Post a Job Sign in

KAREN SYMPSON, SPHR

Senior Human Resources Executive

Ellicott City, MD

-

SENIOR HUMAN RESOURCES PROFESSIONAL 
 
Trusted advisor and strategic human resources professional who partners with business leaders to drive organizational performance. 20+ year’s progressive experience in a variety of industries, company sizes, stages of development and global environments. In-depth business savvy and demonstrated success in integrating functions, assessing organizational needs, management/staff development, determining courses of action and partnering with managers to influence employee behavior and morale to achieve organizational goals. Areas of expertise include: 
 
Certified as Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) 
 
* Strategic and Forward Thinking  
* Organization Development 
* Employee/Labor Relations  
* M&A Assessment & Integration 
* Training & Development  
* Staffing (all levels including Executive) 
* Compensation/Incentive Programs  
* Benefit Programs  
* Performance Management  
* Total Rewards Program Development

Work Experience

Interim Director Human Resources – Contractor

J.J. HAINES
-
Glen Burnie, MD
-

July 2013 to Present

Flooring distributors with more than 400 employees in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast. 
 
Directed all areas of Human Resources on an interim bases. Managed a staff of 5. 
• Directed benefits renewal to ensured compliance with Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). 
• Reviewed Sales Compensation Plans and the Company’s formal compensation structure.  
• Member of the Safety Committee -- drafted Natural Disaster Emergency policies and procedures. 
• Directed employee relations and resolved complex Intermittent Leave issues under the Family and Medical Leave Act.

Director Human Resources -- Contractor

VISION TECHNOLOGY SERVICES, LLC
-
Hunt Valley, MD
-

2012 to 2013

Provider of IT talent and project management services to several recognized companies in the mid-Atlantic region. Ranked among the largest IT consulting companies by the Baltimore Business Journal and recognized by the Baltimore Sun as "Top Places to Work". 
 
Worked with CEO/President and senior leadership to strategically position the Company for continued growth while sustaining a high level of service to Vision’s clients and Consultants. 
 
• Served as advisor to senior and internal management regarding all areas of human resources, new hire training, corporate recruitment and office services. 
• Ensured legal compliance in all areas: addressed and resolved areas of noncompliance. 
• Liaison and advisor in all areas of immigration and Visa/PERM processing.  
• Coached and mentored managers in resolving/managing departmental issues and resolving/addressing complex employee issues.  
• Reviewed Employee Benefits Program, selected new Benefits Advisor and determined a strategic direction to assist the Company in offering competitive benefits at affordable rates. 
• Assisted Finance with the implementation of ADP’s PayXpert payroll system and identified and resolved payroll corrections and errors.

Compliance and Human Resources Manager - Transportation

TELVENT USA LLC, a Schneider Electric Company
-
Rockville, MD
-

2012 to 2012

Acquired by Schneider Electric in November 2011, a global leader in integrated solutions across multiple market segments, focusing on making energy safe, reliable, efficient, productive and green with over 150,000 employees in more than 100 countries and sales of 28 billion. 
 
Managed all areas of compliance, employee relations, payroll, data management, recruitment and government reporting for a workforce of over 1500. Human Resources Manager for Transportation, specializing in reducing traffic congestion and optimizing transportation infrastructure with approximately 150 state contracts and a workforce of more than 400 employees across North America. 
 
• As part of a global Human Resources team, assisted with the integration and centralization of the human resource functions. As Human Resources Manager for Transportation, worked with senior management to align the business and assist the employees with the transition to Schneider Electric. 
• Work with business leaders, other HR professionals and managers to address and resolve employee issues and resolve conflicts and complaints. 
• Directed the transfer of the ADP Account for a payroll of 800 employees with prevailing wage and multiple wage rates, implementation of Workforce Now and the implementation and roll out of ADP’s Essential Timekeeping system to more than 400 non-exempt employees in multiple states under various state contracts.  
• Lead high volume sourcing and recruiting activities to fill positions, many required state security clearances, in a timely manner to meet the requirements for existing, new and expanded state contracts.  
• Respond to information requests to support state RFP’s, worked with Project Managers to develop training programs, policy/procedures and Operations Manual to support contracts.

Human Resources Consultant

INDEPENDENT CONSULTANT
-
Washington, VA
-

2011 to 2012

Provide a variety of consulting services in all areas of human resources, which include, but not limited to: 
 
• Strategic Advisor on Best Practices, Organization Development, Employee Benefit Design and Talent Acquisition 
• National Compensation Review and Job Pricing 
• Designing Employee and Management Training Programs 
• Career Coaching and Counseling  
• Advising on Employee Relations Issues 
• Training facilitator for MD’s Professional Outplacement Assistance Center (POAC)

Director Human Resources

KPSS, Inc., a Kao Company
-
Baltimore, MD
-

2006 to 2012

Professional beauty segment of Kao Japan specializing in manufacturing and distribution of professional hair care and color products sold exclusively to salons. KPSS employs over 1800 employees in 21 countries with approximately 500 employees across the U.S. and Canada.  
 
Reported directly to the CEO/President and indirectly to the Vice President Human Resources KPSS GmbH. Directed the strategic direction and day-to-day operation of all human resource functions/activities for the U.S. with physical offices in Maryland, California and a remote workforce across 31 states. Responsible for the development and management of an annual department budget of $1.6M+. 
 
