2016 CHRO Winners and Finalists


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 2016 winners were announced at the HRO Today Forum on May 2, 2016, in Chicago, and the complete list of finalists and winners are below. 

For Profit

Lisa_CaldwellLisa Jeffries Caldwell, Executive Vice President & Chief Human Resources Officer
Reynolds American
As the Executive Vice President (EVP) & Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) of Reynolds American Inc. (RAI)*, Lisa Jeffries Caldwell leads Human Resources for the RAI portfolio of companies.  Reporting to the CEO and sitting on the RAI Leadership Team and the RAI Governance & Sustainability Committee, Lisa is responsible for ensuring RAI is an employer of choice with a high performing talent base that is leading the transformation of the tobacco industry.  Lisa also serves as the RAI Board of Directors’ management liaison to its Compensation & Leadership Development Committee — providing counsel on executive compensation, succession planning, leadership development and HR strategy.  She is responsible for organizational effectiveness, rewards, talent management, employment law, workplace practices, employer brand marketing and HR service solutions.  Caldwell began her career working as an attorney for two firms based in Winston-Salem, N.C., Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice and West & Banks.  She joined R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company in 1991 as a manager of employment practices.  Caldwell rose quickly through various management and officer levels, gaining experience across a variety of HR disciplines and making significant contributions to the strategic and operational direction of human capital management at the RAI companies.  She was appointed Executive Vice President of Human Resources in 2008, adding the title Chief Human Resources Officer at Reynolds American and RAI Services Company in January 2010.  Caldwell has over 20 years of service to the community across varied organizations.  She currently serves on the Board of Visitors for the Wake Forest University School of Business and serves as a board member of the Winston-Salem Industries for the Blind.  She is a member of the Executive Leadership Council, an organization dedicated to advancing the role and contributions of current and rising black executives in corporate America.  Caldwell is a former member of the RBC Centura Bank Community board; board of directors of Allegacy Federal Credit Union; Morehead Scholarship Selection Committee; The Safe Passage Group LLC; Friends of the Library for the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill; Hospice and Palliative Care Center; the Center of Excellence in Research, Teaching & Learning of the University of North Carolina General Alumni Association; and Goodwill Industries of Northwest North Carolina, Inc.  Caldwell is a past member of the Novant Health Inc.  Board of Trustees; the Winston-Salem State University Foundation board of directors; the Winston-Salem State University Board of Trustees; and the Board of Visitors for UNC-Chapel Hill.  Previously Caldwell has also served as chair of the UNCF Kennedy Evening of Elegance, a fundraising event for The United Negro College Fund.  A native of Burlington, N.C., Caldwell earned a Morehead scholarship and graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration in 1983.  She went on to become a Wake Forest Law Scholar and earn a Juris Doctor degree from the Wake Forest University School of Law in 1986.  She has been licensed to practice law in the state of North Carolina since 1986.
CooneyLainie Cooney, Chief Human Resources Officer
DPI Specialty Foods Inc.
Lainie joined DPI Specialty Foods in January 2013 as the Chief Human Resources Officer.  Lainie leads the development and execution of the human resources strategy in support of the overall business plan and strategic direction of the organization.  Heading a staff of 20 dispersed across 5 states coast to coast, she provides consultation to the identification of critical HR business issues that are linked to the successful achievement of business goals. Lainie manages HR, Benefit and Payroll activities at the enterprise level to meet established targets through continuous evaluation, quality assurance and focused improvement efforts measured against service level and business objectives. She is results-driven with a track record of successfully spearheading process improvements and managing wide-ranging corporate change globally.Since coming to DPI, Lainie has revitalized the HR department driving major strategic change in a short timeframe. She has transformed HR’s response from reactive to a proactive business solutions environment. She partners with the business units as a broker of HR services, a consultant to the management teams, and a facilitator of change.  She has developed partnerships with senior business leaders and stakeholders to create enterprise wide human resource management practices focusing on talent management strategies that support and enhance business growth.  Lainie has more than 20 years of global business and human resources experience gained through Human Resources leadership positions across varied industries, in companies large and small, public and private with constituencies in the US as well as international.  Lainie began her career as a private practitioner working with a consultation and psychological services team. She specialized in psychological testing and assessment.  She acted as an expert witness and conducted EAP, insurance and contract negotiations.  She has a proven track record in all aspects of HR within internationally/geographically dispersed organizations, including global site start up, Project Management for large scale and complex initiatives, talent acquisition strategies, and managing multi-cultural teams.  She has significant M & A experience including diligence and assimilation; culture assessment and change and building and leading business-centric HR.Lainie earned her MA in Clinical Psychology and pursued Advanced Doctoral Studies at the California School of Professional Psychology.  She is certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) and a Six Sigma Black Belt.  She is a member of both the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the National Human Resources Association (NHRA).
DaltonWINNER:  Laurie Dalton, CHRO
gategroup North America
Laurie is a values-based leader who is passionate about putting people first in order to deliver optimal business results.  Her track record shows the achievement of improved and sustained business results through disciplined focus on business strategy and aligned human resources strategy.  Accomplishments include achieving significant cost savings through establishment of shared services functions, business process outsourcing, and automation.  Laurie has also lead successful efforts to establish her employers as “employers of choice,” winning many designations and recognitions.
Jed-MilsteinJed Milstein, CHRO

