Kathy Roberts recently joined the McCullough Creative team as a human resources generalist. Whether it’s at work or in the office, she’s always aiming for improvement.

Kathy Roberts has a wealth of experience in human resources.  When she's away from work, she is always looking to go outside her comfort zone — whether that means attending rock concerts to embarking on a parasailing adventure. 


Jeff: Hi, Kathy, thank you for joining me today. And welcome to the team here at McCullough! Can you start by telling me what you will be doing here?


Kathy: Of course! My title is human resources generalist. So I will oversee employee performance management, benefits, payroll, and employee relations.  I have about 30 years of human resources experience and I’ve spent that time primarily working in the healthcare and not-for-profit sectors.


Kathy takes to the skies with her husband, Jeff.


Wow. Definitely a lot of HR experience! What is it about HR that kept you in the industry? What do you enjoy about it?


I love building relationships with the employees. That is key. I love being a resource for people, and I think I can bring a lot to the table with my experience and my background.


What’s the key to being successful and doing your job well?


I think it is so important to understand the big picture. You cannot operate in a vacuum. So you have to know the processes and the different roles people have in the company and how they interconnect. I am always looking for improvement – how to make things better, or more efficient, or how to give employees more access to information or resources. Once you alleviate employees of those concerns, they are free to focus on what they’re good at and what they need to focus on.


Are you a lifelong Dubuque resident?


I was born and raised here but moved around a bit as well. I met my husband Jeff in South Bend, Indiana, and I lived there for about 17 or 18 years before I eventually moved back to Dubuque. The thing that drew me back is I was just so impressed by how far Dubuque had come as a community. The way the city’s values had evolved and the way Dubuque didn’t seem like it was stuck in the past.


Kathy Roberts family

The Roberts family. 


Tell me a bit about your family.


Well, my husband Jeff is an administrator at Loras College, and we have two boys, Nick and Gabe, who are juniors at Wahlert High School.


What do you like to do when you’re out of the office?


There are a few things that come to mind. I really like playing games. We have a group of friends that gets together and plays cards. And I became really interested in home-improvement projects during the pandemic. We also attend a lot of concerts as a family.


I’m intrigued. What kind of concerts do you go to as a family? Do you like the same music?


I’ve really made a conscious effort to be more interested in the things that interest my kids. A couple years ago we all went to the Hella Mega Tour, which was a concert with Green Day, Weezer, and Fall Out Boy. Later this year we’re seeing a band called AJR at Summerfest in Milwaukee, and we’re seeing the band Twenty One Pilots in the Twin Cities in August.


Kathy and friends enjoying a concert.


So card games, home improvements, concerts. Pretty eclectic group of hobbies there. Anything else?


I like to keep trying things that are outside of my comfort zone. I’ve always been afraid of heights, so last year I made a commitment to take the boys ziplining in the Wisconsin Dells. This spring, we went to Destin, Florida, and I went parasailing with the family. I didn’t want to just sit on the sidelines and watch, so I tried it out.


Talk about conquering fears. That’s great. What’s next, bungee jumping?


(Laughs) I don’t know about that one.