MARIE W. WATTS, SPHR

SUMMARY

Thirty years in the human resource arena using strategic and effective facilitation and technical skills while functioning as a Human Resource Specialist, Mediator, Discrimination Investigator, Trainer, and Mentor who knows what works and what doesn’t in organizations. Producing dramatic decreases in potential legal exposure in both the private and public sector as well as bringing about increased productivity and cost savings.

Reputation as “fair” to both employees and managers regarding volatile work issues.  Treat individuals at all levels with dignity and respect even under the most difficult of circumstances which has been key to success and bottom line results.

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

Whittlesey Landscape Supplies and Recycling    HR Manager                             2017 to 2019  

  • Developed effective human resource department.
  • Initiated safety and health plans and programs.

Marie W. Watts and Associates                  President                                                          1998 to 2016

Selected Clients:  Metropolitan Transit Authority: Bindview Development; Katrina Grider and Associates; Enterprise Rent-A-Car; San Jacinto College Central Aerospace Grant; Michaels “The Crafts Store”, U.S. Postal Service, Texas Education Agency; Kelman Technologies; Surgicare, Inc., Bastion Technologies

  • Conduct training in Equal Employment Opportunity, leadership, team building, supervisory skills, creativity, time management, interviewing skills, conflict resolution, and presentation skills that enhanced productivity and minimized legal exposure.
  • Perform EEO investigations in the private sector allowing legal counsel to adequately assess legal exposure and develop successful and effective defense strategies.
  • Conduct human resource audits that determined current legal exposure for company and recommended appropriate action to significantly reduce risks.
  • Act as expert witness in EEO court cases, resulting in favorable settlements for clients.
  • Mediate disputes with 95% resolution factor resulting in customer satisfaction.
  • Conduct EEO investigations and mediations in the federal sector.

 River Oaks Imaging and Diagnostics       Human Resources Director                   2001 to 2002

Responsible for all aspects of Human Resource activities for an outpatient medical imaging facility with approximately 600 employees at multiple locations.

  • Reduced labor attorney expenses by 72% monthly through the utilization of technical knowledge of major employment issues.
  • Implemented a program to save $202,000 annually on temporary employee usage while improving service and quality of temporaries.
  • Revamped the process of providing uniforms, eliminating the need to add a part-time employee.
  • Reduced the number of formal complaints to external agencies 700% by allowing employees the opportunity to grieve internally and having a reputation as a “fair” Human Resource department.
  • Advised and assisted in developing work improvement plans for members of management that result in improved performance or removal of that individual from his/her position, improving overall management effectiveness.
  • Revised recruitment advertising plan, dropping expenses 27% while increasing effectiveness of drawing viable job applicants.

Supervised daily activities of benefits, compensation, recruiting, employee relations, ex-patriot administration, workers’ compensation, and office safety for approximately 800 U.S. based onshore employees.

Petroleum Geo Services                  Employee Relations Manager                          1999-2000

  • Oversaw process to obtain visas for foreign employees and new hires, ensuring that all employees were legally admitted and held the appropriate documents to work in the United States, thus avoiding the potential of adverse action and fines by government entities.
  • Worked strategically with President and Vice Presidents to write layoff policies and engineer layoffs of 25% of work force at PGS Tensor in an efficient and humane fashion.
  • Revised and implemented policies and procedures, blending the policies of two sister companies, thus assuring legal compliance and equitability across corporate cultures.
  • Negotiated settlement agreements with former employees, saving approximately $10,000 in legal fees.
  • Improved employee access to human resource related information by utilizing technology to provide information regarding policies, blank forms, and other communications via common computer drives.
  • Served as member of the benefits committee that determined the correct mix of benefits, which resulted in improved service and timely payment of employee medical claims, thus improving employee satisfaction.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission     Supervisor/Investigator            1988 to 1998

  • Supervised and coordinated activities of investigators assigned to the legal unit that resulted in critical cases being more rapidly resolved .
  • Acted as liaison between investigators in the legal unit, attorneys, and other enforcement units resulting in increased effectiveness of the office.
  • Initiated first successful class action mediation in EEOC history at Fina Oil Company, Port Arthur Refinery, resulting in a win-win situation for employees, management, and union.
  • Gave over 200 presentations to a variety of local groups on EEO issues that resulted in more voluntary legal compliance in the Houston District.
  • Monitored District Office training needs; developed and assured delivery of necessary programs resulting in increased productivity for those individuals.
  • Developed and managed the first large scale EEOC internship program that has now been implemented in EEOC offices across the country, allowing the Commission to obtain quality assistance at no cost while giving students a “for credit” opportunity to learn about discrimination.
  • Planned and conducted employment discrimination investigations, prepared recommendations, and negotiated settlements and conciliations. Routinely processed over 100 cases yearly.

 

PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES

Houston Baptist University Advisory Committee for the Masters of Science in Human Resource Management and the Gulf Coast Human Resource Institute Programs.

Guest speaker at classes at HBU, UHUP, UH Law School, UHCL Organizational Psychology Masters program, and Rice University Management Program.

EDUCATION

MBA, University of Houston                                       Management, Human Resources

BA, University of Texas at Austin                              Psychology

 

PROFESSIONAL CERTIFICATIONS AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) certification from the Human Resource Accreditation Institute.

Certified Mediator, State of Texas.

Co-author of Human Relations, 4nd Edition, a textbook on interpersonal skills in the workplace.

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