Monthly Member Spotlight: An Interview with John Campanella
Wednesday, July 3, 2019
Posted by: Emma Pautler
Introducing the Delaware SHRM Monthly Member Spotlight! Each month we’ll showcase a member who’s making waves in the HR field. Get to know your colleagues at Delaware SHRM and take pride in associating with some of the top professionals in the region!
Monthly Member Spotlight: An Interview with John Campanella of Campanella Consulting Group
After thirty-two years of service as a Delaware State Trooper obtaining the command rank of Captain, John is now the president of Campanella Consulting Group, Inc. During his career as a State Trooper, John performed all the functions of a full-service police department that included patrol, criminal investigations, over ten years as an undercover narcotics and vice detective, all levels of supervision and executive administration.
John’s Human Resources experience began in 2003 writing, revising and developing State Police policy while he was responsible for maintaining the agency’s national accreditation. His passion for organizational leadership earned him the coveted opportunity in 2009 to attend the FBI National Academy Executive Leadership Program, which is commonly referred to as the “West Point” of law enforcement leadership. John began his master level studies at the FBI National Academy through the University of Virginia and later earned his Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership from Wilmington University.
John served his last seven years at the State Police Headquarters with his last four years as the Director of Human Resources supporting one thousand employees comprised of three unions in a non-civil service environment.
Now a law enforcement consultant, John travels the country providing training for law enforcement on subjects that include conducting effective pre-employment background investigations, fatigue, and leadership. John continues to serve as an Assessor for the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement (CALEA) inspecting police departments to be sure they are complying with their internal policies and best practices.
As a Human Resources consultant, John has been contracted by several law firms and HR providers to conduct workplace investigations, respectful workplace and harassment training, as well as a myriad of other HR functions.
John is a native Delawarean living in Newark with his wife Cindy with whom he has two grown children who live in Nashville and Philadelphia. When John is not busy with his family or running in the state park, he is a volunteer firefighter with the Mill Creek Fire Company.
What’s the best piece of advice you received along the way as you were building your career in HR?
Pursuing certification from SHRM. When I began my preparation to transition from a public sector law enforcement profession to the private sector, a mentor advised me the best way to quantify my transferable skills was to obtain highly recognizable credible certifications. I was nearing completion of my Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership and working as the Director of Human Resources for the Delaware State Police, so pursuing a Senior Certification from SHRM was a perfect choice. The credibility of my SHRM-SCP certification has opened and continues to open doors in my consulting business.
If you could live (and work) anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Italy. I have traveled to Italy twice in the last 30 months with my wife and we absolutely love the people, food, and landscape. On our last trip, we both said we would stay if we could. They say the best place to retire is where your grandchildren live, if you are lucky enough to have them. I don’t think we will retire to Italy, but I look forward to the more trips and extended stays. I hope our future grandchildren like to travel. Viva Italia!
What advice would you give to a new college graduate?
Network! Network! Network! If you are looking for your first job, you have a higher chance of a real person looking at your resume if you can call, or message, someone at the company with whom you have built rapport. Besides LinkedIn, you should seek other business networking associations, such as SHRM Chapters, Chamber of Commerce, and other HR organizations and then attend their events. Once you land that job you are not done; you have just begun! Take advantage of every networking, training, or enrichment opportunity offered by your company. The bottom line is you are responsible for your own professional development, so embrace it, own it, and enjoy it!
Outside of your work in HR, what wakes you up in the morning?
Besides my family, my runs at the White Clay Creek Preserve. I love taking my mind for a run as it gives me time to think. Often, I will think about one of my training classes or presentations and practice verbalizing some of my material. I can only image what others must be thinking about the guy talking to himself while running the trails.
What is a current issue you are passionate about?
Helping organizations stay ethically whole. Even with the best preparations, distractions such as workplace harassment can emerge and if they do, I help the company sort through the facts and map a path forward. On the law enforcement side, my business development consulting role with a national software company. After 32 years in law enforcement, it feels great to finally introduce a pre-employment background platform solution to the industry that is going to enhance and improve their hiring processes.
Anything else you'd like to share with us?
Always do the right thing! It isn’t always easy or the most popular but remember: “right is always right, even if everyone is against it…and wrong is always wrong even if everyone is for it.” (William Penn)
Be sure to say hello to John when you see him at one of our monthly meetings! Do you have a member in mind that you feel is doing notable work in HR? Nominate him/her to be next month's featured member. Nominate here!