2024 PSHRA Awards Applications are Now Closed

PSHRA is home to HR professionals who have given tirelessly to the advancement of our profession. We recognize the outstanding accomplishments of our members and the work they do on behalf of their agencies.

We offer the following awards:

Agency Award of Excellence  - The Association recognizes our small, medium, and large agencies with an award presented at our Annual Conference.  This award celebrates those agencies who have implemented innovative programs that have made their agencies more efficient and/or contributed to the public good. Agencies nominated must have been a PSHRA Agency member with a minimum of 3 years consecutive membership

Honorary Life Membership - Honorary Life Memberships recognizes and honors persons who have rendered distinguished service in advancing or upholding the purposes of the Association. The ideal candidate will have made an impact through their participation on committees, chapters, speaking engagements, research, and the like.  

Chapter Award - The Chapter Award of Excellence recognizes those chapters who significantly advance and enhance the human resource profession through innovative membership recruitment/retention strategies, excellent educational programs, and quality member communications.  Chapters who possess these qualities should apply.

Please review the awards’ descriptions and rules.  Nominations are reviewed by the Awards committee and a slate of recommendations is forwarded to the Executive Council to be voted on. PSHRA will recognize the winners during the PSHRA Annual Conference.

2024 Applications have now closed.

If you have questions, please contact us at membership@pshra.org.

Excellence in Public Sector HR

PSHRA recognizes the accomplishments of its individual and agency members, chapters, and volunteers with its annual Awards of Excellence.

Awards celebrate the achievements exemplary leaders and advocates whose contributions have advanced public sector HR. Awardees have created better places to work for those who serve the public good.

President’s Award

The President’s Award recognizes the current PSHRA president for leadership of the association and in the field of public sector HR.

The 2023 President’s Award was presented to Cheryl Lewis-Smith, IPMA-SCP, 2023 PSHRA President, by Dr. Jennifer Fairweather, IPMA-SCP, 2023 PSHRA Past President.

Lewis-Smith also recently served as an Executive Council member from 2019-2021. She is an avid community service volunteer and leader. Having served on various state, regional and national boards and committees in both a professional and personal capacity, she is truly dedicated and committed to making a difference.

Lewis-Smith is recognized with the 2023 PSHRA President's Award for her commitment and dedication in leading the association and its mission.

Honorary Life Membership Award

Honorary Life Memberships are to recognize and honor persons who have rendered distinguished service in advancing or upholding the purposes of the Association.

The 2023 Honorary Life Membership Award was presented to Carol Rubino, IPMA-SCP. Rubino is a current and past member of the Executive Council and has Chaired the Fellowship Committee twice. She is an honorary member of Southern Region IPMA-HR. Carol has served as Chapter President, President Elect, Executive Board member, Executive Board Secretary, Executive Council Member at Large, Certification Advisory Board Member, Program Chair, and Awards Committee. Her Chapter work has earned a Chapter Lifetime Membership Award, an Outstanding Professional Award and Outstanding Public Service Award.

She is a life member of the Montgomery County, MD Chapter, a member of the Patuxent River Basin, MD Chapter and a member of the Virginia Chapter. She has also served as National President of the National Association of Civil Service Commissioners (NACSC). Rubino holds a Bachelor of Science Degree, two master's Degrees, a Law Degree and is an Attorney who is licensed to practice law. She is admitted to the bar and to several courts to include the United States Supreme Court.

Rubino is recognized as an Honorary Life Member for her distinguished service in advancing the purposes of the association by making significant contributions to PSHRA at the national, regional, and chapter level.


Agency of Excellence Award

The Agency Award of Excellence recognizes the quality, accomplishments, and contributions of an outstanding agency human resource program. Annual awards may be made in any of three categories based on agency workforce size.

Small Agency Award

The Small Agency Award may be presented to an agency of up to 1,999 employees.

The 2023 Small Agency Award was awarded to the City of Port St. Lucie, Florida, which employees approximately 1,400 individuals that provide a wide range of municipal services. Each of the individual City departments continually advance initiatives to elevate their departments and the City as a whole. The City of Port St. Lucie has a number of successful programs. One of the more innovative programs are the initiatives undertaken by the Human Resources Department to revamp the new-hire orientation program.

The new program is titled "Keys to the City" and is a half day program in which new hires learn about the mission, vision and values of the City; the strategic plan; and benefits in a fun and engaging way. The feedback has been so positive that long-tenured employees also requested to attend, so the Human Resources department incorporated those employees into the program by offering a refresher course. This refresher reiterates the City's mission, vision and values, and strategic plan; as well as providing those long-term employees with information on current benefit offerings as many updated benefits are continuously added.

