The SHRM-Atlanta IMPACT Awards

Innovation ● Motivation Performance 
Achievement ● Creativity ● Transformation


The annual SHRM-Atlanta IMPACT Awards recognize individuals or teams in the profession of Human Resources whose actions or initiatives have demonstrated outstanding impact and benefit – above and beyond normal expectations – to their business or the community. Nominees and their initiatives should reflect significant contributions through IMPACT: Innovation, Motivation, Performance, Achievement, Creativity or Transformation in the work being recognized. 


Nominations for the 2019 IMPACT Awards are now open! Nominate your HR team or individual today through January 15, 2019.   Finalists will be notified by February 28, 2019. Good luck!


Click here to submit your nomination



IMPACT Award winners receive recognition in front of a large audience of HR professionals at during SOAHR 2019: SHRM-Atlanta's Annual HR Conference. All winners will be featured on the SHRM-Atlanta website and submitted for recognition to local news agencies.


Applications will be evaluated by a panel of volunteer judges. The panel will evaluate submissions in respect to the values of IMPACT: Innovation, Motivation, Performance, Achievement, Creativity and Transformation and look for the following initiatives:

  • Leadership
  • Community Involvement
  • Project Management
  • Organizational Change

2017 Winners

Team (Department) Winner:

  • The Georgia Department of Revenue: This HR team was faced with a daunting challenge - approximately 40% of their division managers and supervisors were expected to retire within the next five years – and they realized that their current succession plan wouldn’t fully cover the gaps.  This team quickly developed a plan to support their new executive team by implementing several strategic initiatives to improve employee leadership development in order to significantly increase their internal pipeline of candidates.

    Employee participation and learning in the new developmental programs was so successful that 66% of the participants received promotions, thus creating a robust succession plan that more fully addressed their future needs. This HR team has become invaluable business partners and trusted advisors to their senior leadership team, with lasting impact on the overall organization for years to come.  


  • Matthew Owenby with Aflac: This senior HR professional has tirelessly devoted his attention on programs that significantly improve employee engagement and retention within Aflac. Since 2013, his initiatives have positively transformed Aflac’s culture and workforce, leading to a 48 percent increase in their employees’ participation in new learning initiatives, as well as a reduction in human resources operational costs by $2 million.

    One of his key initiatives included re-examining Aflac’s employee health care offering to ensure accessibility.  Matthew implemented a more streamlined system, created on-site clinics with full-time access to care, which in turn made healthcare more accessible to all Aflac employees. As a result, Aflac saw an increase of 1,275 visits in 2015 to 3,937 visits in 2016, with an ROI of 175 percent and increased employee satisfaction.  Through his efforts, Aflac has become an even more desirable place to work for current and prospective employees, resulting in an impactful competitive advantage in the marketplace.

  • Janet Thomas with Genuine Parts Company: This HR professional focused her efforts on creating initiatives that supported a Genuine Parts Company culture that valued their history, but also helped employees embrace innovation. Janet accomplished this by focusing on the relationship between employee engagement and senior leadership. 

    Janet boldly worked to redesign a long established management trainee program, replacing it with a new leadership development program that was more structured and closely aligned with senior leadership, company strategy, succession-planning efforts, desired skills-mastery, and new talent acquisition endeavors.  Results have included a significant increase in females hired within a typically male-dominated environment, as well as new capstone projects that are seen by senior leaders as pivotal to driving the business strategy forward. This program has been so successful that —even with budget cuts—senior leadership has preserved it because they see it as a competitive asset and resource essential to preparing the organization for future success.
  • Bill Garrett with Peach State Truck Centers: Bill challenged the status quo in Peach State Truck Center’s heavily blue collar environment by motivating employees to move from their traditional comfort zones regarding technology, wellness, and engagement. Bill attained a 98% participation rate when he launched his comprehensive wellness plan. Bill also launched the “PRIDe” program which aims for peer and manager nominations when acts of Pride, Respect, Integrity, and Discipline occur. His successes in transforming status quo has been so impactful that the VP of HR of a competitor asked to bring HR staff over to learn from Bill’s accomplishments.
  • Jo Anne Hill with Aflac: Facing an aging IT department, coupled with low engagement scores and needing to match the diversity of the general employee population, this HR professional set out to make an impact on diversity & inclusion, as well as employee engagement, within the organization. 

    Jo Anne worked to transform the candidate pipeline within IT, resulting in not just improved diversity, but also improved overall recruiting by creating a 50/50 minority internship group that not only resulted in an increased the new hire conversion rate, but also improved access to senior leaders across the company.  Jo Anne also successfully implemented Agile principles, leading to improved engagement within the IT team.  Engagement scores within the group, in only one year, increased by 20 percentage points and even more impressively, resulted in a 30% increase in production.

2017 IMPACT Awards sponsored by: