She Leads – With Denise Luders


Denise Luders

Job Title

Human Resources, Benefits & Payroll Manager, CEI

What would you tell your younger self?

Don’t go into credit card debt!

What was your major in college and how did you get to the position you are in today?

BBA with Specialization in Human Resources Management. I started in admin/clerical/entry level positions, worked my way into an exec admin. position, then saw a role for payroll open up, then just went up from there.

What was your inspiration and what helped you become successful? How do you define success?: 

Coworkers that lifted me up, having the support of my family and friends. Success to me is being content in your job and where you are at in life. You don’t have to be rich to be successful. If you love what you do and who you’re doing it with, then I’d call you successful!

How do you balance your work and personal life? Often times one has more importance, and we’re curious to know how you’ve handled the balance.

I learned this the hard way… I was left to manage 3 Home Care offices in a division of about 300 miles with 40 clinicians and over 200 patients by myself. I worked 65+ hour work weeks for months on end and burned myself out. I woke up one morning and said no more. From then on, unless it was mandatory that I work over my hours, I clocked in and out at my start and stop time. I make it a point to take my full lunch away from the desk or office, I schedule and take my vacations and don’t bring work with me, and I start and stop at my scheduled times still. Having that balance is sometimes hard to find, but it’s key to not burning yourself out.

What is your favorite quote?

“Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.” – Unknown

What’s your favorite part of your job and why?

 I like interviewing people because I get to meet all different kinds of people with different interests and stories. No two people are ever the same, it’s great!

What is your favorite hobby?

 I love yoga! And anything to do with dogs, and shopping, and traveling.

What advice do you want to give the next generation of women leaders? 

 Be assertive. Fight for what’s right. Stand up for yourself. Don’t be afraid to say no!

What does leadership mean to you?

Leadership means walking with your team as well as leading them. Know what your team does, don’t be afraid to get down in the trenches and get dirty with your team when necessary. They’ll respect you for it. Communication is key, too!

What’s your advice on mentoring?

Find a mentor that sparks your interests or things you admire about them. Someone who is willing to push you but also encourage you.

What’s your favorite ice cream? 

Chocolate anything, as long as there are no nuts.