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Work experience

Jul 2005Present

HR/OE Consultant

HR Consulting

Working with HR and business executives to establish strong HR practices for their businesses (long term assignments include Chevron, Oil States, Total Safety and Visual Comfort)

  • Providing Change Management strategy and support including stakeholder management and organizational capabilities readiness for global projects designing and implementation transformational technology
  • Established robust HR reporting and benefit coverage verification that resulted in annual savings of over $40,000 in administration costs/payroll under deductions
  • Established HR best practices and streamlined HR processes reducing new hire and payroll errors
  • Managed benefit renewal to ensure maximum benefits and employee communication
  • Developed Employee Policy Manual that aligned employee policy, procedures, and practices with Corporate strategy
May 2007May 2008

Vice President, Human Resources

ION Geophysical

Responsible for the corporate Human Resource function for $750,000,000 seismic equipment manufacturing/data processing company with 1500+ employees in 10 countries.

  • Moved HR department from a domestically focused, transactional HR team to a globally focused strategic HR partner resulting in the first global HR support for ION
  • Established HR dashboard reporting including staffing levels to plan, turnover by level, recruiting time to fill and cost, and succession plan readiness to provide real data for better decisions.
  • Designed compensation philosophy providing the right mix of base, bonus and equity to drive the appropriate focus of the employee/executive
  • Established corporate HR support for international benefits, recruiting and HR practices for the first time.
Sep 2005Mar 2008

Director Mayor White's Flexible Workplace Initiative

City of Houston

Responsible forchanging the way Houston works” by influencing CEO’s across the Houston area to establish/expand flexible work options resulting in measurable improvements in productivity and Houston’s mobility.

  • Removed 906 hours a day off Houston freeways with an estimated $16,800,000 annual user cost savings with Flex in the City when over 140 Houston area employers eliminated additional peak-time commutes through teleworking; compressed workweeks; and/or shifting commutes to before or after peak-commute hours
  • Improved productivity through flexible work options as evidenced with 96% of participants reporting their productivity levels to be the same or higher on the flexible work options and with over 50% of participants continuing the flexible work option initiated as a result of Flex in the City
May 2004May 2005

Vice President Human Resources

Garden Ridge

Responsible for leading Human Resources for a 35-store big box retailer with up to 4,700 employees in 13 states.

  • Developed HR strategy for company to successfully emerge from bankruptcy while maintaining executive credibility and employee productivity
  • Established performance management and incentive bonus system to enhance EBITDA
  • Reduced new and resolved old EEOC complaints and maintained non-union status
  • Revised Payroll/HR System, benefits package, 401k, and policies (PTO and wellness) to retain employees by meeting employee needs at reduced costs
Aug 2000Feb 2004

Director Organization Development

Reliant Energy

Responsible for ensuring organization readiness and skill effectiveness for Reliant Energy Retail Group formed with energy deregulation.

  • Measurably improved team dynamics and morale while preventing potential turnover through interventions using individual & group 360, Myers Briggs, team interviews and executive coaching
  • Identified critical competencies and business processes used to ensure success of Retail group
  • Led team of 20+ professionals who trained 27,000+ participants in one year resulting in new employees outperforming existing employees in their first week after training
  • Established eLearning training options with skill verification to improve call center call handling time while reducing time away from the phones
Apr 1997Aug 2000

Manager Employee and Organization Development


Responsible for consulting with Sr. Management on organizational effectiveness and providing developmental opportunities and interventions designed to increase productivity.

  • Established business unit’s OD and training department as the primary for all Enron divisions
  • Doubled employee development opportunities with 2/3rds reduced staff and budget
  • Identified change management requirements, conducted functional integration testing and provided onsite support for SAP HR implementation
Sep 1995Apr 1997

Organization and Employee Development Manager

Houston Cellular

Responsible for establishing the learning resource department and ensuring organizational, managerial, and employee effectiveness.

  • Defined 24 progressive leveled competencies to determine developmental needs and career paths
  • Facilitated continuous improvement initiative resulting in the implementation of 20 “quick fixes” and 6 process improvements within 3 months
  • Created supervisory training course in a game format that emphasized the company’s core values while discovering basic supervisory skills


Alan Faichney

“I hired Kathleen as VP of HR at Ion Geophysical. Kathleen has a great breadth of experience in HR at the highest levels, and combines this with her sharp intellect, warm personality and clear management planning skills to bring the highest quality of HR professionalism to an organisation. I enjoyed working with Kathleen a great deal, and she was instrumental in building a world-class HR function for me."

Bill White

What Mayor White had to say about Kathleen Kelley during Houston City Council Meeting:

"...the CEO of JP Morgan Chase in that region, at the last meeting of the Greater Houston Partnership, who was one of the many CEOs who had been working very closely with Kathleen Kelley, said that the entire program had been done and masterminded and driven not by 800 people at 611 Walker but by one person in City government, Kathleen Kelley, and to think that one person could have that impact because they had been utilizing the HR professionals in the private sector, that the slide presentation said it all and he wanted to thank her for all she did...."

Executive Recruiters



SPHR (Senior Professional in Human Resources)

SHRM-SCP (Society for Human Resource Management Senior Certified Professional)  


Accomplished, business-focused human resource leader with expertise in organization and leadership development.Dedicated to flawless HR fundamentals and establishing the right people strategy to add value to the bottom line.Recognized as a proactive, strategic business partner and an effective mentor.Proficiencies include:

  • Identifying and recruiting top talent to staff future skill requirements using comprehensive role and core competency modeling
  • Improving operation processes and identifying cost savings measures through reengineering
  • Participating in the development of corporation’s strategic plan; establishing actionable corporate vision and values; then realigning the HR team to be a value-added, globally focused business partner to support the business plan
  • Establishing succession planning and executive development to ensure leadership continuation
  • Implementing cost effective payroll and HR systems that provide reliable data for better decisions
  • Resolving employee and group relations issues to increase effectiveness and productivity
  • Defining Sarbanes-Oxley processes and ensuring that compliance programs by SEC, EEOC, DOL, OSHA, & OFCCP successfully pass audits and investigations
  • Designing compensation programs (including executive compensation for board approval) that align compensation, benefits and performance management programs to support and achieve organizational goals


Masters Human Resources Management 

  • University of Houston Clear Lake (UHCL)
  • Houston, Texas 

Bachelors Social and Behavioral Sciences

- Cultural Anthropology

  • University of Texas
  • Austin, Texas


Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) - Former state district director

HR Houston - Past President

University of Houston Clear Lake

  • Adjunct Professor
  • Advisory Board Human Resource Management Program

Certified in the following programs:  

  • Myers Briggs
  • Birkman
  • PDI 360 Coach
  • Lominger
  • Achieve Global