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2010 Most Influential Women Honoree: Julie Cummings

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Julie Cummings has a full schedule between work, home and community roles, but she still finds plenty of opportunities to put her listening skills to work.

She is a lunch buddy once a week to a Weller Elementary School fourth-grade girl, she meets regularly to mentor a professional colleague and she is director of human resources at accounting firm BKD LLP.

She says she’s regularly sought out for guidance by friends, neighbors, peers and employees who report to her.

“They consult me about pursuing their desired profession and resolving problems or conflicts, as well as personal matters that require a genuine interest in their well-being,” Cummings adds. “I am grateful for their confidence in my ability to help.”

Cummings has been at BKD, the 10th largest U.S. certified public accounting firm, since January. The company has about 2,000 staff members. Among her duties is streamlining business processes to maximize efficiency and managing the development and administration of benefit programs, compensation structures and HR compliance.

Cummings also is proud of her previous experience, including serving as vice president of human resources at Metropolitan National Bank and as corporate human resources manager for Ozarks Coca-Cola/Dr Pepper Bottling Co.

“At each of the companies I have worked for, I have established a highly skilled, productive and engaged human resources department driven by a focus on serving our internal customers with integrity and professionalism,” Cummings says.

She has been an active board member for the Springfield Area Human Resources Association since 2007. Her efforts with SAHRA include the organization of professional development seminars, training and networking opportunities, as well as connecting members with community programs such as Hands on for Seniors, Relay For Life and Female Leaders In Philanthropy’s Suit Yourself initiative.

“I believe in empowering those around you to learn and perform to their full potential,” Cummings says. “By being able to provide the appropriate level of guidance and support that matches their individual needs, I have been successful in developing people into highly productive and organized teams.”

Cummings also allocates time to serve on the United Way’s program committee, which has afforded her many opportunities to provide guidance and leadership to various agencies including Big Brothers Big Sisters, Ozarks Literacy Council, Boys & Girls Clubs, Girls Scouts and Boy Scouts.

“I have seen firsthand how these agencies have used our committee’s guidance and how funds donated by the community to the United Way have made significant impact,” she says.

Cummings feels fortunate, too, that her employer is dedicated to helping to meet the needs of the communities it serves through its charitable arm, BKD Foundation, which provides grants and allows employees to donate their time and expertise.

“BKD’s commitment to the community I love and have been an active member of for many years allows me to intertwine my personal and professional passions,” she says.[[In-content Ad]]


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