Jed Milstein joined Americold in May 2013 as EVP and CHRO. Prior to joining the company, he served as EVP of HR for TransCentra, a leading billing and payments provider. Prior to TransCentra, he was the lead human resources executive for Cerberus Operations and Advisory Company, where he provided strategic human resources leadership to several global Cerberus portfolio companies and board compensation committees. Earlier in his career, Jed co-led the creation of shared HR services, first at ADP, then at Broadridge Financial Solutions. Jed started his career as a deputy attorney general for the State of New Jersey and then engaged in the private practice of labor and employment law with Carpenter, Bennett and Morrissey in Newark, New Jersey. Jed holds a Juris Doctor from George Washington University Law School, and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Michigan.


Sustainable Workforce

M Crosby low resMichelle Crosby, EVP & Chief Human Resources Officer
FRHI Hotels & Resorts (Fairmont Hotels) 
Michelle Crosby joined the company in 2013 as executive vice president and chief human resources officer and has more than 25 years of related experience.  In this role, Ms. Crosby directs and has full responsibility for FRHI’s human resources function globally.  This includes corporate staffing, compensation, benefits, internal communications, talent management and learning.  Prior to joining FRHI, Ms. Crosby held senior human resources positions with several organizations, including Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide and Aon Consulting.  Ms. Crosby holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Brown University and both a master of arts and Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut in industrial/organizational psychology.
HeerdtKari Heerdt, Chief People Officer
MSC Industrial Supply Co.
Kari Heerdt is a seasoned human resources executive with more than 20 years of related global human resource management and consulting experience.  Over the past decade, Kari has been the chief human resource officer for Mervyns department stores, Talecris biotherapeutics, and now MSC Industrial Supply.  Kari began her career at Bloomingdales and GE where she held various roles in human resources and on GE’s Audit Staff.  Kari also spent several years as an M&A consultant for Hewitt Associates prior to joining Cerberus Capital Management, a leading private equity firm, where she was responsible for providing due diligence and human resource support for Cerberus’ portfolio companies.  Kari Heerdt earned a B.A. from Mount Holyoke College and a M.S. from the Krannert Graduate School of Management at Purdue University.
Pat WadorsWINNER:  Pat Wadors, CHRO & Senior Vice President of the Global Talent Organization
Pat Wadors joined LinkedIn in January 2013 to lead its world-class talent (HR) team.  In addition to hiring, retaining and inspiring top talent, Pat is also responsible for all employee-related HR programs at LinkedIn, including compensation and benefits and performance management.  She came to LinkedIn from Plantronics, where she was senior vice president of human resources, responsible for leading the company’s facilities and human resources programs across the all of its worldwide offices.From August 2011 until August 2012, Pat also served as the HR executive advisor to Twitter.  In that role, she worked with Twitter’s head of HR, CEO and Board of Directors to help guide their workforce talent strategies to scale the business, while also attracting and retaining key talent.  Previously, Pat also spent more than four years at Yahoo!.  As the senior vice president of human resources at Yahoo!, Pat led Yahoo!’s HR business partner function which supported 14,500 employees in more than 17 locations.  Prior to Yahoo!, Pat served as the chief human resources officer for Align Technologies and has also held senior human resource management positions at Applied Materials, Merck Pharmaceutical, Viacom International and Calvin Klein Cosmetics.  Pat was recently awarded one of the Top 50 Most Powerful Women in Technology.  She graduated with a BS in business administration from Ramapo College, with a major in human resources management and a minor in psychology.


