Onward Solutions is a full service Human Resources and Business Solution consulting firm founded by a team of three executives with complimentary backgrounds and collectively over 75 years of progressive experience. Our comprehensive experience managing human resources and enterprise operational functions, affords us the ability to leverage innovation and best practices gained through our diverse backgrounds, which we are confident will benefit our clients.
Every engagement is unique and our goal is to align with each organization's business objectives to ensure we are continuously bringing value and increasing your bottom line by providing efficient solutions. This is accomplished through remaining “customer focused” while maximizing the potential of people, focusing on continuous improvement, and leveraging our expertise to drive cost savings and cost avoidance.
Lorrie Jacobs is a founding partner of Onward Solutions, LLC in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. With over 25 years of extensive human resources experience, she has successfully led human resources activities for both small and large, private and public, diverse and complex companies. Her roles of increasing responsibility encompass administering, evaluating and managing multiple key human resources functions.
Ms. Jacobs joins Onward Solutions from Chesapeake Energy Corporation, the second-largest producer of natural gas, where she was employed since 1995, most recently as the Vice President of Compensation and Benefits. During her tenure at Chesapeake, a period of rapid growth primarily through mergers and acquisitions, the workforce increased from 100 employees to more than 12,000. She assisted the business in building a first- class workplace and successful human resources department, leading all functions, budgets and departmental staff supporting Payroll, Company Travel, Corporate Wellness, Corporate and Employee Events, Human Resources Information Systems (HRIS) and various due diligence and employee integration responsibilities as needed to support the company’s A&D activities. A leader in workplace satisfaction for seven years running, Chesapeake has been recognized by FORTUNE magazine as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For®.
Ms. Jacobs’ significant accomplishments at Chesapeake include her successful oversight and administration of a $100+ Million self-funded medical/pharmacy and dental plan, covering more than 20,000 employees and dependents. Her influence in developing top-tier benefit and wellness programs led to the creation and operation of on-site facilities to service employees including a credit union, health clinic and pharmacy. Other programs she developed, and for which she provided ongoing leadership in support of the Company’s comprehensive wellness efforts, include an annual health and safety expo, biometric screenings, mental health awareness campaign, educational lunch and learns and on-site chaplain services. In support of these and other corporate programs, she was responsible for the design and execution of large scale employee and corporate communication plans (e.g., open enrollment, personalized benefit statements, benefit summary plan descriptions and online compensation reviews). Responsible for leading Chesapeake’s Compensation programs, she developed the performance management system and managed industry competitiveness through participation in various compensation and benefit surveys, periodic benchmarking and active participation in Energy 27 and her initiation of the Oklahoma City Metro Area Human Resources/Benefits Quarterly Roundtable, comprised of senior Human Resources leaders from numerous local peer companies.
In addition to development of innovative programs, she was responsible for re-evaluating the Company’s Human Resources Information Systems (HRIS) and subsequently selected and led the implementation and ongoing administration of PeopleSoft, Chesapeake’s first enterprise platform system. Prior to joining Chesapeake, she began her human resources career in 1985 for Orscheln Industries in Moberly, Missouri.
Ms. Jacobs is well respected within the Oklahoma City community and serves on several nonprofit boards. She is a current member of Leadership Oklahoma City’s Signature Program, the Society for Human Resources Management and the Southwest Benefits Association. In addition to her proven leadership abilities, she brings to her clients superior problem-solving, communication and multi-tasking skills. She is a self-starter who enjoys tackling challenges and is most comfortable when involved in a wide scope of activities. A no-nonsense problem solver, she’s a leader in designing, evaluating and modifying human resources, compensation, benefits and wellness activities to ensure that programs are current, compliant and market competitive.
Mary Whitson, founding partner of Onward Solutions, is an accomplished Human Resources leader with more than 16 years’ experience leading a comprehensive range of human resources activities for multi-billion dollar, public energy companies. Her progressive experience spans more than 28 years of actively creating and managing HR programs in start-up and growth companies, both public and private, ranging from 100 to 4,500 employees and operating in multiple states.
Prior to launching Onward Solutions, Ms. Whitson was the Senior Vice President - Corporate and Human Resources for SandRidge Energy, an oil and natural gas exploration company headquartered in Oklahoma City, OK from July 2011 through November 2013 and Senior Vice President - Human Resources from September 2006 through June 2011. In these roles, she provided leadership to diverse corporate departments, including all functions and budgets associated with Human Resources, Office Services, Corporate Security, Facilities and construction projects. Reporting directly to the CEO, she provided advice and counsel to executive leaders and senior management regarding compensation, performance management, reorganizations related to mergers, acquisitions and divestitures and many complex HR issues. Additionally, she worked closely with the Company’s Board of Directors through her support of the BOD’s Compensation Committee, participating in regular communications with the Chairman and other Committee members, preparing meeting agendas and supporting documents, participating in regular meetings and drafting meeting minutes. In April 2013, she collaborated with executive management and compensation consultants to develop new executive and non-executive compensation programs and communicate to employees within a 60 day period. In her role supporting the Facilities function, she served as a key member of the team responsible for design and oversight of the SandRidge Commons building program, including concept and launch of a new Company-owned restaurant, which opened to the public December, 2012 in downtown Oklahoma City.
As Vice President - Human Resources for Chesapeake Energy Corporation through August 2006, Ms. Whitson was responsible for employee relations, management development, staffing, and oversight of the qualified and non-qualified retirement plans. The Company’s rapid growth through multiple mergers and acquisitions provided her valuable experience leading associated HR responsibilities from due diligence to integration. Prior to joining Chesapeake, her HR career was launched in 1986 during her employment with FKW, Incorporated, an architecture and multi-state government services contracting firm. Ms. Whitson built the department from the ground up and her responsibilities encompassed employee relations, benefits, Affirmative Action compliance and participating with management in collective bargaining and grievance resolution.
Ms. Whitson received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Central Oklahoma and is a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR). She is a member of the Society for Human Resources Management, alumna of Leadership Oklahoma City’s Signature Program and an active community volunteer. She has served on the Board of Directors for Leadership Oklahoma City, the Arts Council of Oklahoma City and currently, the YWCA of Oklahoma City. She was recognized in 2010 as a Distinguished Alumni of the University of Central Oklahoma and was an honoree of the Journal Record’s 50 Making a Difference in 2006 and 2009. Ms. Whitson brings to her consulting clients extensive employee relations and A&D experience, a history of building efficient processes from the ground up, a passion for problem solving and doing whatever it takes to get the job done. She is self-motivated, results-focused and able to simultaneously manage multiple projects in fast-paced, high-energy environments.
WE INTEGRATE WITH YOUR COMPANY AND PROVIDE INNOVATION
AND BEST PRACTICES TO MAXIMIZE HUMAN CAPITAL,
REDUCE COSTS, AND CREATE EFFICIENCIES.
Let us know what we can do for you.