Get to Know Kena R. Sears

What are your current job responsibilities?

I coordinate credit and non-credit professional development programs for local and regional businesses in the Greater Philadelphia area. Programs include: Diversity and Inclusion, Project Management, Supply Chain, Leadership and Management Development. Some of the various industry sectors that we serve are healthcare, manufacturing, and banking/financial. In addition to these responsibilities, I assist HR professionals with implementation of strategic plans that pertain to employee engagement, recruitment, and retention.

Why did you choose HR as your field?

Human Resources is an exciting and ever-changing field. I am not charged with HR responsibilities, the nature of my job requires me to be cognizant of trends, needs and challenges that exist in the HR field.

What is your current job or role?

As a continuing Education Representative with Penn State Abington, Office of Continuing Education, I am charged with business development that results in on site corporate training.

In your current job, what gives you the greatest sense of reward and accomplishment?

The most rewarding part of my job is having the resource to solve an HR challenge. It is important that our professional development programs are customized to fit the unique challenge posted by the client. The most satisfying feeling is when a client informs me that he/she saw ROI as a result of training.

What is your greatest personal or professional accomplishment?

WOW! That’s a hard question, considering that I have so much to do in this life! Currently, I am earning my M.B.A. with a concentration in Biotechnology and Health Industry Management at Penn State Great Valley (graduating December 2014). To date, this has been my greatest professional accomplishment because it has tested my ability to juggle personal and professional responsibilities.

What words of wisdom would you offer to someone entering the HR field?

Have a tough skin, stay abreast of current trends and attend professional development programs to acquire and/or enhance skill sets.

What have you found most valuable about being a member of PSHRM?

I love the camaraderie of the members. Most beneficial has been my time serving on the Programming Committee. It is satisfying to see an idea turn into a plan then into a comprehensive program.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

One of my guilty pleasures is watching “reality tv.” I know that most of it is fake and scripted, but it helps me escape from my chaotic life. When I am not watching TV, I spend time with my two children (ages 16 and 13) being a “soccer” mom (i.e. personal chauffeur) and enjoying cultural activities. I also enjoy karaoke (no, I can’t sing!) and discovering new places to go for brunch.

If given an opportunity to do something really extraordinary or adventurous, what would it be and why?

One day, I will get the nerve to go zip-lining. I also want to go to Italy to eat endless pasta and bread without worrying about my caloric calorie intake (just like Julia Roberts in “Eat.Pray.Love”)

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