NORTHAMPTON — Mary Dunn, a lifelong resident of the Pioneer Valley, has joined ServiceNet as chief Human Resources officer.
Born and raised in Holyoke, Dunn earned her bachelor’s degree in political science at Wheaton College. Her first job after graduation was as a marketing assistant with a life-insurance company. And while she quickly learned that cold-calling prospective customers was not for her, she was intrigued enough about insurance to consider working on the benefits side of human resources.
Dunn pursued that interest in her second job, working for the next seven years at the Center for Human Development in Springfield, where she oversaw the agency’s worker’s comp, short-term disability, and other benefit programs. While at CHD, she also enrolled in law school at Western New England College, earning the law degree that would serve her well in subsequent HR roles at Emmanuel College, Springfield College, and for 11 years at Baystate Health. “Having greater knowledge of the law, especially as it applies to employment, has been invaluable,” she said.
After she left Baystate in 2020 to care for her parents through the first year of the pandemic, Dunn worked briefly for a law firm but found herself missing human resources. “It’s my passion,” she acknowledged. “I love how organizations work and enjoy helping people make the most of their work experience. We spend so much of our time on the job, and I want to help match people to work they care about, on a team where they feel welcome and at home.”
Just like in families, Dunn noted, “things in the workplace aren’t always smooth, and they may get difficult at times. But when you work through those challenges with consideration and respect, you learn more about each other, build relationships deeper, and gain from the experience.”
Dunn views ServiceNet as a great fit for her and was attracted to the agency by its nonprofit mental-health and human-services mission and the nature of its workforce.
“People are working here because they want to make a difference in people’s lives,” she noted. “It’s important work they’re doing, with a big impact on the community, and I want to support them every way I can.”