Jim Sennish Retirement
If you were to ask him, he would prefer not to receive the recognition. When asked, he expressed that if a story was to be written about him, rather than reflect on his work, he would prefer to paint a picture of the collective group’s accomplishments. “I will take a team award over an individual award any day,” says Firelands Regional Medical Center Vice President of Human Resources, Jim Sennish. Jim will be retiring from Firelands this April and is leaving behind an inspiring legacy. Jim’s mantra can best be described by the words of Winston Churchill: “Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.” That phrase has permeated over the course of his career.
Forty Years in Five Minutes
Jim has been working in the human resources field for nearly forty years, making his debut at Cedar Point. Working at the Bay Harbor restaurant, one could say Jim was in the right place at the right time while park leadership was dining one day in the early 1980s. After some conversation, he was offered and accepted a job in the human resources department as the assistant manager of personnel. To this day, Bay Harbor is still Jim’s favorite place in town to get a bite to eat, likely due to the fond memories he made there.
Since then, Jim has worked in human resources in many capacities. In 1987, he took a job at the City of Sandusky, working for one of his role models, Frank Link. During his time at the City, Jim utilized a strategy called interest-based bargaining as a practice to build employee satisfaction. With his collaborative efforts and team-mentality, Jim helped to make the City a better place than when he found it, clearing up 67 grievances within the fire department, for which he received the International Association of Fire Fighters Award for Distinguished Achievement. “I had the great pleasure of working directly with Jim. He set a great example by always addressing matters with a problem-solving mindset and an eye towards fairness and respect for the individuals involved,” Duffield Milkie, who worked with Jim at the City of Sandusky, explained.
Following his time at the City of Sandusky, Jim went on to become the director of human resources for Erie County, then in 2006, he started at Firelands Regional Medical Center. Considering healthcare wasn’t in his background, one could say he offered a fresh new perspective to the organization. Since he joined the team, Jim and his team have put Firelands on the map, achieving local, regional and national recognition. He will tell you, “People are the lifeblood of any organization, the foundation upon which everything else is built.” Firelands has grown from 1,600 employees to now over 2,500 during Jim’s time as a leader.
In his retirement, Jim looks forward to spending time with his family, especially his grandchildren, and traveling with his wife, Jody. He plans to continue to give back to the community with his involvement in many local organizations. A word Jim hopes to be remembered by is: welcoming. Jim has made a positive impact on Firelands, one that will be felt for years to come.