In 2010 the publisher Career Press approached Barbara Mitchell about writing another book. She had previously co-authored The Essential HR Handbook with Sharon Armstrong. When the proposal was accepted, and Sharon was otherwise engaged, Barbara reached out to her colleague, Cornelia Gamlem, with the offer to co-author The Big Book of HR. Drawing on their collective experience Barbara and Cornelia produced a great resource for HR professionals, managers, business leaders, small business owners, anyone who has to manage people.

Cornelia Gamlem

Barbara Mitchell

Cornelia Gamlem

Cornelia Gamlem SPHR is founder and President of the GEMS Group ltd, a management consulting practice that helps a wide range of clients with issues related to HR initiatives, business effectiveness and compliance. Prior to this she served in a senior HR leadership role at CSC, a Fortune 500 IT services company with a global presence. She likes to say that she's been in HR since "God was a girl."

An active volunteer with the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Cornelia has held a number of volunteer positions at the national level, including serving on its National Board of Directors, its Global Forum Board, and chairing its National Workplace Diversity Committee. She testified before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on behalf of SHRM several times.

She has also been active with national employers' groups focused on issues of equal employment opportunity, affirmative action and workplace diversity, where she served on a number of task forces that influenced public policy. She has supported HR professionals by serving as an instructor at number of colleges in the Washington DC metro area.

In addition to The Big Book of HR, Cornelia is the co-author of Roadmap to Success: 5 Steps to Putting Action into your Affirmative Action Program and Roadmap to Success: AAP Briefing for Managers. (Click for Book Details) She has written articles and white papers for professional and industry publications.

She is a graduate of Marymount University where she earned a Masters Degree in Human Resource Management and California State University, Sacramento where she earned her undergraduate degree in Business Administration. She achieved Life Certification as Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) from the Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI).

Barbara Mitchell

Barbara Mitchell is the Managing Partner of The Mitchell Group a human resources and organizational development consulting practice. She consults with a wide variety of clients on issues around people—hiring, retaining, engaging the best talent available. Most of her HR career was spent in senior leadership positions with Marriott International, Human Genome Sciences and as co-owner and Principal of The Millennium Group, LLC.

She entered the HR profession after gaining a strong business foundation and says, “working in HR was like coming home—I’d found what I was meant to do!”

Barbara has actively given back to the HR profession in a variety of ways. She served on the board of directors of the Employment Management Association, a professional emphasis group of SHRM and has been president of several SHRM chapters. She is a passionate supporter of the SHRM Foundation.

She is the co-author of The Essential HR Handbook, A Quick and Handy Resource for Any Manager of HR Professional (Click for Book Details), published by Career Press in 2008.  She contributed to On Staffing—Advice and Perspective from HR Leaders and Cover Letter for Dummies.  

She is graduate of North Park University, Chicago, Il, with a degree in history and political science. She has taken graduate level business courses at UCLA, the University of Denver, and Loyola University.

Barbara serves on the executive committee of the board of directors of the Northern Virginia Habitat for Humanity affiliate and is a volunteer at the Smithsonian's American Art Museum.

Both Barbara and Cornelia are frequent speakers to business groups and have been quoted in major publications including the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, Fortune, and the New York Times. Since writing The Big Book of HR, they have been interviewed in major markets around the country.

Other Books By The Authors:

The Conflict Resolution Phrase Book: 2,000+ Phrases For Any HR Professional, Manager, Business Owner, or Anyone Who Has to Deal with Difficult Workplace Situations
 By Barbara Mitchell and Cornelia Gamlem

The Conflict Resolution Phrase Book is a great resource that everyone should have at their fingertips to approach any difficult situation with the assurance that the words will come out right! You will learn:

  • Positive things to say when you’re initiating or responding to a difficult conversation.
  • How to find and craft language to start a conversation.
  • The right words for you to positively influence the situation.

The Conflict Resolution Phrase Book is a natural complement to the authors’ previous best-seller, The Essential Workplace Conflict Handbook. Click To Purchase.

The Essential Workplace Conflict Handbook
 By Barbara Mitchell and Cornelia Gamlem

Today’s workplaces are dynamic, so it shouldn’t surprise anyone that tension can develop quickly and ruinously. The Essential Workplace Conflict Handbook is the ideal resource for anyone ready to confront conflict at work rather than run from it. Managed correctly, conflict can be a positive source for innovation and creativity.

Using examples drawn from a wide range of corporate and entrepreneurial experiences, along with checklists and other practical tools, The Essential Workplace Conflict Handbook will help employees, managers at all levels, and business owners. Click To Purchase.

Roadmap to Success: Five Steps to Putting Action into your Affirmative Action Program
 By Cornelia Gamlem and Thomas Nail

This road map provides a model for developing an affirmative action program.  It provides a clear understanding of the responsibilities and requirement of affirmative action compliance as well as practical guidance for a successful program. Not only does it explain the distinction between an affirmative action plan, the broader program, and the difference between discrimination and affirmative action, but it includes checklists for self-evaluation of program compliance. Click To Purchase.


Buy The BIG BOOK of HR from Indie Bound here:

Buy THE BIG BOOK of HR from Amazon here:

Buy THE BIG BOOK of HR from Barnes and Noble here:


Joe Sherrier
VASHRM VAMCG booksigning