Features HR Executives

Elaine Ubakanma – H. J. Russell & Company

When Elaine Ubakanma immigrated from Jamaica to the U.S., she was a little over 16, and her father abandoned her less than three months after she arrived. Years later, in 1989, she got a job with H. J. Russell & Company as a secretary. “I wanted to receive higher education, of course, but the cost […]

Madison Grey – NFM Lending

With over two decades of experience in the human resources industry, Madison Grey has learned that employees are the building blocks of a company—and that the human resources department is its foundation. A strong foundation is necessary to ensure that employees are engaged at work and are satisfied with their benefits. It also staunches a […]

Catherine F. Lamson – MEMIC

Tending to personnel matters for 10 years at a Maine bank had its moments, but Catherine F. Lamson had an epiphany of sorts during the 1980s. Health care seemed a wilder ride, “where rubber meets the road,” she recalls thinking. So she took her HR skillset from banking to a hospital, then to a diagnostics […]

Robin Cerrati – Restaurant Associates

When visitors grab a bite to eat at the Morgan Library in New York City or the Smithsonian Institution Museums in Washington, D.C., their food isn’t being cooked by archivists or other museum staff. Instead, it’s provided by employees of Restaurant Associates, a contractor to these and other cultural institutions. Now celebrating its 75th anniversary, […]

Maria Luisa Marcano – Ricardo Perez

While the COVID-19 pandemic slowed down the world, it helped accelerate the digital and cultural transformation at Ricardo Perez, S.A., an automotive distributor and dealer based in Central America. According to Maria Luisa Marcano, since 2014, the company has been reinventing how it interacts with its customers—and its employees. The pandemic simply accelerated the process; […]

Al Carlson and Charlie Nelson – KLN Family Brands

Retirement seemed beckoning two years ago for Al Carlson, but the amiable grandfather has been reenergized since his college football coach introduced him to Charlie Nelson, the third-generation owner of KLN Family Brands in the western Minnesota community of Perham. Nelson wanted to grow the family’s confectionery and pet food business into a billion-dollar company […]

Dawn Ponico – Mitchell Martin

With the global pandemic moving everything from timesheets to happy hours into the digital arena, companies across the nation very suddenly needed information technology staff. Dawn Ponico’s employer—the information technology and healthcare staffing firm Mitchell Martin—helped meet that demand, sourcing over 1800 employees for clients during 2021. It also grew its own staff. As Ponico […]

Kelley Mudgett – Culligan International

When tap water comes out murky or has a strange taste, people are often afraid of what’s in it. Some of the most dangerous contaminants can’t be seen, smelled or tasted, though. That’s why Culligan International products are certified for invisible toxins, such as lead and arsenic. “Fortunately, the U.S. has standards, but it is […]

Dr. Brian D. Agnew – Sphinx Minerva Group

While he has no hesitation around vaccinations, Dr. Brian D. Agnew can empathize with communities that do. “I saw a letter from a mayor who said, ‘we don’t want our community used as a guinea pig,’” he tells Vision in November. “I do believe that hesitancy about the vax is a much larger issue than […]

Freda Stolz – VXI Global Solutions

In the year 2000, the world entered a new millennium—and Freda Stolz entered a new, unexpected chapter of her career, switching her focus from marketing to human resources. She quickly discovered the two areas are more similar than they appeared. In the late 1990s, working as a marketing coordinator at a mining and metals company, […]

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