Every successful organization has a “do everything” person - someone who always knows where things are stored, or who should be called in a pinch, or where a “missing” file can be found.


He or she has a title. Yet, their contributions go far beyond any job description. Their knowledge is intuitive. They pitch in wherever needed. They have answers no one else does. They make things happen.


Ours is Kate Klister.


Kate is HR and Accounting Director at Max Weiss Company. This title might describe half her duties, official or otherwise. She isn’t in the shop doing hands-on steel fabrication and metal forming … but maybe it’s just a matter of time.


Kate doubles as a receptionist, answering incoming calls and being the first smiling face visitors see. She coordinates employee events. She serves as an administrative assistant to three high-level managers.


Accounting? Oh yes. She’s Accounts Payable Clerk and Accounts Receivable Clerk, among other hats worn.


You might have noticed the “HR” part of her title. Kate is involved with every element of human resources at Max Weiss Company. Given that we have 30+ employees, this is a lot of boxes to check, week in and week out. We’re not quite sure how she fits in all the other things … but we’re glad she does!


We do know that Kate is darn good at her HR responsibilities. Now, a highly-respected organization has verified our belief.


The Society for Human Resource Management recently granted Kate status as an SHRM Certified Professional, a recognition of her expertise in, and practical application of, all things HR.


“Earning your SHRM CP credential makes you a recognized expert and leader in the HR field – and a valuable asset to your organization, keeping you and your organization more competitive in today’s economy,” the organization’s web site states. “This professional distinction sets you apart from your colleagues, proving your high level of knowledge and skills.”


Human resources is an ever-changing field. Staying abreast of new rules, not to mention the differing interests of dozens of workers, requires a nimble, attentive mind.


The SHRM Certified Professional exam was 160 questions, with four hours allowed for completion. Kate began studying months beforehand. An intense three-day review course, normally given in person, was conducted online due to the coronavirus pandemic.


“Holding this certification is an acknowledgment of my hard work, and the skills I’ve gained, in the field of HR,” Kate said. “When you complete the exam, the program tells you if you’ve passed or not. I was very excited to see ‘Pass’ at the end!”


Kate has been a SHRM member for seven years. She belongs to the Metro Milwaukee SHRM Chapter.


“I give my heartfelt congratulations to Kate on becoming an SHRM-certified HR professional,” said Paul Schulz, our company President. “This achievement demonstrates her commitment and dedication not only to her career, but to the employees and leadership of Max Weiss Company. Kate has a strategic seat at the decision-making table to advance the culture and values of Max Weiss Company and its owners. She holds a position of trust, and is someone whose opinion I value.”


Kate has been with Max Weiss Company since 2012. Holding MBA and B.S. degrees from Cardinal Stritch University, she earlier worked in accounting roles in a diverse range of industries … which probably prepared her well for the world of tube bending, hot rolling and steel bending.


We’re awfully fortunate to have someone of Kate’s capabilities on our team. She never hesitates to dive into a project, or spot a task that needs a helping hand. If a certification existed for “do it all,” she’d have earned it a long time ago.

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