General Info > News Releases > News Releases 2011-12 > 09/06/2011: Karen Chaty Honored For 35 Years Of Service

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – September 6, 2011 

MENDOCINO COLLEGE, 1000 Hensley Creek Road, Ukiah, CA 95482

Contact:         Jim Mastin, Director of Public Information & Auxiliary Services




Director of HR, Karen Chaty, honored for 35 years at Mendocino College


Karen Chaty, Director of Human Resources, was recently honored for 35 years of service to Mendocino College (MC).


Chaty was originally hired in 1976, when MC was still located at the Ukiah Fairgrounds. “I was an Administrative Assistant to Dean Robert Barnett,” she recalls. “At that time, I assisted with the employment of part-time faculty and scheduling their classes.” She remembers sharing an office with Arlene Colombini, who, Chaty says, “was one of the first College employees and a great mentor for me.”


Three years later, she moved to Personnel Services, as it was then known, along with some of her job duties, to work as the Personnel Technician, when the college first established the department.


Later renamed Human Resources, the department moved to temporary quarters several times as the new college campus was constructed, including a warehouse on Mazzoni Street and a building behind the Ukiah Theatre. “We were so excited,” she recalls, “when we finally moved to the permanent Ukiah campus!”


While working at MC, Chaty completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Sonoma State University and a Masters Degree in Human Resource Management from Golden Gate University. She became the Director of Human Resources in 1986.


Born in Little Rock, Arkansas, Chaty's family moved to Southern California when she was a young child.  In the sixties they lived in Fort Bragg, where she attended junior high and graduated from Fort Bragg High School.


Chaty then earned an Associate Degree from Santa Rosa Junior College (SRJC) while working as an Administrative Assistant for Santa Rosa Shoe Company, a manufacturing business. She explains that she always worked while attending college, completing her education without going into debt. “It was also an opportunity to gain skills along the way,” she says. As a bonus, she met her husband, Dennis, through a co-worker at the shoe company. 


When she was hired at MC, the couple moved to Ukiah, where Chaty’s family had settled.  Her father, John Brumett, owned United Land & Timber Realty for many years.


Chaty says what she enjoys most about her job is resolving complex issues, opportunities to be creative, and the many wonderful people with whom she has worked over the years. She says keeping up with the ever-changing legal aspects of Human Resources is the most challenging part of her job.


Everything about the College has changed in the last 35 years,” according to Chaty. She feels fortunate to have started working in Human Resources early on, as she was able to learn the increasingly complex rules and regulations as Mendocino College and the California Community College system evolved.


Superintendent/President Kathy Lehner says of Chaty: “Karen is a tremendous support to me in my job as President. I would even venture to say that I couldn’t do my job without her. The knowledge she has gained from her years of experience, and her continual review of new laws and regulations, make her invaluable to me and to Mendocino College.”


“The College has had such a positive impact on our communities over the years, and I have very much enjoyed being part of it all,” says Chaty.


In her free time, Chaty and her husband have fun keeping up with their daughter, Melissa, who was Miss Mendocino County 2002 and Miss California 2007.  In August they traveled to

San Diego where she sang with the San Diego Symphony, and this Fall they are going to

New York, where she currently resides, to see her in the play, Camelot.



Created: September 26, 2011 @ 04:24 PM
Last Modified: July 31, 2012 @ 03:12 PM


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