Lenhardt named HR director

Lenhardt named HR director

Andrew Lenhardt sensed he had a special opportunity as a first generation college student.

The university appointed Lenhardt to be the executive director of Human Resources, effective June 1.

Lenhardt grew up in the small farm town of Waterloo, Illinois where he started work on his grandfather’s farm at 4:30 a.m. each day. He would drive up to Grant’s Farm south of St. Louis, unload bales of hay, and be back by 8 a.m.

He began his career in human resources in 2006 after he received his Masters Degree in public administration from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. After receiving his degree, he began working for his alma mater as a human resources assistant and jack-of-all-trades.

Lenhardt said during his time as a human resources assistant, he gained mentorship and guidance from Angelo Gene Monaco. Lenhardt said it was because of his tutelage he was able to get a grander view on the field as a whole.

“I wanted the opportunity to act on more of my ideas. I wanted to feel included,” Lenhardt said. “More importantly I wanted a mentor, someone who would listen, and thankfully I found a great mentor in Monaco.”

Lenhardt was promoted to HR specialist and remained there for one year, until he received another promotion to assistant associate director of human resources. While there, he served as ethics officer for state mandated ethics compliance and coordinated various awards and ceremonies for staff.

“I had a great team. There’s nothing I’ve been able to accomplish alone,” Lenhardt said. “It’s all been with a great team and I’ve had the privilege of working with great individuals.”

He remained in that position until July 2014, when he decided to take the director of human resources position at Indiana University East in Richmond. He felt he could make more of his mark on initiatives and be able to formulate human resources strategy while being a part of the Chancellor’s Cabinet.

The cabinet would meet once a month to discuss strategic planning, enrollment and facilities. Lenhardt was responsible for integrating human resources management into an institution-wide strategy.

“I think human resources impacts every part of the organization,” Lenhardt said. “Employees are the most valuable aspect an organization can have.”

While at IU East, Lenhardt completed a new employee orientation program and recruitment program.

At both colleges, he was responsible for maintaining Title IX compliances and practices. Enacted in the 1970s, Title IX originally was thought of as intercollegiate athletics providing equal resources.

In reality, it is more than equality in athletics, he said. Title IX handles sexual discrimination, harassment and violence.

Lenhardt worked to create awareness programs and student committees to have more people talk on the issue. He also created events in April to combat sexual violence and harassment and bystander intervention training.

Vice President for Finance and Administration Steve Bridges said there was a consistent message of honesty and skill in his profession when calling references on Lenhardt.

“There’s very few reference checks I have done in my career here of 27 years that have come back quite as strong as Lenhardt’s,” Bridges said.

He said it is beneficial for Lenhardt to live in Evansville because it is closer to home.

Lenhardt stood out to Bridges because of his sense of caring, and knowledge of human resources and his desire to improve.