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City hires new HR director [UPDATED]

Published 9:25am Tuesday, April 8, 2014 Updated 11:26am Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Fergus Falls resident Mike Hartwell was hired Monday as the new human resources director for the city. The city council voted to authorize the hire, and Hartwell will start April 28.

With more than 25 years of experience, Hartwell has been the director of human resources and corporate health & safety for Sunopta, a multi-national food and mineral company headquartered in Canada, since 2001.

“I’m thrilled to be here,” Hartwell said to the council Monday.

Mike directed all aspects of human resources and health and safety for 25 different manufacturing sites and offices. He was responsible for a health and safety budget and strategic planning for the $1.3 billion company.

Before his work at Sunopta, Hartwell worked as a safety consultant for Minnesota Risk Services, as a human resources generalist and loss control coordinator for Cub Foods, a loss control and safety field specialist for Mills Fleet Farm stores, and a loss control manager for Target Stores.

Hartwell has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Minnesota and completed post baccalaureate work at Bethel University in St. Paul.

He has lived in Fergus Falls for the past 14 years with his wife and five children.

City Administrator Mark Sievert took over human resources duties in the interim after former HR director Brenda Cossette died in December from injuries she sustained in a head-on car crash near Pelican Rapids.

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