Colby is pleased to announce that Julie K. Wood will join the College as vice president and chief human resources officer. Wood will bring 35 years of experience in human resources to this newly created role. As a member of the senior leadership team, she will help to redefine Colby’s workplace culture and champion its expanding and diverse workforce.
Wood is completing nearly 17 years as chief people officer at Crowe LLP, a leading accounting, consulting, and technology firm, where she has been primarily responsible for the development and execution of a global talent strategy.
Since her appointment in 2005, she has played a major role in increasing Crowe’s personnel to 5,000 professionals while staying steadfast to its purpose and values.
By elevating the employee experience and enhancing the firm’s culture, she’s been pivotal in Crowe being named one of Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For in four of the last five years. Her tenure at Colby begins Sept. 15.
“In a national pool of highly qualified professionals, Julie Wood distinguished herself through her effective, pragmatic, values-driven approach to human resources,” said Colby President David A. Greene. “She is deeply committed to equity and diversity in the workplace, has vast experience in leading through growth and change, and developed a real connection to Colby’s mission and people throughout the process. We are thrilled to be welcoming her.”
At Crowe, Wood provides leadership for strategic, operational, and technology initiatives. As chief people officer, she managed more than 100 professionals across all aspects of the talent lifecycle, from attraction and acquisition to leadership development to analytics to compensation and benefits. A key member of the executive team, she has also served on Crowe’s Inclusive Excellence Council and as chair of both the firm’s Sustainability Committee and the Crowe Foundation.
“Bold ambition and visionary thinking inspire me,” said Wood from her base in Denver. “From my very first conversation with Colby leadership, these qualities were very clear and drew me to this institution and this role. Colby is an incredible place with an amazing story to tell. My career has been dedicated to enabling the success of organizations with a focus on a human-centered experience. Seeing the good in people, helping them feel valued, and instilling a sense of meaning in their work is core to who I am.”
Among Wood’s strategic initiatives was the transformation of Crowe’s talent organization to that of a strategic partner through process improvement, organizational realignment, and hiring of new talent with improved capabilities. She also developed and executed upon the conceptual framework for Crowe University to enable dynamic learning experiences, improved employee engagement through a listening strategy, and led the development of a well-being strategy.
Other initiatives related to workplace flexibility, culture, purpose and values, and diversity, equity, and inclusion. She played a key role in leading the firm through the global pandemic as well as societal challenges impacting the firm and its people. Among her contributions to Crowe’s technology initiatives are promoting technology awareness among employees, eliminating redundant and inefficient practices and platforms, and introducing automation into talent processes.
Previously, Wood held leadership positions with Ernst & Young, Phoenix Investment Partners Ltd., Grand Victoria Casino, and Liberty Mutual Insurance Company. She holds a degree in business psychology from Ohio’s Miami University and has earned a Leadership Styles Indicator Certification. In 2010 Human Resource Executive magazine inducted her into its Executive of the Year Honor Roll.
“To me, leadership is about a higher calling beyond individual achievement. It’s about ensuring future generations are prepared for the unknown and for the challenges that lie ahead but cannot yet be seen,” Wood said. “My vision in this leadership role is to honor Colby’s deep and rich history and nurture an environment and culture that enables staff, faculty, and the entire community to be at their very best, to feel a sense of belonging, and to thrive in a world full of ambiguity and uncertainty.”
Wood believes Colby is the right place for her at the right time.
“I look forward to being part of the broader Waterville community and contributing to its continued growth. I’m honored to be joining this incredible team at Colby and can’t wait to get started.“