Assistant Director of Human Resources, County of Yolo
Past President – July 2020 through June 2022
Where did you grow up?
Mostly in the general Sacramento region. I was born in Kentucky on a military base and moved around a lot until the mid 80’s when my parents settled in Sacramento.
Finish this sentence: On Sunday mornings, you can usually find me....
..drinking coffee, listening to music, and cleaning my house to get ready for the next work week.
What college(s) did you attend? Can you list your degrees, any honors, and involvement in Human Resources organizations during school?
I graduated from CSU, Sacramento with BA in Business Administration and a Masters in Business Administration, both with an emphasis in Human Resources.
WORK & PROFESSIONAL LIFE
Describe your responsibilities and some significant projects.
As Assistant Director, I oversee various Human Resources functional areas including recruitment, class & comp, employee relations, payroll, benefits, leaves management and workers compensation programs. I also sit on all labor teams for contract negotiations. This year has been quite different in terms of projects, and most of what I am working on is related/in response to COVID.
What skills do you find most valuable to focus on in your career?
I think you have to be creative and flexible with regards to problem solving. Communication skills, like listening for understanding, are very significant to the work we do in Human Resources. Also critical thinking skills seem to be something I use in most areas of Human Resources.
IPMA-HR & PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
How/Why did you get involved?
Why did you choose to stay involved? – I got involved because I was new to public sector and a co-worker mentioned it to me. I became a member, went to trainings, and started to get to know other HR professionals outside of my organization. I was a great way for me to grow within my public sector career, as well as develop a personal network of resources and friends. After a few years of being a member, I joined the Board in 2010 and have been involved ever since!
What is your favorite benefit of your involvement in the Sacramento-Mother Lode IPMA-HR Chapter?
I think the relationships that I have built over the years. It has benefitted me professionally and personally to get to know so many excellent people in HR. There is something very valuable in having other HR practitioners outside of your organization to run things by, especially the really challenging situations.
If you have one piece of advice to give to young professionals what would it be?
Get involved! Not just with IPMA-HR but within your organization! Join cross-functional teams and learn about other areas of your organization outside of HR (i.e. how does your budget process work) because it is important to understand your whole organization, not just Human Resources. Also allow yourself in stretch to assignments that make you uncomfortable, as that’s where the most growth will come from. Don’t be afraid to step up before you feel 100% ready.
Lastly, what would be your personal motto?
I really like the quote by Maya Angelou “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”