ERC is Excited to Announce Our 2019 NorthCoast 99 Winners and Winner Practices Report!


Highland Heights, Ohio – ERC is excited to announce our 2019 NorthCoast 99 Winners and Winner Practices Report! Now in its 21st year, NorthCoast 99 is an annual awards program we created and produce to honor 99 great Northeast Ohio workplaces for top talent.

“More than a business award or event, NorthCoast 99 is a yearlong research project ERC established to help employers make a difference in the lives of people working and living in our 22-county region,” noted ERC senior vice president Carrie Morse, who has overseen the program for the last 17 years.

NorthCoast 99 winners participated in a rigorous application process that asked for detailed information on how their organization addresses top-performer attraction, development, and retention in five distinct areas: organizational strategy, policies, and communication; recruitment, selecting, and onboarding; employee well-being; employee engagement and development; and total rewards.

“We’re thrilled to recognize and celebrate this year’s NorthCoast 99 Award winners! With unemployment at a 49-year-low, the benchmarks for attracting, engaging, and retaining employees are higher than ever,” said Kelly Keefe, president of ERC. “Year after year, winning organizations are raising the bar with increasingly progressive and groundbreaking HR practices and benefits that elevate the experience of their employees.”

The 2019 NorthCoast 99 Awards program is sponsored by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield; CareerCurve; Cleveland Magazine; ERChealth; Gino’s Awards; Maloney + Novotny; Mark Wayner Creative; Meyers, Roman, Friedberg & Lewis; Oswald Companies; Staffing Solutions Enterprises; and Ultimate Software.

About ERC

Founded in 1920, ERC helps organizations make their workplaces great by providing expert people solutions that include training, consulting, research, and HR support services. ERC also sponsors the ERChealth insurance program in Ohio. 

ERC is Pleased to Announce the Promotions of Annie Dohnal and Hayley McQuate

HayleyAnnieQHHighland Heights, Ohio – ERC, the human resource organization that provides training, consulting, research, and HR support services locally and nationally, is pleased to announce that Annie Dohnal and Hayley McQuate have both been promoted to the position of Client Service Manager.

 Upon joining ERC in 2014, Annie served as Client Service Associate. In her new role as Client Service Manager, she oversees the coordination of existing member accounts as well as new business development. Annie also organizes netwERC groups and manages the members-only connectwERC online discussion forum.

Hayley has held the position of Client Service Associate since 2017, when she joined ERC. In her new role as Client Service Manager, she oversees the account management of clients, vendors, independent consultants, and trainers. She also administers ERC’s Training Programs, provides instructional design support to trainers, and hosts our webinars.

“We're so proud of Annie and Hayley and look forward to their continued contributions to ERC and our clients," said Sam Marx, Director, Client Service. "They're proven talents and will continue to play a key role in ERC’s growth.” 

Annie holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, with a minor in psychology from Wheeling Jesuit University, and Hayley received her bachelor's degree in business administration, with a minor in human resources from Kent State University. 

About ERC
Founded in 1920, ERC helps organizations make their workplaces great by providing expert people solutions that include training, consulting, research, and HR support services. We’re the creators and producers of NorthCoast 99, an annual awards program in its 21st year that honors exceptional Northeast Ohio employers for top talent. ERC also sponsors the ERChealth insurance program in Ohio.


ERChealth Sponsoring Crain's Cleveland Business Excellence in HR Awards


ERChealth, our 20-year-old Ohio health insurance program that has saved over $200 million for 40,000 members, is pleased to sponsor the Crain's Cleveland Business Excellence in HR Awards on August 6, 2019 at the Hilton Cleveland Downtown.carrie-morse

Formerly known as the Archer Awards, this program recognizes Northeast Ohio's outstanding human resource executives, teams, and business leaders who are building companies with the best people, talent, development, and culture.

This event highlights organizations in nine categories, including Overall Excellence – HR Executive/Team of the Year, Compensation and Benefits, HR Innovator, Diversity & Inclusion, Employee Experience, and more. According to Crain's, recipients of these awards have gone above and beyond their duties and are making lasting impressions in their field.

