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Russell Gunter Award

Professional of the year Photo

Tim Orellano
Professional Development Director, PHR

Long-time SHRM volunteer and HR advocate, Tim Orellano, PHR is recipient of the 2023 Arkansas SHRM Russell Gunter Legislative Advocacy Award.

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Past Recipients


In 2013, the Arkansas SHRM State Council renamed this award in honor of our dear friend and advocate, Russell Gunter. Russell served in various volunteer capacities throughout the volunteer structure, including as Director of Government Affairs and spearheading the Employment Law & Legislative Affairs Conference as Chair in 2003, and serving on its committee for many years. In addition, Russell served on SHRM's Legislative Action Committee, testified in front of Congress on human resource legislation, and represented the organization on the Today Show. Russell received this award in 2005.

The Arkansas Legislative Advocacy Award recognizes members for "outstanding contributions of time and effort in local, state or federal legislative advocacy on behalf of the Human Resources profession." This recipient demonstrates aggressive leadership in building relationships with legislators, taking action directly or indirectly affecting law and policy, introducing and presenting our organization and mission(s) to key media outlets and legislators, and developing strong grassroots initiatives within the organization.


Candidate must meet at least two of these criteria:

  • Participation in committees, task forces, or work groups involving legislation;
  • Presentation to groups on legislation;
  • Active participation in ARSHRM State council, Inc. conferences, preferably legislative conference attended within prior two years;
  • Development of strong grassroots initiatives;
  • Serves as key legislative contact and promotes lobbying efforts;
  • Acts as a mentor or inspiring members who are learning how to increase their legislative advocacy skills;
  • Makes long-term, consistent contributions as well as shorter-term project-related contributions to legislative advocacy/activities;
  • Initiates or supports creative application of the use of technology in increasing awareness and education about legislative matters to members;
  • Promotes and develops improved understanding of the importance of legislative advocacy and activities on behalf of the Human Resource profession;
  • Promotes and develops a sustained legislative approach to improving the ability of members to participate in legislative advocacy on behalf of the organization;
  • Promotes and develops a program resulting in a sustained increase in member support for legislative advocacy on behalf of the organization;
  • Significantly influences attitudes and perceptions of the organization by public or private officials in a position to support the organization’s missions and legislative goals.
  • Other considerations include community involvement, participation in Human Resource organizations and other organizations such as local Chamber of Commerce; impact of projects or activities
  • Other recognized outstanding legislative service for the organization, such as letter writing, action or information memos or letters to members, establishing a legislative network, writing or publishing articles concerning legislation of interest to members, arranging for legislators to be guests or speakers at meetings, etc.
  • A group of members collaborating on the same project may be nominated and considered together. In such circumstances, any one member of the group meeting the two-year membership minimum will suffice.


A panel of judges will select the ARSHRM State Council Russell Gunter Legislative Advocacy recipient. The panel will consist of the current SHRM members from within the state of Arkansas. The application process and recipient selection are overseen by the ARSHRM State Council’s Communication & Awards Director.

Each judge will review and rate the applicant on a scale from 1 to 10 with “1” being the lowest marks for that criterion, and “10” being the highest. The winner of the ARSHRM State Council Russell Gunter Legislative Advocacy Award will be the applicant with the highest cumulative point total. If nominees do not meet the criteria as outlined or if no nominations are received, no award will be presented. Generally, only one award will be given each year.


The recipient of the “Russell Gunter Legislative Advocacy” award will be recognized by the ARSHRM State Council at the annual ARSHRM Employment Law & Legislative Affairs Conference. The Employment Law & Legislative Affairs Conference Chair, in cooperation with the Governmental Affairs Director, will coordinate the presentation of the award at this conference.

How to Apply:

This application must be filled out completely and accurately. Please PRINT or TYPE. You may attach additional sheets if more space is needed. Send your completed application along with any supporting documents to:

Arkansas SHRM State Council
Attn: Tara Mauk Arthur
ASHRM Communications & Awards Chair
Email: eat0@eau0eav0eaw0
Deadline is March 15.

Download Application

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