Making People Her Business
Renee Roth, a born and raised Michigander, has worked with people since the age of 16. Early on in her career, she quickly moved into management, but realized her calling in life was to better the lives of others as they navigated their own career journey. Today, Roth calls the Lansing information technology consulting firm Dewpoint her professional home and is living her dream of working with people and helping make their lives better every single day.
You’ve had quite the journey on your way to starting a career in human resources. How did that begin?
My first job was in the restaurant industry, and I found I had such great people skills. Then, my husband and I relocated from Michigan to California, where I worked in retail management before making the move to UCLA, where I found myself in human resources for the first time. Education was important to me, as I always wanted my children to value education, as well. I found myself working, raising children and taking classes at California State University at night from 7-10 p.m. My kids saw the blood, sweat and tears it took for me to get my degree, so they know the value of hard work and how to get there.
I majored in communications and received my professional in human resources certification to give myself a wide range of options upon graduation. I was now able to work with people but also was able to manage payroll, staff members and even run the company database when working in IT. Having such a wide range of experience made me an attractive candidate when we wanted to make the move back to Michigan, so I could continue my work in human resources.
What excites you about human resources?
My interest grew over time because I love personal interactions. In the beginning I had some niche specialty areas, including medical leave and payroll, but as the director I have a broader scope. There is so much that I can do to help make people better at their jobs, and that is easily my favorite part. I can’t imagine doing anything more rewarding than this.
What excites you about your current position?
I really like how my job has grown over time. Technically, I do what needs to get done, but I also have the opportunity to plan and run events for employees and their families. I have been with Dewpoint since 2017, when Ken Theis, the president of the company, brought me on after connecting at a networking event. I found his passion for Dewpoint to be contagious and wanted to be a part of a company that inspired such excitement. I have several people on my team now, and we generally work with HR benefits as well as worker compensations. I consider myself lucky because the director of HR does not usually get as much interaction with the employees, but this company is mid-size and values my work with individual employees. I really value the opportunity to connect with everyone at this company, as well as the opportunity to know just about everyone that works here.
What events are you particularly excited about?
HR puts on an annual kickoff where we take direct employees to an off-site location to discuss how the past year was and what our goals are for next year. This year we are going to the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel for an exciting one-night stay. It is not just work and PowerPoints though, there are great team-building exercises, too. Last year, we set the bar really high with life-size board games, fantastic food, raffle prizes and really cool swag. For March Madness, we rent out Lansing Brewing Co., where we have food, drinks, trivia, and prizes, as well as the opportunity to view the games. We plan a block party every summer just outside of our building with live music. We also host private movie showings for employees to bring their families to, as well as an annual holiday party, of course.
Overall, I feel good about finding my passion and doing it every day. I don’t think a lot of people can say they like what they are doing, and I am very lucky to have found it so early in my career so I can spend my life doing exactly what I love.