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Our History

    Before many of us were born, during the WWII era, a small group of Personnel Managers in the Vineland, Bridgeton and Millville area met at lunch and discussed issues they were facing and hoped to learn what to do that would benefit their organizations.  Many of them were in the glass industry, which was a booming industry at that time.  Some food processing managers also participated.  Two of the founding members were Bill Maul of Armstrong Cork and Fred Barker of Seabrook Brothers.

    Over time, they continued to meet and eventually around 1944 they formalized the organization that became known as the South Jersey Personnel Management Association.  At this point, other personnel managers at a variety of organizations were invited to join and formal dinner meetings were scheduled.  Topics of interest to their members were discussed and eventually speakers were engaged.

    The Personnel Management Association was an independent organization until 1977 when it affiliated with the American Society of Personnel Administration (ASPA).  ASPA was founded in 1948.  There was a lot of discussion, concern and fear about becoming a chapter of ASPA.  In the end, the benefits were determined to be beneficial enough to affiliate.  Marge Miller was the President of PMA when we affiliated with ASPA.

    The PMA chapter of ASPA was a small group of approximately 30-40 members, mostly in manufacturing. Typically 20-25 members attended the monthly meetings.

    In 1989, the organization's name was changed from the American Society for Personnel Administration (ASPA) to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) to reflect its broadened scope and influence in business and political worlds internationally.  To reflect the change in focus within our chapter, during the presidency of Phyllis Fanz-East, the chapter name was changed to the Human Resource Association of So. NJ (HRA).

    In September 1996 the Human Resource Association celebrated its 50th Anniversary.

    The number of members has grown and the diversity of our membership has broadened.  Our commitment to engage members and to offer benefits of membership continues to expand.  We want to be YOUR organization of choice.