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Jackie Brova

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'75 Labor Studies | Retired Executive Vice President of Human Resources, Church & Dwight Co., Inc. | Washington Crossing, PA
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Jackie Brova

Jackie Brova '75 Labor Studies and retired Executive Vice President of Human Resources at Church & Dwight, delivered the School of Labor and Employment Relations' (LER) 19th  Annual Outstanding Alumni Lecture on Thursday, October 8, 2015.  Brova’s talk was titled “Golden Memories and Other Disasters: 40 Years on the HR Front Line,” and focused on the importance of networking and lifelong learning, while chronicling the lessons of her four decades in human resources and employee and labor relations.

“In a single day you could be in a multitude of meetings and conversations around a business,” Brova said. “Learn how to effectively make ties and connections in every single one. The ability to continuously expand your network is always a valued skill to have.”

At Church & Dwight, Brova led a global team responsible for leadership development, talent acquisition, compensation, benefits, HRIS, employee relations, and employee communications. Reporting to the CEO and Chairman, she worked closely with the company’s Board of Directors on executive compensation and governance matters.

“Building a resume is a lifelong process,” Brova said. “At the end of every year assess what you have learned and whether you are more employable. Learn the language of the business— this will be an advantage in your career and give you a better understanding, as well as more insight.”

Her previous experience includes roles as General Manager of Corporate Compensation and Benefits, as well as Manager of Union Relations at Bethlehem Steel.

“I worked 300 feet underground in a coal mine during my first job,” Bravo detailed, speaking about some of the unique experiences during her career. “I was threatened with a baseball bat at an entrance to a mine during a protracted work stoppage. I had a prosthetic leg thrown at me during a contract negotiation.”

After Penn State, Jackie received an M.B.A. from Moravian College. She also attended the University of Virginia’s Executive Development Program at the Darden School.

Her takeaways for the audience included advice aimed at current students as well as lifelong learners:

“What you learn at Penn State is essential. Utilize your network and connections you can make here,” she said. “People who work hard have more luck than those who do not work as hard. Luck and accomplishment come to those who value and reach for it.”

Church & Dwight Co., Inc., is a $2.7 billion consumer products company headquartered in Princeton, NJ that produces brands such as Arm & Hammer, Oxi Clean, Nair, Orajel, and First Response.

Her 30-plus year career spans three industries  mining, steel, and consumer products  and union (United Mine Workers of America, United Steelworkers, and Teamsters) and non-union settings. Jackie’s experiences encompass all aspects of human resources, including support of acquisitions, divestitures, and shutdowns. 

In 2012, Jackie was recognized by the University with the Liberal Arts Alumni Society Board's Service to Penn State Award. She also established a financial need-based scholarship for students in the Liberal Arts in the names of her parents, Victor and Joyce Brova.

Jackie is currently a member and past-co-president of the LER Affiliate Program Group Board, the school’s alumni organization.  She is also a board member and trustee for ArtsQuest, a nonprofit music and arts organizations located in Bethlehem, PA.

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