2014 HR Infinite Mile Award Recipients

2014 HR Infinite Mile Award Recipients

Congratulations to the 2014 Award Recipients!

Creativity & Innovation

Kathy Simons + Kathy Kasabula

Presented by Wayne Turner at the 2014 HR Infinite Mile Awards

This team has worked tirelessly for nearly 22 months, from the start of the project in 2012 to its completion in fall 2013, to ensure that the MIT community was provided with a new facility that exceeded the expectations of the MIT community. Their first - Herculean effort - was the question of space: the team were faced with the challenge of a site location in one of the hottest properties around – Kendall Square, Cambridge. Given the shortage of suitable space within Cambridge, especially close to campus, creativity and perseverance were needed to find a suitable location by the desired deadline. Once located, though – their project was only beginning –the team then had to move onto the procurement of the multitude of furnishings, equipment, and manipulatives that comprise the “second skin” of the building. At the same time they had to be attentive to all of the details related to the opening of the center, transitioning to full enrollment, and making the dedication of the center a truly memorable experience for the founding donor. Throughout all of their work on this project, their ‘customers’ were always at the forefront.

As one of the many contributors to the nomination noted, “They recognize how precious their population is and never waiver in their resolve to deliver first-class care and quality programming to the children while going the distance to protect them from hazards that seem to change like the wind. Their dedication to their charges rivals that of the actual parents.”

Congratulations to Kathy Simons and Kathy Kasabula on your great success in realizing the David H. Koch Childcare Center!

Creativity & Innovation

Ken Paul

presented by Fred Melkey at the 2014 HR Infinite Mile Awards

This award to an individual goes above & beyond the level of ingenuity he brings to his technological solutions. He takes the initiative to educate himself about business requirements and proactively raises possible needs and opportunities. He takes the initiative to anticipate ways in which additional information could be useful and to propose new reports and databases. Because of this foresight, he is able to apply his deep business process knowledge to elegant technical solutions. Under an extremely tight deadline, he performed a near miraculous task of pulling together hiring process data from multiple sources and merging them in a manner that was acceptable for a legally compliant analysis required by regulations. Under the same tight deadline, he worked diligently to pull, establish, cleanse, manually merge, cross reference, and quality-control check the final log. Without his creativity, we would have likely been facing a record- keeping violations in the audit.

One nominator who contributed to feedback, explained this recipient’s attention to detail: “Never one to be satisfied with the status quo, Ken continues to follow up on the quality of the dispositioning and has initiated an improved process based upon his own observations of the data completeness and quality.”

For your tireless creativity and innovation, we present Ken Paul with this Infinite Mile award. Congratulations!

Initiative & Customer Focus

Kristen Morreale

presented by Kelley Connors at the 2014 HR Infinite Mile Awards

The award for Initiative & Customer Focus speaks to the heart of HR’s mission. Teams or individuals take ownership of their projects, and are accessible to others in order to provide information, solutions, ideas, and alternatives. Their focus is on the customer experience, whether that means showing respect through every type of transaction, or anticipating future needs.

The first recipient in this category has seen her role in HR expand dramatically over the past 18 months, when she accepted an assignment to partner with another DLC to transform one of their staff procedures into a professional, legally acceptable function. Since that time, the DLC leaders have noted several tangible improvements to the process that have resulted in a dramatically shortened timeframe for results. They feel that she has a deep understanding of the inner workings of the organization to the extent that she can "fit all of the pieces together" and anticipate their future needs. They have also praised her ability to “coach and mentor some of the managers that are new to the process.”

This award recipient is extremely accessible and will often consult with managers and staff outside of business hours. She has taken full lifecycle recruitment to the next level. She personally facilitates all in-person interviews, educates hiring managers on legally acceptable interview questions, writes interview guides and ensures that the hiring managers follow them. She also facilitates all debrief sessions with the interviewers, coaching them on their assessment techniques and selection decisions. Additionally, she has started a practice of conducting 30-60-90 day check-ins which has had a positive impact on employee retention. She has also been involved in workforce planning, pipeline building and identifying internal succession candidates.

The results of her efforts are many happy customers. One director has even asserted that Kristen’s work with them had been “critical to this department’s long-term organizational well-being”.

Congratulations to Kristen Morreale, for your Initiative & Customer Service!

Initiative & Customer Focus

Kelley Connors

presented by Marianna Pearce at the 2014 HR Infinite Mile Awards

This recipient embodies the “CARES" aspect of this award. She Consistently "owns" work-related projects and follows through to completion, most recently on an institute-wide project that took 4 years to realize. It was her persistence, follow through and owning of the work that made this happen; and it happened with all of her customer’s “buy in”.

She is Accessible to others - There isn’t a time when she doesn’t listen to staff and colleagues ideas, or requests for feedback. She makes herself available, shares her perspective on difficult situations and helps find solutions. One of her nominators summed it up like this: “She is like the energizer bunny, making sure that each and every person who has requested her attention receives it.”

She is Reliable – she focuses on what you are saying and doesn’t miss a detail; she does exceptional work and continuously works towards improving the customer service experience. She is Efficient – getting back to clients even during times when she is not scheduled to be working.

She Strives to understand the community that she is serving -one of her clients said “I feel that I am working with the consummate, informed professional. I know that we will have our differences in opinions but knowing that she provides, an intelligent and candid perspective is tremendous. Additionally, I know that whenever I need to be in touch with her all I have to do is pick up the phone. She’s fantastic!”

Despite holding a very busy, important, and sensitive position at MIT, this recipient has never stopped focusing on the client experience. As one nominator noted, “Her decisions on all matters compensation and classification are thoughtful, fair and defensible. Kelley makes inquiries and learns about her customers, their interests and their needs. If they challenge a recommendation that she makes, Kelley is willing to explain her reasoning and does so in a way that demonstrates her understanding of their goals. In most situations, Kelley will work with them to think creatively come up with an alternative solution to their needs.”

Congratulations to Kelley Connors for your Infinite Mile award for Initiative & Customer Focus!

Collaboration & Community Building

Elizabeth Hawley

presented by Maureen Ratigan at the 2014 HR Infinite Mile Awards

The Collaboration & Community Building awards teams or individuals who work to foster a more diverse and inclusive community by encouraging a respectful and open environment, and enhances group interactions through collaboration, team building, active listening, and thoughtful reflection

The individual recipient for this award seemed to fulfil those criteria effortlessly – but the proof of her efforts resulted in a highly successful series of events whose impact is felt well beyond HR. It is important to note that this recipient’s work for these events was voluntary. In total, she provided many hours of exceptionally collaborative and innovative work for an event with attendance of over 600 staff, and with involvement from more than 30 different DLCs. From the start to the end of her involvement she was inclusive in her approach to the work. She sent emails to prepare for meetings, asked for agenda items, and listened thoughtfully to all suggestions. She never overly promoted her own views, and yet she also stated them clearly and made solid recommendations that allowed her experience and her perspective to benefit the projects. This is definitely community building.

She engages others in a truly positive way both during meetings and throughout the day. She also ensures that all the work is completed on time and with high quality. If this work were assigned to her role, it would be excellent. The fact that it was voluntary and that she did not need to do this at all speaks even further to her dedication and willingness.

In speaking about her way of working, one nominator commented, “It is my experience that she is consistently respectful of everyone. She completes many tasks herself, but she also thoughtfully asks others for their expertise. She is also willing to change things she has created further showing respect for others’ views.”

For the exceptional Collaboration And Community Building that you brought to Careers Across MIT, and the Careers panels, we are pleased to present this Infinite Mile award to Elizabeth Hawley.