In 2011 when Career Press accepted Barbara Mitchell’s proposal to write another book, she reached out to her colleague, Cornelia Gamlem, with the offer to co-author The Big Book of HR. Drawing on their collective experience Barbara and Cornelia produced a great resource for HR professionals, managers, business leaders, small-business owners, and anyone who has to manage people. A writing partnership was born. Since its publication, they’ve written The Essential Workplace Conflict Handbook, The Conflict Resolution Phrase Book and The Manager’s Answer Book. They also collaborate on a weekly blog, Making People Matter. They are likely to write more books in the future.

Both Barbara and Cornelia are influencers to the business and HR communities. They are frequent speakers to business groups and have been quoted in major publications including the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, Fortune, The New York Times, and Forbes. They have been interviewed in major radio markets around the country and contributed articles to numerous blogs and websites, including,,, CEOWorld Magazine,,, and

Barbara Mitchell is an author, speaker, and the Managing Partner of The Mitchell Group, a human resources and organizational development consulting practice. She consults with a wide variety of clients on issues around people—helping them successfully hire, develop, engage, and retain the best talent available. Most of her HR career was spent in senior leadership positions with Marriott International, Human Genome Sciences, and as co-owner and Principal of The Millennium Group International, LLC.  She is also co-author of The Essential HR Handbook, published by Career Press in 2008.

She entered the HR profession after gaining a strong business foundation and says, “Working in HR was like coming home—I’d found what I was meant to do!”

Barbara has actively given back to the HR profession in a variety of ways. She served on the Board of Directors of the Employment Management Association and has been president of several SHRM chapters. 

She is a graduate of North Park University, Chicago, IL, with a degree in history and political science. She has taken graduate level business courses at UCLA, the University of Denver, and Loyola University.

Barbara is a video presenter/docent at the Smithsonian's American Art Museum and is a past member of the executive committee of the board of directors of the Northern Virginia Habitat for Humanity affiliate. Barbara lives and writes in the Washington DC Metro area.

Cornelia Gamlem, SPHR is an author, consultant and speaker. She is founder and President of the Gems Group, a management consulting firm that offers Human Resources and business solutions. Prior to founding the firm, she served in a senior HR leadership role with a Fortune 500 IT services company with a global presence. She likes to say that she’s been in HR since “God was a girl.”

She has been active with national employers' groups focused on issues of equal employment opportunity, affirmative action and workplace diversity, where she served on a number of task forces that influenced public policy. She testified before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on several occasions. She has also served in national leadership volunteer roles with The Society for Human Resource Management. She has served as a technical editor for McGraw Hill Education and supported HR professionals by serving as an instructor at number of colleges in the Washington DC metro area.

Cornelia earned her master's degree in Human Resource Management from Marymount University and her undergraduate degree in Business Administration from California State University, Sacramento. She achieved Life Certification as Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) from the Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI). She lives and writes in Albuquerque, NM.

Other Books By The Authors:

The Big Book of HR
By Barbara Mitchell and Cornelia Gamlem


Managing people is the most challenging part of any leader's day. And that job certainly is not getting any easier.THE BIG BOOK of HR will provide any HR professional, manager, or business owner of any size organization the information they need to get the most from their talent. It is filled with information on everything from the most strategic HR-related issues to the smallest tactical detail of how to manage people.
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The Essential HR Handbook: A Quick and Handy Resource for Any Manager or HR Professional
By Barbara Mitchell and Sharon Armstrong

Whether you are a newly promoted manager, a seasoned business owner, or a human resources professional, knowing the ins and outs of dealing with HR issues is critical to your success. The Essential HR Handbook is a quick-reference guide that sheds light on the issues that keep managers up at night. It is filled with information, tools, tips, checklists, and road maps to guide managers and HR professionals through the maze of people and legal issues, from recruiting and retaining the best employees to terminating poor performers. Click To Purchase.

Related Books

The Essential Performance Review Handbook: A Quick and Handy Resource For Any Manager or HR Professional
By Sharon Armstrong

Are performance reviews at your company like fruitcake--you get it every year whether you want one or not? It doesn’t have to be like that. Because everyone wants to know how they’re doing, how they measure up, and what their chances are for advancement and rewards. And they want to do things right.

Whether you’re a manager or a HR professional, this is an indispensable resource to help you create confident, motivated, and productive employees. Click To Purchase.