Garden State Council Named Finalist for SHRM Pinnacle Award

Posted on January 5, 2021 By

National SHRM Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit affiliate of the Society for Human Resource Management, recently named The SHRM Garden State Council as a 2020 Pinnacle Award Finalist for the “Second Chance Class,” an initiative that allows HR professionals who were not successful in passing their first exam to attend a free 13-week class to help them prepare to retake the certification exam.

The SHRM Pinnacle Award Program, the most prestigious honor SHRM state councils and chapters can receive, honors the highest achieve¬ments in affiliate development and celebrates contributions in three awarded categories: Serving the Professional, Advancing the HR Profession, and Enhancing the SHRM Community. Created in 1991, the Pinnacle Award recognizes programs that exceed the standard activities of SHRM affiliates in enhancing HR management.

Co-certification chairs of Garden State Council, Carolyn Broderick, a board member of JSAHR (Jersey Shore Association for Human Resources), Neptune, and Dennis Butler, past president and board member SWHRMA (Sussex Warren Human Resource Management Association), created the Second Chance Class to serve New Jersey HR professionals.

Broderick said, “Often a lot of people do not have the chance to retest when they don’t pass the SHRM exam. Failure rates are around 40 percent and it can be cost prohibitive to retake the exam, especially for those who are in transition and can’t afford another class. At the Council level, Dennis and I decided to create a free statewide Second Chance Class for anyone who needed to retake the exam.

“We created this program to give back to our members in the state, to provide awareness of the state council, to let people know about the benefits of chapter membership; but, mostly, to help everyone get certified who tried and were not successful. The class was held in the fall 2019 and spring 2020.”

Butler said, “As Carolyn’s co-chair, and as an instructor of the SHRM Certification Prep class, it was frustrating to see many students take the class and then not earn their credentials. Often they missed by very few points and thought about giving up. We figured offering the Second Chance Class, coupled with the experience they gained from taking the test once, was a great way to support their certification efforts and move the HR profession forward.”

Attorney Louis R. Lessig, SHRM-SCP, SPHR, and SHRM State Director, said, “The focus of the State Council is to support all of our more than 7,000 SHRM members in New Jersey and our 11 chapters. This program was a fabulous way to remain committed to our members and support their professional journey.”

A new Second Chance Class is scheduled to begin this February 2021. For more information, contact Carolyn Broderick at

About SHRM
SHRM, the Society for Human Resource Management, creates better workplaces where employers and employees thrive together. As the voice of all things work, workers and the workplace, SHRM is the foremost expert, convener and thought leader on issues impacting today’s evolving workplaces. With 300,000+ HR and business executive members in 165 countries, SHRM impacts the lives of more than 115 million workers and families globally. Learn more at and on Twitter @SHRM.

About The Garden State Council NJ SHRM: The Garden State Council NJ SHRM is an organization that serves HR professionals and supports programs that support and promote professionals with HR responsibility to be successful business leaders. The council is made up of representatives of 11 local SHRM chapters located throughout New Jersey. For more about the Garden State Council NJ SHRM go to Activities may be related to certification, professional learning, or skills development.