People

Priscilla Vacassin, group HR director, BAA

Taking responsibility for the wellbeing of over 13,500 staff at 11 UK
airports might sound like a daunting task – especially in the current climate –
but for Priscilla Vacassin it’s a dream job.

Vacassin has been confirmed as the new group HR director at BAA, moving up
from corporate HR director. "Essentially, I have functional responsibility
for all the HR at our airports and co-ordinate the activity of the individual
departments," she says.

Her new role will allow her to co-ordinate some of the policies she
introduced at a more strategic level – she has been at the company since 1998.

"I joined originally in a different role and introduced a new model for
HR that hadn’t been tried here before. I’m really looking forward to helping
make that work. I aim to see a practical improvement in the line management as
a direct result of HR policies that we’ve introduced."

Vacassin believes that good HR can improve the bottom line of a company and
she enjoys seeing the positive results.

"HR is probably one of the few areas where you get to see the people
performance change as a direct result of your strategy," she says.

"If you work in a good quality HR department, you’re helping create
conditions for business success."

She has two sons in their 20s who have both left home to travel and study,
and the extra spare time has given her the opportunity to pursue her hobbies.

"I’ve got more spare time than I’m used to, so I can indulge in more
travelling and cooking. I also like going to France to visit relatives,"
Vacassin says.

CV

2001 Group HR director, BAA

1998 Director of organisation and management development, BAA

1996 HR director, Superdrug

1995 Head of organisational development, Woolworths

On the move

One2One retail has appointed Pip
Thomas as its new training manager following a temporary placement at the firm
in June. One of her key responsibilities will be to co-ordinate the ongoing
store level development programme. The scheme aims to give staff a high level
of technical knowledge and the firm will be encouraging them to take NVQs in
customer service and administration. She has over 18 years of retail experience
with both the John Lewis Partnership and Waitrose.

Graham Dougall has been promoted to
group HR director of Novar. He was formally resourcing and development director
at the firm, and in moving up he will be responsible for ensuring that HR
strategy supports the group’s business objectives. Novar’s core activities are
intelligent building systems, aluminium solutions and security printing
services. Bill Buchan also joins the company as resourcing and development
manager, moving from Airbus where he was head of HR, engineering.

The Employers’ Organisation for local
government has named Steven Sumner as its health and safety adviser. He joins
from Bolton Metro, where he was group manager for food and health and safety.
He will represent the EOLG on the HSE health and safety forum and will play a
crucial role in delivering new government targets by 2010.

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