My perception of HR leaders was always pretty dichotomous. HR was either very warm and fuzzy, hugging people & kissing babies or on the other extreme, policing rules that came out of the 1984 HR handbook. Then I met Andrea Garson and it changed my perception forever.
I have never seen a leader who is so genuinely compassionate about people and can be tough as nails when it comes to doing the right thing. I worked with Andrea for many years and she has been a source of inspiration ever since I met her. I have seen her bringing homemade cookies for everyone in the office ( 150+ people) when we hit a 100% response rate on Voice of Employee survey and I have seen her stand up to the president when she disagreed with a certain initiative and believed it was not in the best interest of the employees. I have seen her through expansions where we were hiring at the speed of light and creating new teams and I have seen her through cost cutting where we were right sizing the teams. I have seen her where we were celebrating successes and I have seen her we were are dealing with failures. No matter what the circumstances are, Andrea is always the one who is cool, composed, with a sensible, common sense approach to handle any situation. Andrea is a true leader that genuinely inspires and brings the best out of the people around her. It has always been a pleasure to work with her.