The finalists for WashingtonExec’s Pinnacle Awards were announced Oct. 11, and we’ll be highlighting some of them until the event takes place live, in-person Nov. 30.
Next is HR Executive of the Year (Private Company) finalist Jessica Artz, who’s chief human resources officer at ViaPath Technologies. Here, she talks success in her current role, taking professional risks, proud career moments and more.
What has made you successful in your current role?
Listening and learning. What we do at ViaPath is extremely important, but was also a new industry and business model than I was used to. I had to stop, learn, and listen in order to be an effective HR business partner; you have to know your business. Now, after six years, I can do a sales pitch on par with our BD organization.
What are you most proud of having been a part of in your current organization?
When I joined ViaPath (formerly GTL), there was no focus on the HR function. It definitely was not viewed as a strategic partner, seat-at-the-table function. It took some time to establish the HR function and have our employees and managers trust in the process. That was severely lacking.
Today, HR is valued as a true contributor to the success of our company, and our employees are enthusiastic about working here as evidenced by our Top Workplaces USA 2021 and 2022 awards. Turning the culture around is just a really great feeling.
What’s the biggest professional risk you’ve ever taken?
Leaving large government contractors to join ViaPath. When I joined, we had 550 employees, a fraction of what I supported previously. It was unknown territory for me and my first role in a PE-backed environment. For the first few weeks, I thought, “What did I do?” But looking back, I couldn’t be happier to have taken the risk. The positive impact the HR team has across the company is real and can be seen on a daily basis.
Looking back at your career, what are you most proud of?
My teams. They have been my rock, my sounding board, my friends. With my current colleagues, I have so much respect for all of them and what they do each and every day. The team I’ve built in my six years here at ViaPath is by far the best around, and I wouldn’t want to be on this journey with anyone but them. They are the best!