Meet the New Benefits and Training Managers
By Richard Wilkinson
The university’s Office of Human Resources has hired two new managers of areas important to many faculty and staff: employee benefits and training/organizational development.
“Both of these new management positions are high-profile,” says Christine Peterson, associate vice president and chief human resources officer. “Benefits are a critical piece of the rewards that we receive for working here. And the university hasn’t had a training manager for four years, so staff members are curious to see what training we’ll be doing.”
The new benefits manager is Laurie Borman, who started at CUA on March 26. She happens to be a benefits lawyer, having earned her law degree at the University of Pittsburgh, though most of her work experience is in benefits administration. She has more than 20 years of experience working with benefit plans at nonprofit organizations.
“Laurie comes in to raise the bar on our level of benefits-related customer service and to look at ways to enhance the benefits program,” says Peterson. “What I’m hearing as I talk to staff is that they want to be able to call HR with benefits questions and get good solid answers and feel like they’ve been taken care of. They also want good benefits, and we’re setting out to make CUA’s benefits package even better. Laurie will play an instrumental role in that process.”
The new manager of training and organizational development is Ivonne Ambrozkiewicz, who started working at the university on April 7. Born in Australia, she holds a master’s degree in organizational and industrial psychology from the University of Western Australia and has six years of human resources management experience, including experience in training and organizational development.
One of her first priorities will be to conduct a needs assessment. During the next three months Ambrozkiewicz will meet with staff and faculty to ascertain their training needs.
As her title indicates, Ambrozkiewicz’s job includes managing two distinct but interrelated programs: training and organizational development. Training refers to teaching staff how to do tasks such as supervising others or using a particular software program. Organizational development is a bigger-picture process that looks at the university as it evolves and determines how to keep the human portion of the organization evolving along with it.
“Ivonne has a real strength in process improvement: going into an organization or work area and analyzing operations, then modeling a process-improvement plan to make things more effective and efficient,” says Peterson.
Peterson herself is rather new to CUA, having been hired as chief human resources officer on Jan. 14. She has more than 25 years of human resources management experience, most recently as vice president of human resources for the St. Agnes HealthCare System in Baltimore.
Hiring the new benefits manager and training manager were key strategic priorities for the HR administrator. “We’ve got to have a good team in human resources because we can’t do what we need to do without having the staff,” she says.
She mentions two other priorities that are before her: making CUA’s benefits plan even better than it already is, and, in the near future, e-mailing out a survey to assess faculty and staff satisfaction with the quality of customer service in HR. “The survey won’t be about whether you like CUA’s benefits, but about how well the human resources department does in taking care of your needs,” she explains. “We’ll use the feedback to assess how we’re doing and make needed improvements.”
The good news is that our benefit plan is quite good already, she says. “We have a very competitive retirement plan, and the employer contribution to the plan is outstanding,” says Peterson. “I’ve never seen a plan like this in my career. In addition, HR staff at other D.C. universities have told me that their number of holidays is definitely not as generous as it is here.”
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Last Revised 29-Apr-08 12:23 PM.