Amy Brayford believes that hard work and being inquisitive has contributed to her success.

“I learned early on that career progression was not always about getting promoted and moving up. There is a lot to be learned from lateral moves that allow you to take on new challenges and responsibilities that may be out of your comfort zone. At the end of the day those skills and capabilities can make you more marketable,” says the executive vice-president and chief of staff at Geisinger.

Within Geisinger she is responsible for human resource operations, philanthropy, diversity, equity and inclusion, and board relations. She has worked closely with teams who manage internal audits, privacy, information security and compliance with the chair of the board audit committee.

“Every day is different and an opportunity to help someone, whether that’s our employees, patients, members or communities at large. It’s energizing to have the chance to make a difference like that every day,” she notes.

She is a graduate of Bloomsburg University and Ithaca College. She has been employed at the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation; an instructor at the Schuylkill Intermediate Unit and Harrisburg Area Community College; before landing at Geisinger where she worked her way up from human resources generalist and several other HR roles to her current position.

“Along the way, relationship building has been key to my career growth as well as in everyday work. Being approachable, helpful, and responsive is key to relationship building. Being available to others is something we can do as leaders to help everyone we work with live up to their potential,” she acknowledges.

Brayford has been very fortunate to work with great leaders who have been both supportive and challenging.

“They helped me understand not just success, but also how to deal with failure, which is equally, if not more, important,” she noted. Two leaders in particular have impacted her professional trajectory – the late Tom Joseph at Bloomsburg University gave her the first role as a ‘leader’ and challenged her to think differently about her next steps. The second was the former chief human resource officer at Geisinger, Rich Merkle, who challenged her to be better each day.

She believes learning is very important and not just formal education but understanding how one can grow and learn from everyday work experiences and training opportunities can be invaluable.

Her husband, Fran Shukausky, and children, Addie, Nick and Charlie, have always been supportive and understanding. “They have helped me balance work and family demands,” she noted. She supports her children in school activities including high school and college band, drama club, soccer and track.

Her parents have been amazing role models who set high expectations and strong examples of a work ethic and independence.

Brayford has received the Patriotic Employer award for support of the National Guard and Reserves, and the Geisinger recognition for work in diversity, equity, and inclusion. “I am passionate about that work and how we can have a positive impact on our communities and each other by being a workplace that’s welcoming and supportive to everyone from any walk of life,” she notes.

Having grown up in Schuylkill County, Brayford never thought she would live and work in the area again, as well as spend so much time with one employer, over 25 years, but Geisinger and the communities in Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania provided her the ability to grow personally and professionally.

She is a trustee on Bloomsburg University council of trustees; chair of the Academic Affairs committee and a member of the Student Success/Campus Life & Enrollment committee.

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