The Power of the HR Community #ATributeToElle
Jason Seiden is a steadfast figure within the HR community. He’s taught us how to Self-Destruct, the power of storytelling, and the marriage of high-tech and high-touch. He’s presented at hundreds of conferences, coached dozens of executives, blogged, vlogged, and loaned his expertise to anyone who needed his incredibly unique perspective.
But at his core, Jason is a dad. If you have the pleasure of meeting him, he’ll tell you about his two girls and you can see the love he exudes with every story, adventure, and hardship. With a mix of laughter and eye-rolling, Jason finds unbridled joy in discussing the trials and tribulations of raising his daughters.
Hardship and hope — that’s what brings us to today.
It was 10:39 p.m. CDT on July 26 when the first message arrived. Entitled “Sharing Some Sad News,” that was the moment we learned of the passing of a wonderful young woman by the name of Elle Seiden. Jason’s eldest daughter, Elle, had been fighting a rare disease called CRPS.
When you feel helpless, it’s human nature to want to do something — anything! — to lessen the pain of those impacted. I felt a need for action and asked our community if they agreed. Instantly, the words “I’m in” came from every corner of the globe and industry.
What happened next was remarkable:
- The wonderful Susan Strayer LaMotte secured the URL ATributeToElle.com and applied her design and communication skills to prepare a memorial website.
- The prolific Laurie Ruettimann began writing the messaging.
- Elle’s favorite charities were contacted and immediately engaged in a campaign in Elle’s honor.
- One such charity, the Human Rights Campaign agreed to fly a flag at its headquarters on September 7 in honor of Elle’s legacy. This was entirely due to the impassioned efforts of the great Amanda Hite.
- Fundraising began and the hashtag #ATributeToElle was born.
- A Day of Giving was established. That day is today, Jason’s birthday.
You see, less than 24 hours after learning of the untimely passing of Elle Seiden, this HR community of ours had mobilized to begin a movement. As of the time of this posting, over 100,000 impressions have been made, tens of thousands of dollars donated, and every possible expression of hope and love conveyed in honor of a daughter, sister, granddaughter, and friend who was lost too soon.
At IA, we’re committed to doing our part. That’s why we’re making a $1,000 donation to each of Elle’s favorite charities in her name: The Human Rights Campaign, The True Colors Fund, and The Burning Limb Foundation.
Throughout the past few weeks, I have witnessed friends, colleagues, and complete strangers expressing messages of love and support. I ask that you open your hearts and wallets, and make a donation of any size as your own Tribute to Elle. And when you need support, just know that the HR community is here to help.
With over 25 years of experience, Mark Stelzner has worked for organizations of every size and vertical. He has spent his career fostering relationships through attention to detail, natural curiosity, and a self-deprecating sense of humor.