Human Resources Department
Kristine has been employed by the County of Kalamazoo for over 20 years. Today, Kristine serves as the Human Resources Director. In this position, Kristine provides counsel to executive leadership, supervisors and employees on Human Resources and employee relations issues; directs Human Resources staff and functions; administers employee training programs; and coordinates labor negotiations. From 2003-2013, Kristine served as the Administrator for the Kalamazoo County Prosecutor's Office. As Administrator, she was responsible for managing all non-attorney staff; provided oversight of the Office's $4+ million budget; coordinated grant applications and contracts; and managed the technological needs of the office. From 2000-2003, she served as the Coordinator for the Kalamazoo Criminal Justice Council (KCJC) and served as the Program Assistant of the Kalamazoo County Adult Drug Treatment Court from 1995-2000. Kristine graduated cum laude from Western Michigan University (WMU) with a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology and Sociology and she obtained her Master's Degree in Public Administration from WMU.
Jean Michaud has a Bachelor of Applied Science, Business Administration degree from Davenport College. Previous to arriving at Kalamazoo County, she had extensive Human Resources experience in the manufacturing environment. In 2006, Jean started with the County as the Benefits Specialist. In this role, she helped the active and retiree population to better understand their benefits and to work with County Administration to ensure a great benefit package for active employees and retirees. In July 2017, she was promoted to the Deputy HR Director position. In this position, she focuses on plan design for the health benefit system, statistical reports for the Human Resources Department, supervision of HR staff, and serving as the primary contact for employees related to disciplinary/termination issues.
Claricia serves as the Administrative Assistant for the Human Resource (HR) Department. In this position, Claricia provides HR administrative support to Human Resources staff and the 900+ employees in the County. Prior to becoming the Administrative Assistant, she worked in the District Court Civil Division, transitioning to District Court Criminal Division and then worked in Probate Court processing minor guardianship cases. In 2017, she completed the Kalamazoo County Sheriff's Office Citizen Police Academy, which she found to be very informative and enlightening. In Claricia's spare time, she enjoys going to the theatre, trying new foods and new activities and classes in the community.
Lauren graduated magna cum laude from Taylor University with a Bachelor's Degree in Justice and Ministry. Today, Lauren serves as the Human Resources Specialist. In this position, Lauren creates training opportunities, coordinates safety efforts and oversees the maintenance of the County's job classification system and structure. Prior to becoming the Human Resources Specialist, Lauren spent 10 years with the Kalamazoo County Prosecutor's Office. She started with the Prosecutor's Office in 2005 as a Legal Assistant and most recently served as a Victim Advocate. As a Victim Advocate, Lauren worked with victims of crime and their families, providing short-term crisis intervention and long-term guidance on understanding and navigating the criminal justice system. In 2013, she received the Robert L. Pangle Award from the Prosecutor's Office for outstanding work as a public servant.
Jessica Kirkendall achieved a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Columbia College Chicago in 2008 and in 2014 she finished a Post Bachelor Human Resources Management degree program where she graduated with highest honors. Having over 5 years of management experience, four of which were in an AGM capacity, Jessica brings a wealth of knowledge regarding policy implementation, performance evaluations, training, succession planning, hiring, change management, and much more. Each employee and labor relation issue an employee will face has unique circumstances and Jessica looks forward to promoting full communication between the County and its employees.
Amelia graduated from Oakland University with a bachelor's degree in Nutrition, Health and Psychology. She began her career in the wellness industry as a certified yoga instructor, group fitness instructor and personal trainer. She is passionate about assisting others in finding effective ways to reduce stress and take control of their health. Amelia believes in a holistic approach to wellness and works to incorporate physical, nutritional, and emotional support throughout her trainings and individual coaching sessions. She is excited to work with County employees on setting and accomplishing wellness goals both within the workplace and at home.
Elisabeth has been with the county for over 17 years. She began her service for the County of Kalamazoo through the co-op program while attending high school at Portage Northern. She transitioned to full time employment in 2001 as Senior Finance Clerk within the Finance Department. In 2003, she became the Accounting Records Coordinator, and most recently she has moved into her position as the Payroll/Compensation Specialist as of 2015. In her current roll she manages the production of all employee payroll including the retirement payroll. Her family will tell you that Elisabeth has always had a passion for finances, even from an early age. She continued to explore her interest in finance through the co-op program at Portage Northern, and seemed to find her niche while in her placement for the County of Kalamazoo. In her spare time, Elisabeth enjoys being a spectator at her children's sporting events as well as planning family trips and adventures.
Pam Smith achieved her Master's Degree in Business Administration with specialization in Human Resources from Ashford University in 2012. Previous to coming to Kalamazoo County Government, she had extensive Human Resources experience in Manufacturing working with Benefits, Payroll, Employee Relations, Training & Full Cycle Recruitment. She has also served in the United States Army for 3 years. In Pam's role as HR Specialist her focus will be on Employee Engagement, Training, New Employee Orientation and Diversity Planning. In her spare time Pam enjoys spending time with family, working in her yard and doing home improvement projects.
Meri W. Tolbert received a Bachelors of Accounting and Finance degree from Davenport College and Human Resources certificates level 1-3 from The Employer's Association in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Meri's career of Human Resource Management began at Home Repair Services of Kent County, with 20 years of experience in office management, recruiting, hiring, payroll, benefits, training, succession plans and performance evaluations. Meri is eager to connect in providing services for smooth hiring and transition between Kalamazoo County and its employees.
Stephanie graduated from Western Michigan University in 2008 with a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice and Sociology. Stephanie has been with the county for 9 years. She started her career with the county at the Juvenile Home as an On-Call youth specialist. Throughout her 9 years, she has had the privilege of working various positions including Detention Secretary, Administrative Assistant and Temporary Supervisor. Stephanie brings her passion for helping others to HR and has experience helping employees with payroll, leave usage and finding answers to tough questions. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, and is an instructor for multiple styles of dance. Stephanie is excited to meet new people and help new and existing employees with their benefits packages.