Meet Terry VanEpps – The Buffalo #HRCommunity!

Meet the Buffalo #HRCommunity! COVID-19 has no doubt been a challenging time for most HR professionals to navigate. I am so grateful to the amazing HR Community for showing up for each other and offering information and support. You all are the best! I want to introduce my network to some of my connections who rock and who are rocks for their organizations! Stay tuned for multiple posts in this series – all from HR pros practicing in different industries. If there’s anything I can help you with, please send me a message on LinkedIn or through the contact me area here on my blog.

terry headshot

Meet Terry! I first met Terry a couple of years ago when he spoke at a LinkedIn local event at Giancarlo’s in Williamsville. Since then I’ve gotten to see him at numerous community events including career fairs and HR pros in manufacturing mindshare meetings. He’s always been a positive, helpful and knowledgable force in my network and I’m so grateful to know him. His current company is scheduled to close (he shares more below) so if you’re looking to hire awesome HR/TA talent, reach out to Terry! Be sure to connect with him and learn more below!

Introduce yourself 

I am an HR and Talent Acquisition leader with over 20 years of experience, mostly in a corporate environment, leading teams and finding exceptional talent for my employer.  In addition to talent acquisition I have experience in other HR areas such as employee relations, training and other related generalist duties, and recently earned my SHRM-SCP certification.  I have a passion for HR and TA and plan on continuing in this field for the rest of my career.

Describe your current position and in what industry do you work 

I am currently the TA Manager for Panasonic Solar North America (PSNA) here in Buffalo.  We make solar panels and cells for the solar industry.  Unfortunately, after three years of operation, we are closing down at the end of May 2020.  Still, I have thoroughly enjoyed my time and PSNA and am appreciative of the opportunity my team and I had to play a major role in building the organization.

How has COVID-19 impacted you?

My team and I initially were taking turns going into the office in order to comply with social distancing guidelines, but eventually we all ended up working from home and we are currently shut down completely until the end of April when we will re-evaluate the guidelines and make the appropriate decision.  Although I am still checking in regularly, I miss the social interaction with my team and HR colleagues.

What’s 1 thing you wished someone outside of HR understood about your job during this time?

I’d like people to realize that in many cases the TA professional isn’t the one making a final hiring decision so be nice to us, even if we have to deliver news that you don’t want to hear.  How you treat us when we deliver bad news tells us a lot about who you are and that can be good or bad if you choose to interview for another position with our company.   Also, please do your homework on the position and company before you interview.

What are you doing to practice self-care?

I am tying my best to have a routine that closely mirrors what I would normally do if I were going into work regularly.  Things like working out in the morning, eating at the same times, and searching out webinars and online conferences that will help me enhance my skills.  We also have regular HR meetings to ensure everyone is doing well and knows what the plan for the business is.

What has been your favorite part of your HR career?

The favorite part of my HR career is continuously learning and staying on top of the many changes in the industry.  I also really enjoy networking with people and sharing knowledge to both build on my skill set and help others to build theirs.

What is a word of advice or encouragement you’d give to other HR pros?

It’s likely that our HR jobs will change significantly after this crisis is over.  Be open, flexible and part of a new solution so that we can best support the people and organizations we have been trusted to support.  Never stop learning.  Now is a great time to add to your skill set and many companies are offering free or reduced rates.

What can the HR community do to support/help you right now?

Honestly, I would love it if you could reach out to me should you have positions you are trying to fill.  The TA team at Panasonic has repositioned ourselves as outplacement specialists and we are working hard to find our Panasonic teammates their next opportunity since our operations are closing.  Of course, my team and I are looking as well so we are available to talk to anyone who may be interested. 🙂

Share something fun about yourself

I started my professional career as a travel agent, and I drive a Harley Davidson 🙂

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