• Served as Change Agent through the replacement of several senior executives, which had a profound impact on Company philosophy, culture, performance expectations and employee morale. 
• Assisted with due diligence and directed the human resource activities to close and re-open offices and warehouses in California, Washington and Maryland, which included employee communication; termination (Reduction in Force), relocation, staffing and reconfiguration of office space. 
• Worked with management to realign the sales and education staff to meet changing goals and objectives. 
• Consolidated and aligned multiple policies, procedures and benefits to meet changing business objectives. 
• Directed all company employee benefit programs, selected insurance Broker, established self-funded medical and dental plans and maintained costs through enriched well-care benefits and employee communication. 
• Completed the implementation of ADP’s HRB system, developed processes/procedures to interface with payroll. 
• Participated on a global business team to standardize employee policies, procedures, benefits and payroll operations across North America, Europe and Asia in connection with a corporate merger. Presented the group’s recommendation, transition plan and timeline to executive leaders in Tokyo, Germany. U.S. and Canada. Resulted in the centralization of the North American human resources administration and management.

Director of Human Resources

PEPCO ENERGY SERVICES, INC.
-
Arlington, VA
-

2001 to 2006

A $1.5 billion competitive energy services subsidiary of Pepco Holdings, Inc. (PHI) with 13 lines of business, 25 locations, and approximately 650 union/nonunion employees in the mid-Atlantic region.  
 
Established the human resources function as a business partner. Worked with executives to reorganize and define business objectives, determine staffing needs and alignment positions. 
 
• Implemented Employee Handbook and counseled management and employees on employment policies, procedures and their application.  
• Conducted harassment, discrimination and diversity training across the Organization as well as other management/supervisory training programs. 
• Directed recruitment, implementing a uniform recruitment and structured interview process, Job Posting and Employee Referral Programs.  
• Directed the development and full implementation of a company-wide human resources system, human resources Intranet and 6 payroll systems using ADP’s web based products.  
• Drafted Company’s 1st Affirmative Action Plan using Berkshire software, communicated objectives and worked with management to achieve affirmative goals.  
• Revised the Performance Management process and implemented a structured compensation program and an Exit Interview process. 
• Participated in due diligent activities for the sale of several lines of business, developed severance guidelines and facilitated lay-offs, Reduction in Force (RIF) and office closures.  
• Member of PHI’s Operations Leadership Team, Diversity Counsel and participated on committees to develop shared policies, select and transition 401(k) Plan to new vendor, roll-out new benefits programs and other initiatives for PHI’s 9,000 employees.

Director of Human Resources

WORLDSTOR, INC.
-
Fairfax, VA
-

2000 to 2001

A Storage Services Provider (SSP) with offices in 7 states. 
 
Reported to President/CEO and served as a strategic business partner and advisor to executive management in all areas of human resources, established the human resources function in a “start-up” environment.  
 
• Ensured legal compliance in all areas, addressed and resolved employee issues, coached and mentored managers to resolve and manage departmental issues.  
• Managed and directed 3 RIF’s and closed 5 offices.

Director of Human Resources

ICARUS CORPORATION/ASPEN TECHNOLOGY, INC.
-
Rockville, MD
-

1998 to 2000

Acquired by Aspen Technology, a leader in e-solution systems for the process manufacturing industries with over 1700 employees in 22 countries.  
 
Established and directed the Company’s 1st human resources department. Reported to CEO/Chairman and served as a member of executive leadership team.  
 
• Developed policies, procedures and benefits for all employees working in the U.S. and the UK.  
• Assisted in the re-alignment of departments, re-staffed the UK office, assisted in the start-up of a government Sales Department and served as change agent through a failed IPO. 
• Recruited a broad range of positions, including highly skilled engineers, software developers, computer technicians, sales people and senior management. Directed the sponsorship of Visa/Permanent Residence applications for multiple countries. 
• Wrote company’s 1st Employee Handbook, employee performance management, compensation, on-boarding and incentive programs; conducted management and employee training programs and resolved employee issues, created Company’s 1st Affirmative Action Plan and ensured compliance with all local, state and federal agencies. 
• Served as 401(k) Plan Administrator, selected new provider and directed the transition to the new plan.

Education

Education

Western Kentucky University -
Bowling Green, KY

Skills

Strategic and Forward Thinking, Organization Development, Employee/Labor Relations, M&A Assessment & Integration, Training & Development, Staffing (all levels including Executive), Compensation/Incentive Programs, Benefit Programs, Performance Management, Total Rewards Program Development

Additional Information

ADDITIONAL PROFESIONAL TRAINING 
 
* Attended numerous SHRM Annual Conferences 
* Extensive formal and informal training in all areas of Human Resources 
* Recent training (2013): Healthcare Reform, MD Healthcare Exchange, Changes within NLRB, Clarification of FSLA Regulations 
 
CERTIFICATIONS 
 
* Professional Human Resource Certification (PHR) 1998 
* Senior Professional Human Resource Certification (SPHR) 2005 
* University of Pennsylvania – The Wharton School’s Strategic Management Certificate Program 2006