Nina Barron is a Human Resources Professional with four years of formal HR experience plus 15 years administrative experience, including positions as a Payroll and Benefits Specialist at Whole Foods Market in Portland and as Human Resources Officer for the New Hampshire State Air National Guard.
As an HR generalist for Whole Foods, first in Seattle, Washington, and then in Portland, Maine, Nina gained expertise in many aspects of HR, including leave of absence, workers compensation, recruiting, onboarding, and payroll and benefits.
Prior to that, Nina was an active duty member of the United States Air Force for nine years where she served in various administrative, records management, and office management roles. For the past six years, she has served in the Air National Guard and is currently stationed at Pease Air National Guard Base in Newington, New Hampshire where she is Personnel Officer for the Force Support Squadron. She has also worked for the American Red Cross.
“I like being involved in all aspects of organizations—from management, leadership, strategic direction, and the employee perspective—so HR seemed the perfect fit for me,” explains Nina. “With its broad range of specialties and its ever-changing nature, I never get bored. There’s always some way to help someone in a meaningful way.”
Nina holds a Master’s of Science in Human Resources from Brandman University in Irvine, California.
Originally from Pennsylvania, Nina saw an opportunity to move back to the east coast from Seattle in 2012 when an HR position at Whole Foods in Portland opened. She now lives in Windham with her husband and Pit Bull Terrier, “Mel.” She enjoys long walks in the woods, outdoors/nature, snowboarding, running, travel, and considers herself a “foodie.” Nina also volunteers in the community with various organizations.
Why did you choose to work in HR?
My interest in HR first sparked while I was still on active duty in the US Air Force. I was working toward a Bachelor’s Degree in training and development, but was limited to the classes offered at the base where I was stationed. When I left the Air Force, I was three classes away from my Bachelor’s, which I completed, and discovered that the areas I liked best were all related to HR. I then used the GI Bill to get my Master’s in Human Resources.
What do you like best about your work as an HR Professional?
I like being involved in all aspects of organizations—from management, leadership, strategic direction, and the employee perspective—so HR seemed the perfect fit for me. With its broad range of specialties and its ever-changing nature, I never get bored. There’s always some way to help someone in a meaningful way. You could say the “office” is my domain.
What is one takeaway from your HR work experience you’d like to share with others?
I always thought I wanted to specialize in one area of HR, such as benefits, but through my HR experience with the Air National Guard and in the private sector, I’ve discovered that I really like how broad the field of HR is. From talent acquisition, to compliance issues, to strategic implications for an organization, to personal and professional development, there’s always an opportunity to meet new people, learn new things, and to help organizations and individuals every day.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I grew up on a 120-acre farm in Pennsylvania, and remember many long walks in the woods, so the outdoors was and remains very important to me. I now live in Windham with my husband and Pit Bull Terrier, “Mel.” I enjoy long walks in the woods, outdoors/nature, snowboarding, running, travel, and admit to being a bit of a “foodie.”