Category: Women of HR Interviews

Social Media & Marketing: Meet Laurie Ruettimann

Posted on August 15th, by Shauna Moerke in Women of HR Interviews. 2 comments

Good morning Women of HR readers! We have an uber special interview for you today. In fact, I'm sure a lot of you have been waiting for this interview for a while. So if you are as excited as I am, I should get right to it then!

This morning we will be speaking to one of my favorite people: Laurie Ruettimann!

With over a decade of Human Resources experience in Fortune 500 organizations, Laurie Ruettimann is an influential speaker, writer and social media expert who now works with The Starr Conspiracy.

Hiya Laurie! Let’s start off with a little about what you do. I am the Director of Social Media at The Starr Conspiracy, a marketing and advertising firm in Texas.  I am also a writer, speaker and consultant.

You forgot to mention loving mom to a handsome ginger kitty named Scrubby!

So how did you get to where you are now? I used to work in Human Resources. I parlayed that expertise into a portfolio career, which is really just a bunch of part-time jobs that pay the mortgage.

Hey, sounds good to me. Whatever keeps Scrubby in the life he has grown accustomed too.

Can you complete the following thoughts for me?

My best advice… is to stop asking for advice. Y

ou won’t listen, anyway.

I encourage… people to get moving. Every day is one day closer to death.

People… like to talk about themselves. Shut up and let them.

One of the best ideas… is sliced bread. Nothing beats it.

HR… is where I learned how to use a fax machine.

Every HR professional… is a skank ho. Most people have secrets, even your HR lady.

I lose it… when people discriminate against the unemployed. There but for the grace of God go you, jerk.

Awesome answers! So while I'm busy trying to figure out other HR ladies secrets, while covering up my own, is there anything else you’d like to share with the Women of HR?

Working in Human Resources made me realize that I’m a big fan of dichotomies, mass categorization and black and white constructs. I like things simple and straightforward. This is why it’s good that I no longer work in Human Resources. Life is much more complex than an either/or scenario. HR requires flexible people with strong critical thinking skills. That’s not me. That probably isn’t you, either.

Not that I need to tell you this, but you can find Laurie at her blog, The Cynical Girl!

Laurie, lots of hugs and thanks for your time!


Federal HR: Meet Lisa Rosendahl

Posted on August 1st, by Shauna Moerke in Women of HR Interviews. Comments Off on Federal HR: Meet Lisa Rosendahl

A good day to you Women of HR readers! We are back with our on-going series of Women of HR interviews. We've spoken to a very diverse group of women who all make notable contributions to this great community of ours. Trust me, you want to hear what these women have to say. I learn something new each time!

Now, we have a very special interview for you this week on Federal HR and who best to talk about it than our very own loved and respected Editor of the Women of HR site herself: Lisa Rosendahl!!

(Pauses for the voluminous round of applause and cheers)

Morning Lisa! Let’s start off with a little about what you do.

Here's the official spin: I am currently the Director of Human Resources for the St. Cloud VA Health Care System. I lead a department of 16 staff members providing HR services for over 1500 employees at the main facility and 3 community based outpatient clinics. I served over 9 years as an officer in the US Army and transitioned to a human resources/organizational development position in a paper mill and then to a privately owned manufacturing company as their first HR professional. I have had wonderful opportunities to learn HR from the ground up.

I also hear you can out shoot a lot of men. Super cool. And probably a fact that helps in Union negotiations. But never mind me, Can you finish the following thoughts for me?

My best advice… is for you to do what causes you angst. I am quick to say no when something stretches me beyond my comfort zone yet have learned the most from the times I said yes.

People… like to know that their leaders see them, k

now them and recognize what they do.

What if… everyone acknowledged the contributions of one colleague today?

Leaders…  have the best, and toughest, jobs in the world.

I lose it when… people lie to me or take advantage of my good nature.

Every HR professional… needs to hug their CFO today.

I challenge… everyone who reads this interview (yes, this means you!) to send me a draft post for Women of HR. Too daunting? Ok, send me an idea and a few bullets and I guarantee you that, together, we will get a post up under your name you’ll be proud of.

Awesome stuff, and I especially like that last answer. We have some great voices on this site and I want to keep seeing such a diversity in our contributions!

