Meet Melanie Madurski, Human Resources Specialist

Melanie Madurski has been a part of Phoenix Innovate (PI) as a Client Relations Coordinator with EMPOWER for more than 12 years. Due to PI’s continued growth, however, it became evident that we needed someone with a core focus on Human Resources functions, and Melanie had the perfect combination of experience and skills to fit the bill.

She continues to work with EMPOWER clients, but Human Resources for the entire PI organization has been her primary focus since March 2023. In that time, she has helped PI make significant strides toward its goals.

“Melanie has researched, analyzed and presented to leadership most of the new systems and processes that we have adopted over the last year,” says EVP-COO Michael Spalding. “She has been instrumental in the implementation of online open enrollment, PTO request systems and benefit management systems, as well as behind-the-scenes systems like an online candidate search and HRMS association memberships.”

During the past year, she also has been working on updating the associate manual, reviewing possible additions to PI’s benefit portfolio, optimizing benefits billing and evaluating HR software that would allow PI to continue moving toward greater automation.

“With the help of an intern last summer, we completely digitized all our associate files and have come a small step forward in becoming paperless,” Spalding adds.

Prior to working with EMPOWER, Melanie was an HR specialist for a worldwide automotive supplier for nine years, where she gained many skills that she can now use to benefit PI.

“With the growth of Phoenix Innovate, it was clear that we needed to create our first-ever HR Specialist position, and we were fortunate to have someone on our team who already had expertise in this area,” CEO Kirk Vercnocke says. “Her experience and skillset made her the right choice for this pivotal role, and the tremendous positive impact she has made over the past year demonstrates her ability to help us continue moving forward.”

Prior to the creation of this position, the Accounting and Finance Department handled HR responsibilities.

“After I came on board in December of 2022 and joined the Leadership Team of the company, we collaborated to expand our Human Resources approach. This led us to defining the need for an HR role and making it more of an operational aspect of the organization,” says Matthew Mahalak, Vice President of Accounting and Finance. “Taking the HR-related jobs out of our department has freed our team to focus on projects related to accounting and finance. With the continued growth of the company, believe me, there is more than enough work to go around, so we definitely needed this! Melanie is clearly doing a fantastic job already.”

Melanie says she enjoys the HR field due to the variety of projects and because she enjoys working with people. 

“No two days are alike,” she says. “There’s always something different to work on.”

In her spare time, she enjoys going to see live bands with her fiancé, Troy, who has an adult son and an adult daughter. They have seven cats!

“We rescue cats, and we rescued a pregnant one last year. It got a little out of hand!” Melanie says, jokingly.

The couple also enjoy spending time with friends and riding their motorcycle.

Mike Spalding
Mike Spalding


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