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American Society of Employers announces award winners
August 31, 2004
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Southfield, Mich. -- The American Society of Employers (ASE), one the nation's oldest and largest employers associations, has announced the winners of its 1st Annual ASE Michigan HR Executive of the Year Award.

Presented to executives in both large and small organizations, ASE's Michigan HR Executive of the Year Award recognizes meritorious work by executives in the field of human resources management, and distinguishes those who represent the best in their profession.  This year's award will be presented at ASE's 2004 Annual Summit at The Ritz-Carlton, Dearborn (Michigan) on October 6th, starting at 5:30 p.m.

"This award is recognition of the fact that a company's success is driven by its most important asset -- its people," says Mary Lee Corrado, President and CEO of the American Society of Employers.  "This award recognizes the ability of both recipients to work with management and staff to drive performance and create positive change."

The ASE Michigan HR Executive of the Year Award recipients are:

Joe W. Laymon, Group Vice President, Corporate Human Resources and Labor Affairs, Ford Motor Company.  Recognized among HR executives of Michigan companies with more than 1000 employees, Laymon is well known for his distinguished career as an advocate for the employee.  He has demonstrated this commitment at Ford Motor Company, as well as through his prior work with the State Department, Kodak Company and the 17 years he spent at Xerox Corporation.  He has an extensive background in all human resource disciplines, including labor relations, leadership development, and recruiting and retention.  Laymon began his career at Ford Motor Company in 2000 as the company's first African-American group vice president.  Laymon, a native of Enterprise, Mississippi, is educated in economics and holds degrees from Jackson State University and the University of Wisconsin.  He is an active board member of numerous organizations, including The Conference Board's Advisory Council on HR Management; American Society of Employers; HR Policy Association; National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering, Inc.; Douglas A. Fraser Center for Workplace Issues; and the National Technical Institute for the Deaf at the Rochester Institute of Technology.

Recognized among HR executives of Michigan companies with fewer than 1000 employees is Laura Gutierrez, Director of Human Resources of The Ritz-Carlton, Dearborn.  Gutierrez, who began her career at The Ritz-Carlton in 1989, was promoted to the role of director in 1994 after positions in benefits administration, employment, and training and development.  She is recognized for her successful role as a strategic business partner with The Ritz-Carlton, Dearborn.  Recently, recognized by The Ritz-Carlton Hotels for Human Resource Excellence, Laura continues to distinguish herself as a leader in human resources.  Co-workers describe her as a truly genuine and caring individual who is a perfect fit in Human Resources.  These sentiments are demonstrated in the care she shows to the staff and through community involvement efforts.  Gutierrez is a member of the Society of Human Resource Management; The Human Resource Association of Greater Detroit; Drag Racing Association of Women, and the Catholic Central Mother's Club.  Laura is SPHR and PHR certified.  
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