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Greenville Society for Human Resource Management
Greenville, South Carolina


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GSHRM October 6th Membership Lunch Meeting: Focus on the Mission: Leading In Times of Crises

  • Tuesday, October 06, 2020
  • 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
  • VIRTUAL Format


  • Registration Code Required. Contact administrator.
  • Each 2020 Employee Relations Law Series student is entitled to one 50% off membership meeting ticket, to be used for one meeting in 2020. A code is required.
  • Meeting Ticket for Members and Guests

    Please note that guests should have a member as their sponsor. Guests that do not have a sponsor should contact the administrator.
  • This ticket is reserved for members that paid $250 for all ten 2020 Monthly Membership meetings in advance. This ticket does not include payment for the July SHRM Foundation Fundraiser or other social networking functions outside of the ten standard monthly membership meetings (Jan 7, Feb 4, March 3, April 7, June 9, Aug 4, Sept 1, Oct 6, Nov 10, and Dec 14.

Registration is closed




Platinum Sponsor       

MAU Workforce Solutions

Gold Sponsor       

Registration Closed.

Join GSHRM members and guests for our monthly meeting, virtual networking breakouts, and featured program topic. 

Focus on the Mission: Leading In Times of Crises

As HR professionals, we work closely with others to guide our organizations forward each day. We are navigating this responsibility through concurrent health, economic, social, and political crises. All of these stressors affect our employees, our leaders, and us - both personally and professionally. How do we best help our organizations stay laser focused on our mission, vision and values while navigating large-scale stressors that can foster anxiety and divisiveness within? In this session, we will hear from HR professionals with experience guiding teams through challenging and extended scenarios. We'll learn how they maintain morale in the face of divergent obstacles and keep their teams focused on the mission at hand. We'll also learn best practices for energizing oneself in the face of ongoing stress-filled environments.

Learning Objectives:

1. Recognize that HR professionals are navigating multiple large-scale stressors beyond the company's control that have significant and varying impact on employees

2. Learn techniques for addressing conflict, supporting morale, and keeping teams focused

3. Discuss best ways to maintain a sense of presence and effectiveness as leaders in challenging environments

Program Panelists:

Debra M. Ham, Director of Human Resources, Greenville County
Debra McAlister Ham, MHRD, SPHR, GPHR, SHRM-SCP, is the Director of Human Resources for the County of Greenville.  Prior to joining Greenville County, she was employed with KEMET Electronics Corporation where she held positions of increasing responsibility in HR for over thirty years, having ended her career there as Director of Global Compensation and Benefits. She is a member of SHRM, IPMA-HR and RIMS and has served GSHRM in the following capacities:  Secretary, Legislative Affairs Director, Membership Director, and member of the Strategic Planning and Membership Committees, President-Elect and President. In her current role as immediate Past President, she chairs the Strategic Planning Committee. Debra was selected as GSHRM’s 2014 HR Professional of the Year and was a finalist for the 2015 South Carolina Human Resource Management Award for Professional Excellence.  Debra is very active in the community with the United Way and the American Cancer Society Executive Leadership Council. She is a graduate of Leadership Greenville Class 43 and received her BA and MHRD degrees from Clemson University.

Bob Lowe, Owner and Consultant, People Make the Difference LLC
Upon retiring from Nestle USA in 2014, Bob launched his own consulting firm, “People Make the Difference” LLC which focuses on assisting organizations with a variety of Human Resources, Coaching, Employee Relations, and Training needs.  Bob loves to coach leaders and enjoys immersing himself in complex people problems particularly as they relate to establishing positive and engaged cultures.  Bob’s considers his deep love of coaching and equipping people to succeed as his key contribution to his client base.

Bob spent the majority of his career with Nestle USA (30 years).  Upon retirement Bob held the position of Director of Human Resources with The Prepared Foods Division in Solon, Ohio where he was responsible for the overall direction and strategy for the Human Resource function for 9 factories and over 7000 employees across the US.  

