Kelly’s Story: Paul

“You know someone has a positive impact on you when you can’t stop telling others about them. When I describe him to friends, colleagues, and even clients that I’m coaching, I start by saying, ‘Let me tell you about my favorite CEO to work with, Paul Cramer from the Lafayette Family YMCA’.

One might ask what makes him special, why do I go out of my way to tell others about him? Well not only does he have a refreshingly positive outlook on life, he also does something I rarely see in my part of the world, he treats everyone with respect. He acknowledges people in a way that makes them feel that they have purpose and he truly wants those around him to be their best selves.

As a woman, and even more so since I’ve become an entrepreneur, I find it difficult to find male allies that support me. This is what makes Paul’s approach unique.

He’s my client and I am as his HR Business Partner, which means we often must discuss challenging situations inside the organization. But no matter how much time we spend on solving important work-related issues, I have never left the conversation without him asking, ‘Kelly how’s the business going. How can I help support you? Are there any potential clients you would like me to reach and speak with the CEO?’ And sometimes he’ll even get out his pencil and pad of paper and start mapping out a plan for me.

In my opinion, this is a male ally. But I’m not the only one. I’ve watched him provide mentorship, coaching, and educational opportunities to the women that help lead his organization. I would like to say he does this because he understands the benefit of investing in his staff, and that is part of it, but as man who successfully embodies the YMCA’s culture of respect, responsibility, honesty, and caring, he knows that to lead an innovative and growing organization those values must be applied to all people.

I feel lucky to have connected with Paul and I will continue to sing his praises, so others know that male allies like him really do exist.”

– Kelly Pallanti, CEO and Founder, HR Nonprofit Consulting
Chicago, IL

Kelly Pallanti is a mission-driven HR consultant. She believes that people (humans) are the invaluable driver that advance the mission and values of an organization, and that HR should be there to support them. Her extensive work with YMCA has led her to work with over 500 Cause-Driven leaders by sharing her ‘Y Story.’ Kelly is Founder and CEO of HR Nonprofit Consulting.

View this story directly at The Corner of the Court Project