Posted by: Professionals In Human Resources Association (PIHRA) | January 26, 2011

PIHRA Foundation News

PIHRA Foundation Volunteers Make a Difference
The PIHRA Foundation supplied nine volunteers who donated their time for
the Long Beach City College mock interviews on Monday, December 13, 2010. The class was very excited to have “real” HR Professionals to practice their interview skills three times, which represents 30% of their grade.  The students said they were very nervous at first, but once they had a third interview they felt much more confident. One student laughed and said “now it is a piece of cake”. Associate Professor Giselle Richards was very proud of her students. All the HR Professionals felt they make a difference by giving back to the community.

Special thanks to our volunteers including Lee Ann Arzaga, Jane Frixone,
Cynthia Kerr, Jenny Klein, Olga Motz, Dagmar Muthamia, Charmaine Smith,
Linda Van, and Michele Wierschem.

If you are interested in mock interview volunteering opportunities, contact
Jenny Klein at

Outstanding Service Award
Every year, the President of The PIHRA Foundation awards one of the Board members for his or her outstanding contributions.  This year was unusual because two members were given this award. John Silver was recognized for his two years as the leader of the Silent Auction, the major fundraiser for The Foundation.  This year, John and his team raised nearly twice the amount over the previous year.  He also lead the effort to include all of the PIHRA Districts to contribute gift baskets which followed a theme reflecting the District’s geographic area.  The Districts did a fantastic job and allowed more PIHRA members to participate in a fun activity.  John has also contributed in a major way to The Foundation with his ideas.

Mery Propster was responsible for the success of the Scholarship and Stipend programs as well as for her major donation of a diamond ring to the Silent Auction.  She developed a method of auctioning off the ring, which made it one of the highlights of the Auction, as well as making it the major raiser of cash.  In the Scholarship side, Mary made a major effort to inform university students of the availability of the scholarships and also, with the help of her team, interviewed qualified applicants and chose the winners.  She also successfully ran the program to award stipends to enable HR people in transition to attend the PIHRA conference.  This was the second year of her success with these two important programs.  Mary also contributed in other important ways to the success of The Foundation.

PIHRA Foundation Adds More Strength to It’s Board

Bill Groenekamp recently announced the addition of yet another experienced Board member, David Kalish, SPHR. David is Chief Human Resources Executive for The Centinela Group, a sales and administrative management firm with multiple locations in North and South America.  He has over 40 years experience in all facets of human resources in both the public and private sectors. He ran his own successful consulting firm for three (3) years.  He holds a BS in labor relations and an MBA from the California State University at Long Beach.  He is an active member and past board of director’s member of the Professionals In Human Resource Association (PIHRA) on the local level and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) on the national level. He is an adjunct professor in the School of Management and Economics at UCI and has taught in the HR Certificate Program at Cal Poly Pomona.  He is a member of the Human Resources Management Advisory Board for the School of Business at CSULB. David’s role will be to oversee Scholarships as he will replace Mery Propster who recently resigned.


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