‘Human Resource Executive’ recognizes five visionary HR’s Rising Stars

The need for innovation and agility in HR has likely never been more pronounced. Emerging technologies like AI, widening skills gaps and ongoing labor shortages are revolutionizing the profession and requiring people leaders to refine their skills and strategies.

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That work is producing next-gen HR talent primed to lead organizations into the future of work.

Five such leaders were recently named as Human Resource Executive’s 2024 HR’s Rising Stars.

Now in its 19th year, the competition honors up-and-coming HR leaders who have demonstrated leadership excellence, an ability to innovate and a proven record of driving HR success through effective strategy and program development.

HR’s Rising Stars for 2024

This year’s winners—who were recognized today during Human Resource Executive’s Elevate People, Ignite Change Conference in Las Vegas—are:

Anagha Bildikar

Vice president, global head, HR Operations and Technology


Among her accomplishments at the global payroll and EOR solutions provider, Bildikar overhauled the organization’s talent acquisition process, leveraging AI and advanced analytics to reduce hiring time by 30%. She also established the HR Analytics Center of Excellence to better align HR and business strategies, ultimately enhancing employee engagement scores by 20%. She has also led critical change management and transformation projects for client companies and was key to securing three partnerships with Fortune 500 companies.

See also: Why this leader dedicates 60% of her time to mentoring

Xan Daniels

Vice president, global inclusion and diversity leader

Alight Solutions

Dayana Falcon of ESPN and Xan Dan
Dayana Falcon of ESPN and Xan Daniels of Alight Solutions celebrate their wins at the EPIC conference at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. (Photo courtesy Dayana Falcon)

Daniels’ contributions to Alight—a human capital technology and services provider that employs more than 18,000 people—have been key in helping the organization “focus on cultivating a work environment that values every colleague,” says CEO Stephan Scholl. They include revamping job description language to become more inclusive, conducting outreach to incoming diverse talent as well as leading the organization’s transformation to skills-based hiring, efforts that were critical to its year-over-year progress on attracting and retaining diverse talent. Daniels also built out Alight’s mentorship program, designed for its multi-generational, predominantly remote, workforce.

See also: Driving global diversity success at Alight

Dayana Falcon

Talent mobility manager


Guided by a commitment to igniting a “culture of career” at the global sports giant with 5,000 employees, Falcon established the organization’s Career Coaching practice and launched a new on-site Career Center at ESPN’s Charlotte location. She has led the expansion of ESPN’s Global All-Star Talent Showcase, highlighting employee innovations, and created an immersive business development and learning experience aimed at driving multicultural fan engagement. Many of the talent mobility programs she spearheaded are now being scaled across The Walt Disney Co., parent company of ESPN.

Meet her: A visionary leader inspiring a ‘culture of career’ at ESPN

Michelle Hamilton

Vice president, People


Among efforts to tackle rising turnover at the global provider of strategic workforce education, Hamilton focused on new L&D and employee engagement efforts, strategically building out the HR team with professionals to lead that work and achieving a 10% reduction in turnover in one year. She helped lead the creation of Instride Together, an inclusion-focused initiative that introduced unconscious bias training, employee listening activities and a forthcoming sponsorship program.

See also:  A hunger for building drives this leader’s success at InStride

Anthony Ormsbee-Hale

Senior vice president, Strategic Operations

Civitas Senior Living

At the senior living management company that employs 2,400, Ormsbee-Hale has focused recent efforts on improving manager training and effectiveness, including through the development of AI-powered guides that offer micro-learning opportunities on critical management topics. The initiative was credited with reducing internal conflict by 25% within just six months and increasing team productivity by 15%. Ormsbee-Hale also created an Executive Director-in-Training Program, whose participants saw markedly higher rates of promotion and retention.

See also: ‘Curiosity’ is driving HR change at Civitas Senior Living


The 2024 HR’s Rising Stars winners were selected by a panel of four judges: Gregory Hessel, senior client partner and managing director of client development at Korn Ferry; Dawn Klinghoffer, vice president, HR Business Insights, at Microsoft and a 2023 HR’s Rising Star; Heather Vogel, chief talent officer at Children’s Home Society of Florida and a 2023 inductee into HRE‘s HR Honor Roll; and Jennie Yang, senior vice president of people at 15Five and a 2022 HR’s Rising Star.

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“This year’s Rising Stars winners embody the future of HR: strategic, innovative and collaborative,” says Rebecca McKenna, senior vice president, HR Portfolio, at ETC, which owns Human Resource ExecutiveÂź. “These five professionals have pioneered forward-thinking programs tackling issues like retention, employee engagement, DE&I and the skills gap, among other challenges, and created scalable solutions with measurable impacts.

“We look forward to seeing all of the influence they will continue to bring to their respective organizations and to the HR profession as a whole in the coming years.”

Human Resource ExecutiveÂź will publish in-depth profiles on each Rising Star in the coming days.

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Jen Colletta
Jen Colletta is managing editor at HRE. She earned bachelor's and master's degrees in writing from La Salle University in Philadelphia and spent 10 years as a newspaper reporter and editor before joining HRE. She can be reached at [email protected].