Mary Simmons, PHR, SHRM-CP

Member Spotlight

Introduce yourself to our audience. Tell us who you are and what you are currently focused on.

I am a Human Resources Consultant focused on elevating businesses through the engagement, retention and increased productivity of their employees. How do I do that? I partner with an organization's leadership, either owners, C-level executives or HR, to create customized training, targeted recruitment, ensure compliance with state and federal employment laws, develop outplacement due to downsizing and provide executive coaching.

How would you define your professional mission?

To assist organizations in improving their ROI through compliant and targeted HR services.

What qualities does it take for someone to be successful in your line of work?

An HR professional needs to stay up to date with the constantly changing state and federal employment laws and listen to the business leaders they support to stay in line with their goals and struggles so we can provide the best HR strategy for their company.

What is one of your most memorable career accomplishments?

One my biggest successes was guiding a large bank through an acquisition and assisting over 100 of their employees that were downsized with Career Transition Counseling. By providing outplacement services to these employees the company decreased unemployment costs, as this counseling increases the speed at which the downsized employees get new positions. Additionally, these services created goodwill and preserved the banks long tradition of being a leader in their industry.

What project have you worked on that you’re most proud of? Why?

PMP has recently added executive coaching to our suite of services. Although as an HR Consultant we provided this service we have developed additional programs for career transition individuals, new leaders, millennials and C-Level executives.

We’d love to hear more about your career path. What led you to where you are today?

I started out of college managing staff then went into HR as an internal HR Director for a large retailer and then a large bank. HR Consulting allows me to utilize the expertise I developed and share it with company's to directly affect their bottom line and the efficiency of their employees.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

Helping companies and individuals to recognize both their strengths and weakness and to identify how to capitalize on both to achieve their goals.

What is it about your job that makes you feel it’s the right fit for you?

My education and background give me a solid understanding of HR, but most importantly, I love what I do!

Who are your role models?

The average woman I met every day that juggles home and work and keeps smiling!

What does success look like to you?

Being able to help my clients and being happy about doing so.

Is work-life balance a problem for you? What is one no-fail tactic you use to create balance?

At times any working mother has issues balancing it all. I have always mixed the two when possible- my kids are always invited to my office, for lunch or just to hang out. I even put them to work!

What advice would you offer future leading ladies wishing to break into your industry?

Education is only one part of being an HR professional. You must understand the business you support to really add value.

What is the best career advice you ever received?

Be yourself and never lower yourself to others who behave unprofessionally.

What is one piece of advice you’d offer working moms?

If you can't stay late, don't - if you can't travel for work don't - there will always be a job for you, but your kids are only the age they are right now, once!

Tell us about your favorite Ellevate Network memory or success story. Why are you a member?

I belong to many networking groups and in fact have run my own for over 6 years. I was so impressed at the first Ellevate meeting that I knew it would be vital to my career and personal goals.

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