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Workplace Practices Group


15709 SW Brasada Ranch Rd., Powell Butte, OR 97753
(503) 345-9456 (Cell) *


Over 25 years of C-level experience in all facets of human resources and labor relations; over 40 years of overall experience.  Value-added experience as a labor and employment lawyer with in-house and private practice experience.  Broad public and private sector experience, including financial services, public transportation, electric utilities, retail, healthcare, business process outsourcing, professional services and software/IT  companies.  Personal expertise in employee and labor relations, executive search and recruiting, compensation, benefits, organizational effectiveness, strategic planning and HR mergers & acquisitions.  Skilled strategist, exceptional negotiator, persuasive presenter, wise counselor, and a keen-eyed developer of talent.  

Clifton Strengths Signature Themes:  Strategic, Analytical, Relator, Achiever, Command.




Founding Principal          2018 - PRESENT
Workplace Practices Group – Powell Butte, OR            
Consulting practice serving public and private employers, law firms, associations and non-profit clients nationally through expert witness, labor relations, workplace practices, workplace investigations, executive search and compensation services.

Executive Director, Labor Relations & Human Resources          2011 –2018
TriMet (Executive Committee) – Portland, OR        
Ninth largest public transit district in the United States with 3,000 employees.  Reported to CEO (GM).

Founding Principal          2002 –2011
Workplace Practices Group – Portland, OR (concurrent with Chelan County PUD)       
Consulting practice serving public and private employers, law firms, associations and non-profit clients nationally through expert witness, labor relations, workplace practices, workplace investigations, executive search and compensation services.

Executive Manager, Human Resources Group (Executive Committee)          2004 - 2009
Chelan County Public Utility District – Wenatchee, WA       
Electric utility with $3 billion in replacement value assets that generates 2,000 average megawatts of renewable energy.  Reported to CEO (GM).  Concurrent, in part, with WPG work above.

Vice President, Human Resources & In-House Counsel (Executive Committee)          2000 - 2002
Concera Corporation (FleetBoston Financial Corp.) – Portland, OR     
Business process outsourcing company for state and local government benefit programs nationwide.  Reported to President. 

Vice President, Human Resources & Legal Affairs (Executive Committee)          1991 - 2000
Copeland Lumber Yards, Inc. – Portland, OR        
Pro-oriented building materials retailer with 85 locations in five western states.  Reported to Chairwoman/CEO.

Attorney at Law          1989 - 1991
Miller Nash LLP – Portland, OR          
Large Portland law firm; representation of management in all areas of labor and employment law.  

Attended Law School          1986 – 1989
Vanderbilt University School of Law
Clerked at Fulbright & Jaworski (Houston) and Young & Perl (Memphis) in labor law and litigation
sections.  Full-time offers extended by both firms.    

Senior Vice President - Human Resources – Texas Commerce Bank - Austin          1981 – 1986
Vice President - Recruiting & Employment – Texas Commerce Bank - Houston 
Texas Commerce Bancshares (now JPMorgan Chase & Company) – Houston, TX     
$20B regional commercial bank with 7,500 employees.

Manager of Corporate Relations          1978 - 1981
Manager of Corporate Recruiting
Systematics, Inc. (Alltel Financial Information Services) – Little Rock, AR 1978 – 1981
IT banking services and software development with 45 locations and 1,500 employees.

Executive Recruiter          1976 – 1978
Personnel Resources Corporation – Los Angeles and San Francisco, CA    
Executive search firm providing retained and contingency search for the IT industry


Labor Relations, Employee Relations & Employment Law

  • Negotiated $55 million in concessions for a public sector employer and reduced its nearly $1 billion OPEB liability by 25% over the three-year term of the collective bargaining agreement.
  • Managed a two-year, highly visible effort to reverse an IT union representation vote that went 55% for the union initially.  After appealing and securing a new election from the Public Employee Relations Commission, prevailed in a 93% vote against union representation. 
  • Served as Chief Negotiator in several labor contract negotiations.
  • Won 60+ administrative claims of discrimination as in-house counsel; no settlements.
  • In private practice, won 100% of trial claims, motions, arbitrations, and NLRB hearings argued.

