Michele is a compassionate senior leader and Ironman endurance athlete with a passion for workplace equity and education. She commands a unique combination of experience as a global human resources executive, attorney and educator.
Following success as an employment attorney in private practice, Michele began her corporate career as in-house counsel at MetLife, a global financial services firm. She later transitioned her skills to human resources executive roles including Chief Human Resources Officer at Richemont, N.A. - a European based luxury conglomerate, CHRO and Legal Counsel at The Shade Store - a Leonard Green High-Growth Portfolio Company in the luxury home industry, and Vice President of the Practice Development Group at MetLife. In 2014, Michele joined Cornell University’s ILR School as an Adjunct Instructor developing and facilitating programs to HR professionals in the areas of employment law and relations, human resources, conflict resolution, management, investigations, and diversity/inclusion. Leveraging her multi-discipline experience, Michele later left the corporate world to launch her own consulting practice where she coaches small to medium companies, start-up organizations and individuals.
Michele’s commitment to helping others led to her appointment as a non-profit board director and to volunteer for various non-profit organizations. Above all, Michele is people-oriented and committed to providing a voice for underrepresented individuals and organizations.
Michele holds undergraduate and juris doctorate degrees as well as credentials in the areas of Senior Human Resources Management and Adult Learning Agility. She also earned her Health Coach License and provides pro bono advice in this area.
Formally a long-term resident of New York City, Michele is building a new home in Chattanooga, TN with her husband, Chris.
I am passionate about helping others speak their truth so long as it is done with integrity and without harm to others. Indeed, there is a story behind every person if we choose to listen.
Provide interactive instruction for professionals in the workplace. Focus on seminars concerning employee complaints, internal investigations, employee relations and equal employment opportunity laws.
Provide consulting services, training and legal advice concerning: employment law, workplace issues, conflict resolution, employee relations, data privacy, corporate and employment litigation, corporate investigations and regulatory matters. Lead complex investigations and represent clients in related transactions, litigation, arbitration, administrative tribunals and SROs. Draft and negotiate employer policies, contracts, operating agreements and compensation plans.
Short term contract as Chief Human Resources Officer and Legal Counsel for a high-growth Leonard Green Portfolio Company. Retained to establish HR as a business function and create strategy to meet high-growth demands of a late-stage start-up in the luxury home sector.
C-Suite Executive and Head of Human Resources for European-owned luxury goods and jewelry provider maintaining 15 global brands within North America, including Cartier, Montblanc, Van Cleef & Arpels, Panerai, IWC, Chloé, Azzedine Alaïa and Alfred Dunhill. Report directly to CEO to drive organizational change and implement HR programs, including those involving Talent Acquisition / Recruitment, Learning & Development, Succession Planning, Ethics & Compliance, Benefits, Payroll, Compensation and HRIS. Manage HR department supporting corporate, manufacturing / repair and commissioned sales force functions.
Began career as in-house employment attorney and later recruited to retail channel, with last role as Head of Practice Development Group - responsible for learning, training and development of 10,000+ sales representatives, firm infrastructure and field management. Co-chaired global sales learning and development COE.
NALF was created in memory of Nan A. Lightstone, an inspirational young woman whose life was tragically cut short by meningococcemia at the age of 18. Moved by Nan’s compassion for others and commitment to making a difference, the Foundation has joined together to save lives, educate the public, and fund medical and public health research in the quest to discover screening tools, vaccination campaigns, and treatment for infectious disease.
Legal Outreach prepares urban youth from underserved communities to compete at high academic levels by using intensive legal and educational programs as tools for fostering vision, developing skills, enhancing confidence, and the pursuit of higher education.
The mission of Girls Inc. of Chattanooga is to inspire and equip all girls to be strong, smart and bold - healthy, educated and independent - on their journey of self-discovery. Girls Inc. provides girls with life-changing experiences and real solutions to the issues girls face, such as those involving gender, economic and social barriers.