The threads running through my career weave patterns of searching for a connection between my ethical standards and my employer’s business practices; having a deep desire for supporting people in living their dreams; participating in the creation and building of departments, branch offices and companies that experienced lightning fast growth; being a change agent for women in business and bringing an awareness of spirit into business.
From public school teaching I transitioned into creating and facilitating programs on career development, performance management, leadership/management development, personal growth and development, stress and change management, teambuilding, communication skills, conflict resolution and creativity for several companies including NAC Reinsurance and Munich Reinsurance and numerous public programs as an entrepreneur over the past 20 years. In addition, I have provided coaching and career development support internally to employees (AIG, Constellation Reinsurance, NAC Reinsurance, Seventh Generation), as well as individual clients and small businesses for over 30 years.
As the fifth person to join the newly formed American Home Assurance Company, Dallas branch (AIG), I created and built the Human Resources/Administrative function for the branch as it became a Regional Office for a five state region growing to 60 employees in three years – the fastest growing branch in the country. A transfer to the AIG New York City home office offered the opportunity to create and manage a new department designed to enhance the efficiency of the administrative support staff in the home office. Within a year the department had 35 employees supporting three departments. At Constellation Reinsurance Company, when Human Resources was in its infancy in the Reinsurance industry, I created and managed a Human Resources/Administrative Services Department supporting the company’s 75 employees. NAC Reinsurance Company, a start-up venture, hired me as a Senior Officer to develop and manage their Human Resources function as the company grew from 26 to 70 employees in nine months, and to 180 employees in seven years with 4 U.S. branch offices. The HR department staff of 11 provided the sophisticated benefits, compensation, training, staffing and employee relations services modeled after much larger companies to support the company’s goals and vision. Joining Seventh Generation in late start-up phase as the Director of Workplace Community and HR, I joyfully co-created with the employees a values-based workplace community and HR function to support their socially responsible culture. In 3½ years the company grew from 19 employees when I joined to 45 employees.
When promoted to Regional Administrative Manager for American Home’s Regional Branch Office, I was the second woman in AIG’s national workforce to hold that position. When AIG offered me a transfer to the New York City home office to start a new department, I, again, was the second woman, and the first married woman, to be transferred by the company. At Constellation Reinsurance, I was the first professional woman with whom the President of the company had ever worked. Soon I became the first woman Officer in the company, paving the way for other women to follow into leadership and officer level positions. At NAC Reinsurance, I was one of two women on the Executive Team. My approved request to change my role and career path from management to individual contributor allowing me to utilize my talent for employee development through coaching, performance management and “soft skills” training, broke with all convention that asserted this was a step down the corporate ladder, which was unheard of! And yet every one of my male peers on the Executive Team were envious, each asking how I pulled that off! That career path change laid the foundation for me to follow more of my dream to create my own business. Nine years later, Seventh Generation provided me a long-dreamed-for opportunity to bring spirit into business when I became their Director of Workplace Community and HR. Their values-based culture gave me the opportunity to express my true self, including my spiritual perspectives. Again, unheard of in my experience!
As my journey continues to unfold, I’m bringing my knowledge and experience to focus on my dream of changing the way the world does business. My deep desire is to support companies who not only want to create workplace cultures that are values based communities but to insure those values and workplace environments are sustained as those companies grow and evolve. Inherent in creating and sustaining those workplace communities is building bridges of understanding and respect for what both the younger generations and the baby-boomer leaders bring to this new world of business.