Text of Susan Meisinger’s Resignation Memo

By Staff Report

Jan. 8, 2008

—— Forwarded Message
From: “Meisinger, Sue” <>
Date: Tue, 8 Jan 2008 11:04:24 -0500
Conversation: Announcement
Subject: Announcement

It’s 2008, and it’s hard to believe that I’ve been with SHRM for more than 20 years. When I arrived in July of 1987, SHRM had about 44,000 members, and a staff of just 65.

I expected to stay for just a few years before moving on to new challenges. But I soon learned that working for ASPA, and then SHRM, was never boring. It was always interesting, and my job kept changing. And as SHRM grew, I gained new responsibilities, allowing me to continually grow and learn.

Since becoming CEO of SHRM, I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to work with a world-class management team and staff. Since 2002, working together, we have:

•   Grown membership from 170,000 to 233,000 members;
•   Increased retention from 79% to more than 81%;
•   Grown revenue from $70 million to $107 million; and
•   Grown reserves to enable us to invest more in serving and advancing the profession — from $62 million to almost $160 million.

We’ve pursued our mission by:
•   Increasing the depth of information resources provided to our members;
•   Providing a diverse offering of professional development opportunities, from learning systems to conferences and seminars, launching e-learning free web casts, a new Strategy Conference, and new executive education programming.
•   Launching a new brand and logo, which was embraced by our members;
•   Providing an online career assessment tool;
•   Expanding globally, opening offices in China and India, and created the GPHR Learning System and educational program which is  now being offered around the world;
•   Focusing on the HR professionals of the future, developing curriculum templates, teaching tools and cases for use by the academic community while revitalizing our student program, launching regional student conferences and free memberships to recent graduates; and
•   Launching a public affairs campaign to highlight the value of the HR profession, providing recognition for great HR practices, launching the 50 Best Small and Medium Companies to Work for and Human Capital Awards Programs  and beginning sponsorships on public radio, CNN, Fox, and CEO Exchange on PBS.

We’ve also made great progress in supporting the life blood of SHRM, our incredible volunteer leaders.  We:

•   Launched a new volunteer structure to help us be more responsive;
•   Increased our field staff to better serve the volunteers;
•   Began free web hosting services and news feeds for our chapter;
•   Began financial support to our state council partners; and
•   Launched the Volunteer Opportunity Center to increase volunteer opportunities for our members.

On top of this, SHRM was recognized by the ASAE as a remarkable and visionary association in its book 7 Measures of Success: What Remarkable Associations Do That Others Don’t.

I’ve had the opportunity to travel and represent SHRM around the world.  I’ve served on the boards of HRCI, the World Federation for Human Resource Management and the North American Human Resource Management Association, and served as spokesperson before Congress and for all of the major media outlets. 

I’ve had a great 20 years at SHRM, with six years as CEO. Working with all of you, we’ve accomplished more than I ever could have dreamed.

As we began our planning for 2008 and the strategic review planned for this year, I took the opportunity to reflect on my own situation, and the need to balance the demands of my role at SHRM, the demands that will come with this strategic review, and my desire to attend to some family member health matters.  I’ve concluded that this would be a good time to step back, before SHRM undertakes its strategic review, to take some time for myself and my family — to take a sabbatical. To that end, I will be retiring from SHRM.

The Board is now aware of this, and will be launching a search for a new CEO shortly, considering both internal and external candidates. I will remain at SHRM until a new CEO is selected to ensure a smooth transition.

While leaving SHRM won’t be easy for me, I know it’s the right thing for me, and I’m excited about the future. I suspect that at some point I may rejoin the world of work for the next phase of my life. If so, I hope it’s to do something as challenging and rewarding as my experience has been at SHRM.

Thank you all for allowing me to have had this wonderful career experience.  It couldn’t have happened without you.


Susan R. Meisinger, SPHR
President and CEO
Society for Human Resource Management
1800 Duke Street
Alexandria, VA 22314-3499
Phone: 703-535-6002

Toll Free: 800-283-7476 USA
TTY/TDD: 703-548-6999
E-mail: <>

Leading People. Leading Organizations.

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world’s largest association devoted to human resource management. The Society serves the needs of HR professionals and advances the interests of the HR profession. Founded in 1948, SHRM has more than 225,000 members in over 125 countries, and more than 575 affiliated chapters. Visit <> .

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