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Bernice    Bernie    Deem

Bernice Bernie Deem

Our Colleague and Friend (In Memoriam - July 28, 1948 to December 1, 2023)

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Bernie Deem alwasy brough a new perspective to HR with her fresh insights and unique ideas for solving old problems. These abilities, combined with her extensive expertise and knowledge, led Bernie to be twice honored by the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM). She is one of only two individuals to have received the Charleston SHRM HR Award of Excellence and was named the HR Professional of the Year, an award bestowed by the WV State Council of SHRM.   

Bernie was a frequently requested speaker and is best known for her engaging style and high energy. Some of her topics have been: “The Seven Secret Reasons Employees Sue,” “Personnel and Employees from Hell,” “HR Secrets I Only Tell My Friends,” and “Building High Impact Relationships." Her presentation on “We Don’t Hate You, We Just Want You to Leave” is the result of research she conducted on how to minimize the odds of a lawsuit based on using a technique she developed called "The Graceful Exit." Bernie was also a published author, having written articles such as “Frequent Mistakes Made by Small Business Owners,” “Five Simple Rules for Dealing With a Marginal Performer,” and “Motivating Without Money.”

Bernie also served as an expert witness for both defendant and plaintiff cases, as well as a case evaluator. Her experience with investigating, analyzing data, and writing depositions, combined with her special ability to articulate her perspective has led to her success. She used this experience to create a dynamic presentation on unlawful harassment, a training she conducted over 50 times using her testimony to emphasize the havoc and expense that can come to a company as a result of improper policies and processes. 

She also served as an instructor for the SHRM Certification Exam, The Conference of State Bank Supervisors, and for the West Virginia School of Banking. She has presented for both the National Business Institute and Lorman Education Services on topics such as "Writing Legal Job Descriptions," "Conducting Effective Terminations," and "Discipline and Documentation in West Virginia." 

She also worked as an executive coach for high-level employees with great potential who have a limiting behavior. 

During her rapidly-promoted corporate career, she gained experience in recruitment, affirmative action plans, employee benefits, payroll, training and development, employee relations, and salary administration. This experience resulted in her being named the Vice President of Human Resources at One Valley Bancorp, a financial services holding company which grew to over 2400 employees with over 100 locations, comprising 17 mergers. She was also named Sr. Vice President for Sales in the Retail Division of the bank, part of a team that led to the quadrupling of sales in 16 months.  

Also known for her collaborative work style, Bernie left the corporate world and founded DeemHR in 2000. She specialized in building client relationships with retainer services that provided access to HR portals and customized HR processes as well as unlimited phone calls to DeemHR consultants.  DeemHR grew to over $200,000 in sales over a 10 year period. 

In 2013 DeemHR, merged with Wes Mar HR (owned by Sharon Boyce-Werdebaugh in Bridgeport) and Zach Abraham (of Wheeling) to create AlignHR, LLC, a new HR company that would emphasize high-quality service with a personal touch.

Her DeemHR Annual Conference had established a reputation as the premier Human Resources learning opportunity in the state attended by over 100 HR professionals and small business owners.   

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