Wendi Safstrom, Executive Director, SHRM Foundation | Speaker
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Wendi Safstrom is a senior non-profit leader committed to serving the public through philanthropic program management, cultivating strategic partnerships and managing and developing high performing teams. She has both association and nonprofit management experience including; national program development and administration, membership strategy, marketing and product development, grant management, development and donor stewardship, and leading cross functional teams. Safstrom currently serves as Executive Director for the Society for Human Resource Management Foundation (SHRM Foundation), where she leads the development and implementation of SHRM Foundation's programmatic, development, and marketing and communication strategies in support of SHRM Foundation's new mission and vision, creating growth plans and ensuring alignment with SHRM goals.
Prior to assuming the role at SHRM Foundation, Safstrom served as Vice President at the National Restaurant Association and National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, where she led the development and implementation of their Foundation's most recent five-year strategic plan, and was responsible for all Foundation programming, including workforce development initiatives, scholarship and event management, community relations and engagement initiatives. The NRAEF's philanthropic programming supported a number of audiences including high school youth, veterans transitioning from service to civilian work and life, opportunity youth and incumbent workers. Of particular note, she led the implementation of the restaurant industry's premier high school career and technical education program, growing the program to over 2,000 public high schools, engaging over 150,000 students annually, nationwide. In 2016, she served as lead project director for the development of a $10 million contract awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor to develop the hospitality industry's first apprenticeship program, and was instrumental in the Foundation's reorganization and relocation of operations from Chicago, Illinois to Washington, D.C., transforming the staff and culture.
Safstrom has also held human resource management roles with the Leo Burnett Company and Hyatt Hotels Corporation in Chicago, Illinois. She has a BS in Business Administration from the Eli Broad School of Business at Michigan State University and was recognized as a member of the 2014 "Power 20" by Restaurant Business Magazine as a leader in philanthropy within the restaurant industry.