Available for consultation, workshops, training, and speaking engagements.

With more than 18 years of progressively complex Human Resources experience, Karen is the HR Director for a non-profit organization in Northern California. She also served as the HR Director for a beer distributor and a regional HR director for a large facility services contractor. A training and development specialist, she spent several years traveling throughout the United States running learning programs and coaching executives on how best to manage a diverse workforce. Karen has a Master of Science degree in Organization Development and the Senior Professional in Human Resources certification from the Human Resources Certification Institute. With strong presentation skills and a proven ability to make seemingly mundane material come alive, she is especially skilled in group facilitation and developing adult learning programs — in the classroom and via webinars.

karenelkinscohen@gmail.com

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

Rubicon Programs, Richmond, CA – Rubicon’s vision is “An East Bay without poverty” and provides services throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.

HR Director, Richmond, CA (November 2017-Present).

Bay Area Beverage Company, Richmond, CA – With 250 employees, Bay Area Beverage supplies Alameda and Contra Costa counties with Miller-Coors, Corona, craft beers, ciders, and more.

HR Director, Richmond, CA (May 2016-October 2017). Part of the executive committee, reporting directly to the president; responsible for HR strategic direction including negotiating with insurance brokers (workers’ comp, health, property and casualty), executive coaching, developing and using metrics to evaluate HR processes and provide information for critical business decisions. Direct talent management, culture, and compliance. Manage a team of four: HR Manager, HR Specialist, Payroll & Benefits Administrator, and Receptionist.

Selected accomplishments:

  • Major overhaul of the employee handbook; implementation of arbitration agreement
  • Created a progressive discipline platform which ensures consistency and maintains at-will status
  • Implemented new compensation program for warehouse and delivery

Consultant, Albany, CA (January 2014-Present).

  • “Introduction to Human Capital Analytics” instructor for UC Berkeley Extension
  • “Sourcing for Success: A Recruitment Workshop” facilitator at the Forum on Workplace Inclusion
  • Development of staffing policy and procedure
  • Management coaching
  • Evaluation of Professional Employer Organizations (PEO) for small business
  • Training facilitator (diversity and inclusion)

ABM Industries, San Francisco, CA – A $4.3 billion NYSE facility services contractor with nearly 100,000 employees

Regional Director of Human Resources (January 2012-January 2014). Responsible for leading the HR function in the Northern California Region (more than 6,000 employees). Developed and oversaw local HR processes and solutions in support of business objectives as well as drove company-wide strategic initiatives. Delivered HR services in the areas of labor relations, training, benefits and compensation, management coaching, discrimination and harassment investigations and reporting, recruitment and staffing, including diversity sourcing and conducting interviews via Skype. Negotiated and made final offers.

Selected accomplishments:

  • Engaged in labor negotiations for five collective bargaining agreements
  • Oversaw HR personnel business unit integration adding 2,500 employees to the region
  • Successful recruitment and placement of facility supervisors and managers

Con-way, Inc., Ann Arbor, MI – An industry leader in freight and logistics with over 30,000 employees worldwide

Senior Manager of Diversity and Inclusion (May 2009-January 2012). Responsible for implementing the organization’s Affirmative Action Programs for over 150 facilities, Canada’s Employment Equity regulations, and leading an enterprise-wide Diversity and Inclusion initiative. Duties included statistical analysis, worldwide engagement survey roll-out including feedback and cascading of results, creating training, submitting government reports, providing management coaching and guidance to leadership.

Selected accomplishments:

  • Acted as the compliance expert on the Taleo implementation team; conducted training, streamlined the application process
  • Executed Diversity and Inclusion initiative, policy and statement; developed cross-functional diversity council
  • Facilitated high-level discussions on AAP action planning and improving time-to-hire for recruitment and other employment processes

ABM Industries, San Francisco, CA- A $4.3 billion NYSE facility services contractor with nearly 100,000 employees

District Manager (December 2007-May 2009). Responsible for a business unit of 200 personnel supplying janitorial services in commercial, retail, and residential buildings. Duties included sales development and the management of all expenses, wages, billing, receivables, and purchasing. Provided strategic and tactical guidance on business and client relationships. Developed talent to improve leadership and performance capabilities through mentoring, coaching, and training.

Selected accomplishments:

  • Increased sales for 11 consecutive months, focusing on client retention
  • Streamlined proposal procedures while increasing quoting accuracy and timeliness
  • Developed a succession plan to ensure outstanding service while improving equal-opportunity performance at the supervisory level

Manager of Training, Diversity and Inclusion (October 2006-December 2007). Acted as Business Partner to business leaders to assess training and development needs. Developed programs to meet these needs including instructional design and delivery, facilitation, and coaching. Created detailed business plan to support the implementation of corporate-wide Diversity and Inclusion programs. Incorporated Affirmative Action reporting systems for management and control. Collaborated with HR and management staff to foster coordination and create a cohesive, consistent experience for employee access to training.

Selected accomplishments:

  • Implemented a company-wide management training program, which provided leadership skills for mid-to-senior level managers and executives
  • Developed and conducted seminars/workshops on management and business fundamentals, employment eligibility, Affirmative Action, Diversity and Inclusion, non-discriminatory hiring and promotion practices

Affirmative Action and EEO Compliance Officer (October 2001-October 2006). Prepared Affirmative Action Plans (AAP) for over 230 branch offices; AAP report preparation and determination of specific placement goals for branch management. Consulted with branch management on bids; assisted field operations. Internal consultant for Branch Managers on hiring, promotion, termination, and compensation issues to ensure compliance with state and federal legislation impacting employment-related activities.

Selected accomplishments:

  • Published educational materials to update management on legislation affecting operations including publications/presentations such as: “15 Easy Steps to Affirmative Action Compliance,” “Understanding Your Shortfall,” and “Adverse Impact Analysis”
  • Satisfied legal requirements governing Executive Order 11246 requiring Affirmative Action compliance that reduced associated non-compliance costs by over 50%

EDFUND, Sacramento, CA – A non-profit, student loan guarantee organization with 580 employees

Human Resources Consultant and HRIS Administrator (June 1999-October 2001). Administered ADA requests, FMLA, PDL, CFRA, EEO, and Fitness for Duty programs. Managed personnel full cycle, from recruitment and retention through termination, and collaborated with training department on these issues. Participated in and submitted compensation surveys, classification audits, and job evaluations. Conducted investigations, reference checks, hire negotiations, and terminations.

Selected accomplishments:

  • Created comprehensive mediation program including training of internal mediators with full implementation of a company-wide alternative dispute resolution program
  • Created MS Access Databases to track recruiting, EEO complaints, and disciplinary action
  • Conducted research on various human resources initiatives, determined effect on company, created implementation programs, and presented recommendations to executive management
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