Expert Witness & Workplace Investigations

  • Served as an expert witness in multiple cases involving the civil litigation of a wide range of employment law matters, including retention on a consulting basis, document review, report generation and deposition and trial testimony.  As an example of work product, plaintiff’s counsel in one case observed W-P-G’s expert report represented the most persuasive report that attorney had ever reviewed.  In addition to expert work, served as a fact witness in many civil and administrative trials.
  • Taught a team of human resource business partners how to conduct effective workplace investigations, including authoring an internal treatise covering the investigative process, the evaluation of admissible evidence and establishing a prima facie case in a wide variety of employment law claims.
  • Personally conducted dozens of workplace investigations, internally and as a consultant.

Compensation, Benefits and Total Rewards

  • Became Oregon’s first public sector employer to develop a model for determining pay equity; conducted a pay equity analysis; implemented the few remedial steps needed; and published the results to the public transportation agency and to the public.  
  • In depth market analysis of public transportation compensation and benefits systems for purposes of labor contract negotiations.  Investigated, restated, modeled, and compared various approaches to base compensation used by public transit agency comparators nationally.  Used results to conduct an “apples-to-apples” comparative analysis and make appropriate contract proposals. 
  • Rebuilt the compensation program, introducing innovative and highly-applauded “pool of money” and “salary recovery” programs, including flexible management planning and calibration tools.
  • Developed and implemented a unique, sophisticated, and user friendly “salary planner” tool for use in pay for performance companies.
  • Reengineered company benefits, controlling annual cost increases to 4% over five years with no plan design changes or shifting of fees to employees; negotiated $400,000 in annual savings for 401(a)/457 employee fees.
  • Ground-up benefits program rebuild to contain costs, introduce innovation, and increase perceived value.  Implemented a defined contribution health plan to pre-determine employer's annual costs precisely; reallocated savings to reconfigure the 401(k) plan and take advantage of safe harbor provisions.  
  • Implemented a 401(k) plan that maintained over 86% participation, despite difficult demographics and very conservative plan design.  Served as 401(k) plan administrator and investment committee chair.  Integrated an acquisition's 401(k) plan after spotting defects and reforming the plan to comply with ERISA requirements.
  • Implemented a benefits eligibility audit that produced a savings of over $1 million per year by identifying and dropping ineligible employees and union officers from the employer’s plan.

Talent Acquisition/Executive Search

  • Implemented a highly successful initiative to rapidly increase the number of bus operators in a public transit agency using innovative advertising and new compensation approaches, including modeling and establishing performance benchmarks for each phase of the recruiting cycle to help recruiters hit targets.
  • Managed a highly successful search for a new GM (CEO) under intense public scrutiny, facilitating a 5-0 vote by an otherwise highly polarized utility Board of Commissioners.
  • Built an internal executive search firm for a software development and IT outsourcing company that eliminated 100% of outside recruiting fees within nine months and saved $800,000 annually. 
  • Built an internal search firm for a business process outsourcer that eliminated all IT recruiting fees, saving $300,000 annually.
  • Built internal search firm for a retailer that paid no recruiting fees in nine years while halving the “time to fill” and maintaining an offer/interview ratio of 65%, acceptance/offer ratio of 78%, and acceptance/interview ratio of 51% over several years. 
  • Redesigned the college recruiting program and achieved a 104% productivity increase while reducing cycle time from interview to offer by 80%. 
  • Reduced recruiting costs in a large commercial bank from 37% over to 29% under budget, a $528,000 swing in one year; reduced cost per hire by 21% and 54% in successive years.
  • Redesigned a mid-sized commercial bank’s recruiting function and cut costs by 30% while increasing hires 88%. 

Profit-Oriented HR Pro

  • Managed budgets of up to $45 million for 25 years – never once over budget.
  • Reduced recruiting costs $1.8 million (75%) in 24 months.
  • Reduced the number of loss-making retail stores from 27 to 18 in a year.
  • Built a corporate university in a live retail store that produced 41 managers in 18 months and turned that store profitable for the first time in 20 years.  
  • Increased operating profit $1.37 million using a custom-designed system for assessing and driving increased employee productivity.  Provided store management and staff with success formula, training, incentive programs, reporting, and implementation coaching.  

