Rochester Affiliate of the National Human Resources Association Announces HR Executive of the Year and Rising Star Award Winners

Rochester, NY – December 11, 2020 -- The Rochester Affiliate of the National Human Resources Association is proud to announce the winners of the 2020 HR Executive of the Year and Rising Star Awards. This was also the organization’s first year presenting a new Rising Star Award– a designation meant to recognize the achievements of emerging leaders in the Human Resources profession.

This year’s 2020 winners include:

HR Executive of the Year (Small Employer)
• Elizabeth (Betsy) Verschage - Vice President of Human Resources - Isaac Heating & Air Conditioning

HR Executive of the Year (Large Employer)
• Augustin (Augie) Melendez - Chief Human Resources & Organization Development Officer - Hillside Family of Agencies

Rising Star
• Samantha (Sam) Ferrin - Human Resources Generalist - LaBella Associates

Six HR Executive of the Year and four Rising Star honorees were celebrated and recognized at a virtual event on Thursday, November 19. Please see below for a listing of all honorees, including Augie, Betsy and Sam.

HR Executive of the Year
Small Employer
• Katherine Metcalfe - Chief Culture Officer - Clark Patterson Lee
• Carol Roselle - Senior Vice President, Human Resources - First American Equipment Finance
• Elizabeth (Betsy) Verschage - Vice President of Human Resources - Isaac Heating & Air Conditioning

Large Employer:
• Emy Giacalone - Senior Vice President of Human Resources - Jewish Senior Life
• Augustin (Augie) Melendez - Chief Human Resources & Organization Development Officer - Hillside Family of Agencies
• Barbara Ross - Senior Vice President of Human Resources & Organizational Effectiveness - Conifer Realty

Rising Star
• Colleen Ester - Recruitment Team Lead - TES Staffing
• Samantha (Sam) Ferrin - Human Resources Generalist - LaBella Associates
• Rebecca Rainbow - HR Business Partner - Excellus BCBS
• Brittany Sass - Human Resources Generalist - Coopervision

This culminates a year of virtual happy hours and small in-person events held in lieu of the annual awards luncheon, which was cancelled earlier this year due to COVID-19.

“We are honored to recognize Augie, Betsy and Sam as HR leaders excelling here in the Rochester business community,” said Jennifer Steier. Jennifer and Rhonda Noto co-chair the Association HR Executive of the Year Committee. Both Jennifer and Rhonda shared that it has been an interesting year trying to navigate celebrating these talented HR professionals while balancing the safety of our honorees and committee members. We are grateful to all of our honorees for their patience and participation in the awards process this year. To name three outstanding Human Resources professionals is truly remarkable. We are proud to recognize these individuals for their accomplishments in their respective organizations.

The Rochester Affiliate of the National Human Resources Association will be inviting Augie, Betsy, and Sam to attend the 2021 HR Executive of the Year luncheon. The nomination process for the 2021 HR Executive of the Year and Rising Star Awards will open in January 2021.

About The Rochester Affiliate of the National Human Resources Association
The Rochester Affiliate of the National Human Resources Association provides an active forum for the exchange of information and ideas related to human resources. In addition to the advantages of national membership, Rochester Affiliate members enjoy quality monthly programs and a supportive environment for networking, professional development, and community involvement.

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Media Contact:
Dan Martin – NHRA Rochester Affiliate Board Member – dan_martin1@ajg.com