Bob is the proud recipient of 2017 GSHRM Lifetime Achievement Award as well as the 2018 SC Chamber of Commerce Human Resources Professional of the Year. Bob is a graduate of the University of South Carolina with additional coursework at Virginia Commonwealth University, University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Nestle Corporate University, and the Nestle Rive-Reine International Training Center in Vevey Switzerland.  He is a member of Greenville Society for Human Resources where he has served as an HR Mentor as well as a member of the Workforce Readiness Committee.

John M. Serpa, Director of Human Resources, TPM; USMC, Retired
John retired from the United States Marine Corps after 21 years of active service.  He served two tours in Iraq with 3rd Force Reconnaissance Company and 1st Reconnaissance Battalion and two tours in Afghanistan with Combat Logistics Battalion 6.  He led Marines, Sailors, and civilians in every aspect of the Marine Air-Ground Task Force throughout eleven duty stations, and he served two tours on Parris Island as a Senior Drill Instructor, Combat Swim Instructor-Trainer, and Company First Sergeant.  His final assignment brought him to Greenville as the senior enlisted advisor for the Upstate Region.

After leaving active duty John joined TPM, a leading technology company in the Southeast, as their Director of Human Resources and Chief Culture Officer.  His initiatives have led his organization to be named one of the Best Places to Work in South Carolina two years in a row.  He serves as a senior mentor with Vantage Point Foundation, a mentor for Greenville’s Veteran Treatment Court, and he is an active member of the Greenville chapter of SHRM.  John holds a B.S. in Management from Park University, and he’s pursuing a Master of Arts in Workforce Education Leadership from Mississippi State University.

Armando Llorente, SHRM-SCP
Armando is a bilingual HR executive who has directed human resource departments at a variety of employers - including global Fortune 100 corporations, a regional benefits broker and manufacturing companies - and provided HR consultant support to organizations in New England.  He is skilled in integrating the Human Resources function into business strategies and has been recognized for developing novel solutions that help maximize organizational effectiveness.

In his most recent role as VP of Human Resources/Practice Leader for Clark & Lavey Benefits Solutions (Merrimack, NH), Armando helped clients develop strategies, policies and procedures to bolster productivity, enhance compliance and strengthen staffing/employee retention.

Armando's contributions to HR and the community have been recognized by the New Hampshire State HR Council (SHRM), Prospanica (formerly the National Society of Hispanic MBAs) - the "Hayden  Estrada Leadership Award" and "El Planeta/Boston Business Journal" - "20 on the Move!" He earned a Bachelors of Arts degree from Wofford College (Spartanburg, SC) and a Masters of Business Administration degree from Plymouth State University (Plymouth, NH.)  Armando also completed the Partnership's Fellows Program (Boston, MA.) Armando serves on the Boards of Directors for the Diversity Workforce Coalition (Manchester, NH) and the Wofford College Alumni Association.

Program Moderator:

Brig Berthold, Employment Program Manager, Upstate Warrior Solution
As a retired Army intelligence non-commissioned officer, Brig earned a degree in journalism, moved from Utah to South Carolina on gut instinct, and authored the Amazon Best Seller "Sidekick: A pregnancy field guide for dudes." He spends his days engaged in corporate liaison and advocating for veteran employment. Brig dedicates his evenings to his daughter. But at night, when all is quiet, Brig gets to talk baseball as co-host of the Baseball Together Podcast.

HR Certification Credit: This program is approved for 1 PDC for the SHRM-CPSM or SHRM-SCPSM. It is also approved for 1 hour of HRCI general re-certification credit. Certificates will be emailed to those in attendance after the meeting along with a Feedback Survey.

Cancellation Policy:  Cancellations after the deadline date are subject to the meeting fee payment. Please direct changes or questions to

Accommodations: Please indicate any special accommodations on your reservation form, or contact by the registration deadline date.


Mailing Address:

PO Box 5202

Greenville, SC 29606

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