Final Nominee – Diane Shields: 2012 Archer Awards

August 10, 2012


Nominee:         Diane Shields

Title:                Vice President, Human Resources (Americas)

Company:        Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC; Knorr-Bremse Group

PRADCO is honored to introduce Diane Shields, Vice President of Human Resources at Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems in Elyria, Ohio. Employing nearly 2,800 individuals across North America, Bendix is a pioneer and a leader in the development and manufacture of leading-edge active safety, energy management, and braking system technologies. PRADCO (as well as Bendix) nominated Diane for the HR Executive of the Year Award; one of the Archer Awards presented to distinguished human resources professionals in Northeast Ohio. The HR Executive of the Year Award recognizes exemplary professionals whose practices and contributions have improved or advanced the greater field of Human Resources.

With a Master’s of Science Degree in Human Resources Administration and Organizational Development from the University of Scranton (Scranton, Pa.), and a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Bloomsburg University (Bloomsburg, Pa.), Diane Shields has been employed in human resources for 25 years and with Bendix for the past 15 years.

As a Bendix executive, Diane has experienced a continuously changing company landscape yet has maintained her focus on achieving a dynamic employee atmosphere by seamlessly incorporating people and processes.  Serving as a highly effective employee advocate, she has developed and deployed a Management Resource Review (MRR) for organizational structure/organizational development, ensuring the critical inclusion and connectivity of people, strategy, process and structure into a total strategic approach.  This effort is materialized in a strong multi-faceted approach that incorporates employee development, succession planning and organizational planning. She has strategically positioned HR within the organization by aligning her team with business functions as the company has evolved from a centralized function-based strategy to a matrix organization.  And, with the team’s recent expansion to represent both the workforce in North and South America, Diane is currently working to further assimilate the Americas’ HR functions to deliver a highly effective regional HR service model.

Beyond insisting on best practices within the daily operations of the Human Resources department, Diane has spearheaded numerous initiatives to make Bendix an employer of choice for new talent. Under Diane’s direction, Bendix became a sponsor of the Lorain County Corporate Games. She also promotes the Bendix brand within numerous universities and spear-headed an Engineering Development program that invites top talent from universities to work in co-op positions.

A proponent for supporting the communities in which Bendix does business, Diane is the champion for a committee responsible for civic engagement that engages individuals in outreach projects sponsored by the organization. In addition to her local efforts, Diane works closely with Bendix’s parent company (Knorr-Bremse Group) to integrate their initiatives regarding social responsibility on a global level. These efforts have included work with organizations such as the Madasa Charity Foundation focused on fundraising for the rehabilitation of schools in Mexico.

Diane’s commitment to best practices and community involvement has undoubtedly contributed to her continuing success in human resources. PRADCO is proud to partner with Diane and Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems, and we are pleased to recognize her as exemplary human resources professional!

August 3, 2012

Nominee:          Stamy Paul

Title:                 Executive Director, Human Resources

Company:         Ben Venue Laboratories

PRADCO is proud to introduce Stamy Paul, Executive Director of Human Resources at Ben Venue Laboratories in Bedford, Ohio. Established in 1938, Ben Venue Laboratories employs over 1,300 individuals and is the manufacturing branch of Bedford Laboratories, a Boehringer Ingelheim Company. PRADCO nominated Stamy for the HR Executive of the Year Award, one of the Archer Awards presented to distinguished human resources professionals in Northeast Ohio. The HR Executive of the Year Award recognizes exemplary professionals whose practices and contributions have improved or advanced the greater field of Human Resources.

With a Bachelor of Arts from Kent State University and a Masters of Business Administration from Baldwin-Wallace College, Stamy Paul has been employed in human resources for 17 years and with Ben Venue Laboratories for 4 years. Building on past experiences with Eaton Corporation and Avery Dennison, Stamy is advancing the company culture of Ben Venue by working toward the goals of engagement, development, and shared achievement.

Stamy’s efforts concentrated on two main areas: human capital and employee engagement. She made it a priority to attract, hire, and develop top scientific and production talent. She revamped the benefits strategy of Ben Venue within her first two years at the organization by implementing a Workplace Flexibility policy, harmonizing benefits with Ben Venue’s parent company, and introducing leadership development and coaching. She goes beyond just preaching the need for engagement and talent development to employees; she leads by example, making her own team a priority by meeting one-on-one with direct reports and other professionals to provide mentoring and guidance.

