Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Barragate

Susie Barragate

President & CEO, Vocational Guidance Services

Susie Barragate was appointed as the President & CEO of Vocational Guidance Services (VGS), an Ohio provider of personalized vocational training to individuals with disabilities or other barriers to employment, in September 2018. She has served with VGS for more than 22 years, joining the organization in 1996 as the Human Resources Coordinator and in 1999 becoming the agency's Human Resources Director.

In 2012, Ms. Barragate was asked to take responsibility for the vocational rehabilitation services at VGS' Elyria facility in addition to her supervision of VGS' HR and Intake Departments. In 2014, she became Vice President of Human Resources and Lorain County Rehabilitation Services.

In addition to processing payroll for four distinct corporations and over 1,000 employees, under Ms. Barragate's leadership VGS' Human Resources Department was responsible for guiding and directing agency personnel policies and practices, while the Intake Department oversaw all the open and closed case files for program participants, while also processing referrals for services to participants.

The Lorain County Rehabilitation Services included a program with the Lorain County Department of Jobs and Family Services, as well as Placement Services, Clerical Training, and Work Adjustment.

Ms. Barragate graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a Bachelor of Arts degree with a concentration in personnel and industrial relations. In 2013, she was awarded the Innovation Award for Strategic Alignment by ERC and CSHRM's HR Awards, and was named as an Archer Award finalist for HR Executive of the Year by Crain's Cleveland Business in 2014. Ms. Barragate is a graduate of the Cleveland Leadership Center's Bridge Builders Class of 2013.

Please visit http://www.vgsjob.org for more information.

Ms. Barragate can be contacted at +1 216-431-7800 or SusieBarragate@vgsjob.org

Coming up in May 2020...

Eco-Friendly Practices: Creative Innovation

Being eco-friendly is no longer a fad. It is an urgent planetary need and hotels are actively doing their part to reduce their carbon footprint by implementing sustainable, green practices. In addition to the goodwill derived from doing the right thing, hotels are also realizing the benefits to their business. A large percentage of Millennials expect hotels to be eco-friendly and will only patronize those properties that are proudly conforming. Consequently, more hotels are realizing that sustainability is a key element in a successful branding strategy. In addition, going green can lead to a more profitable bottom line, as savings on electricity, water and cleaning materials can add up. Also, there are other advantages that come with being an eco-friendly business, such as government subsidies and tax and loan incentives. As a result, many hotels are finding innovative ways to integrate eco-friendly practices into their business. Geo-thermal energy systems, along with energy-from-waste systems, are being used to heat and cool the property. Passive solar panels, green roofs, natural lighting and natural ventilation strategies also assist in energy conservation. Low-flow water systems and plumbing fixtures make a contribution, as does eco-friendly hardwood flooring, and energy efficient televisions and appliances throughout the property. In addition, some hotels have implemented in-room recycling programs, and only provide all-natural, personal care items. One hotel has actually constructed a bee-keeping operation on their grounds. Not only is this good for the bees but the hotel also produces products from the operation which they sell. This kind of creative innovation also holds enormous appeal to guests. The May issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to integrate sustainable practices into their operations and how they are benefiting from them.