I am lucky to have found a way to combine my outside interests with my formal training and call it work! As a former physical education teacher, coach, and official, I found my way into human resources when a mentor took me under his wing and declared I’d make a great HR professional.
My mentor knew what he was doing because I served as the human resources leader for that employer for almost 27 years, earning my master’s degree in labor and employee relations from the University of Illinois along the way. After a merger eliminated my position, I took a few years to travel, spend more time with my family, and decompress from corporate life. During that time I saw the final leg of the Tour de France in 2012 and spent time at the London Olympics, where I attended five events. That is a trip that will be hard to top.
Human Kinetics was always an organization that I had kept my eye on because Rainer Martens was one of my instructors at the University of Illinois while I earned my bachelor’s degree. When I had a telephone interview with Rainer, I have to admit, I let him know that I earned an A in his class, but of course, after hundreds of students, he had no idea who I was!
I knew I could put my heart and soul into this company because the company gives the same back to employees. I enjoy working with the variety of people and high level of talent among all the HK staff. The importance of employee culture and environment and the work ethic exhibited here make this a wonderful place to be a professional in human resources.
Some of the projects that I’ll be concentrating on in the next few months are updating our performance appraisal and compensation systems, advancing diversity initiatives in the company, leadership development, and retention strategies.