ManpowerGroup's Swan Named 2012 HR Executive of the Year

HR Leaders at Safeway, Texas Health Resources, University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics, and Universal Weather and Aviation Named to Honor Roll

Red Bank, New Jersey, UNITED STATES

HORSHAM, PA--(Marketwire - Oct 3, 2012) - Human Resource Executive®, the leading HR business magazine, named Mara Swan, executive vice president of global strategy and talent for ManpowerGroup, its 2012 HR Executive of the Year.

In addition, the magazine named to its 2012 HR Honor Roll Russ Jackson, senior vice president of human resources for Safeway; Michelle Kirby, senior vice president and chief HR officer for Texas Health Resources; Janice K. Bultema, senior vice president of human resources for University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics; and Steven Ginsburgh, senior vice president of human resources and workforce development for Universal Weather and Aviation Inc.

Winners will be recognized on Oct. 9 during a special awards dinner sponsored by Monster at the University Club of Chicago.

"The HR Executive of the Year award recognizes human resource leaders who have made outstanding contributions to their organizations and who exemplify the increasingly strategic role of HR in business today," says David Shadovitz, editor of Human Resource Executive®.

Mara Swan has had a huge impact on ManpowerGroup since joining the corporation seven years ago. Among other things, she has been instrumental in the launch of:

  • ManpowerGroup's Collaborative Organizational Model, a massive companywide-training-and-communications effort aimed at moving the company from a siloed organization to a collaborative one.

  • A global Unleashing Potential program, focusing on the role of leadership by helping leaders be better coaches, and

  • The company's unique Candidate Experience program, which demonstrates the company's value to job candidates and, by extension, clients.

In a story appearing in the Oct. 2 edition of Human Resource Executive®, ManpowerGroup's chairman and CEO Jeffrey Joerres compares Swan to "one of those special hitters in baseball, guys like Ted Williams, who can see the spin of the ball and can take it to left or right field. She can clearly see the pitch, read the pitch and know where to hit the pitch."

The four executives named to the 2012 HR Honor Roll were recognized, among other things, for the following contributions and achievements:

  • As senior vice president of HR at Safeway, Russ Jackson played a key role putting in place an impressive array of innovative initiatives in areas ranging from leadership development to healthcare and wellness. He launched a program aimed at recruiting and developing former junior military officers to run many of Safeway's 1,700 stores. He also significantly strengthened Safeway's leadership-development efforts, through initiatives such as the company's Advancing Leader program, which provides high-potential and high-performing directors and district managers with vice-president-level experiences and instruction.

  • Michelle Kirby, senior vice president and chief human resources officer for Texas Health Resources, has been instrumental in helping her organization successfully navigate an extremely challenging acquisition, making sure the guiding principles and mission of the organization -- to improve the health of the people in the communities it serves -- were being emphasized and communicated. She also helped to strengthen the company's health and wellness programs and increase employee-satisfaction-survey participation and results to record levels.

  • Janice K. Bultema, senior vice president of human resources for the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics, developed and implemented a hospital-wide communication plan aimed at helping employees understand the impact of Wisconsin's new law stripping many state employees of their collective-bargaining rights. Her "thumbprint" can also be found on a wide array of projects and programs she was instrumental in launching, including an academy aimed at providing non-clinical and electronic health-record education; and introducing a "School at Work" program geared toward improving the reading and writing skills of employees at or near the ninth-grade reading level.

  • Steven Ginsburgh, senior vice president of human resources and workforce development at Universal Weather and Aviation, has been responsible for a number of key initiatives, including the creation of a Wall of Metrics -- incorporating both business and HR analytics -- and an Employee Barometer Program for measuring employee satisfaction. He also spearheaded a Talent Advantage Program, an online, integrated initiative that measures facets of the company's workforce; improved the company's succession plans; and put in place fair and market salary structures and systems.

Judges for this year's contest were Dennis Donovan, vice chairman of Cerberus Operations & Advisory Co., and HRE's 2003 HR Executive of the Year; Fred Foulkes, director of the Human Resource Policy Institute and professor of management policy at the Boston University School of Management; Dr. Jac Fitz-enz, president of the Human Capital Source; Susan Meisinger, author, speaker and consultant on human resources and former president and CEO of the Society for Human Resource Management; and Human Resource Executive® Editor David Shadovitz.

The judges based their selections on the following criteria: the candidate's ability to handle significant problems or obstacles in the human resource field, the candidate's role and/or success in establishing the human resource function as an integral part of his or her organization, the candidate's management skills as demonstrated within the human resource function and his or her contributions to the HR profession as a whole.

The 2012 HR Executive of the Year and HR Honor Roll winners are profiled in the Oct. 2 issue of Human Resource Executive®, which has a circulation of more than 75,000 HR vice presidents and directors. It is published by LRP Publications and is based in Horsham, Pa. On the Web, it can be found at