(Milwaukee) – Bethesda, a national nonprofit organization that supports individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, is pleased to announce it has named Diane L. Ekstrand, SPHR, as its new Chief Human Resources Officer. As a key member of the executive leadership team, Ekstrand is responsible for developing and executing human resource strategy in support of the overall business plan and strategic direction of the organization.
Ekstrand brings to Bethesda a highly accomplished history of executive leadership that includes talent optimization, performance management, leadership and employee development, and employee relations. Under Ekstrand’s leadership, Bethesda will seek to establish and implement HR efforts that effectively communicate and support Bethesda’s mission and strategic vision.
“At Bethesda, we are focused on providing an engaged team of employees that deliver and support services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to live full and empowered lives,” said Mike Thirtle, Ph.D., president and CEO of Bethesda. “Diane will be instrumental in fulfilling these goals, and we are delighted to have her leadership and guidance to support the organization’s evolution and growth.”
Ekstrand brings more than 15 years of human resource experience to her new role, having worked with a variety of financial service and health care organizations. Ekstrand most recently served as Vice President, Human Resources for Northwestern Mutual in Milwaukee. Prior to Northwestern Mutual, she was Vice President, Human Resources for Banner Health in Arizona and Aurora Health Care in Milwaukee.
“I’ve always been passionate about cultivating employees and building cultures that encourage them to thrive,” said Ekstrand. “I’m excited to bring that passion to Bethesda, an organization with an incredible mission, so that together we can further our commitment to the people we support across the country.”
Ekstrand earned a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. She also holds several professional certifications, including Senior Professional in Human Resources, and is an active member of the Metro Milwaukee Society for Human Resource Management and Professional Dimensions.
Headquartered in Watertown, Wis., Bethesda is a national organization providing homes and other services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and is celebrating its 115th anniversary in 2019. Bethesda strives to become a central point of connection that unites people who have disabilities with communities and provides essential resources to help them live their lives to the fullest. The organization offers more than 300 programs across the country, and is guided by Christian faith. For more information, go to https://www.bethesdalc.org, like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.