The COVID-19 pandemic redefined how people work, where they work and even what work itself is. Central to all of those transformations have been HR professionals, who provided guidance, direction, support and a lot of creativity when it came to navigating the fluid crises of the last year. Through these challenges, the next generation of HR leaders—including those selected as Human Resource Executive®’s 2021 HR’s Rising Stars—stepped up to the plate and proved why this is HR’s moment. HRE received a record number of nominations for the 2021 competition, with a pool of candidates who were pivotal to helping their organizations not just survive, but thrive, through the pandemic. Ultimately, six emerged as the most innovative, accomplished and promising talent: Erik Alicea, Acacia Network; Judy Huie, Freddie Mac; John Klein, Maxim Integrated; Jennifer Singman, Kapsch TrafficCom USA Inc.; Carrie Wadman, Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Wisconsin; and Angie Wideman-Powell, ClearCompany.
We congratulate the winners on the impressive contributions they’ve already made to their respective organizations and are eager to see how they, and all of this year’s nominees, will continue to shape the HR industry. Judges for the competition were former Rising Stars winner Ben Brooks, founder and CEO of PILOT; Jen Colletta, managing editor of HRE; Gregory Hessel, partner, HR Practice at Korn Ferry International; former Rising Stars winner Leslie Mikus, VP, talent at Merge; and HRE Honor Roll winner Ruth Stricklen Pullins, CHRO of Truman Medical Centers.
Meet the current class of Rising Stars below: