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Mary Ellen Harris of Kreischer Miller: Shifting Paradigms in Corporate Culture Through Respect, Vulnerability, and Integrity

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Laura sits down with Mary Ellen Harris, Chief Human Resources Officer at Kreischer Miller, to discuss how she is shifting the paradigm on aspects of corporate culture to one valuing vulnerability and integrity in the workplace to champion employees with a culture of respect.


In this episode you will learn:

  • How Mary Ellen aims to change the misconceptions about the HR function and her personal role in treating people with respect and engaging in open dialogue, sharing an example of how they shifted from disciplinary actions to having respectful conversations and co-creating a pathway to success, which resulted in positive outcomes for an employee.
  • Her experience of undergoing brain surgery and how opening up about her insecurities deepened her relationships with others, personally and professionally.
  • How Mary learned the importance of integrity through sharing a story about refusing to lay off employees on Christmas Eve and standing up for her moral values, ultimately deciding not to work for someone she couldn't respect.
  • How Mary found the balance between establishing authority and acknowledging limitations, seeking out feedback from an honest sounding board, and sharing examples of her success and expertise while also acknowledging that she doesn't know everything, which in turn helped to build rapport with the audience.


24 Hour Challenge:

Identify a book that you’ve had on your list..and just start!


About Mary Ellen Harris:

Mary Ellen has over 30 years of professional experience providing strategic human resources leadership to a variety of businesses. She is regarded as an expert in the areas of leadership, talent acquisition, employee relations, talent development, talent retention, change management, and company culture enhancement. Mary Ellen subscribes to the Servant Leader philosophy; she actively engages in mentoring, coaching and encouraging others. Mary Ellen is an advocate for communication access for the deaf and hard of hearing community and is a leader on the firm’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Council as well as its women’s network, RISE (Retaining, Investing in, Supporting, and Empowering the Women of Kreischer Miller).

Mary Ellen joined Kreischer Miller in 1999. Prior to working for Kreischer Miller, Mary Ellen was the Vice President of Human Resources at a mid-sized software development company headquartered in Fort Washington, PA, where her responsibilities included talent acquisition, talent development, and talent retention as well as providing executive leadership for the organization.

You can connect with Mary Ellen in the following ways:


You can connect with Dr. Laura Sicola in the following ways:

  • LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/drlaurasicola
  • LinkedIn Business Page: https://www.linkedin.com/company/vocal-impact-productions/
  • YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/VocalImpactProductions
  • Facebook: Vocal Impact Productions
  • Twitter: @LauraSicola
  • Instagram: @VocalImpactProductions
  • Website: https://vocalimpactproductions.com/
  • Laura’s Online Course: virtualinfluence.today


See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.


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