Workplace MVP: Patrick Lynch, President of SHRM-Atlanta
Beyond his “day job” as VP of Global Operations at Careerminds, Patrick Lynch serves as the 2021 President of SHRM-Atlanta, one of SHRM’s largest and most active chapters. He joined host Jamie Gassman to discuss SHRM-Atlanta’s recent activities, including HR For Change, the organization’s initiative to positively impact change in areas of racial equity and social justice, workforce issues addressed in SHRM-Atlanta’s recent annual symposium, REAL HR, and much more. “Workplace MVP” is underwritten and presented by R3 Continuum and produced by the Minneapolis-St.Paul Studio of Business RadioX®.
Patrick Lynch, VP Global Operations, Careerminds, and President, SHRM-Atlanta
As Vice President of Global Operations, Patrick is responsible for building an international network of consultants to help Careerminds with the demands of its growing list of global accounts.
Before Careerminds, Patrick was the Southeast President for CMP and the President of The Frontier Group, a firm he founded and merged with CMP. Patrick also has held senior leadership roles in marketing and sales with leading consumer product companies, such as Georgia Pacific, Kao Brands, Kraft/General Foods, and The HON Company.
Patrick is the President of SHRM-Atlanta, the premier professional community for those in Human Resources and people management.
Patrick also serves as the Chairman of the Board for Special Pops Tennis: a non-profit that offers an adaptive tennis program specifically designed to share the sport with children and adults with intellectual disabilities.
Patrick holds an M.B.A. from Michigan State University and a B.A. from the University of Michigan.
Careerminds is a global outplacement and career management partner that cares about you, your employees, and your company’s brand. We combine cutting-edge technology with personalized, one-on-one career coaching, which allows us to deliver an 80% or above engagement rate, a less than 12-week average time to land, and customized services to anyone, anywhere at a lower cost than traditional firms.
We promise to support participants throughout the whole process by working with them until they are placed in a new, meaningful role.
Getting your employees back to work is our mission and our guarantee.
SHRM – Atlanta
SHRM-Atlanta is the premier professional community for those in Human Resources and people management. Their mission is to empower Atlanta’s HR professionals and people managers to create best-in-class Atlanta workforces and workplaces by enhancing their HR skills and knowledge, developing their business acumen, and increasing their leadership capacity.
SHRM-Atlanta is proudly affiliated with the national Society for Human Resource Management, and their 2,000+ members include Professional Practitioners, Professional Consultants, Faculty, Attorneys, Professional Associates, Students, and Honorary members who represent more than 1,300 businesses in Metro-Atlanta of all sizes.
About “Workplace MVP”
Every day, around the world, organizations of all sizes face disruptive events and situations. Within those workplaces are everyday heroes in human resources, risk management, security, business continuity, and the C-suite. They don’t call themselves heroes though. On the contrary, they simply show up every day, laboring for the well-being of employees in their care, readying the workplace for and planning responses to disruption. This show, “Workplace MVP,” confers on these heroes the designation they deserve, Workplace MVP (Most Valuable Professionals), and gives them the forum to tell their story. As you hear their experiences, you will learn first-hand, real life approaches to readying the workplace, responses to crisis situations, and overcoming challenges of disruption. Visit our show archive here.
“Workplace MVP” Host Jamie Gassmann
In addition to serving as the host to the Workplace MVP podcast, Jamie Gassmann is the Director of Marketing at R3 Continuum (R3c). Collectively, she has more than fourteen years of marketing experience. Across her tenure, she has experience working in and with various industries including banking, real estate, retail, crisis management, insurance, business continuity, and more. She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mass Communications with special interest in Advertising and Public Relations and a Master of Business Administration from Paseka School of Business, Minnesota State University.
Intro: [00:00:01] Broadcasting from the Business RadioX studios, it’s time for Workplace MVP. Workplace MVP is brought to you by R3 Continuum, a global leader in workplace behavioral health and security solutions. Now, here’s your host, Jamie Gassmann.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:00:22] Hi, everyone. Your host, Jamie Gassmann here, and welcome to this edition of Workplace MVP. Today, we have a wonderful MVP to celebrate. We have with us Patrick Lynch, the Vice President of Global Operations for Careerminds, and he’s also the current President of SHRM Atlanta. For anyone listening not familiar with SHRM, that is the Society of Human Relations Management. Welcome to the show, Patrick, and thank you for joining us today.
