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We asked HR professionals to tell us about their time in HR. Here are their stories.
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HR director, Fairbanks North Star Borough
Sallie Stuvek grew up in Fairbanks, Alaska, where her parents worked the family’s gold mine—which wasn’t the plum job some might think. It was hard physical labor in an area where winter temperatures can remain at 30 degrees below zero for weeks. Their example instilled in Stuvek a strong work ethic that drives her today at the
Fairbanks North Star Borough, a local government where she oversees HR functions for 450 employees.
In HR, she’s found treasure of a different sort.
Stuvek is president of the Northern Alaska chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). She previously served as president of SHRM’s
Alaska State Council and spent six years on the board of the
Northwest Human Resources Management Association, which includes SHRM chapters in Alaska, Oregon and Washington.
What motivates you?
I am driven to do a good job and have fun. We laugh a lot at work, but we are all dedicated to doing the best job possible. I want to go home each day knowing that I worked hard and earned my pay. I enjoy the diversity of issues that I deal with every day and am thankful to have a job where I can make a positive impact.
What is your greatest accomplishment?
I implemented a workforce strategic plan to provide education and training opportunities to prepare employees for advancement. This has been a wonderful and successful program, as many have obtained the promotions they were seeking. This effort also has helped us to retain more workers because they know we care about their advancement.
What’s the best lesson you’ve ever learned?
I once worked for a horrible boss, and I learned quickly what not to do. She was the best teacher for a young professional, although I didn’t think of it that way at the time. Through her negative example, I learned the value of treating people respectfully and being open to others’ ideas. As a result, I feel I am a better leader and my staff members respect me.
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