Partner, Human Resource Services
She is highly skilled at negotiations and workplace investigation, and often uses those skills, along with her considerable experience, when advising her clients regarding employment related risk mitigation, strategic planning and interest-based problem resolution. Mary’s specialties are assisting governing boards and government leaders with executive level performance evaluations, organizational problem analysis and skillful resolution, as well as coaching key employers to address deficiencies and maximize organizational impact.
As a Private Investigator licensed by the State of California, Mary has handled hundreds of workplace investigations for both private sector and public employers on all types of employment matters over the last several years, including claims of discrimination, harassment, retaliation, whistle blowing, substance abuse, threats of violence, assault, theft, fraud, violations of company policies, wage and hour violations, and other forms of alleged misconduct. Mary is experienced in testifying during administrative and judicial proceedings regarding completed investigations and provides expert testimony on the adequacy of workplace investigations, human resource practices and public sector employment standards and expectations. She is also qualified as an expert in State Court on the adequacy of investigations.
Mary’s commitment to and passion for improving the quality of workplace investigations nationwide is demonstrated by her role with the Association of Workplace Investigators (AWI, formerly, California Association of Workplace Investigators). She is a founding member of AWI, formed in October 2009 and spent four years developing the AWI’s published standards for workplace investigations and serving as a faculty member at the Workplace Investigation Institute.
In addition to investigations and expert testimony, Mary facilitates staff retreats, team based problem solving and labor management committees, works with elected boards to define the performance expectations of their key managers, serves as a neutral fact finder in resolution of employer/employee issues.
Prior to joining Municipal Resource Group, Mary held key positions with both the City of Sacramento, where she served in various capacities (1980 1988), and the City of San Jose, where she was the Employee Relations Officer and Chief Negotiator (1988 1993). While with Shannon Associates (1996 2001) Mary managed recruitments for virtually all high-level council and manager appointed executives, as well as complex human resources assessments for large and complex clients. She continued her consulting services with many high profile clients after starting her own firm in 2001, and maintains long-term and consulting relationships with major cities and counties in California. Mary is a recognized expert in municipal government interest arbitration.
In addition to her significant field experience with major clients, Mary earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Behavioral Sciences from the University of California, Davis, where she was named “Outstanding Female Graduate,” and a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree from San Francisco State University. Mary is a founding member of the California Association of Workplace Investigators (CAOWI), participating as Chairperson of the Legislation Committee and member of the Best Practices Committee.
Mary is a frequent presenter at conferences, seminars and meetings of several professional organizations, including the League of California Cities, the International Public Management Association (IPMA), the California Public Employers Labor Relations Association (CALPELRA), the Municipal Management Assistants of Northern California (MMANC), and the California State Association of Counties (CSAC).