Meet Team Kadant - Jackie Bowen, Administration/Director of Human Resources
Worked at Kadant Johnson Since: October 2005
Tell me about your career path and how you got to Kadant.
I graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in Industrial Psychology. My first job out of college was for SPX working as a benefits administrator in the human resources (HR) department. I then took a role with a small HR consulting firm that gave me broad exposure to various aspects of HR in diverse companies ranging from Flowserve to Stryker to Bronson Hospital to Perrigo. I was then hired directly by Perrigo as an employment specialist. My career with Perrigo spanned six years where I was promoted to administrative HR manager prior to leaving. I then joined Kadant Johnson where I looked forward to using my HR knowledge and experience to benefit the employees of the organization. I truly enjoy the day to day activities with employees and helping them see their true impact on the organization and the difference they truly make!
What is your favorite aspect of your job?
My favorite aspect of my job is the people with whom I work - working with the caliber of individuals we do at Kadant Johnson makes each day worthwhile. Granted, not all days are picture perfect. However, when you form relationships and have the bond and connection that we do at Kadant Johnson it makes any situation manageable. We are all in this together and that’s the philosophy I believe is present throughout the organization. The people of Kadant Johnson make this organization what it is – a success!
What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned over the course of your career?
The ability to be humble and recognize my own weaknesses and opportunities. I think showing your vulnerabilities doesn’t show that you are weak or not successful, but rather that you are human and open to input, help, and ideas from others. This isn’t easy as you open yourself up to criticism and showing where you might be vulnerable, but what you can show is your compassion and humanistic side to persevere through anything. That perseverance and determination can then come through and gives others the confidence in you too.
How did you develop an interest in human resources?
When I first went to college, I thought I wanted to practice Clinical Psychology. Realizing that I would have difficulty separating the personal issues I would face with clients; I knew it wasn’t the ideal path. I always had a business interest and finding that the psychology area and business could be coupled into a career was exciting. I spent three summers working in the human resource department at Armstrong International while attending the University of Michigan.
Tell me about your family.
I grew up in Centreville, Michigan, and I’ve been married to my husband Tony for almost 22 years. We met while I was in college and made the long-distance relationship work for three years prior to me coming back to the area and making a home. I have two children – Kyzer (18) and Gabrielle (15). Both are extremely active in school functions and sports teams. Kyzer just graduated from high school where he was a three-sport athlete. He will be attending Rose Hulman Institute of Technology in the fall while playing football and studying Mechanical Engineering. Gabrielle is a competitive dancer as well as a member of the high school track team. We live on the St. Joseph River and enjoy the time on the water when we aren’t traveling all over the area for games, meets, competitions and tournaments. We have two dogs – a yellow lab (Maize) and a Shih Tzu (Finn) and a turtle (Slack).
Do you have a favorite sports team? How did you become a fan?
I don’t think it would be a surprise to anyone that the University of Michigan is my favorite sports team. We are season football ticket holders and try to make all the home games. Not only do we enjoy the game but the time with friends and family tailgating and enjoying the fun that brings such great fans to the games. I also love to watch the Detroit Tigers. They are not always the top team in the league but growing up my family was a hard-core Tigers family. My dad and I would travel to Detroit to watch the games whenever we could. I have fond memories of my first Tigers game and at that time I played second base for my little league team so I LOVED Lou Whitaker. I was devastated when I thought the crowd was booing him on the field until my dad clarified that they were yelling “Looouuuu”.
Where would you like to go on your dream vacation?
My dream vacation is going to an all-inclusive at Turks and Caicos. I love relaxing on the beach and enjoying the sun and beautiful waters. Turks and Caicos has one of the most beautiful (at least in pictures) beaches on earth!