The Ufirst Project

Team Feature

Hoo's Sue?

09/06/2018
Sue Simpkins

Each Friday in September, we will publish videos of Sue Simpkins sharing her insights regarding some of her favorite Workday features and process improvements. Before we begin, we thought it would be fun to learn a little bit about Sue’s background and give you a sense of why we have found her institutional knowledge and advice invaluable as we move toward Workday launch and stabilization.

Q: How long have you been with UVA? 
A:
On December 7th, it will be 31 years.

Q: Have you seen some significant organizational transitions?
A:
When I first started, the Academic and Medical Center HR organizations were combined. I saw us split, and now I’m glad to see us come back together. I’ve also been through several payroll implementations.

Q: What are some of the roles you have played? 
A:
I was a functional analyst on the Oracle project on the Faculty team, and helped train users on the Oracle HRMS module. Afterward, I ended up staying in training.

Q: What has you most excited about the implementation of Workday? 
A:
Besides getting rid of seventy other systems, there’s the ease of working in Workday, the search feature … I could go on and on.

Q: What's the most gratifying thing about your job?
A:
The most gratifying thing about my job is figuring out how things work and then sharing it with others when asked – seeing people have their ‘aha’ moment.

Q: What's the origin of your use of the word "Boom!" as a catchphrase? 
A:
I love those shows like CSI, Criminal Minds, etc. The theme song for CSI New Orleans is ‘Boom Boom’ by John Lee Hooker. The part that catches me is “Boom, boom, boom, boom. How, how, how, how…” So, ‘boom’ has been a word I use when describing things that happen fast. I didn’t realize I use it so frequently until I started facilitating Workday training and someone pointed it out.

Q: How do you like to spend your time away from work?  
A:
I spend Saturdays with my husband, because he tries to golf on Sunday, so we started calling Saturdays ‘Susie Day.’ My husband and my family on his side all call me ‘Susie.’

Q: Family is obviously important to you. What else can you tell us? 
A:
We are very proud of our two daughters – Kristy, who is a Student Counselor at PVCC, and Erika, who works here at UVA in Medical Center Patient Finance.

Meet Steven Snyder, Director of Talent Recruitment for UVA Health System

08/14/2018
Steven Snyder

Learn more about Steven Snyder, Director of Talent Recruitment for UVA Health System.

Q: What are you most excited to be working on in your position?

A:  I am most excited about learning new information about the School of Medicine and the UVA Physicians Group and then building synergy for Recruitment across the Health System. In addition, I enjoy building teams and have been fortunate to add a number of talented people to my department. I’m excited to get to know my folks and watch them grow.

Q: What are you usually doing on the weekend or during time off?

A: Spending time with my beautiful wife, Jennifer, and our family and exploring central Virginia, especially the trout streams that are so abundant in this area. I was born and raised in Upstate New York and have been at UVA for almost four years, but I still feel like I have a lot to learn about this part of the country.

Q: What is your proudest achievement?

A: My proudest achievement is watching my kids – twins Ben and Anna – grow up and thrive. They made the transition to a new middle school seamlessly when we moved here and are now rising sophomores at Western Albemarle. I could not be more proud of them.

Q: What song would be your personal anthem/theme song?

A: My personal anthem would be “Simple Man” by Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Steven Snyder with rainbow trout
Rainbow trout caught on the Blackfoot River, Missoula, MT.

Q: What is something that would surprise us about you?

A: I am an avid fly fisherman and have been lucky enough to fish the western part of the U.S. several times over the last few years. Most recently, I visited the Blackfoot river outside Missoula, Montana, made famous (among fly fishing circles) in the novel and movie, “A River Runs Through It." While free time is scarce with a growing family and the demands of my job, I enjoy spending time outdoors whenever possible and teaching my son and daughter to fly fish and enjoy open spaces and the calming influence of nature.

Meet Carolyn Kalantari, Dual Career Program Director

08/03/2018

Learn more about Carolyn Kalantari, Dual Career Program Director.

Q: What are you most excited to be working on in your position?

A:  I enjoy helping, connecting, and supporting others. This role has permitted me to do so, while also supporting the overall recruiting mission of the University.

Q: What are you usually doing on the weekend or during time off?

A: Playing with my kids, Kayvon (10) and Lailey (7), watching my son’s soccer games. I enjoy cooking and spending time with family and friends.

Q: What is your proudest achievement?

A: My children. I am proud of the people that they are growing up to be.

Q: What song would be your personal anthem/theme song?

A: Justin Timberlake, "Can't Stop the Feeling."

Q: What is something that would surprise us about you?

A: It took me several years to pivot out of my last career as a lawyer, before joining UVA in the Dual Career Program. I actually tried to leave the practice of law several times, but was really committed to the mission of the Legal Aid Justice Center where I worked. I took a year off, spent time with my kids and did some part-time work in the development office of their Montessori school. This turned out to be a good strategy, as it gave me some time and space to consider what I wanted to do next. Substantively, this part-time role also allowed me to engage in communications strategy and community building. These skills and experiences have been helpful to me in my current role, as Dual Career Program Director.