Patrick Lynch: [00:00:49] Thank you. Jamie.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:00:51] Let’s start off now with you telling me a little bit about yourself and the career journey that you’ve had.
Patrick Lynch: [00:00:56] Oh, boy. Well, yeah, how many hours do we have now? My name’s Patrick Lynch. I’m the Vice President of Global Operations for a company called Careerminds. We are a global outplacement provider that helps organizations across the world with managing their employees when they have to do workforce reductions. So, in the case of a company that has a layoff, they will assign their employees to my firm, and then we have consultants help them find new employment, new opportunities as quickly as possible.
Patrick Lynch: [00:01:40] My specific role is I manage all of the global consultants around the world. So, basically, anything outside of the US is what I do. And so, when our client companies have needs for employees and whatever continent it will be, my job is to get those people connected with the right consultants, and then get them reemployed as quickly as possible.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:02:10] Great. And you’re also involved in a number of various nonprofit organizations, along with the role that you hold at SHRM Atlanta. Can you share with us about some of the additional work that you do in your free time?
Patrick Lynch: [00:02:22] Yeah, yeah. You know, I just have an affinity to to just give back and be part of something else. SHRM Atlanta has been a wonderful opportunity in terms of being in the volunteer leadership for over 10 years. And we’ll talk more about SHRM in a moment. And I’m just very fortunate right now to be the president for 2021 in this unique pandemic year that we’re going through.
Patrick Lynch: [00:02:55] I’m also the chairman of the board of a nonprofit called Special Pops Tennis. Special Pops Tennis is a tennis program for the adaptive needs’ community. We’re the largest adaptive needs tennis program in the United States. And we just connect the sport of tennis with adaptive needs of young adults, adults that want a chance to get out, play a sport that’s fun, connect with their friends, and just live life, play tennis and make friends. We’re not a training academy. We’re really more about just connecting the adaptive needs’ community with the mainstream community to get everybody to kind of get to know each other better. And then, I don’t know, it’s just like other things that just kind of really get me interested as I’ve been a basketball coach for Special Olympics for a number of years. And unfortunately, with Special Olympics, they’ve been shut down now for well over a year. So, we haven’t been able to get together.
Patrick Lynch: [00:04:12] And then, I guess because, you know, there’s a spot on the calendar, I decided that I wanted to get involved in my local city government. And I live in Duluth, Georgia, and I’m on the zoning commission. So, we get to hear all kinds of different zoning requests. And it just is nice to get plugged in with local government, learn more about how your city is run. And I encourage anyone that has the time to do that, to become part of it, because your respect for government, what it is and what services they provide will just grow astronomically when you just see all the talented people that are running your city government and doing all kinds of things for its citizens.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:05:03] Wow. Sounds like a great mix of different organizations to be involved. And great advice on the local government. That’s fascinating. So, with SHRM Atlanta, last month, you had a conference.
Patrick Lynch: [00:05:18] Yes.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:05:18] So, what were some of the common themes? Obviously, I’m sure being an HR conference, there were probably a lot of common things that were popping out at that conference from over the last year. What were some of the main things that you were discussing and educating HR leaders on at that conference?
Patrick Lynch: [00:05:37] Yeah. I’ll tell you, Jamie, one of the first things wasn’t necessarily related to content, but it was really interesting in that like the whole world, everything’s been done virtually. And in SHRM, one of the biggest components of SHRM is community and HR people being able to connect with their peers and just share best practices, network, grow professionally. And it just becomes a bit of a challenge when you do this all virtually. And what we noticed was that attendance at our events, our chapter meetings that turned to virtual meetings, it was in soft decline from the middle of last year to the first quarter of this year.
Patrick Lynch: [00:06:30] Well, we ran the REAL HR, which is the name of our symposium, in late March. And we’re real conservative in terms of how many people that we expected to see, and it ended up being 200% higher than what we had planned. And it told us that people just really want to connect, and it’s just one that this pandemic-induced virtual world that we’re in, it becomes just something that where you need to be able to just interact and connect with people.