"Engaged individuals and high-performing teams are making a difference in workplaces across Northeast Ohio. We're proud to support this event and the HR leaders who work tirelessly to make their organization a destination for top talent," said ERC Senior Vice President Carrie Morse

Registration for the Excellence in HR Awards program is available on the Crain's Cleveland Business website

ERC Members: Use the promo code: ERC19 to get $10 off your event registration. Hurry! This offer expires at 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, August 1, 2019.


ERC President Kelly Keefe Selected for Leadership Cleveland Class of 2020


kelly-keefeWe’re excited to announce that ERC President Kelly Keefe has been selected for the Leadership Cleveland Class of 2020! Kelly will join a community of 1,800 leaders who have participated in the program over the past 41 years. 

The mission of Leadership Cleveland is to empower experienced, senior-level leaders with knowledge, skills, and relationships to advance and deepen their community impact.

The program offers many ways to enhance civic understanding and leadership. Through Leadership Cleveland, participants develop a deeper understanding of our city's intricate and complex civic issues, and cultivate collaborative skills and an unparalleled network to help create positive change.

The Leadership Cleveland selection process is highly competitive. Only approximately 65 Northeast Ohio leaders are chosen for this 10-month intensive experience each year. Among other selection criteria, applicants must demonstrate a significant level of volunteer leadership in the community and be a recognized, established leader in their profession.

"Being accepted into this program is a huge honor! I look forward to growing as a leader and exploring ways that my peers and I can use our talents to improve the Cleveland community," said Kelly.

ERC to Sponsor HR Star: Senior Vice President Carrie Morse & Staff Emcee, Present

HRStar image-3

Once again, ERC will sponsor Cleveland's HR Star Conference, and the 21st annual event will take place on Wednesday, July 24, 2019 from 8:15 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. at the Holiday Inn in Independence, Ohio. Nearly 625 HR professionals from organizations across Cleveland and western Pennsylvania will gather to discuss leadership, employment law, communication in the workplace, and more.  

As in previous years, four ERC representatives will speak at the Conference on a variety of topics, and for the second consecutive year, our Senior Vice President Carrie Morse will emcee the overall event. Below is a complete listing of ERC's presenters as well as their breakout session topics. 

Carrie Morse, Senior Vice President 
Emcee of HR Star Conference 

Kathleen Buse, Ph.D., Director of Research & The ERC Women's Leadership Institute
Gender & Communication in the Workplace

Tara Motheral, Esq., SHRM-CP, HR Advisor
The Top Legal Compliance Issues for 2019: Including Employee Handbook Updates, Employee Misconduct & Workplace Policies

Chris Powers, Senior Training Consultant, Learning & Development
The ABCs of XYZs: What Each Generation is Seeking from Their Work, Why They Stay, Why They Leave & What Really Motivates Them

Hayley McQuate, Client Service Manager
Session Facilitator 

Meg Matejkovic, Esq., Senior Training Consultant, Learning & Development
Conducting Workplace Investigations: Beyond the Basics

You're Invited to Become an ERC & Cleveland Magazine Talent Ambassador


HopeMemorialRecruiting and hiring the right people is by far the most important part of any organization's business plan. We know that candidates are not only evaluating the position, and your company culture and benefits package, but also whether Cleveland is the right place for them. 

ERC and Cleveland Magazine are passionate advocates for the great quality of life available here in Northeast Ohio, which is why we are excited to partner and launch our Talent Ambassador Program. This Program is aimed at helping recruiters create an exceptionally talented workforce by providing the tools you need to help candidates fall in love with Cleveland as a great place to work and live.

If you choose to become a Talent Ambassador, you will receive a FREE one-year subscription to Cleveland Magazine. You will also receive the ability to purchase one-year subscriptions for your new-hires at the highly discounted rate of $5. Cleveland Magazine will send a letter to your new team member acknowledging this gift from your organization and welcoming them to our city. To become a Talent Ambassador, contact Alyson Szlamas.

An employee's happiness at home is as important to his or her success as happiness at work. ERC and Cleveland Magazine can help you seal the deal with your top candidates. Become a Talent Ambassador today!


A Heart for Service: ERC Volunteers at MedWish International


jazzhands-1ERC is committed to giving back to the communities we serve.  Today, our staff took time out of the workday to volunteer at MedWish International. We helped repurpose discarded medical supplies and equipment for humanitarian aid in developing countries.

