In 1985, four Human Resource professionals, Paula Rodriguez, formerly the Director of Administrative Services for the Monroe County BOCC, Pat Bonner, formerly the HR Director for the Casa Marina Resort, Kay Miller, formerly the HR Director for the Pier House Resort and Mary Ann Causley, formerly the Assistant Director of the Monroe County division of Job Services of Florida began meeting to discuss the formation of an association of Human Resource Professionals.
On June 24, 1986, they "rolled out" the idea in a meeting of 19 HR Professionals to ascertain the level of interest in membership. The idea was well received and the Monroe County Personnel Association (MCPA) was established.
"It shall be the purpose and objective of the Monroe County Personnel Association to foster and encourage relationships with the various employers throughout Monroe County, Florida in both the private and public sector involved in Labor, Personnel, Safety and related fields; whereby helpful technical, scientific, educational and fundamental concepts of personnel management can be exchanged."
The idea was to network with other Human Resource professionals to share information regarding health insurance, compensation, EAPs, recruitment, retention, affordable housing, child care, wellness programs, Bloodborne Pathogens in the workplace, Unemployment Compensation, Workers' Compensation and other topics.
Some of MCPA's first initiatives were conducting housing surveys, wage and benefit surveys and gathering other statistical data on personnel related issues. MCPA partnered with the Florida Keys Community College (FKCC) and secured State Grant funding to provide a twelve topic managment and supervisory training program along with monthly training programs related to current HR issues, which were open to the public.
In 1989, an MCPA member, Judy Hobbs, owner of the "Girl Friday" temporary employment agency, passed away. Her mother donated funds to create a perpetual scholarship, in Judy's name, to be awarded annually by MCPA. Each year, student applicants are interviewed and a deserving student is chosen. The Judy Hobbs Schollarship Fund is still awarded by the succeeding organization, the Florida Keys Chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).
The strength of the economy in Monroe County, Florida relies primarily on toursim. In 1995, the MCPA created the "Excellence in Service" award to foster excellent customer service and recognize those in the community who demonstrate exemplary customer service. MCPA members were encouraged to give an acknowledgment pin and card with their name and phone number to Associates outside of their own organizations who provide exemplary service. From these nominees, an MCPA sub-committee would select the most outstanding as the recipiant of the Excellence in Service award each year. The Florida Keys Chapter of SHRM continues the tradition, recognizing and rewarding "Excellence in Service."
In 2001, MCPA applied to become a chapter of the national Society for Human Resource Management. The application was accepted and we are now the Florida Keys Chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management (FLKSHRM). Through our affiliation, membership, programs and activities, we continue to support and advance initiatives and training that are important to HR Management and our community.