HR Florida


Florida State Council Affiliate of SHRM

Community Spotlight – District 4

By Eric Scott Bowers, SHRM-SCP, District 4 Director

District 4 is a combination of a medium sized chapter, a small chapter, and a super small chapter. Surprisingly, the HR issues each chapter’s members deal with are the same, however the inner workings of the chapters themselves and the problems each of the chapter’s faces are different.

Mid Florida SHRM

Chapter President Natalie Jones inherited from Immediate Past President Jacquelyn Bobb a well-oiled machine, and fully functioning Board. Over many years the Chapter has established many community involvement projects and adds new ones each year.

Little Free Library was established to help children learn to and enjoy reading. The chapter supports many locations where little ones can take out a book and return it to many locations within the Lakeland community.

The chapter participates in many community events such as the Polk County Wellness Professionals Annual Showcase and celebrated May as Mental Health Awareness Month.

But as typical thriving chapters often do the Chapter celebrated #SHRMDAY in May and had Happy Hour Mixer. Mid-Florida knows that HR people enjoy a good after-hours party!

Lake Sumter SHRM

Lake Sumter is a small chapter that experienced a growth spurt after COVID, moving them to over sixty members which is a level they have not been at in quite some time. New members always bring innovative ideas and fresh enthusiasm which President Dena Oulette has put to effective use by bringing in new Board members with fresh ideas to augment the efforts of the long serving Board. In small chapters Board members serve in multiple roles for many years of dedicated service.

They continue to support toiletries to a homeless shelter that members collect from hotels as they travel for business or pleasure. This year they have provided mentors to a local youth program as well as collected canned goods for the local food bank.

They also began a new project where they collect “gently” used tennis shoes which they turn into a charity who pays them a small amount for each pair.

Nature Coast Human Resources Society

Nature Coast Chapter is also growing but struggling to attract members in an exceptionally large geographical area with many businesses spread throughout it, but without a dominant metro area where organizations tend to meet. Chapter President Lisa Parisi has instituted marketing campaigns including creating with her dedicated Board a “Value Proposition” which strongly presents the reasons why a HR professional working in Hernando, Citrus, and Pasco Counties should join. They have monthly speakers who present programs that are approved for both SHRM and HRCI credits.

As with any small organization, leadership requires dedication, hard work, and the ability to be very flexible. Board members taking new jobs. health issues or relocations for other reasons can negatively impact well made plans in an instant all of which has happened to Nature Coast several times in the last 12 months. The motto of Nature Coast Chapter is “We just need to pitch in, work harder, and get to the other side!”

Lake Sumter SHRM and Nature Coast are working together to create a study group to help their members and potential new members obtain SHRM Certifications, which will eventually increase the need for attendance to monthly where approved training credits are offered.