About Us


AzHREF was founded by four HR senior professionals, Scott Smith, Steve Biddle, Kathleen Duffy and Brad Harper, who wanted to bring HR thought leaders and executive level discussion to the Valley. They held a focus group to assess other HR Leaders’ needs and perspectives. The focus group’s results supported the desire and need for additional HR executive level programs and networking opportunities.

Scott attended a National Human Resource Planning Society (HRPS) Conference in the late 1990s, enjoyed the experience and was impressed by the caliber of the speakers. HRPS was the leading executive level HR association in the U.S with strong international ties. Based on his experience and further interaction with HRPS, they decided to become an affiliate of HRPS. They applied for affiliate status and became a chapter in 2004

As leaders of the new affiliate, Scott and Brad enticed national level speakers to the Valley. The first program held at America West’s Headquarters was well attended and received rave reviews. AzHREF grew to become a vibrant center of HR thought. In 2018, AzHREF withdrew from HRPS  and became an independent professional association.


In response to the changing landscape of work, AzHREF has exciting new programs. These include:

  • Six to Nine strategic, timely, and relevant HR forums. Programs are pre-certified for CEU credits.

  • Programs that support the career development of the local HR community.

  • Community outreach opportunities with local non-profits to support growing talent in the business community

To learn more about AZHREF contact one of the board members to discuss an opportunity to attend your first meeting as their guest.