Getting to Know: Jennifer Polcer
We recently announced the selection of our new VP of Compliance, Jennifer Polcer, who is taking the former role of our now Executive Director, Candee Chambers. With a diverse professional background in HR and employment law, it’s no surprise that Jennifer has amazing talents outside of the office, as well! Get more information on this exciting announcement from the official press release and take a minute to get to know her a little better from the fun interview below.
Of course! My “HR” career kicked off with Hyatt Hotels, I was fortunate enough to work every aspect of HR while moving my way up. I started in Denver, then to Miami, then the unique opportunity to open a property on South Beach (next to Versace’s mansion!) and then ultimately to Hawaii. From there I was able to expand my industry experience by joining Hawaiian Airlines, working both in HR and most recently, the Legal Department. It’s been a great journey!
Moving from Hawaii to Indiana must be quite an adjustment! What will you miss most about the Island?
My paddling ‘ohana’ and the ocean. We accomplished great things on the water there, memories to last a lifetime. Luckily I have plenty of places to stay when I return on visits. Then I can enjoy my other most missed food item – Poke!
What was your very first job and what skill from that position do you still use today?
When I was 10 years old, every Saturday I would clean my Dad’s office. There were about 5 offices in the building space his company was in. I wanted everything to be perfect for when they returned on Monday. The office seemed so fancy to me! I still hold the highest standards for myself. I never want to let anyone down.
How do you like to get your day started? (i.e. coffee/tea, NPR, a quick run, etc.)
Well it used to be getting a sunrise paddle in out on the ocean! I’ve recently been giving Crossfit a try, will see how that goes. First things first though, a strong cup of black coffee and gratitude for the day ahead.
What is your favorite social media platform and why?
I’d have to say Facebook. Although I don’t get on very often, it’s nice to know at any time you can “check–in” on family and friends. Especially living in Hawaii, being so off on the time zones, it was hard to connect.
What is your favorite HR blog/resource?
The WIR of course?!? Does anything compare???
iPhone or Android – what kind of phone do you have?
Trick question–I was with Droid, but with Hawaiian we had iphones, so painfully I had to make the switch. But like anything, give it enough time and you can get the hang of it.
What does your workspace look like?
Under construction! But paraphernalia to include – plaques of the Hyatt’s I worked at, photos of my nephews and other special little ones in my life, U Of Arizona swag and Hawaiian treats!
How do you think your experience as a practitioner has prepared you for your new role as VP of Compliance?
I’ve had the opportunity to work in so many different environments and have had such wonderful mentors. I’ve always gravitated towards the law and wanting to know “why”. The compliance position at Hawaiian was actually created for me because of this! Working as a Recruiter as well, I understand and can mediate to help find practical solutions to meet business needs while staying compliant.
What do you like to do for fun?
Exploring Indiana! I love being in the wilderness, trail running, stand up paddling, anything allowing me to be outside. It goes without saying I also love to travel, explore new cities and learn different cultures. I feel it’s imperative to embrace differences, try new things and keep an open mind.
Do you listen to music while you work? If so, what genre do you listen to?
Well my license plate is “WUNLUV”, my personal tribute to Bob Marley. I’m a huge Reggae fan, it’s my go to music for sure. I’m also a big fan of yoga music, from mellow sounds to the hip hop funk on MC Yogi.
What is the background photo on your cell phone?
Hawaiian sunset with canoes in the water.
What is your non-HR dream job?
A tour guide on a catamaran that cruises the Napali Coast of Kauai everyday…
What is the best job advice you’ve ever received?
The same advice I use outside of work as well, treat others as you’d like to be treated.
What is your top non-professional accomplishment?
Winning the “Super Bowl” of outrigger canoe races–the Na Wahine O Ke Kai (“Women of the Ocean”). It’s a 42-mile paddle from the island of Molokai to the island of Oahu that happens every September. Roughly 100 crews from around the world come to compete. My crew, The Waikiki Beach Boys, won in 2011 and again in 2014. In 2011 it was streamed live for the first time, and my 86 year old grandmother was able to watch from her nursing home in Arizona. I have a picture of her watching the screen and cheering us on. It brings tears to my eyes. She has since passed but I love that she got to experience that victory with us.
What advice would you give Members for taking full advantage of their Membership?
Reach out to us and ask questions! In the short time I’ve been here, I’m finding out so many amazing things DE does for members. Everyone here is so knowledgeable and passionate about what they do and helping employers is at the heart of everything. It’s so great to constantly be thinking – what else can we do to help our members? Let us know!
What are you most excited for in your new role?
Being a part of the “Ah-Ha” moments for our members. I understand being handed the task of, “We need to you to figure out this AAP thing…” I’ve been there! I find the most joy in translating the regulations to real life, easy to understand tidbits that recruiters and compliance professionals can say, “I get it!” and more importantly, “I can do that!”
Welcome, Jennifer – we’re glad to have you on-board! Stay tuned for great content from Jen, including OFCCP compliance webinars, blog posts and more!