Edmund J. McTernan, Jr.
"I suppose you could call me an HR Journeyperson (or maybe an HR ping pong ball)."
Over my 38 years in the profession, I have worked for 11 different organizations, from small non-profits to worldwide Fortune 500’s. My work has spanned several industries (computer manufacturing, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, telecommunications, higher and primary education) in all HR practice areas with concentrations in benefits, compliance, labor/employee relations, and team development. My takeaway learning after all this time is that the human part of Human Resources is both your greatest strength and your major weakness.
If you can effectively unite your team to move in the same direction, to contribute their input, to share the strength that comes from diversity, and to self-manage the day-to-day work, nothing can stop you. On the other hand, if you have a leadership team that is not united, if you do not recognize the contributions of staff,
if you allow a few “bad apples” to exist unmanaged or unaddressed, you will face an unending uphill climb. Constant discussion of issues and concerns, shared openly with your team, is the best way to maximize the positives and ameliorate the negatives.
After high school, I spent a few years in retail on the island, which was definitely not for me. I then returned to school at Albany State University and completed my MBA in HR and Organizational Administration. After meeting my wife while there, the Capital District became my home. I love the area and the work ethic of the people in this area and have always come back.
I have moved my wife and two children 11 times! (This is a conditioned response as my family moved 12 times before I was 13 years old). All told I have lived in 33 different places in the eastern United States ranging from North Carolina to New Hampshire. I have 5 siblings (3 sisters and 2 brothers) who were always there, so I was never lonely. I was also favored with very industrious parents who managed to minimize the negative impact of the constant moves. The lesson I learned from all these transitions was to be flexible and accepting of others.
I consider myself very fortunate to have the opportunity to join the Integra team.