CAMPOYARudy Campoya, Chief Human Resources Officer
Socorro Independent School District

Rudy Campoya has served the Socorro Independent School District since 1990, where he began his career in the Department of Human Resources of the Socorro Independent School District. Since then, Campoya has served in payroll, information services and human resources. Rudy holds a bachelor’s degree in information systems and a master’s degree in management/leadership.
Campoya brings over 24 years of experience HR management and leadership to the role, including chief of human resources, director of human resources/personnel administration, director of human resources/support personnel, manager of information services, and payroll supervisor.
FriendDane Friend, CHRO & VP of HR
Baylor College of Medicine
Dane Friend is currently VP and CHRO at Baylor College of Medicine.  Friend, who has been with Baylor since 1999, is responsible for all HR functions for the college and represents the institution in employment law matters.
mulliganWINNER:  Tim Mulligan, CHRO, Vulcan Inc. (formerly Chief Human Resources Officer, San Diego Zoo Global)
Tim Mulligan serves San Diego Zoo Global as the Chief Human Resources Officer.  In his role, Mulligan manages a staff of over 18 employees who fulfill employment needs for the organization, develop benefits packages for its nearly 3,000 employees and handle organizational and strategic challenges that occur in a large, diverse workplace. Mulligan received a bachelor of arts degree in hotel and restaurant administration from Washington State University in 1990 before receiving his Juris Doctorate from Gonzaga University School of Law in 1994.  He has extensive experience in human resources legal issues having practiced labor and employment law from 1995 – 1998.  Since joining San Diego Zoo Global over eleven years ago, Mulligan’s human resources team has developed programs which led to several awards including San Diego Business Journal’s “2008 HR Professional of the Year”, San Diego Business Journal’s “San Diego Healthiest Employers” finalist in 2013 and 2014, San Diego Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) “Workplace Excellence” in both 2005 and 2007, and San Diego City Beat’s “2014 Best Place to Work in San Diego.”  Mulligan continues to gather recognition on the international stage, providing insight to HR professionals through various speaking opportunities.  He has spoken at the SHRM National Conference, SHRM Talent Management Conference, SHRM HR Technology Conference, SHRM HR West Conference, 2015 Halogen Users Conference, Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) International Conference, International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) International Attractions Expo, and the Consero CHRO Summit.
NelsonLinda Nelson, Associate Vice President, Human Resources
Georgia State University
Linda Nelson, has over 21 years of human resources administration, AA/EEO and diversity experience.  She is responsible for the overall administration and supervision of the human resources administration and the ODDEP office as well as, the institutional goals toward talent management and affirmative action. She works very closely with the University System of Georgia – Board of Regents and has been with Georgia State University for over 18 years.
VanLuvenAudrey Van Luven, CHRO
Christiana Care Health System
As the chief human resource officer for Christiana Care Health System, Audrey Van Luven is responsible for creating the people platform that enables the organization to achieve its strategic and operating goals.  The Human Resources department has undergone significant transformation under Audrey’s leadership and was recognized as a best practice by the Advisory Board in their 2012 research “Restructuring HR to Lead an Evolving Healthcare System.”  As a strategic thinker, she has created a culture of ongoing performance improvement focused on attracting, growing and retaining the talent required for healthcare delivery now as well as in the future.  Audrey has developed a team of highly engaged HR professionals who function as an integrated team of experts, working closely with organizational leadership to create and execute targeted talent strategies, further a culture of excellence, and support the Christiana Care Way.  Highlights of HR services include workforce strategy and succession planning; comprehensive talent pipeline development including recruiting, sourcing and talent mining; employee benefits and wellness; recognition and compensation for employees, management, executives and physicians; comprehensive employee relations services; employment/labor law compliance; HR information systems and HR service delivery including a shared services center as well as targeted education.Graduating summa cum laude, Audrey has an associate degree and a bachelor’s degree in medical science with ASCP Board certification, and a master’s degree in human resources management.  She is a 2002 Fellow of the Healthcare Advisory Board and completed an executive education program in healthcare at Harvard Business School in 2010.  She has more than 25 years of human-resource experience and has been employed by Christiana Care since 1988.  Audrey currently serves on the board of trustees for Delaware Technical and Community College, chairing their personnel committee; the board of directors for the Delaware Center for Maternal Fetal Medicine of Christiana Care; The Health Management Academy’s Financial Fellows Advisory Committee; and the Workforce and Education Committee, Delaware Center for Health Innovation.  Audrey also serves as the Honorary Commander for the Delaware National Guard, 166th Maintenance Group.  She formerly served on the State of Delaware’s Workforce Investment Board and the Board of Director’s for the Family & Workplace Connection.

