[by Shiela Steinman Wallace, Editor]
Volunteers are truly the lifeblood of the Jewish Community of Louisville, but it is the staff, many of whom work unseen behind the scenes, who ensure that all the details that make things run smoothly are addressed.
Recruiting and retaining the best people to work for the community is a real challenge. At the JCL, Human Resources Director Lisa Moorman is the person who makes that happen. She handles everything from helping with the search for talented, dedicated staff members to managing payroll, benefits and much more. And Moorman is the 2013 Arthur S. Kling Award winner.
Keeping up with a staff of 270, making sure their needs are met, their questions are answered, open jobs are filled with the right people and everyone’s paperwork is in order is a huge job, but Moorman handles it easily with a calm demeanor and a smile.
Many HR-related inquires she gets require research, so she says, “I often don’t give an answer right away, but say, ‘I’ll get back to you.’”
Moorman is also a go-to person for many unrelated questions. She’s been with the agency for so many years, people just assume she knows the answer. “I’m glad to be helpful. I love to do it and I like meeting all the employees.”
“A lot of times,” she observed, “people just want me to listen and often they figure out what they want to do or need to do without much from me. I take pride in the fact that people do feel comfortable with me. I feel they can trust me and any information I have or obtain is held in confidence”.
Moorman came to Louisville 16 years ago from Aurora, CO, and joined the staff of the Jewish Community Center as the administrative assistant in the Development Department. After a couple of years, she moved into the Finance and Accounting Department, where she is today. Her initial duties there were for payroll, and as the agency grew and change, so did her responsibilities. Over time, she has helped shape her human relations job.
Working in the nonprofit arena was not new to Moorman. Prior to coming to Louisville, she spent seven years working as administrative assistant, business office and plant coordinator for Queen of Peace Catholic Church in Colorado. She also had prior business experience at car dealerships and an insurance agency. Originally from Louisville, Moorman moved to Denver when she got married. Her sons, Ben and Brandon Mellick, were born in Denver. When she divorced, she decided to return to Louisville and landed the job at the JCC before her return. “Because of my experience with Bingo in the non-profit world, Frankye [Gordon] said, ‘We need to get her here.’
“It was perfect place for me to be as single mom,” Moorman continued, “because of what the agency had to offer with the flexibility and benefits. I guess that’s why I stay – the flexibility – and I’m comfortable.” Although Moorman says she doesn’t like change, she’s had to deal with a lot of change over the years. She has worked with four executives and five chief financial officers, seen numerous staff changes, made six office moves and helped with the merger of the JCC and the Jewish Community Federation to form the JCL.
“The job has had its ups and downs,” she said, “but in the long run, this is where I need to be and I’m sure I’ll be here for quite a while – probably until I retire.”
Twelve years ago, she remarried. Her husband, Chris Moorman, is retired from the Police Department and now works part time for the Sheriff’s Department. In addition to her sons, she has two step-daughters, Shelby and Marissa Moorman. In addition, her son, Ben, has married and he and his wife, Jessica have three children: twins Baron and Roman Mellick and Zach Schumacher.
When she’s not on the job, Moorman and her husband like to travel and enjoy participating in Renaissance Fairs around the country. Donning period costumes, often in the company of friends, they blend in with the crowds, checking out the booths and shows, listening to the music and enjoying the food. They also enjoy baseball and are Bats season ticket holders.
Moorman says she was shocked and speechless to learn she was this year’s Kling Award recipient. “I’ve seen the award given to staff over the years, but never expected it myself. When Sara [Wagner], Stu [Silberman], Ed [Hickerson] and Stew [Bromberg] came to my office I was completely floored.”
The award comes with an education stipend. Moorman plans to use it to attend a Jewish Community Centers of North America (JCCA) conference for HR professionals in June so she can keep abreast of changes in her field. In addition, she has often thought about going back to the University of Louisville to complete the degree she started long ago. This award may enable her to do so.