Office of the Vice President
Jodi Gentry, Vice President for Human Resources
As vice president for Human Resources, Jodi Gentry oversees all human resources operations for faculty and staff at the University of Florida. This involves talent acquisition, benefits, professional development, classification and compensation, labor and employee relations, administrative communication services, and work life.
Through UFHR’s strategic commitment, she and her team are working to support preeminence through people by helping to:
- Identify, hire, and retain the best talent
- Develop leaders to manage and lead effectively—in a way that is fair and nondiscriminatory
- Reward faculty and staff both competitively and strategically
- Identify and manage risk responsibly
- Innovate and use technology to achieve operational HR excellence
- Foster an inclusive environment where employees feel welcomed, prepared, and engaged
The Vice President’s Office also manages Baby Gator child development centers and the HR Forum—a monthly meeting to keep HR staff throughout campus informed of relevant news and developments.
Gentry has a demonstrated history of supporting performance, accountability and achievement at the university, having recommended, developed and implemented organizational development activities for vice-presidential areas, colleges, departments and divisions over the course of her career at UF. With close to 30 years of human resources experience in higher education, Gentry previously served as assistant vice president for Human Resources, during which time she regularly led change management engagement efforts for high-level institutional initiatives and served as director for strategic initiatives for the Office of the Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. As director of UF Training and Organizational Development, Gentry founded the university’s Advanced Leadership for Academics and Professionals program as well as the UF Academy for emerging leaders.
Gentry holds a Master of Arts in Mass Communication with a specialization in public relations from the University of Florida and a bachelor’s degree in English from Berea College in Kentucky. She also is a Society of Human Resource Management Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP).
Melissa Curry, Assistant Vice President for Human Resources
As assistant vice president for Human Resources, Melissa Curry oversees the areas of Talent Acquisition and Onboarding, Employment Operations and Records, Immigration Services, and Classification and Compensation. Curry works with HR departments and UF units to identify, hire and retain the best talent, provide streamlined and efficient employment operations and assist with the implementation of UFHR’s Strategic Commitment.
Prior to this role, Curry served as the UFHR director of Recruitment and Staffing for 10 years. As director of Recruitment and Staffing, she led a number of system implementations, including ePAF, UF’s electronic personnel action form; GatorStart, UF’s online onboarding system; and Interfolio, an applicant tracking system designed to enhance the faculty experience. Curry also led the recruitment efforts for the Faculty 500 initiative and launched the Strategic Talent Group, an internal executive search group created to assist with UF’s high-level and difficult-to-fill positions.
Curry earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Iowa and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in higher education administration at UF. She is also a Society for Human Resource Management Senior Certified Professional (SPHR-SCP).
Maureen De Armond, Assistant Vice President for Human Resources
As assistant vice president for Human Resources, Maureen De Armond oversees Employee Relations. In her role, De Armond works with the other departments within Human Resources and across campus to assist with performance and conduct management, faculty and staff engagement, and UFHR’s Strategic Commitment.
Prior to joining UF in July 2017, De Armond served as associate university counsel at Iowa State University, where she specialized in labor and employment, disability and discrimination. While De Armond served all of campus, she primarily advised human resources, the senior vice president and provost, and the office of equal opportunity. At ISU, De Armond also chaired search committees; drafted and revised policies; developed and delivered academic and operational leadership training; advised on faculty and staff conduct and performance; investigated and responded to external civil rights charges; advised on ADA, FMLA and workers’ compensation; and served as the litigation liaison with the Iowa attorney general’s office.
De Armond has served in various legal and leadership positions since earning her law license, including as in-house legal counsel, director of corporate compliance and HIPAA privacy officer for a healthcare system in Illinois affiliated with the University of Illinois College of Medicine – Peoria. De Armond previously worked in the labor department, reporting through the human services division at Caterpillar Inc.’s world headquarters in Peoria, Illinois. She also worked as adjunct faculty at Bradley University, teaching an MBA course on the legal environment of business.
De Armond holds a Juris Doctor from the University of Iowa and bachelor degrees in history, German, and secondary education from the University of Northern Iowa. She is currently licensed to practice law in Iowa and maintains an inactive license in Illinois.
