The 2020 and 2021 CHRO of the Year Winners will be announced LIVE at the 2021 HRO Today Forum North America in Chicago.
If people are a company’s greatest asset, then chief HR officers (CHROs) have a lot riding on their shoulders. They are stewards and strategists who are responsible for a company’s talent and performance blueprint – all of which drive the business forward. The 2021 Awards Gala will take place live in Chicago, IL on Sept 13, 2021, where the CHRO of the Year Award winners and Leaders of Distinction will be announced.
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2019 CHRO of the Year Award Finalists and Winners:
|Marissa Andrada, Chief People Officer, Chipotle Mexican Grill
Marissa Andrada joined Chipotle as Chief People Officer in April 2018.
Prior to joining Chipotle, Ms. Andrada was Senior Vice President of Human Resources & Chief Human Resources Officer at Kate Spade & Company from July 2016 through October 2017, and Senior Vice President of Partner Resources for Starbucks Coffee Company from November 2010 to March 2016. Prior to Starbucks, she served as Senior Vice President of Human Resources at GameStop Corporation and Head of Human Resources at Red Bull North America.
Ms. Andrada has a Masters of Business degree from Pepperdine University and a Bachelor of Science degree from California State Polytechnic University at Pomona.
|Tanya Axenson, Vice President, Human Resources, Aerotek
Tanya Axenson is the Global Head of Human Resources for Allegis Group and Vice President of Human Resources for Aerotek. In her position, Tanya oversees all aspects of global human resources while spearheading the development and strategic direction of the company’s human resources strategy and human capital initiatives. A seasoned and respected HR executive, Tanya demonstrates a leadership philosophy based on the importance of inclusion, engagement and a commitment to helping people realize their professional and personal goals — key components of the Aerotek and Allegis Group culture.
|LeighAnne Baker, CHRO & Corporate Vice President, Cargill
LeighAnne Baker joined Cargill in 2014 and serves as a member of Cargill’s Executive Team. In this key strategic role, she is the company’s principal architect of global human resources strategy and practices. As secretary of the Human Resources Committee of the board, LeighAnne fills a vital role working directly with Cargill board of directors on compensation, succession and leadership development. Cargill is one of the largest privately held companies and provides food, agriculture, financial and industrial products and services to the world. Cargill has 155,000 employees in 68 countries.
|Roger Casalengo, Senior Vice President, Cobham Advanced Electronic Solutions
In 2018, Roger Casalengo, SVP of Human Resources for Cobham Advanced Electronic Solutions (CAES), successfully led his team in an astounding number of corporate initiatives. Human Resources built a 3 year HR Strategy that would impact all aspects of the organization. 2018 was the year for implementing a “One CAES” approach and changing the culture. Steered by Human Resources, the company hosted a 3-day leadership conference, chose and went live with a brand new HRIS system (dubbed oneSolution), which brought five disparate HRIS systems into one highly functional Human Resources Information System for the first time in the company’s history, and designed and implemented a major organizational development project under Roger’s lead.
|Bonnie Daniels, SVP of Culture & People Services, MiTek Industries, Inc.
As the Senior Vice President of Culture & People Services at MiTek, Bonnie Daniels, SRHM-SCP, GPHR is a key member of the senior leadership team that reports directly to the Chairman and CEO. She is responsible for developing and leading a global people strategy for MiTek, an international company with more than 6,500 in 100+ locations in 40 countries. Bonnie is also responsible for developing and leading initiatives aligned with business strategies which support and enable the growth and evolution of the organization and reinforce MiTek culture and values.
|Jill Geimer, Managing Director, Head of Human Resources, Ecentria
Jill Geimer has more than 25 years of experience as an HR leader spanning across all areas of HR Operations, Talent Acquisition, Compliance, Employee Total Rewards/Benefits, Compensation, Training and Organization Development. A graduate of Purdue University, Jill began her career as the very first HR Intern at Universal Studios Orlando during their Grand Opening in 1990. She went on to achieve two Master’s Degrees from Loyola University Chicago – an M.S. in Human Resources and an M.A. in Counseling Psychology. Most recently, Jill is the Managing Director, Head of Human Resources for Ecentria, the parent company of OpticsPlanet, Campsaver, Rockpoint Logistics, and USIQ.
