Category Archives: Coffee Shop HR Contributors

Welcome Lauren Kress & Sandy Arseneault to Coffee Shop HR

I’m happy to welcome Lauren Kress and Sandy Arseneault to Coffee Shop HR.  Lauren will be posting book reviews and Sandy joins our team of HR Writers.

Lauren KressLauren Kress is a project manager and medical writer in the health services industry by day and a blogger and creative writer by night. She enjoys the challenges that come with combining science, health, marketing, creativity and management together and imagines herself running her own business in the future. In the meantime she has been traveling the world, learning new things and undertaking a Masters in cross-disciplinary Art and Design. After arriving back in her hometown (read: home city) of Sydney, Australia she is very excited to begin taking on more challenges that enable her to explore and develop her skills in business development, management and interpersonal relations. As the creator of she seeks to uncover more about people and the world around them through sharing interviews, thoughts and creative endeavours that stem from life, travel, music and books.

Sandy Arseneault, CHRPSandy Arseneault is a Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP) with a genuine concern for the ’employee experience’.

Before obtaining a Bachelors Degree in Human Resources Management from Kwantlen University, Sandy graduated from BCIT with a Diploma in Financial Management. She also pursued a Diploma in Business Administration from Douglas College before falling in love with Human Resources.

Early in her career, Sandy worked as a(n) Receptionist, A/R Clerk, Office Manager and Accountant. Now, with 6 years of experience in the construction and manufacturing industry, Sandy is excited to pursue new challenges and industries while working towards future goals including her aspirations of being a highly regarded mentor for other HR Professionals and an inspiration to friends, colleagues and strangers.

Coffee Shop HR Welcomes Carolyn Courage, CHRP!

Carolyn CourageI’m happy to announce that the newest member of the Coffee Shop HR team is Carolyn Courage.  Carolyn is a CHRP based out of Vancouver, BC and we’re lucky to have her join us as an HR Writer:

HR professional from the Retail world, Carolyn is passionate about fostering an engaged, driven and productive workforce.

Carolyn worked at Bootlegger for nine years before moving to Ireland where she worked in the training field. Upon returning from Ireland Carolyn began a dream job at Purdy’s Chocolates specializing in Training and Development. Other areas of expertise are leadership, development, health and safety, labour relations, engagement and community involvement.

A member of the inaugural BC MHRC (Manufacturers Human Resource Council) with Canadian Manufactures & Exporters, Carolyn is focused not only on Retail but Manufacturing as well. Obtaining her CHRP in 2010, Carolyn is involved with BCHRMA specifically the Training and Development round table.

Passionate about contributing to various causes, Carolyn has volunteered for numerous events with the BC Cancer agency and Canuck place to name a couple. The biggest leap was being a part of the TV Canada Sings Season 2; where her Purdy’s team won $20,000 for the MS Society of Canada.

Joanne Kondo, CHRP joins Coffee Shop HR in time for March World Café on Virtual Teams

The newest HR Writer to join Coffee Shop HR’s team of dedicated volunteers is Joanne Kondo, CHRP:

Joanne is a well-rounded HR professional with experience in retail, government, and education. She also has international experience, having previously worked in London, England. She holds a B.A. from SFU in Communication and Community Economic Development as well as a diploma in Human Resource Management from BCIT. She currently works as a Rewards Analyst in corporate HR at Best Buy Canada Ltd.

When Joanne is not working she can be found enjoying the beautiful BC backcountry or volunteering in her local community.

Joanne Kondo, CHRP

Joanne Kondo, CHRP

Joanne joins us just in time for our March 2013 Coffee Shop HR World Café, which will be published on Monday March 18th.  Our topic this month is ‘What is the best way to manage a virtual team?’

Coffee Shop HR Welcomes Jessica Lau

Jessica Lau is a recent graduate and emerging HR professional with over 8 years of local and International experience in customer service, people management and human resources. Currently, she is participating in the BCHRMA professional mentorship program, exploring career opportunities and pursuing her CHRP designation. Jessica has a passion for diversity, engagement, empowerment and to bring out the best from individuals.

Jessica Lau

Jessica Lau

Jessica is proud to have been the valedictorian student speaker in 2012, earning a Bachelor of Business Administration degree and Human Resources Advanced Diploma, graduating with Distinction.

During her studies, Jessica was involved with many extracurricular activities taking on different leadership roles and giving back to the school and community. She was the President and executive member of Capilano HRMA and the Vice-President and executive member of the Capilano Undergraduate Business Enterprise of Students in 2008 to 2011, associations in enhancing the value of the business program and providing professional development for the students. She was also the Capilano University’s student representative with BC HRMA and participated in the Vancouver Board of Trade’s Leaders of Tomorrow mentorship program.