But anyways, is there anything else you’d like to share with the Women of HR?

We have such a smart, vibrant community here, use it for all it’s worth. Take a few minutes and glance through the posts and find one that resonates with you. Let the writer know by leaving a comment at the end of the post. Let us know what’s on your mind. If you are thinking it, chances are others are too.  Thank you for being a part of the Women of HR community!

When I am not HR-ing or here at Women of HR, I am writing over at Come visit me there, follow me on Twitter as @lisarosendahl or connect with me on LinkedIn.

Lisa thanks so much for your time and all the hard work you do for us here at the Women of HR!


HR Consulting: Meet Judith Lindenberger

Posted on July 25th, by Shauna Moerke in Women of HR Interviews. Comments Off on HR Consulting: Meet Judith Lindenberger

Good morning Women of HR! I hope you are awake and have some caffeine because it's time the latest installment of our Women of HR interview series.

We've done our best to bring you interviews with Women in many different aspects of the HR field, from technology to marketing to RPO's and we even went international. This week we are talking HR consulting!

Meet Judith Lindenberger!

Judy's background includes designing and facilitating the first-ever sexual harassment prevention training for federal workers, leading the management training department for a major financial organization, and creating a highly successful, global mentoring program for a Fortune 500 company which won the national Athena Award for Mentoring for two consecutive years. She is also a certified career coach and human resources consultant. A must hear speaker at industry conferences and a published author, Judy earned a B. A. in communications and an MBA in human resources. In her free time, Judy serves as President, Dunham Hall, Board of Trustees, and is a trained community mediator and child advocate. She is the past Vice President, Hopewell Valley Regional School District., past Vice President, YWCA Trenton, Board of Trustees, and past President, SERV Achievement Centers, Board of Trustees.

Hi Judy, so I understand that you run your own HR consulting business, The Lindenberger Group. Can you how to get your ex back

tell us how you got started?

I had always thought about having my own business. My last job was with a nonprofit organization as the Director of HR and Administration. I knew that the job was temporary so towards the end I started talking with friends and family about what to do next. My former boss pushed me towards starting my own business. I hired a business coach to keep me on track, earned just $12,000 the first year, doubled that each year for the four several years, and have never looked back.

Can you finish the following thoughts for me?

My best advice… Is to trust your intuition.

I challenge… People to speak up and speak out.

I encourage… My daughters not to settle.

Leaders… Must have integrity.

Women… Are great at helping one another in times of trouble.

I like it, straight and to the point! Anything else you'd like add Judy?

I would love to know what new trends other women in HR are seeing in the field. For example, I have noticed that training is getting shorter, more focused and more practical, which I love. I have seen a greater emphasis on training about bullying in the workplace. And, although there is a lot of great information available online about managing your career, a lot of my business is still doing career coaching.

Judy, thank you so much for your time!


International HR: Meet Nisha Raghavan

Posted on July 18th, by Shauna Moerke in Women of HR Interviews. 4 comments

Good morning Women of HR! Here we are, back again with our Women of HR interview series. We've brought you some amazing and diverse interviews so far but this time, we are going international without a passport.

Meet Nisha Raghavan!

Nisha is the author of Your HR Buddy blog. A former HR Generalist with extensive experience in Talent Management and Development, she specializes and writes about Employee Relations, Organization Development and how companies can keep their employees more engaged through Employee Engagement Initiatives. Her experience in the corporate world was as an HR Deputy Manager at Reliance Communications Limited, India. She is a contributing writer at Married to Nishant and settled in Dallas, she loves to do acrylic and oil paintings, clay sculpting and enjoy networking in Dallas area.

How did you get started?

After my MBA program I was inducted into the cooperate world of Reliance Communications Limited, India, a leading telecommunications company with enormous growth opportunities. I got an excellent platform to utilize my skill set and knowledge for creating better employee relations and building a value based culture within the organization. I always like to interact with people and love to know about what makes one different from others. Therefore it helped me make the most out of this opportunity.

I have worked with the company for the past 4 and throughout my career I brought up innovative ideas and helped build great employee relations and organizational development. My initiatives were accepted and encouraged in such a way that I was given the authority to become the process owner of Employee Engagement Initiatives and Talent Operations for two states.

