City of Columbia Human Resources Director Margrace Buckler is set to retire Jan. 14 after 22 years with the city.
Starting as a Human Resources Department analyst in May 1998, Buckler was promoted to director in February 1999 following the retirement of her predecessor, Gloria Seabaugh, according to a city news release announcing her retirement.
As director, she helped lead a variety of public wellness programs. For example, in 2012, Employee Health & Wellness was relocated to human resources and began offering employees options to improve their life satisfaction and well being.
In 2013, through City U, employees were given access to supervisory training programs, leadership development for standard workers and new employee orientation. In 2011, 2013 and 2015, in a partnership with the Truman School of Public Affairs, employees were able to fill out engagement surveys. This practice was repeated in 2018 and 2020, the release noted.
“Most of my career has been in public service,” Buckler said in the release. “It has been a privilege to serve the city I choose as my home.”
“Many things have changed over 20 years and I am proud of how we have adopted new processes and implemented new and meaningful programs that have benefited not only city employees, but the community as well,” she said.
In the release, City Manager John Glascock praised Buckler’s work.
“Margrace ensured that human resources continually improved and sought opportunities for growth. Under her tenure, she laid the foundation of success for a future leader of the department to serve the community and city employees to the highest standards,” he said. “She has done a remarkable job leading the department and her leadership experience will be missed.”
The city plans to have an official replacement for Buckler by Dec. 1. The scouting process will be conducted nationwide, and the eventual replacement will be tasked with developing the city’s strategy regarding public life, as well as guiding and overseeing the application of various Columbia human resources services.