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Article by: Bridgette Klein — View more articles by Bridgette Klein

Posted on: September 11, 2019

Five for FIve: Our Managers

It means a great deal to our leadership team to be once-again named to the NorthCoast 99, a list for top companies in Northeast Ohio. Over the last year, we’ve worked hard as a team to guide our organization as it grows, while working with each team member to achieve their goals. The award means something a bit different to each manager and we wanted to share our perspectives.

Christine Peters Willory Consulting Headshot

Christine Peters: HR Operations Manager and Consultant

How would you describe the growth of Willory since your time at the organization? 

I joined the Willory team as a consultant in 2015 and was the tenth employee to join our team. Now we have over 20 employees, and I have gotten to witness significant growth in our organization, which has been amazing. Not only has our staffing team nearly doubled, but we’ve had huge growth on the consulting side, especially in 2019. Additionally, we’ve worked on adding additional consultants to take on more work nationally.  

Our entire team works to keep ourselves accountable, have transparency, and to have an open dialogue with one another. Having this type of communication has been an integral part of our growth as we continue to develop internal processes and expand our management team. We commit to culture in every aspect of what we do and make sure we exemplify our core values.  

How has Willory as top workplace affected your development as an employee and leader 

The team at Willory believes in me and supports my goals. I’ve never experienced working somewhere before as dedicated to its employees as much as Willory is. Our team encourages me to take risks as I challenge myself in the HR technology space, and they support me in every way they can. Willory has a learn, grow, develop mindset with our employees. It’s not about the tasks you can do today but also what you can do in 3-5 yearsWillory provides support to help us achieve that. I’m given support, tools, and mentorship to achieve any goal set for my team or myself.   

What’s most important to you about the NorthCoast 99 process? 

I like that employee feedback is part of the decision. The application process is very detailed for a reason, and NorthCoast 99 makes sure they take the steps needed to get a comprehensive view of the organization.  

I think it’s important that this award recognizes companies of different size, structure, industry, and more. Learning from other firms and connecting professionally with those individuals has created a great way to learn from one another through being a part of NorthCoast 99.  


Holly Hall Willory Consulting HeadshotHolly Hall: Project Manager

What does being a NorthCoast 99 winner mean for the Willory consulting team? 

Being a NorthCoast 99 winner drives our team to continue to provide excellent service to our clients. We take pride and ownership in the work we do, and it feels humbling to being recognized for that. This recognition also encourages us to continue striving for improvement 

Our consulting team has clients on a national scale, with that it is great to be a part of an award that provides recognition in Northeast Ohio for the local clients we serveNortheast Ohio is where we started, and we will always be honored to help organizations in this area.  

How would you describe the growth of Willory since your time at the organization? 

In a couple of ways, 

  1. We developed an official leadership team. That growth has been considerable and helped us structure and evolve. Having this team in place has provided us with a visionary approach to our future
  2. The skills and abilities of our staff have continued to grow rapidlyOur leadership has expectations established on how to guide our team members to perfect their jobs and flourish in their roles.  

After being in the HR field for several decades, it’s been great seeing our team put processes in place and put structure into the organization, adding personnel needed, etc. Willory is a small organization that does it right.  

How does it feel to work for a company that has been a NorthCoast 99 winner for five years in a row? 

I’m very honored to be a part of a company that continuously strives to win this type of award. When I was in the job search a few years ago, I gravitated to employers who have been winners of this award. Being a NorthCoast 99 winner is a significant accomplishment on many levels.  

I’m glad that Willory can continue to provide the type of environment that gets recognized in the Northeast Ohio community. I feel supported as a leader and individual in my role at Willory. Our award-winning culture truly shines every day.   


Lisa Mamula: Director of Client Relations  Lisa Mamula Willory CR Headshot

How has Willory as top workplace affected your development as an employee and leader? 