Patrick Lynch: [00:07:16] And we have a great virtual platform that we use, so that people can participate in real time. And one thing I noticed was that – and it’s different than just going to a live meeting where you’re in an audience listening to people here. You’ll see a presenter and they’ll be presenting. But then, along the right side, there’ll be a chat window where people are just writing comments and asking questions. And what we’ve seen is the level of engagement has substantially increased as a result.
Patrick Lynch: [00:07:53] And so, we had a lot of really engaging presentations and content. Big things that were there, one is legal. I mean, there’s just, do you require vaccinations? How do you safely bring people to work? All these things that are legal. Our membership is just always looking for answers because it’s moving very fast. Obviously, we have a new administration that’s come in, and there’s been a lot of new changes that they have implemented and plan to implement. So, what does that mean for HR and their decision makers?
Patrick Lynch: [00:08:39] There’s also everything that’s kind of the fast-moving societal change. So, you have so many things – the murder of Jorge Floyd, racial injustice, income inequality, just MeToo movement. How does that impact the workplace? And as an HR leader, how do you manage all of that? So, that was another interesting theme and content that came up.
Patrick Lynch: [00:09:12] Last one, and we’ll talk a little more about this, but culture. And, now, what we’ve seen is everybody’s working virtually, and coming out of the pandemic, there’s that element of work from home, work anywhere you want, that is going to stay with us. And that, in a way, is very liberating, it’s great, but, now, how do you maintain a culture and maintain engagement when you don’t have everybody under one roof, and you can rally everybody together, and you have now this separation. And it’s a lot of HR decision makers’ minds in terms of just how we’re going to kind of keep this all together when you have people that are working who knows where.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:10:10] Yeah. And who knows what time if they’re not on an hourly clock, right? Yeah.
Patrick Lynch: [00:10:14] Oh yeah. Well, being in global operations, I’m talking to people all the time in all kinds of time zones. So, yeah, if I look tired, there’s a reason.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:10:28] Yeah. And so, I got to imagine with some of those different areas that you mentioned with the DE&I – diversity, equity and inclusion – as well as like cultural, like how do you keep that culture of your work environment, from your perspective with all of those, what impact does that have on that current climate with your HR leaders?
Patrick Lynch: [00:10:54] Yeah. Well, there’s a few things. Like with societal change, I can kind of address that. After with the pandemic. George Floyd, there’s a number of other unfortunate situations that came after that, it just seemed like that you can’t just separate the outside world from the workplace. It was all starting to come together. We saw that at SHRM Atlanta, and we started creating conversations where we have a member connect online community that we just started organizing group chats where people could safely talk, and just kind of try and gain an understanding, and just better connect, and just find some answers, some solace, just things that will just help them get through this.
Patrick Lynch: [00:12:03] One of the things that came out of that was that we created a group called HR for Change. And this committee now is a commission to help us as a chapter, as an organization be proactive and be connected in terms of when there’s societal changes that are going on that we are going to not just wait and react; we will have a point of view, and we will be able to move on these. And it’ll always be there as a forum for our membership to come and be able to speak out.
Patrick Lynch: [00:12:48] And just really, really fortunate that one of the leaders in Atlanta, Dr. Ayanna Cummings, has agreed to come on and be the chair for HR for Change. And her along with Jackie Choice, who’s our Business Development Director, I have kind of co-partnered in terms of making this thing happen. And it’s just wonderful in terms of the things that they’re doing in terms of being able to get out and talk about this because, Jamie, this is going to be just a major trend. It’s going to impact the world of work now and well into the future.
Patrick Lynch: [00:13:41] I mean, I just read a blog over the weekend that the CEO – it’s a project management software called Basecamp – wrote a message to all of his employees just saying, “I’d like everyone to stop commenting on anything political using company email. I want all employee communication to just be business.” And all of a sudden here, 40% of his employees quit. And it’s like, “Well, I didn’t quite expect that outcome.” And the point was that they have something on their mind, they want to be able to speak that, yes, you can’t let it derail operations, and you can’t let it stop the company in terms of what it’s trying to do for its business goals, but nevertheless, this is something that is not easily compartmentalized, and you just put it in a box outside the office door, and then come in. And so, that’s where you just see HR for Change is going to be something that I just really feel is going to be important, and it’s going to be something to give people that opportunity to talk about.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:15:13] Yeah, absolutely, because, obviously, the one thing we know that’s a guarantee has changed. So, I think that’s a great concept that you’ve established there. And looking at change and other, obviously, concerns that have come that HR leaders face on a daily, what are some of the more common challenges or the current challenges that HR leaders are trying to overcome right now?
