Front row, left to right: Tom Keller and Laurie Youngman. Back row, left to right: Janet McKee, Dan Compte, Joe Nunes and Beverly Ceasor
Total Rewards and Workforce Planning enables an all-inclusive focus on employee support. It’s about mind, body and spirit — a holistic approach.
In last week’s issue of The Juice, we introduced you to Mary Beth Clifton, director Total Rewards/Workforce Planning, and the organizational chart for the new Total Rewards and Workforce Planning Department. Now, meet the benefits and employee wellness and support teams:
Tom Keller, Director, Benefits
“To be part of an organization that supports the growth of education and development in the Central Florida community is truly career-satisfying,” says Tom. “This is where we can truly make a difference in people’s lives, and although I’m not working directly with the students, I have the great opportunity to support the team making that direct impact as director of benefits.”
As the director of benefits, Tom develops and implements strategic employee benefits programs designed to attract, reward and retain employees. Also, he manages the long-term strategy and day-to-day operations of the benefits team, coordinating all benefits communications, education, programs and reporting.
“Understanding benefits — especially medical insurance — is a challenge for most employees. Many don’t think about their medical insurance until they are or a family member is faced with health issues or an illness,” he says. “My goal is to communicate and educate employees so they have a better understanding of all of their benefits and how they can best utilize them in the most cost efficient and advantageous way.”
Tom joined Valencia in August 2014. Prior, he served as total rewards director with the YMCA of Central Florida, where he managed all compensation and benefit initiatives. He has a Bachelor of Arts in communication and a human resource management certificate, both from the University of Missouri. He also is credentialed as a Certified Compensation Professional (CCP) and currently serves as the vice president of the Central Florida Compensation and Benefits Association.
Janet McKee, Coordinator, Total Rewards
“Although all the information about an employee’s benefits is online, sometimes they need it translated into something they can understand, and that is what I am here to do — provide them with a ‘wow!’ experience,” says Janet McKee.
Janet counsels employees on benefit options, approves benefit elections and starts employee deductions in Banner. In addition, she approves and processes flexible spending reimbursement requests.
“I am always energized by the help I provide,” Janet says, and she frequently fields questions that range from “Why is my dentist/doctor saying I have no coverage?” to “Please explain all my benefit options.”
Retired from the U.S. Air Force with a background as an imagery intelligence analyst and project/program manager, Janet has been employed with Valencia since January 2012. She is a proud graduate of Virginia Tech where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in geography. Janet earned Professional in Human Resources (PHR) certification in June 2014.
She is involved in the Association of Florida Colleges and the local Greater Orlando and National Society for Human Resource Management.
Dan Compte, Coordinator, Total Rewards
Dan Compte says that he brings the youthful enthusiasm of “let’s go get this done” and wanting to try different things to the work at hand to his role as coordinator of Total Rewards.
Dan assists new four-month faculty with their benefits and provides support to those who are leaving the College’s employ by helping with COBRA coverage. Other responsibilities include coordination of insurance bills with payroll and working with the HR InTouch site to test the benefits system to ensure that everything works properly.
With Valencia since October 2011, he first served an intern for the assistant vice president of organizational development. In December 2011, he was hired as a part-time human resources assistant. A year later he transitioned to become an administrative assistant for the assistant vice president of human resources, and in March 2013, he became a benefits coordinator, which is now known as “Total Rewards.”
“For me, my job’s rewards, in addition to all of the Total Rewards we as Valencia employees have, are the opportunities that I have been given here to grow in my career with all of the aspects of human resources I have learned.”
Dan graduated from the University of Central Florida with a bachelor’s degree in human resources management. Since fall 2013, he has been working toward earning a Master’s of Business Administration at his alma mater. He is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).
Beverly Ceasor, Human Resources Specialist
“I enjoy helping anyone I come in contact with, whether in person or on the phone, and resolving their issues and/or concerns to their satisfaction,” says Beverly.
Beverly helps current and prior employees with questions pertaining to their Social Security Alternative Plan, inputs all employees’ retirement and other benefit codes into Banner and monitors employees’ statuses in the Florida Retirement System (FRS). She also fields questions related to basic compensation, the opt-out plan and more.
Employed since 2001, Beverly is steeped in institutional knowledge and the “Valencia Way,” having gained all her professional experiences hands-on here at the College. She worked two years as a support specialist at the front desk and the remaining years between the areas of employment and benefits.
EMPLOYEE WELLNESS AND SUPPORT TEAM
Laurie Youngman, Manager, Employee Support and Wellness
Laurie Youngman seeks to make employees’ lives easier and richer through a work-life balance that empowers them to a sense of purpose and meaning within the Valencia family. Currently, she has the task of revamping the wellness program into more of a holistic approach that encompasses Valencia’s support of its employees and their families through education, fitness and nutrition and emotional support. This is a work-in-progress about which more will be reported.
“It’s so gratifying to resolve someone’s claim issue and be able to report back to them that all is fixed and they know that we were able to save them anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars,” Laurie says. “I am also very humbled when I can console and meet with the family of a deceased employee or retiree about their loved one and handle their benefits for them. So many people depend on us to take care of them.”
Employed for 16 years at Valencia, Laurie has a master’s degree in public administration and a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from UCF. She also earned associate professor and digital professor certifications from Valencia.
When Joe Nunes retired from the U.S. Navy, one of his goals was to work at a college. For the past eight years, he has brought his expertise and compassion to bear on behalf of Valencia employees. The George Eliot quote, “It is never too late to be what you might have been,” has special meaning for him in his work with retirees.
“If I can make that a reality for someone, I believe I have helped them achieve an important goal in their life and that gives me satisfaction,” he said. “Helping employees transition to the next chapter of their lives or gain pace of mind over troubling and challenging issues is very rewarding,” he says.
Joe meets with employees to discuss retirement eligibility and options and process related documents. He also serves as a one-stop-shop for College retirees to resolve issues and answer queries. Supplemental retirement and investment options via Valencia’s 403(b) and 457(b) plans also fall under Joe’s responsibilities.
Among the questions he responds to most frequently are: When can I retire? What will my retirement amount be? What is the Valencia Retirement Incentive Plan, and am I eligible? What is the difference between the FRS Pension Plan and the FRS Investment Plan? and Can I participate in anything else besides the FRS?
A well-versed human resources generalist, Joe has a bachelor’s degree in human resources and Certified College Professional (CCP) designation through the Association of Florida Colleges, where he is an active member. He has also served on the Professional Staff Leadership Team (PSLT).
Outside the College, Joe is involved in his church, in music and serves as a Sunday School teacher. Additionally, he is involved with community theatre with Moonlight Players in Clermont and the Garden Theatre.
In next week’s Juice, we’ll introduce you to the compensation and workforce planning teams.