​​I​​n August, the Power Marketing Administration Human Resources Shared Service Center launched the HR Strategic Partnership Award, an annual award for leaders who demonstrate outstanding skill in partnering with HR. The group also announced the award’s inaugural recipient, Administrative Officer Kellie Petty

“To provide great HR service, we need great partners,” said HR Director Cheryl Reese. “HR is privileged to work with many dedicated leaders across three power marketing administrations. Rating criteria for this award includes broad scope and impact of decisions, positive educational influence upon other decision makers and determination to nurture a strong, results-oriented partnership for the future.” 

She went on to explain Petty’s selection. 

“Kellie has consistently proven her commitment to getting to the best answer by leveraging partnerships, understanding organizational history, listening to all viewpoints and tirelessly pushing forward to the best solution,” she said. “The path to the right answer can be challenging; Kellie is a shining example of how to work strategically with HR partners on that journey.” 

Reese made a point of thanking Senior Vice President and Colorado River Storage Project Manager Tim Vigil and Senior Vice President and Rocky Mountain Regional Manager Bart Barnhart, Petty’s supervisors, for grasping the importance of the award and enthusiastically supporting her nomination. 

She explained that the award is targeted at leaders who have broad scope and impact of decisions, who exert positive educational influence upon other decision-makers and who are determined to nurture a strong, results-oriented partnership for the future. 

Petty said she was honored and humbled to receive the award. 

“As an administrative officer for several years with WAPA, it has given me the rare opportunity to recognize the need to need to bring our employees, leaders and HR professionals together to improve our culture, provide solutions and ensure our employees and leaders are working together in a respectful way to meet our common goals,” she said. 

The award ties more deeply into her professional history than many might expect, as well. 

“I have spent the majority of my 38- year federal civilian career in specific HR roles,” said Petty. “It has been my passion. I believe that everyone has a need, should have a voice and that constant communication is key in order for our workforce to be successful.” 

Reese explained that HR created the award to recognize the fact that, to be a strategic partner, HR must understand the work of the business. 

“How does each department and role work and fit together?” she asked. “What does the data and evidence tell us in terms of key insights to drive the right action at the right time? HR must look at the big picture, and not be ‘stuck in the weeds.’ What will help our clients reach their goals now and in the future?” 

Of course, HR is only half of the equation; it takes a strong leader to proactively share goals and information, helping HR to be a full partner in securing results and achieving their mission. 

For her part, Petty understands the value of effective collaboration with HR. 

“When we think about it, our people and their efforts are the core aspect of everything we accomplish to carry out our great mission,” she explained. “There are many entities and individuals that help support our employees from an HR perspective every day. Without recognizing the human element, everyone’s contribution and needs, we cannot succeed as an organization.” 

Moving forward, the PMA HR SSC will consider the leaders with whom they worked during the previous year, nominate their candidates and arrive at a group decision as to who should receive the award. 

Reese encouraged others to put forth their own nominations for consideration. 

“Know of a great candidate? Submit their name to an HR leader or business partner,” she said. “This recognition will be awarded annually in August of each year.” 

Last modified on September 12th, 2023