In addition to the many internal goals Stamy has accomplished and continues to work toward, she serves as the chair of a charitable contributions steering committee at Ben Venue that promotes sponsorship of community events including the Diversity Center’s “Walk and Rock” and Cleveland Food Bank initiatives. She also has been invited to speak at two Susan G. Komen survivor ceremony events and sits on University Hospitals’ Board of Directors for the hospital’s Bedford and Richmond sites. She co-chairs the Outreach Committee of the North Coast Men’s Chorus, participates in Cleveland PFLAG meetings to support families and the LGBT community, and is an active member of several professional organizations.

Although Stamy’s accomplishments in her short time with Ben Venue are already numerous, her ambitions for human resources continue to accelerate at a pace that few can emulate. PRADCO is honored to partner with Stamy and Ben Venue Laboratories, and we look forward to the celebrating her continued success!

3rd Nominee – Jenna Nightingale: 2012 Archer Awards

July 27, 2012

Nominee:         Jenna Nightingale

Title:                Human Resource Manager

Company:        Nestlé Research and Development

PRADCO is pleased to introduce Jenna Nightingale, Human Resource Manager at Nestlé Research and Development in Solon, Ohio. Nestlé’s research, development, and technology network, together with local market application groups, employs over 5,000 people; it is the largest research and development network of any food company. PRADCO nominated Jenna for the Rising Star Award, one of the Archer Awards presented to distinguished human resources professionals in Northeast Ohio. The Rising Star Award recognizes up-and-coming human resources professionals with less than 10 years of experience based on the potential of their achievements, industry involvement, and community involvement to lead the next generation of human resources professionals.

A graduate of Kent State University, Jenna Nightingale has been employed in human resources for nine years, and with Nestlé Research and Development for two years. In addition to her main responsibility of implementing corporate programs and policies handed down from Nestlé USA, Jenna has spearheaded many efforts to develop the company’s current talent pool.

Some of her accomplishments include: implementing on-site meetings to build cohesion amongst members of the leadership team who spend most of their time working remotely, seeking executive coaching to better capitalize on the strengths and develop the shortcomings of the leadership team, encouraging senior leaders to assess the talent of their people to identify future leaders, training hiring managers on interviewing best practices to better identify prospective talent, promoting diversity in the workplace and doubling the diversity of Nestlé Research and Development staff within two years, and implementing a Competency Mapping project to aid in succession planning. In an effort to show support for her suggestions, Jenna took the initiative to enroll in PRADCO’s Women’s Coaching Program to advance her own professional development even further.

Although these accomplishments are noteworthy, they are remarkable when one considers that Jenna has only one direct report to assist her with implementation and she has only been in her current role for two years. During this time, she also developed an internship program that creates a pipeline of new talent to the organization. She has built relationships with universities and local high schools to promote interest in science education in the local community. Further, she organizes company-sponsored volunteer opportunities for employees with organizations such as the Cleveland Food Bank, the Achievement Center for Children, and Harvest for Hunger, in addition to devoting her time to causes that are personally important such as the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure and March of Dimes.

PRADCO feels privileged to partner with Jenna on her projects for Nestlé Research and Development, and we look forward to seeing her star continue to shine as she takes her place as a leader in the field!

2nd Nominee – Clayton Morris: 2012 Archer Awards

July 20, 2012

Nominee:         Clayton Morris

Title:                Director of Human Resources

Company:        City of Twinsburg

PRADCO is pleased to introduce Clayton Morris, Director of Human Resources at the City of Twinsburg in Ohio. Twinsburg is home to over 17,000 residents and is nationally known for its Twin Days Festival which draws over 2,500 sets of twins each year. PRADCO nominated Clayton for the HR Executive of the Year Award, one of the Archer Awards presented to distinguished human resources professionals in northeast Ohio. The HR Executive of the Year Award recognizes exemplary professionals whose practices and contributions have improved or advanced the greater field of Human Resources.

A graduate of the University of Akron, Clayton Morris has been employed in human resources for 18 years and with the City of Twinsburg for 5 years. He is also the Human Resources Director at the City of Streetsboro.

