HR director given award of excellence by BC HRMA

Tire dealer team, HR advisor also recognized
||Last Updated: 05/07/2013

Cindy Dopson, director of human resources at the BC Cancer Foundation, has been given the Award of Excellence: HR Professional of the Year by the BC Human Resources Management Association (BC HRMA) as part of its annual awards.

The award is given to an individual who contributes to an organization by achieving significant business results and demonstrates exceptional leadership both as a personal and professional role model.

Dopson has transformed HR at the foundation and acted as a transformational leader for the organization and its business results, and her efforts are considered an essential part of turning around key aspects of this not-for-profit foundation, said BC HRMA.

Brought on board during a time of extensive restructuring and executive change, Dopson’s professionalism and dedication helped guide the transformation process and firmly align the HR budget with the foundation’s primary mandate to raise funds for cancer research, said the association.

Her work is a great example of a partnership between the CEO and HR to transform an organization — which saw phenomenal business results as revenues per full-time hire are up 17 per cent, employee engagement is up significantly, and employee sick days are down.

Nominated finalists alongside Dopson were Rob Cutler, vice-president of human resources at the Land Title and Survey Authority of BC, and Deborah Maynard, vice-president of human resources and training at Cascade Aerospace in Abbotsford.

Award of Excellence: Innovation

The Award of Excellence: Innovation was given to a team of individuals represented by: Marlene Higgins, director of human resources at Kal Tire in Vernon, and Natalie Michael, principal at the Karmichael Group in West Vancouver. Kal Tire’s BEST Careers Program and Learning Culture was the program that was nominated.

The award recognizes an individual or team that has successfully implemented an innovative and progressive program or project to a new or ongoing HR challenge or opportunity.

With 5,000 employees spread over 240 store locations in 19 countries, Kal Tire’s growth has been exponential in the past five years. Adding one new store every year, the company faced growing challenges of management leadership, retention, career opportunity while maintaining its level of customer service.

With strong support from the president and internal partners, the team developed and implemented leadership programs to grow its global and retail needs, said BC HRMA. Partnering with Harvard University and the Karmichael Group, it developed a series of management certification programs that launched in 2008.

These multilingual management certification programs led to a pipeline of skilled managers qualified to run their network of stores. Coupled with a pay-for-knowledge structure that awards team members on a career track for management and certified managers with compensation increases, the mentoring store also receives compensation for every manager certified and placed in a new role.

Rising Star Award

Sabrina Mowbray, human resources advisor at Sinclar Group Forest Products in Prince George, was given the Rising Star Award. The award recognizes and honours a BC HRMA member who, at the early stages of her career, is making a significant positive impact both within her organization and her community.

After working in both the hospitality and aviation industry, Mowbray moved into HR and joined Sinclar Group, initially on a part-time basis. On April 16, 2012, she accepted the company’s offer of a full-time HR co-ordinator.

One week later, an explosion followed by a massive fire destroyed the company’s Lakeland sawmill. Two long-term employees died of their injuries and many others suffered catastrophic injuries. With the HR director position vacant, Mowbray stepped up and took charge of the HR response to the catastrophe.

In the days and weeks that followed, she made herself available 24-7 to everyone who needed support, said BC HRMA. She worked with injured employees and WorkSafe BC to manage claims and co-ordinated with the company’s employee and family assistance program (EFAP) provider and others to put the necessary emotional supports in place. To this day, she oversees efforts to assist 160 displaced employees find alternate employment.

Mowbray’s efforts were both extraordinary, said the association, while at the same time she managed many other responsibilities including being part of a small group tasked with bringing a strategic, professional and co-ordinated focus to the HR function within the Sinclair Group.

Alongside Mowbray, nominated finalists included: Nilesh Bhagat, rewards analyst at Best Buy Canada, and Sarina Ram, human resources administrator at Western Potash.

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