Meet Leslie Pierce, Director of Employee Relations

07/24/2018
Leslie Pierce

Learn more about Leslie Pierce, Director of Employee Relations.

Q: What are you most excited to be working on in your position?

A:  In my role, I have the unique opportunity to work for both the Academic Division and UVA Health System. Each area has its own unique rewards, challenges, customers, policies, mission, and goals. I also have the pleasure to work with two great teams of employees. Our main focus, for now, is to build a strong Employee Relations Community of Expertise (COE), streamlining business processes and procedures, and improving operating efficiency.

Q: What are you usually doing on the weekend or during time off?

A: On the weekends, I enjoy spending quality time with my daughter, Lauren, shopping, or traveling. I also enjoy attending concerts, plays, and going to see a movie. Lastly, I enjoy cooking a big Sunday dinner, watching cable television, and taking an afternoon nap.

Q: What is your proudest achievement?

A: Being selected as a Cincinnati YMCA Black Achiever by my former employer and being a positive role model for my daughter. I want her to know that if she works hard and puts in the effort needed to achieve her goals, the sky is the limit!

Q: What song would be your personal anthem/theme song?

A: “I Am Woman” by Helen Reddy.

Q: What is something that would surprise us about you?

A: In 1996, I attended the Evander Holyfield vs. Mike Tyson boxing match in Las Vegas. The match went 11 rounds, which was unheard of at the time for a Tyson fight, and Holyfield won. It was awesome!

Meet Mark Dunn, Director of Talent Management

07/20/2018
Mark Dunn

Learn more about Mark Dunn, Director of Talent Management.

Q: What are you most excited to be working on in your position?

A:  I'm most excited to serve the team of approximately 37 talent management professionals, each focused on supporting the faculty, staff, and team members of this great university. We are excited to bring our brand of services to the organization this year, while actively partnering with the University to create new services in the future.

Q: What are you usually doing on the weekend or during time off?

A: Spending time with my dynamic wife, Uconda, and my two sons (oldest is 7 years, youngest is 9 months).

Q: What is your proudest achievement?

A: Watching individuals who I have worked with and supported go on to live their life's purpose and passion. Any time I experience this, I am thankful and reflect on the blessings of my life.          

Q: What song would be your personal anthem/theme song?

A: I have many, but right now it would be "God is Good" by Chester D.T. Baldwin.

Q: What is something that would surprise us about you?

A: I am an open book and strive to be authentic in my interactions. I don't believe there are many surprises in me at the moment (this, in itself, may surprise some people).

Another Satisfied Customer

07/18/2018
Barbara Strain

UVA HR is committed to finding solutions to HR-related challenges for our colleagues across Grounds. Recently, UVA HR partnered with leaders from UVA Health System to source, vet, schedule interviews, and process over 20 new hires. The effort did not go unnoticed. 

Barbara Strain, Director of Value Management for UVA Health System, in a recent thank-you note to Steven Snyder, Director of Talent Recruitment, wrote: 

“I wanted to personally thank you and your team for understanding the business need of the support departments and in developing hiring plans that worked for them. I agree the department leaders have also stepped up to rearrange work schedules to meet the cadence of the interviews. They recognize the effort that HR has put forth and the opportunity before them to make a difference.

Barbara Strain quote

“The addition of the mid-cycle orientation session was an extraordinary gesture and is much appreciated. 

“Please pass on my gratitude to the team for partnering with us and for their continued assistance in keeping the pipeline going.”

Meet Terri Stevens, Director of Compensation

07/17/2018
Terri Stevens

Learn more about Terri Stevens, Director of Compensation.

Q: What are you most excited to be working on in your position?

A:  One of the things I’m most excited about working on in my position is a new strategic approach to compensation for faculty, staff, and team members. I feel honored to be part of such a great compensation team. Together, we will execute pay philosophy, support competitive compensation and maintain compliance with laws and regulations, while ensuring consistent philosophy and governance across the organization. I am excited about the new UVA HR and the important role compensation has to our success.

Q: What are you usually doing on the weekend or during time off?

Terri Stevens and Sky

A: When I’m not working, I enjoy spending time with my two dogs, Reese and Sky. Reese is an 11-year-old Saint Bernard/springer mix and Sky is an 18-month-old Saint Bernard who currently weighs about 150 pounds. Accepting my position with UVA allowed me to move back home, closer to my children and family. I’m enjoying being able to spend time with them as well.

Q: What is your proudest achievement?

A: One of my proudest achievements was winning the Gary Willis Leadership Award through the American Society for Healthcare Human Resources Administration (ASHHRA). I was nominated for this national award for the work I did at my prior employer, implementing a new salary range structure. The project involved moving from thousands of pay ranges to a single set of structured salary ranges 2.5 percentage points apart, each with a 60-percent spread. The implementation process directly affected 13,000 employees and about 1,500 jobs. The new structure helped to create a level of transparency that allowed employees to better understand pay. I was one of two individuals recognized in 2012 for this national award.          

