For the 2015 HR Excellence Awards, Columbus CEO secured a stellar group of nine judges who reviewed nominations in three groups of three judges each.

Past winners of the HR Excellence Awards and local business professionals reviewed nominations to select this year's winners and finalists. For the 2015 HR Excellence Awards, Columbus CEO secured a stellar group of nine judges who reviewed nominations in three groups of three judges each.

Executive of the Year

Executive of the Year recognizes an individual who has demonstrated significant achievements that advance both a person's organization and the HR profession. Nominations were categorized by workforce size: large organizations have more than 2,000 employees, midsize between 500 and 2,000 employees and small organizations fewer than 500 employees.

Scott Everhart is president, founder and senior plan consultant with Everhart Advisors, an independent registered investment advisory firm serving corporations and individuals.

Katie McGrath is senior VP and director of HR for Columbus-based marketing and communications agency Fahlgren Mortine. She was 2014 HR Executive of the Year in the small organization category.

Nicole Smith is past president of the Human Resources Association of Central Ohio and is also the owner and president of Talent Resource Group. She is a senior recruiter at Grange Insurance.

HR Innovation

HR Innovation recognizes creative strategies for improved results in areas such as compensation and benefits, employee recognition and retention, strategic alignment, succession planning, talent acquisition or assessment, use of technology and work-life balance.

Tony Fiore is of counsel at Kegler, Brown, Hill + Ritter LPA and works closely with HR management professionals as government affairs director on the Ohio State Council of the Society for Human Resource Management.

Brad Harshaw is managing partner of Strategic Business Services. Harshaw has also taught more than 20 years as an adjunct faculty member at Columbus State Community College in the Human Resource Management Technology Program.

Teresa Shuler is the owner of Express Employment Professionals and vice president of resource partnerships for the Human Resources Association of Central Ohio. Her Downtown agency specializes in administrative and legal support staffing.

Future Leader/Good Work/Lifetime Achievement

Future Leader recognizes a rising star in HR with less than five years' experience. Good Works-open to individuals or organizations-recognizes a notable commitment to the community achieved through charitable, philanthropic, volunteer or other efforts. Lifetime Achievement recognizes a longtime or retired HR professional who has demonstrated exceptional leadership, knowledge, decision-making skills and commitment.

Gretchen Green is a retired director of HR for the Ohio Secretary of State's office and winner of the inaugural HR Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012.

Michael Renzelman is a CPA and director of risk management and quality control processes with business services consulting firm Schneider Downs.

Tammie Spayde is vice president of corporate human resources for OCLC. She was the first HR Executive of the Year for midsize organizations in 2012.