While participating with her local Dallas Chapter of the APA, Danita Lewis, Global Account Director with iiPay, recognized the need for global payroll professionals to “have an avenue to grow and support one another.” Now, Lewis is the first President of the Texas Chapter of the Global Payroll Management Institute (GPMI).
During an interview with Global Payroll, Lewis discussed the goals she has set for the new group and how networking opportunities will drive the chapter.
Why and how did you become involved with global payroll?
My background includes working in people and culture for Fortune 500 global companies. Payroll was always a part of my work experience, so moving to a payroll-specific role was a natural progression.
How did you get involved with your GPMI chapter?
My work focused specifically on helping companies in more than 170 countries around the world. There is no other organization that supports that work more than GPMI. It’s one-stop shopping for the progressive global payroll professional.
What have you learned in your role as President?
Regional chapters are much needed and welcomed. The amount of support and people who are ready to jump in and support the chapter has been a welcome surprise.
What do you most enjoy about the chapter?
Spending time with the people in the chapter—and certainly learning from them. There is a wealth of information in every meeting, and the information-sharing is amazing. We have great camaraderie.
What goals would you like to achieve for the GPMI chapter?
I would like to establish a roundtable for our members—a go-to panel for experts, either by function or country or both. We have so much knowledge, and we want to make sure the chapter has easy access.
What do you feel makes your chapter unique?
Well, it’s Texas for heaven’s sake! We make everything bigger and better. Actually, again, it’s the people. They are caring and giving and have a willingness to share that exceeds anything you would expect.
Do you think your chapter has any challenges specific to your area?
Large geography is a challenge, but with virtual learning and meetings at an all-time high, those things are less of an issue. It’s a great way to share the success across the state.
What kind of networking opportunities do you have?
The initial role of the chapter was to survey and address the needs of the chapter members. They were quick to identify that learning, networking, and career development were the top things they were looking for from the chapter. So, every meeting is an opportunity for networking, plus we have a LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter presence that allows members to communicate with one another.
What GPMI resources do you use often, and how do those resources help with the chapter?
What don’t I use? It’s a go-to for when you have a question. I like the industry news updates in the American Payroll Association’s (APA) PAYTECH magazine and the searchable information on the GPMI website—country-specific, legislative updates, partners, and emerging issues. Everything you need is available with the APA and GPMI. I’m also a member of the APA’s Global Issues Subcommittee of the Strategic Payroll Leadership Task Force (SPLTF), so I get a chance to contribute to how GPMI serves the greater global population.
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Caren Bennett is the Editorial Assistant of the Editorial Division of the Global Payroll Management Institute (GPMI) and the American Payroll Association (APA).