Tracie Sponenberg formed Tracie Sponenberg LLC after a nearly 30-year corporate career. With a strong desire to work with CEOs to see the value in their HR teams, for HR teams to see the value in themselves, and to help them connect the people strategy to the business strategy, she is focused on this work primarily in the Distribution and Manufacturing fields.
Tracie is the former Chief People Officer of The Granite Group Wholesalers LLC, and was responsible for leading all People functions throughout the company, with 60+ locations, and over 700 team members throughout six states. She partnered with other members of the executive team to lead through four acquisitions, a global pandemic, a technology transformation, and a complete transformation of the HR department into an award-winning People Team.
While Tracie used to describe herself as “working in HR,” she now describes herself as a “Business leader specializing in People” - a change that came after her transformation from paper-first to people-first leader, and after embracing the importance of learning about the business, technology, the critical nature of relationships, the importance of a growth mindset, speaking up, and learning to always put people before profits.
With expertise in people development, employee experience, strategic business planning, technology selection and deployment, wellbeing, employment branding, culture development and turnaround, leadership, team organizational and strategy development, Tracie gained broad experience across a wide range of industries in her nearly three decades in human resources, with much of her career focused on working with CEOs to develop people strategies to help change and enhance the culture, and help the organizations and their people grow. She began her career in HR while in college, interning with a global public transportation company, and advanced through the organization over the next five years. Tracie found her business home in SMBs, where she could have the most impact on the organization. She has led the HR function at an award-winning multi-state professional services firm; a Pulitzer-prize winning newspaper and publishing company, and a national private-equity owned wellness distribution and technology company.
Tracie has a bachelor's degree in psychology from The College of The Holy Cross, and a master's degree in human resources from Framingham State University. She is SPHR and SHRM-SCP certified; was the recipient of the 2019 GSHRC Ry Perry HR Hero Award; was named one of the 2020 “35 Employer Branding Experts” by Eightfold.ai; was named to the 2022 Most Inclusive Influencer List; was named by PeopleHum as one of the Top 100 Global Thought Leaders, by AIHR as one of 22 Innovative HR Leaders to Follow, by Skedda as one of 20 Chief People Officers to follow, a two-time Top 101 Engagement Influencers by Inspiring Workplaces, and a three-time top 50 Global HR Professionals by The OnCon Icon Awards.
Tracie is a global speaker on HR, leadership, technology and business issues. She is a co-founder of HR Rebels, HR on the House, DisruptHR NH and HR Rebooted, a founding member of Hacking HR Experts Council and CPOHQ, Chair of the ASA Women in Industry Executive Council and an Expert Council Member for Select Software Reviews. Her articles have appeared in CIO Review Magazine, Supply House Times, ASA Review, HR Jolt and HR Tech Outlook, and she has been a guest on numerous HR podcasts and interview series. Her HR expertise has been featured on the BBC, NPR, and in publications including USA Today, US News and World Report, Employee Benefits News, Chicago Sun-Times and The Wall Street Journal.
A bookworm and introvert who never spoke in class until college, in recent years Tracie started getting comfortable with being uncomfortable. Though she now realizes she (likely) won’t pass out speaking in public, to the media, or on camera, she still hates parties and crowds - but loves espresso and movies. She loves traveling, visiting Disney World with her family, visiting local coffee shops and hiking with her husband.