HR Infrastructure

  • Completely rebuilt a utility’s HR team, increasing talent levels in all functional HR areas through reassignment and talent acquisition.  Restored HR credibility within the organization and increased HR customer service ratings in all 23 categories by an average of 23%.  Reduced overall HR expense by 15% and FTEs by 20% while successfully managing a 30% increase in transaction volume.
  • Ground-up development of a retailer’s 13-person HR department (33 including corporate university), developing high-potential staff without HR experience into high-octane HR professionals. 
  • Dramatically increased managers’ access to information through full-blown HRIS system, maximizing employee and manager self-service applications and deploying a robust on-line training platform.  Implemented PeopleSoft 8.9 eRecruiting and ePerformance modules. 

Organizational Effectiveness

  • Implemented assessment center techniques for newly hired managers, halving manager turnover.
  • Recognized by state performance auditor for a “best of breed” performance management/compensation system.
  • Redefined employee relations policies and reduced turnover by over 50%, saving $2.25 million per year.
  • Partnered with the COO to implement a "business review" approach to performance management and incentive system designed to drive performance in decentralized operations.  System included developing diagnostic metrics, proving their predictive value, and training managers in the process.  Metrics later adopted as the organization's leading indicators of operating health.
  • Created a “Double Yes” voluntary employment separation program and a furlough program to avoid involuntary layoffs while saving $2.5 million in labor costs.  Rapidly negotiated LOUs with union. 

Organizational Development

  • Partnered with new GM (CEO) to redesign the organization, streamline operations, provide career advancement for high performing managers, and reduce FTEs by 5% while holding annual turnover to less than 5.5%.
  • Championed the development and publication of comprehensive workforce analysis and implemented succession planning to address aging workforce issues.  Reorganized the management team as a result, reducing the executive team by two members while increasing overall capabilities.
  • Together with nationally recognized outside consultants, led a board-requested study to review diversity within the organization, developed and submitted to the Board for approval a set of recommended initiatives to further enhance diversity, presented the study to the Board and published it to the public.  Together with the CEO, reorganized the organization, restructured the executive team, and led executive searches to enhance diversity of senior and executive management.

Risk Management

  • Cut workers' compensation claims by 49%, claims costs by 28% and premiums by 23%, saving $597,000 per year. 
  • Cut unemployment compensation claims by 34% and charges by 52%.
  • Conducted extensive workplace practice compliance assessments to isolate compliance gaps and designed business-friendly solutions to remedy problem areas. 

Change Management and M&A

  • Led a complete strategic business planning cycle that included suppliers, managers and employees; designed follow-on programs to weave plan components into the organization's DNA.
  • Led acquisition planning and integration of a $50 Million acquisition, including organizational rebranding.
  • Led the HR divestiture due diligence for a $100 million transaction compressed into 60 days.
  • Developed Human Resources M&A due diligence checklist used by the parent company for all M&A activity.


Recipient, 2016 “Pacesetter Award” for Innovative Leadership, National Public Employee Labor Relations Association.
Recipient, 2015 “Pacesetter Award” for Innovative Leadership, Oregon Public Employee Labor Relations Association.
Author, Evans v. Jeff D: Putting Private Attorneys General on Waiver, 41 Vanderbilt Law Review 1273 (1988).
Author, Baseball and the Antitrust Laws: An Arbitrated Impasse? (Microform Publications, U. of Oregon, 1984); see also Baseball Hall of Fame Digital Collection.
Author, Attraction, Retention, and Engagement of a Diverse Management Workforce: Analysis, Findings, and Recommended Commitments, TriMet (2018).


Member, OSB Committee for the Unlawful Practice of Law (Past); Board Member, WAPELRA (Past); Board of Advisors, MEP at Work (Past); Board of Trustees, Oregon National Multiple Sclerosis Society (Past).


*Workplace Practices Group limits its services to consulting activities.  Although members of the Oregon State Bar Association, we are not engaged in the private practice of law.  When outside legal representation is required, we are pleased to provide referrals to labor and employment attorneys appropriate to client circumstances.


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Great workplaces through better workplace practices

Workplace Practices Group LLC
15709 SW Brasada Ranch Rd.
Powell Butte, OR 97753
Phone: (503) 345-9456



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