Jackie Brova ‘75 delivers LER’s 19th Annual Outstanding Alumni Lecture

The School of Labor and Employment Relations (LER) Homecoming Weekend was kicked off by Jackie Brova, a 1975 Labor Studies graduate and retired Executive Vice President of Human Resources at Church & Dwight, who delivered the school’s 19th Annual Outstanding Alumni Lecture on Thursday, October 8.  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,” said Brova. “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 lead 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. At the end of every year assess what you have learned and whether you are more employable,” said Brova. “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, Union Relations at Bethlehem Steel.

“I worked 300 feet underground in a coal mine during my first job. 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,” Bravo detailed, speaking of some of the unique experiences of her career.

After Penn State, Jackie received an MBA 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.”

Jackie currently is 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 non-profit music and arts organizations located in Bethlehem, PA.

In 2012 she was recognized by the University with the Liberal Arts Alumni Society – 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,

A complete video recording of the presentation is available on YouTube, courtesy of Jessica Steele.