Shay Runion, chief human resources officer and senior vice president of professional development for Atlanta, Ga.-based Arrow Exterminators, was awarded the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s inaugural 2018 HR Hero Award. The award recognizes HR professionals in the metro Atlanta area who have made a specific, tangible impact on their workplace in the last year, and have a track record of using their role to make their offices productive, safe and creative environments for all team members.
“Shay is a very easy person for me to talk about,” says Emily Thomas Kendrick, president and CEO of Arrow Exterminators. “She’s one of the finest leaders I’ve ever encountered. She inspires me and everyone around her to want to do more and reach for excellence in every aspect of life. You will not find a person with a harder work ethic than Shay Runion. She makes everything she touches at our company better, and it’s a true honor to work and play with Shay as we build a sustainable company for generations to come.”
“Shay upholds the mission, vision and core values of Arrow by implementing consistent standards across the company that live up to our gut check of clear conscience,” says Tim Pollard, senior executive vice president and COO for Arrow Exterminators. “HR can sometimes be a difficult position, but everyone knows that Shay will hold everyone to the same standard and that creates a positive work environment.”
“Maybe it is a character flaw, but I am not a big fan of surprises,” teases Runion. “I like to be prepared for everything! However, at this year’s Fiscal Kick-Off Meeting, the Arrow Family gave me a wonderful surprise! It was announced that I was a recipient of the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s HR Hero Award. To top it off, they had coordinated with my husband so that my parents and my two boys could attend the meeting to witness my surprise!”
Runion notes that her family, including her sons who are 9 and 11, “play such a huge role in my success at Arrow, as they are the ones that lend a listening ear, encourage me, help with the boys’ schedules and are my anchors. It is very humbling to know that the teams that I work with every day nominated me for this recognition. Some of my favorite times at Arrow involve the one-on-one conversations that I have had with team members who I have been able to watch grow in their careers. My teams have both designed and carried out strategic plans that have helped make Arrow Exterminators a top place to work, and I am honored to be a part of and lead each one of them. The teams I work with here are the true heroes.”
Runion previously served on the Georgia Pest Control Association (GPCA) Executive Board for more than four years. She is still very involved with the state association, serving as a region director, several committees, and spearheading the Professional Women of GPCA group. She serves as Co-Chair for the National Pest Management Association’s Professional Women group and Chair of the newest committee, the Recruitment and Retention Committee in which she will use her HR expertise.
Runion is a Georgia department of Agriculture approved speaker, helps facilitate train-the-trainer, and has previously served as the GPCA Leadership Chairman and the Education committee co-chair.
“My role as the HR Leader at Arrow is more than a job or even a career,” she points out. “I believe there is a purpose for everything, including the reason I have gone from wanting to be a doctor to doing entomology work at the company to leading our HR and training functions at the company. I strive to always be a good steward of the opportunities and responsibilities that I have been entrusted with. The company’s mission, vision, core values and culture begin with our HR and Professional Development Teams. We are the ‘culture warriors,’ and it is my responsibility to uphold this with all our team members. From recruiting, onboarding, career growth, professional development, payroll, benefits, discipline, to terminations, our interactions must demonstrate Arrow’s passionate workplace and family culture.”
When she is not working, Runion is a member of the Board of Visitors for Truett McConnell College in Georgia. Her contributions extend to her community, in which she works with several local schools as a senior project professional mentor and booster club supporter. She resides in Canton, Ga., with her husband, Jeff, and sons Zeb and Eason. Their family is involved in their church, where she enjoys singing. hey spend family time playing sports and watching sporting events. You can find the four of them at their church, the ballfield or riding four-wheelers and dirt bikes.
“I am honored to have worked in the pest control industry my entire career, for over 18 years,” Runion concludes. “And I’m thankful for Arrow Exterminators and the 2,200+ Team Members who have made my past 12 years with Arrow truly a pleasure.”