SOURCE: LRP Publications

October 01, 2013 07:15 ET

Honeywell's Mark James Named 2013 HR Executive of the Year

HR Leaders at Citigroup, Schwan Food Co., Graebel Cos. and Redstone Presbyterian SeniorCare Named to Honor Roll

HORSHAM, PA--(Marketwired - Oct 1, 2013) - Human Resource Executive®, the leading HR business magazine, named Mark James, senior vice president of human resources and communications at Honeywell, its 2013 HR Executive of the Year.

In addition, the magazine named to its 2013 HR Honor Roll Paul D. McKinnon, head of human resources at Citigroup; Scott Peterson, executive vice president and chief HR officer at The Schwan Food Co.; Mary Stoik Dymond, senior vice president of HR at Graebel Companies Inc.; and James W. Hodge, vice president of HR at Redstone Presbyterian SeniorCare.

Winners will be recognized on Oct. 10 during a special awards dinner sponsored by Monster at the Trustee Ballroom at Boston University.

"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®.

In the course of running human resources for the past five years at Honeywell, Mark James has scored many major wins, including spearheading an impressive global HR reorganization effort.

Mainly through the company's organizational efficiency (OEF) initiative, James coordinated more than 200 actions to cut costs. OEF was based on a close alignment between HR and finance, and was designed to provide improved transparency into the total cost of labor, including all related spending as a percent of revenue.

Other efforts outside of OEF include:

  • Reorganizing procurement (which James oversees) into an integrated, high-performing team that delivers outstanding results.

  • Strengthening Honeywell's talent-management processes with increased emphasis on its Management Resource Review and the Honeywell Performance and Development processes, both of which differentiate and reward top performers.

  • Instituting HR's One Country model, which organizes all HR generalists within country boundaries to provide HR support across the company's four strategic business groups.

In a story appearing in the October edition of Human Resource Executive®, Honeywell's chairman and CEO Dave Cote points out that James has turned HR into an integral part of the company's management structure, specifically citing James' ability to use metrics to do more with less.

The four executives named to the 2013 HR Honor Roll were recognized, among other things, for the following contributions and achievements:

  • Paul McKinnon at Citigroup was instrumental in helping the bank navigate key elements of the federal government's Troubled Asset Relief Program, including the limits set on executive compensation. In response, McKinnon and his team implemented an executive-compensation strategy that would satisfy the government without alienating the top talent. In addition, he established succession plans for the CEO and other top managers at Citigroup; strengthened the company's performance-management processes, which included ensuring the bank's 800 top managers receive thorough and detailed year-end assessments; and created a more integrated HR department, with common processes and centralized reporting.

  • Scott Peterson of Schwan Food Co. has made major strides in streamlining and improving the company's talent-management process, particularly in the areas of leadership development and employee engagement. Peterson and his team launched an initiative for more than 200 key leaders that focused on the critical competencies needed to succeed, and instituted in 2009 Schwan's first companywide employee-engagement survey. He also was instrumental in putting in place programs aimed at encouraging community involvement, including an onboarding program for new employees that includes performing volunteer work at the Twin Cities Second Harvest/Feeding America distribution center.

  • Mary Stoik Dymond has played a key role in improving employee engagement, retention and healthy behaviors at Graebel. Working with the company's HR leadership council, she led the creation of Graebel's first employee-engagement survey in 2009 and has improved retention by 12 percent over the past four years. She also helped create in 2010 Graebel's "Be Good to Yourself" employee wellness program -- which includes tools and encouragement for smoking cessation, exercise routines and healthy eating habits. To date, Graebel has seen employee health and engagement scores improve by double digits year-over-year.

  • James Hodge of Redstone Presbyterian SeniorCare was instrumental in developing Redstone's Employee Retention Corporate goal, which sets a goal with every supervisor -- tied to incentive payouts and performance reviews--to do his or her part to reduce turnover. He also helped develop Redstone's "core values" -- truth, teamwork, respect for all, quality, life balance and lifelong learning. Hodge and his team crafted the company's "zero-tolerance behaviors," and put in place a behavioral-based interview program and evaluation process to address performance that does not meet each position's standards and negatively impacts the Redstone culture. He also played a key role in establishing the company's Healthy Tracks Rewards Program, which awards employees, spouses and families points toward health-related purchases and services for milestones reached.

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.

Honor Roll candidates are divided into two categories: Employers with fewer than 7,500 employees and employers with 7,500 or more employees. This year two companies were selected in each category.

The 2013 HR Executive of the Year and HR Honor Roll winners are profiled in the October 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