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W&M chief human resources officer accepts private sector job

  • John Poma:
    John Poma:  Under his leadership, the university began managing its own Optional Retirement Plan, improved its performance management program, expanded training and employee benefit options and worked to improve salaries for faculty and staff.  Photo by Stephen Salpukas
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William & Mary’s chief human resources officer will be leaving that position at the end of the calendar year.

John Poma ’86, M.B.A. ’00, who started at W&M in 2014, has accepted an executive position in the private sector.

“In his time with William & Mary, John has made a major impact,” said Sam Jones, senior vice president for finance and administration, in an email to the W&M administration. “He will be missed as a colleague and a leader.”

During his time at the university, Poma had two main goals: make William & Mary the preferred employer in the region and one of the best places to work in higher education.

“During his time as CHRO, significant progress was made toward both goals,” said Jones.

Under his leadership, the university began managing its own Optional Retirement Plan, improved its performance management program, expanded training and employee benefit options and worked to improve salaries for faculty and staff, Jones said.

“William & Mary has been a big part of my life, and it is this deep connection to my alma mater that first drew me to my current role,” Poma said in an email to campus colleagues. “It has been a true privilege to lead our human resources area and serve as an advocate for faculty and staff. Throughout my time at William & Mary, I strived to cultivate an inclusive campus community where we are recognized as both a great university and a great place to work. I am proud of what we have accomplished together.”

Poma majored in government at W&M and then attended Emory Law School. He has stayed closely connected to his alma mater since, serving as the chair of his five-year reunion classes, a member of the Young Guard Council, president of W&M’s Richmond alumni chapter and a member of the Business Partners Board for the Raymond A. Mason School of Business. He received a Young Alumni Service Award in 2000 and an Alumni Service Award in 2005.

Poma arrived at W&M with more than 25 years of experience in human resources management and leadership. He served as executive vice president for corporate development and general counsel for the health management firm n1Health, LLC, before becoming its president. Poma also worked for Massey Energy Company as its corporate counsel, vice president for human resources and vice president and chief administrative officer. At Alpha Natural Resources, which acquired Massey, Poma served as the vice president for enterprise risk management.