Meet Heather Michael from the LCC Class of 2024

| November 16, 2023

Heather Michael is a native Coshoctonian; born and raised in West Bedford/Tunnel Hill area outside of Warsaw. She attended Union Elementary and is a 2010 River View High School graduate. She spent 13 years in 4-H, starting out as a Cloverbud, showing turkeys mostly but also took special projects and tried her hand at rabbits once. In high school, she played volleyball, was a cheerleader, and ran track. Following graduation, Michael attended Columbus State for a year then returned home and attended Zane State, earning her associate degree in science and health. Following a year off college, she attended Purdue University online and earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a focus on human resources. Another year off schooling, Michael took more online coursework through Mount Vernon Nazarene University to earn a Master of Business Administration.

She began employment at the Wiley Companies in 2015 as the receptionist/administrative assistant, welcoming people to the corporate office when they came in through the front door. In 2016 she became the human resources assistant and not long after was promoted to assistant human resource manager. 2021 saw another promotion to human resource manager, or as referred to at Wiley Companies, “Employee Services Manager.” She works closely with Debbie Kaufman, director, to ensure needs of the employees are met as well as all phases of employee procurement and retention. She works diligently to hire local employees, however, some positions, such those dealing with analytics and chemistry, occasionally become necessary to seek talent from outside the local area. There is so much more to Wiley Companies than just fish oil, their most known product. They also produce other food ingredients, fine chemicals, specialty gasses, and work with custom distillation. The company is still in the planning stages of the expansion project for their Second Street building location.

Michael chose to participate in Leadership Coshocton County because she believes that by learning more about our local community she can help contribute to its growth and well-being in a more meaningful way. Even though she grew up here, Michael wanted to learn more about the community, stating, “there is so much I don’t know. I want to get involved and give back.” She wants to network and learn about the others in the class as well. She also pointed out that by learning more about the community, it will aid in her job of recruiting and retaining outside talent, stating, “I need to know the ins and outs of the community to get people outside the community to move here and be invested. I need to know the resources available to better help in their transition and commitment to the community, too.” She would like to transfer this knowledge company-wide as well, by encouraging more community involvement among her fellow employees.

When asked her view of the community, Michael said, “It’s a wonderful community here. There are great people trying to make a difference and better Coshocton. They aren’t always well-known but we are very fortunate to have them here. For example, the port authority and chamber are a small team that gets a lot done. There are people doing a lot of great things here.”

When asked what will make the county stronger, Michael is “very curious to see what will happen with Intel.” She also thinks “bringing people here and getting them to invest in Coshocton” but wondered “how to do that effectively?” She went on to point out amenities such as community space, and events like the outdoor concert series that are attractive.

Michael would recommend Leadership Coshocton to others and plans to nominate fellow employees. She said, “It’s important to understand the community where you live and work in and recognize the importance of giving back. When we collectively invest in our community, we can make it a great place to live and work for everyone.” She pointed out as she began having children, she realized she is more invested and “wants it to be a good place for her kids to grow up.” She stressed, “encourage others and nominate others to apply.”

She then emphasized the value of the Leadership Coshocton County program, suggesting that it’s a great opportunity for both individuals and employers. Specifically, highlighting how “it can enhance the leadership and professional development of your employees.” She also encouraged others to consider applying for the program.

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Article contributed to The Beacon.

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