Gahanna's first human-resources director will leave the city for a position with the Central Ohio Transit Authority.

Gahanna's first human-resources director will leave the city for a position with the Central Ohio Transit Authority.

Since her 2002 hiring, Kristen Treadway has built Gahanna's human-resources department from the ground up but last week left for new challenges as COTA's vice president of human resources and labor relations.

Although much work remains in Gahanna, Treadway said, she helped Gahanna advance services and efficiencies by improving the hiring process, lowering the money paid to outside legal counsel for labor and improving employee relations, resulting in fewer labor disputes.

During her tenure, Treadway also added numerous policies, procedures and programs, from job descriptions and a performance appraisal system to the implementation of an insurance-incentive program for employees and their spouses, using biometric testing to determine what insurance premiums they would pay.

Treadway also helped move the city to a self-funded program for workers' compensation and instituted the first early retirement-incentive program, each of which are expected to save the city more than $1 million over five years.

"Gahanna has one of the lowest employee-to-citizen ratios in the area, and it is because the city truly has the best municipal team in all of central Ohio," she said. "Many of our leaders are similar to me and have a private-sector background in addition to our public-sector experience, which helps us function and run the city more as a business; however the dedication all of the employees have to the citizens of Gahanna is second to none."

Gahanna employees continually step up to do more and more with less, Treadway said.

"Leaving the work family I have become a part of is one of the hardest things I have had to do," she said. "My position would not exist if not for the people who work for the city, and I have dedicated the past nine years to supporting them.

"The support every employee has given me to institute the culture of human resources into the city has been tremendous. I will truly miss everyone, and I thank everyone for all they have provided me," she said.

Labor relations at COTA are a tremendous opportunity, Treadway said, adding that she's looking forward to it.

Brian Hoyt, Gahanna's public-information officer, said everyone in the city is sad to see Treadway leave.

In her new position, Treadway will be responsible for implementing strategic human-resource goals and objectives, promoting healthy and effective employee relations and overseeing the development and implementation of comprehensive training, education and employee development programs that encourage individual and organizational success.

"We are pleased to have such a knowledgeable and motivated person leading our human-resources team," said Bill Lhota, COTA president and CEO. "Kristen has proven to be an excellent communicator, and her experience will significantly contribute to COTA's operations. She will be an invaluable addition to the company."