Barb Escalante Hess has spent her career helping organizations find solutions that influence behavior and drive meaningful business results. With more than 20 years of experience, Barb focuses on leadership development, employee engagement, change management, organizational design, and building culture. She has run an organizational development function for a Fortune 25 global company, has been a HR consultant for 15 years, and has 10 years of M&A experience.
She recently completed her role as Chief Human Resources Officer for Medical Specialties Distributors – an $850MM healthcare company. She was specifically recruited to drive the company’s turnaround by aligning organizational structure, developing talent, building systems and processes, and building a culture of continuous improvement. She successfully led HR diligence and integration efforts for three acquisitions adding $210MM in top line revenue which increased the company’s valuation by more than 45%.
Prior to her work at MSD, Barb was at Cardinal Health, a $120B publicly traded, global healthcare company. She was a leadership partner to the CEO and executive team tasked with driving internal growth, expanding and building people and process capabilities, creating and driving a culture of continuous improvement, and strengthening organizational alignment with company growth objectives. She ran the Organizational Development function where she improved employee engagement by 20 points for over 37,000 employees globally.
Barb also held HR business partner roles for large multi-national organizations in financial services and retail. Her financial services experience is rooted in her time at Nationwide Insurance, BISYS Fund Services, and National City Bank and her retail experience comes from her work at Best Buy and Home Depot. She has led multiple organizational transitions due to business unit expense reductions, acquisitions, and outsourcing with minimal impact to engagement or operational results. All of these results have been enabled by her extensive facilitation skills in talent development, coaching, team effectiveness, change management, and the Gallup StrengthsFinder philosophy.
Barb graduated with her Masters in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Capella University and received a Bachelors in Management and Labor Relations from Cleveland State University. She resides in Delaware, Ohio with her husband, two boys, and two furry pups. She is active in the community and is driven by a need to help others. The loss of her mother instilled a strong passion in Barb to see a cure for multiple myeloma, a form a leukemia. Since 2009, she has planned and hosted fundraising events raising over $25,000 annually to help find a cure.