The story of Sarah Schulz is likely a familiar story to most Michigan residents. Born in Flint to a blue-collar family, Sarah remembers a time when she lived in a vibrant rust belt city. Full of culture and hard-working families, Flint provided the ability for many to afford enjoying quintessential Michigan pleasures on their factory wages, like going to cabins on the lake, playing euchre at a campground picnic table, and riding off-road vintage motorcycles on ORV trails through our state’s great forests. Sarah was about 8 when the devastation of her hometown began, as the auto industry began pulling jobs out of Flint and income insecurity became normal for everyone she knew. Schulz and her family lived through the downfall of Flint, from what it was when she was a child to the city it is today – challenged by hard economic realities and safety concerns – which the citizens of Flint did not bring on themselves. She has watched as Michigan’s emergency manager law stripped democracy from the people of Flint and led directly to the poisoning of the water and the children – some of whom are members of her family.
Flint holds a special place in Sarah’s heart, and today her home is in Midland, where her children attend Midland Public Schools. When Sarah and her husband decided to move back to Michigan after spending a few years in New York City, they chose this area because of its investments in culture and nature and science and children. They believe it was one of the best decisions they’ve ever made.
Sarah Schulz is no stranger to hard work. Her first job was in 8th grade picking strawberries for 32 cents a quart. Throughout high school, she worked in fast food, at a church daycare, and as a grocery teller at a small store in Flint. Sarah paid her way through college working in the cafeteria, the student newspaper, and the local bookstore.
For the last 17 years, Sarah has spent her career in Human Resources focused in the nonprofit sector, serving in organizations that provide direct services citizens in need in our country. She has worked at a shelter for homeless youth that provided support services for clients – many of whom were LBTGQ+ high school and early college students whose parents had turned them away. Shulz worked at an organization that provided a crisis phone hotline and a free/ low-cost medical clinic that provided preventative healthcare to families. She also worked for a human rights legal organization centered on reproductive justice nationally and internationally.
Currently, Sarah Schulz is the Vice President of People Services at national non-profit, an education-focused nonprofit organization with 28 locations and over 4,000 employees and corps members. In this current role, Sarah leads a team to oversee efforts to maintain equitable, transparent, and sustainable compensation systems, plan for staff growth and changes throughout her organization’s network and execute HR strategies and initiatives with excellence. Sarah’s greatest accomplishment in this role has been to bring the organization into 100% gender compensation equity. The core of Sarah’s work in HR has always been listening to her employees and working within the organization to make their work lives better, which in turn makes the organization stronger.
Sarah earned a Master’s Degree in Human Resources and Labor Relations from Michigan State University.
Based on her strong convictions that it is our duty as citizens to work to the extent possible on improving our country and that the cause of democracy will always be a work in progress, she is a founding member and now a volunteer leader of the Midland-based Women of Michigan Action Network. WOMAN now has over 1,400 members and has been instrumental over the past year in amplifying the progressive voice for our area and holding our leaders accountable to the needs and values of our entire diverse community.
Sarah met her husband Andrew in high school where they went to prom together in 1995. They were married right after college and since then have enjoyed many of life’s adventures together including SCUBA diving, camping, dirt biking, kayaking, sailing and enjoying Michigan’s many natural wonders. Their greatest adventure has been parenthood and they are the proud parents of 2 children ages 8 and 10.
“I will work to fix a broken, harmful and unfair system and put people back in the center of our policies and politics.” – Sarah Schulz
Sarah's focus was on Organizational Design and Non-Profit Mangement.
Compensation Develop, implement and maintain compensation strategy – including annual merit-based salary process and ongoing compensation processes for over 900 staff members. Maintained equitable, competitive and transparent pay practices across 26 locations that resulted in 99% pay equity for women and 98% pay equity for minority employees. Organizational Development, Change Management, Employee Engagement and Analytics Lead semi-annual employee engagement measure including administration of the survey tool and design, analytics, and communication/action planning. Certified change management practitioner (Prosci), developed and facilitated 9 change management workshops for leaders and individual contributors in sessions ranging from 5 to over 100 participants. Workforce Planning Align workforce structures and staffing needs with high priority strategic initiatives, operating goals and budget. Evolved Workforce Planning strategy from 300 FTEs and 18 sites to over 900 FTEs and 27 sites.
Responsible for all Human Resource functions including compensation systems analysis and modification, writing and implementing personnel and operational policy, benefits negotiation and administration, recruitment and staffing, employee relations, performance management.
Responsible for end-to-end Human Resource of this medium-sized organization in a partially unionized environment including: union relations and contract negotiation, conflict resolution and grievance administration, HRIS system creation and implementation, management coaching, performance evaluation, staff discipline. Secured new physical plant for and organized the relocation of 70 staff including counseling and administrative services, and a medical clinic. Participated in the 3-member top management team involved in all budgetary decisions including strategic planning, program implementation and closure, staffing increases and reductions and all large purchasing decisions.