The winners and finalists are so thrilled to be nominated each year so the Committee decided to record their thoughts and testimonies to their feelings when being honored. Here are a few testimonies … why don’t you take a few minutes and nominate someone you know in the human resources field?

“While the tremendous organizational change work at Contact Solutions is being recognized by this award, I certainly cannot take full credit for our accomplishments. The key to our successful transformation at Contact Solutions began with a commitment from the senior leaders to embrace a new vision for our organization and recognizing that an engaged and happy workforce is critical for driving growth and performance results. I know it might be cliché to say, “it takes a village,” but it accurately describes the essence of our company – our core values of innovation, continuous improvement and engagement, and it embodies how the leadership team and the organization have come together to bring about this phenomenal change. – Robert B. Thompson

“Winning the 2013 award for strategic alignment also provided an opportunity for me to reflect on the many years of challenging HR and business issues experienced that prepared me for this unique opportunity at Contact Solutions to help transform an organization. I credit several mentors along the way who have kept me grounded and focused on self-improvement. This award actually represents the culmination of all the learning and growth, failures and successes of my human resources career. I hope that I can pay this forward to other HR professionals along the way! – David G. Goodridge

“This special acknowledgment has provided me with a unique boost of inspiration to let me know that I am on the right path as I continue to move forward and achieve even more throughout my career future. Not only has this experience been an overjoy for me, it has also given me an opportunity to stop, take a good look back on my traveled journeys and my overall achievements especially in promoting ethical behavior. … This recognition really does offer us HR Professionals a nice opportunity to come together in one group setting to share and celebrate our achievements and beliefs in our essential leadership capabilities, skills and roles. – Henry F. Gagnon

“As a graduate of Strayer University’s Master’s program in Human Resource Management, I recalled hearing about the Students Scholarship and Awards. Since those days, I always thought these awards were for professionals with more qualifications than I held. When my client surprised me with the request to nominate me for the mentoring award she felt strongly that I had a good chance of winning. I remember thinking that was so admirable she valued our relationship in this manner but that she was completely biased. – Jerry W. Hubbard

“I obliged to submit my nomination, out of honor and respect for my client and thought the entire time it would be a long shot if I won. The nomination process is quite thorough and I was extremely busy at the time. There was a lot of information to pull together and at one point I didn’t think I was going to be able to do it. As it turns out, it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. – George P. Guerra

“I can truly say that winning the mentoring award has been the highlight of my short career. Even if I didn’t win, the entire experience was so invigorating and rewarding. I enjoyed meeting other HR professionals and making new contacts. More importantly, I’m thankful there is a platform for HR professionals to be recognized by their peers and our industry. It will now become a lifelong activity that I will enjoy and look forward to each year! – Edward A. Gray

“For us to receive the Students Scholarship and Awards and to be selected a Finalist in Innovation has had a positive impact at ACDI/VOCA. The awards reinforced the importance of ethics and talent management within our organization. By receiving this external recognition, we are able to further instill these positive behaviors into the core of our culture and corporate conduct. We are thankful to HRLA for bringing attention to these critical functions of successful organizations! – William Cornel

“In my view, the importance of the Students Scholarship and Awards is best viewed through two lenses – the importance to the company and the importance to employees. From a company perspective, having leaders with vision, passion and the ability to inspire teams to accomplish more than ever dreamed possible is important to growing a company. Having them at the start of a company is critical to creating opportunities and laying the foundation for the future. From the employee’s perspective, having executive leaders recognized by their industry engenders trust and builds credibility – creating an environment in which employees feel important and appreciated. This recognition is owed to the many who have generously given of their time and talent to help me build my career and to the talented team that I have the joy and privilege to work with each day. – Kelly Smith