Wipfli, one of the top 20 CPA and consulting firms in the United States, announced today that it has hired Bill Laakso as the firm’s new executive human resources officer and partner. In this role, Laakso will be responsible for developing the strategies related to associate recruitment, development and engagement, and will oversee human resources operations for the firm. He will also work with Wipfli’s strong Talent & Culture team to continue to evolve the firm’s employment brand and culture.
“The strength of our associates and their engagement in the firm are vital to our clients’ success and the firm’s success,” said Rick Dreher, managing partner of Wipfli. “Bill’s deep expertise in the human resources area and strong track record of driving individual, team, and corporate performance will enable the firm to build upon our strong culture and continue to attract and retain the best and brightest professionals in the industry.”
An operations and human resources veteran, Laakso has approximately 28 years of broad experience including leading operations for large organizations and managing internal and external communications, community relations, organizational consulting, change management, and culture development for several large organizations. He joined Wipfli from Bellin Health Systems, where he most recently served in business development and clinic leadership roles. Prior to that position, Laakso held several senior human resources positions with Integrys Energy Group, at the time a Fortune 500 energy holding company with 4,600 employees in four states. As the organization’s vice president and chief human resources officer, Laakso led the company’s human resources and communications strategy and directed a 100-person human resources organization and a 30-person corporate communications team. Earlier in his career, he also served as vice president-operations for Employee Resource Center.
Laakso holds a doctorate in clinical psychology from Indiana State University and a bachelor of science degree in psychology from Northern Michigan University.