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Beth Flynn-Ferry
[email protected]
An experienced senior Human Resources leader who is a strong business partner to C-suite executives.
Known for bringing a disciplined approach to problem solving, exercising great judgment and getting things
done. Has led significant corporate transformations, including large global integrations and organizational
restructurings. Thrives on translating complex corporate strategies into actionable people initiatives to
drive the business forward.
Her strengths include business orientation, seasoned judgment and ability to make things happen. Factbased and analytical. Integrates diverse viewpoints, simplifies complexity and aligns stakeholder support to
lead change effectively. Counted on by colleagues to communicate with insight and candor.
Her leadership style is honest, direct and pragmatic, building trusting, collaborative relationships across all
levels of the organization. A supportive leader to her team, empowering them to deliver high quality
results through coaching and developing them to their highest potential.
Professional Career Experience
General Mills – Minneapolis, MN
1992 - 2015
A $19B Fortune 500 consumer foods packaged goods company known as a global leader of brands, leaders
and culture.
Vice President, HR for Corporate & Global Business Solutions (2014 – 2015)
Responsible for Finance, Legal, External Relations and the GBS human resources strategies for over 3000
employees in the US and internationally. Reported to CFO and SVP, HR and led a team of over 60 HR
business partners, HR Operations and Learning & Development professionals in US, UK and India.
Orchestrated multiple senior succession moves in several functions: EVP/General Counsel retired and backfilled by internal
candidate; search initiated for new role in External Relations/PR to plan for future succession; key senior finance role
changes including 3 business segments and Treasury/Tax area to build capabilities for CFO succession.
HR Lead for GBS Project Catalyst resulting in company leading results in reducing headcount: exceeded $ goals; removed 2
layers of the organization; increased median spans of control from 6 to 8; decreased managers with 1 or 2 direct reports
from 18% to 5% without losing any critical to win talent and maintaining diversity representation.
Key leader of several corporate wide projects including developing a new strategy for managing GMI’s internal medical clinic
given ACA laws; HR and Change Management lead for Strategic Spend Management initiative reviewing all non-headcount
administrative costs across GMI; Sponsor for identification of new Human Capital Management system to replace SAP HR.
Vice President, HR for US Retail Operations and Marketing Functions (2010 – 2014)
Led the strategic human resources agenda for the largest GMI business segment which represented over
$10.5B in sales and $2.4B in profit. Partnered with EVP/COO to develop and implement talent
management and organization development strategies for a variety of functions including Marketing,
Marketing Services, Consumer Insights, Global Strategy and New Business Development.
Champion/Sponsor of Future of Marketing strategic change initiative to support the organizational transformation from a
mass-marketing TV centric approach to a more targeted, agile digital/social campaign.
Led the strategy, design and implementation of the first USRO Learning & Development team focused on building skills for
the marketing, consumer insights and integrated marketing functions.
Beth Flynn-Ferry
Led USRO Project Refuel restructuring and delivered $4.6 million in savings through redesigning the US division structure to
align more with consumer needs while increasing the overall caliber of the marketing talent pool and retaining 100% of
senior marketing manager and above top talent even with reduced number of Director/VP positions post restructuring.
Established a new business development group (301 Inc) as a separate unit from divisions to focus on new product platforms
and delivery methods to consumers.
Designed and implemented the Executive Development Program focused on general management skills across the 3 GMI
business segments to strengthen CEO pipeline
Vice President, HR for Consumer Foods Sales Division (2004 – 2010)
Responsible for US Retail Sales group of 1800 employees across the US including 5 business centers and
headquarters. Reported to EVP/Worldwide Sales & Channel Development and lead a team of 23 HR,
Recruiting and Training professionals.
Drove best ever sales results in Climate Survey (85% positive; +5 vs. GMI); Diversity increased from 15% to 16.5% POC and
female directors from 20% to 29%.
Led expansion of sales capabilities with a mix of insourcing (Scan Apps), offshoring to lower cost GMI location (Customer
Service and Planograms to GMI India) and outsourcing (Trade Payment) while managing any US job loss through attrition.
Expanded best in class Sales training influence across other GMI business segments (Foodservice and International).
Shifted traditional classroom delivery of curriculum to 31% e-learning, reducing costs while increasing effectiveness.
