Cherilyn Stephens is an HRIS Business Analyst for Franciscan Alliance Information Services.  She has worked in human resources for more than 15 years. She previously served on the board as Director of Membership,President-elect, President and Past President. Cherilyn was actively involved as a certification study group facilitator helping prepare members for the PHR/SPHR exam and currently serves on the Indiana SHRM State Council conference committee as the Exhibitor. She holds a B.S. from Ball State University.


As human resource professionals we know how challenging it can be to make changes in our organizations that impact hundreds, if not thousands, of people.  There is that moment of doubt…”is this the right thing to do?”  The moment of frustration….”what was I thinking?”  And finally the moment you have been waiting for… “I think the new programming model is fabulous.”

That last one came from a survey response after our March General Session Forum with Jean Gatz.  Finally I was ready to take a chance and ask for your feedback.  I was holding my breath for that week while we waited for the survey responses to come in slowly.  The responses to one simple question would tell the board of IndySHRM if they were taking this organization down the right path.

For some time now our program surveys have collected your feedback about our programs.  For much of the last few years there was a common theme of “the lunch hour is just too difficult for me” or “the topic was not relevant to my job”.  At the same time, the popularity of our special interest groups was growing.  People interested in topics focused on staffing management or strategic HR found a home.

With our new programming model we hope to improve upon our offerings and entice more of you to join us at an event.  Gone is the day of the monthly luncheon.  Now, eight exciting new forums will provide you with a minimum of four programs each year for a grand total of 32 for the entire year.  WOW!!  We have assembled a wonderful group of volunteers to help make these programs possible.  I hope that you’ve had a chance to experience at least one of our new programs during the first quarter.  If not, make sure you check it out during the second quarter.

Here’s what a few of our HR colleagues had to say about the new model:

  • I think it’s a great idea. Keeps the organization from getting into a rut!
  • I am excited about the new programming model, I love the variety of days of the week, times and locations. Thursdays at lunch meant I had to skip a standing meeting, so I did not attend frequently.
  • I thought it was good.
  • Great new model of variety of locations to accommodate all areas of Indy.
  • I thought the new program format worked very well.
  • good idea due to everyone’s busy schedules
  • I like the idea of having different networking events on various days and times. I plan to attend more events as time allows.
  • I love it.
  • Love it ~ great for all members!
  • Seems to be working really well.
  • I like the new model because it allows you to know which sessions will best meet your needs. Great job thinking outside the box on this!
  • Love it!!!!
  • I think the new programming model is fabulous. Kudos to those working hard to pull this off!

I hope to hear from more of you.  Please send me your thoughts, concerns, ideas or encouragement.  The Programs Committee wants to continue to make this model successful and we need your input to keep us on the right track.