The SHRM Foundation honors former Congresswoman Walorski and others at its annual Tharseō Awards

Alexandria, Va. — The SHRM Foundation today announced the winners of its second annual Tharseō Awards. Tharseō (thar-seh’-ō) – derived from the Greek word for “brave, confident and bold” – highlights leaders who are at the forefront of innovation and shaping the work experience. Recipients will be honored at a gala on October 17, 2022 at the Field Museum in Chicago, IL. The awards recognize the visionaries, innovators and change agents who are making an impact within their organizations and well beyond.

“Each of the winners we honor exemplifies what it means to be a visionary,” said Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., SHRM-SCP, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). “Tharseō sheds light on the leaders who make the difference both within and for the workplace. Individuals like these allow ingenuity to thrive and thrive to create a better world.”

The recipients are:

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

Chapman is Chairman and CEO of Barry-Wehmiller, a St. Louis-based global industrial equipment and engineered solutions company. Recently named the #3 CEO in the World by Inc. Magazine and a Top 10 Social Capital CEO by the International Business Times, Chapman has transformed Barry-Wehmiller through 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 organizations implement his Truly Human Leadership strategy. He founded a nonprofit organization that provides empathic listening training to communities, a consulting firm on transforming organizational cultures and leadership approaches, and numerous initiatives with K-12 schools and business schools to instill truly human leadership skills in young people—the business leaders of tomorrow.

  • Policy Transformer of the Year (awarded posthumously): Former MP Jackie Walorski

    Rep. Walorski represented the 2nd District of Indiana in the US House of Representatives from 2012 to 2022. Prior to her service in the House of Representatives, Walorski served in the 21st District of the Indiana House of Representatives from 2005 to 2010. During her time as a member of the Ways and Means Committee, Walorski was the top Republican on the subcommittee on Workers and Family Assistance. Walorski helped introduce bills that supported workers and Americans with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout her career, she has campaigned for legislation to increase access to mental health services and better assist Americans with nursing responsibilities. This award is presented posthumously to Rep. Walorski and accepted 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 strategy, spend/supplier relationships and PayPal’s approach to future of work real estate initiatives. Rajgopal’s leadership style combines senior leadership experience with expertise in human resources, technology and payments. Prior to PayPal, Rajgopal had experience at McKinsey & Co., where he led HR, procurement and related functions for global operations across multiple industries and sectors.

“These exceptional individuals are honored with the Tharseō Awards because they raise the bar for global leadership,” said Wendi Safstrom, President of the SHRM Foundation. “Each award winner has demonstrated the rare qualities we look for in Tharseō winners: innovation, vision and a keen ability not only to adapt, but to lead in a rapidly changing landscape. We are proud of our 2022 winners and their incredible impact on HR and the world of work.”

The Tharseō Awards jurors evaluate the candidates through multi-level qualitative and quantitative measurements. Criteria for each award category include the leader’s resourcefulness, execution, and overall impact on the organization and global workforce.

The SHRM Foundation is committed to strengthening HR as a social force of change. To learn more about the Tharseo Awards, its esteemed judges and the selection process, please visit

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

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