Past Small Agency Award Winners:

  • 2022 | City of Tamarac, Florida
  • 2021 | No award
  • 2020 | City of Rancho Cucamonga, California
  • 2019 | City of Cape Coral, Florida

Medium Agency Award

The Medium Agency Award may be presented to an agency of 2,000 to 9,999 employees.  There were no winners in 2023.

Past Medium Agency Award Winners:
  • 2023 | No award
  • 2022 | Wake County, North Carolina
  • 2021 | No award
  • 2020 | City of Newport News, Virginia
  • 2019 | City of Henderson, Nevada

Large Agency Award

The Large Agency Award may be presented to an agency of 10,000 employees or more.  This year two agencies were awarded.

The 2023 Large Agency Award was awarded to both the City of San Antonio, Texas, Human Resources Department and the County of San Diego, California.

The City of San Antonio, Texas, Human Resources Department is a centralized human resources agency with more than 100 HR professionals providing critical services to 13,000 City employees. The City's Core Values include Teamwork, Professionalism, Integrity, and Innovation. The City of San Antonio, Texas has implemented several new initiatives designed to develop and engage employees, including:

  • An Innovation Academy (Through a unique partnership with Alamo Community Colleges, the City of San Antonio, Texas offers employees the opportunity to receive over 100 hours of specialized training to better improve operations and processes in their home departments)
  • Apprenticeships (To address critical labor shortages in our Solid Waste Management and Animal Care Services Departments, the City created the Apprenticeship Program to allow new or existing employees to receive real, hands-on, experiential training.)
  • Gear-Up (a wellness program that helps CDL employees work towards passing their DOT medical certifications)

In 2022, the City was recognized by Forbes magazine as one of the best employers in Texas.

County of San Diego, California employs a large workforce to provide essential services to the residents of the county. With over 18,000 employees, the County government serves in various roles and positions across different departments and agencies. San Diego County has developed a same day hiring program that can be a model for public agencies. Same Day Hiring operates out of Department of Human Resources (DHR) within the County of San Diego organization where there is a centralized and dedicated team to manage, operate and coordinate the program.

Same Day Hiring primarily focused on Hard to Recruit classifications and is also now open for all department classifications to participate. Since the inception of Same Day Hiring in 2021, there have been more than 100 events for over 30 classifications including, but not limited to healthcare, public safety, Protective Services Worker, Housing Program Analysts, Animal Care Attendants, and more. Same Day Hiring has resulted in 650+ same day offers of employment.

Past Large Agency Award Winners:

  • 2022 | No award
  • 2021 | No award
  • 2020 | No award
  • 2019 | Louisiana Department of State Civil Service

Chapter Award of Excellence

The Chapter Award of Excellence recognizes a chapter that has significantly advanced and enhanced the public sector HR profession through innovative membership recruitment/retention strategies, excellent educational programs, and quality member communication.

The 2023 Chapter Award of Excellence was presented to the Nevada Chapter of PSHRA.  Established in 1988, the chapter now represents the whole state of Nevada. In the past year, the Nevada Chapter has focused on providing increased networking and holding speaking events on topics important to their membership. This has allowed them to increase their membership. The Nevada Chapter is recognized with the 2023 Chapter Award of Excellence for significantly advancing and enhancing the public sector human resources profession through innovative membership recruitment and retention strategies, excellent educational programs, and quality member communication.

Past PSHRA Chapter Winners:

  • 2022 | Colorado Chapter
  • 2021 | Patuxent River Basin Chapter
  • 2020 | No award
  • 2019 | Sacramento--Mother Lode Chapter
  • 2018 | Tennessee Public Management Association
  • 2017 | Northern California Chapter
  • 2016 | Colorado Chapter
  • 2015 | Kentucky Chapter
  • 2014 | Kentucky Chapter
  • 2013 | Montgomery County Chapter, Maryland
  • 2012 | Tennessee Chapter of IPMA-HR (TPMA)
  • 2011 | Alabama Association of Public Personnel Administrators IPMA-HR
  • 2010 | IPMA-HR San Diego Chapter

Past Awards

Warner W. Stockberger Achievement Award

The Stockberger Achievement Award was established to honor the memory of Dr. Warner W. Stockberger, a pioneer and leader in federal personnel administration. Stockberger was the first director of personnel for the for the U.S. Department of Agriculture and served as the first president of the Society for Personnel Administration. The award recognizes and honors a person in public or private life who has made an outstanding contribution toward the improvement of public personnel management at any level of government.

PSHRA Honorary Life Membership

Honorary Life Memberships are given to recognize and honor persons who have rendered distinguished service in advancing or upholding the purposes of the Association. Honorary Life Members have, at no fee, all the rights and privileges of individual members, including the right to hold Association office and to vote on all issues requiring a decision by the membership. No more than two people can be awarded the PSHRA Honorary Life Membership in one year.