Dahna K. Baisley
“Leading HR Transformations”
Dahna K. Baisley has tried to change the way the organization views HR. In her time at Stephen Gould, she has been viewed as a trusted business partner -- working through leadership transitions and organizational design to optimize performance & productivity. From creating faster Talent Acquisition processes and automating key HRIS functions to creating a greater sense of connectivity and awareness across the organization, with Dahna’s help, Stephen Gould is on a path of HR transformation that has helped them become more agile.
Dahna started her career in Human Resources at a computer consulting company. She gained experience managing benefit programs and collaborating with leaders. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much opportunity for growth, so she transitioned to Honeywell International as a benefits leader, where she found more stability and a chance for career development. Early on, she worked on the mergers and acquisitions team and led the medical appeals process for their health insurance plans. “Those two roles helped me gain exposure to some of Honeywell’s top leaders. I worked closely with the VP, Compensation and Benefits and the Chief Labor & Employment Counsel.” During her 20-year tenure at Honeywell, Dahna was fortunate to collaborate with many talented people and to have opportunities that challenged her both professionally and personally.
Dahna was an executive leader for more than 14 years, who spent time on both the business and corporate side of the organization. Some of her achievements include leading the Health and Insurance function and managing a $500M+ budget, leading International Benefits, serving as the VP, Talent & Diversity for their Performance Materials & Technology business, and leading Compensation & Benefits for their Specialty Materials business. She also held the role of VP HR for Honeywell’s SVP, General Counsel and the Company’s SVP, CIO & CTO, leading the HR function for more than 10,000 employees globally within IT, Engineering and Technology Solutions. Her work at Honeywell found her traveling extensively across the globe, including stops in many high-growth regions.
Dahna is drawing on her experience to take Stephen Gould to new heights. She believes HR should have a pulse and help give a voice to the collective workforce. “HR also plays a role in reinforcing and evolving the culture of an organization. We are a vital partner to the business. We help ensure the right talent is in the right place at the right time and create the foundation and processes that enable us to move quickly and efficiently. I am partnering with SG leadership to build out a talented HR team and to put in place key HR building blocks that will help ensure the company’s success as it continues to grow.”
Stephen Gould’s key differentiator is their creative and innovative strategy towards the business, which enables them to pivot in real-time and offer clients maximum flexibility and choice with their customized solutions. “We strive to be the execution partner, developing customized supply chain solutions that help our clients quickly bring their products to market. The all-encompassing, creative platform that Stephen Gould offers caters to bringing ideas to life. We partner with clients in as much of the life cycle as they need us to. It takes ninety-nine steps to bring a product to market, we can help with ninety-eight of them. This allows our clients to focus their time on their internal brand and leave everything else up to us.”
The steadfast leader considers herself lucky to have had strong and independent women around her as role models. “My grandmother was a leader of her generation. She lived through the great depression, WWII, raised a family and went on to be a Vice President of a bank. She had a passion for life and made it very clear that life was all about the relationships you have and the impact you have on them while you’re here and not about material things,” explains Dahna. “My other role model is my mother – the most selfless person I have ever met. 40 years later, she still has a strong referral business because of the special care she provided to each of her clients. It’s that dedication and genuine focus to my mom’s clients that I’ve tried to carry over in everything that I do professionally and personally.” Throughout her career, Dahna has also been privileged to work with many talented and inspirational women. One of these individuals -- Honeywell’s then SVP and General Counsel (current General Counsel at Apple), Kate Adams -- was a force to be reckoned with. “To observe Kate work was like watching an artist paint. She was Grace under pressure. She was able to influence the most senior leaders, push back when it called for and always maintained her composure. But, as impressive as Kate was, and is professionally, I admired her love for her family even more. Despite her great success, she never compromised her family. She always made sure she had quality time with her loved ones and worked hard to balance her career and family as best she could which was so refreshing,” explains Dahna. “So many female executives are afraid to make their families a priority for fear that they will not be taken as seriously as their male counterparts. And for me as a young mother in a growing career, Kate was a great support and role model, who also taught me not to be so hard on myself – do the best that I could, knowing that nothing was going to be perfect.”
Being a pioneering leader, Dahna strongly advises all budding entrepreneurs to be authentic, genuine, and grateful no matter what level or role. “I've worked hard to get where I am today, but I am forever grateful for the leaders, mentors and colleagues that I have worked with along the way. And would tell people starting out in their careers to be open to the journey, listen to their gut and stay true to their values throughout the process.” IEWL
Dahna K. Baisley
Over the course of the past 80+ years, Stephen Gould has been recognized as a leader within the packaging industry, growing to become one of the largest privately owned packaging sales organizations in the US, with 2021 revenue surpassing $940 Million.