Director of Human Resources for the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District and Executive MBA student Douglas Dykes was honored as HR Executive of the Year Finalist at the Archer Awards
-- The Following is a transcription of an article about Doug from Crain's Cleveland Business --
Kellie Rotunno jokingly says that Douglas Dykes, director of human resources for the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District, is her twin brother from whom she was separated at birth.
That feeling comes from seven years of working with and getting to know Dykes on both a personal and professional level, said Rotunno, who is NEOSRD’s chief operating officer.
Just as Rotunno speaks highly of Dykes’ accomplishments — such as creating a team spirit and a continuous improvement culture — she points to his commitment to his community, church and family as the qualities that make Dykes stand out.
“On a professional level you like him,” she said.
“But when you get to know Doug on a personal level, that’s when you get to love him.”
Dykes started working for the sewer district in August 2008, following five years in human resources at The Holden Arboretum and 10 years with the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority.
As director of human resources for the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District, Dykes is lead strategic partner for all human capital initiatives.
According to the nomination, he has converted “a strictly transactional HR department into a robust strategic HR department,” transitioning human resources functions from “supporting district initiatives to driving district initiatives.”
Among his accomplishments have been streamlining business processes, including incorporation of paperless transactions; introducing domestic partner benefits; facilitating in-house production of an employee handbook; spearheading the introduction and administration of a wellness program; and fully implementing a paid time off program.
Dykes and his team have received recognition both locally and nationally for their work.
“Douglas has phased out antiquated policies and processes; he’s ushered in change and strategic initiatives in an organization where HR was historically utilized as a personnel department for solely processing paperwork,” the nomination said.
“Under Douglas’ leadership, the HR Department has transitioned into a strategic business partner leading change and assisting in setting the direction for the entire organization.”
He also co-founded the HR Exchange Network to foster a platform where more than 60 HR professionals meet quarterly to network and share practices, and he facilitated a Charity Choice program, which has set record numbers for financial donations and been publicly recognized for its achievements.
“Douglas is an exceptional business leader with exemplary character. He is trustworthy and lives his life with honesty and integrity. Douglas is a person of passion and dedication in his personal life and career,” said Julius Ciaccia, NEORSD CEO, in a letter accompanying the nomination.
“He sees the potential in those around him and has the ability to tap into that potential while inspiring others to push beyond their limits, grow their talent and reach the peak performance,” Ciaccia wrote. “His number one priority is to ensure that his staff is regularly being challenged to grow, learn and demonstrate strategic HR practices.”
Pictured above, left to right: Dr. Mary Hrivnak, Associate Professor, Department of Management; Shirley A. Leonard, Director of Advancement for the Monte Ahuja College of Business; Dr. Richard Reed, Interim Dean, Monte Ahuja College of Business; Douglas Dykes, Director of Human Resources for the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District and Archer Awards Finalist; Dr. Susan Storrud-Barnes, Associate Professor, Department of Management and Ron Mickler, Interim Director of Graduate Business Programs.