"I was blown away by all MedWish International does as an organization. And also the impact that our organization made by volunteering! I believe that we receive more by giving more," said ERC President Kelly Keefe. "Each day, I truly grow more grateful to be surrounded by such talented, dedicated, and all-around good colleagues."Image from iOS (3)-1

ERC's heart for service also extends throughout the year. Twice a month, our staff members take turns delivering meals to homebound, disabled, and elderly residents who are unable to shop or prepare meals as part of the Hillcrest Meals on Wheels program. 








HR Leader Susan Pyles Rejoins ERC as Director, Consulting & Member Services

SusanPBlogHighland Heights, Ohio – ERC, the human resource organization that provides training, consulting, research, and HR support services locally and nationally, is pleased to announce that Susan Pyles has rejoined the company as Director, Consulting & Member Services.

Susan brings more than 20 years of award-winning achievements in talent management and assessment, performance management, employee experience, HR analytics, leadership development, coaching, and workforce planning.  

 She initially served ERC between 2007 and 2014 as a Practice Leader and Senior Consultant. In these roles, she led a variety of client and member initiatives, including performance management and career development systems, selection processes and tools, and leadership development and executive coaching programs. She also spearheaded projects for talent assessment, organizational design, and strategic planning

“We’re thrilled to have Susan back on our leadership team. The timing of this opportunity was perfectly aligned with our mutual interests and goals,” said ERC President Kelly Keefe. “Susan will play a central role in helping us enrich our relationships with clients and members so we can be of even greater service and value to them.”

Previously, Susan was Director, Global Talent Management & HR Business Partner at MTD Products, a worldwide leader in outdoor power equipment. Prior to MTD, she was Manager, Talent Development at Invacare, a global pioneer in home and long-term care medical products.

Before originally joining ERC, Susan spent a decade in the nationally acclaimed learning and performance department of Ohio Savings/AmTrust Bank, ultimately leading the department as Vice President. Under her leadership, Ohio Savings was a multi-year recipient of ERC’s NorthCoast 99 Award and Training magazine’s Top 100 Award. 

“I wasn’t actively seeking a new position when ERC reached out, but as our conversations progressed, so did the undeniable appeal of returning to the company,” said Susan. “In addition to the exciting prospects of the role itself, ERC’s culture has always been a big draw for me. And now, I’m officially part of the boomerang trend!”

“Given the outstanding national and international workplaces that Susan has helped develop elsewhere, it’s an honor that she’s chosen to call ERC home again,” said ERC Senior Vice President Carrie Morse, who oversees all practice areas of the organization. “I’m confident that Susan will make notable, refreshing contributions to ERC’s purpose, which is to help make workplaces great.”

Susan holds a Master of Arts degree in communication studies from Kent State University and a Bachelor of Business Management degree, with a minor in communications, from Ohio University. She is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and registered corporate coach who carries nearly a dozen HR assessment certifications.

About ERC
Founded in 1920, ERC helps organizations make their workplaces great by providing expert people solutions that include training, consulting, research, and HR support services. We’re the creators and producers of NorthCoast 99, an annual awards program in its 21st year that honors exceptional Northeast Ohio employers for top talent. ERC also sponsors the ERChealth insurance program in Ohio.

ERC Celebrates 99 Years!



It's our 99th birthday! In recognition of this milestone, ERC President Kelly Keefe and Senior Vice President Carrie Morse discuss our past, present, and future in this commemorative video. Their full conversation is transcribed below. 

kelly-keefeKELLY KEEFE, President

Q: Tell us when and why ERC got started.
A: ERC was founded in 1920 in response to the labor movement. A group of employers got together to create better practices for both employers and employees.

Q: What are some of the key changes in the organization since you started?
A: I’ve been lucky enough to be at ERC for 15 years. In that time, the organization has changed tremendously. We were only serving organizations here in Northeast Ohio when I first started. Today, we are serving organizations across the country and around the globe. Our services have grown as well, in response to many issues that employers are facing, such as talent shortage. We have become more sophisticated in the products we are providing in order to help organizations attract and retain talent.