As the 2011 provincial Premier’s One World International Scholarship recipient, Jessica went to study abroad in France where she traveled to more than 20 cities to learn and embrace different cultures. She also participated in a three weeks China Study Tour in 2009, in which she appreciated the Chinese proverb of “walking 1000 miles beats reading 10,000 scrolls.”

Welcome Nicole Davidson: Joining us in Time for our February World Café

Nicole Davidson

I’m happy to announce that Nicole Davidson has joined Coffee Shop HR as our newest HR Writer:

Nicole is a recent graduate and emerging professional in human resources, bringing with her eight years of management experience in the hospitality industry. Her experience in training and development and performance management helped her develop a passion for HR, leading to her pursuit of formal education.

Having finished her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and Diploma in Human Resource Management at BCIT, she is seeking new opportunities to grow in the field of human resources. Nicole is proud to have graduated with distinction, and to have been awarded the Human Resources Faculty Achievement Award.

As a manager, Nicole has witnessed firsthand the impact that effective human resource management can have on creating an environment where employees are empowered to make a difference. She is passionate about leveraging creativity and coaching skills to aid in training and development, performance management, and employee engagement.

Nicole joins us just in time for our February Coffee Shop HR World Café.  This month, our topic for discussion is: “How equitable are corporate diversity strategies.”

Submissions from our contributors will be posted on Monday February 18th.

Welcome, Nicole!

Recruiting New Coffee Shop HR Volunteers

We`re looking for new HR Writers, a Book Reviewer, and Political Cartoonists for Coffee Shop HR:

Posting for HR Writers

Posting for Book Reviewer

Posting for Political Cartoonists

Maybe you’re looking to build your personal brand to further your career, maybe you’re looking to showcase your work for the first time, or maybe you want to be a leader in thoughtful discussions. If you’re looking to join a talented group of writers, we’d love to hear from you! 

Deadline to apply for all positions is Feb 17, 2013.


Volunteer FAQs:

Do I have to work in HR to volunteer for Coffee Shop HR?

No, you don’t have to work in HR to volunteer for Coffee Shop HR.  But you must be willing to contribute thoughtful writing or art about HR-related topics.

What kind of topics should I be writing/drawing about?

Human Resources is a wide field; it applies to anything from ‘how to find a job’ to ‘how to discipline employees’ and everything in between.  As long as you’re writing about something that relates to human resources, or working life in general, you’ve found a great topic.  You can write about salaries, policy, to trying to find a job, bullying, comparisons between collective agreements in different countries, ageism, sexism, appropriate work dress, relationships between supervisors and employees … the options are endless.

Do I have to submit two articles each month?

If you’d like to volunteer as an HR Writer, yes you do have to submit two articles each month, without exception.  On the first of the month, you must submit an article on any topic of your choosing (as long as it relates to HR) and on the 15th of the month, you must submit a response to our Coffee Shop HR World Café (which is a topic you’ll receive one month in advance).

What if I only want to submit one article per month?

If you don’t think that you can commit to writing two articles/month, the HR Writer position is not for you.  We have two volunteer writing positions that do not require writers to respond to the Coffee Shop HR World Café Business Profile Writer & Book Reviewer, so you may consider applying for one of those volunteer positions.

Do I have to submit written articles?

It’s perfectly acceptable to submit podcasts, drawings, photographs, whatever artistic medium you can imagine.  As long as you’re submitting something original that pertains to human resources, we’d love to see it!

Can you give me topics to write about?

If you would feel more comfortable being assigned topics to write about, that’s perfectly ok.  The Managing Editor can also work with you to develop a topic that interests you.

Can I submit more than one original piece?

Yes, you can submit more than one original piece as long as you’re consistent.  For example, if you want to submit two original pieces and a response to the Coffee Shop HR World Café, you need to submit two original pieces and a Coffee Shop HR World Café response each month, not sporadically.

The same goes for Political Cartoonists: if you want to submit three pieces, we ask that you submit three each month.

When will my article/art be posted?

Your piece will be posted within 30 days of being submitted.  Your work will typically be posted on the Coffee Shop HR homepage on the same day each month.  For example, Christine Ramage’s original piece is posted on the first Monday of every month.

What are the deadlines for HR Writers?

1st of the Month: topic of your choice

15th of the Month: Coffee Shop HR World Café response

What is the deadline for Book Reviewers?

15th of the Month

What is the deadline for Business Profile Writers?

15th of the Month

When will I receive the Coffee Shop HR World Café Topic?

The Coffee Shop HR World Café topic is announced on the 15th of the previous month.

Example: on Jan 15th, the topic will be announced for the February 15th submissions.

Who chooses the topic?

The Managing Editor chooses the Coffee Shop HR World Café topic each month.  Anyone is welcome to submit topic suggestions to

Can I write about a topic that’s already been discussed?