Patrick Lynch: [00:15:41] A big one is what a return to work is going to look like. So, the pandemic just, more or less, mandated everyone work virtually, unless it was something that the nature of your job was essential and you needed to be in. But for professional people, people in offices, all of a sudden, now, everybody was virtual. And then, from call of March last year to where we are today, there’s been a slow return. But with that return, there’s a lot of complexity because, now, how do you go and create a safe workspace? How do you ask or mandate that all employees who return be vaccinated? Do you need to, now, retrofit your office space to have things become safer? So, you have like dividers, spacing. just all these, it’s cost complexity in terms of just what you need to make a safe workspace.
Patrick Lynch: [00:17:06] And then, the one thing COVID did is it accelerated trends. And distributed work was a trend that was taking place; it was just slowly. But then, all of a sudden, it took a five-year trend and it happened upon us in one month. And now, what you’re looking at is just, do you really need all the office space that you require? And so, what do you do? I just read IHG, which is a wonderful company here in Metro Atlanta, they have 200,000 plus square feet, great space in Ravinia over by the perimeter area. Now, they’re reevaluating just how much of that space do we really need upon the return? And they’ll go and look at, potentially, subletting some of that space with the eventual goal that it goes away.
Patrick Lynch: [00:18:11] So, now, suddenly you have these organizations with smaller footprints and more distributed people. And then, now, you look at a distributed workforce. I mentioned, as far as that how do you maintain as far as culture, and engagement, and making sure that people feel connected because any of us who have been doing all of our work for the past 12 months over a Zoom meeting screen, realized that, yeah, it only goes to a certain level connection talking to people over a computer screen. And so, what do you do to make people really start to feel connected and belong?
Patrick Lynch: [00:19:00] And then, you start looking at some of the things that come out of that, Jamie, like, now, when you recruit and do talent, you do need to be geographically bound? I mean, if you have an open HR manager role, can that person be can be in Tennessee, or Austin, Texas and do their job effectively? I mean, do you really start to rethink where your employees need to be?
Patrick Lynch: [00:19:33] And on the flipside, I’m just thinking in the future, how career path and advancement is going to take place if people are all distributed because the facts are that a lot of advancement comes with not just skills, but the relationships you build. And those relationships are so much easier when you’re in a centralized workspace, you interact with people, you have hallway conversations, you’re in a conference room, and you’re standing up and presenting, and people get to know you and what you are. And now, all of a sudden, everybody’s off, and the only interaction is through a computer. Will that slow a career as far as career growth for people? I don’t know. It’s going to be interesting in terms of where all this heads. So, some fascinating stuff ahead of us.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:20:38] Yeah, definitely. And I mean, I feel it myself in interacting with coworkers, and it’s all by Zoom. I think you have to readjust that when you get into the workplace that it’s almost like your whole work environment is shifting a second time.
Patrick Lynch: [00:20:52] Absolutely.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:20:54] Yeah. So, on that same vein and looking at challenges, what are some of the advantages that HR leaders have right now because I always look at like, what is the optimistic side of it, some of the things that are good that HR leaders have that maybe they didn’t before?
Patrick Lynch: [00:21:08] Well, we met. We did talk one as far as that kind of the distributed workforce does open up talent pools in terms of, now, you don’t have to necessarily think that everybody has to live within your geography, commute to the office in order to attract new talent. That is going to be just a big opportunity.
Patrick Lynch: [00:21:37] I think, also, it’s a big opportunity in terms of looking at the upskilling, reskilling, new scaling of their employees, and really start to bring back the whole talent development part of work because the demands of every workplace. I’ve heard the saying and it really does ring true that every job, in a way, is a tech job now. And I mean, my daughter, she’s a box office manager for a theater company, but the first thing that they will look at is her ability to use the software that they use for ticketing, and patron management and everything. And so, in some ways, a tech job, and that’s what the world of work is very much becoming.
