Live Long, and Prosper: Spotlight on IHRIM Volunteer, Cindy Imber

Live Long, and Prosper: Spotlight on IHRIM Volunteer, Cindy Imber, HRIP, SPHR, Sr. Manager of Global HR Applications, Columbia Sportswear
This month’s Volunteer Spotlight shines on Cindy Imber, HRIP, SPHR, who is currently the Sr. Manager of Global HR Applications for Columbia Sportswear. Cindy has worked with HR systems for over 15 years and implemented or upgraded over 10 HR systems including HRIS, Payroll, Performance, Compensation, and Recognition.


Cindy will be presenting the session – Creating a Powerful Culture for Recognition & Rewards at Columbia Sportswear – at the IHRIM 2014 Conference, June 1-4, in Anaheim, CA.

Please tell us a little about your professional life such as what your job entails; how you got involved with HR technology; major accomplishments; current projects or challenges, etc.
I quickly got involved in HRIS because of my major in Management Information Systems. It seemed like a perfect fit and not many people in HR at the time knew what a relational database was. Over the years I moved from being more technical focused to business analyst work to now managing HRIS and Payroll. Recently in my role as the Sr. Manager over HRIS and Payroll I have created a plan for the next three years of global HRIS/Payroll system upgrades and implementations; great for job security too. Many ideas on this plan have been helped by attending the IHRIM conference and learning about new trends. We want to keep up with best practices and ways to best support our employees but we need to plan for resources. One new system we implemented last year is a global recognition program which I will be speaking about at IHRIM in June 2014. This year is a full plate of electronic filing, new time and attendance and selecting a new payroll system and an applicant tracking system for China.

When did you join IHRIM and why?
I first joined IHRIM in 1997. I started a new job and my manager was a member and took me to my first IHRIM Annual Conference my second week on the job because someone else was too busy with a project.

What is the greatest value you get from your membership?
I would say both the connections I have made and the learning sessions at the annual conference.

Is there any advice you would give other members?
Take advantage at the conference to connect with others and link with them because there will be a time when you or they can benefit from connecting again.

What was the primary reason(s) you became an IHRIM volunteer and joined the Volunteer Connections Group?
IHRIM over the years has always provided me with many opportunities for learning both about technology but also how to grow in the world of HRIS. I wanted to be able to share my knowledge and help enhance that opportunity for newer members.

Please describe your IHRIM volunteer experience as a session coordinator for the conference.
I have presented three times at IHRIM in the past and really appreciated the session coordinator’s help during those times. I thought it would be great to be able to help someone else presenting for the first time knowing what it was like to be in that position. Being a session coordinator gave me the opportunity to see sessions I normally would have not have selected; so I learned about some new areas. Then I was still able to have the conference CD so I wouldn’t miss out on the sessions I normally would have attended.

What have you enjoyed most about your volunteer experience(s)?
The people! It really is amazing how smooth everything runs with mostly just volunteers. Everyone is working hard to make it a great experience for the attendees.

How do you see being a volunteer benefiting your career?
Keeping connected with IHRIM keeps me up to date on the latest ideas and trends. This way I can be the first to bring them back to my company or at least I am knowledgeable when my VP brings them up in a meeting. “Have you heard about xxx?” Volunteering and expanding my network gives me more ability to reach out to others when I run into tough spots and need advice from others in HRIS.

Any other perspective you want to share with the IHRIM audience?
Even if you don’t volunteer I encourage IHRIM members to be involved. This might be asking questions in sessions at the annual conference, participating in webinars, or posting/commenting on questions in CORE.

One final question – if you could meet one person in your lifetime who would it be and why?
Well it would be hard because he has already passed on but it would be Gene Roddenberry. He was such a visionary of what the future could be like. Almost all of the technology on Star Trek, outside of the super-fast space travel, has come to life. Here are just a few items communicators, disks for computers, computers that talk to you and take commands from you, computers that hold all the history and information of the past not to mention all the medical equipment. It’s amazing the speed of technology advancement over the last 20 years, let alone since Star Trek was first aired in the 60’s. I just hope the actual space travel part will come true and maybe I will get to experience it in my lifetime.

For more information on IHRIM’s Volunteer Program and how you can get involved, go to

+ posts

Related Articles

Join the world’s largest community of HR information management professionals.

Scroll to Top