Cynthia Dobek has a tenacious spirit. When she became president of the Southern Nevada SHRM chapter in 2011, the
Las Vegas area was still suffering the effects of the
Great Recession. The chapter’s membership had
dropped dramatically, from 600 to 200. Volunteers
were also still mourning the death of the chapter’s
But Dobek and other leaders persevered,
revamping the Southern Nevada SHRM website,
adjusting fees and making new hires as needed. As
a result, membership reached 413 this year.
During those tough times, Dobek shared her
enthusiasm and energy as co-chair of volunteers at
the SHRM Annual Conference & Exposition in 2011
and 2015. In 2016, she chaired the Nevada State
SHRM Conference, which had been suspended for
several years, under the banner “HR Is Alive Again
This year, she finally stepped down after serving
for six years as chapter president. But she’s not
slowing down. She’s working on her doctorate in
business administration and plans to volunteer
at SHRM’s Talent Conference & Exposition in Las
Vegas this month.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR GREATEST CHALLENGE?
Returning to school later in life to pursue my
bachelor’s and master’s degrees while working
full time, volunteering and maintaining close family
WHAT ARE YOU PASSIONATE ABOUT?
I’m an advocate for keeping adults in the
workforce past the traditional retirement age,
which is the focus of my doctoral study. My mother
is 84 and still working because she loves what
she does. It keeps her active and healthy. I believe
that HR needs to embrace the expertise of older
workers and find ways to retain them.
WHAT’S YOUR WORK PHILOSOPHY?
“Every job is a self-portrait of the person who did
it. Autograph your work with excellence.” Although
its source is unknown, the quote inspires me.
Horizon Specialty Hospitals
72 HR MAGAZINE APRIL 2018