Meet Leah, Our New Senior Manager of People and Culture

Meet Leah, Our New Senior Manager of People and Culture
Blog Stories Meet Leah, Our New Senior Manager of People and Culture

We are so excited to welcome Leah Porter to the team as our new Senior Manager of People and Culture. Leah brings over 20 years of HR experience to the role, and has already been making our team run so much more smoothly in the time she’s been here. Read on to find out how her experience with care brought her to this role and what her *very fashionable* side hustle is! 

Leah from the shoulders up in 3 quarter view, smiling at the camera.

What drew you to Caring Across, and what does our work mean to you?

The main thing that drew me to Caring Across was the mission. I am a very mission driven person so I have to do mission driven work to be successful. There is such inequality in care for our aging generation, our disabled population, and people who need care. I could relate to that because I was a caregiver for my father before he passed away in 2016.

Our work is extremely crucial. With the state that the world is in, our care infrastructure is very lacking. Our systems really need work, and our people need help to give and receive care. So the work we are doing is just as important as any other social justice issue that needs to be tackled.


What is your new role, and what are you most excited to dig in to?

My new role, and a new role at Caring Across, is Senior Manager of People and Culture. I like to think of there being three main pots to the role: employee relations, DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) work, and talent acquisition, which includes onboarding, hiring and recruiting. I love working with people, and these are all areas I’m passionate about!

Of course, I’ll be doing anything and everything you can think of that’s HR-related. I’ll be the point person between us and our HR team at NDWA, and I’ll be guiding Caring Across staff around HR issues or connecting the team with NDWA as needed.


What kind of work have you done in the past?

I’ve been working in HR for 20 years, basically since I started working. I’m from Cincinnati, Ohio, and in 2001 I started working as an HR coordinator for the Greater Cincinnati foundation, which is a really big local foundation in this area. I did that for almost 13 years. I did a lot of administrative HR work and also supported the CFO.

After that, I moved into the corporate world. There, I did a lot of recruiting and implementation of benefits. I discovered that I didn’t like working with benefits! I’m not a numbers person. So I focused on recruiting and kept going deeper with that. Then, I landed back in the nonprofit world at Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio, where I worked as an HR generalist. And then I came to Caring Across!

I just received my SHRM-CP (Society for Human Resources Management Certified Professional) certification, which is a big deal in the HR world. So I’m well-versed in all areas of HR, but there’s always lots to learn! And I’m excited to be able to keep learning at Caring Across.


What is your experience with care, and how did it bring you to do this work?

I had seen care in my family when my grandma was ill, but I was a lot younger and wasn’t very hands-on. My first experience as a caregiver was for my dad when he was diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer in 2013.

They were able to remove the cancer, and he was cancer-free, but then the cancer came back. For the whole three years, he was in and out of hospitals and I was caring for him, but I still had to work. I have a daughter who was in junior high at the time, so I still had to be a single parent. It was a lot.

We did not want to put him in a nursing home so my mom, myself, and my older sister took care of him. When it got really tough, we brought outside care into the home, and they would come in, help him, change him and clean him. And towards the very end we had a hospice nurse every day at the house. He passed away in 2016, and it was really hard on all of us, but especially on my mother. They had been married for 40 years, and that was her everything.

So going through that experience, it really brought me to this work because I saw how the systems were and were not working for our family, and for everyone else. Caregiving shouldn’t have to be harder on families than it already is.


What do you like to do outside of work?

I like to say that I call myself an HR professional by day and a stylist by night! I do styling, wardrobe consulting, and personal shopping. I have some clients that I style – I haven’t styled anybody that’s famous yet, but that’s my end goal! I would love to style someone for a red carpet event. If I could style anyone, I would want to style Mary J. Blige or Michelle Obama. Check out my styling on Instagram!

I also love to travel, although that’s been put on hold over the past few years. While traveling, I love fine dining and shopping at luxury stores (even if it’s just window shopping). One of my favorite places I’ve traveled to was the Grand Canyon – it was a little scary but it’s one of those once in a lifetime things that you just have to do.

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