Working for Willory has motivated me to take personal development to a new level. After being in the HR staffing industry for so long, it is refreshing to have unique challenges and push me every day. It can be easy to get stagnant without continuous improvement and the challenges to grow. Luckily Willory has provided a culture where I’m always motivated to develop and reach new goals.  

If our organization weren’t continuing to encourage our team tgrow, we wouldn’t be where we are today. Being recognized for an award like NorthCoast 99 helps us continue to strive to do better.  

How would you describe the growth of Willory since your time at the organization? 

I joined the firm through an acquisition in 2014. The merging allowed me to join a team with clear goals to be the best at what we do and to grow the company. It was this acquisition that helped Willory become the company it is today. The continued growth of our firm has been focused by staying true to our niche and refining the service offerings we have and communicating that in the market place.  

We believe in what we are doing and have the potential to scale the organization for continuous expansion. There are concerted efforts from marketing (brand awareness) that have helped us get out there and deliver our message to the community we serve. 

How does it feel to have been a winner of NorthCoast 99 for five years in a row? 

It’s inspiring. NC99 is a prestigious award that affords a lot of visibility in Northeast Ohio. It means something here and resonates with the community what it means to make that list. I’m very proud to be part of an organization that has achieved the award five years in a row. It is no easy feat, and it says a lot for a small firm like Willory to be in the company of some of the most prominent employers in Northeast Ohio.  

There is a lot of work that goes into the award process every year, and I have a lot of respect for ERC for the work that they do for the community.  Willory is happy to be recognized for the organization that we are and we are motivated to continue to be one of the best places to work.


Bridgette Klein Willory Marketing Headshot

Bridgette Klein: Marketing Manager  

How has Willory as top workplace affected your development as an employee and leader? 

I think it can be easy for organizations to hire new employees, expect them to grow, but not honestly give them the tools and direction for change. The expectation for growth and development is high at Willory, but we’re also given the means to achieve those changes. In my role as a leader of the firm, I stand by the Richard Branson quote, “Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough, so they don't want to. 

My growth, personally, professionally, and as a leader, is intrinsically tied to the success of our team. Not only have I been given the skills to manage personnel, but also a new way of looking at my marketing career. I’m able to better understand the mindset of our target audience of HR and payroll professionals while adding some fun twists and turns to our brand presence. As a marketing professional, I’m proud of our accomplishments as a top workplace. Every day, I strive to live up to the reputation we have earned over the last nine years.  

What does being a NorthCoast 99 winner mean for the Willory marketing team? 

It means so much to our team. We work alongside our HR operations department to fill out the application, ensuring we have the right information and can articulate what makes Willory a top workplace via the essays. Getting the award is an external validation of the hard work we do each year.  

From a brand perspective, it’s incredibly exciting to share the news. Each year we try to do something a bit different when we talk about the win. This year we wanted to focus inward and share interviews with various members of our team. I know we’ve had a great time working on this project.  

How does it feel to have been a winner of NorthCoast 99 for five years in a row? 

I remember in March 2015 working on the application for the first time. I was worried we wouldn’t stack up against the best companies in Northeast Ohio, but also concerned about becoming a mom for the first time. My daughter’s due date was April 16, and I’d planned on doing the bulk of the application the first week in April. Well, my daughter had other ideas and was born two weeks early, effectively ruining my best-laid plans (for the first and not last time). Luckily, our team was able to step up and complete the application in time. Receiving that first phone call about winning was a great experience. I remember how excited we all were to receive recognition in our first year of eligibility.  

What I’ve learned over the years is to not wait until April to complete the process. You’ll wish you had started and done the bulk of the work as soon as possibleI’ve done it 4.5 times and each year it takes considerable time to complete. The difference is that five years later, I have learned better time management (it comes with the Willory and parenting territory).   

Five years later, it’s still incredibly exciting to receive the “You made it on the NorthCoast 99” call from ERC. We never take it for granted and learn a bit each year that we hope continues to place us on the list.  

And yes, my daughter and the NorthCoast 99 application are forever linked in my head.