Katie Magoon is the chapter’s Vice President of Development and has been a member for the last 5 years. She also sponsors the monthly HR Department of One webinars, ensuring topics, speakers and all the behind the scenes logistics that make this happen for us. This month I had a chance to sit down and learn more about who she is and how much we can all learn from Katie.
A seasoned Human Resources Generalist and expert with 26 years of experience, Katie is also the owner of People Solutions Center a HR & Talent Acquisition Consulting company. Her career includes 15 years at Progressive Insurance where she provided support during high growth times and recessions.
Her most memorable moments at Progressive include implementing the company’s first Applicant Tracking System, Veteran hiring program and new Employee Resource Groups. During the recession in 2008 & 2009, Katie also led Progressive’s Unconscious Bias Training program.
When she decided to make the jump and start her own consulting company, Progressive became her first client.
Katie unabashedly loves being in human resources. One of her greatest joys in working with other businesses is showing them how much HR can help a business grow when used strategically. Her favorite projects include those where she can really work with a business to help them rather than simply take care of “check the box” compliance requirements.
She shares her biggest challenge as an HR professional is getting her foot in the door with other leaders in a company. She says its common to find business leaders who only see the tactical, compliance side of HR. While it’s often a challenge getting them to trust her, Katie loves showing them new sides of HR and helping them learn the depth of value HR can bring to the table.
I imagine her strength and tenacity comes from her love of being active. Katie has currently run 22 full marathons and 2 half Triathlons, hiked the Grand Canyon rim to rim (twice!) and when she’s not on land, she loves scuba diving. While she says she’s not an adrenaline junky, its clear Katie loves adventure and challenge.
Katie shares two pieces of advice for other human resource professionals.
Her first piece of advice is to network. Katie acknowledges many HR professionals think of networking and cringe. They imagine its about talking with vendors and sales.
The chance to meet new people helps expand our views of the world and understand the bigger picture while gaining a support network. In the office, its also the chance to build relationships that allow HR to be an effective influencer.
What Katie would really love for us to understand is that networking is about making connections. Its about going out and making new friends, learning about new people and exploring the community. She often finds networking is more about how she can help others rather than anything she gains.
Her other advice is to get involved with the chapter. The value of the connection to other HR professionals is incredibly valuable. For Katie, the drive to get involved was so important that she applied to be a board member after only 6 months in the chapter. She knew she wouldn’t be selected for the position, but her application did serve to help her connect and find places in the chapter where we needed her expertise.
Our chapter is blessed to have Katie as part of our leadership team. Her passion for HR and drive to help others make her a joy to talk to and a valuable member of our team.