Through three decades, Lori Zaret has experienced all areas of the human relations profession including talent acquisition, employee relations, compensation and benefits design and administration, performance management and organizational effectiveness.
She received a bachelor of science degree in bilingual social work and certification as a senior professional in human resources from the Society of Human Resources Management.
She says the HR profession is shifting from a tactical, compliance and risk focus to a strategic business focus as a result of new technology, outsourcing of basic functions such as payroll and benefit administration and the need for deeper, more specialized knowledge. New recruiting platforms and social media are changing the way people are hired, self-serve capabilities are changing the way employees manage their pay and benefits and tech-savvy millennials are driving a bottom-up approach to adopting new tools and applications.
“The HR professional of the future will be a strategic thinker bringing broader insights to the leadership team that will drive business strategies and results,” she said.
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOUR COMPANY
PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND: Since discovering the field of Human Resources 30 years ago my career has navigated through all areas of HR including Talent Acquisition, Employee Relations, Compensation and Benefits design and administration, Performance Management, Career and Leadership Development, and Organization Effectiveness. My industry experience ranges from the insurance industry to telecommunications and ultimately landed me in financial services/banking.
EDUCATION: Bachelors of Science from the University of Connecticut in Bilingual Social Work, postgraduate studies at the University of Sevilla in Spain, Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) certification from the Society of Human Resources Management.
Exchange Bank is a great place for me because my personal values mirror the core values of our organization: Integrity, Commitment, Respect and Teamwork. People come to Exchange Bank and stay at Exchange Bank because of the strong comradery that exists; we are dedicated to serving our customers and also encouraged to support our community. There is an expression that I try to live by and that I believe reflects what Exchange Bank means to Sonoma County: “Say little and do much”. Although you don’t see it in our advertisements or hear us boast about it, we give our time, our talent and our treasury to support the needs in Sonoma County, helping nonprofits, providing funding for scholarships and giving countless hours volunteering and serving on Boards to make our community a great place to live and work. Exchange Bank does so much, and I am honored to have the opportunity to be a part of it.
MAJOR ACCOMPLISHMENT IN THE PAST YEAR OR SO
This year, I led an initiative that made Exchange Bank the first financial institution in the North Bay to become a Heartsafe Business by installing defibrillators (AEDs) in most of its locations and training the majority of our 400-plus employees in CPR. Eight years ago, at age 48 my husband had a major heart attack which took his life. Had there been an AED available supported by someone to provide CPR, he might have survived. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. and Sonoma County, and by making AEDs readily accessible we can protect the lives of our customers, employees and the community.
WHAT IS THE ACHIEVEMENT YOU ARE MOST PROUD OF?
Senior vice president and chief human resources officer
545 Fourth St., Santa Rosa, CA 95401
Hometown: New Haven, Conn.