BELLOWS FALLS, Vt. – Mara Neufeld Rivera, M.S., SHRM-SCP, has been named the 2020 Human Resources Professional of the Year by the Vermont State Council of the Society for Human Resource Management. The award, sponsored by the Vermont Chamber of Commerce, was announced Sept. 15 at the joint conference of the Vermont and New Hampshire 2020 Twin State Virtual HR Summit. This prestigious award recognizes a human resources professional each year who inspires innovation, creativity, development, and organizational excellence that has significantly impacted business success in Vermont.
Mara currently serves as vice president, head of People & Culture at Chroma Technology Corp., a high-tech manufacturer for the scientific, biomedical, and photonics imaging industries located in Bellows Falls, Vt. Rebecca Greenough, director of the Vermont State Council, said, “It was a unanimous recommendation by the committee for this year’s awardee. Mara earned this through her hard work, diligence, ingenuity, and empathy – all the right elements for a great HR person!”
Newell Lessell, CEO for Chroma Technology, agreed. “A strong workplace culture is so important to a company’s success. Mara’s leadership as a human resources strategist and her deep passion for building best-in-class workplace cultures is a tremendous asset to Chroma.”
Prior to her role at Chroma Technology, Mara served as chief administrative officer of PC Construction, vice president of Human Resources and Communications for Simon Pearce, and principal at Mara Rae Consulting. She holds a Master of Science in human resources management from Milano Graduate School of International Affairs at The New School and a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Queens College, City University of New York.
Mara is a SHRM senior-certified professional and a member of the national and several local SHRM chapters. She has served on the Industry Advisory Board of the City University of New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology, as an employer champion for the Working Bridges Employer Collaborative of Granite United Way, and as a member of the Corporate Workforce Development Committee of Vital Communities.
A 100% employee-owned company, Chroma Technology produces optical filters for the scientific, biomedical, photonics, and imaging and detection industries. The filters and mirrors that Chroma manufactures are used in microscopes, DNA sequencers, and clinical diagnostic devices, among other applications.