Being in HR function responsible for more than 2000 employees, my necessity to travel across states and all the district offices was huge. Though out my experience meeting employees, keeping my fingers on the pulse of workforce has helped to learn wide aspects of Employee Relations and Organizational Development. Last year I relocated to US, now I am delighted to share my experience and knowledge in HR realm through my writings.

So Nisha, can you finish the following thougths for me?

My best advice… Don't compromise on your career for anything and settle where you are now. This is one thing which I always go by. My goal was to always pursue a career in HR. I would not have been satisfied with a career in say sales or marketing even though I may be excellent in it. Do what you love to do and only then you can find yourself continuing that with passion, fun and excitement.

I challenge… Myself, any time I am committed to a project, to not just complete it but to raise the bar higher and finding what makes me different in what I do and attaining success. This has helped

me understand my capabilities and realize who am I as a professional, and this boosts my confidence every time.

I encourage… everyone to boldly voice their opinion and do what is important for you as a person and for your family, friends and beloved ones without worrying about what others will think and how they gauge you. What others think about me is their problems not mine.

Leaders… I adore those leaders who spend time with their team regularly at all levels to understand what they have been going through. I think the successful leaders are those who maintain a relationship with their team where they can openly express their views and suggestions back and forth. Leaders should reinforce the things that can create an impact and optimize their team’s performance by connecting, engaging and influencing the team.

HR… Is perceived to be a thankless function in an organization! I don’t agree with this at all. It is all about give and take. If you can be little more empathetic towards your employees and make sure that we are not creating any ambiguity but rather creating transparency in what an employee is suppose to know and do, it can make things go smoother. Being a little friendly and approachable to attain employees respect and recognition is most critical in this profession and that will ease our people management challenges.

Every HR Professional… Being in HR, I know that there are times that HR is forced to close their eyes to mismanagement by leaders in an organization. Come on!! Sometimes leaders can talk only about numbers and business and fail to recognize the valuable efforts of those who work in the grassroots giving their sweat and tears to make their contributions a value addition to the organizational growth. When this happens please voice your concerns and get back to action.

Thoughtful answers Nisha! Now never mind all this HR stuff, can you tell us more about your art?

I like to spend my time doing acrylic and oil paintings and clay sculpting ( I think the skills that I acquire while painting will also serve me well in other facets of life. A lot of our success on life is determined by our problem solving abilities whether it is managing our relationships, our work or creating great art. Even though I could not necessarily point out how my paintings and art work would help me with my career in HR field, I strongly trust that in many ways that it will and while in future when I get my career going again I might be able to look back and point out to specific skills picked up doing my art work that helped me achieve my goals.

You can follow Nisha Raghavan on Twitter @thehrbuddy, and her blog here.

Nisha, thank you so much for your time!


HR Creative Destruction: Meet Angela Hills

Posted on June 27th, by Shauna Moerke in Women of HR Interviews. Comments Off on HR Creative Destruction: Meet Angela Hills

Good morning everyone and a special good morning to all of you who made their way out to Atlanta for the 2012 SHRM National Conference. The Women of HR had a great turnout of contributors at the conference this year and if you were there and saw us wandering the halls I hope you stopped us to say hi!

Amongst all the crowds, speakers, and swag giveaways, we managed to obtain for you the third installment of our Women of HR Interview series. So far we've geeked out on HR Technology with Lexy Martin and got wise to Content Marketing with Mary Ellen Slayter.

This week we spoke to, in person no less, Angela Hills, Executive Vice President at Pinstripe, Inc about HR Creative Destruction.

Who is Angela Hills?

As an Executive Vice President of Pinstripe, Inc., Angela leads the firm’s business delivering innovative talent acquisition solutions to clients in the advanced manufacturing, consumer brands, financial services and technology sectors.

Angela's unique expertise in talent acquisition and management provides Pinstripe’s clients leading organizational capabilities and true competitive advantage. Prior to joining Pinstripe, Angela spent 17 years with BlessingWhite, Inc., where she led business development and consulting operations in their central region and at various times served as a senior advisor to their coaching, career development and leadership practices. A frequent and highly regarded speaker on the national and regional circuits, Angela is a seven-time returning speaker at SHRM’s National Conference, where she has delivered presentations on topics including succession planning, change management, on-boarding and innovation.

What is Creative Destruction?

