart of the group’s concerns.

Members also released results of a survey of nearly 4,000 SHRM chapter leaders and other members nationwide that showed that 98 percent agreed that the board should follow industry standards for pay and travel. Most not-for-profits don’t offer either to board members. The survey, which was conducted in May, also showed that 91 percent indicated that the board’s compensation is too high, and 94 percent agreed that perks like premium-class air travel are not necessary to recruit and retain good board members.

A SHRM representative declined to comment.

Rita Pyrillis is Workforce Management’s senior writer. Comment below or email editors@workforce.com.

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