Posted on December 15, 2023
Each month, we highlight a “behind-the-scenes” team member whose work supports our mission, but whose face you might not often see on our social media pages.
We’re excited to help you get to know our innovative team and the complex work we do.
So, tune in for our #TeamMemberSpotlight, where our team members share in their own words a bit about themselves!
What is your job title? Sr. HR Specialist (Senior Human Resources Specialist)
How long have you been with Penn-Mar? 7 years and 9 months
How did you get connected with Penn-Mar? When I was in high school, I participated in the special education program as a peer mentor where I worked side by side with students in the classroom. This opportunity taught me a lot about helping others and how important it is for everyone to have the same opportunities! A bit later in life, I began searching for a new career where I could feel like I had purpose and was able to make a difference. When I came across an advertisement for an Accounting/Payroll Coordinator with a local non-profit, Change Inc., who also supported adults with IDD. I applied and was quickly selected for an interview! During the interview, I realized that Change provided services to someone I had known well from my time as a peer mentor in high school. It was nice to already have a connection. I was employed with the non-profit Change, Inc. for several years when our agency then merged with a very similar, yet much larger, agency, which was Penn-Mar.
What was your previous work experience prior to Penn-Mar and how did it prepare you for your current role? Prior to my position with Penn-Mar, I worked as a Front Office Administrator for an electric company and a mortgage company. Being in these roles provided me with many new skills, such as how to process payroll, record keeping, data management, and utilizing organizational tools. Most importantly, I learned that accuracy and attention to detail are extremely important.
What does your work entail? All of the fun stuff behind the scenes in our HRIS (Human Resources Information System) UKG. This includes everything from the employee record, timesheet edits, promotions, transfers, setting up new hires, updating and implementing system settings, writing and running reports, and much more. I am also responsible for setting up new hires with their benefits enrollment from start to finish and process any and all benefits changes that occur throughout the year, including open enrollment and the 403(b). I work closely with the finance department to ensure all pay adjustments and bonuses are processed accurately. My team also works on many different projects and process improvements, which is something I really enjoy! Anytime we can make something easier for someone else is a great day for me!
What’s an average day like for you? There’s never an average day when you work in HR!
What is your favorite part of your job? I enjoy process improvements the most! Or anything that I can do to make someone else’s job or day just a little bit better!
What’s one thing you wish people realized about your job? We want to help our team members!!
In another life, your career path is . . . Either a nurse or a product tester! (gotta love free skincare samples!)
Why is Penn-Mar’s mission important to you? It’s important to me because I believe everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect and everyone deserves to have the same opportunities in life.
What’s one thing you wished the general public knew about people with IDD? That people want and deserve to be treated with the same respect, dignity, and opportunities as anyone else.
What is your favorite quote or mantra? “Do good and good will come to you” or “Treat others as you would like to be treated”, I try to teach this to my children all the time.
Any hidden talents or fun facts someone wouldn’t know about you? I obtained a black belt in Hap Ki Do (a form of martial arts) when I was in middle school. I also grew up next to a farm and riding horses was my passion! We would ride from sunup to sundown, and even midnight riding among the moon and star light! I miss those days!!
If you could travel anywhere in the world, you’d visit . . . The Galápagos Islands, to explore wildlife and see all the natural beauty! Oh, and clear water!
In your spare time, you’ll be found . . . Spare time?! What’s that!? Lol! Just kidding, I’d be found spending time with my wonderful family, which is my husband and three beautiful kids! I have a son, who is 11 and in 6th grade, a daughter who is 5 and in kindergarten, and a 3-year-old daughter who is in pre-school. We spend time together outdoors, exploring parks and nature whenever we have spare time!
A book, movie, TV show, sports team, etc. you love: I really love Dateline. I’ve probably seen every episode. I also enjoy watching the different Zoo life shows on Discovery with my family, and I enjoy listening to all different types of true crime podcasts. I feel like it keeps me on my toes and reminds me to always stay vigilant!
Something fun, interesting, or meaningful about yourself if you feel like sharing/we didn’t already ask: I’m a cat lady at heart.