Volunteering to serve on a committee or board position allows you to network with other Capital Region HR professionals, enhance leadership skills, build your resume and contribute to the local HR community.

Join a Committee


Committee Chair: Andrea Thomas

Purpose/Mission: CRHRA’s HR Advisory Group consists of local, seasoned (20+ years of experience) Human Resources professionals, in a variety of industries, who are here to provide advice and guidance, whether your concern is a practical workplace issue or a matter of your personal career development. This group of HR professionals can share personal insights and provide guidance and support to help establish and reach your professional goals. These mentors can often serve as a teacher, coach, supporter, counselor, and role model. We can also provide our members with how to apply real-life wisdom, and the benefit of each participant’s point of view, to workplace situations and/or career development. Regardless of age or career tenure, we believe that all CRHRA members have something to offer each other. Visit our "Ask An Advisor" page linked here to learn more!

Committee Chair: Azita Hirsa, Ph.D.

Committee Members: Mat Petrin, SPHR®/SHRM-SCP®; Loretta Kuhland, SPHR®/SHRM-SCP®; Sherri L. Donnelly, SHRM-SCP®, SPHR®, CEBS; Valarie Ruff, SPHR®; Kelli Schreivogl, SPHR®

Purpose/Mission: The Certification Committee assists HR professionals to obtain and/or retain the desired HR certification through study preparation groups, opportunities for recertification credits, and programs of scholarships and sponsorships. At this time, a study preparation group for the PHR® and SPHR® certifications is held each spring and fall prior to the designated exam testing windows. Please contact Dr. Azita Hirsa with any questions regarding the study group. 

Committee Chair: Shelby Miller

Purpose/Mission: The purpose of the Communications Committee is to provide oversight and direction for all aspects of CRHRA communications and public relations, including social media, website and email content, and the monthly newsletter release. Our mission is to develop and maintain continual, high-quality communications across all mediums in order to create and promote awareness about CRHRA – this includes membership benefits, events and program offerings, and opportunities for involvement. The Committee promotes and manages CRHRA’s overall online presence, both internally through the website and externally through a variety of social media outlets. The committee ensures that website content is current, creates interest and promotes participation in conversation via social media, and generally provides HR content as a value-add for all members.

Our overall goals are:

  1. for our chapter and our membership to be considered the place to come for human resource expertise in the HR Community within the Capital Region and
  2. to promote the programs and value of CRHRA to drive more members to engage their membership participation. From a communications perspective, we want members to think of and utilize CRHRA every time they have an HR-related question/idea/conversation topic. Our ultimate purpose is to advance the human resource profession!

Volunteer Opportunities: The Communications Committee would love for you to get involved and help us to grow our overall communications plan and social media presence! We are always looking for creative and enthusiastic volunteers to join the Communications committee. The Communications Committee would benefit from HR Professionals with a passion/interest in the following areas: Website and Social Media Content Writing, Graphic Designers, Newsletter Design and Editing, Photography, Social Media and Marketing Strategy, Writing Articles, and Website Editing. If you have any other creative area of expertise or idea for the committee, then we would be happy to hear from you. If you are interested in volunteering with the Communications Committee, contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Committee Chair: OPEN! Interested in this opportunity? Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

Purpose/Mission: The Finance Committee creates and maintains the financial records of CRHRA. The committee reports the status of the complete fiscal picture to the Board on a monthly basis and to the membership on an annual basis.

Volunteer Opportunities: The Finance Committee is actively seeking new committee volunteers! If you're interested in volunteering for the Finance Committee or receiving an update on the fiscal status of CRHRA, contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Committee Chair: Maria Smirensky

Purpose/Mission: The Government Affairs Committee monitors legislative activity affecting the Human Resources Profession and coordinates legislative activities through lobbying, providing speakers, and organizing campaigns designed to initiate legislative input from CRHRA members.

