WGNinHR stands for Who's Got Next in HR? It's a phrase heard across playgrounds in any given neighborhood across the country, where someone is called to step up to take the ball - and their turn at winning.
WGNinHR was conceptualized on the stage in front of a live audience during a key note address where Joanne shared stark truths about serving as a strategic business partner. At the end of Joanne's presentation, she turned to the audience and challenged them to prioritize their own growth and development....to avoid being the 'cobblers children' in business. It was one of the first times an HR executive posited the view that HR professionals could - and should - position themselves to move through the C-Suite, with sights set on the top CEO seat, for the good of businesses everywhere.
Today, our focus is to push people, and companies, to new levels through a variety of tools, strategies and outside-the-box thinking. We challenge the status quo. We solve problems plaguing many people and businesses by providing the most customized HR solutions.
We care deeply for the people with whom we work and for the work in which we're involved. Our number one goal is to exceed expectations. Always.
About the Principal
With a 25+ year career history, Joanne is a visionary, 'leaders leader' and results-driven Business and Talent Executive. Having led complex change initiatives across a variety of industries, she has worked at the C-level for major conglomerates, iconic global and domestic nonprofits as well as social entrepreneurs. Recruited to build a global HR unit from the ground floor, nearly 7 years later, Joanne was leading a matrixed team on 4 continents and in 6 countries for the first public-private partnership to work on advocacy and vaccine research/development for an AIDS vaccine. The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) was supported early on by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
She began her career in a bond insurance company – Financial Guaranty Insurance Company (FGIC) – as part of the GE/GE Capital conglomerate. Joanne was part of the team that led FGIC through a proactive company ‘reinvention.’ There, she won several leadership and other awards.
In recent years, Joanne worked for the American Red Cross and led efforts to establish a shared services model, simplifying lines of reporting consolidating operations and improving performance. During her tenure, the volunteer population more than quadrupled. There, she helped to conceptualize an innovative revenue-generation initiative which produced a diverse portfolio of ideas to increase revenue at a critical juncture for the Region.
Joanne has served as a nonprofit consultant for the sector, advising senior leaders, Board members and staff at leading-edge organizations in the education, economic development and social services industries.
Named a 2016 HR Hero for Oustanding Mentorship, Joanne was the Girl Scouts' first ever Chief Business and Talent Officer leading both Talent Management and the Girl Scouts' Cultural and Property Assets. Joanne's visionary and leading-edge approach to business and talent led to the launch of the Girl Scout's first workforce analytics function.
A proven innovator and entrepreneurial thinker, she develops strategies and tactics which strengthen organizational performance and incentivize desired behaviors. Joanne is a sought after thought leader, speaker and author. Her new book is entitled, Tough As Nails: Finding Your Voice as a Woman in the Workplace. Other published works includes her articles on HR People + Strategy (SHRM Executive Network), “People Analytics: The “Flywheel Effect” for the field of HR (2016), and How Companies Kill Innovation (2016).
Joanne is the host of a weekly Podcast, entitled #RealTalk About the Workplace. Through this Podcast, she and her guests boldly tackle issues to help listeners get the junk out of the workplace...on their path to greatness.
Founder and Principal
Outstanding Mentorship Category
Melba Cruz Vasti, a Global Human Resources Senior Executive, is an HR leader with a diverse, culturally sensitive global experience designing best practice comp & benefit programs, developing and implementing expat programs, introducing and managing offshore benefits programs, acting as global liaison for People Soft, ensuring compliance to International labor laws, and overseeing International accounting for assignees. She has expertise in due diligence and integration related to M&A and divestiture activity in complex organizations, extensive C&B background working on domestic and International Union issues, and a strong focus working as a change agent to drive financial efficiencies through performance based bonus programs, pension program savings, ROI justified technology, and minimizing healthcare premium increases.
Of particular value is the perspective she has gained working in both large corporate headquarters, the more entrepreneurial, "closer to the business" environments of subsidiaries and branches and non-profit.
Most recently she led the Total Rewards function for Girl Scouts USA, a non-profit organization. Her focus was on compensation, benefits, HRIS, performance management, communication, on boarding, talent acquisition, training and project management. Prior to this role, Melba led the Total Rewards area for OSG, an oil shipping company.
In 2011, Melba started up the HR consulting firm MCVasti HR Consulting Services, Inc., where her firm provided consulting services including: Design and process development for global compensation, benefits and international assignments; Training development and delivery including HR regulatory environment; Global Project Management and implementation; and Process improvement and development for HR governance. Prior to launching this start up, Melba was Assistant Vice President International Compensation and Benefits at MetLife Insurance Company in New York, where she provided strategic leadership and consultation to multiple internal clients globally, to develop, implement and communicate Total Rewards strategies and programs to help achieve business objectives.
Melba played a number of important human capital roles with Fortune 500 corporations in the insurance, consumer products, banking and pharmaceutical industries. Before joining MetLife, Melba was Senior Director Compensation and Benefits at The Dannon Company, where she had subsidiary-wide corporate and operations (Union and non-Union) responsibility for design, implementation, training, communication, and compliance of compensation and benefits programs for the US. In her previous role as Assistant Vice President, Corporate Compensation Group Insurance Division at Cigna Corporation in Philadelphia, Melba had Divisional responsibility for directing a pay-for- performance culture via design, implementation and administration of compensation policies and programs, including selection, training, performance management, sales, and compliance. She also had corporate-wide responsibility for design and implementation of compensation and benefits policies for the International Division. In earlier positions, Melba lead the International Assignments function for Colgate Palmolive, was Vice President, International Compensation at Bankers Trust Company in New York; Associate Director, International HR Assignments for Bristol-Myers Squibb Company; and also lead the benefits area at the New York Public Library and Dime Savings Bank.
Melba received her B.A., Labor Studies and Economics from CUNY-Queens Colleges, and earned her Certification Compensation Professional (CCP). She is fluent in Spanish, and been active with industry affiliations. She has volunteered for various causes.
Melba Cruz Vasti, CCP
Total Rewards (Compensation & Benefits) Consultant