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Ten Minutes with: Stacy Elarmo

This week’s A10 profile is of Stacy Elarmo. We think of Stacy not simply as our head of HR, but as a tireless advocate, whose singular focus is on making sure Artefact continues to be a best place to work. One of her key team building strategies? Being the champion of after hours impromptu drinks.

What are the five words that people would use to describe you?

Passionate, hardworking, determined, dedicated, and a smart-@ss (in a good, fun way).

When did you know that you wanted to be a human resources professional?

When I started working right out of college, I discovered that HR departments were cold and terrifying. I saw no empathy for employees, confidentiality was a one-way street, and HR was only interested in protecting the business. It seemed as though the only time anyone heard from HR was for training, benefits, or terminations. I knew that the “human” factor should be added to human resources. However, at that time I didn’t know how to do it. So, for a number of years, I worked as an accountant. When I joined my first startup, I had the opportunity to wear many hats and start to work in HR. In that role, I was exposed to and reminded of what employees wanted and, more importantly, needed in the workplace. From there on, I continued to expand my skills and focused my growth in HR.

One of Artefact’s values is autonomy, so I focused on creating the HR department I knew was possible. I have been empowered to build an environment that encourages learning, that develops employees and makes them feel supported. I enjoy checking in with people daily on a personal and professional level. After all, for me to be an advocate, it is essential to build trust with my coworkers.

What is in your notebook?

It has tons of “to do” lists and “priority” lists.  Looking through my notebook right now, though, there is also my favorite picture of me and my mom when I was a toddler.

What advice would you give to your 10 year old self?

There are a few pieces of advice I would give my 10 year-old self… One is to learn how to code and master it.  The other is to enjoy your college years and your twenties—travel, explore the world, and take risks.  Don’t always play it safe.

Where do you want to be in 10 years?

In 10 years I would like to be sitting out in the warm sun on a white sandy beach with a cold cocktail in hand, listening to live music, and embracing everything life has to offer.

What would people never guess about you?

People would never guess that growing up on Guam, island life is not just beach and sunshine. What people here think is hard labor was just another chore to us—no big deal.  I used to bush-cut my parents back yard and mow our huge front yard. At the ripe age of 10, I could handle a machete like a pro to chop down sword grass and anything in my way while in the jungle. I helped my grandpa feed pigs when I visited him. I enjoyed husking and grating coconuts; and I used to find it relaxing to power wash the entire exterior of the house I grew up in—piece of cake!

What is your favorite Artefact project and why?

My favorite Artefact project is the VICIS helmet. I love football and it saddens me every time I hear about football players (professional and non-professional) suffering from long term brain injuries from playing the game. It’s about time there was an effort to take a look at the equipment to figure out how to make this a safe sport to play. I must say that it was an incredible experience to watch our team take the helmet design to the next level. I can’t wait to see this product out on the field!

What are you afraid of?

I’m afraid of many things but the first thing that comes to mind is being a disappointment to my parents.

Where do you go/what do you do for inspiration?

For inspiration, I need to be by water, preferably by an ocean that is clear and blue.  The beauty and tranquil sound of the ocean brings me to a place where I can relax and clear my mind.