Lexington’s Simmons named chair of Workforce Center

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ/Press Release) – Susan Simmons, executive vice president and human resource director for Central Bank, has been elected to serve as board chair of the Kentucky Chamber Workforce Center for the 2020-2021 term.

Simmons succeeds Michael Rodenberg, CEO of Murakami Manufacturing, USA, whose term expired on September 30.

Simmons previously served as executive vice president and human resource director for First Federal Savings Bank of Elizabethtown, Kentucky.

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During her 29 years at First Federal Savings Bank, Simmons held various positions including human resources director for the last 19 years. Before she took the HR director position, the bank did not have a formal Human Resources Department.

Simmons has served on the Kentucky Chamber Workforce Center since its inception in 2017. She has also served on the Kentucky Society for Human Resource Management’s State Council as chair, secretary, district director, Best Places to Work chair, and diversity director. She was also a board member of the Elizabethtown Society for Human Resource Management, which was chartered under her leadership in 2003. She is currently a member of the Bluegrass SHRM chapter and the United Way of the Bluegrass Human Resources Committee. She previously served on the LexArts Board.

Prior to moving to Lexington, Simmons served as a board member and secretary for Feeding America Kentucky’s Heartland. She also served as a board member of the Young Banker’s Division of the Kentucky Bankers Association, Leadership Elizabethtown, and Hardin County Junior Achievement. Additionally, Simmons chaired Hardin County’s Relay for Life on five occasions.

Simmons is a graduate of the Kentucky Bankers Association Banking School and the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Human Resource Management School. She received her designation as Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) in 2002 and taught the certification prep course for this designation on many occasions. She received the new SHRM/SCP designation in 2014.

Susan Brewer, human resources director at Gray Construction, will serve as board chair-elect for 2021-2022. Serving with Simmons and Brewer on the Workforce Center’s Executive Committee will be:

  • Immediate Past Chair, Michael Rodenberg, Murakami Manufacturing USA
  • Treasurer, Mark Guilfoyle, Dressman, Benzinger & LaVelle, PSC
  • Secretary, Ray Daniels, Equity Solutions Group

“Having been involved with the Kentucky Chamber’s Workforce Center from its inception in 2017, I’m both proud and humbled to serve as Chair,” said 2020-2021 Workforce Center Board Chair Susan Simmons. “The Workforce Center has made tremendous strides in addressing the state’s workforce challenges to meet the needs of business through its five strategic initiatives of business leadership, talent pipeline creation, network development, progress measurement, and essential skills development initiatives. It is my honor to work with this incredible group to continue to advance these initiatives.”

“The Workforce Center is excited for the opportunity to have Susan Simmons serve as our next board chair,” said Kentucky Chamber Workforce Center Executive Director Beth Davisson. “Susan has served as a valuable asset to our board since its inception and is a true champion for Kentucky’s workforce. Our team is excited to have her leadership during this critical time.”

Launched in January 2017, and the first in the nation, the Kentucky Chamber Workforce Center is the centerpiece of the efforts that grew out of the Chamber’s initial report on the state’s workforce challenges to meet the needs of the business. The Center’s programs include Kentucky’s Talent Pipeline, Recovery Response Program for Business, and Bus to Business.