Patrick Lynch: [00:22:47] And so, with that, HR is going to be looking at, “Okay, how can we make sure that we have the skills that we need?” Because Jamie, it breaks my heart when you always hear about all these open or these unfilled jobs, and they just can’t find the right people. And yet, then, my company will see people that are made redundant and are laid off. And so, somewhere, is there a way to connect those two dots and find these new streams where people can get redeveloped, reskilled, and be able to be ready for the demands of the new world?
Jamie Gassmann: [00:23:36] Think of a way to channel those transferable skills. They might have been in one industry, but what have they established as as an employee that can be utilized in maybe a different industry? Interesting.
Patrick Lynch: [00:23:50] Absolutely. And I look at my career. Prior to being in the HR and outplacement space, I was in a career in marketing. And it was basically, I’ll call it consumer products marketing. And then, within that, I started out in food products, but then moved to health and beauty aids. Then, moved to office products. And the one common theme was that these all were products that a consumer had a need for. So, whether it was a soap, a lotion, carbonated bath tablet – that’s a story unto itself – but steel safes, office paper, office furniture, there was always that common theme and there was that transferability that once you built a marketing skill stack, I could then come into a new situation and apply it. And that goes with everybody in the workplace that you go and start thinking about the skill stack that you are building and be very aware of it.
Patrick Lynch: [00:25:18] I had a chance, gosh, this goes back, now, almost two years ago to do a presentation for the Rising Leader group at SHRM Atlanta. And these are all people under 35 and under. So, their careers are just more or less starting. And they asked me to talk about that, about building a skill stack. And some of it’s deliberate, some of it isn’t. But all of a sudden, you look, and you say, “Okay. I got a degree in History as an undergrad,” but then, you think, “That didn’t really help me.” And well,, it taught you to write, it taught you to research. And Jamie, you see where this is going. You start to think, “Okay, here’s this skill on top of this skill, on top of this skill. Now, it gives me the value that I can come into in your organization and help you with fill in the blank.”
Jamie Gassmann: [00:26:19] Yeah, absolutely. So, it gets me to my next question, which is looking at your career and looking at over the course of your career, has there been like a situation or a challenge that you faced either in your marketing role or in HR role that prepared you for navigating this last year or navigating what’s to come? Like, just that gave you some really good experience that you could share as kind of an example to HR leaders of how you’ve grown and been able to utilize maybe some of that learning?
Patrick Lynch: [00:26:56] Yeah. My career path is one that I mentioned. I had a career in consumer products marketing. But then, I had like, in a two-year period, a situation where my job at one company was eliminated. I moved to a second company. I’m there two years. And then, they want me to relocate, and I just couldn’t. So, I end up exiting. And then, I went through a pivot, and I thought, “Okay, where do I really want to go? And is this a time for me to do something different?” And that’s how I entered the HR space and the outplacement space. And that’s 10 years now that I’ve been in it.
Patrick Lynch: [00:27:50] And what I’ve had while here is that I’ve just learned that as far as the adaptability and being able to just shift, so that you always have a strategy, so that you’re moving ahead with a plan, but you don’t just stop and ignore what’s going on around you just so you can stick to your strategy.
Patrick Lynch: [00:28:23] And great quote from Mike Tyson, the world philosopher, that “Everybody has a plan until they’re punched in the face.” And so, I think that’s what a lot of us saw in the past 12 months in terms of, “Okay, what did happen?” And my heart goes out to all the people who are in industries that were impacted due to no fault of their own. And I mentioned my daughter. She’s in theater. Well, live theater ended, and that was a really hard on her coworkers. And they’re just now climbing back up, but it’s okay. Now, it’s not like what events happen to you. It’s what you do as a result of what the events have as a result of the events.