Brook Mercier, Director of Employee and Labor Relations
Brook Mercier oversees the entire UFHR – Employee Relations team and is responsible for planning and directing a comprehensive Employee and Labor Relations program for faculty and staff. Prior to becoming director, he served as associate director of Employee Relations. Mercier previously served as associate director for Classification and Compensation as well as Employee Relations manager for the Health Science Center and Facilities Services. Mercier joined the University of Florida in 2006 after seven years working in human resources in private industry. He enjoys the fulfillment of seeing managers and employees achieve success for their departments and the University of Florida.
Bob Parks, Director of Training and Organizational Development
As director of Training and Organizational Development (T&OD), Bob Parks works with his team to create a significant competitive advantage for UF through great leadership, team effectiveness and individual employee excellence. He has worked at UF as a trainer and OD consultant for more than 10 years. Before joining UF, he taught or trained in both university and corporate environments for more than five years. In his current role, Parks facilitates several of UF’s Leadership Development programs as well as courses in the Managing at UF certification program. He also provides strategic planning and other organizational development services to departments and work units across campus.
Brent Goodman, Associate Director of Classification and Compensation
Brent Goodman oversees the university’s classification and compensation systems in order to ensure the university’s compliance with applicable laws and regulations. He previously served as an Employee Relations manager, and prior to joining the University of Florida, he worked as a human resources manager in the private sector, including for Home Depot and Bass Pro Shops. In his role as associate director, Goodman works with university stakeholders to develop and implement programs that ensure market competitiveness and internal equity in order to attract, reward and retain high-performing faculty and staff.
Angie Brown, Assistant Director for Communications and Worklife
Angie Brown oversees electronic and print communications as well as worklife initiatives designed for UF faculty and staff. She helps facilitate internal change management efforts, providing strategic communication planning and execution for UFHR, the Office of the CFO and other university units. Brown brings more than 20 years of higher-education public relations experience to her role, including previous positions at Penn State and Oregon Health & Science University. She has served on the Board of Directors of the National Consortium for Building Healthy Academic Communities and is co-chair of the UF Healthy Gators Coalition.
VP Office Staff
Kara Sue Cobb, Executive Assistant
As the assistant to the vice president for Human Resources, Kara Sue Cobb is responsible for managing the VP’s schedule, correspondence on her behalf, the HR budget – overseeing all the financial transactions associated with HR – and works closely with many senior administrative assistants across campus. She coordinates numerous events hosted by HR and the VP’s office. Cobb supervises staff in the vice president’s office. In addition, she is responsible for ensuring UF employees’ financial disclosure compliance for the Florida Commission on Ethics. The University of Florida’s accreditation is reaffirmed every 10 years by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges – the regional body for the accreditation of degree-granting higher education institutions in the southern states. Cobb is responsible, on behalf of Human Resources, for processing reports demonstrating compliance with SACSCOC principles and standards, and their quality enhancement plan.
Cobb is a graduate of Abilene Christian University in Texas, where she received a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. Cobb joined UF in 1995 and came to UFHR in 2015 via the Office of the Vice President and General Counsel, the Vice President’s Office for Business Affairs, UF Development Corporation-Innovation Square and UF Historic St. Augustine.
Marie Johnson, Administrative Support Assistant
As an administrative support assistant for Human Resources, Marie Johnson serves as the first point of contact for the office, providing administrative support to all staff by processing HR financial transactions, including travel and expenses for the HR Management team; coordinating HR events, such as New Faculty Orientation; processing job postings, new hires and payroll; distributing mail; and managing incoming calls. Johnson joined UFHR as part of the Recruitment and Staffing team and later moved to the Vice President’s Office, where she has worked for more than five years. Before joining UF, Johnson worked for the Marion County Clerk’s Office in Ocala as a court clerk for the Felony Division.
Amber Wuertz, HR Management Analyst
As the HR management analyst for Human Resources, Amber Wuertz is responsible for guiding HR strategic initiatives to ensure successful implementation of new policies, programs and procedures. In her role, Wuertz conducts analyses of business process improvements and compliance with state/federal laws, and works closely with HR professionals, administrators, stakeholders and the campus community to evaluate effectiveness of proposed initiatives and to ensure process optimization.
Wuertz is a graduate of Western State College of Colorado, where she received a bachelor’s degree in sociology and a minor in journalism. In 2012, Wuertz graduated from UF’s Leadership Academy. Since joining UF Human Resources in 2006, Wuertz has served in roles in Recruitment and Staffing, Employee Relations, and Classification and Compensation. She has overseen and/or been a key decision-maker on previous and current initiatives including OnTarget, Success at Work and the Compensation project.