HR Executive Director’s Goal: Making CNM the Place Where the Best Want to Work

Nov. 7, 2013 -- New Human Resources Executive Director Denise Montoya’s goal is to make CNM “the place where the best people want to work.”
HR Executive Director’s Goal: Making CNM the Place Where the Best Want to Work

Jul 17, 2015

How does an entity like CNM do that? Simple, says Montoya. It’s through building the CNM employment reputation in the community and transforming the Human Resources (HR) department through the use of technology so that the department can focus on the HR-related issues that add value to the CNM community.

 The first part of the technology and automation goal was recently rolled out. Through a partnership between HR, Payroll and Information Technology Services (ITS), CNM created an Electronic Personnel Action Form (EPAF) that allows HR to process paperless personnel actions. EPAFs are automated and allow data to default into the document without manual data entry, improving data integrity and streamlining employment transactions. Advantages of the EPAF include the ability to track progress electronically; it is created online and applied to CNM’s human resources information system electronically. Information is keyed in only once, minimizing the chance for data entry errors.

The ultimate objective this fiscal year, said Montoya, is to create and implement a total of

six EPAFs to automate employment transactions, resulting in improved data integrity and streamlined efficiencies in the HR processes. This is the beginning of transforming HR through maximizing the use of technology when processing employment transactions.

 Building a reputation for being a great college to work at isn’t done by using computer code, but by showing people that along with competitive pay and robust benefits, working at CNM provides personal gratification and a valuable function to the community. Passion, respect, care and hope for students is clearly demonstrated in the behavior of CNM employees.

“We are enhancing CNM’s image and reputation as an employer of choice,” Montoya said. “CNM is a hidden secret. Some of our employees have worked here for over two decades and still reflect enthusiasm and passion for the work performed. We need to communicate about the energizing CNM culture in conjunction with our competitive pay and robust benefits in order to attract, engage, and retain talented candidates and employees. We want to be recognized as an employer of choice and a great college to work for.”

 She added that CNM recently was awarded the American Association of Community Colleges’ premier honor, the Student Success Award. The American Association of Community Colleges represents nearly 1,200 community colleges nationwide. In addition, CNM’s President Katharine Winograd was selected as the Western Region CEO of the Year by the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT), an educational non-profit organization which represents and supports governing boards for more than 1,200 community, technical and junior colleges across the country and beyond. She wants CNM’s employment reputation to hold the same top-notch recognition.

 Among ways CNM is going about continuing to build a strong employment image and reputation as an employer of choice are: creating a robust HR website and designing a recruitment video that will attract the kind of employees CNM is seeking; ensuring that total compensation is competitive in the market; reviewing and administering all benefit programs and wellness initiatives; expanding HR FTE to meet the college’s needs; providing better support to managers on performance management; and ensuring compliance of employment-related laws and regulations.

 Montoya considers the wellness component, which includes many activities such as encouraging preventive health care, is particularly important. “When employees take care of their health, both physically and mentally, they are happier people and more productive workers,” she said.

 Among Montoya’s first actions since she was named HR executive director in July, was to increase staffing levels in the HR department in order to better serve the CNM community.  “HR has been severely understaffed for quite some time,” Montoya said. “Now we have the support from executive leadership who is providing the resources in order to enhance our service to the CNM community. The CNM leadership genuinely cares and has concerns for improving the lives of CNM employees through the programs we offer.”

 She said that CNM’s enrollment has the potential to jump from its current 28,000 to 50,000 by the year 2020. In order to accommodate such a large student growth, the HR department will need to increase staffing to hire the necessary growing numbers of faculty and staff to serve CNM students, ensuring the students remain the  number one priority for the institution.

 Leadership is supportive of expanding the HR staff in order to meet compliance and growth needs for CNM. Among new employees, who are either on board or soon will be, are:

  • Rayleen Valencia, HR Specialist Supervisor. She is a native of Pecos, N.M. and a graduate of Arizona Western College. She brings to CNM many years of HR and administrative experience, demonstrating in the results of her work that customer service is a number one priority. Her most recent experience includes leading staff through the employment transaction process at the University of New Mexico and working in financial aid for both Arizona Western College and Santa Fe Community College.
  • Neil Kueffer, Benefits Senior Analyst. He comes to CNM with many years of experience in the employee benefits field. He has worked in several employee benefit positions for employers such as the University of New Mexico, City of Albuquerque and State of New Mexico. He is a native of New Mexico and has a bachelor’s degree in finance from New Mexico Highlands University.        
  • Ben Rollag, HRIT/Process Improvement Analyst. Rollag started working for CNM in the School of Business & Information Technology in 2006 where he gained experience with system administration and programming. He became a Programmer Analyst for ITS Enterprise Applications, working on the Banner HR/Payroll module and later promoted to Database Administrator.
  • Kristine Gaetke, Policies and Procedures Analyst. Gaetke has more than two decades of experience handling administrative responsibilities in a variety of office environments, both corporate and non-profit, including higher education at NMSU and ENMU. She has an MBA, with an emphasis on international business transactions, a bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies focused on organizational development, and an extensive legal background that encompasses her A.A.S. in Legal Studies.
  • Angie Boling-Brown, Administrative Coordinator. Boling-Brown, a native New Mexican, comes to CNM with 17 years of state and university experience. She has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the Santa Fe University of Art and Design. She worked for the State of Texas as part of the Historically Underutilized Business Program and for the University of Texas Austin Facilities Service as a Manager of Customer Relations and Communications.

  “I believe the CNM HR staff is committed to excellence in service to the CNM community and supporting the CNM community the best way possible to meet evolution of HR essentials,” Montoya said. “We are aligning our efforts to provide service to the institution in an effort to achieve CNM’s strategic direction goals. The CNM executive leadership team and the CNM community have been extremely encouraging and supportive of the HR transformation.”