Foundations is a full-service consultancy firm that partners with companies to implement systems and processes that further the principles of lean business operations – teamwork, flexibility, cooperation, and continuous improvement. Our consultants have experienced firsthand the legal, labor, and employment challenges companies face and will use this expertise to partner with your team to maximize your organization’s human performance.
Foundations offers practical, tested, and effective services and solutions. And because we have decades of experience working for a Fortune Global 500 automotive company, we have a unique business perspective to bring when crafting solutions to your challenges.
Carol Sampson has implemented lean Human Resources programs that have ensured stable and positive employee relations at Toyota’s North American manufacturing facilities. Her experience included working with experts in the Toyota Production System, and she has used this expertise to counsel automotive suppliers and other Fortune 500 companies. Recently retired after 26 years from Toyota, where she managed the North American employee relations, security, internal communications, labor, and supplier support function, she partnered with Stephanie Prewitt to form Foundations Human Resources Consulting based in Lexington, Kentucky.
Ms. Sampson has over 30 years of practical work experience at three automotive manufacturers including General Motors, Ford, and Toyota. At both General Motors and Ford, she had the opportunity to lead a team of hourly, bargaining unit employees as a front-line supervisor, experience which serves as the basis for many of the programs she developed later in her career. While at Toyota, Ms. Sampson was well known as the company’s in-house labor and positive employee relations expert. She has extensive experience assessing work environments and partnering with key stakeholders to develop and implement sustainable plans to close identified gaps – all designed to maintain a positive and productive culture.
Ms. Sampson has a master’s degree in industrial relations and a bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance from the University of Alabama, where she graduated magna cum laude.
Stephanie Prewitt has partnered with Human Resources executives to implement systems and processes that are not only legally sound, but also further the principles of lean business operations. Much of her experience has been with Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc., where she served as Assistant General Counsel.
For nearly 20 years, Ms. Prewitt has counseled Human Resources Departments on labor and employment matters and has specialized in disability and medical management issues. Ms. Prewitt’s experience at Toyota also included legal oversight of numerous plant start-ups, investigations, voluntary termination programs, and extensive training and development programs.
Ms. Prewitt earned her law degree from the University of Kentucky College of Law and graduated, magna cum laude, from Duke University.
Cathy Mills has spent her career maximizing human talent. She has worked in Human Resources for over 30 years for manufacturing companies such as Levi Strauss, Texas Instruments, and Sheridan Press, and she most recently completed over 22 years working for Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc.
Through her work with Toyota, Ms. Mills gained extensive experience practicing lean Human Resources principles through both shop floor and regional roles, culminating in leading the Human Resources Department of the largest North American plant prior to joining Foundations Human Resources Consulting.
Ms. Mills’s passions include change management initiatives designed to maximize morale, engagement, and productivity, and talent management programs for all levels of an organization.
Ms. Mills is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati with a master’s degree in business administration, specializing in human resource management and labor relations. She is a lifetime SPHR certified member of SHRM.
Jan Czochara has helped employers meet their human resources objectives for over 25 years. She has worked in Human Resources Departments as both a full-time employee and as a consultant, and has led organizations in establishing the culture to support lean implementation. Most of Ms. Czochara’s work experience has been with Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc.
Ms. Czochara brings a unique combination of deep expertise at the plant level as well as broad experience supporting programs coordinated by corporate headquarters in the areas of Organizational Development, Training, Projects and Planning, Team Member Relations, Positive Employee Relations, Policy Development, Communications, Strategic Planning, and Supplier Support. Ms. Czochara provides leadership and creative problem-solving skills to help organizations improve performance and leverage employee and organizational capability to achieve business objectives.
Ms. Czochara has a Bachelor of Science degree in biochemistry from the University of Illinois and completed MBA coursework with a concentration in human resources at Michigan State University.
Karen Combs has over 25 years of hands-on experience in Human Resources working for Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc., in both a plant and a regional role. Ms. Combs’s passion and focus is working with front line supervisors and management assisting them in maximizing their most important resource, their employees.
