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 was a first generation Human Resources professional at Toyota’s largest manufacturing plant in the United States. She was taught the vaulted Toyota Production System (TPS) by experts – experts who understood that the production system couldn’t succeed without completely recognizing the value of and fully implementing the Human Resources pillar. She used this first-hand knowledge to customize and implement systems that allowed TPS to flourish. Processes developed by Ms. Sampson over her 26-year career are still in use within Toyota. Today, she specializes in partnering with clients – large and small – to efficiently implement practical strategies to strengthen their Human Resources capability and infrastructure.
Ms. Sampson has over 30 years of practical work experience at three automotive manufacturers, and has taught countless others the value and role of a vibrant and capable Human Resources function. She is widely regarded as an expert in strategies to foster positive employee relations.
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 spent the majority of her career partnered with Human Resources organizations to implement systems and processes that are not only legally sound, but also further the principles of lean business operations. Ms. Prewitt has vast experience in conducting investigations, drafting and reviewing policies and handbooks, and developing and delivering extensive training programs.
Prior to joining Foundations, Ms. Prewitt spent nearly 20 years at Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc., where she served as Assistant General Counsel for Labor and Employment matters. Ms. Prewitt’s experience at Toyota also included legal oversight of numerous plant start-ups, development of voluntary termination programs, and coordination of complex disability and medical management issues.
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.
Whitney Webb has over five years of hands-on experience in Human Resources working for a plastics manufacturing plant where she focused her efforts on maximizing human talent. Her passion is employee morale and engagement and working with supervisors to maximize the company’s most important asset, their employees. She brings expertise in the areas of Employee Engagement, Positive Employee Relations, Training and Development, and Projects and Planning.
Ms. Webb has a Bachelor of Science in social science from the University of Maryland University College in Adelphi, Maryland.
Mr. Dawson has almost 30 years of practical work experience at Toyota North America in the areas of manufacturing, Human Resources, and Compliance & Ethics management. Throughout his Toyota career, Mr. Dawson has developed a deep understanding of the Toyota Way and lean manufacturing principles from having lived them day to day.
Mr. Dawson is an expert in developing elements of compliance programs including strategic development of Code of Conduct, Compliance Risk Assessment, Anti-Fraud, Cultural Assessments, and Whistleblower systems. He has also supported organizations under the direction of Department of Justice-appointed corporate monitors, guiding them through the process and assisting in collaborations and negotiations. In 2011, Mr. Dawson published an article on “Measuring Compliance Management” and was an adjunct faculty speaker at Practising Law Institute’s 2011 Advanced Compliance and Ethics Workshops in New York and San Francisco.
Mr. Dawson has created internal investigation processes and training, and has conducted hundreds of high-risk internal investigations, most at the executive level. These include investigations into discrimination and harassment, fraud, and ethical violations. Executive-level and senior management turn to Mr. Dawson for the resolution of these sensitive matters because he is a trusted and discrete resource.
Mr. Dawson has a passion for ethical leadership. As a certified coach through Coaching Training Institute, he has successfully supported executives and members of management through formal coaching relationships. From 2012-2015, Mr. Dawson served as a member of Xavier University’s Ethics Advisory Council to support businesses and non-profits in the development of ethical leadership.
Mr. Dawson has a bachelor’s degree in business management from Northwood University, is a certified compliance and ethics professional through the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics (SCCE), and a certified fraud examiner through the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE).
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.