Yes, you are more than welcome to write about a topic that’s already been discussed.

Welcome Danielle De Marchi, Business Profile Writer

Danielle De Marchi

When prospective employees are being interviewed for the positions they seek, their goal in that moment should be to prove that he/she is the right fit for that specific organization. Otherwise, why should that person be hired?

When people are looking for jobs, they often feel vulnerable and exposed; you’re announcing to the world that you’re looking for a dramatic change, after all!  But the fact of the matter is, when you’re sitting across from a hiring manager, all that matters is your ability to convince that person to choose you above all others.

One of the best things you can do for your career at any stage is to keep learning about different businesses. Where do they operate, what is their purpose and outlook, and ultimately what kind of employment opportunities exist?

Coffee Shop HR is proud to welcome Danielle De Marchi, who will be writing monthly business profiles starting in March 2013.  She comes to us from inSite Housing Hospitality and Health in Vancouver.

The purpose for posting monthly business profiles is to provide you with a new resource for comparing organizations and exposing you to smaller, and often more obscure companies.  By exploring different organizations, you gain a greater understanding of the market, learn from their strategies, and become better equipped to assess whether you are the right fit for the company.

Welcome Christine Ramage to Coffee Shop HR

Coffee Shop HR is happy to welcome Christine Ramage to our team of ContributorsChristine joins us from Vancouver, BC and her first post will be online on Monday Dec 3rd.

She will also be contributing to our December Coffee Shop HR World Cafe on the following topic:

Whose responsibility is it to ensure that employees are engaged in their work?

If you are interested in Contributing to Coffee Shop HR, feel free to contact us at

Welcome Bonnie Milne & Michelle Yao to Coffee Shop HR!

The philosophy behind Coffee Shop HR is to encourage discussion regarding human resources issues. The site would be nothing without its contributors.

Bonnie Milne writes for Coffee Shop HR from Dubai, UAE and Michelle Yao joins us from Toronto, Ontario. Both Bonnie and Michelle will be contributing to our first Coffee Shop HR World Cafe on Mon Dec 19th.

Make sure to check back on Dec 19th for their responses to the question: How can HR clearly demonstrate that bullying is unacceptable?

Coffee Shop HR: Join the Discussion from the Beginning

Today will be a historic one in the United States as either Barack Obama or Mitt Romney is elected President. Since Barack Obama has been instrumental in changing so much in the US since the beginning of his Presidency in 2008, and since the Nation is such a powerful one, so much could change if Republican Mitt Romney is elected tonight.

What won’t change is that tomorrow you’ll have to go to work. And all day, you’ll encounter people who are already at work: bus drivers, sales clerks, teachers, and countless others.

Undoubtedly you’ll encounter unemployed people too. You likely have no idea whether the person standing beside you is employed, and really, I have no idea whether you’re employed yourself.

HR is something that most people only think about when they’re when they’re in trouble or looking for a change:

I’m scheduled to work 12 days in a row. Can they do that?

They laid off everyone but the four of us. The problem now is they’re giving us jobs that pay less than what we’re making now!

What do you mean, I have to apply for unemployment insurance for my Maternity Leave? Aren’t they going to keep paying me my full salary?

Human Resources policies and practices affect each working person’s life every day, and yet it’s only a point of discussion when major changes are forced upon us.

This is why I’ve built this blog: to encourage you to think about and question HR issues that may not even affect you today, but more likely will affect you in the future. When discussing employee issues at work, I hear time and again, ‘they don’t know what they don’t know.’ While this is certainly true, it’s no excuse for naiveté.

My goal for Coffee Shop HR is to bring thoughtful writers from around the world to discuss HR issues.  No matter what your profession or career aspirations, HR issues affect your work environment, well being, and your salary.
Currently Coffee Shop HR has three writers on board: Bonnie Milne, PhD in Dubai, Michelle Yao in Toronto, and myself in Vancouver.

Every 3rd Monday of the month, this site will host a Coffee Shop HR World Cafe.

A World Cafe involves gathering a group of people into a room with the purpose of discussing a shared issue.  Participants are broken into groups of tables, and each table discusses some aspect of the general issue.  As an online World Cafe, each writer will respond to the same topic each month, allowing readers to really compare the different perspectives which exist.

Our first Coffee Shop HR World Cafe will be held on Monday Nov 19, 2012.  The topic of discussion is ‘How can HR clearly communicate that bullying is unacceptable?

I’m happy to connect with anyone who is interested in contributing to Coffee Shop HR.  If you are interested in volunteering as a writer, contributing as a visual artist (including photographs or illustration) or submitting video posts, please feel free to contact me at

Cheers!  And if you’re an American, please get out there and vote!

Geraldine Sangalang