Keri’s role as a coach began well before she formalized it with a certification and title. Her initial plan when she began college was to complete a Ph.D track psychology program. However, during her junior year she received a research assistantship working for a professor of human resources. She was intrigued and inspired by the opportunities for human resources departments to impact the development path and career experience of so many, and the possibilities of shaping workplace culture for the positive. Very quickly after taking on the assistantship, she changed her focus from evaluating Ph.D programs to evaluating masters in HR programs. As an HR leader, she used her skills to help create development plans on an organization wide level, and coach her staff, managers and peers through challenging and sensitive situations where she was known for her calm and objective approach. Keri’s love of coaching also brought her into higher education as a mentor for students enrolled in Marquette University’s College of Business Administration, and as an adjunct faculty member teaching training and development.
After more than 15 years in HR, a relocation out of state with her family became the catalyst for a career change, and Keri founded Apex in 2019. For the first 3 years, Keri split her time between coaching professionals at all levels and industries, and providing fractionalized HR consulting services for various companies. During this period, she realized that while her consulting roles were gratifying, coaching was truly her passion. And, specifically, coaching her ideal client – Women in senior HR roles who want to be the leader and role model for others that they perhaps didn’t have for themselves. So in 2022, with the input of countless clients and HR leaders, Keri redesigned her business to focus on delivering coaching programs aligned specifically for supporting the needs of women in senior HR roles.
As a long time HR practitioner herself, Keri knows firsthand the challenges her clients face. She also knows the value that excellent HR can have on shaping a workplace’s culture and success. She supports her clients as they position and demonstrate the value of a ‘non-revenue generating function’, command the attention of other leaders, radiate executive presence, and model a healthy balance of professional, personal and family needs. As a coach, she is also a safe space where the HR vault can briefly be cracked open to discuss the frustrations and confidential situations that come with HR leadership, and, frankly, people. Keri’s clients appreciate that she is well versed in ‘HR speak’ so they don’t have to spend time explaining context. They also appreciate that her style lets them find some humor in otherwise challenging situations.
As a wife and mom, Keri understands the complexities of being a professional and a primary caregiver. As such, she limits her practice and client load to 25 hours a week. This allows her to focus her work time completely on supporting her clients. Keri, her husband (Eric) and their two little girls (Mae and Lulu) live in the northern suburbs of Chicago. On a typical day, outside of coaching, you’ll find Keri hustling her daughters between school and various activities, reading, and trying out new Pinterest recipes that her kids refuse to even try.