Jenny Mann, 39
Director of human resources, Hendrick Automotive Group
When the coronavirus pandemic hit last spring, key human resources training for Hendrick Automotive Group's 10,000 employees across 13 states could no longer happen in person.
For Jenny Mann, it was time to call an audible and pivot.
Then a regional human resources manager for Hendrick, Mann led the development of an online new-hire orientation and virtual training classes for managers on how to effectively interview candidates and hire them.
"It's a lot easier for them to hop into our training system and utilize those courses quickly versus having to schedule something," said Mann, who in March was promoted to Hendrick's director of human resources. "We're excited to continue to build that volume of training for them."
Early in the pandemic, Mann said she and others in her department were "engaged on an almost 24-7 basis with our dealerships" to answer managers' and employees' questions. Hendrick, of Charlotte, N.C., is the nation's fifth-largest new-vehicle retailer.
Hendrick didn't lay off anyone during the pandemic, Mann said. She helped administer a shelter-in-place pay program that guaranteed Hendrick employees at least 80 percent of earnings during restrictions that shut or limited store operations. That program paid $17.5 million to employees from mid-March through the end of June 2020.
Mann got interested in human resources during college when she did some basic tasks for the Navy general counsel's office at the Pentagon. After graduating from East Carolina University with a bachelor's degree in political science, Mann landed at George Mason University, working as an assistant in human resources. She worked for an engineering and construction company and in manufacturing before joining Hendrick nine years ago.
Mann also leads special human resources projects such as acquisitions, including Hendrick's 2020 purchase of a Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram dealership in Wilmington, N.C. The store had more than 120 employees who needed to go through the hiring process and an orientation program, she said.
"Coordinating that many people without a pandemic is a big task," Mann said. "And certainly adding that variable in was another ... layer to deal with."
— Melissa Burden