|Marcus Griffin, HR Director, Dufry
Marcus Griffin is Director of Human Resources for Dufry. Marcus started his career with Dufry back in 2009, bringing to this appointment his wealth of experience of the HQ Human Resources functions, Strategic Planning, Performance Management, Talent Development, Implement, maintain and optimize HR best practices amongst others acquired in close contact with Dufry’s six regional global offices & HR teams.
|Nancy Hauge, CHRO, Automation Anywhere
Nancy Hauge is a veteran of 5 IPO’s and 5 positive acquisition exits. Prior to joining Automation Anywhere as the Chief Human Resources Officer, she served HotChalk as the Chief People Officer. Before HotChalk, Nancy served as the Vice President of Global Human resources for Silicon Image. Prior to Silicon Image, Nancy founded 2nd & Nun Street Group, an international consulting firm focused upon preparing companies for rapid growth. Clients included: Rosetta Stone, Motricity, Parature, Opera, Mixbook and Silicon Image. Before 2nd and Nun Street, Hauge served as the senior vice president of Human Resources for K12 Inc for three years, as the company grew from $82million to $400million in revenue and successfully IPO’d.
|WINNER – CEO PARTNERSHIP Jeanie Heffernan, Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resource Officer, Independence Health Group
Jeanie Heffernan leads the People Strategy for Independence Health Group (Independence). In this role, she helps the organization attract and develop talent; advance a culture of engagement, inclusion, and innovation; and achieve business strategy and goals. Ms. Heffernan became the leader of human resources at Independence in 2011, with 25 years of experience in multiple business sectors, including health care insurance, technology, and banking. Previously she was senior vice president of human resources for Independence’s Medicaid subsidiary, now known as AmeriHealth Caritas. Prior to that, she was the chief people officer for Coretech Consulting Group, an IT staffing and project solutions company, and a vice president at CoreStates Financial Corporation.
|WINNER – FOR-PROFIT, MID-MARKET Sean Kimble, VP of Human Resources, USA Compression
Sean T. Kimble has served as Vice President, Human Resources at USA Compression Partners since June 2014. Mr. Kimble joined USA Compression with over twenty years of human resources leadership experience. Prior to joining the company, he was most recently the Senior Vice President of Human Resources at Millard Refrigerated Services in Omaha, NE where he led all aspects of human resources. Before joining Millard, he was the Chief Administrative Officer and Executive Vice President of Human Resources at MV Transportation in CA where he led human resources, safety, labor relations and various other operating support functions. He holds a B.S. from Sacramento State University, a M.B.A. from Saint Mary’s College of California and has completed executive education in human resources at the University of Michigan.
|WINNER – FOR-PROFIT, ENTERPRISE Max Langenkamp, VP of HR and Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Cintas
In his current role, Max oversees the uniform rental division of Cintas, in addition to talent acquisition strategy, hiring and on-boarding process, orientation, and labor compliance. In this role, he also manages union strategy and relations, in addition to leading a CoE of employment practice directors that address the most challenging HR issues and policies. His background as a labor and compliance lawyer has enabled him to quickly and effortlessly transition from practicing law into the HR function. He brings with him a breadth and depth of tangible knowledge that has allowed him to rise through the ranks quickly within Cintas’ HR department.
|Andrea Larsen, CHRO, Advisor Group
Andrea Larsen is Chief Human Resources Officer for Advisor Group, one of the nation’s largest networks of independent financial advisors, serving nearly 7,000 advisors with $260 billion in client assets. The wealth management firm offers securities and investment advisory services through its subsidiaries FSC Securities Corp., Royal Alliance Associates Inc., SagePoint Financial Inc. and Woodbury Financial Services Inc., as broker/dealers, registered investment advisors and members of FINRA and SIPC. In her role, Andrea supports Chairman Valerie Brown and President & CEO Jamie Price to create a company of talented, informed, rewarded and engaged home office employees that deliver outstanding service to advisors. This includes developing and executing human resources strategies in support of Advisor Group’s ongoing business plan and strategic direction.
|Alan R. May, Chief People Officer, Hewlett Packard Enterprises
Alan May is the Executive Vice President and Chief People Officer for Hewlett Packard Enterprise.