At the City of Twinsburg, Clayton was the first Human Resources Director to get key city leaders to take action in utilizing the Human Resources Department as a strategic partner. As municipal revenues decreased across the country, he thoughtfully approached the challenge of maintaining or improving the city’s current services without adding costs. He encourages others to develop a mindset in which employees are considered the most valuable of company resources, such as by regularly e-mailing leadership articles to department heads and utilizing social media to communicate current trends in human resources.

In addition to his work at the City of Twinsburg, Clayton demonstrates a commitment to excellence in HR practices in his everyday life. He has a large online presence and inspires people through his example. He has helped Kent State University develop a curriculum that covers such topics as employee development and motivation. He also offers his time and knowledge of human resources to nearby communities, and supports organizations such as the Boy Scouts of America and Stow Soccer Club.

Clayton truly lives and breathes Human Resources. He enjoys partnering with other HR professionals around northeast Ohio to help improve their HR systems. Please join PRADCO in congratulating Clayton on his many accomplishments including his nomination for HR Executive of the Year!

The 2012 Archer Awards: Nominee – Jamie Herbst

July 16, 2012

Nominee:         Jamie Herbst

Title:                Director, Human Resources

Company:        Menorah Park Center for Senior Living (Nonprofit)

PRADCO is pleased to introduce you to Jamie Herbst, Director of Human Resources at Menorah Park Center for Senior Living in Beachwood, Ohio. Menorah Park is a long-term care facility that provides independent, assisted, and congregate living, nursing care, and rehabilitation services. PRADCO has nominated Jamie for the Citizenship Award, one of the Archer Awards presented to distinguished human resources professionals in Northeast Ohio. The Citizenship Award distinguishes a human resource professional that has implemented successful company-wide initiatives that engage employees to serve the greater community through professional/charitable organizations or other independent efforts.

A graduate of Baldwin-Wallace College, Jamie Herbst has been employed in human resources for 27 years and with Menorah Park Center for Senior Living for 16 years. During her tenure with Menorah Park, Jamie has developed several initiatives intended to advance the caliber of the nonprofit organization in the eyes of its employees, guests, and nearby community members.

In particular, Jamie has instituted programs to enhance the work environment of Menorah Park employees. These programs include excellent medical, dental, vision, and life insurance benefits, free access to on-site fitness equipment, and free and/or on-site preventative health screenings. Menorah Park also provides interest-free loans up to $500 to employees in case of emergency that can be repaid over 12 paychecks. Jamie established a management training program to enable employees to hone their management skills; the training program also provides a forum to examine critical management topics and barriers to employee success, such as generational differences in the workplace.

Jamie’s strong moral compass—embodied in the respect she shows for others—has been a key factor in her efforts to ensure Menorah Park guests are treated with dignity. She created the “Service with a Heart” program to strengthen the caring attitude in Menorah Park employees. Through this initiative, Jamie has shown employees how to “walk the talk” with guests. These qualities have also influenced Jamie to encourage Menorah Park to support other organizations with similar missions, such as by participating in the Red Cross’s blood drives, toy drives for Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital, fund drives for the United Way and the Jewish Federation of Cleveland, the Annual Trike-A-Thon Fund Drive for St. Jude Children’s Hospital, 5K and 10K runs for The Gathering Place, food drives to benefit The Cleveland Hunger Center and The Cleveland Food Bank, the Alzheimer’s Association Memory Walk, and initiatives to help disabled students obtain valuable work experience through the Cuyahoga East Vocational Education Consortium.

In an industry where turnover averages 40-50% annually, a 6% turnover rate at Menorah Park demonstrates the value of the programs Jamie has created and implemented. Her commitment to community is clear, as evidenced by her ongoing projects with Menorah Park employees as well as her unwavering dedication to charitable causes. PRADCO wishes her the best for continued success as a human resources professional!

The Importance of Complementing Your Assessment Test

February 10, 2012

By BackTrack

The recruiting process is a daunting task for companies, as not all candidates will be the right fit for every job or company culture. The importance in hiring only those who possess the personal and work-related behavior that a company needs for success is a given. You have assessed your candidate through PRADCO’s assessment testing. You understand the individual’s job history, character, work habits and intellectual attributes. You may have even gone through an in-depth analysis during the personal or telephone interviews with PRADCO professionals to determine readiness and desire of the candidate to fulfill the objectives for the position in question. But what about the candidate’s past?

