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MCSHRM Chapter History


    Welcome to the award-winning Montgomery County, Maryland Chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management. We proudly serve the Human Resource community of Montgomery County. Our members share the common bond of being serious professionals in the increasingly more challenging field of Human Resource management. And that's the seed from which we have grown.

    Montgomery County (MD) SHRM began quietly in 1990 at the instigation of Dawn Petrocelli. Dawn was among the first to recognize the potential for a new chapter here in the County. So she worked with the Society for Human Resource Management to learn how to start a local SHRM chapter. Armed with that information, and a lot of helpful tips from the SHRM staff, Dawn set out with Sonny Wide, Susan Conrad and Donna Wilkerson to establish the beginning of a network of like-minded HR professionals.

    Keeping the chapter alive in those early years was a tremendous challenge; most new chapters fail in their first five years. Dawn Petrocelli was the Montgomery County Chapter's first president in 1990. The first meeting of the Chapter, held in the Gaithersburg Marriott, was attended by about 20 people. In 1991, every board member of the Chapter moved out of state to accept new professional opportunities. Susan Conrad accepted the weighty chore of keeping the fledgling chapter going by serving as chapter president. After Susan's tenure, the people who accepted the challenge of running the chapter in its first decade included Donna Wilkerson, Linda Nissembaum, Barbara Ritter, Paul Shibelski, and Heather Handloff.

    In the early 1990s, MC SHRM began to take off. The Chapter was awarded its first Merit Award in 1992, began sponsoring study groups for the PHR and SPHR exams, and put together its first member directory – a project led by Pat Carter, and its first newsletter – under the editorship of John Trimarchi, who also later served as President. MC SHRM won local and national recognition for community involvement with a stained glass panel project on the topic of diversity. The panel is on permanent display in the Aspen Hill Library in Rockville, Maryland. MC SHRM also began to build a strong reputation for involvement in the legislative process, thanks to the efforts of Nancy Allen and Ron Adler. This involvement included providing key testimony in support of successful employment reference legislation in Maryland.

    By 1999, we earned our first Superior Merit Awards and developed the original version of our web site, thanks to Past President Paul Shibelski. In the early 2000s, under Heather Handloff, Joanne Aellen, Joan Marshall, John Trimarchi and Jim Gillette we focused on growing our membership and improving our professional development programs and activities, earning Superior Merit Awards each year.

    In 2006, under Jim Gillette, the Chapter completely revamped its website, initiated the process of incorporation and rewrote its bylaws. Our new bylaws were approved in 2007, and with Lisa Bauer’s persistent efforts, the Chapter was incorporated as a non-profit entity.

    Montgomery County (MD) SHRM continues to serve the professional needs of its growing membership, to contribute to our community and to reach toward the future fueled with the same invaluable resources we started with – spirited volunteer professionals with vision.

    MC SHRM meets the third Wednesday of each month, alternating between breakfast and dinner meetings. We also have Professional Development seminars twice a year, organized networking sessions and a number of community involvement opportunities.

    Thanks for visiting with us today! If you have any questions about MC SHRM, how to volunteer your time to the Chapter, or how to make the most of your membership, please contact any one of the board members – we are all happy to talk with you!