In all her interactions, Ms. Combs’s goal is to help promote an understanding of the importance of a strong positive employee relations strategy and the impact of an engaged and valued workforce on a company’s key business objectives.
Ms. Combs brings an expertise in the areas of Employee Engagement and Communication, Issues Assessment and Resolution, Recognition Programs, Strategic Planning and Project Management, Effective Leadership Training, and Employee Relations.
Ms. Combs has a bachelor’s degree in journalism, with a concentration in marketing and public relations, from the University of Kentucky.
Nancy Roy began her career on the assembly line at Toyota’s Georgetown, Kentucky, plant. Her work continued in the plant in Conveyance and Assembly Pilot groups where she processed engineering changes for new vehicle models. After twelve years, she moved into Human Resources where she became an expert on human resources processes, retiring after 28 years with Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc.
Ms. Roy has worked extensively and is an expert in policy development and alignment, handbook development, and other processes involving payroll and information systems. She also brings expertise in stabilizing work in lean environments applying the principles of standardized work, continuous improvement, and quality control.
Ms. Roy studied journalism and English and psychology at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
Leslie Russ’s experience as a business leader, management consultant, and HR professional translates into a unique talent for facilitating strategy, developing leaders, and managing change.
Ms. Russ spent the first 20 years of her career helping improve processes, skills, and organizational effectiveness at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky (TMMK), RWD Technologies, and Lexmark International. As a consultant, she has crafted solutions to the most difficult organizational issues for global technology, healthcare, workforce solutions, and manufacturing organizations.
Ms. Russ holds a Bachelor of Arts in economics and a Bachelor of Arts in East Asian studies from Vanderbilt University, as well as a master’s degree in human resource development from Xavier University. She is experienced in Prosci’s change methodology and has her Senior Professional Human Resources (SPHR) certification, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, Firo-B, and Profiler 360 certifications. She lived, worked, and attended school in Japan.
Cathy Jackson has worked with and represented Human Resources executives both in private practice and as in-house counsel with Toyota Motor Manufacturing North America, Inc. Her experiences include a heavy focus on workers’ compensation as well as employment law and litigation. She counseled clients to achieve the best and most reasonable resolutions of complex legal matters.
In her role at Toyota, Ms. Jackson had many years of hands-on involvement in labor and employment matters, including disability and medical management issues and also provided extensive training on human resources topics. In addition, she had several years of exposure to the business side of law and organizations in the Sarasota County Clerk’s Office in Florida.
Ms. Jackson earned her law degree from Salmon P. Chase College of Law and graduated from Northern Kentucky University.
Caroline Boeh Baesler works with the firm’s executive directors to provide oversight of the firm’s operations, including strategic planning, financial planning and analysis, business development, and marketing.
Prior to joining Foundations, Ms. Baesler served as General Counsel of the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, the Commonwealth’s primary state agency responsible for encouraging job creation and retention, as well as new investment, in the state. Ms. Baesler has also worked in private practice focusing in the areas of business and commercial litigation, creditors’ rights, employment law, and state taxation law, and spent 10 years as a Law Clerk for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky.
Ms. Baesler received her law degree, with high distinction, from the University of Kentucky College of Law and graduated, cum laude, from Centre College with Bachelor of Science degrees in mathematics and economics and management.
Allison Catron is the firm’s Office Coordinator, focusing on matters involving billing and client support. She also assists Foundations’ consultants and management team in meeting clients’ needs.
Ms. Catron has 21 years of experience in human resources and support and is currently working toward earning her bachelor’s degree in communication studies and organizational leadership at Northern Kentucky University.
Susan Comer is the firm’s Administrative Assistant. In this role, Ms. Comer performs a variety of administrative duties and provides staff support. Prior to joining Foundations, she was a manager at a retail greeting card and gift store, where she worked for many years.