Patrick Lynch: [00:29:23] And so, that’s where everybody has to be looking and thinking about new ways to just kind of reinvent themselves or try and, “Okay, maybe this is the change I needed to go and try something different.” I mean, there’s been a whole host of great inspiring stories that I’ve seen from people. And outplacement participants, clients that have reached out to me just over the years in terms of things they’ve done that really changed and made a profound impact on their lives. So, yeah, I think if we’re looking at a theme on this one, Jamie, it’s change. I think that that’s probably that. Just know that it’s there, embrace it, and do the best you can with it.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:30:22] Yeah, great. Great advice. So, real quick, we’re going to have a word from our show sponsor as the Workplace MVP is sponsored by R3 Continuum. Ensuring the psychological and physical safety of your organization and your people is not only normal, but a necessity in today’s ever-changing and often unpredictable world. R3 Continuum can help you do that and more with their continuum of behavioral health, crisis and security solutions tailored to meet the unique challenges of your organization. Learn more at www.r3c.com.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:31:01] So, just a few more questions for you, Patrick. So, there’s something that you’re involved with at SHRM Atlanta that I’ve been told you’re quite proud of, something that you’ve done within your term as president there. Wondering if you might be able to share with us what that is.
Patrick Lynch: [00:31:20] Can you give me – is it…
Jamie Gassmann: [00:31:23] It must have been like some type of a program or something that you started or worked that you guys have done at SHRM Atlanta?
Patrick Lynch: [00:31:30] Spoiler alert, I think we already talked about as far as the HR for Change, which is great. I think the other one that I really- and we talked HR for Change pretty thoroughly, but the other one, Jamie, that I have been very proud was creation of a program called SHIFT, which is Start Having Intentionality For Transforming your Career. But what SHIFT did was there was a one-day event, and it was the first time where SHRM Atlanta collaborated with NAAAHR-Atlanta, which is the National Association of African-Americans in HR. So, our two groups jointly put on this event. And so, there was just the ability to just all of us to get to know each other, build relationships.
Patrick Lynch: [00:32:33] And we built an event that was basically for people that were in HR that were in transition, looking for new careers, looking to make as far as like an advancement in their career or new to Atlanta. So, we had a one-day event, just content all built around just career transformation, career development. And two years running, it was a sell-out. I think probably the biggest thing wasn’t necessarily the sell-out, but it was the relationships that we were able between SHRM Atlanta and NAAAHR-Atlanta, that those relationships that were developed and continue to this day was just something that really will stay with me forever.
Patrick Lynch: [00:33:35] And it’s like one of those things in where it was a lot of hard work, but I would always look forward to it. It would be like a five-month intensive to get us to the finish line, and I had a smile every day. And I think it was the people, and the relationships, and knowing that we were really helping a lot of people in our community. So, yeah, that would be the thing that along with HR for Change, which is kind of now the present day, and I’m most happy with in terms of leaving any kind of legacy for SHRM Atlanta.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:34:24] Wonderful, wonderful. And I know SHRM, at a national level, has different programs that they’ve been launching as well. I think I heard about like a ParagonLabs. So, can you share a little bit about that, about some of the other maybe programs that whether it be SHRM Atlanta or SHRM National have in place?
Patrick Lynch: [00:34:45] Yeah, sure. And one thing is that SHRM National is 300,000 members and it’s a strong and effective lobbyer here in Washington DC for all things around the workplace. And it’s got just a ton of smart people and innovative programs. And they’ve been very supportive of SHRM Atlanta. We are one of the chapters then of SHRM National. And so, SHRM Atlanta is one of the top six chapters across the country, and we all roll up to National.
Patrick Lynch: [00:35:34] You mentioned ParagonLabs, which was a really interesting initiative that SHRM National has done, where they, basically, are creating a startup incubator for HR tech companies. And they’re looking specifically for HR tech companies that will make the workplace better. So, not necessarily the slickest software, but if it’s going to have a positive impact in terms of how to make workplaces more diverse, just more engaged, just create something where people are going to be more productive.
Patrick Lynch: [00:36:27] And so, what ParagonLabs did this year was they had like a shark tank kind of event where they had startups in all these various major metro areas come and present their ideas. And then, a small panel of judges would rate them, and the top three moved on to like a second round, which ultimately is going to lead to a group of finalists that are going to go to SHRM National in September at the SHRM National Las Vegas Conference. And we’ll have like final judges.
