Hello, I am Kathy Johnson. I have been in HR for 25+ years and found that I could not advance my career anymore without a degree, so I went back to school at 38 and received my BS degree at 40. I have a BS degree in Human Resources Leadership from DePaul University. If I had started my education at a younger age, I would have considered continuing to law school. I have always had an interest in law but felt I was too late in my life to pursue that path. I was very excited when I saw the MJ-LEL program at Tulane, I thought about it for less than 5 minutes and knew I wanted to pursue my Masters in Jurisprudence in Employment and Labor Law.
I have recently been promoted to the Chief Human Resources Officer of Energy Distribution Partners (EDP). EDP is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, and is a distributor of propane and fuel to residential, commercial, and agricultural businesses. In many rural communities, propane is the main source of gas for cooking, heating, etc. There are also many uses for propane, in one western market, our biggest customer is a school district, and all their school buses run on propane. In other areas of the country, agriculture utilizes propane to power their grain mills and irrigation systems.
The bulk of my HR career has been in building HR departments, policies, and procedures. When I began at EDP, there were no HR employees, not even an employment application. We had 318 employees when I started in March 2018, we now have close to 800 employees in 41 locations covering 14 states. When I started in 2018, HR was seen as a “necessary evil” and over the past five years, HR is seen as a true business partner and a value-add across the organization. I have enjoyed ALMOST every moment of the past five years; I have learned more in five years than I have in the past 20 years.
I look forward to continuing my education, in a less official manner than school, but will pursue learning everything I can in the employment law arena.
Capstonian © 2023 by Kathy Johnson is licensed under CC BY 4.0