In this role, Alan has worldwide responsibility for Hewlett Packard development and organization effectiveness, benefits and compensation, staffing and retention, global inclusion and diversity, and HR processes and information management.
Prior to joining Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Alan worked at The Boeing Company for eight years, where he most recently led HR for the company’s Commercial Airplanes division. He was also head of HR for their Defense, Space & Security business and prior to that served as the company’s Vice President of Strategy, Compensation and Benefits.
|WINNER – LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT John Murabito, EVP and CHRO, Cigna
John Murabito has served as Executive Vice President of Cigna since joining the company in 2003. In his role as Chief Human Resources Officer, he leads the Human Resources and Services organization, which helps drive growth through clear linkage between the enterprise business strategy and effective human resources and people strategies, talent management and succession processes. Murabito also oversees the Civic Affairs function, including the Cigna Foundation.
|Linda Nedelcoff, EVP, Chief Strategy & Human Resources Officer, CUNA Mutual Group
Linda Nedelcoff is the executive vice president, chief strategy and human resources officer for CUNA Mutual Group. In this role, she is responsible for leading the corporate strategy and employee experience team of Human Resources and Communications. Nedelcoff joined CUNA Mutual Group in 2011 as a senior human resources partner. Since this time, she has been an instrumental partner to several business areas. Further, she has served as a key leader within the Human Resources team and a management representative with the Compensation Committee of the Board of Directors.
|Kathie Patterson, CHRO, Ally Financial
Kathie Patterson was named chief human resources officer of Ally Financial in August 2016. In this role, she’s responsible for overseeing the company’s human capital, talent management, compensation, benefits, well-being, internal communications and cultural efforts – ensuring they support the organization’s overall strategic objectives and drive Ally’s efforts to be a leading employer of choice.
Most recently, she served as the senior vice president of human resources for Ally’s Auto Finance and Insurance lines of business. Patterson joined Ally in 2007 to lead change management as the company underwent a major functional reorganization in the wake of its spin-off as an independent financial services company.
|Rebecca Sinclair, Chief People and Communications Officer, American Tire Distributors
Rebecca’s experience with organizational and cultural transformation in the private equity sector prepared her for the Chief People and Communications Officer role with American Tire Distributors. In the almost two years she has been in role she has focused on creating a connected, people-first culture. This strategy encompassed building a Human Resources Function from the ground up, adding capabilities across all areas of Human Capital including Talent, Engagement and Learning. Her modern approach to HR comes from being an innovative and systemic thinker who can leverage technology and measurement through data analytics and insights. For the first time in ATD’s history, HR has been able to lead contributions to the business, reputation management and drive customer confidence.
|Anna Spriggs, Chief Human Resources and Administration, Truth Initiative
Anna Spriggs has been a key player in Truth Initiative’s success from the beginning, joining the organization as its second employee in 1999 and establishing its’ administrative and human resource functions.
|WINNER – NON-PROFIT Darryl Varnado, Chief People Officer, Children’s National Health System
Darryl Varnado is Executive Vice President and Chief People Officer at Children’s National Health System. He joined Children’s National in 2012 and focuses on leading the workforce at Children’s National through leadership and talent development, and taking the institution to new heights in human resources processes.
He has extensive human resources experience in national and international roles with organizations including U.S. Airways®, Coca-Cola®, Coors Brewing Company and the Nature Conservancy® .
|WINNER – SUSTAINABLE WORKFORCE Jacqueline M. Welch, Chief Human Resources Officer and Chief Diversity Officer, Freddie Mac
Welch brings more than 20 years of experience in HR strategy and execution to Freddie Mac partnering with the senior team on organizational design and development and change leadership. As head of HR, Welch leads a standout team of experts in the alignment and optimal delivery of traditional HR functions such as performance management, total well-being and learning and development as well as emerging business drivers such as cognitive technologies and artificial intelligence. As head of Inclusive Engagement, Welch leads the execution of the Freddie Mac inclusion and diversity strategy and corporate engagement program.
Click here for a list of all previous CHRO of the Year Award winners.