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A Human Resource professional with over 30 years management experience, Mary has recruited NASA scientists, created policies for Fortune 100 companies and reduced employee turnover by 70% for Hyatt Hotels. Her credentials include lifetime designation as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR). Mary provides Human Resource Solutions to profit and non-profit organizations.

  • Human resource expertise on an as-needed basis.
  • Cutting-edge solutions and innovative approaches to attracting, retaining and motivating your employees and improving your bottom line.


Mary T. Cooley, Ph.D., SPHR, SCP, is the Principal Consultant for HR Solutions, LLC, a New Mexico based human resource assistance group designed to support profit and non-profit organizations in their ability to attract, retain and motivate employees. A human resources professional with over 30 years of management experience, in the United States and Europe, Cooley has recruited scientists for NASA, created policies for Fortune 100 companies and reduced employee turnover at Hyatt Hotels from 93% to 25% in two years. Cooley focuses on Southwestern U.S. based organizations and their need for effective employee compensation systems, performance appraisals and job descriptions as well as tackling difficult employee relations issues. Cooley frequently serves as a workplace investigator for attorneys, CEOs and board chairs.

She possesses a PhD in Organizational Learning from the University of New Mexico and was awarded Distinction for both her dissertation and comprehensive exams. Cooley earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of Arizona as well as lifetime certification status as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) from the Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI) and a Senior Certified Professional from the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM). Cooley earned certified mediator status from the University of New Mexico School of Law in 2020.

Cooley is a Past-President of the Human Resource Management Association (HRMA) of New Mexico and has served as Diversity Director for the National SHRM Board for Region VI of the United States. The national Society of Human Resources (SHRM) honored Cooley with the coveted HR Educator of the Year national award for her significant contributions at a regional and national level in advancing education and research in the field of human resources. Cooley servedas co-professional development chair for the NM SHRM State Council in 2017 and 2019.


Cooley has been named one of New Mexico’s “40 under 40” making a positive difference in this state, by the New Mexico Business Weekly, and has twice been honored, as “A Woman on the Move” by the YWCA of New Mexico. Cooley was honored with the Professional Excellence Award, reserved for the single outstanding human resources professional in each state; and also named New Mexico’s Most Passionate HR Professional, by SHRM.

Cooley and the Hyatt were honored with the Visions Award from the New Mexico Commission on the Status of Women for creating and promoting “family friendly” employment programs that assist all levels of employees. She has served on the Boards of Director’s for Adelante, The American Red Cross and Ronald McDonald Children’s Charities, is a founding member of the United Way’s Women in Philanthropy and recently served on the United Way of NM’s Board of Directors. Cooley is a certified Trainer with Development Dimensions International (DDI) and trains audiences across the country on numerous topics including conflict resolution, creating, and sustaining a harassment-free workplace, leadership development and effective communication. Recent clients include APS School District, ACLU, Crossroads for Women, Nusenda Credit Union, The Archdiocese of Santa Fe, NM Finance Authority, Santa Fe Community College, NM State University, La Montanita CO-OP, and Vitality Works, Inc.


We provide a wide array of services for your human resources needs.

Compensation/Benefit Planning

Design compensation plans specific to your industry, region of the country and/or size of organization. Provide research data on compensation and benefit trends. Can conduct salary/benefit surveys to benchmark salary ranges and depth/breadth of benefit plans. Have current data on bonus plans, profit sharing trends, gainsharing ideas, executive compensation packages, etc. Will ensure that your organization is competitive in these areas to best attract, retain and motivate staff.


Conduct audits on personnel files, Worker’s Compensation files, I-9’s, and other employee related personal information. Review job descriptions to ensure ADA compliant and overall non-discriminatory in nature. Write or update FMLA forms, policies, COBRA, ADA and OSHA regulations, as well as ERISA financial documents. Have created or reorganized HR departments to allow for a more streamlined, productive organization.

