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    Vice President of Human Resources at Gavilon Agriculture Holdings in Omaha, Nebraska

    Ron Cardenas is a human resources expert with over three decades of professional experience. His specialties include employee relations, compensation, compliance, and talent management. For the past 11 years, Mr. Cardenas has worked at Gavilon Agriculture Holdings in Omaha, Nebraska, progressing from Director to Senior Director to Vice President of Human Resources.


    At Gavilon, Cardenas developed and implemented employee retention strategies that reduced turnover rates by more than 50% in less than two years. He worked at Anadarko Petroleum as Senior HR Manager and Employee Relations Manager. As Senior Human Resources Manager at Sun Microsystems, he created and launched talent strategies for 900 employees across the U.S., Europe, and Asia.


    Ron Cardenas earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Colorado State University and an MBA from Regis University in Denver, Colorado. He is a Global Professional in Human Resources (GPHR), Certified Compensation Professional, and a Six Sigma Green Belt. His deep expertise includes investigation, risk analysis, mediation, position statement preparation, mergers and acquisitions, and management consulting. He is most passionate about problem-solving and training young employees.


    When he is not working, Mr. Cardenas enjoys hiking, golf, cycling, and spending time with his nephews.


  • Compensation

    Earned Certified Compensation Professional (CCP) designation, while working in the Enron compensation department. Developed rewards strategies including a Skill Based Pay program for oil and gas field employees. Consulted on compensation structures across the US, Europe and Asia for Professional Services organization at Sun. Developed the existing career progression-compensation framework at Gavilon.

    Employee Relations/Compliance

    Deep expertise and experience includes investigation, risk analysis, mediation, position statement preparation and management consulting. Developed and implemented numerous policies and programs aimed at mitigating employee relations risk. Facilitated several-hundred of hours of management training on employee relations topics. Managed corporate employee hotline for HR complaints and investigations. Responsible for submission of annual EEO-1 reports. Accountable for responding to the 2012 OFCCP desk at Anadarko, receiving letter of compliance within 6 months of submission.

    Organization Development and Training

    Skilled at diagnosing organization needs and creating appropriate training strategies. Facilitated several hundred hours of training and workshops on topics including fair employment practices, harassment prevention, performance management, conflict resolution, self-directed work teams and compensation.

    Labor Relations

    Responsible for economic analysis and impact in labor negotiations and lead negotiator with Gavilon in negotiations with The Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers, International Union (BCTGM) and its Local No. 259-G (Carrollton, MI) and the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 49 (Red Rock, MN). Also currently in negotiations with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) in Longview, WA, since July 2014.

    Organization Design

    Participated in Center for Effective Organizations’ “Organization Design Workshop” at the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business. Facilitated the organization capability development of a global, matrix organization of nearly 900 employees to enable the profitable sales of the $4B Sun Services business as well as a 600 employee CAO organization supporting Anadarko’s $12B business

    Leadership Development

    Created executive leadership development, succession plans and processes. Coached and consulted Vice Presidents as it relates to business needs and their respective career paths. Lectured at the Cornell School of Business on Ethics in Leadership.

    Mergers, Acquisitions and Divestitures

    Managed all phases of M&A projects including communication, staffing, compensation, cultural integration, re-engineering and change acceptance. Projects included divestitures of Enron facilities, 3 acquisitions by Sun Microsystems, the merger of Anadarko Petroleum, Kerr-McGee and Western Gas Resources, acquisition of DeBruce by Gavilon and numerous small acquisitions both domestic and overseas.

    Executive Coaching/Consulting

    Developed personal coaching strategies for managers and executives. Established strong consulting relationships with executives based on trust, competence and integrity.

    Talent Acquisition

    Designed and implemented staffing strategies for a variety of professional levels and industries, including the implementation of university relations programs for internship and direct-hire strategies.

    Process Quality (Six Sigma)

    Participated in a number of Sun Sigma projects including the completion of a project which improved processes associated with management of foreign national employees.