CTHRA Names NBCUniversal’s HR for HR Team and CBS’ Michelle Martin as 2017 Excellence in HR Award Recipients


NAPERVILLE, ILL., September 13, 2017 — Continuing the 10-year tradition of celebrating outstanding achievements in the industry, the Cable and Telecommunications Human Resources Association (CTHRA) announced the 2017 Excellence in HR honorees: NBCUniversal’s HR for HR Team is the Team Innovator of the Year, while CBS’ Michelle Martin earned the Aspiring Leader award.

Team Innovator of the Year: NBCUniversal’s HR for HR Team
This award showcases a team that demonstrates innovative, creative problem solving that positively impacts company culture or business results. NBCUniversal’s six-member, bicoastal team designed, developed and implemented two high-impact programs: tHRive University and HR for GOOD. Team members include: Jenny Park, coordinator; Ryan Scott, coordinator; Carrie Maltese, vice president; Elizabeth Michel, director; Anna Arefian, generalist; and Analisa Cortez, generalist.

With the tagline “Your Career. Produced Here.” tHRive University empowers employees in the HR community to succeed at every stage of their professional development. The dynamic skills-based program directly aligns with NBCUniversal HR’s core competencies—adaptability, courage, execution excellence, professional presence, relationship building and strategic impact.

In addition to enhancing skills, the courses build community and provide networking opportunities with NBCUniversal’s senior HR managers, business leaders and subject matter experts. Courses include topics such as welcoming new hires; improving performance through PIPs; HR systems, conducting investigations to resolution and more. tHRive University is not only for HR, but it is developed by HR. The HR for HR team relies on volunteers from the HR community to design and lead many of the HR courses.

Not content to rest on its laurels, the award-winning team also launched HR for GOOD, in partnership with the Taproot Foundation. HR for GOOD connects NBCUniversal’s HR professionals with nonprofit organizations to provide pro bono consulting. The team planned and implemented two half-day consulting events in New York and Los Angeles during which 71 HR professionals advised 41 leaders from 27 nonprofits on myriad topics, including: team building and employee retention, performance management, recruiting, vetting and hiring new staff — skills that many small organizations do not have due to staffing and budget constraints. (For more information on HR for GOOD, read the March–April 2017 issue of HR Pulse, CTHRA’s newsletter.) Ninety-eight percent of the nonprofit participants reported that the results of the event would have a positive impact on their organizations.

“The entire NBCUniversal HR community is filled with pride for our HR for HR team, which is being recognized with CTHRA’s Team Innovator of the Year award,” said Pat Langer, executive vice president, human resources, NBCUniversal. “Due to their work, we’re in a unique position to be able to give back as we advise nonprofits on a variety of HR issues through our HR for GOOD initiative. We are also proud of tHRive University, which does an excellent job of providing learning and development for all levels of our HR teams, making NBCUniversal a premier place to work for HR professionals.”

Aspiring Leader: Michelle Martin, CBS Corporation
The Aspiring Leader award recognizes an emerging HR professional whose fresh perspective, inventive ideas and innovative approach have positively impacted the leadership and culture of the organization. Michelle Martin, vice president of specialty services, human resources for CBS Corporation, personifies these characteristics. Her initiatives on mental health, caregiving and the Veterans Network have earned her the moniker “Angel of HR” at CBS.

Martin champions new programs that benefit underserved populations at CBS. Not afraid to spearhead efforts in nontraditional areas, she worked with United Healthcare to develop a multiple award-winning mental-health education campaign called “I’m Fine.” The campaign features brochures, webcasts and workshops on mental-health issues such as depression, suicide and substance use disorders. CBS also sponsored the National Alliance Mental Illness walk in New York City.

Michelle also set her innovation sights on family caregivers at CBS. She advocated policy changes such as allowing employees to use sick time to care for family members, expanding paid parental leave and increasing subsidized back-up childcare to help new parents return to work.

On the eldercare front, she led implementation of a program for employees called MSK Direct, opening the program to parents and in-laws. CBS was the first company to implement MSK Direct through Memorial Sloan Kettering. This program helps employees and family members who have cancer or are suspected of having cancer navigate a complicated system while also managing the emotional stress involved with battling cancer.

“Michelle recognizes the need to support employees in many nontraditional areas — that one size does not fit all. Although she understands corporations need a core set of programs and benefits, she also believes they can find practical solutions to support employees in many areas of their lives that corporations generally don’t target,” said Elizabeth Casanas, senior vice president of human resources for Showtime Networks, a CBS company.

Awards Luncheon on October 26 in Philadelphia
CTHRA and awards media partner Cablefax will present the awards to the honorees during the Excellence in HR Awards Luncheon, which will take place during CTHRA’s Disruptive Thinking HR Symposium on October 26, 2017, in Philadelphia. For more information, visit www.CTHRASymposium.com.

The Cable and Telecommunications Human Resources Association (CTHRA) is the premier human capital resource for the industry and a growing nonprofit organization with more than 3,500 members spanning 50 companies. CTHRA provides industry-specific benchmarks, information and resources, as well as networking and educational opportunities. Its groundbreaking initiatives include compensation, employee benefits and human capital metrics surveys and an Annual HR Symposium. For more information, visit www.CTHRA.com.