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2009 Small Business HR Director Of The Year Finalists


Jerrie MartinezName: Jerrie Martinez-Palombo, M. Ed., SPHR
Title: Human Resource Manager
Company: Jaburg & Wilk P.C.

Years with company: 2
Years in current position: 2
Company established: 1984
Employees in AZ: 70
Employees in HR department: 2
www.jaburgwilk.com

Jaburg & Wilk P.C., has a significant investment in its employees. That’s why the law firm places a strong emphasis on mentoring and other techniques to help employees integrate into the company and remain on the job.

Human Resource Manager Jerrie Martinez is involved in the firm’s mentoring and law clerk programs, which are designed to help attorneys develop specific skills and enhance their work experience. Each new attorney hired at Jaburg & Wilk is placed in mentoring. Each mentoring pair works toward at least three goals, one of which is a balance between work and personal life. Mentors also help younger attorneys attain partnerships.

For support staff, Martinez established what the firm calls a “guide team” that was patterned after the formal attorney mentoring program. The team helps integrate new staff into the organization, provides a variety of resources and offers informal mentoring. In addition, Martinez was instrumental in establishing a customized, on-demand training program to help support staff with their professional development.

Jaburg & Wilk also believes in offering unusual activities so employees can have fun. Martinez spearheads Speed Chatting, which is much like speed dating. Employees spend five minutes getting to know each other before they move on to the next person. Last January, employees rode the light rail system to Downtown Tempe, where they participated in a scavenger hunt. Employees also pay $5 for the privilege of wearing jeans to work, and the employee of the month selects his or her favorite charity to receive the money. The firm matches the contribution.



Hopi SlaughterName: Hopi Slaughter
Title: Human Resources and Legal Assistant
Company: Rose Law Group pc

Years with company: 3
Years in current position: 3
Company established: 2005
Employees in AZ: 25
Employees in HR department: 1
www.roselawgroup.com

As Rose Law Group pc goes about its business of providing legal services, there is a concerted effort unfolding behind the scenes to make the Scottsdale firm a great place to work.

The company focuses on identifying internal problems before they mushroom into issues that might prompt employees to seek jobs elsewhere. Hopi Slaughter, human resources and legal assistant, is charged with making that happen. She is known for her open-door policy; any employee can talk to her about any topic. Also, partners who notice employee conflicts alert Slaughter and she intervenes.

Rose Law Group is committed to being a true family and Slaughter helps with numerous efforts that are undertaken to make that a reality. Celebrations out of the office are common when an attorney wins a large case or someone fulfills a major company goal. Awards are given for hours billed and bonuses are handed out for positive reviews.

Weekly newsletters and updates recognize employee accomplishments and hard work. Those successes also are discussed at weekly team meetings. Monthly get-togethers are held for team-building exercises and simply to have some down time. At monthly brown-bag lunches, an employee gives a presentation on a topic so that, over time, employees have a better understanding of what the law firm does as a business and the areas in which it specializes.

Employees also receive tuition reimbursement for approved classes, along with a flexible work schedule so they can attend the classes. They are encouraged to attend lectures and seminars on any topic, as well.