Human Capital Management: Karla Porter, Director of Program Management & Marketing for The Arc of Luzerne County and Steve Danley, Chief Human Resource Officer for the County of Orange, CA

Hosted by Chris Dyer, the CEO of PeopleG2 – Talent Talk Radio features engaging conversation with CEOs, thought leaders and HR executives.  Talent Talk connects professionals who care about talent-related issues and human capital management.


Today’s guests are Karla Porter, Director of Program Management & Marketing for The Arc of Luzerne County; and Steve Danley, Chief Human Resource Officer for the County of Orange, CA.

Both transitioning into HR after spending time in other sectors, Porter and Danley are making significant impacts in their community-based and public sector roles in the area of human capital management.  To hear the entire show, click here

KARLA PORTER human capital

Porter has worked internationally in the non-profit sector, and has a military background as well.  Upon her return to U.S. in 2001, she jumped to the corporate world and took a role in HR with large, local Chamber of Commerce as their director of workforce development and HR. She later transitioned to her current role with The Arc of Luzerne County, developing programs for individuals with developmental disabilities to transition to employment.

Simultaneously, Porter runs her own consulting firm focused on human capital management for small to mid-sized businesses develop their internal processes and talent. These critical processes include:

  • Succession planning to manage against the “brain drain,”
  • Developing internal talent, and
  • Creating intrapreneurial opportunities.

Porter describes company culture as a symbiotic relationship. “People need a culture that they can thrive in in order to do their best work.” She also cautions that, “If you don’t build the culture…it will design itself, good, bad or indifferent.” Thus, Porter suggests every company have a shepherd who can foster culture. To build culture from the ground up, Porter asserts, “You cannot just have the C-suite on your team to figure out what the culture should be,” but need employees from all levels to provide perspective. It’s equally critical to create strategic alliance, which means to have the right human capital in the room and have all departments represented along with employees at various levels. Together, this group can identify what the culture is, what the company can improve in culture and what actions it can do to improve so that the human capital functions at a high level.

What are You Reading?

Porter is reading, What’s Your Purple Goldfish?” by Stan Phelps on how to win customers, especially applicable since Porter views  employees as her internal customers.

How Can I Connect with You? Via social links posted on her website at

STEVE DANLEY human capital

An Orange County native, Danley serves as the head of Human Resources for the county. He has also served as a NCAA referee for several decades, is involved in community education efforts and lectures at a local university.

Danley started his career working with UPS before landing an internship with the County of Orange, where he has held several roles since. One role required him to audit the county’s HR department, which resulted in Danley identifying a number of deficiencies. When the head of HR retired, the county asked Danley to take the helm. His first order of business was to create and implement consistent processes across the dozens of county departments, an effort he estimates taking three to five years.

County Culture

The county has a defined mission statement and business values that are written down so employees know what they are. Beyond that, he asks, “Is it just a set of written pronouncements or is it something we are using on a daily basis?” Over the past year, Danley has focused more on making it part of what they do every day.

Passion for Public Service

Passion is key, particularly within public sector leadership. “The job is just too hard to do unless you have a real thirst for public service.” He constantly asks himself, “Are we providing a good service to the public?”

Before considering additional success factors, Danley asserts you first need to define what we consider success. For Danley’s team, it comes down to accomplishing goals and aligning with the mission of organization. County employees have an additional stewardship responsibility since “it’s the public’s money, it’s my money, it’s our money together,” Danley comments.

He likens the feedback cycle in the county to his refereeing days, where he received instantaneous feedback. The county is similar, since the media is always monitoring local government activity – though usually only noting when something goes awry. He acknowledges that managing human capital in the public sector is challenging and the reward structure in the public sector can be limited, so how top employees are recognized is a discussion point in the C-suite. Of note, the county conducted an employee survey that revealed the most desired reward is simply a note recognizing a job well done.

Personally, Danley has had to refine his own leadership, mostly balancing his high expectations of himself and others with patience for those around him. To address this, Danley purposely pauses to assess if an emotional reaction to the situation at hand will help or hinder his ultimate goal.

What are You Reading?

Danley is reading Extraordinary Hearts about the patients of an East Coast heart surgeon, and recently completed, In Defense of Sanity,” which is series of essays on timeless truths.

How Can I Connect with You? Via

Remember, do what you love….and show the world how talented you can be, today.

Air Date: April 22, 2014