Human Resources Department
Kristine has been employed by Kalamazoo County Government for over 25 years. Today, as the Human Resources Director, Kristine advises executive leadership and supervisors on conflict resolution, disciplinary matters, and all other supervisory issues; develops, maintains, and interprets personnel policies and procedures for County operations and collective bargaining agreements; directs Human Resources Department staff and functions; develops and directs all Human Resources workflows, documentation, and practices; directs the development and coordination of the employee training program; and coordinates labor negotiations. Previously, Kristine served as the Administrator for the Kalamazoo County Prosecutor's Office, where she was responsible for managing all non-attorney staff; providing oversight of the Office's multi-million dollar budget; coordinating grant applications and contracts; and managing the technological needs of the office. 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.
Lauren has been employed by the County of Kalamazoo for over 20 years. In 2017, Lauren joined the Human Resources team as a Human Resources Specialist. In 2024, she was promoted to the HR Manager position. In this position, she coordinates safety efforts, oversees the maintenance of the County's job classification system and structure, and oversees the Recruitment and Hiring Unit. Before transferring to Human Resources, Lauren spent 12 years with the Kalamazoo County Prosecutor's Office. She started with the Prosecutor's Office in 2005 as a Legal Assistant and then served as a Victim Advocate, providing short-term crisis intervention and long-term guidance on understanding and navigating the criminal justice system to victims of crime and their families. In 2013, she received the Robert L. Pangle Award from the Prosecutor's Office for outstanding work as a public servant. Lauren graduated magna cum laude from Taylor University with a Bachelor's Degree in Justice and Ministry.
Jean Michaud has a Bachelor of Applied Science, Business Administration degree from Davenport College. Before 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 understand their benefits and worked with County Administration to ensure an excellent benefits package for active employees and retirees. In July 2017, she was promoted to the HR Manager position. In this position, she coordinates pension reporting and oversight, unemployment claims, tax and W-2 filing, audit and actuary reporting, and oversees the Payroll and Benefits Unit for over 900+ employees and 500+ retirees.
In 2017, Claricia joined the Human Resources team as the Administrative Assistant. Just one year later, she was promoted to the Human Resources Generalist position. In 2024, Claricia was promoted again to the HR Executive Coordinator position. As the Executive Coordinator, Claricia coordinates the following: HR Annual Report, Union Negotiations, HR contracts and RFPs, investigations, employee surveys, training events, and personnel file management. Prior to working in Human Resources, 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.
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.
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 has been with the County for 10+ years and has worked in various positions, including Youth Specialist II, Detention Secretary, Administrative Assistant, and Temporary Supervisor. In 2018, Stephanie was promoted to a Human Resources Specialist position within the HR Department. Stephanie is passionate about helping others and enjoys assisting 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 dance styles. Stephanie graduated from Western Michigan University with a Bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice and Sociology.
Shanice Thompson joined Human Resources in 2020. Shanice attended KVCC to pursue a degree in Business Administration and worked in-home health care for over six years. Shanice was excited to join Kalamazoo County Government and looks forward to building a career in Human Resources. In her current position, she creates employee identification cards, processes invoices, assists with Family Medical Leave packets, and assists all Human Resources staff with their clerical needs. Shanice enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, and cooking.