Jun 18, 2020
The 2021 IPMA-HR President-Elect candidate Jennifer Fairweather, IPMA-SCP, serves as human resources director for Jefferson County, Colo. This year’s election will begin on August 1, with balloting closing on August 14.
About Fairweather, in Her Own Words
I have been an active volunteer and member of IPMA-HR for over 20 years. I have held volunteer leadership roles at all levels of the Association, including the chapter level, region level and national level. In addition, I have public sector leadership experience in a variety of roles, including a large county government organization, a civil service agency, a small court organization and a very large decentralized city system. My experiences give me a diverse perspective as a public sector HR professional and as a volunteer within IPMA-HR. This gives me a wide range of different perspectives that reflects some of the diversity of the members within our organization.
In addition, as an affiliate professor with Regis University, I keep in tune with the pulse and perspective of business and human resources trends across the globe. I also have my IPMA-SCP certification and certifications from HRCI and SHRM. I have demonstrated a commitment of continuous growth and learning by keeping up with business practices through networking, education, volunteering, projects, and facilitation.
I have also been recognized by my Western Region peers with the Muriel M. Morse Achievement Award. This highest honor from the region is presented to a member of the organization who exemplifies the positive attributes that made Morse memorable as a model and mentor. She was extremely committed to professional organizations and the value they bring to the workplace. She encouraged her staff to participate and grow within these organizations. I was honored to receive this award as a reflection of how my peers in the Western Region have viewed my contributions to the profession and the organization.
Human resources is going through quite a transformation as we continue to do more with less and incorporate more technology and artificial intelligence into our processes. We continue to need a strong focus on recruitment and retention even as we maintain our care for the people in our organizations. I believe IPMA-HR is in a great position to provide the support we need through these transitions.
When you think about the need for human resources professionals to fully transition into strategic change agents, IPMA-HR can provide the tools members need to develop key skills. In partnership with other professional associations, IPMA-HR can be the change agent that is needed to build the business case with executive leaders of various public sector membership organizations. Through more strategic alignment with other associations and educational institutions, we can tackle this from an advocacy perspective and as a development project.
Within the realm of formal leadership, I have almost 30 years of leadership experience managing small teams of three and very large divisions while serving as an acting deputy manager for a large city/county department. I have also served on several nonprofit boards, often as chair. But, more importantly, leadership is how you show up when not in a formal capacity. No matter the role, I always seek to interact in a manner with people that authentically creates an interaction where others feel heard, valued and respected. I seek to build relationships and teams in a way that fosters collaboration while also using strategic skills to put ideas into action. I am an open and honest communicator who seeks to ensure everyone has the information they need to make informed decisions and feel part of the process. I lead in a manner that respects the diversity of others, and I am a highly ethical individual who understands the importance of integrity, transparency and standards in nonprofit leadership.
Currently, we are in the middle of managing a major change with the COVID-19 pandemic. As we move forward as a professional association, we all must consider what the new normal will look like. Will people become hesitant to travel? Will people be wary of large gatherings? We have unique access to experts in these areas, and IPMA-HR can be a leader in adapting to the new normal all of us will face, especially regarding how professional associations alter their strategies in the face of this crisis and its aftermath.
We are also seeing many people across the world engage in active protests against racism while advocating for equitable practices and policies. As human resources leaders in our organizations, we have an obligation to lead efforts to build inclusivity and minimize bias while engaging in the difficult work of facilitating conversations to foster systemic change. As a professional organization, we can offer tools to bolster our skills in these areas while also creating safe spaces where we can engage in meaningful dialogue to support each other in this work.
Some may see everything going on in the world right now as an insurmountable challenge. I see this as an opportunity for us to shine the light on public sector human resources excellence.