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Tuesday, 15 November 2011 15:30

HR Florida Professional of the Year, Karen Anderson

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05_ProfessionalOTY_Karen_Anderson3Orlando, FL—In the presence of over 1500 HR leaders at the 2011 State Conference, our award sponsor, Allan Weitzman (partner with Proskauer Rose, LLP) presented the HR Florida Professional of the Year Award to Karen Anderson, SPHR. This annual award recognizes a human resource leader who has advanced the profession in a significant way. “Best in class,”—individuals nominated for this award— serve as role models for the profession by setting the standard for others to follow and applying their expertise to enhance organizational effectiveness.

Karen is currently employed as Director of HR at Shell Point Retirement Community, a non-profit ministry of The Christian and Missionary Alliance Foundation, Inc. With about 2100 residents, it’s one of the largest continuing care retirement communities in the state of Florida and amongst the largest life care communities in the country. Shell Point is currently one of the top twenty-five employers in Lee County, FL. There are currently 900 plus employees, having grown from 425 employees in the past few years. She reports directly to the President/CEO.

Leadership guru, John C. Maxwell once said, “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” In addition to her full time job, this year’s award recipient has numerous other human resources achievements. Karen has served four years on the board of the Human Resource Management Association (HRMA) of Southwest Florida (SWFL) chapter as Chapter President 2010 and Past President 2011.

Anderson is also the Past President of the SWFL Chapter of the American Society for Training and Development. She served on the Detroit chapter of ASTD for five years. She obtained certification as a Senior Professional in Human Resources in December 2009 and now teaches PHR/ SPHR certification courses for HRMA of SWFL. She is a board member for Dress for Success, where she educates HR professionals about ways the program can benefit their organizations and their employees.

A passionate desire to enhance the lives of others is at the heart of Karen’s dedication as she delivers community presentations related to personal development, interviewing skills, resume writing, “reinventing” yourself, marketing your image, and growing yourself. She serves on the Employer Advisory Board for Southwest Florida Works—the state government agency responsible for developing work skills for the unemployed and underemployed.

Karen also serves on the Lee County Transit Taskforce—a group chosen by the Lee County Board of Commissioners to provide recommendations for the future of transit in the five county area. She also participates in annual resume coaching event in the community and serves as an “employer expert” regarding the human resource needs of organizations in the area to ensure they are included in transit planning. Karen participates in the SWFL HR Healthcare Forum and the West Central Florida Human Resources in Healthcare Association. As a well-known media contact for HR issues and news stories, Karen is frequently quoted in the local newspapers and TV news.

Karen is currently studying to take the GMAT because she recognizes the importance of furthering her knowledge and education. By proactively pursuing her SPHR designation, she has demonstrated her interest and passion for her own professional development, as well as a passion for learning more about how to serve her organization.

As the mother of a precious 6-year-old figure-skating daughter and 12-year-old son who is a Little League player, Karen still finds time to golf with her family and to train each year for a half-marathon. The greatest race to her credit is the marathon she ran against cancer. Karen is a cancer survivor who lives life to the fullest and embraces the joy of making this world the best it can possibly be for all who are so fortunate as to encounter her magnanimous spirit.

To that end, we are proud to honor Karen Anderson with the HR Florida Professional of the Year award for 2011.

About the HR Florida State Council

Representing over 14,000 individual members, the HR Florida State Council is the state affiliate for the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). The Council facilitates services and programs for the collective interest of the state’s SHRM and local chapter membership, and promotes activities that serve the professional and advance the profession. We also act as the voice of employers with regard to legislation impacting the workplace. We coordinate professional development efforts, and serve as the conduit for communication among SHRM and chapters as well as at-large members. The state of Florida has twenty-eight SHRM affiliated chapters and those chapter presidents sit on the Council. Visit HR Florida Online at Follow us on Twitter at:

Press Contact: Betty Jackson, Director of Public Relations. HR Florida State Council (407) 405-1534