For twenty years Hudson Job Search has enjoyed the active presence and leadership roles that Advisor, Louis Penny, CIO of Heinen’s, has brought to this organization and its army of volunteers. We take this month to feature Louis and spotlight his history and contribution to the organization with this interview:
Louis Penny has been in retail technology for 40 years. He started in software development and, for the past 20 years, at Chief Information Officer, leading the IT function for various retailers. Most recently Louis enjoys the CIO role for Heinen’s Fine Foods, and has for the past 16 years.
Q: What inspired you to become an Advisor with Hudson Job Search?
A: In a previous CIO role I had to layoff about 20% of my staff as part of a restructuring and cost cutting requirement. I had heard of Hudson Job Search, prior to this “event,” and decided if I was putting people “on the street” I should get involved with helping people find their next job.
Q: How long have you been an Advisor with Hudson Job Search?
A: Nearly 20 years.
Q: What do you enjoy the most about your role as an Advisor with the organization?
A: Meeting new people who need assistance and helping them learn how to conduct a successful job search. Best of all finding out they landed a new job! I would also add the people in our organization who all have common experiences in helping others.
Q: What’s your favorite Hudson Job Search story?
When I first started, I was handed a number of sheets of paper, some typed, some hand written and told all you need to do is read through this and you will be “good”! I was very nervous and then made the mistake of meeting my first client at his house. When I rang the bell his wife with child on hip greeted me. Her first words, “thank goodness someone is hear to help “him” get a job – he is in the other room…” Since then I do not meet my clients at their home!
Q: What would you say to someone who is thinking about becoming a Hudson Job Search Advisor?
A: Like most volunteering you get much more than you give. You really make a difference in someone’s life who is facing a substantial challenge. It will take time and commitment but very well worth it!
Q: How did you learn how to advise Job Seekers?
A: We have a much better process today to “onboard” a new advisor and work through our process which works very well. Attending a meeting or two with a veteran advisor and their client to help you to learn the process and approach is very helpful, plus you can also help the client.
Q: If Hudson Job Search could do anything, with limitless donations, what would you like to see the organization accomplish in the next 5 years?
A: Offer our process to many more clients along with systemically building an “app” that can be use by the job searcher and their advisor to help in collaboration and weekly goal setting.
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