Employee Relations / Coaching

Implemented an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) into a 300 employee base organization. Extensive experience in counseling, crisis management and employee mediation at all employee levels of an organization. Certified trainer of the Thomas-Killman “Conflict Resolution” instrument, which teaches employees to recognize where they fall in one of five types of conflict and how to learn to diffuse conflict and work through it, thus building a stronger, more cohesive team.

Investigations / Expert Witness

Conduct comprehensive,unbiased, and confidential workplace investigations on behalf of Board Chairs, CEO’s and /or attorneys.

Have assisted both Plaintiff and Defendant attorneys through investigations, depositions and other preparations for possible trial since 2008.  Have worked with several attorneys in Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Las Cruces and Roswell, NM and Dallas, TX.

Performance Management Systems

Created five different systems to analyze performance of an individual, team or entire organization. Have experience creating plans for both profit and non-profit organizations ranging from 40 employees to 10,000. Train all levels of employees on how to conduct/receive performance reviews, how the review should be tied to compensation to be most valid, and how to deliver positive as well as negative feedback to employees. Experience as well in 360 feedback systems.

Policy/Procedure Development and Revision

Revise and/or create policies and procedures for all size organizations. Policies that are “user friendly,” legal, easy to interpret, understand and administer. Can customize policies/procedures for any size or aspect of an organization as well as profit or non-profit status.


Over 10 years experience as a Recruitment Executive for NASA, GTE, ADP and Hyatt. Teach a course on “Legal and Ethical Hiring Practices.” Have successfully reduced turnover at every previous organization by up to 50% annually largely due to increasing type and number of managerial training’s on importance of proper screening, reference checking and interviewing of applicants. Assisted New Mexico State University (NMSU), where I was the Lead Recruiter for Hyatt for two years, move from an unranked position in terms of placement of candidates as Hyatt Management Candidates, to the 4th highest school – out of the 45 colleges where Hyatt recruits. Have successfully recruited top NASA scientists to Hyatt hotel housekeepers and everything in between. Skilled in writing EEO compliant advertisements.

Training/Organizational Development

I enjoy creating training and other organizational development programs that are tailored to the needs of the individual organization. I conduct regular trainings on topics from, “How to create a harassment-free workplace,” to “Employment law: everything from hiring to retiring,” to “Discipline and Coaching for Leaders of Millenials.” I regularly serve as a coach and confidential advisor to CEO’s, owners and non-profit board chairs. 

My Clients

Partial List

Expert Witness for New Mexico Based Defense & Plaintiff Attorneys Since 2008

Albuquerque Greater Housing Partnership

Albuquerque Academy

Archdiocese of Santa Fe


La Montanita Co-op

Navajo Nation


Bernalillo County

Casa Esperanza

Heading Home

National Community Land Trust

McKinley Packaging

Dekker Perich Sabatini

El Centro Family Health

Escuela del Sol Montessori School

Heritage Home Health and Hospice

Presbyterian Healthcare

Santa Claran Hotel and Casino

SMPC Architects

Crossroads for Women



Depositions & Trials

  • Sandoval v. Smile Life Dental – deposed – EW for defense

  • Vinyard v. State of NM/HSD – Jury Trial – EW for plaintiff –
    3rd Judicial District Court, Judge Mary Rozner; Case #D-307-CV00-2015-
    01056 (Prevailed)

  • Gurule v. Vitality Works – deposed – EW for plaintiff

  • Williams v. Mann – Bench Trial  – EW for plaintiff
    11th Judicial District Court, Judge Sarah V. Weaver; Case #D-1116-CV-
    2011-00841-3 (Prevailed)

  • Retained by Freedman Boyd Hollander Goldberg Urias & Ward on behalf of Plaintiff. Awaiting documents to review.

  • Kraft v. RGEC
    EW for defense
    Case #D-202-CV-2017-00880. NMMWA, class action case. Settled, after written opinion submitted.