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Monday, 20 November 2017 10:32

Charlotte County's Jackie Stevens Named 2017 HR Professional of the Year

Written by Kara Palmer Smith, Director, Public Relations

Professional of the year

EACH YEAR, HR FLORIDA STATE COUNCIL (HR Florida) recognizes a human resources leader who has advanced the profession in a significant way with the HR Professional of Year award.

On the morning of the announcement, Jackie Stevens sat in the audience, third row, second section, left side of the hotel ballroom at the 39th HR Florida Conference & Expo alongside an estimated 2,500 other professionals representing various industries. She listened as HR Florida President Lynnette Holsinger welcomed conference attendees, thanked sponsors and introduced the conference emcee. Soon after, Holsinger’s attention turned to the distinguished HR Professional of the Year award. “… And the 2017 HR Professional of the Year is Jackie Stevens,” she stated. As Stevens approached the stage to accept the award, she was visibly shocked, walking quickly and appearing speechless.

“I am honored to receive this award…,” said Jackie Stevens. “I believe in the power of the HR profession and what we, as individuals in this field, can do to help organizations everywhere be more successful.”

Stevens currently works as an HR generalist for Charlotte County Board of County Commissioners and is a dedicated member of the Charlotte County SHRM. She currently holds both SHRM Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) and Professional in Human Resources (PHR) designations. Nominated by a fellow member of Charlotte County SHRM, her application detailed her contribution to driving organizational effectiveness through an innovative program that she launched in 2015 called “Management University.” Within her organization, she has a turn-key process for creating customized training programs on any topic requested by departments.

Management University highlights include:

• The Management University program was designed to help equip Charlotte County managers and supervisors with the tools and resources they need to be the linchpins between the senior leadership team and frontline employees. Several key aspects of this program contribute to the learning and development of the county’s managers and supervisors. Participants learn about themselves through a leadership-style survey designed to aid in recognizing their leadership strengths. Department directors serve on a questionand- answer panel, allowing attendees the opportunity to interact with them to learn their leadership philosophy and insights. These development activities are in addition to book studies on current leadership theories and engagement techniques. In 2016, only one year after the inaugural class, more than 40 percent of county managers and supervisors participated in the program.

• Demonstrated the SHRM Code of Ethics - as lead trainer, she has created a pathway of continuous learning and development for managers and supervisors alike, and has helped to further reinforce senior leadership’s buy-in to the training and development work the HR department provides. By working closely with senior leadership, she is helping to instill the organization’s guiding principles in all members of the management staff.

“Jackie is a lifelong learner with a passion for creating meaningful and engaging training opportunities,” said Charlotte County Director of Human Resources Heather Bacus. “She is extremely professional, competent and trust worthy. She is able to act as an employee advocate but also negotiate the needs of management for the best possible solution(s).”

Meg Byers, account supervisor at French/West/Vaughan also contributed to this article.