It's almost May! Is this year going quickly for you?
If you strictly want information about the next event, please look at the links to the right and go to Event Registration.
It is my pleasure to write these letters to you, not knowing who is actually reading them, who's overlooking or deleting them, whose computer feels it's spam, but I do enjoy having occasional feedback from some people. I hope to give you things to think about, talk about or research further.
I wrote about the HR Symposium discount and it was listed on the Discounts page. We are now past the deadline for Early Registration. If you missed it, be sure to look for it next year. I hope they continue to be generous to our group.
Many thanks to last month's speaker, Susan Miller, CCP, SPHR, who presented "Performance Management as a Process: A Focus on Goal Setting." She is going to provide us with a download for our Previous Speakers page. Thanks to our volunteer Jenny Vonderwerth for planning this event.
This month I will address hope for Jack and the passing of two of my favorite gentlemen.
Last month I posted about how you could help save a 23 year old's life. Jack Chin went to my son's high school and was in college when he was diagnosed last year with leukemia. He has a match now for a bone marrow transplant, his only hope and a very hazardous procedure. You can read more and view his sites listed on my blog. Is there someone out there you could help by submitting to a simple test and then a procedure?
Now for the harder part to write. Around 12 years ago I was hired to be the HR Manager (solo practitioner) for a company named Digital Tools. (The name changed to Aspirian.) The company closed after I was there for one year and it just broke my heart. Two of my favorite execs worked there: Mike Hackworth, CEO and Rick Kadet, CFO. Rick passed away last June and Mike this past weekend.
I'd like to share why they were so special and what I learned from them.
Mike replaced another CEO starting halfway through my work there. I watched a great CEO in action! He increased communication, raised expectations, reviewed the products and business model. One weekend I had gone in to get a jump on a project and he stopped in to pick something up. We chatted a couple of minutes and he said I should not work on the weekend unless there was an urgent matter, that it was bad for family life and doesn't help refresh your mind. He was definitely in favor of a balanced life.
Mike had been the CEO and Chairman at Cirrus Logic, having grown with the company since co-founding it, and he worked in several positions there. He told me he respected each person in the workplace as everyone comes in with experiences, ideas and insights about the company he did not have.
I saw how little time a CEO has and how you have to get to the point immediately. I would have a list of 5 items to discuss, and I'd prioritize and practice so each item could be expressed in a sentence or two if possible. I was lucky if I got through 2-3 items at a time and then he'd be off: I learned to quickly read his body language and see when to say adios!
Mike and Joan (his wife) are active volunteers and donors in our community. They worked with many organizations, making our community a better place for all.
Rick was the first CFO who worked closely with me on company finances on structuring everything from compensation to travel reimbursement plans. He was personable and friendly without being chatty in the office, and he taught me what is important for a CFO. He was also a friend, and over the years we'd go for lunch or coffee and I'd see him at professional meetings. He was involved in his community and ensured that he had family time and time for his interests. He was a really good friend and mentor and I miss him.
As a result of Mike's deep review of the company and Rick's input regarding the financial state of the company, Mike approached investors for additional funding and a bridge loan if needed. One Friday morning I came in early to see them in Mike's office (next to mine) and they waved me in and shut the door. We had three possible paths: no money and the company would close, a bridge loan and we'd have some layoffs, or we'd get money and continue hiring. We would learn more over the weekend and a company meeting would be held Monday. I can't tell you how shocked I was, but I had to prepare for all three possibilities. I spent a lot of time that day and weekend talking with the immigration lawyer, benefits brokers and vendors, creating letters and job search information, seeing that I was ready no matter the outcome.
That Monday, I came in to learn the company would close and we were to have an all-hands meeting in a few hours. Mike and Rick had tried hard to save the company and it weighed on them that so many people were depending on them for jobs. I sent an email to recruiters I knew and we had a job fair that afternoon with many of our employees finding work fairly soon after this event.
What I took away from that one year was immeasurable. The friendship, the professional growth, the personal challenges, and my knowledge and expectations in working with executives. Although it all ended sadly, I have nothing but great respect and admiration for these men who are missed by many.
Is there someone in your life or an experience you'd like to share? Depending on the topic, we can post it here or on my other blog.
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Because of this volunteer work, family, friends and paid work, unfortunately, I can’t mentor you, and please don’t send me unsolicited resumes. I wish I had the time to individually mentor you, but I don’t. Come to an event and meet someone who can help. I receive a lot of unsolicited resumes (from our group and strangers) and if I’m recruiting for a position or I’m paid to work on the resume, that’s one thing, but other than that, I’ve got other things on my plate. I refer people to the forum at www.ourhrsite.com/forum. See the blog post for more thoughts. http://marciastein.blogspot.com/2009/02/setting-boundaries-and-professionalism.html
1. HR Women and Friends Community Event: Wednesday, May 16, 2012 6:30-9:00 p.m.
3. Using our Bulletin Board (Forum)
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5. To change you email address
7. Potential Speakers/Topics
8. Notifying us of upcoming events and discounts.
1. HR Women and Friends Community Event: Wednesday, May 16, 2012 6:30-9:00 p.m. Jeanine DeBacker of McPharlin, Sprinkles & Thomas LLP will present "Classifications of Employees: Exempt v Non-Exempt, Contractor v Employee." Click here for event details and the response form.
2. Discounts and Offers – view them online. Discounts for health related products or services are solely used at your own discretion. The group and I have no responsibility for these services or products. Thanks for extending the discounts to our group!
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I hope to see you soon.
All the best,
Marcia Stein, PHR - www.linkedin.com/in/marciastein
Author: "Strained Relations: Help for Struggling Parents of Troubled Teens" and "Recruiters on Recruiting"
Silicon Valley Women in Human Resources...and Friends
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