Chicago SHRM History
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On October 5, 1954, a small group of Chicago area “personnel” professionals joined the American Society of Personnel Administration (ASPA) – now called the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM). 

While the national organization was growing, so, too, was the Chicago Chapter of ASPA. Former president Leo Latz (1971), shared that membership was only 30-40 people when he joined in 1963. Gerry Belko, president in 1983-4, noted that the Chicago chapter of ASPA numbered about 100 people when he became president, but grew rapidly after Chicago quite successfully hosted the ASPA Convention that year. 

Jumping forward to 1989, the Chicago chapter was growing, even as “HR was then known as Personnel and primarily concerned with administration, hiring, firing, personnel records, and rules,” shared then-president Lewis Jacobson. At the local level, we changed our name to Society of Human Resource Professionals (SHRP). “This reflected our desire to be more inclusive and reflecting the trend that more HR professionals would in the future be employed in vendor firms as more HR administration becomes outsourced,” explained Jacobson. 

In 2012, the Society of Resource Professionals changed its name to Chicago SHRM, to better align with the national organization.

From its beginnings in 1948 to only 28 members, Chicago SHRM has grown into a thriving organization of over 950 members today.