The Indiana Chamber of Commerce says, for the first time, two people have won its Ogletree Deakins Human Resources Professional of the Year honor. Executives from Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance Co. and Federal Home Loan Bank of Indianapolis are sharing the honor.

April 29, 2015

News Release

Indianapolis, Ind. — The Indiana Chamber of Commerce announced today that two industry veterans from Indianapolis will share the 2015 Ogletree Deakins Human Resources Professional of the Year honor. It's the first time in the award's history that two individuals so impressed the judging panel and were deemed equally deserving says the Indiana Chamber.

Anita R. Bunten, executive director of talent management at Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance Company (IFBI), and LaVonne Cate, senior vice president-chief administrative officer at Federal Home Loan Bank of Indianapolis (FHLBI), were honored during a luncheon at the 51st Annual Human Resources Conference & Expo at the Indianapolis Marriott East.

The HR Professional of the Year award is a statewide recognition given annually to those that provide lasting impact through the implementation of best practices, organization design and effectiveness and accomplishment of the company's strategic direction.

Anita R. Bunten

“Anita is especially talented at facilitating resolutions to employee relations issues without additional conflicts or litigation, consistent with the family-friendly culture of our company,” praises Lynn B. Jongleux, senior vice president, general counsel and secretary at IFBI.

Bunten has spent her entire 40-year human resources career at the company. In her nomination, she was especially lauded for her contributions to IFBI's strategic direction and its long-term corporate goals. She recently managed the implementation of a new HR information system, which has streamlined the way HR can interact with employees and vice versa.

According to Jongleux, Bunten also has played an instrumental role in the attraction, retention and training of employees – something that has been a particular focus for IFBI for a decade. Bunten led a team that created a new, visual roadmap for training and development activities that Jongleux believes “will be relevant for years to come.”

LaVonne Cate

“LaVonne has shone in every (HR) role she has held (in 19 years with the company), taking on a huge span of HR responsibilities that at most companies would be split between two or three individuals,” shares Cindy Konich, president and CEO at FHLBI.

As FHLBI's HR leader, Cate oversees all staffing, hiring, mentoring, succession planning and benefits. She has particularly excelled, says Konich, with the strategic direction for the hiring policies that has resulted in building an effective, high-functioning team. Cate also serves as an ethics officer for the bank; she educates and counsels employees regarding the bank's code of conduct, and enforces it when needed.

“LaVonne wears many hats. She is quite simply the glue of this organization – a proactive leader and mentor that adapts her style as needed to get the job done while achieving buy-in from all involved,” Konich states.

Source: Indiana Chamber of Commerce

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