Women in Business
Educating employees and giving them an a-ha moment is what drives her year after year here at Atlantic Bay.
Being a ‘yes’ lady is something Resa Wirick is no stranger to. She’s learned in her more than 20 years of experience that taking on new ventures and tasks sets you up for success. Resa plays the role of mom, wife and human resources manager.
Resa started her career in commercial real estate as a property manager first, then decided to interview for her first position in human resources as an administrative assistant in 1999.
“I knew that being a property manager was not what I wanted to be; so when an administrative position in human resources became available, I applied. I immediately fell in love with human resources and was eager to learn as much as I could. I was just saying ‘Yes, give me anything so that I can learn,’" Resa says.
That mentality soon paid off. With the recession about to hit and the company downsizing; hard staffing decisions were being made.
“I truly felt that my willingness to take on additional work and new tasks strengthened my position in the company and not only was my job saved but I was promoted into my first management role.” Resa says. “I think with all the changes and new things I was taking on brought me to where I am today. I became the ‘Jane of all Trades’ in human resources and learned that nothing is beneath you. It’s taught me to look at opportunities as experiences and that’s what’s really helped me grow throughout my career.”
Then the recession did indeed hit, causing her company’s doors to shut for good. Just like that, Resa and 250 other employees were let go. But in true Jane form, she decided to step in and volunteer to answer lingering questions from employees.
“I volunteered with about five other people to just help out where I could until they literally kicked us out of the building,” Resa reflects. “I felt that people needed to know what this closure meant to them. They needed to know if they were going to be paid, about their benefits, everything! We just wanted to be there for the employees and help them transition out."
Resa was able to land a new role with another commercial real estate company as Director of Human Resources for a company of 400 employees. While her role was significant to the company, she reflects that as a woman, she didn’t always feel included with other senior leaders.
“Commercial Real Estate is a male dominated industry and our senior management were all men. At that time, I was the Director of Human Resources and the only woman with a senior corporate role and I wasn’t ever asked to participate in management meetings,” Resa says. “I think they saw human resources as just a roadblock. My role was never valued there, the department was never valued.”
Looking back, Resa recounts how difficult it was to ask for the respect for the position and for the HR department. “I wish now I would have stood up for myself.”
Resa thankfully found her way home to Atlantic Bay in 2018. One of the noticeable distinctions of working here is the quality of life and work/life balance.
She reflects that in her previous position prior to Atlantic Bay, she was working days, nights and weekends – any hour of day to meet the demands of her job.
“It got to be so much that my husband said to me, ‘I feel like I’m a single parent.’ That’s when I knew I had to proactively do something, so I decided to take a step back.”
Coming to that realization was difficult, but necessary for her family. The balance that Resa has found at Atlantic Bay was a much-needed adjustment. "Here at Atlantic Bay, there’s not that expectation that you have to kill yourself working,” she says. “I’m not having to take time away from my family because I’m sitting in an empty office trying to catch up. The work life balance here is amazing.”
The future of human resources may change over time, but the dynamic nature of it and the ability to assist employees is something that excites and energizes Resa.
She projects that in five years, things may look the same from an HR perspective, but just with more of an emphasis on virtual workplaces.
“You can work remotely and still be productive, we’ve certainly learned that recently.”
And the ongoing functions that Resa and her team perform are still a crucial part of the employee experience at Atlantic Bay.
“At a lot of companies, Human Resources has such a bad reputation with employees. I’ve always strived to change that perception and the entire HR team here at Atlantic Bay feels the same way. We enjoy talking with the employees and providing them helpful information in a friendly manner. For instance, when I sit and explain the benefits plans to a new employee and the employee thanks you for taking the time to explain each benefit to the point of having a clear understanding, that really excites me.”
For Resa, the continuous employee engagement and support is her North Star.
“Educating employees and giving them an a-ha moment is what drives me year after year” she says.
These are personal anecdotes from each individuals experiences that are unique and not representative of Atlantic Bay's views or practices. Atlantic Bay Mortgage Group, L.L.C. NMLS #72043 (nmlsconsumeraccess.org) is an Equal Opportunity Employer.