Stacie OsakoAge: 37

Occupation: Human Resources Manager – Van Meter Inc.

What is your greatest professional achievement: I am passionate about finding ways to improve the lives of employees while also improving the business. I recently championed and implemented six weeks of parental leave for all new parents, men and women, at Van Meter Inc. It has given me great joy to know that several Van Meter families are enjoying this benefit.

Who are your mentors: Kate Minette (senior vice president, operations and scoring, Pearson), Kevin Powell (president and CEO, Van Meter) and Alicia Murphy (vice president of organizational effectiveness, Van Meter).

What is the best advice you’ve ever received: Say “yes” to opportunities and believe in yourself, always.

What do you know now that you wish you had known earlier in your career: Don’t sweat the small stuff and do not be afraid to fail. If you fail, the worst that can happen is that you will learn more than you would have if you succeeded.

If you had $1 million to give, what causes would you support: Waypoint Services is very special to me. I would undoubtedly support the mission of Waypoint to support women and children in our community. I would also support Community Health Initiative for Haiti (CHI). CHI is the grassroots efforts of incredibly talented people in Iowa City with huge hearts. Very little can make a huge difference in someone’s life in Haiti.

How do you ensure a balance between work and your personal life: I have learned that work and personal lives are not necessarily separate. It has helped me to focus more on putting my phone down and being present while I am spending time with my husband and children than trying to focus on the hours I work.

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