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11:10 PM Sat, Sept. 22nd

HR veteran joins Town of Prescott Valley staff

<b>Karen Reed</b>

<b>Karen Reed</b>

PRESCOTT VALLEY - A human resources professional with more than 15 years of experience in the public and private sectors is the new HR director for the Town of Prescott Valley.

Karen Reed, formerly assistant HR director for the City of Lenexa, Kan., for four years, started working for the town government April 13. She succeeds Danielle Gersper, who put in her final day Thursday because she wants to spend more time raising her daughters, Shea, 7, and Sydney, 5.

Reed, 50, prevailed over a pool of more than 60 applicants, Town Manager Larry Tarkowski said. She was among five finalists, including two from Yavapai County.

"We had five excellent candidates, but her breadth of experience had her rise to the top of the candidate pool," Tarkowski said.

Reed also drew best wishes from her former boss, Kim Marshall, in the Kansas City suburb.

"I am very proud for her. I am excited for her new opportunity," Marshall said.

Reed also left on a high note: The Kansas City chapter of the International Public Management Association honored her for her service to its board for a year. The Prescott Valley Town Council presented Reed a plaque to that effect April 28.

Reed, a native of Orrville, Ohio, said she decided to pursue the job in Prescott Valley because she wants to live in the West, adding both of her daughters are leaving Kansas City.

As HR manager in Prescott Valley, Reed is earning $87,000 a year for a job that provides all HR functions, including administering policies.

"I am passionate to recruit a diverse and quality work force, provide training opportunities to develop all, and retain star performers through fostering a positive, people-valued culture," she stated on her profile on LinkedIn.com.

Before joining Lenexa, she worked for seven years and two months as an HR management analyst for the City of Lawrence, Kan. She started her career as HR coordinator for Sallie Mae, the student-loan origination company, at its Lawrence call center in 1989.

Reed earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from Baker University in Baldwin City, Kan., in 2000. She previously studied music education at Southern Nazarene University in Bethany, Okla.

Her predecessor, Gersper, began working for Prescott Valley 11 and a half years ago as an administrative secretary in administrative services. She advanced to HR manager about seven years ago and became HR director about two and a half years ago.

During a going-away party Thursday, Gersper said she will miss her co-workers and her immediate supervisor, Tarkowski.

"I would not want to work anywhere else," she said.