More and more companies and organizations are doing background checks on their job candidates and current employees. One of the primary reasons for doing so is internal security and protection from negligent hiring lawsuits. Some companies choose to outsource the screening, while others choose to do the screening in-house. Whichever option your company chooses, there are some basic tips that can help you.

1. Verify information on resumes. Some job candidates appear to try and make their resume their “great American novel,” complete with literary license to pad, inflate or even lie. Because they are not signing the document like they would an application, they may not feel like they are engaging in any type of deception. One way to mitigate this is to have a disclaimer on the application where the applicant signs, attesting that the information on their resume is accurate and true to the best of their knowledge.

2. Follow up on employment and reference verifications. If an applicant asked you not to call a particular employer or reference because it could affect the current employment, make sure to follow through after an offer has been made. Contact those people to be sure that there weren’t any discrepancies that the applicant reported on his application or resume.

3. Keep your background checks consistent. If you are going to screen a salesperson, make sure that the screening procedure you use and the information you verify is consistent with any other salesperson you have done a background check on. Many companies that perform background checks will allow you to select various “packages” that you can pick depending on the position for which you are screening a candidate.

4. The most important piece of advice is to screen the applicant. Don’t go by word of mouth alone or the fact that someone who knows someone else recommended the applicant. Conduct the criminal and reference checks and confirm the candidate’s historical data. The best defense you have against any type of negligent hiring lawsuit is the ability to show you are proactive as an organization.


August 23, 2011

 By Sam Maniar, Ph.D.

On a recent trip to visit a PRADCO client, my wife suggested I grab one of the business books she was reading The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right by Atul Gawande or Take Back Your Life!: Using Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 to Get Organized and Stay Organized by Sally McGhee.  Given that The Checklist Manifesto looked like a very quick read, I chose that one.

After reading the book, my initial impression was that although the anecdotes were staggering, the book was simple and obvious.  Clearly checklists are important tools in helping us remember the crucial steps involved when taking complex actions.  As Gawande points out, using checklists can help us avoid errors of ineptitude.

Once my colleague and I arrived at our client’s office and began coaching various employees regarding their leadership effectiveness and productivity, though, the value of the book became clear.  The client, Modine Manufacturing Company, preaches the importance of standard work.  The concept of standard work is nothing new to manufacturing organizations and/or companies that embrace the tenets of lean or Six Sigma.  By standardizing your work, you help to ensure you focus on the most important things and waste less time on the trivial aspects of your job.  It also helps to improve consistency.

Modine not only advocates for each employee to identify their standard work, but they encourage people to measure their adherence and identify reasons as to why standard work events did not happen.  In essence, standard work is a checklist of sorts.  It allows Modine’s employees to stay on track and to remember the most important things they need to do.

But standard work is different from checklists in that it is not intended to be a compliance tool.  It is intended to be more of a key element for improvement.  According to the Director of Modine Operating System, Jeff Uitenbroek:

“Using Standard Work allows us to create a bit of order out of the chaos that is normal business, but the most important function of Standard Work is as a tool for learning. It is the Plan of PDCA [Plan-Do-Check-Act]. As a template for what is normal, we easily see problems or deviations from normal.  By identifying obstacles that prevent us from accomplishing the work we plan to do, we can adjust and overcome those obstacles.  This is the key element in rapid improvement.”

In many ways, our role as coaches at PRADCO is to help our clients identify and plan for their standard work as well.  For example, if someone is working on developing their bench strength, we help them identify who their targets might be and how to incorporate a regular mentoring cadence with those people.  From there, the coaching is about style and approach, such as how to motivate and inspire people to do more.

It’s easy to say, “My work differs from day-to-day, and there is nothing standard about it.”  Nevertheless, as our CEO Terry Owen likes to say, “I’ll bet you a nickel that…” there are more standardized processes in your job than you think.  By taking a closer look and making a checklist of your monthly tasks, for example, you are less likely to make a mistake and more likely to be prepared and efficient.

We’d love to hear your thoughts and/or feedback.  What are your thoughts?  How do you implement standard work at your organization?  How do you incorporate coaching into standard work?


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