Speaker

April Simpkins, SHRM-CP
Chief Human Resources Officer
Totalhr
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April is a dually certified HR Professional with 30 years of executive-level Human Resources experience. April is an HR Consultant and the Chief Human Resources Officer for Totalhr, a human resources services firm focused on supporting the HR needs of small- to mid-sized businesses. She has helped over 1000 business owners shape and develop their human capital.

April's experience and expertise, coupled with her continued study of Human Resources trends, have made her a trusted advisor for many in the business community. It also led to an invitation to The Business Journal Leadership Trust, allowing April to share her expertise with leaders nationwide. She has been a requested presenter and guest speaker for organizations that include Harvard University Extension School, Winthrop University, The Citadel, EEOC, and The City of Charleston, to name a few. The SHRM Speakers Bureau represents her.

April is a board member of the York County Regional Chamber and the SC Small Business Development Centers (SBDC). She is the Chapter Chair for the Charlotte affiliate of the Women Presidents Organization (WPO), a non-profit membership organization for women presidents, CEOs, and managing directors of privately held, multimillion-dollar companies. In 2016 WPO honored April with the Woman of Color Award for her business achievements. In 2021 April received the prestigious WPO Presidents Award.

April chaired the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee for Greenville SHRM. In 2020 April received the Unsung Hero Award from Greenville SHRM for her exemplary leadership in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. She was the South Carolina Society for Human Resources Management Diversity Director from 2018 to 2020. Her service and commitment to the HR community and the profession's advancement led to her selection as a member of the HR Advisory Board for Winthrop University in Rock Hill, SC. There, she works with a team of HR thought leaders charged with designing the human resources undergraduate and postgraduate degree curriculum and programs.

April has received many awards and honors for her business acumen. Her awards include The 2020 Women In Business Achievement Award from the Charlotte Business Journal, the 2018 Fort Mill/ Tega Cay Business Person of The Year Award from the York County Regional Chamber, and the Movers & Shaker Award given by Business Leader Magazine. In 2016, April was named one of Charlotte's 50 Most Influential Women by Mecklenburg Times. In 2022 April was named to the impressive list of  100 Women to KNOW In America.

April is also an advocate for mental health. She became a more visible advocate following the passing of her beloved daughter, Cheslie Kryst. Cheslie battled depression for many years. In January 2022, Cheslie succumbed to her battle with depression and died by suicide. April, an ambassador for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), is committed to breaking the stigma of mental illness. April has shared Cheslie's story emphasizing the importance of mental health on programs like Red Table Talk, CBS Mornings, and ExtraTV. She has also contributed to print media, including an article in the New York Times.

April is a classically trained pianist, an avid runner, athlete, mother, wife, and entrepreneur.