Berg program welcomes first woman

Heidelberg University this week welcomed Kathleen T. Geier as its first woman executive in residence.

The executive in residence program was developed through the school of business to provide students with advice from real executives linked to the corporate world.

Geier graduated from Heidelberg in 1978 with a bachelor’s degree and since 2010 has served on Heidelberg’s board of trustees.

Geier currently is the president of KTG Consulting LLC, a human resources firm specializing in executive coaching, succession planning and leadership and organization development.

Geier visited the campus Monday through Wednesday, interacting with several business classes, involved with workshops, one-on-one student mentoring and presented “Human Capital: Your Most Valuable Asset & Competitive Advantage.”

From 1999-2002, she served as director of human resources for The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company’s Eastern Europe, Africa & Middle East region, based in Brussels.

Geier said, “people are important to success in any business. You can replicate products and services, but you can’t replicate people.”

For students, Geier said to start building a resume during freshman year to build academic achievements while taking advantage of leadership opportunities on campus.

“Employers are looking for individuals that can do more than one thing at a time. Having a 4.0 is great, but you need other activities to round you out as a person,” Geier said. “(Employers) are also looking for individuals that are able to be team players and are used to interacting with people.”

Students have become more involved with technology, she said.

“Some students have become too dependent on technology and don’t get that face to face interaction.”

Geier said the facilities of Heidelberg have changed, but the core of the student has remained similar.

“It has been nice to spend time with students and faculty and relax and interact with the students,” Geier said. “With a liberal arts education, Heidelberg is a perfect fit for a well rounded experience.”

Geier also served as human resource director in Akron for North America business units and corporate staff from 1996-1999 and from 1994-1995, as a director, was responsible for human resource employment practices and HR systems.

In 2008 Geier retired from Goodyear as the senior vice president of global human resources, with 30 years of service. In this position, she was responsible for developing and executing a global human resources strategy for Goodyear and ensuring that HR initiatives were in place to drive the company’s competitiveness in the marketplace.