Suffolk HR director stepping down

Published 9:18 pm Monday, February 18, 2019

Suffolk Human Resources Director Nancy Olivo is retiring at the end of February, and, while she isn’t ready to say what she’ll be doing next, she’s excited for the opportunities that await her.

Olivo has worked for the past six years in Suffolk but has 31 years of experience in human resources — 21 of those as a director — and is looking for new challenges.

“I work with a great team here in HR,” Olivo said. “We have a lot of accomplishments of which I’m very proud.”

Some of those including collaborating with the city’s Department of Fire & Rescue on creating a promotion process and strategic plan and implementing a new entry-level firefighter hiring process.

Olivo, who worked for 25 years in Norfolk before coming to Suffolk, said early on in her tenure in Suffolk, she focused on the HR department and worked with her team to restructure and streamline operations, moving away from a more manual recruitment process to implementing an online recruitment process to get a stronger candidate pool for jobs.

“Seeing a number of projects coming to fruition has been exciting,” Olivo said. “Ultimately those projects will benefit the citizens.”

She said she has always had a passion for human resources that go beyond it being a full time job. She said she has been able to use her skill sets in her current position, but she is ready for the next step, wherever it leads her. Still, she will miss being a part of Suffolk’s HR department.

“I have good relationships throughout the organization,” Olivo said. “They’re sad to see me go, but they see my passion and they’re excited for me for the next step.”

She said she gets excited for what may appear to be little things, but that could be life changing for others, such as an employee who sends an email thank you after a wellness program helped that person learn about a medical issue.

“I just really get excited seeing how us working together as a department putting together best practices, we’re changing lives,” Olivo said. “That’s the most exciting thing for me.”

She said over the years, she has gotten more focused on her personal mission: “to improve the quality of life for individuals through an engaged workforce and a high-performing workplace.”

Olivo, who received a doctoral degree in social psychology from the State University of New York in Albany and an undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania, will continue broadening her horizons while keeping her same mission.

“I don’t really see me not working somehow to support this mission,” Olivo said. “Maybe in my later years, it will be as a volunteer. I’m just really passionate about it.”