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Melissa Ernat

Melissa Ernat

Training & Organization Development Consultant (HR, Community Relations, PR)


Sherrard, IL



Training & Organizational Development Consultant (HR, Community Relations, PR)

Current Projects:
~ Evaluated, developed, coordinated, and delivered training programs that support organization objectives and re-aligned with the organization’s business plan.
~ Provided coaching, whole-systems analysis and process re engineering for team and organization development in consultation with HR Director (assuring they were aligned with the organizations strategic plans), for presentation to executive leaders and senior managers, to implement organization improvement initiatives.
~ Developed new manager and staff development program to support the organization’s growth and succession plans, and provided coaching to HR Director in delivery and implementation of new plan.
~ Created communication (print and electronic) used to present, inform and train internal audiences on new programs and processes.
~ Assisted HR Director with development of new collegiate recruitment plan, active recruitment searches to fill key positions, development of new recruitment strategies designed to produce higher quality candidates in less time with lower costs, assisted in relocation of executive leadership.
~ Provided guidance and coaching on development and implementation of new electronic employee performance evaluation process, designed to provide data which could be used for training, retention, and employee engagement.
~ Conducted research and prepared communication for HR Director and senior leadership on conflict resolution, navigating the termination of potentially hostile employees, and the benefits of establishing improved and annual company wide training on key compliance issues such as Harassment & Discrimination, Drug & Alcohol Policy, Internet & Social Media Usage, and an Open Door Communication policy which includes, encourages & rewards the presentation of new ideas & concepts that are either cost savings measures, or provide growth opportunities for the company.

Other Projects / Services Offered:
~ Conduct Individual and Organizational Mind Mapping, create short & long term plans, and assist with execution and delivery of ideas/goals/changes in plans; based on my 4WH Philosophy for Strategic Planning, Professional Development, Organizational Change and Growth; uniquely tailored to individual and/or company needs based on assessment.
~ Develop, create content for, and manage social media (blog, FaceBook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube).
~ Create, coordinate, train and implement company crisis action plans (proactive & reactive).
~ Coordinate community / employee outreach, and philanthropic activities.
~ Plan, organize, and oversee all aspects of special events (internally and externally).

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Tyson Foods, Inc.

Community & Employee Relations Manager (Community Liaison)

Employee Relations & HR Generalist:
~ Developed, implemented and led various communications strategies which were designed to improve team member engagement, improve retention, decrease turnover, improve safety, and cultivate a more inclusive team culture.
~ Performed perception audits with line staff, analyzed results, and developed supervisor training program meant to improve how supervisors communicate with their Team Members.
~ Provided resource and referral to line staff and management for community needs.
~ Organized Internal fundraising campaigns (United Way, Charity of Choice).
~ Conducted Team Member training (Harassment & Discrimination / Drug & Alcohol), and conducted Harrassment & Discrimination Investigations.
~ Facilitated diversity committee in collaboration with labor union, drafted funding proposals to Corporate HR Director and Chicago Union Rep; Communicated the committees purpose internally and externally by educating others about our plants diversity, cultural make-Up, the impact it has on the community, and the importance of supporting those cultures within the community.
~ Developed various HR processes and topics via print (flyers, posters, bulletin boards, etc.) or electronic media for key messages and ensured they reached the appropriate audience.
~ Created content for, designed, edited and distributed (print and electronic) employee relations newsletter primarily focused on wellness distributed corporate wide.
~ Planned internal and external Team Member appreciation events.

Public & Community Relations:
~ Engaged community organizations, local and state government agencies/leaders, local businesses, and various community leaders regularly to represent a positive image of Tyson Foods; gain insight on external perception of the company, and create proactive and/or reactive plans to improve any negative perceptions.
~ Organized multiple fundraisers and community outreach events to provide public service assistance, which benefited the community.
~ Managed community & employee relations budgets, donation requests, and maintained involvement in community (chaired committees for various charity fundraisers, and was actively engaged with Non-Profit Boards).
~ Formulated press releases, created graphic design marketing materials for external communication and marketing, edited newsletter, and created content for Corporate Communications various mediums including Tyson Team Member intranet blog, company FaceBook pages, and corporate website.

Government Relations:
~ Maintained knowledge of current events and political initiatives impacting industry.
~ Maintained positive working relationships with local, state & federal legislators; lobbied in Springfield 1-2 times per year at capital and with state agencies.
~ Trained plant management on Tyson position points drafted by corporate government relations, including their personal use of social media and how to respond to comments outside of work related to stories on mainstream media.


Robert Young Center

Child & Adolescent Therapist

~ Provided Individual, Group & Family Therapy, and Case Management as the school based therapist for the Rock Island/Milan School District thru RYC - Expanded program from 4 to 7 schools.
~ Monitored, tracked and reported all required data on grant reports for State of IL.
~ Coordinated and facilitated Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment Program for RYC/Riverside, which included services provided on site at Arrowhead Ranch.
~ Conducted training & professional development courses and presentations for other healthcare, social service, law enforcement, and academic professionals.
~ Organized and participated in community outreach to raise awareness of Mental Health, and to seek additional funding for RYC Services.
~ Provided crises intervention & conducted diagnostic assessments.

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Family Resources, Inc.

Supervisor Victims Services Programs

~ Established a comprehensive skill set within Victims Services working in various positions prior to being promoted to Supervisor, including: Children's Counselor, Legal Advocate, Volunteer Coordinator, and Contractual Therapist.
~ Obtained exposure to new populations, and expanded my knowledge base as a Therapist in the Adolescent Residential Units.
~ Created internal communications content for employees, and external content (including advertising spots) for community partners, supporters and clients; all delivered thru various media (print, electronic, radio & television).
~ Advocated statewide in IL and Iowa thru lobbying efforts, and active participation on Governing Boards of State Coalitions.


Vanderginst, Roche & Westensee


~ Plaintiff's Litigation Paralegal for Dennis Vanderginst & Mike Wassell.
~ Drafted external communication to clients, medical providers, insurance adjusters, defense attorneys.
~ Managed attorneys calendars, coordinated meetings, and triaged phone calls.
~ Tracked case expenses, coordinated meetings, negotiated & closed out claims, researched & investigated claims, reviewed & summarized medical records, assisted with complex settlement structures & disbursements, prepared for trial, drafted complaints, petitions, motions, interrogatories, and discovery responses.

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Western Illinois University

MS Ed. - Community Mental Health

Arizona State University

BA - Communications / Broadcast Journalism