I have known Paula Grace for all of the nearly 12 years that she served as our HR Manager at our natural foods co-op. Throughout these years, our organization experienced many challenging, sometimes stressful changes as we grew.  And through it all, Paula always provided thoughtful resources and administrative stability to meet the fast-paced, sometimes chaotic workplace environment (for example a recent full-building remodeling that took nearly an entire year).  Paula’s stability and calm confidence greatly helped many staff members successfully adapt to these changes.

Paula always demonstrated a highly professional approach to the myriad HR responsibilities entrusted to her, with dedication and high ethical standards.  I have always trusted her fully.

In one case (very personal to me), our Marketing Department underwent a wrenching restructure that resulted in removal of many of my favorite duties.  During my time of disappointment and dismay, Paula made a great effort to reassure me that I now had opportunities to learn some valuable new skill sets.  I will always remember — with gratitude — how Paula handled this situation with grace, kindness, empathy and integrity.

In the weeks that followed, it was Paula herself who trained me well – how to onboard new hires into our co-op, a workplace duty that I’d never before been able to experience.  I learned a lot and enjoyed the process; and was blessed almost immediately with regaining my confidence and creative edge – to better serve our co-op and even our marketing department.

In summary, Paula never just phones it in.  Day after day — without fail — I have watched her pour her professional passion, her considerable workplace wisdom and her intelligent spark into helping keep our organization running like a well-balanced mechanism. 

And Paula helped make it a better place.  That’s why I miss her.

S.H. – Communications Specialist

I was out of work / between jobs and basically just down on my luck when I had a conversation with Paula who was able to offer me a unique view and outside perspective on my situation. After thoroughly listening to my story and details of how I was viewing what was happening, she offered me specific tips, pointers, and advice on how to potentially get past the trials that I was currently facing in my life.

During our back-and-forth she did an excellent job breaking down the situation and ultimately explained that I needed to just go confront the issue face-to-face that was deterring my progress. Long story short, I am now currently working full time and I would not hesitate to go to Paula for consulting sessions in the future. She has the necessary tools for success and a drive for nothing less than excellence. I truly feel that anyone could benefit from her coaching and I would highly encourage anyone who may may be looking to start their career or even take it to the next level to seriously consider utilizing the resources that Paula at Inner Wisdom Coaching and Consulting has to offer!

M.E. – Insurance Claims Adjuster

Paula managed both the long-term goals of our human relations department while balancing the daily demands of staff and management. She has implemented new tools to simplify and improve reviews, updated policies and revised surveys. She’s always on top of important trends and legal status changes, keeping our organization on top. Paula also understands branding and supports it from the HR perspective which is greatly appreciated by the marketing department! When you work with Paula, you are working with one of the finest HR managers around.

Charli M. – Marketing Professional

I have had the great fortune of being a colleague of Paula’s and witnessing first hand her commitment, honesty and deep understanding of the human resource function. As the top human resource professional in her arena, she has guided, encouraged, held accountable and been able to add and maintain top talent. Her understanding of what it takes to provide value and be compliant, all the while managing risk, is second to none. Her ability to engage employees, assist them as they become the best they can be, and meet business goals, is top notch. I would be grateful to have another opportunity to collaborate with her in any business environment.

Kathy V. – Human Resources Professional

Paula has accomplished some outstanding work. Paula came in to our co-op and took a quick read on where we were in regards to our human resources capability. She worked with me on a list of priorities and set to work.

Paula organized all of our employee files, both current and past, and advised me on what was missing in each file. She also prepared all the forms necessary for future hires. Paula gave me a basic introductory session on current state and federal law as it relates to human resources. She produced a list of resources I could use to tap into after she was gone.

She read through our current Employee Handbook, made suggestions and provided me with a finished, new resource I can share with my employees. And she walked through with me her best practices of hiring. We had an open position at the time and Paula set up accounts to post the opening, provided me with a host of her best interview questions and even conducted some phone interviews which I listened in and then I conducted a phone interview while she listened.

We have taken a significant step in our human resources capability. We are better organized, have a clearer understanding of what current law requires of employers and will soon be implementing strategies that make our pay scale and benefits package more equitable and coherent. I am so pleased we could get help from Paula.

We are a small co-op and are emerging from some very difficult financial issues. We could not afford to pay a consultant to come in and do what Paula accomplished. (As a matter of fact, I’m not sure even if we could afford a consultant we would have received the quality and scope of work Paula accomplished in the short time she had.) She is a bundle of energy and we are significantly better off today re: human resources than we were just two short months ago. This benefit will be long lasting.

Baard Webster, General Manager, Spiral Natural Foods

I took part in Paula’s bi-weekly book group on Dare To Lead. As a higher education executive, I wanted to better understand the book’s concepts to implement them at work. The bi-weekly book group sessions with Paula were exactly what I was looking for after reading Dare to Lead. Paula has a kind, thoughtful and intelligent way of leading discussions that is also inclusive, inspiring and intellectually stimulating. The book discussion led me perfectly into a two-day Dare To Lead workshop, giving me bi-weekly opportunities to practice engaging with the book’s concepts. After each meeting, I was inspired to engage in the book’s practices both at work and personally, and even integrated the practices into my unit — because of Paula’s encouragement and finesse with helping me see how the ideas were relevant to my world. Paula is one of the most generous facilitators I have ever met. Her honesty and care is above and beyond and her sensitivity to diverse perspectives is outstanding. I highly encourage others to take advantage of all that she has to offer.

Carey McDougall, Director of Academic Affairs @ Penn State Beaver