Demonstrating best practices in the HR field using UltiPro, Ultimate's “HR Heroes” are winners in their industry. We are pleased to acknowledge the extraordinary efforts of these individuals for their achievements.

Featured HR Hero

Solving Global HCM Challenges Using Cloud Technology

JD Downing, Williams Lea

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Effective HR technology is critical to today’s businesses, and JD Downing at Williams Lea is a shining example of how outstanding work can make a tremendous impact on an organization. She has been a star player in providing higher levels of services to the company’s multinational employees and supporting overall business operations.
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HR Heroes Hall of Fame

Transforming HR Administration to Value-Driven Operations

Tracy Bargielski, Yamaha Corporation of America

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When Tracy Bargielski interviewed with Yamaha Corporation of America, she was about to embark upon a journey that would be filled with highs and lows, tremendous challenges, yet huge gains. Hired as a soon-to-be replacement for the retiring head of HR, she came to the company filled with ideas and enthusiasm. One of her first goals in her role as senior manager of HR was to replace the payroll service bureau the company had been using with UltiPro — a massive internal change for the company.

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Elevating HR, Payroll, and Talent Management for 13,000-Employee Company

Kathy Jones, K-VA-T Food Stores, Inc.

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K-VA-T Food Stores, Inc. is a privately owned grocery chain that employs almost 13,000 associates in more than 100 locations. The company decided to advance its HCM capabilities by activating state-of-the-art technologies to replace its previous systems, which included a customized AS400 solution and spreadsheets.

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Completing 60-Day Activation of HR Software amid Complex Business Changes

Jenny Surma, Chicago Cubs

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On Opening Day 2007 of Major League Baseball, the Tribune Company of Chicago put one of its high-profile businesses, the Chicago Cubs, up for sale. The sale was completed almost 2.5 years later in a complex transaction. The protracted sales process included a parent company’s bankruptcy, a “perfunctory” team bankruptcy, an economic crisis across the U.S., and an extremely difficult financing environment.

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Strengthening North American Operations with Unified HCM Solutions

Vieanna Austin, Safran USA, Inc. (SUSA)

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Safran USA, Inc. (SUSA) is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Safran Group. In the U.S., SUSA operates in 20 states through approximately 35 companies and with more than 5,000 employees. In December 2009, SUSA was tasked with the project of deploying a shared services environment, so the Shared Services Team, located in Grand Prairie, Texas, would provide HR support, payroll, benefits administration, legal services, risk management, tax compliance, and other administrative services to strengthen SUSA’s operations in North America.

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Orchestrating Deep Support for Employees in Hurricane Aftermath

Bruce LePard, American National Insurance

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In light of all the natural disasters that have impacted the world in recent years, Ultimate Software is pleased to recognize Bruce LePard, SPHR, senior vice president of HR for American National Insurance, which has approximately 3,000 employees and offers a broad line of products and services in all 50 states.

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Strategically Aligning Employees, HR & Payroll Services with Overall Business

Nancy Stefanowicz, NFI Industries, Inc.

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Until about four years ago, the HR department at NFI Industries was viewed as a traditional, administrative department. Nancy Stefanowicz was hired as the new senior vice president of HR, with a mission to transform HR into a strategic part of the business and to deliver more efficiency as the organization.

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Creating High Levels of Employee Collaboration and Engagement via Human Capital Management

Melinda Curtis, Regional Women’s Health Group, LLC

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Congratulations to Regional Women’s Health Group, LLC, which was named as one of the Top 100 Workplaces in the Delaware Valley for 2010 by the Philadelphia Inquirer. It can be challenging for the two-person human resources department—Melinda Curtis, the HR manager, and Nichole Juliano, the HR specialist—to manage HR operations while also developing initiatives focused on employee satisfaction.

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Fast-Tracking Deployment of HCM Solutions for Better Business Results

Pam Fitch and Heidi McCoy, Westward Seafoods

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Seattle-based Westward Seafoods secures and processes more than 300 million lbs. of Alaskan fish and shellfish to meet the growing global demand for quality sustainable seafood. And with a large team of seasonal and temporary workers spread out from the Bering Sea to the Gulf of Alaska, Westward Seafoods’ Pam Fitch and Heidi McCoy captained a fast-track UltiPro activation to streamline their company’s human capital management processes.

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Restructuring HR Processes for Strategic Human Resource Management

Sudi Korba, PSAV

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Sudi Korba is vice president of human resources for PSAV which has approximately 6,000 temporary, full, and part-time employees working in more than 600 locations around the globe. PSAV is the leading provider of audiovisual and event technology support to hotels, associations, producers, and meeting planners worldwide.

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Seamlessly Managing ‘Big Bang’ Rollout of HR Management Software

William Pokluda, Daymon Worldwide

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With the help of nearly two dozen colleagues, William Pokluda, senior manager of human resources for Daymon Worldwide, re-engineered the company's HCM processes to build efficiencies, move to near-paperless operations, and take its HR and payroll operations to a new level.

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Driving Key HR and Payroll Services for Dispersed Workforce

Karen Miller, Susquehanna Bancshares

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With assets of approximately $14 billion and 3,000 employees at more than 220 branch locations, Susquehanna Bancshares is one of the nation’s leading financial services companies, serving a broad regional footprint that spans Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia, and New Jersey.

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Successfully Optimizing Human Capital Resources during Business Complexities

Cathie Hollowell, General Growth Properties

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In June 1998, Cathie Hollowell started at General Growth Properties with the primary responsibility to identify and activate an efficient HR/payroll solution. Several promotions later, Hollowell became GGP's senior vice president of HR.

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