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Ten Years: John Baldino Celebrates Humareso’s Impact in Human Resources

In the song, “Ten Years” by Paul Simon, he pens:

Ten years come and gone so fast
I might as well have been dreaming
Sunny days have burned a path
Across another season
A fortune rises to the sky

It’s as if Mr. Simon is inside my mind on this special day. Ten years ago, Humareso began. I remember sitting at breakfast with a business owner the day after I left my VP role with a national lender. He sat across from me and asked, “So what are you going to do now?” For a moment, I heard that question reverberate in my subconscious. My most honest answer was, “I have no idea.” Instead, what spilled out was a business conviction. Companies did not have all the resources necessary to provide functional organizational drive and impactful cultural change.

I looked across at my breakfast date and shared a vision of businesses with innovation as a core component to every job description while maintaining thoughtfulness to each compliance nuance offered through legislation and case law. My experience in two handfuls of industries showed me that there was a best way to engage with people in spite of varied technical skill and geographic considerations. There were universal truths. And the markets were screaming for them to be incorporated into every organization from start-ups to enterprise corporations.

The entrepreneurial spirit had been dormant inside of me for too long and this was the right time to step out. And so, when that breakfast companion finished having eggs and listening to me for almost an hour, he said, “Done. Let’s get started with my company.” I had Humareso’s first client.

Emboldened by proof that my idea had legs, I set out to talk to other companies within my sphere of influence. And before long, I was working on a full docket (and then some) of clients of various industries who wanted to know what good human resources should look like. There were hints at some of them; one had a wonderful HR Director who was trying to do great HR, but had a CEO who thought he knew better. When he asked me to come in to help, he regretted that decision quickly. Most of my time was spent with him reshaping how he thought things should go and figuring out where his mode of critical thinking was born. He saw the light, and again, it was confirmation that this road for Humareso was the right one.

These ten years later, I can look back at the paths worn by travel and faded by the sun. The gains have far outweighed the gaps. The Humareso team has left a mark of richness, integrity and creativity that I could never have achieved without them. I could not express my gratitude any deeper than by sharing my heartfelt and tearful thanks (yes, I am still a crier…). To have been entrusted with the development of so many within our organization so that they, too, can transform others is core to my credo of sacrificial leadership. You have built Humareso with me.

Fostering deeper business relationships, speaking at dozens of conferences and events, writing hundreds of blogs, partnering with other HR and technology organizations have all been highlights through these years. The love that Twitter gave me early on as an HR pro helped to propel the message of Humareso faster than I had anticipated. By year 3, we were operating as if it were year 5 (based on my projections), and year 10 has us continuing to be a couple of years ahead, even with the updates. Our HRO program began winning awards. The work that we are doing is rich and meaningful. We have impacted tens of thousands of employees. That is not a number to take lightly; I am humbled by just the thought of it let alone the notes of gratitude we’ve gotten through these years.

I’m not sure I could have imagined today when I first started. My family encouraged me towards it; they encouraged me away from my fears and into the greatness they saw coming. I have been broken and blessed, which is a path for all of us. For it is in that reality that truth comes shining through – the things you can count on, the beliefs that will truly guide. And as I sit here with ten years of Humareso success to celebrate, I know that there is still more to come. The sun will continue to show those paths, and the fortune found in deepening relationships and positively changed organizations will be the legacy I strive towards. Cheers to Humareso and to all of you for making it so.


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