Worked at Louisville Water since 2004
When Lorna Bille was looking for a new career opportunity nearly 20 years ago, work environments were a lot different than they are today, especially for women.
“Some of the things I remember that went on back in the late 80s and early 90s…I knew it wasn’t right, but I endured it because that’s what women did back then,” Bille said.
In 2003, Bille worked at a bank for predominately male executives and would often receive inappropriate comments from her boss.
“I left banking because I reported the harassment and my boss retaliated against me,” she said.
Seeking a fresh start, she applied at Louisville Water a year later.
“When I started working here, I was working for a strong female who was awesome and did not tolerate that kind of behavior. It was like walking out into the sunlight,” Bille said. “I started as a temp in 2004 for what I was told would be a two-week assignment. Seven months later, I was hired as the Human Resources/Labor Relations Administrative Assistant. Several years later, I was encouraged to go back and get my bachelor’s degree. I took full advantage of Louisville Water’s Tuition Assistance Program and was able to obtain my bachelor’s degree in Human Resources.”
As Louisville Water’s HR Coordinator, Bille does a bit of everything.
“I post all the internal union positions, administer the Tuition Assistance Program, complete employment verifications for employees, and manage employee files,” she said.
The best part of her job? The people.
“I enjoy meeting employees and getting to know them. I also appreciate what the company has been doing recently with Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) programs. I am very passionate about employees feeling included and psychologically safe enough to bring their authentic selves to work,” she said.
Bille is a member of the (EAC) Employee Activity Committee, the Culture Ownership Respect and Engagement (CORE) Council, and she also served on the Thomas Family Scholarship Selection Committee.
For someone seeking a career in HR, she gave the following advice:
“The first thing to remember, you can’t take things personally. Some people simply do not like HR. Empathy and good listening skills go a long way in developing partnerships. Secondly, education is essential, but it doesn’t replace on-the-job experience. You might consider taking an entry-level job in HR, an HR internship, or joining a local Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) group to develop your skill set,” she said.
When she’s not at work, Bille loves cooking, playing the piano, and attending church.
“I like to watch cooking shows and read cooking magazines. I write down lots of recipes that I’ll never try. I especially enjoy cooking with my father. We have perfected quite a few recipes in the past few years,” she said. “In addition to cooking, I enjoy singing. I grew up in a household filled with music. My brothers and I all started taking piano lessons before we were in first grade. My brothers excelled at it and even learned multiple instruments. Unfortunately, I do not share their musical genius. Despite my talent deficiencies, I am on our church’s praise and worship team. While I don’t usually play piano in public, I still enjoy playing the old hymns at home. It’s a great way for me to relax.”