The finalists for WashingtonExec’s Pinnacle Awards were announced Oct. 8, and we’ll be highlighting some of them until the event takes place virtually Nov. 12.
Next up is HR Executive of the Year (Small Company) finalist Kelly Demaitre, who’s chief human resources officer at Dovel Technologies. Here, she talks key achievements, turning points and career advice.
What key achievements did you have in 2019/2020?
My team and I have been laser focused on supporting the growth of our organization. We are dedicated to attracting and retaining top talent, which includes a focus on career mobility across affiliated companies, divisions and projects as well as career progression through training, education and recognition opportunities.
COVID-19 brought new and urgent needs such as moving all of recruiting, hiring and onboarding to a virtual setting, in addition to supporting current employees via the stand up of our Response Team, frequent communications and benefit enhancements.
What was a turning point or inflection point in your career?
Many years ago, I was approached to take on a leadership role for a well-known consumer organization. While it was a good opportunity and a great company, it was then that I decided my experiences and capabilities best aligned me to consulting/professional services.
What are you most proud of having been a part of in your current organization?
I am most proud of our collective response to the COVID-19 pandemic over the past seven months. We addressed the needs of our employees and continue to look at innovative solutions to assist them throughout these unprecedented times.
What are your primary focuses areas going forward, and why are those so important to the future of the nation?
This next year will focus on furthering talent management and internal mobility for our employees. We are looking forward to enhancing our insights into the talent we have and providing those employees with support to grow their careers internally as well as increasing the external awareness of job openings to the industry.
Additionally, inclusion is a primary focus area as we maintain our strong culture through supporting and celebrating our diverse workforce. Diversity is important to ensure we are providing innovative solutions to help our customers drive meaningful change in the world.
Looking back at your career, what are you most proud of?
I am most proud of the integration (or change management) work across various acquisitions. I enjoy bringing organizations together from a cultural perspective and all the various synchronizations that can then occur. My greatest accomplishment is improving the level of support from the HR organization, never losing sight of the importance of the employee experience.
What’s your best career advice for those who want to follow in your footsteps?
Find your passion or what you’re good at. Be curious, ask a lot of questions to seek to understand more about the business you work for. Learn about its history and the challenges the organization has faced as well as where they are headed to help them get there. And never lose sight of how important teamwork is.