Now, when I first heard about the topic Angela was presenting at t

he conference, I was immediately intrigued. Who doesn't like a little creative destruction? And to have it at an HR conference? That's the sort of subversive chaos I can get behind.

Well, it turns out that it's not the anarchist, fight the power kind of destruction she is talking about – so put down those Molotov cocktails. No, Angela was talking about how every now and then, we need to have something destructive break things down in order to build them back up again.

There is opportunity in that destruction, even when you are in an industry hit the hardest by it. Destruction inspires great innovation. And most importantly, she spoke about how businesses and HR need to address that change and manage strategically through it. It was such an interesting conversation I immediately stopped trying to remember where I put my anarchist cookbook.

What Can HR Do Differently?

In the short time I had to speak with her, we covered a lot of ground:

  • How disruptive HR can – and should be  – a business strategy,
  • How HR is starting to view what they do differently, such as how to approach executives and in seeing the value of outsourcing HR functions to provide time for more strategy, and
  • How more authenticity and transparency in leadership not only provides better opportunities to connect with your employees, but helps create a better culture.

Good stuff right there.

Wrapping it Up

Even though the entire Pinstripe executive team is made up of women, a rarity for sure and something that Angela really liked, she said it wasn't necessarily something they played up. Why? Because they don't want anyone selecting them because of that, they want clients to select them because they are better at what they do than anyone else.

Hell. Yeah.

Thank you Angela for taking the time to speak to me and our readers amongst all the SHRM Conference craziness and any time you want to be a contributor here on Women of HR, we will be happy to have you!


Content Marketing Strategist: Meet Mary Ellen Slayter

Posted on June 20th, by Shauna Moerke in Women of HR Interviews. 1 Comment

Good morning everyone, do we have a treat for you!

Today, we have part two in our on-going series of Women of HR interviews where we get to know some of our contributors and notable women in the field. You know – what they do, how they got there, and what advice they have for others – the usual stuff you would ask about if you were sitting across from them at Starbucks grabbing a coffee and catching up.

Last week we kicked off the series by speaking with Lexy Martin. It was full of HR technology awesomeness and I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did.

This week we are speaking to one of my favorite people, Mary Ellen Slayter! Mary Ellen is managing director/founder at Reputation Capital Media Services. Before creating her own content marketing firm, she served as director of content development and a senior general business and finance editor at SmartBrief, a leading publisher of e-mail newsletters. There, she led the editorial development of the SmartBlogs network, including SmartBlog on Leadership and SmartBlog on Social Media.

Before joining SmartBrief, she spent 8 years at The Washington Post, where she authored the Career Track column and worked as an editor in the business news department. She has a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Maryland and a Bachelor of Science in agronomy from Louisiana State University. That means she can correct the pH of your lawn, as well as the typos on your blog.

So Mary Ellen, to start off, why not tell us a little bit about your new business? I’m the owner of a content marketing agency based in Baton Rouge, La. I help businesses tell their stories through great blogs, white papers, newsletters and multimedia content. I started this business late last year after working nearly 15 years as a business journalist, mostly at The Washington Po how to get your ex back

st and SmartBrief. Most of your readers probably know me as the editor of SmartBrief on Workforce. (Editor's Note: I love getting those SmartBrief emails, you should sign up for them too!)

How would you finish the following sentences?

My best advice … came from my maternal grandmother when I was in high school, “Sometimes you just have to do what you have to do. And if other people don’t like it, they can f*ck off and die.” (This is why the South is awesome. Our grandmothers really do say things like that over breakfast.)

I challenge … everyone to make friends with someone whom they appear to have nothing in common with. These are the people who can actually expand your worldview. The more bat shit insane they drive you on first impression, the better.

What if … employees wrote the first draft of all corporate mission statements?

Leaders … should be in it for more than status and perks. Do you actually have something to contribute to the world?

Women … underestimate the value of their contributions to the world.

HR … should be the second most powerful job in any organization that is big enough to have a dedicated HR person.

I lose it when … people act entitled to anything other than the fruits of their own hard work.

Awesome answers! Now, while I try and stop giggling over picturing a grandmother swearing, is there anything else you'd like to share with our readers? Confidence is 90% of success. You have to believe in yourself before anyone else will.

