Human resource pros set future goals

The Cayman Islands Society of Human
Resource Professionals welcomed a new board of directors, including a new
president, at its ninth annual general meeting on Wednesday.

Samantha Nehra took over as
president of the society after ascending from the positions of vice president
and president elect.

Outgoing President Phil Jackson
expressed his confidence in his predecessor.

“When she was elected as [vice
president], there were cynics and critics about having an expat succeed as our
next president,” Mr. Jackson said. “Although no one was brash enough to have a
one-on-one discussion with me, it irritated me that people were looking at
nationality [and] immigration status as a qualification to become the next

Mr. Jackson said for the position
of vice president, he wanted someone who was “passionate about the society,
someone who wanted to see it succeed, someone who would support my goals, but
not necessarily become a ‘yes’ person.”

“What is important is will she work
hard and be an effective leader?” he asked. “I have no doubt that she will.”


Goals achieved

Mr. Jackson, who served as
president for two years, said the society achieved five of the eight goals he
set for the society in 2008. Some of those achievements included the introduction
of a certificate in human resources studies; the awarding of four scholarships
to the University College of the Cayman Islands to study human resources and
The David Bodden Memorial Scholarship to study overseas to obtain a master’s
degree in human resource management; the launching of the Top Employer Award;
and being accepted by the Society of Human Resource Management as an affiliate
member forum.

“Our society has worked very hard
at building the standards and reputation of the HR profession in Cayman,” Mr.
Jackson said.

Speaking about the current economic
environment, Mr. Jackson said job security is “out of date”.

“As HR Leaders we need to encourage
employees to become versatile, adaptable, and have transferable skills,” he
said. “We must continue to help build world-class organizations and make Cayman
a preferred destination to live and work.”

Mrs. Nehra listed some of her goals
for the coming two years, saying that improving the Society’s website from an
archival resource to an interactive tool was “a no-brainer”.  She noted that the society had about 200
members during its heyday before the economic crisis, but that membership had
dropped to about 160.

“My goal is to bring it up to 250,”
she said.

Mrs. Nehra pledged to continue
developing the society’s Top Employer Award, which was just launched earlier
this year and to also continue the Society’s professional development

In the treasurer’s report, Marco
Miranda noted that the society had a shortfall of more than $19,000 over the
course of the last year, but it still had cash reserves of almost $25,000.  He noted that because of the poor economic
conditions, membership and sponsorships were both down, leading to the Society’s
negative position in the previous financial year.

Only two positions were open for
election at the meeting, those of vice president and secretary. During the
voting, Cindy Downing was elected secretary and Edward Chisholm vice president,
putting him on the path to succeed Mrs. Nehra as president in 2012.


The new board of directors of the Cayman Islands Society of Human Resource Professionals includes, from left, Director Anna Pereira-Johnson; Vice President Edward Chisholm; Secretary Cindy Downing; President Samantha Nehra; Director Milly Serpell; Immediate Past President Phil Jackson; and Treasurer Marco Miranda. Missing from the photo are directors Ahisha Bodden and Ceili Fitzgerald.
Photo: Alan Markoff