Patrick Lynch: [00:37:17] I got a chance to sit as being one of the Atlanta judges. And Jamie, it’s just so impressive meeting these. And they’re startups, and they’re just people, they have an idea, they got a passion, they’re running with it, they have to come and make a pitch. And yeah, I think I was more of the Paula than the Simon in terms of trying to be encouraging to them. And I’ve been impressed. And ParagonLabs, it’s run by a really smart guy, Guillermo Corea, and he’s finished all the – gosh, I can’t tell you how many different contests that they’ve had across the country. But now, they’re in the process of moving people the next round, and I really look forward to seeing the finalists in Las Vegas in September.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:38:22] Oh, that sounds amazing. What a great way to use kind of a concept that’s out there, but putting it into a business context and using it as a way to have a little fun with that rewarding people who have those great ideas. That’s great.
Patrick Lynch: [00:38:38] Absolutely.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:38:39] And I know you mentioned SHRM National Las Vegas in September. What other events and resources or tools are available to members or even non-members at SHRM?
Patrick Lynch: [00:38:54] Well, for us, please go to shrmatlanta.org, and that’s the website for my chapter. And you’ll find in the events tab all kinds of events that we have coming up. We’re doing our first like live in-person event in June at the Atlanta Zoo. So, it’ll be outside. And so, we’ll be able to talk HR, be a little Dr. Doolittle, and talk HR amongst the animals. We’re going to also have an August in-person event at the Aquarium. And so, that that’ll be our chance to start to get back to normalcy and meeting, which is kind of one of our strengths. Our annual meeting is in September. It’s the 21st to the 23rd. And so, that’s a great multiday event that we’ll have at the Cobb Galleria.
Patrick Lynch: [00:40:05] And then, just, if you check out our site, there’s just a lot of really great opportunities and reasons to become a member. I mentioned the Rising Leaders, anybody that’s 35 and under that wants to accelerate their network and meet a lot of smart people that are rising in the profession, here’s a chance with this group to meet on a monthly basis and learn and grow. We have an accomplished leader exchange where senior HR leaders for companies – we have two groups, one from companies that have 250 to 1000 employees, they all get together and have peer-to-peer networking, best practice sharing, ability to really learn from others that share similar experiences to your own.
Patrick Lynch: [00:41:07] And then, we have an accomplished leader exchange for HR leaders with companies over a thousand, because, now, you’re getting into the enterprise level firms, and they just have different needs and challenges, and they get a chance also to interact and benefit from their peer-to-peer connection.
Patrick Lynch: [00:41:30] We just wrapped up a great program on mentoring, where as part of our members, we connect senior HR leaders with people that are rising their career, mid-career, and just wanting to connect with somebody to get mentoring advice, whatever it is. Kind of a lot of it’s around career advancement. And so, we created a cohort where we basically do kind of like speed dating. So, it’s not on your phone, you have to swipe right or anything like that to meet somebody. We make it real easy and connect people. And that’s just been just a great member benefit. And all of the things here are all built around that community, building your network, and really just getting smarter in the areas of HR. And you, see my voice goes up a half octave when I’m talking about it because, I mean, it’s just a lot of great things we have going on.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:42:48] Wonderful. Sounds like it. And what a great way to be involved, and the people that are fellow leaders like yourself and enjoying kind of the same line of work, and learning off of each other. If somebody wanted to get in contact with you or connect with you, how would they be able to go about doing that?
Patrick Lynch: [00:43:07] Well, my email is email@example.com, and just email me. You can always find me on LinkedIn and connect with me. I love making new connections. And I mentioned, as far as any information around SHRM Atlanta, that’s shrmatlanta.org. And Careerminds, we’re at careerminds.com. And so, I encourage anyone to reach out to me, and we’ll talk about anything.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:43:45] Wonderful. Well, thank you so much for letting us celebrate you today, Patrick. It was great hearing your stories and getting your advice that we can share with our listeners. And we appreciate you. And I’m sure your organizations and employees do as well.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:43:59] And we also want to thank our show sponsor, R3 Continuum for supporting the Workplace MVP Podcast. And to our listeners, thank you for tuning in. If you’ve not already done so, make sure to subscribe, so you get our most recent episodes and other resources. You also can follow our show on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, @WorkplaceMVP. If you are a workplace MVP or know someone who is, we want to know. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you all for joining us and have a great rest of your day.