You can follow Mary Ellen Slayter on Twitter @RepCapital.

Mary Ellen, thank you so much for your time!


HR Technology Research and Consulting: Meet Lexy Martin

Posted on June 13th, by Shauna Moerke in HR Technology, Women of HR Interviews. 2 comments

Good morning and welcome to “Inside the Actor's Studio.” I'm your host, James Lipton… nah, not really. I couldn't help myself though.

I am honored though to be heading up the latest Women of HR Series wherein I get to interview some amazing women that we think know you want to get to know better.

I've always felt that one of the true value of this site was the ability to learn from our awesome contributors and the rest of our amazing community. I hope you all feel the same.

First up, please meet Lexy Martin, Vice President, Research and Analytics for CedarCrestone. Lexy is responsible for CedarCrestone’s annual HR Systems Survey, now in its 15th year. She also provides strategy, business case, metrics and analytics services and deep dive benchmarking in all industries.Working with many of the leading HCM vendors, Lexi has helped develop their value propositions and conducted numerous surveys of their customer bases. Few researchers in HR technology can match the experience that Lexy has accumulated during her career in introducing emerging technologies.

Ok, what do you really do?
I’m a wife, step-mother of two grown kids, natural grandmother, gardener, golfer, quilter, reader, lover of all things beautiful and peaceful.

So what does CedarCrestone do? CedarCrestone, headquartered in Alpharetta, GA, is an organization of 800 people focused on implementation, hosting, and management consulting around “enterprise systems.”

How did you get started?
I’ve had three careers. I started as a systems developer in lots of areas including payroll, medical records, and financial systems. Using that experience, I got into consulting at Stanford Research Institute (SRI) and then tried my hand in a start-up developing some of the early employee/manager self service solutions. Picking the wrong partner (who eventually saw that self service was the wave of the future), it rolled on us and I returned to research and consulting with The Hunter Group – which has morphed into CedarCrestone. Truly, research and consulting is what I love and do best and this is what I’ve done for the past 15+ years.

So Lexy, please finish the following thoughts for me:

My best advice is … for anyone in IT or anyone in HR to partner with your counterparts. Too many HR people view IT as their nemesis when partnering might be best for them or their organization. Too many don’t partner with the business around HR technologies. I happen to think that IT people, as geeky as they are, are really great people. If HR just reached out, everyone could work for the good of the organization and themselves. And same goes for IT people – love your HR partners!

I challenge …

anyone in HR or IT to pick a technology because they like the company without doing due diligence against your business needs. Vendors are not, or should not be, cults to follow.

I encourage … Years ago, I met Claire Gianini Hoffman, the daughter of A.P. Gianini, the founder of the Bank of America. She had a luncheon for a bunch of us that were bank officers. As a programmer back in 1967, I was considered an officer of the bank. She asked each of us what we did and when I said, “I work with computers,” she said (remember this was in 1967), “I know computers are the wave of the future, but I prefer to work with people.” It changed my view of technology to the point that I emphatically understand and encourage all to remember that technology must serve people not just be implemented because it’s a cool technology.

Not every program … to introduce new technologies will succeed without change management. And deep change management that addresses the WIIFM – the what’s in it for me – of everyone to be impacted by the new technology. Change management is not just about training – technology has become too easy to use for training. It’s about helping everyone impacted to understand why the technology matters and what it’s value is to them and to the organization. It’s about communication and collaboration. I view technology as just a catalyst for change – change for the better.

People like … to have their input reflected in just about anything an organization does. So, seek out representatives from throughout the organization to get their feedback when you get ready to make a change.

One of the best resources … that I’m personally proud of is the annual CedarCrestone HR Systems Survey white paper available for free.  If you are getting ready to implement any new HR technology, please take a look. The HCM Application Blueprint is something that lots of organizations use to guide their HR technology road map.

I lose it … when someone responds to a question of mine with, “I have no idea.” Sheesh. I ask you a serious question that I think you have the capacity to answer and you respond that way. Think better of yourself. If there is a thought you wished I would have included, let me know.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with the Women of HR?  If you work in an organization of 300+ employees, please respond to the 15th annual HR Systems Survey available here.

You can find Lexy at her CedarCrestone blog and you can follow her on Twitter as @lexymartin.

Lexy, thank you so much for your time!