City of Columbia announces retirement of Human Resources Director Margrace Buckler in January 2021
(COLUMBIA, MO) - City of Columbia Human Resources Director Margrace Buckler will retire effective Jan. 14, 2021, after 22 years of service with the City of Columbia.
Buckler began her career with the City in May 1998 as an analyst in the Human Resources department and was promoted to director in February 1999 after the retirement of then Director Gloria Seabaugh.
"Most of my career has been in public service," Buckler said. "It has been a privilege to serve the city I choose as my home. Many things have changed over 20 years and I am proud of how we have adopted new processes and implemented new and meaningful programs that have benefited not only city employees, but the community as well."
During Buckler's tenure, Human Resources has implemented a number of programs and enhancements. In 2012, Employee Health & Wellness was relocated to Human Resources and now offers employees many options for improving all aspects of their health and well-being. Healthy employees reduce absences and reduce health care costs. In 2013, City U was created, and for the first time, supervisory training programs, leadership development for non-supervisors and new employee orientation became standard practice. In addition, employee engagement surveys were conducted in 2011, 2013 and 2015 as part of an academic exercise with the Truman School of Public Affairs. This exercise culminated in additional employee engagement surveys in 2018 and 2020.
"Margrace ensured that Human Resources continually improved and sought opportunities for growth. Under her tenure, she laid the foundation of success for a future leader of the department to serve the community and city employees with the highest standards," City Manager John Glascock said. "She has done a remarkable job leading the department and her leadership and experience will be missed."
A nationwide search will be conducted for the position, which has the primary responsibility for developing the City’s "people strategy," guiding and managing the delivery of citywide human resources services. Human Resources has a staff of 18 and is responsible for employee benefits, City University, classification/compensation, compliance, employee performance, employee relations, payroll support, recruitment/hiring and wellness. The director serves on the management team for labor relations and negotiations.
The City plans to name a replacement for Buckler by Dec. 1 to ensure time for a transition to new leadership.