Q: What song would be your personal anthem/theme song?

A: Great question. I actually think I have more than one: Tim McGraw’s “Humble and Kind,” Queen and David Bowie’s “Under Pressure,” Des’ree’s “You Gotta Be,” and Bon Jovi’s “It’s My Life.” Music is such an important aspect of our lives. It can create certain emotions, lowers stress, elevates mood, and allows us to explore our creativity. As you can see, I like many different genres of music.

Q: What is something that would surprise us about you?

A: Several years ago, I submitted an application to be on “The Amazing Race.” My son, Chad, would have been my partner, had my application been selected. He wasn’t too thrilled, but said that we would definitely make people watching the show laugh.

Meet Fredrick Martin, Senior Director, Change Management

07/03/2018
Fredrick Martin and a friend

Learn more about Fredrick Martin, Senior Director, Change Management.

Q: What are you most excited to be working on in your position?

A:  I’m in the process of developing an approach for creating a “change agile” organization that can be leveraged across Grounds. This work is very important to me and positions the University to be the gold standard for transformation.    

Q: What are you usually doing on the weekend or during time off?

A: Cooking, I love creating new dishes. So, great downtime for me is making a great meal, a great bottle of wine, and some great jazz.

Q: What is your proudest achievement?

A: Watching my two daughters grow up into young ladies that are dedicated to making this world a better place. They both are charting their own courses in life and I believe are bound for greatness. Most importantly, if I left this world today, I know they are able to take care of themselves and as a parent that’s something we all want for our children.          

Q: What song would be your personal anthem/theme song?

A: “Don’t You Worry ‘Bout a Thing” by John Legend.

Q: What is something that would surprise us about you?

A: I once tried out for a Food Network show and made the Top 50 out of 400 people auditioning for their own show.

Meet Scott Seal, Senior Director, Total Rewards

06/26/2018
Scott Seal

Learn more about Scott Seal, Senior Director, Total Rewards.

Q: What are you most excited to be working on in your position?

A:  I’m really excited to be back in Virginia! I grew up in the Winchester, Virginia, area, so coming to Charlottesville is a little like returning home. In addition, the opportunity to be at UVA and lead the Total Rewards team during the time of HR Service Delivery transformation and the introduction of Workday is really exciting. This is a great opportunity to partner with HR and really deliver something special to our customers and, ultimately, to our community. Plus, integrating Total Rewards initiatives in areas like compensation, benefits, and wellness across UVA will be a very cool and challenging opportunity.    

Q: What are you usually doing on the weekend or during time off?

A: There’s probably not enough space for this answer … but, I really enjoy spending time with my wife and family, golfing, yard work (yes, I actually like mowing the lawn), fly fishing, hiking, and, finally, brewery/wine tours. We live in Crozet, so having the 151 nearby is very convenient. Also, I was in Austin, Texas, for a while and fell in love with live music.

Q: What is your proudest achievement?

A: I’m so proud of my wife and family – they are awesome and inspire me every day. Professionally, I have been a part of two HR Service Delivery model changes, and I’m excited to be a part of UVA’s HR strategy. This won’t be easy, but will be worth it for those we serve.          

Q: What song would be your personal anthem/theme song?

A: Tough question … It’s a toss-up between Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’” or Fleetwood Mac’s “Don’t Stop.” Both are excellent tunes.

Q: What is something that would surprise us about you?

A: To save up for college, I worked on a farm with a migrant worker crew in Ephrata, Washington. It was an extraordinary experience to be in the field every morning at 5:00 a.m. and to work with such a great group of diverse and interesting folks.

Meet Jennifer Garrett, Senior Director, Talent Recruitment

06/22/2018
Jennifer Garrett and family

Learn more about Jennifer Garrett, Senior Director, Talent Recruitment.

Q: What are you most excited to be working on in your position?

A:  I’m thrilled to be part of such a wonderful team. I’ve lucked out, not just professionally, but personally. My teams are phenomenal people. I’m excited to be a part of the UFirst project and to bring the academic and healthcare sides of the house together.    

Q: What are you usually doing on the weekend or during time off?

A: My husband and I have two sons and a dog named Lucy. We are most often together outside somewhere. Right now, though, I’m mostly unpacking boxes. We recently relocated to Charlottesville from Atlanta after living there for 18 years, so we’re realizing just how much we’ve accumulated!

Q: What is your proudest achievement?

A: Aside from being a mother, I would say when I went back for my graduate degree. My son was three and my youngest was a newborn when I graduated.          

Q: What song would be your personal anthem/theme song?

A: “Closer to Fine” by the Indigo Girls.

Q: What is something that would surprise us about you?

A: I love music festivals and tattoos!

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