Karen Kramer’s position as AMC director of human resources, which began in 1996, has followed in the same growth as both the association clients and the association management firm itself. While AMC staff has nearly doubled since then, from about 90 to 175 employees, Karen’s responsibilities have expanded to include both human resources and director of AMC Central, which includes overseeing customer, data, and fulfillment services.
Likewise, as boards of AMC association clients continue to take on more “big picture” and strategic roles, so has Karen. Her responsibilities now include quality control, program planning, trouble-shooting, and management, in addition to the more traditional HR responsibilities of developing handbooks, policies, and procedures.
All this suits Karen just fine, especially because she loves working with and helping people. “I’ve learned over time that it is truly about relationships—creating and fostering them, and doing that continuously to make them strong,” she says. “There’s a lot of communication, relationship-building, and interaction that takes place here, both internally and with our many clients.”
Karen’s career began in the legal field; she served as in-house corporate counsel of a Chicago-based plumbing and heating company and supported two attorneys in private business before switching to human resources nearly 20 years ago. Karen holds a paralegal certificate, bachelor’s degrees in legal administration and business administration, and an MBA. Among her recent accomplishments at AMC are incorporating the first of many policy changes due to healthcare reform and helping in the process of getting AMC named one of the “Best Places to Work in Illinois.”