Michelle Crabtree has assumed the role of human resources director in the Town of Vienna. She replaces Maggie Kain, who retired on Feb. 1.
Crabtree comes to the Town of Vienna after working in the hotel industry human resources for a quarter-century. For the past 15 years, she worked at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City, also providing HR support for other Hyatt hotels in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, DC. One of her career highlights was in 2019 when the Hyatt Regency Crystal City was named a Washington Post Top Workplace.
The Town of Vienna had 72 applications in a nationwide search to fill the human resources position.
“Michelle’s deep experience in human resources leadership and her high level of customer service experience caught our attention, but it’s Michelle’s professionalism and appreciation of the value of employees at every level that set her apart from other candidates,” said Town Manager Mercury Payton in a statement.
Before working in the hotel industry, Crabtree spent eight years at Walmart, first as a college intern and utlimately a store manager. As an intern, she appreciated Walmart founder Sam Walton’s Saturday morning management meetings and his “management by walking around” philosophy.
“When you get to know employees and about their families and what they like, when you develop a relationship with them, then they feel more connected and work harder for the organization,” she said. “That’s why you’ll find me out of my office more than in it sometimes. I’ll be out getting to know people and learning about their lives.”
In addition to her passion for people, Crabtree enjoys the unpredictability of working in human resources.
“Every day is different. You never know who’s going to come to you needing help,” she said.
Crabtree is a proud fourth-generation graduate of Purdue University. She graduated from Purdue in 1990 with a bachelor’s degree in consumer sciences and met her husband of 16 years through a Purdue alumni event. They have two children, Emily, 14, and Tyler, 11. Emily plans to become an oncologist, inspired by her brother, who was diagnosed with pre-B acute lymphoblastic leukemia as a toddler and celebrated his five-year anniversary of completing treatment last spring. In her free time, Crabtree runs half-marathons, and the family enjoys going to the beach, biking, and spending time with their pandemic puppy, Sunny.