Featured Colleague — Laurie Youngman

laurie-yougman-fc-groveBy Joy S. Jones

Laurie Youngman, manager, employee wellness and support, has less than 3.5 years to go until retirement. However, before she leaves the building, poco a poco, she is dotting I’s and crossing T’s in order to ensure a smooth transition for her successor and transfer the institutional knowledge she’s gained during her 16-year tenure.

“While Laurie has enrolled in DROP (deferred retirement option plan), an alternative method for payment of your retirement benefits, that has not slowed down any contribution made in her day job as manager of employee wellness and support,” said Mary Beth Clifton, director, Total Rewards and Workforce Planning. “She continues to make forward-thinking contributions to ensure that this a special place for employees and is always seeking ways we can improve how we make employees aware of what resources are available to them.”

Creating options is the name of the game.

“We’re looking to get creative in how we aid our employees’ achievement of work-life balance. One of the ways we can do that is to develop a support network that is available to bridge the gap,” Laurie shared, explaining that it is a work-in-progress.

On tap — they’re examining ways to equip the sandwich generation with balancing child-care issues along with care for their aging parents. At the same time, the department is seeking the best ways to educate employees on saving for their own retirement.

“It’s a delicate balance and we want to make sure we provide as much opportunity to our employees as possible, from education to fitness to emotional support,” she conveyed.

Laurie has been in the human resources profession for more than 32 years, working in areas of benefits, compensation, employment, recognition programs and special projects. She has witnessed a sea of change in the field.

“It’s no longer just about managing personnel but about how we manage our resources to maximize job satisfaction. This leads to employee retention; and at Valencia, I think we’re very good at doing that and making people feel that they are truly part of the organizational family,” she said.

“As I considered changing our Total Rewards organization to enable an all-inclusive focus, I knew that Laurie was one to build this legacy,” said Mary Beth. “She demonstrates such passion and commitment for helping her fellow employees and ‘teaching how to fish’ to gain the most knowledge of how programs work best for their personal needs.”

Laurie truly enjoys her work and says that it is her calling. She has also served as an adjunct professor, teaching courses in human resources, such as compensation and benefits, recruitment and staffing, and human resources management law.

“It’s such a joy to me to be able to help a colleague resolve an issue and lift a burden they may have, and I just love passing along knowledge I’ve gained to others,” she espoused. “Plus, being such a great place to work fosters the best employees who contribute to the success of our students. Our community looks to us to produce the brightest and best, and we always seem to deliver!”

Laurie achieves work-life balance by spending quality time with her husband, Andrew Youngman, a maintenance technician, who is also a Valencia employee, along with five cats, a Yorkie and a goat named “Spanky” who dances for Tostitos.

A native Floridian, Laurie was born and raised in Central Florida. She has a master’s degree in public administration and a bachelor of arts in elementary education from the University of Central Florida. She also attained both associate professor and digital professor designations from Valencia.

Know of someone doing great work at the College, who has been an employee for one year or more? Send the colleague’s name to us at The_Grove@valenciacollege.edu so he or she can be one of our featured colleagues.


  • Amy Bosley said:

    Laurie, thank you for all you do to support our team, our employees, and their families. It's a pleasure to work with you!

    PMTue, 26 Aug 2014 21:43:06 +0000Tue, 26 Aug 2014 21:43:06 +0000pm14,9:43 pm

  • Karen Cowden said:

    Laurie has been a steady voice of support and needed navigation with healthcare questions, and so much more! Thank you for your service to me and my family.

    PMFri, 05 Sep 2014 19:19:32 +0000Fri, 05 Sep 2014 19:19:32 +0000pm14,7:19 pm

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