Lifetime Achievement

Larry_CostelloLarry Costello, Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer

Larry Costello is strategic business executive and chief human resources officer during Tyco’s transformation from a holding company to growth and innovation leader.  He drives the strategic human resources agenda and serves as the trusted advisor for the CEO, the board, and Tyco’s management team.  Larry leads the global human resources organization, responsible for developing a high performance team functioning with the right cost, delivery and experience model.  Additionally, he focuses on business areas that require improvement in order for Tyco to achieve its growth plan and serves as a strategic advisor and operating executive in partnership with the CEO.
GastaMark Gasta, Executive Vice President & Chief People Officer
Vail Resorts
Mark Gasta is the Executive Vice President and Chief People Officer for Vail Resorts Management Company.  Vail Resorts is the premier mountain resort company in the world and a leader in luxury, destination-based travel at iconic locations.  In this position, Mark is responsible for planning and executing on Companywide people strategies designed to increase organization effectiveness and enhance organizational performance and health through the development and empowerment of the Company’s 25,000 employees.  Previously, Mark served as the corporate vice president of organizational development for Comcast Communications’ 90,000 employees.  He also served as the vice president of human resources for Comcast’s West Division, which consisted of 14,000 employees in Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah and Washington. Additionally, Mark has held various human resources management positions with AT&T Broadband, Lexis-Nexis and Target Corporation.  He also served in the United States Army as a commissioned officer and aviator.  Mark received his bachelor of science degree from California Polytechnic State University, an MBA from the University of Denver, and went on to earn his doctorate of education in organizational change from Pepperdine University.  He previously served as an adjunct professor for the Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver and is an active member of several professional associations including Human Resource People and Strategy, the Organizational Development Network, the National Ski Area Association and the Academy of Management. Mark has served, and continues to serve, on many nonprofit boards including the Colorado Outward Bound School, Leave No Trace and the Urban League.
HauerWINNER:  Kimberly Hauer, EVP and CHRO, SC Johnson (formerly Vice President and Chief HR Officer, Caterpillar Inc.)
Kim Hauer is vice president of human services division and chief HR officer at Caterpillar Inc. where her focus is on continuing to make Caterpillar an employer of choice around the world. She leads a team of HR professionals with facilities and organizations spread throughout Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia and the Americas. She has a bachelor’s degree in management, with emphasis in human resources, from Purdue University and has been certified as a human resources professional. Kim’s career with Caterpillar started as an internship in assembly planning during her third year at Purdue University. She joined Caterpillar full time in 1997 as part of the company’s HR Professional Development Program. She advanced through numerous positions with increasing responsibilities in the areas of human resources, labor relations and succession planning, including a role as a compensation and benefits manager for Caterpillar’s logistics division based in Belgium. Hauer also held the position of group and regional HR director for Caterpillar based in Geneva, Switzerland. Nationally, Kim represents Caterpillar as a member of the Board of Directors for