After eight months with no human-resources director, Lake County Government has hired Chicago native Lorry Parker to fill the role.
Parker comes to Lake County with over 20 years of experience in the human resources realm, including stints at Campbell Soup Company and pharmaceutical distributor McKesson Corporation. From start-ups to Fortune 100 companies, Parker has built four HR departments from the ground up and managed HR during eight corporate acquisitions.
In 2015, Parker started her own consulting business. Over a four-year period, Parker analyzed human resource needs for engineering firms, marketing agencies and healthcare companies.
Parker, who was already interested in moving to Colorado to be closer to family when she saw the job posting, arrived in Lake County about a month ago.
“It’s been amazing how open and warm everyone has been,” Parker told the Herald.
After a few weeks on the job, Parker said her top priorities are the employee handbook, standard operating procedures, and hiring and retainment practices. It’s too soon to say whether such policies and procedures need revision or a total rewrite, Parker said.
Parker will also look at the county’s conflict-resolution structure and help evaluate different human-capital- management software systems.
Unlike Whittney Smythe-Smith, who served as executive assistant to the Board of County Commissioners during her time as HR director, Parker will solely focus on HR.
“We don’t want to put so much into this role that we can’t accomplish the things we need in the HR realm,” commissioner Kayla Marcella said.
The Lake County job marks Parker’s first governmental position, a challenge she feels prepared for with some review of Colorado labor laws.
“My biggest intrinsic reward is bringing someone on and watching them successfully progress through an organization,” Parker told the Herald.