Government Affairs Committee responsibilities include:

  • Check out the Wage Theft Prevention Act calculator
  • Communicating the status of federal and state legislative issues to CRHRA members through newsletter articles, the CRHRA web site, and activities at monthly membership meetings
  • Acting as legislative liaison to the SHRM NY State Council
  • Coordinating activities of SHRM's HR Voice by informing members of legislative activities and of specific strategies to communicate opinions to legislative decision-makers
  • Coordinating various legislative activities through CRHRA such as lobbying, presenting testimony at legislative hearings, and providing educational opportunities in the legislative area either solely or in conjunction with other committees
  • How can you help? Write a letter to your Legislator- It’s quick and easy SHRM does all the work for you!

Become a Volunteer: To volunteer for the Government Affairs Committee, contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Committee Chair: Maggie Stephenson

Purpose/Mission: To develop new and creative ideas for attracting and retaining membership; responsible for the approval of new member applications; host the new member table at CRHRA program meetings each month.

Current Issues/Projects:

  • Continue to further develop the Member Orientation Program by seeking new and creative ideas for new member orientation.
  • Maintain and retain members!

Volunteer Opportunities: The Membership Committee is always looking for active participation from members. Participation, whether a one-time commitment, a creative idea, or as a committee member will greatly be appreciated. Contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to volunteer.

Committee Chair: OPEN! Interested in this opportunity? Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

Purpose/Mission: Providing top-quality professional development opportunities for HR professionals that focus on contemporary thinking about HR fundamentals and emerging HR issues is a commitment CRHRA makes to its members. The Programs are aimed at offering a series of topics that anticipate and address the needs of human resources professionals in a constantly changing environment. The Programs Committee also relays local/regional volunteer possibilities for HR professionals in the business community. Additionally, the committee partners with other local professional organizations and educational institutions to expand the scope and variety of presentations, which will appeal to all audiences.

Current Issues/Projects:

  • Coordinating Monthly (Virtual) Programs for the current program year
  • Follow up on program feedback and evaluations from members
  • Assist in the coordination of the Annual Conference  

Volunteer Opportunities: If you're interested in volunteering for the Programs Committee, or attending a committee meeting, contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Committee Chair: Thomas Schin

Purpose/Mission: The Sponsorship Committee promotes CRHRA by increasing public awareness of its programs and services, through public relations and partnerships, and is responsible for securing sponsors for CRHRA events and programs.

Current Issues/Projects: The Sponsorship Committee is presently working on a number of projects, including:

  • Developing a comprehensive database of potential sponsors of CRHRA events and programs
  • Creating promotional materials to be used in soliciting sponsors Drafting press releases for CRHRA monthly meetings and other CRHRA events
  • Identifying and developing strategies to partner with other business organizations

Volunteer Opportunities: The Sponsorship Committee is actively seeking new volunteers looking to serve CRHRA. To volunteer, contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Committee Chair: Chris Wessell

Purpose/Mission: The goal of the CRHRA Student Engagement Committee is to provide an opportunity for Capital Region students exploring the field of Human Resources to network and interact with local HR professionals. The committee is actively working with area colleges and students to promote the field of Human Resources and provide a conduit between the colleges and the professional community. Our committee consists of HR practitioners, HR faculty, career services professionals, and other stakeholders involved in bringing these two worlds together. If you are interested in helping to bridge the gap between local colleges and the professional HR community and help future HR professionals get on the right path to a rewarding career, contact us today!

Volunteer Opportunities: If you're interested in volunteering for the Student Engagement Committee, or attending a committee meeting, contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Committee Chair: LB Hannahs, PhD

Purpose/Mission: The Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Committee efforts will take an inward look and focus on CRHRA organizational practices to ensure that CRHRA is a diverse, equitable, and inclusive organization. Over the course of the remaining months of 2020, the DEI Committee will be performing a diversity audit of CRHRA to understand our current state of diversity, equity, and inclusion issues. Our goal is to learn what we are doing well and where our opportunities are.

Volunteer Opportunities: If you're interested in volunteering for the DEI Committee, or attending a committee meeting, contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..