HR Excellence 2019 Good Works finalist: Kasandra Cook, HR Manager, Greater Columbus Convention Center

In her role as human resources manager for the Greater Columbus Convention Center, Kasandra Cook takes on all the tasks you'd expect from someone in that position. Her passion for her community, though, has led her to use her role to give back in several ways.

“We have employees from all walks of life at the Greater Columbus Convention Center, and many of the associates rely on public transportation,” Jennifer Davis, senior marketing and communications manager, says in her nomination of Cook. “Kasandra has removed any barriers to participation in the good works conducted by (the convention center) and its associates by arranging for charitable activities within the property or offering rides to associates in need for them to be able to participate in off-site community activities assisting the less fortunate.”

In 2017, Cook took her love of community one step further. She had learned of two boys who were stricken with crippling muscular dystrophy, one of whom she was told had little time to live. She arranged for the boys, their parents and caretakers to attend a Columbus Blue Jackets game where they got to sit in a suite, be treated to team hats and hockey pucks and food and beverages. After, they got to meet a player and go into the locker room.

“We work closely with the Blue Jackets and it was within our means and something we thought we should definitely do,” Cook says. “An organization's true value isn't measured by the revenue it creates, but by the positive impact it has on neighboring communities.”

Good Works honors notable commitment to the community achieved through charitable, philanthropic, volunteer or other efforts to engage a workforce for HR purposes.

Laura Newpoff is a freelance writer.

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