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Having Coffee with the HR Community

We will start off by saying we’re so thankful to be a part of such an amazing community of HR leaders. Our online and offline community is chock-full of talented and encouraging people. Because we are a recognition company we understand the value of appreciation.  Leaders are typically the ones who give recognition, so we thought we’d show a little love to a few great HR community leaders.

To have a little fun, we wanted to represent the spirit behind each person by introducing and describing them through a mug. We also chatted with each leader and asked them to give us their favorite inspirational quote or the why behind what they do so we could spread a little cheer at the same time.


Without further ado we present an introduction to some of HR’s greatest leaders:

If the HR Community were Mugs…

Steve Browne

We chose this mug for Steve because anyone who knows him knows that even if he’s busy he always makes time to help members of the community. He goes out of his way to make sure we all stay connected and he empowers others to grow to their greatest potential. Thank you for saying “No problem” Steve!

@sbrownehr Steve’s favorite quote: “Do not go where the path may lead, go where there is no path and leave a trail.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson


Wendy Dailey

We chose this mug to represent Wendy because she is a person with a big heart and a pioneer in sharing the stories of underrepresented voices. Wendy, herself a wonder woman in taking the lead to distribute these awesome stories with the community. We were reading a blog post about the leadership qualities of wonder woman and wanted to share it in light of Wendy’s work. Thank you, Wendy, for sharing with us.

@wydall93 Wendy’s favorite quote: My favorite quote is from Sir Richard Branson “Clients don’t come first; employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.” I think this is so true for HR because we do consider employees our “customer.” We need to be sure our employees are more valued and appreciated than they think we value our customers. They will transfer that to the customer.


dog coffee mug

Nicole Roberts

We chose this mug to represent Nicole because she has a passion for leadership and she shares her insight with us. She understands even know there are many challenges in leadership there is always a positive perspective and a way to make the most of each challenge to grow. Thank you for reminding us what a leader is and for giving us your perspective on how to be a better leader Nicole.

@NRobertsHR Nicole’s thoughts on leadership: “When your organization entrusts you with the privilege of leading a team, it is an honor and a privilege. It is my greatest hope that I lead by example for my team and that one day their future teams will say they were the best manager they ever had. I try harder every day to be a better leader for them because that’s what they deserve – for me to show up every day and be a better manager than I was the day before.”


lego coffee mug

Jon Thurmond

We chose this mug to represent Jon because he has dedicated his life to build up those around him and the entire HR community. Through his posts, podcasts he helps us to stay connected one block at a time. Thank you, Jon!

@Jon_Thurmond Jon’s favorite quote: “My favorite quote is a bit different than most.  I worked for an absolutely brilliant engineer who had gotten into HR in a roundabout way and when I went to work for him his advice to me when I asked what I should do was “Bring a spoon to work.”  Yes, on its face it’s bizarre.  His point was that I was better off chipping away at “walls” put up by management with a spoon and every day by doing my job and modeling the behaviors we wanted to see from them rather than point at compliance and legalese which ultimately turns most people off.  When I got into management, I gave several of my hires spoons and that advice.” -Jon Thurmond, regional HR Manager with Team Fishel & the host of the #HRSocialHour Half Hour Podcast.


cat coffee mug

Claire Petrie

We chose this mug to represent Claire because just like a cup of coffee can bring refreshing to your day, she brings refreshing to those around her. Thank you for continuing to make a difference in the community Claire.

@strclaire Claire’s thoughts: “Some of my favorite quotes are do it with passion or not at all. And being positive in a negative situation is not naive, it’s leadership. My tagline that I’m known for is positive and optimistic always. I frequently get feedback that people value my energy and enthusiasm for what I do which is helping people succeed in their careers and sharing the knowledge I’ve learned along the way in my career.”


guitar coffee mug

John Jorgensen

We chose this mug to represent John because he brings a steady rhythm to the HR community. People grow through learning and John is a teacher and a leader that’s great at not only practicing what he says but he also inspires others to do the same. Thank you, John.

@jkjhr John’s favorite quote: “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” Peter Drucker


inspirational coffee mugKyra Matkovich

We chose this mug to represent Krya because she is always so optimistic. We love to scroll through her feed and look at the leadership quotes she shares, the fun #hrcoffeeshot posts she shares and we’re all impacted by the power of positivity she spreads. Thank you Kyra!

@kyramatkovichhr Kryra’s favorite quote: “The ultimate freedom we have as human beings is the power to select what we will allow or require our minds to dwell upon” – Dallas Willard



We hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know some more about the HR leaders we featured. There are many more individuals who continue to impact us who we did not feature but we want to let you know we appreciate you as well. We’re looking forward to learning alongside and getting to know you all as time goes on. We will see everyone on Twitter or at the next SHRM conference.


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