Berlin resident gives out HR scholarships, including to residents of Newington and Southington

Published on Monday, 8 February 2021 16:08
Written by Erica Drzewiecki


BERLIN – People are her passion, and helping them is what Andy Thiede does best.

The Berlin resident has served in the industry of Human Resources (HR) for over 25 years, and this year is giving out close to $2,000 to boost the careers of four other HR professionals.

The 2021 Andy Thiede HR Scholarship recipients were JoAnn Masi of Newington, Tim Sullivan of Southington, Deaci-Ann Wallen of Enfield and Elisabet Torres of Meriden.

The scholarship will subsidize the cost of preparation and testing for an advanced HR certification, which many consider essential to the field.

“Not every HR professional is certified, so right off the bat you’re setting yourself apart from others,” Thiede said. “Certification is a really important credential. It shows a prospective employer that an individual is continuously learning in order to maintain and grow their knowledge base.”

As a longtime member of the Human Resources Association’s Central CT chapter and the Society for Human Resource Management, Thiede continues to empower herself and keep up with the changing landscape of her field.

“Through my involvement with these organizations I was able to meet peers, attend events and further my education,” she said. “I learned about the certification and became certified myself. Because of all the good things that came my way as a result, this was something I really wanted to do to give back to people.”

Maintaining SPHR and SHRM-SCP membership requires re-certification every three years. Individuals must constantly pursue educational and professional development opportunities in order to meet minimum credit requirements.

“I have great respect and admiration for those who understand the value of continuous education,” Thiede said.

Each of the four scholarship winners work in a different facet of HR and those unique experiences inspired their pursuit of professional advancement.

Masi spent much of her career in hospitality before the hotel she worked at shut down as a result of the tough economic times. The Andy Thiede Scholarship has allowed her to hone the skills necessary to expand her career with ample opportunity for advancement.

A board of advisors assist Thiede in the selection of finalists for the annual award. Criteria includes having a vested interest in the field of HR and a desire to earn certification, thus enhancing one’s career.

Her first scholarship was awarded in 2016.Since then, Thiede has contributed over $6,000 help advance the careers of up-and-coming leaders in the field.

Thiede is currently working as an independent consultant with Glastonbury-based HR firm KardasLarson.

Erica Drzewiecki can be reached at

Posted in New Britain Herald, Berlin, Newington, Southington Herald on Monday, 8 February 2021 16:08. Updated: Monday, 8 February 2021 16:10.