BY JILL NAGY
On a recent afternoon, Gail Hamel was sitting
on her lawn, enjoying one of the last warm days of
fall and doing work that she loves–developing a
training program for a client of her one-woman
business, Hamel Resources LLC.
She came to the human resources field almost
by chance. Back in 1988, she was offered a position
at a company on Pruyn’s Island as a personnel
administrator. She had no background or training
in the field–she was a former elementary school
teacher–but her supervisor saw her potential
and was willing to mentor her.
“He hired me for my ability to be flexible and
interact with every level of people,” she said. Her
supervisor taught her some of the skills she needed
and she attended a “one-week crash course” for
some of the rest but, mostly, she taught herself the
job. She soon realized, “This is for me,” she recalled.
Hamel remained in corporate human resources
work for almost 20 years, managing personnel
matters for several area companies. Along the way,
she attended training sessions here and there
and became active in the Adirondack Human
Resources Association, but never had the time
or inclination to acquire a degree or certification
in the field.
About nine years ago, she decided that she
wanted a change from the pressures and frequent
travel of corporate life and started her own
company. Today, she works out of a home office
in Lake George and most of her clients are within
100 miles. And she has time for community
activities like organizing the South Glens Falls
The work she does is varied. It includes a lot
of training in leadership skills, communication,
emotional intelligence, creative thinking, and
team building. She helps her client’s employees
improve their managerial, supervisory and
customer service skills.
A new field for her is performing internal
investigations, for example, investigating sexual
harassment complaints, and she can perform
what she calls a human relations analysis. The
analysis, she said, is really an audit, where she
looks at hiring and training practices, reviews
the company handbook (if there is one), and
scrutinizes personnel policies.
“I do a lot of training on generation gaps in
the workplace,” she added, noting that young
employees have to be managed differently from
their older colleagues. Employers, she emphasized,
have to make changes to accommodate the
changes that are happening in the world.
She recalled a recent visit to a high school
classroom. “There were no desks, no chairs, just
couches. It was completely unstructured.”
She tailors everything to a client’s business. “No
off-the-shelf training” from her shop, she said.
Hamel jumped into the world of online
communications with the same elan she brought
to the human resources field as a novice.
Technology is not a challenge for me,” she
said, “I can work from anywhere. It doesn’t
scare me. There’s an ‘undo’ button for a reason.”
So, she created her own website, learned to use
FaceBook, Twitter and LinkedIn, and mastered
her smartphone. “I can dial into my PC from anywhere,” she said.
Hamel is a third-generation, Glens Falls-area
resident and one of her two grown children
remains in the area.
“I truly love what I do. I have a passion for
people.” she said, and has a “passion and interest
in being current” as she tries to keep up with
what’s going on in the industry.
Her office is at 10 Hawthorne Road in Lake
George. You can find her online or telephone
her at 761-1220.
Photo Courtesy Hamel Resources LLC