Editor’s Note: Winning HR

Once again at the HRO Today Forum, North America, I had the honor of co-hosting our 11th annual CHRO of the Year Awards gala. It is truly a special night for HR leaders, who are often tasked with recognizing others but not receiving any recognition themselves for the difference they make for their workforces and their organizations. It was another year with six outstanding winners and I’m sure you’ll be impressed by a small sampling of their accomplishment here.

2024 CHRO of the Year Award Winner: Non-profit

Nakesha Lopez
EVP, Chief People & Culture Officer, Advocate Health Care
(former CHRO, Baylor, Scott & White Health)

Nakesha Lopez’s career in healthcare HR was born when she joined Memorial Sloan Kettering in in an entry-level HR job. Recently, she was tasked with managing the integration of Baylor Health with the Scott and White merger. From there, many more changes occurred including a total transformation of HR operations, improvements in strategic relationships with executive staff, and a large boost in HR trust as proven by employee engagement scores and retention. She was recognized for her work at Baylor, Scott & White Health and is now the chief people and culture officer for Advocate Health Care.

2024 CHRO of the Year Award Winner: Small Market

Margie Harris 
Tellurian Inc.

A long time and successful executive in the energy industry, Margie Harris was recruited as the head of HR by the CEO and founders of Tellurian, a LNG refining and shipping company in North America. Harris was tasked to build a highly skilled team of engineers and executives and design an HR infrastructure from scratch that could scale to more than 5,000 employees over the next two years as operations begin.

2024 CHRO of the Year Award Winner: Mid-Market  

Melissa DiMuro 
Chief People, Culture and Marketing Officer

Melissa DiMuro takes the approach to HR as a strategic business operation critical to the success of the organization. Weathering COVID-19 and a recent CEO transition, HR engagement and productivity numbers remain very high due to DiMuro’s innovative strategies. She has been able to streamline costs, modernize infrastructure, and improve HR services.

2024 CHRO of the Year Award Winner: Large Market

Maryjo Charbonnier 

Maryjo Charbonnier and her team have been instrumental to the strategic successful transformation and spinout of a 90,000-person, $17 billion dollar company. Core to that is the company’s culture initiative “The Kyndryl Way.” The mission and vision of this drives many aspects of HR, including training initiatives, the performance management system, and career frameworks. These efforts have led to an 75.5% engagement score, which measures the level of employee commitment, passion, and connection to Kyndryl, and it’s two points above industry average.  

2024 CHRO of the Year Award Winner: Sustainable Workforce

Gianna Driver  

Exabeam is a leading provider of cybersecurity products and Gianna Driver overhauled and modernized the HR department when she joined the company as CHRO in 2021. She has been at the helm of the overall cultural shift of the company, focused on a people-first agenda that values diversity, performance, commitment, and rewards. Driver has also transformed the talent team and its strategy to ensure Exabeam has the reputation as an employer of choice.

2024 CHRO of the Year Award Winner: Lifetime Achievement

Kathleen Weslock
Ansys, Inc

Kathleen Weslock has been an HR executive for many global brands such as Cisco, Frontier Communications, Pep Boys, and Covance, among others. She has had a storied career and is again guiding one of her employers through a capital transaction. Her approach to HR has resulted in impressive results: Weslock led Ansys to record levels of employee engagement with a 90% response rate; 81% engagement; 86% thrive rate; and 80% growth and development rate. She is a business executive first and an HR leader spreading a modern view of the role of the CHRO throughout the HR community of leadership.

Until next time,

Debbie Bolla
SVP/Editorial Director

Tags: May 2024

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