2020 President's Message

December 11, 2019

Thank you all for coming today to celebrate the end of the year’s accomplishments, the Board Installation, the Stepping Stones Graduation after nine long months of class, and to hear from our dynamic speaker, Greg Hawks.  I am so honored to lead this association into the next decade, our 70th year guiding professionals to make workplaces BETTER.

AHRMA Equals Community! 

Here is my story…

I joined AHRMA before I signed a rental agreement to live in Austin.  I didn't have a job, family or friends in Texas when I moved to Austin in August of 2014.  But, by being curious, courageous and bold, I found that I BELONGED!  I share this because I want YOU to understand the impact AHRMA has had on me. I’ve met my best friends, made great business connects, and have grown as a business professional because of our Board choosing community over cliques. I want to ensure that every human that chooses to explore AHRMA feels curious, courageous, bold, and like they belong. 

Curious: Before leaving the San Francisco Bay Area, I looked up the SHRM Chapter in Austin and joined.  I read all the website pages and knew I wanted to be active in all the workshops and meetings.  I did not see myself volunteering, however.  I belonged to the Northern California Chapter of SHRM for many years and felt it too big and distant for me.

Courageous:  I attended the first member meeting I could in September 2014 and ended up meeting a future consultant and then employer, Alice Dendinger.  At the same workshop, I met Jenn Cupid of JuiceLand; I had never heard of JuiceLand before.  Jenn and I decided to select each other for the AHRMA Mentee/Mentor program and became fast friends, meeting weekly to help each other.

Bold:  Then, in October 2014, I saw that AHRMA needed a Treasurer to be on the Board.  I have skills and first-hand knowledge of running the financial aspect of a multi-million-dollar company for 20 years.  I applied…really not thinking they would pick me, as I was a newcomer to the area and not "part of the club or clique."

You Belong:  I was interviewed by Rose Ann Garza, President-Elect at that time, and the HR leader for Kerbey Lane… I didn't know what Kerbey Lane was either.  During that conversation, she related the organization's vision and how its financial function needed some TLC from someone passionate about that aspect of a business.  We agreed AHRMA should run like a business, not a club.  I was elected and started to work right away, putting financial policies and procedures in place.  For the last five years, I have remained an active volunteer because it gives me a sense of community, worth, and fun with wickedly smart friends!

History - Five years ago:  Where were you in December 2014?  What have you accomplished in 5 years, 60 short months ago, 1,825 days?  To give you perspective, here are some metrics for AHRMA five years ago and today…

    • 608 =  # of Members in 2014;
    • 941 = Current members today;
    • 54% = Percent increase in membership in 5 years
    • 173% = Increase in AHRMA’s Total Profit from 12/31/2014 to 10/31/2019
    • 93% = Increase in participants in the Award-Winning Leadership program:  Stepping Stones over the last 5 years
    • ($10,123) = Financial Loss for the calendar year ending 12/31/14
    • 15% = Increase in Total Assets over the last 5 years
    • 10% = Increase in Total Gross Revenue for the calendar year (evaluating 2019’s first 10 months to 2014’s 12 months)
    • $354,609 = Total Gross Revenue for the first 10 months of 2019
    • 98% = Passing rate of the SHRM exam of those who graduated from our Certification Study Program

Future - 5 years from now:  Where will you be in December 2024?  What will you have accomplished in 5 years, 60 short months, 1,825 days?  Can you imagine AHRMA at that point? What role will YOU play in that picture?

Future - 2020:  For the next 365 days, AHRMA will be celebrating many things with the goals we are striving for including:

    • SuperMega Chapter status with SHRM.  1001+ active members of the chapter.  There are only 19 chapters in the world with this top status. 
    • New certification course:  SHRM’s Special Certification Program - HR Department of One offered in March
    • Our 70th Birthday.  An incredible party planned to honor our past and look forward to our future.
    • Hosting Special Events. Texas SHRM’s statewide meeting in January. SHRM’s CEO, Johnny C. Taylor, Jr, featured speaker on thought leadership at SXSW Festival in March.
    • Expanded Conference in August.  Includes a secret Keynote Speaker.
    • And, continue our top programs:  Stepping Stones to Leadership, Certification study group, Networking Happy Hours, Mentor/Mentee Program, and our College Campus mock interviews.

BE…Angela Shaw and I had a wonderful yet busy time in Washington DC at the SHRM Volunteer Leader Business Meeting this past November. We were able to participate in many sessions and activities. One course, in particular, stood out to me: Choose Community Over Cliques. This theme is in direct alignment with my focus for us this year. I would like us to embrace community, be relevant to our members and each other, be essential to our members and each other, and be valuable to our members and each other.  Be Curious, Be Courageous, Be Bold, as YOU Belong.

I highly recommend that you volunteer and contribute your UNIQUE ABILITIES and TALENTS to this organization.  In return, you will meet new friends, employers and strategic consultants/vendors that will help YOU be your BEST!  I am excited to get 2020 off to a great start. Thank you for all that you do for AHRMA.

With love,

Lisa Blanton
AHRMA President for 2020

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