New HR Policy Chair Pam Kimmet Ushers in Association’s Second Half-Century: “There is an Expectation That Our Companies Play a Stronger Role”

March 16, 2018

Celebrating its 50th anniversary at its annual CHRO Summit, the Association elected Pam Kimmet, Chief Human Resources Officer, Cardinal Health, Inc., as our new Chair.  Ms. Kimmet's tenure begins as a turbulent political landscape imposes new expectations on the role large companies play in addressing the major social issues that government is struggling—and often failing—to address.  In her inaugural speech, Ms. Kimmet noted that the profession has evolved from “the personnel function” to a recognition within the C-Suite that “if we focus on culture we can make a difference in this organization’s performance.  Yet, we’ve by no means cracked the code so I don’t think in the next 50 years we can rest on our laurels from the great work that’s been done in the preceding 50.”  She also noted that there is “a growing intolerance with being affiliated with companies that don’t want to do the right thing.  There’s a strong expectation that our companies have to play a greater role and I think that’s going to cause us to reconsider how we think about the workforce each and every day.”  Before turning the reins over to Ms. Kimmet, outgoing Chair Mirian Graddick-Weir noted that “she couldn’t be prouder of what the Association has accomplished in the past 50 years and Pam, who is truly a class act, will do an amazing job as our new leader and we have certainly left plenty of challenges for her to tackle.”  Echoing similar praise from HR Policy CEO Dan Yager, Ms. Kimmet heralded the leadership of Ms. Graddick-Weir, noting that “she casts a very long shadow” and has “challenged us to continually ensure that we not only serve our members with excellence, but that we help make our impact felt in ways that can evolve our function for the future.”  Highlights of the meeting:

  • The Friday afternoon session was devoted to an interactive discussion with the membership, led by Ms. Kimmet and HR Policy Executive Vice President Tim Bartl, of the evolving expectations regarding large companies and how the Association can best serve the CHRO role in addressing those expectations.     
  • Incoming Center On Executive Compensation Chair Mara Swan, EVP Global Strategy and Talent, ManpowerGroup, led a discussion of how companies are preparing to deal with executive pay ratio disclosures, including responses to those recently released. 
  • A panel moderated by Ms. Graddick-Weir focused on how CHROs respond to crisis situations outside the norm, such as natural disasters, cyber-attacks (both external and internal), and the reaction to the revelation of workplace sexual harassment allegations.  
  • Mr. Yager and American Health Policy Institute CEO Shelly Carlin led a briefing by the Association staff of the various policy issues, including sexual harassment, single payer health insurance, and the continuing surge of state and local workplace regulations.   
  • CEO Emeritus Jeff McGuiness and the HR Policy staff guided the membership through a powerful review of the history of the Association and its numerous accomplishments. 
  • The meeting included a stellar line-up of outside speakers, including Nicolle Wallace of MSNBC, former Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), former Democratic National Committee Chair Donna Brazile, and Rana Foroohar of Financial Times.
For a full report on the CHRO Summit proceedings, click here.