Release Date: 
Monday, December 16, 2019

Executive Director of Human Resources, and related news

Dear Colleagues,

I want to share with you the good news that Dr. LaDonna Holley has been appointed Executive Director of Human Resources (HR), effective January 6, 2020.

The interview process was collaborative and included members of each collective bargaining unit, the Cabinet, and the Human Resources team. The search committee included Keambra Pierson (chair), Bryan Bame, Pat Chatman, Amy Clark, Kimberly Kaier, Bill Norris, Elaine Saneske, and Carla Serfas. My thanks to all of them for their hard work.

Dr. Holley succeeds Lynn Borczon, Assistant Director of Human Resources, who has led HR on an interim basis since Vice President Cynthia Glass left the College last spring. Lynn will return to her regular role as Assistant Director of HR. I want to extend my personal gratitude to Lynn. She took on a large amount of work not only as interim leader of the department, but also because other members of the HR team moved to new jobs. Lynn took on this role, in addition to her regular work, with grace and dedication. The entire HR team deserves our gratitude for working through these past many months with several positions vacant. That team includes Lynn, Terri Hagen, Tiffany Webster, Amany Jadallah, and Adam (Ziad) Jaber.

Introducing Dr. LaDonna Holley

Before accepting the role at HFC, Dr. Holley served for 12 years as Senior Vice President of Human Resources, Organizational Development, and Housing Operations for Presbyterian Villages of Michigan. She was responsible for the development and implementation of Human Resources, overseeing 800 employees across 34 locations. Previously, she was Director of Human Resources at Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency, and Human Resources Manager at Renaissance Home Health Care.

Dr. Holley brings extensive experience with teaching and training. She has facilitated the development of diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. Other primary areas of expertise include human resources management, employee relations, compliance and investigations, and organizational development. She holds a Doctor of Ministry, a Master of Science in Human Resources Administration, and a Bachelor of Science in Human Resource development, as well as certification as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR).

Dr. Holley asked me to share the following with you, as she prepares to take this leadership role at HFC in January:

“I am looking forward to joining the HFC College community. Henry Ford College is a gem in the community, and I was drawn by its mission to transform lives, build a better future, and provide an outstanding education for students. Equally important to transforming the lives of students, is the positive contribution that staff, faculty, and leadership share in building upon HFC's great legacy. I am honored to serve in this executive leadership capacity, guiding the Human Resources department, and together, creating a rewarding employee experience.”

I look forward to having Dr. Holley join our campus team and lead our HR department. I hope all of you will join me in extending a heartfelt HFC welcome. Please do invite Dr. Holley into our collaborative teamwork across all departments at the College.

Human Resources reporting line

As you know, the College began an evaluation of the HR department in May of this year. That process was led by Vice Presidents Lori Gonko and Amy Clark.

They worked with HR Collaborative of Grand Rapids throughout the process. They reviewed documentation and industry best practices, and benchmarked our HR department against similar institutions. They sought feedback from individuals across campus and gave each employee an opportunity to provide input via a campus-wide survey. Individual interviews were conducted with all HR team members, campus union leaders, cabinet members, deans, and me.

A key outcome of this process was to create the position of Executive Director of Human Resources to lead the HR department, and to conduct the hiring process that led to Dr. Holley’s appointment.

Another outcome of the process is my decision, in consultation with Cabinet, to have the HR department report to Dr. Lori Gonko, whose new title will be Vice President of Strategy and Human Resources. Dr. Holley will report directly to Dr. Gonko.

Campus Safety reporting line

As part of the Campus Safety service level analysis, which is nearly completed, Cabinet and I have discussed the reporting line for Campus Safety. The department has been reporting to me on an interim basis since the departure of Dr. Glass last spring. I have decided that Campus Safety will report to Dr. Daniel Herbst, Vice President for Student Affairs. Karen Schoen, Campus Safety Manager, now reports to Dr. Herbst.

I look forward to sharing the results of the Campus Safety service level analysis with you in early 2020.

I am proud to be your teammate. And I welcome any feedback you have on this news.

As always, I thank you for all you to do for this great College.

Russ Kavalhuna