Michael Baker International Amplifies its HR Practice with the Appointments of Robert Balanti, Director of Human Resources, Jim Neral, Director of Compensation, and Brian A. Rider, Director of Talent Acquisition

Firm Adds Senior Talent to Strengthen its Approach to Attract, Develop and Retain Top Industry Talent

Location: Pittsburgh, Pa.
Date: June 29, 2017

Michael Baker International, a global leader in engineering, planning and consulting services, today announced the expansion of its Human Resources Team with three strategic hires: Robert Balanti, Director of Human Resources; Jim Neral, CCP, GRP, Director of Compensation; and Brian A. Rider, Director of Talent Acquisition. The three executives are based in the firm’s Pittsburgh Headquarters and report to Penny Mercadante, Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer.
“Michael Baker’s investment in Human Resources and commitment to identifying and recruiting the best-of-the-best is further demonstrated through Bob, Jim and Brian’s new positions with the firm,” said Ms. Mercadante.  “Their more than 60 years of collective experience in human resources, compensation, and talent acquisition, will further ensure We Make a Difference for our team members and clients by enhancing the firm’s ability to identify, attract, develop and retain the best talent in the industry.”
As Director of Human Resources, Mr. Balanti directs the organization’s strategic human resources planning to align business objects with the firm’s people needs. He also will further position Michael Baker as the employer of choice by driving a culture that optimizes best practices related to human resources policies, strategies and trends.  As a strategic business partner with senior leadership, he will translate strategic and tactical business plans into strategic and operational Human Resources goals.
Previously, Mr. Balanti served as Senior Vice President, Human Resources for PNC Bank in Pittsburgh, PA., focusing on strategic planning and process development, and as a Human Resources Business Partner, where he identified, interpreted, designed, modified and communicated strategic policies, practices and procedures to meet strategic business goals.  He also provided senior-level consulting and strategic HR support to more than 3000 employees over multiple business segments within the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom and Germany.
He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Marketing Management from The Pennsylvania State University in University Park, Pa.
Mr. Neral brings more than 28 years of management experience in human resources, compensation, and benefits to his new role.  As Director of Compensation at Michael Baker, Mr. Neral is responsible for the design, development, and implementation of the organization’s compensation programs, policies and procedures. He also will ensure compliance with all federal, state, and local compensation regulations and that the firm’s compensation programs support organizational strategic objectives.
Before his role at Michael Baker, Mr. Neral served as the Manager of Global Compensation at Westinghouse Electric Company, LLC, in Pittsburgh, Pa., where he led the company’s global compensation Center of Excellence function for more than 11,000 global employees, administered all executive compensation and incentive programs globally, and was a key contributor to performance- and salary- systems design, education and administration. He also worked for PNC Bank and several other Pittsburgh companies, all in compensation and benefits disciplines.
Mr. Neral holds a Master of Arts degree in Personnel Administration and Industrial Relations from St. Francis University, in Loretto, Pa., and a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and Human Resources Management from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in Indiana, Pa.
Mr. Rider brings 16 years of proven leadership skills and expertise in talent acquisition, recruitment, fiscal management, and systems to his new role. As Director of Talent Acquisition, Mr. Rider will establish and lead strategic initiatives that support the employment needs of the organization related to recruiting, university relations, and outreach programs, and will collaborate with senior leadership across all functions of the organization to identify needs and workforce planning strategies. He also will direct the implementation and evaluation of programs and technology to ensure compliance with equal opportunity regulations.
Previously, he served as the Director of Talent Acquisition for General Nutrition Centers, Inc., where he had overall responsibility for the strategic vision and tactical execution of enterprise-wide talent acquisition and recruitment including vendor and internal relations, sourcing and tools, applicant tracking systems, employment branding, workforce planning, diversity, recruitment budgeting and metrics. As the Manager of Talent Acquisition for PPG Industries, Inc., Mr. Rider oversaw an enterprise-wide talent acquisition strategy that included social media efforts, university and diversity recruitment, employment branding and vendor management.
Mr. Rider holds a Bachelor of Science degree in the Administration of Justice from The Pennsylvania State University in University Park, Pa.  
About Michael Baker International
Michael Baker International is a leading global provider of engineering and consulting services, which include planning, architectural, environmental, construction, program management, and full life-cycle support services as well as information technology and communications services and solutions. The company provides its comprehensive range of services and solutions in support of U.S. federal, state, and municipal governments, foreign allied governments, and a wide range of commercial clients.  Michael Baker International has more than 6,000 employees in more than 90 locations across the U.S. and internationally. To learn more, visit www.mbakerintl.com.
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Contact: Justin Falce