Joyce Akiko

I am: analytical, flexible and adaptive, data-oriented, empathetic, self-aware, and my brain works in a combination of systems and procedures with high-touch human experience.

I am not: Someone who gives up easily on a complex project with a lot of moving parts and a bit of a mess that needs structure. In fact, those are some of my favorite projects.


My name is Joyce and I’m a Human Resources and People Operations specialist who has over 10 years of professional experience with training, project management, and building OL&D (Organizational Learning and Development) programs in a variety of departments at organizations ranging from fast-paced startups to multi-billion dollar corporations.

I started my career back in 2010 while I was finishing my Master of Science degree at Villanova University in Human Resources Development. I was working with Balfour Beatty as an intern for the HR department, and after I graduated, I was soon hired as a Senior Associate in Project Management at the Empire Builders Group, where I mentored, coached, and trained Junior Associates in communications and project management so they could level-up and become client-facing Senior Associates.

I worked there for 3 years until 2014 when I became the Director of Product Management in the IT department at Presidio, where I designed, facilitated, and deployed training on how to use the in-house SaaS tool for the company’s 2000+ employees for a further 3 years before finishing up at the Hedy Society, where I was able to work for about 2 years as the Head of People and Operations before the company made some restructuring changes.

This led to me becoming independent in the past few years, where I have been an Employee Experience and L&D Consultant for over 20 clients and have led over 17 remote and in-person trainings. In my free time, I am quite creative. I enjoy sewing clothes, something I taught myself at age 11, as well as making jewelry and other crafts (which you are invited to check out on Instagram); I like to keep myself busy at home and love to learn new things.

Education and Credentials

While earning my Bachelor’s degree in Cognitive Psychology at Ithaca College, I was one of the 10 selected members of the Cognitive Research Team, where I studied infant learning development with psycholinguistics through synchronous and asynchronous gestures combined with speaking novel words while tracking eye movement, supporting our hypothesis that dynamic gestures combined with synchronously spoken words led to better word learning and retention. I was one of the 2 members selected to present our findings to the Psychology Symposium in 2009.

After graduating from Ithaca College, I was accepted into the Master of Science in Human Resources Development program at Villanova University, the longest-running HRD graduate program in the United States. The program holds a Master of Science rather than a Master of Arts due to the comprehensive inclusion of Business Statistics and HR Metrics. Upon graduating, I passed the Professional in Human Resources (PHR) exam. In 2021, I began my Specialization in Culture-Driven Team Building with the University of Pennsylvania, which includes certification in Creating a Team Culture of Continuous Learning, and I completed the program in January 2022.

In addition to my formal education, I am certified by Six Sigma in Root Cause Analysis, and am accredited by the OKR Institute. I am certified in Lean Leadership and Change Management from the John Academy and am certified in

As I like to stay up-to-date on the industry, I am a Professional Member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), focused on building a culture where employees and employers thrive together. I am also a member and volunteer of several DEI and culture-focused communities, such as E&Work, where we discuss how to center racial equity in a practical way for companies, and Hacking HR, where I am a member of the Team Building, People Tech, and Future of Work chapters.

I seek a long-term opportunity with an organization that values diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging, is mission-driven, and is looking to create an exciting and engaging employee experience with learning and development opportunities.

Is that you?

If so, I am confident I can make a huge contribution to growing your team using over 10 years of experience in human resources, people operations, learning and development, performance management, and data-based decision-making.