The SHRM Foundation Honors Former Congresswoman Walorski and Others at Its Annual Tharseō Awards

ALEXANDRIA, Virginia — The SHRM Foundation today announced the winners of its second annual Tharseō Awards. Tharseō (thar-seh’-ō) – derived from the Greek word meaning “brave, confident, and daring” – spotlights leaders at the forefront of innovation and shaping the work experience. Recipients will be honored at a black tie gala at the Field Museum in Chicago, Illinois on October 17, 2022. The awards ceremony will celebrate visionaries, innovators and change makers who create impact within their organizations and well beyond.


“Each of the winners we honor exemplify what it means to be a visionary,” said Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., SHRM-SCP, president and CEO of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). “Tharseō shines a light on leaders who chart paths both within and for the workplace. Individuals like these allow ingenuity to flourish and thrive to create a better world.”

The recipients are:

  • CEO of the year: Bob Chapman, President and CEO, Barry-Wehmiller

Chapman is the chairman and CEO of Barry-Wehmiller, a global industrial equipment and engineering solutions company based in St. Louis. Recently named the 3rd CEO in the world by Inc. magazine and one of the Top 10 Social Capital CEOs by the International Business Times, Chapman transformed Barry-Wehmiller using a unique blend of strategy and culture called Truly Human Leadership. Today, Barry-Wehmiller is a thriving $3.5 billion organization with 12,000 team members who experience a caring culture and meaningful work that honors their dignity and unique talents. Chapman is also focused on helping individuals and businesses adopt its truly human leadership strategy. He started a nonprofit that provides empathetic listening training to communities, a consulting business to transform organizational cultures and leadership approaches, and numerous initiatives with K-12 schools and business schools. to bring truly human leadership skills to young people – the business leaders of tomorrow.

  • Political Transformer of the Year (awarded posthumously): Former Representative Jackie Walorski

    Representative Walorski represented Indiana’s Second District in the United States House of Representatives from 2012 to 2022. Prior to her House service, Walorski served in the 21st District of the Indiana House of Representatives from 2005 to 2010. As a member of the Ways and Means Committee, Walorski was the top Republican on the Support for Workers and Families subcommittee. Walorski helped introduce bills that supported workers and Americans with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout her career, she has championed legislation to increase access to mental health services and better support Americans with caregiving responsibilities. This award is given posthumously to Representative Walorski and is received by her family.

  • Ram Charan HR Innovation Award: Kausik Rajgopal, EVP, People and Sourcing, PayPal

    Rajgopal leads PayPal’s human resources, procurement, and real estate teams and oversees global workforce planning strategies, spend/vendor relationships, and PayPal’s approach to real estate initiatives on the future of work. Rajgopal’s leadership style combines senior management experience with expertise in human resources, technology and payments. Prior to joining PayPal, Rajgopal had experience at McKinsey & Co., leading its HR, procurement and similar functions for global operations across various sectors and industries.

“These extraordinary individuals are honored by the Tharseō Awards because they raise the bar for global leadership,” said Wendi Safstrom, President of the SHRM Foundation. “Each awardee has demonstrated the rare characteristics we look for in Tharseō awardees: innovation, foresight and a great ability not only to adapt but also to lead in a rapidly changing landscape. We are proud of our awardees 2022 and their incredible impact on the field of HR and the world of work.”

The jurors of the Tharseō Awards evaluate the candidates through qualitative and quantitative measures in several stages. The criteria for each award category encompass the leader’s ingenuity, implementation and overall impact on the business and the global workforce.

The SHRM Foundation is committed to making HR a social force for change. To learn more about the Tharseō Awards, its esteemed jurors, and its selection process, please visit tharseo.shrm.org.

About the SHRM Foundation
Founded in 1966, the SHRM Foundation is the 501(c)(3) philanthropic arm of the world’s largest professional HR society, SHRM. SHRM represents more than 300,000 human resources professionals around the world, impacting 115 million workers and their families. The SHRM Foundation mobilizes the power of HR for positive social change in the workplace. Its strong resources, meaningful partnerships and evidence-based programs educate and empower HR professionals to hire diverse talent, create inclusive workplaces, prioritize mental health and workplace wellness , to develop and support the next generation of HR professionals and to help employees find purpose at work and beyond. Learn more at shrmfoundation.org.

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