the HR Policy Association and as a Board of Governors member for the American Health Policy Institute. She recently joined with leaders in 20 other large U.S. employers to form the Health Transformation Alliance (HTA) – a not-for-profit cooperative dedicated to improving the way employers provide healthcare benefits in an effort to create better healthcare outcomes. Kim, as well as her husband Jason and two daughters, are active members of their local community. She has a passion for organizations supporting social and environmental challenges close to home, particularly when those challenges impact children. Kim Hauer represents Caterpillar, is a member of the Creve Coeur Club Board of Governors and Executive Committee, as well as a member of the Board of Trustees to the Children’s Home Association of Illinois. Kim recently became a member of the National Philanthropic Board for the Red Cross and since 2014 has served as a fundraising campaign co-chair for the local American Red Cross Heartland Heroes Program, which provides services to help our community when the need is the most urgent. And she is a mentor in the American Corporate Partners Veteran Mentoring program, where she works with veterans to help them transition to careers in the private sector.
LittleBrian Little, Head of Human Resources
Zurich, North America
Brian Little is currently the Head of Human Resources for Zurich Insurance North America.  He has over 25 years of HR leadership experience in top national and global companies.  Mr. Little joined Zurich in August of 2009.  Previously he worked at HSBC Bank, the largest international bank in the world, as the Senior Vice President of Corporate Human Resources.  He worked for Ameritech as Director of Leadership Development and as Manager of Organizational Learning.  He worked for Amoco Production Company as a Senior Human Resources Consultant.  Mr. Little also has experience as an external human resource consultant working with dozens of companies on performance improvement, team building, and executive coaching both domestic and abroad.  Mr. Little has a passion for working with a number of non-profit organizations including the Oakton College Foundation for which he is currently a vice president and past treasurer.  He was recognized for leadership with prestigious Men of Excellence Award for 2011 and the National Eagle Leadership Institute Award in 2012.  Mr. Little has a Master of Science from Illinois State University in Organization Communication and Development.  He earned an executive certificate from the Kellogg Advanced Executive Program in 2014.
OwenbyMatthew Owenby, Senior Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer
Matthew Owenby has more than 15 years of experience in the financial services and human resources and is senior vice president, chief human resources officer at Aflac, a company with more than 9,500 employees.  At Aflac, he is responsible for providing strategic direction for the Human Resources function and executing on global initiatives for the corporation.  Matthew joined Aflac in 2012 as vice president of HR Business Partners, bringing with him more than a decade of HR experience at Bank of America and General Electric.

For more information about the award, please contact Scott Fuhr at 215-606-9525.
For awards gala sponsorship information, please contact Chris Galione at 215-606-9519.


Highlights of 2017 HRO Today Forum

HRO Today Forum Twitter Feed

Welcome Alexander Mann Solutions, Sponsor

Welcome Allegis Global, Sponsor

Welcome Bartech’s David Barfield, Sponsor

Welcome Bartech’s Brian Salkowski, Sponsor

Welcome Bartech, Sponsor

Welcome to Cielo, Sponsor

Welcome to Indeed, Sponsor

Welcome to Korn Ferry Futurestep, Sponsor

Welcome to Lumesse, Sponsor

Welcome to Randstad, Sponsor

Welcome to WilsonHCG, Sponsor

HRO Today Forum 2015 Highlights

HRO Today Forum 2014 Highlights