Member Spotlight: Danielle Schroeder

I've recently had the pleasure of interviewing Danielle Schroeder, Vice President of Human Resources at W.R. Berkley Corporation. She is also the chapter's new Vice President of Communications.
With 28 years of experience in human resources, she is an inspirational source of knowledge, wisdom and motivation.

While we were talking she reminisced about "the good old days" ...when girly pictures still lined office walls, smoking at your desk was commonplace and HR was about transactional services. We shared many smiles reflecting on how much has changed.

One of her personal joys has been watching the growth and change of human resources into a strategic business partner. She loves that other business professionals now recognize the impact human resources has on a business' operations.

When I asked what her biggest lesson in HR was, she shared that working European human resource support taught her a lot about the way different countries work. She learned how to work with multiple countries, their independent European Councils (aka unions) and differing national labor laws. She felt amazed at how different European cultures were from U.S. business cultures.

SHRM-STL (previously HRMA) membership means a lot to Danielle. She considers the community and support of other human resource professionals to be the greatest benefit of her time with the chapter. Like most HR professionals, she has endured many tough days and difficult conversations. Connection with professionals who have "been there done that" is a critical source of motivation for her.

Her biggest advice to young human resource professionals includes:
"You can't live in a vacuum." Get involved with SHRM and a community of human resource professionals outside your direct office. It helps you grow as individuals and professionals. You gain opportunities you might not find otherwise. The understanding community is critical when the days are rough.
Everything human resources does influences a company with a broad impact. Be aware of how your actions, words and choices affect the people you work with. To grow professionally, you need to learn how HR drives culture and workplace environments.
The final piece of advice she offers young professionals is to "keep your tools sharp and the tool-kit well stocked." Make the time to earn a certification and grow your exposure to the wider human resource industry. Read books. Network and build lasting relationships with other HR professionals. And keep striving to develop your abilities.

Her goals for the communications team for the coming year are simple.
  1. Set up a new chapter website that encourages member engagement.
  2. Enhance the newsletter and continue providing chapter members with useful and inspiring content.
  3. Increase interaction on social media using our members favorite platforms.
This isn't Danielle's first time as a chapter board member. She first served on the board from 2006-2009 before taking time away to balance her career and family responsibilities.

Help me welcome Danielle back to board membership and the Communications Team. Take time to find her and say "hi" at the next meeting. She looks forward to meeting you!

Spotlight written by:
Maggie Peterson, SPHR
SHRM-STL Newsletter Chair, HR Consultant & HR B2B Web Writer