Kelly Perry selected as finalist in HR of the year award

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June 9, 2016

At a very young age, AVIAN’s Director of Human Resources, Kelly Perry, knew that her purpose in life was to help others, so she naturally migrated to a career where she could do just that.

“I was lucky enough to be introduced to the human resources profession while in college and it has taken me on a fantastic journey,” Perry said. “As Maya Angelou once said, I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Recently, Perry’s commitment to helping others led her to becoming HR Leadership Awards of Greater Washington’s finalist for the Chief Human Resources Officer of the Year Award – Small Business.

From day one of the company’s inception, AVIAN owners Kevin Switick and Jeff Sherman agreed that taking care of their employees and encouraging a fun, Disney-like atmosphere were of utmost importance.  They believe that, “If we take care of the employees, the employees will take care of the customer.” Perry was brought into the organization four years ago to be their unofficial Manager of Lasting Impressions to guard this coveted corporate value.

I believe the atmosphere you create is part of how you effectively communicate your approach-ability to employees,” Perry said. “In my office you’ll find a lava lamp on the desk, a pink flamingo on the wall and a ‘one happy island’ Aruba license plate. These are just a few items that create a welcoming environment.”

A native of Altoona, Pennsylvania, Perry has been in the human resources field for 22 years and has worked for organizations large and small along the way.

According to the award citation, Perry is a tireless champion and advocate for the company. Her deep commitment to putting employees first was an asset to her when confronted with the many challenges associated with not having a formal onboarding program amidst rapid growth at AVIAN.

Perry designed a strategic onboarding program that focused on attracting, retaining and nurturing talent, with the objective of touching on all three of these areas within the new hire’s first six months of employment.

“To us, a successful onboarding program is more than filling out official paperwork,” Perry said. “Beginning the moment a candidate is interest in AVIAN through to an employee’s sixth month of employment, our onboarding program makes employees happy, while ensuring they flourish and development as professionals.”

Since the launch of the program, AVIAN’s attrition rate has dropped by 7.5 percent. Additionally, AVIAN was recognized as one of the Washingtonian’s 50 Great Places to Work in 2015.

“We are extremely proud of Kelly,” Sherman said. “She is absolutely the right person to take care of our employees and is well deserving of this award honor.”


For additional information:

Tara N. Strickland

Director of Communications