Brenda Gumbs joined Centennial as an Executive Strategist. Brenda has been a human resource practitioner for thirty years, chiefly as a senior executive.  Her primary responsibilities have included building the capability of the organization, participating in strategic planning, partnering with managers to identify human resource, and providing advice on people-related business issues. Her strengths include her knowledge of the human resource practice areas, years of implementation experience in diverse organizations, communication skills, and a commitment to learning and keeping current in organization best practices as well as next practices.

Brenda most recently held the position of Executive Vice President of People and Culture for Perfetti Van Melle, North America, for thirteen years. Previous positions include Corporate Vice President of HR for the Midland Company; Senior Vice President, Human Resources, for Lawyers Cooperative Publishing; and Human Resources Director for the Kodak Equipment Manufacturing Division; Director of Human Resource at Computer Consoles, Inc., and the Rochester City School District.

In addition to her practical hands-on credentials, Brenda holds a B.S. degree from the State University of New York at Oswego, and a M.S. degree from the State University of New York at Albany. Her education includes collective bargaining study at the Cornell University School of Labor Relations, which allowed her to function as a mediator and fact-finder for the Public Employment Relations Board for almost eight years.

Brenda is also an active volunteer and has served on numerous boards, including National Industries for the Blind, Cincinnati Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired, American Foundation for the Blind, and Goodwill Industries International. In addition, she has also earned and maintained the following certifications:  Work/Life Certified Professional (W/LCP), Korn Ferry Competency Training, Herrmann International, Whole Brain Dominance Certification, and “What If!” Innovation Training.

Quotes from CEO’s Brenda has served with include;

“Brenda is my go-to advisor on talent optimization. Her experience, insight, and perspective relative to employee engagement and retention have been the cornerstone of her support. Brenda’s ability to size up a situation and sort through the noise is critical. She simply gets it: how to optimize business results through outstanding talent management,” said Jim Gibbons, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries International.

“Brenda worked for me as the EVP of People & Culture of Perfetti Van Melle North America for 10 years. Brenda worked hard to help transfer our brands to our culture. Anticipating the shift in employees’ motivation to join companies, she was instrumental in ’employer branding’ as evidenced by leadership behaviors, corporate initiatives, employee actions and managerial processes. She is a strategic architect and was instrumental in writing our story and worked diligently to make it real through HR Practices and Leadership behaviors.” Ronald Korenhoff – former President/ CEO of Perfetti Van Melle North America.