The St. Louis WIB's Vice-Chair Talks about her Connection to SLATE

Pat Coleman climbed the corporate ladder with an early boost from SLATE's job seeker services

July 2, 2013 | 2 min reading time

This article is 9 years old. It was published on July 2, 2013.


Pat Coleman photoJune of 1996 brought unexpected changes to Pat Coleman's life and career. After being laid off from her job as a Personnel Manager, she proceeded to create her own Human Resources company. She was hired as an HR Consultant by Behavioral Health Response, Inc., (BHR), before the end of that year. This career change culminated in December of 2012 with Ms. Coleman's promotion as BHR's newest President and CEO; simultaneously, she was elected Vice-Chair of the St. Louis Workforce Investment Board (WIB).

Coleman's rise to ultimate career success was made possible with the help of the St. Louis Agency on Training and Employment (SLATE). She is the first to admit that in the mid 1990s, the first time in her life without employment, she was without access to a home computer and had difficulty accessing the job market. She turned to SLATE for help and after attending career preparation programs, Pat updated her resume, refreshed her interviewing skills, and perhaps most importantly, obtained no-cost access to computers. "It was just nice to have such an open door to these services, especially when it's your first experience with being without a job," Coleman recalls.

Coleman stated that it was that access to services that gave her a moment to think about what she wanted to do with her career. "It wasn't [just]the fact that SLATE helped me to find a job, it was that SLATE gave me the tools to help me think about what I wanted to do at the time, and I decided to start my own HR consulting business," said Coleman.

BHR provides expert behavioral health, crisis response and corporate feedback services 24/7 to companies worldwide. Over the past 16 years working at BHR as a full-time employee and learning various aspects of the business,Coleman was able to advance to the very highest level. She continued to stay in touch with SLATE and in June of 2001 she joined the St. Louis Workforce Investment Board (WIB). "I bring my expertise in Human Resources to the Board,"says Coleman. "I'm always volunteering to do anything that's dealing with workforce development, re-training, resume writing, helping people to look for jobs."

As President and CEO of BHR, Coleman continues to support SLATE and its workforce initiatives with the local business community. "SLATE has a very good reputation with the companies it works with. I still believe [SLATE] is a hidden secret in helping professionals find work." Besides serving on the St. Louis WIB, Coleman is also a member of the Diversity Awareness Partnership Advisory Council and was a prior executive member of the local chapter of the National Association of African Americans in Human Resources (NAAAHR). Most recently, she became a member of the Mental Health America of Eastern Missouri Board and is an active member of the Mercy Seat Missionary Baptist Church. In addition, Coleman is an alumni of the St. Louis Business Diversity Initiative Fellows and Focus Leadership St. Louis programs.

A native of St. Louis, Coleman holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the Saint Louis University and MBA from the Fontbonne College. She is also serves as a surveyor at the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF), an independent, nonprofit accreditor of health and human services.

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