As human resource manager at Patterson Thuente law firm, Dawn Parker strives to build a work family where employees feel part of a team and know she is on their side. Her ultimate goal is to support employees and help them be more successful in their jobs.
It’s not always easy. Sometimes Parker must provide professional development direction when an employee is struggling, or lend an ear when another faces a tough time. But staff at the Minneapolis intellectual property law firm know they can count on Parker to listen and help them find a resolution.
No matter what Parker does, it’s all about people, whether she is creating a healthy work environment at Patterson or mentoring high school girls at her church. “I do very much enjoy people and the different levels of people I get to interact with here, and I enjoy problem-solving,” Parker says. “Everything won’t always run smoothly, but I want to make a difference so that we can all be the best we can for our clients.”
Parker has worked at Patterson for the past decade, joining the firm in accounting. But she arrived with a strong background in human resources. When a position opened at Patterson in HR, Parker jumped at the chance to transition back to her first love. Over time she made significant changes at the firm, including guiding the adoption of flexible work hours and negotiating new health insurance.
Outside of work, Parker invests significant energy into volunteering at her church, where her husband is the pastor. She heads a women’s study group and a senior high youth group, and she has led more than 10 mission trips in the U.S. and around the world. For Parker, her work and community service coalesce around one goal. “I really want to make a difference,” she says.