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Meet Sharon Royster!

Sharon Royster
Human Resources Specialist
Finance Department

fWhat are your primary responsibilities—the job elements you focus on the most?

As a human resources specialist, I assist the senior director, human resources, in developing, implementing and coordinating policies and programs covering the human resources function at APTA. These include employment (recruiting, interviewing, testing and reference checking), benefits (I assist the senior director in developing and managing the benefits package for APTA employees) and compensation (I assist with administration of APTA’s compensation program).

I also conduct orientation and training sessions for new employees, counsel staff members on association-related concerns, policies and procedures, and participate in planning and implementing projects as assigned. For example, I coordinated the employee benefits fair where employees could learn more about their insurance and other benefits.  I also took part in planning the annual holiday party and other staff events.

I don’t have much direct contact with APTA members, but I provide support when they visit our Washington, DC, offices. I also help with APTA’s monthly Transportation Tuesdays program, which brings in transportation experts to discuss their areas of expertise.

I am a member of the internal Customer Service Working Group, which strengthens our customer service best practices with an ongoing focus on APTA members. The group delivered three rounds of workshops for APTA staff in June. The workshops addressed several customer service areas, including ways to help APTA reinforce its core goal of providing top-notch customer service to our members.

What initiatives, projects, or programs have you worked on at APTA that you have taken particular pride in completing?
My duties include a major role in APTA’s new hire orientation program, which recently has been updated. Through this process, HR documents the first few months of an employee’s tenure. Now, the individual departments also do their own quarterly orientation programs for new hires.

In retrospect, one of the things I’m proudest of is being part of APTA’s move into its new offices on I Street NW; in fact, the day of the move was my first day on the job.

Starting on our first day in the new APTA offices, I immediately felt like part of the APTA team because the staff was very welcoming and excited about being in our beautiful new space. The day started with breakfast and a briefing in the reception area, then everyone worked on unpacking their boxes, setting up their areas as well as helping one another get settled into their spaces. I’m pleased that I helped put the finishing touches on the new space.

Have you held other jobs in the public transportation industry? What brought you to APTA and how long have you worked here?
I never worked in public transportation, but I’ve always been a big supporter. I live in DC and take the bus to work.

Before joining APTA about nine months ago, I worked in human resources for three Marriott hotels—the historic Mayflower in downtown DC and the Renaissance and Residence Inn in Arlington, VA—for four and a half years. That job taught me a lot about customer service: As an employee of a large company, working with people from all over the world, I learned to connect with guests, labor unions and the human resources offices at the regional and global levels.

Earlier I worked for two other associations, which introduced me to the kind of member-centered duties I have at APTA.

What professional affiliations do you have?

I’m a member of the DC Chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management.

Could you tell us something about yourself that might surprise us?
I enjoy all types of music, such as jazz, R&B, gospel, classical and pop.
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