GWLA winners discuss application, impact of award

The Gary Willis Leadership Award recognizes managers and directors who have made outstanding leadership and operations contributions to their organizations and demonstrated a commitment to continuing educational opportunities in pursuit of operational excellence. Below, three past winners discuss their careers and the impact of the award, and offer advice to potential applicants.

Visit the winner profile page to learn more about past winners.


"If you don't challenge yourself and push yourself out of your comfort zone consistently, you're not going to be able to grow...and that doesn't just mean promotions. That means growing ourselves, growing our knowledge base, growing our talents...and the Gary Willis Leadership Award has really helped me do all that."

2016 Award Recipient Lotus Yon
Manager, Training Programs & HR Projects
Northwest Community Healthcare, Arlington Heights, Ill.




"I don't think there's anything better than the networking that ASHHRA has made available to us through the conference, just the opportunity to connect with different vendors, to learn from other healthcare organizations throughout the United States, and to continue to push that needle forward when it comes to the collaboration between all of us and the innovation in health care human resources."

2015 Award Recipient Tracy Braman, SPHR
Human Resources Executive Director
Lakeland Health, Saint Joseph, Mich.




"The application process taught me a lot about myself and my value to my organization. Overall, I would say winning this award has helped to validate my leadership abilities and will continue to substantiate my leadership skills."

2014 Award Recipient Tonya Richards, PHR, MS
Director of Human Resources
Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center, Brooklyn, N.Y.