The Ufirst Project

Announcing Ufirst Team Leads and Workday System Integrator

Dear Colleagues:

Enabling our core teaching, research and patient care missions through the delivery of high quality HR services is the primary goal of the Ufirst project. Over the next two years, the Academic Division, the Health System and the College at Wise will work together to implement a series of transformative changes that will advance the way HR services are delivered across the University. I offer my sincerest gratitude to those of you who have already contributed your time, ideas and expertise to help design a future that we are now preparing to implement.

Over the past few months, the Ufirst Project Leadership Team (Bryan Garey, John Boswell, Laura Hawthorne, and Sarah Collie) has worked diligently to identify individuals to lead the different paths of work required by this next phase of the project. They gathered interest from people across Grounds and assembled a talented team of leaders who are committed to bringing to life the promise of high quality HR service at UVA. It is my pleasure to announce the Team Leads who have accepted the following key roles on the project:


New Ufirst Project Role

Previous University Role

Kathleen Aliff

Communications Lead

Medical Center Manager, Rewards & Recognition

Mary Brackett

Process Lead

Senior Associate, Office of  Organizational Excellence

Richard Covington

Talent Management Lead

Medical Center Learning & HR Leader

Jeremy Duff

Talent Acquisition Lead

Director of Recruiting & Senior Search Consultant

Bryan Garey

HR Service Delivery Lead

Academic Division Interim VP and Chief Human Resources Officer

Gary Helmuth

Employee Relations Lead

Academic Division, Manager, Employee Relations

Barbara Kessler

Talent Readiness Lead

Director of Human Resources, School of Professional Continuing Studies

Michael Latsko

Business Services Lead

Academic Division, Director, HR Strategic Systems & Support

Teresa Wimmer

Technology Lead

Assistant Vice President of Enterprise Applications

To learn more about the Ufirst Team Leads, please visit the project structure page on the Ufirst website. Please note that we still have yet to fill three important leadership roles: Total RewardsTime to Pay, and Change Management. The Ufirst Transformation Management Office is in the process of conducting a formal search for potential candidates who can fill these roles as soon as possible.

I would like to formally thank Cindy Reed, Virginia Evans, Bryan Garey, Mark Dunn, John Boswell, Sarah Collie, Catherine Lindqvist, Melody Bianchetto, Pam Sutton-Wallace, Kathy Peck, Brad Haws, and other leaders whose work made it possible to free up these Team Leads from their current operational responsibilities. I have appreciated your partnership as we worked together to develop creative solutions to complex problems.

As Ufirst Team Leads complete the transition from their current duties to their new roles by mid-September, they will begin soliciting interest from our community for full-time and part-time project team members. We are preparing a formal announcement and guidance on how to apply for these positions when they are posted.

Lastly, the University has entered into a contract with Sierra-Cedar, Inc., to be our Workday System Integrator (SI). Sierra-Cedar is a leading technology firm with significant experience in Higher Education and Healthcare, and asour SI partner will work closely with us to configure the new system, develop integrations with other systems, convert data, and support testing and cutover activities. All of these tasks are necessary to support our targeted June 30, 2018 launch of Workday’s Human Capital Management solution.

I ask that you please join me in congratulating our Ufirst Project Leaders: Michael Latsko, Teresa Wimmer, Brenda Jarrell, Melissa Frederick, Leigh Williams, John Teahan, and Jim Jokl for conducting a thorough due diligence process that resulted in the recommendation to enter into a contract with Sierra-Cedar.  I also would like to express my thanks to leadership from Procurement, University and UPG Legal, University and Health System IT and the Ufirst Project Leadership Team for their input and counsel through the selection and negotiation process. Thank you for your continued support for this important strategic initiative. 

For more information on the project, please visit the Ufirst page.

Sincerely yours,

Sean Jackson
Ufirst Project Executive Director