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Meet Mehateme Emiru, SOWA's Human Resources Generalist!

by School's Out Washington | | Posted under School's Out News

Mehateme Emiru joined SOWA in March as our first Human Resources Generalist. Mehateme manages and performs all aspects of the organization's human resources management which includes, the development and implementation of HR policy and procedure, workforce planning, talent acquisition and retention, employee relation, payroll and benefit management, HRIS, and training and performance management based on best practices to help advance SOWA's mission and vision. Get to know Mehateme better and learn more about what brought him to the SOWA team.

Where are you from?
I am from Ethiopia, Addis Ababa, a very ethnically diverse city that serves as capital city of Africa, as well.

What do you like to do in your down time?
Play around with new management concepts, practices, skills, and never stop learning. There’s always new information, trends, and technology coming along to defy our expectations. I sometime spend time volunteering, in part to give back to our communities, and in part for the networking opportunities and other intangible benefits. I make time for my wellness, friends and family, as well as through culturally and spiritually oriented events and gatherings. I am aware that happiness changes over time and as such, I realized that such engagements have inherent behavior of stress relief and energy boosts that help me to be more productive and feel better throughout the day.

What brought you to SOWA?
Through my many years of professional and leadership experience, I have acquired enormous skills and portfolio experiences working with corporate-wide staff, families, and community members in different socioeconomic circumstances. I believe these experiences provided a great foundation for the work I would be doing in the capacity of HR. I chose to engage by being employed by an organization that puts social justice and racial equity at the forefront of its strategic foundation. I have an active role in developing solutions to social issues through the strategic alignment of modern human resources management, as the success of an organization is highly dependent upon its precious resources - its employees. This means the environment in which we all are operating requires strong collaborative and relationship building skills, mobilization, and the desire to be part of the agency’s work. Therefore, the mission, the people I work alongside, the opportunity to provide human resource stewardship to empower the under served populace, these are all the factors that drives my career decisions.

Tell us one thing you are proud of.
Managing organizational change, as with my previous employer, is challenging. Especially in the context of a large organization with more than 14,000 employees and involvement from broad-based stakeholders. Personally, I’m proud of the fact that we had a successful implementation of a very comprehensive and complete overhauling of organizational change in a very dynamic and corporate environment. This is because both the heart and mind fully engaged for the initiative, prepared for long hours, and at times, dealt with resistance and opposition. Things weren’t always glamorous, but we as a team had to be willing to do it all together to get the job done. Luckily, when your work becomes a natural extension of who you are, no task is too big or small. This keeps me motivated and helps others stay the course. That was an incredible lifetime experience for me and one that makes me very proud.

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