Virtual Panel Discussion- Public Sector Financial Wellness Programs in Action

Recorded On: 07/15/2021


Financial security is a key motivator in the workplace. Building an integrated financial wellness program provides employees with the resources to make important and personal financial decisions with confidence. This can have a significant impact on employee morale, productivity, and retention.

Join IPMA-HR as we highlight what three agencies learned after being awarded grants as part of a collaboration between the Center for MissionSquare Research Institute (formerly SLGE), the International Public Management Association for Human Resources (IPMA-HR), the National Association of State Treasurers' Foundation (NASTF), and Wells Fargo Financial Wellness Grant Program. According to MissionSquare Research Institute (formerly SLGE), MissionSquare Research Institute's survey on Finances and Employment Outlook due to COVID-19, 56 percent of respondents report that they and their families have been negatively impacted financially by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speakers from each agency will share what they learned under this grant program. They will discuss how the grant has helped start, grow, and enhance their employee financial wellness programs, and share the successes and challenges they have encountered.

Join us and benefit from their experiences and leverage what they have learned into your own programs.

Your Speakers:

  • Tamara Dixon (Moderator) - Human Resources Director/Chief Diversity Officer,  City of Northglenn, Colorado


  • Tiara Cooper - Employee Benefits Coordinator, Milwaukee County Transit System, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Lee Knottnerus - Deputy City Manager, City of Ridgefield, Washington
  • Kelley Smith - Human Resources Administrator, Wellness Works! Program Administrator, City of Cleveland Department of Human Resources


Tamara Dixon (Moderator)

Director of HR and Chief Diversity Officer

City of Northglenn, Colorado

Tamara Dixon is currently the Human Resources Director and Chief Diversity Officer for the City of Northglenn, in Northglenn Colorado. She has worked in the private and public sectors for Parson Consulting, City and County of Denver, City of Lone Tree, City of Wheat Ridge and Town of Parker, and as an adjunct professor for the University of Colorado at Denver. Ms. Dixon has spent her 20+ year career being a customer service practitioner, adept trainer, organizational development expert, and human resources specialist.  Her areas of expertise include diversity, equity and inclusion, culture change initiatives, performance management, leadership training, strategic planning, and retreat facilitation.

Tamara holds her bachelor’s degree in political science (BS) from Tuskegee University, master’s degree in public administration (MPA) from Auburn University (WAR EAGLE!) and Senior Certified Professional designation from both the International Public Management Association for Human Resources (IPMA-SCP) and the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM-SCP). She is past-President of the Western Region IPMA-HR and is the current elected Western Region representative for the PSHRA Executive Council. As part of the Executive Council, she has co-chaired the Governance and By-Laws subcommittees, and Region Advisory Committee Taskforce.

Leadership and service is her passion and raising 14-year-old Sydney Olivia is her joy!

Tiara Cooper

Employee Benefits Coordinator

Milwaukee County Transit System, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Idea woman, family-oriented, and creative, Tiara Cooper is the Employee Benefits Coordinator at Milwaukee County Transit System in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Tiara holds a bachelor’s degree in Hospitality Management from the illustrious Tuskegee University located in Tuskegee, Alabama. Her talents started while managing restaurants and bloomed a bit more while enrolled at Concordia University to obtain her master’s degree in Human Resource Management. Tiara’s favorite quote is:

I think that my job is to observe people and the world, and not to judge them. I always hope to position myself away from so-called conclusions. I would like to leave everything wide open to all the possibilities in the world.” ― Haruki Murakami

Lee Knottnerus

Deputy City Manager

City of Ridgefield, Washington

Lee is currently the Deputy City Manager for the City of Ridgefield, Washington. As the director of the Administrative Services Department, her work includes human resources, labor relations, and wellness.  She has worked as a Human Resource Director in a public sector environment (14 years).   She also has practiced as an attorney in a private law firm representing public and private employers in employment and labor law-related matters (10 years). Lee holds a Bachelor of Science in Sociology and Political Science from the University of Utah and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Oregon.

Kelley Smith

Human Resources Administrator, Wellness Works! Program Administrator

City of Cleveland Department of Human Resources

Kelley J. Smith currently serves as the City of Cleveland’s Wellness Works! Program Administrator in the Department of Human Resources.  In this role, she researches, creates, and implements well-being-related programming and activities for City employees and their families.   Kelley serves as a champion for the City’s employees, as she is the primary person in direct contact with them about the Wellness Works / Wealth Work$ program.  She and her assistant look for ways to encourage employees to take on a healthier lifestyle by incorporating the five dimensions of well-being adopted by the City of Cleveland. These five dimensions are physical, mental, environmental, occupational, and Financial. 

 Kelley is a key team member of the City’s HR Department.  She works with different community partners to bring resources to city employees, helping them to connect with healthcare agencies, fairs, mental health centers, financial institutions, community runs, and an array of other activities.  Kelley has been an employee with the City of Cleveland for almost 25 years, serving in various roles.  


Financial Wellness Programs in Action- A Virtual Panel Discussion
07/15/2021 at 1:00 PM (EDT)  |  Recorded On: 07/15/2021
07/15/2021 at 1:00 PM (EDT)  |  Recorded On: 07/15/2021 Financial Wellness Programs in Action- A Virtual Panel Discussion
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Certificate of Completion
Live and Archive Viewing: 1.00 IPMA-CP-IPMA-SCP Recertification Point credit and certificate available
Live and Archive Viewing: 1.00 IPMA-CP-IPMA-SCP Recertification Point credit and certificate available Certificate of Completion