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Member Spotlight: Andy Thiede

HR consultant, KardasLarson, Berlin, Conn.

Andy Thiede

Andy Thiede started her HR career in accounts receivable at a small company, helping new employees fill out their benefits forms. As the business grew, the owners encouraged her to create a formal HR department. She attended HR seminars to get herself up to speed and joined a SHRM chapter for guidance.

Today, she’s an HR consultant who also works part time managing the operations of three SHRM chapters. In addition, she volunteers as secretary for the Connecticut State Council and as treasurer of another SHRM chapter. Passionate about giving back, Thiede has personally funded 11 scholarships for chapter members in need of financial assistance to study for their SHRM certifications.

What has been your greatest challenge?

Some employees of the manufacturing company I worked for wanted to form a union. It was a huge HR learning experience! After the union fell short by just one vote, the company defused tension by giving employees more of a voice and by providing a pension to the hourly workers.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

When I was caring for my ailing father, my boss told me, “Take all the time you need. This is important.” His words were a huge relief, assuring me my job wasn’t in jeopardy and reducing my guilt for not being able to give my usual 100 percent during that time. I hope every leader will give that same advice when their employees have similar issues.

What do you enjoy in your spare time?

I volunteer studying migrating songbirds. Twice a year, I go to an island off the coast of Maine and participate in the science of collecting ornithological information. We capture the birds briefly, take measurements, affix a metal band with a serial number to their leg and let them go. If they’re recaptured, we can learn things such as their age, sex, weight and breeding condition. The first time I held a bird in my hand, my heart soared! 


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