Q: How would you describe ERC's current culture?
 I would describe ERC’s workplace culture as a place that I look forward to going to every day. We believe in our core values, and we live them day to day. One thing that we focus on is our “F” culture. That means we put family first, we are fun, we allow flexible work schedules, we are financially supportive, and we are fitness-minded. We do all of these things as an organization for each of the employees so that we can live who we are, but also work together. 

The “F” culture was not something that I wanted to push from the top to the bottom. What I wanted to do was create groups – groups of people who don’t typically work together. The employees choose the groups that they want to be a part of. For example, if I have interest in fitness or a flexible work arrangement, I am able to get together with other peers who feel a strong commitment to that as well.

Q: What do you value most about working here?
 What I value most about ERC, hands down, is the people. I look forward to coming to work every single day. I look forward to hearing about weekends, hearing about things that happened the night before, hearing about family. And also, I enjoy the work that we are doing together. We know that we are making a difference in people’s lives.

Q: Most memorable moment for you at ERC?
A: When I think about my favorite events or moments, I come back to NorthCoast 99 every year. The event that happens in early fall is something that I know is a true labor of love for every person involved at ERC. We work together tirelessly throughout the entire year, but especially at the end of the summer, leading up to our big finale, our big event. We have worked so hard with employers across Northeast Ohio to share their stories about what they are doing to make a difference for their employees. That is my favorite memory every year.

Personally, a very important moment to me is when the Board of Directors of ERC said that Kelly Keefe would be running ERC as the next President. Knowing this organization has been around for the time it was – 98 years  to be a part of this culture, and more importantly, to be the first female President of ERC, is something that I will never forget, and I don’t take this job lightly.

Q: What is your vision for ERC's future?
A: My vision for ERC for the next 99 years is that it continues to stay true to why it was created. I hope, as we are today, that the next 99 years allow for the same transparency between employers and employees and allow us to help employers across the world create wonderful workplaces. We are on a mission here at ERC. We know that we are making a difference. We know that we can help change culture. We know that we can help leaders become the best leaders they can be. Together, I hope, with all of our members and our clients, that in the next 99 years, we will continue to live out that vision.

CARRIE MORSE, Senior Vice President


Q: What are some of the key changes you've observed in the HR industry in your 17 years at ERC?
A: Engaged individuals and high-performing teams are what’re making a difference in workplaces around the United States. ERC has always worked with organizations who saw that, but we are seeing so much more of that now in leaders who truly believe in this concept. And that is for HR what is continuing to make its mark and grow within the organizations that we serve.

Q: How have ERC's service lines and offerings evolved over the years?
Today, ERC offers training, consulting, research, and HR support services, all with a custom approach to the clients that we serve. We truly look at each client’s situation, challenges, and opportunities to creatively deliver what’s going to make a difference and an impact in their workplace. 

Q: How is ERC helping to make workplaces great?
We make an impact by helping companies attract and retain top-performing people through everything we do. One of the programs that we created 21 years ago is our NorthCoast 99 program. This program measures workplace practices as well as assesses top performers within the organizations that apply. Any applicant is able to use this data to benchmark their practices against those of leading workplaces and leading cultures. We are so proud of what we have been able to build and give back to the corporate community in our region.

Q: What do you value most about working here?
What I value most is our team. We are as creative and fun as we are flexible and collaborative. It is truly a pleasure to come to work every day and work with so many talented individuals in a fun environment.

Q: Most memorable moment for you at ERC?
My most memorable moment at ERC was probably my first NorthCoast 99 event back in 2002. The famous management author Tom Peters was going to be delivering our keynote, and we had 900 guests coming from the 99 winning organizations. It was my first time running the event all the way through. The leaders believed in me to get the job done, and everyone on our team supported me and helped make it an easy and fun task. It has been a pleasure to honor so many organizations over the 17 years that I have done this program.

Q: What is your vision for ERC's future?
We will continue to grow and develop custom solutions to truly listen to what businesses need and then deliver flexible solutions that include training, consulting, HR support services, and much more to help these companies make an impact in the industries in which they work. ERC, as an organization, will keep pushing the envelope around a great culture for our own internal team here. With strong leaders and a firm belief in the work that we deliver, ERC will continue to keep a pulse on the organizations that we serve.

Receive email updates

Never miss an update. Sign up to receive weekly emails with our latest posts.


RSS Feed

Recent Posts

Tag Cloud

See all