Led several restructures: shifted region sales employees due to customer consolidation (Ahold) or growth (Publix); created
region with non-traditional approach to coverage (smaller volume retailers managed together); shifted field selling resources
to new capabilities like Category Management.
Director, Organization Effectiveness (2003 – 2004)
Specialist HR role in Learning & Organization Effectiveness group. Managed corporate succession planning
process, climate projects and supported client groups through OE consulting.
Managed the corporate succession planning process and made improvements on talent pipeline, bench strength analysis,
talent profiles and systems.
Conceptualized & implemented a cross-functional development program for high potential employees resulting in 50% more
Managed the internal Coaching Clearinghouse and conducted first ever impact study of coaching on employee development.
Developed and implemented a strategic plan to improve Decision Speed, a corporate wide climate survey area.
Provided OE consulting support to a variety of business.
Lead the integration of the new Leadership Model into all HR systems.
Developed the strategic focus for the individual development planning process.
Provided oversight to corporate development programs in the General Mills Institute.
Director/Vice President, HR for General Mills Canada (2001 – 2003)
Responsible for all aspects of Canadian business during time of Pillsbury Canada acquisition. Largest sales
and profit segment outside of the US with 650 employees in headquarters, 2 plants and 4 sales offices.
Led successful integration of Pillsbury Canada Limited including:
o Communication to every employee on day of close – 11% workforce reduction; 28% of people were moved or
o Converted compensation, benefits and HR practices to one plan.
o Managed design elements and relocation of employees to new headquarters.
o Held turnover to below historic norms (3.5%).
o With president, designed new vision and rolled out to employees.
Created new HR website as resource for all employees.
Revamped university recruitment program and increased acceptance rate from 50% to 69%.
Reduced workforce by additional 9% one year after close.
Managed climate survey process with 95% participation rate (highest in company).
Beth Flynn-Ferry
Director, HR for Supply Chain Operations (1998 – 2001)
Initially responsible for 1000 employees and 13 locations in Grain, Purchasing and Milling group.
Responsibilities then expanded to encompass 5000 employees in 21 manufacturing plants.
With VP Manufacturing, set strategy, structure and selection process for New General Mills manufacturing organization (for
Pillsbury integration).
Co-leader of the Work Systems Council charged with ensuring internal learnings were shared and developing next
generation work systems.
Led strategic analysis of manufacturing bench strength to assess current pipeline and make changes to recruiting, selection
and development programs resulting in upgraded talent pool with more women and people of color.
Streamlined the field HR Review process focusing on development and retention of high potential employees. Integrated
Flour Milling Operations from the Gold Medal Division, upgrading the leadership bench through cross-boundary movement
and development.
Provided oversight to consolidation of 3 locations resulting in significant cost savings and broader management roles for
Implemented climate survey action plans that resulted in at least 12 – 23% improvements.
Director, HR for Marketing Services Division (1997 -- 1998)
Responsible for 300 corporate employees in the Nutrition, Advertising, Creative Group, Betty Crocker
Kitchens, Ethnic Marketing and Marketing Research functions.
Manager, HR for Buffalo, NY Plant (1994 – 1997)
Responsible for 450 employee unionized cereal manufacturing facility and flour mill.
Manager, HR for Consumer Foods Sales Division (1992 – 1994)
Responsible for Central US Sales force (350 people) and Sales related workforce in headquarters (200).
Hercules, Inc. – Wilmington, DE
Specialty Chemicals and Aerospace Company with over 100,000 employees at the time.
Employee Relations Manager (1991 -- 1992)
Employee Relations Supervisor (1990 -- 1991)
Sr. Employee Relations Representative (1990)
Sr. Human Resources Assistant (1989)
Human Resources Assistant (1987 -- 1989)
MBA Strategic Management & Marketing – University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management,
Minneapolis, MN
BS, Industrial & Labor Relations – Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
Community Activities & Awards
Interfaith Outreach & Community Partners – Board Member
Twin Cities Human Resources Executive Council
Cornell’s Center for Advanced HR Studies
Network of Executive Women
Cornell ILR Alumni Association
Former Girl Scout Troop Leader, Girls Basketball Coach, Hockey and Baseball Team Manager
Top 100 Women in Grocer Award
GMI HR Recruiting Award (2 years)