Why RollerCoaster HR?

Why RollerCoaster HR?

Simply put, I am aiming to combine two of my passions – wild thrill rides and the constant challenges that many HR pros (or even amateurs) face.

It seems fair that I explain my background a bit for those reading this initial post.

My first job was as a ride operator at Kings Island, just north of Cincinnati, Ohio.  This summer job turned into a career after seven seasons working at the park.  Joining a theme park consulting firm after graduating from Indiana University, I then spent three years travelling the world to develop policies, train staff, and open new theme parks in China, Mexico, and Brazil.  After being married and wanting a family, I left the consulting gig and helped open the Newport Aquarium (just across the Ohio River from downtown Cincinnati) and then moved on to a more traditional HR role as the first human resource person for a small family-owned printing company.  It was in this role that I discovered that my passion for HR was a spark that I could embrace.

The allure of returning to Indiana, especially Bloomington, led me to apply for a new position as the Director of Human Resources for Stone Belt, a non-profit social service agency that serves individuals with developmental disabilities.  To my surprise, I got the job and became the top HR person for the organization and its nearly 500 employees.  I still think that the fact my new boss loved the video game Roller Coaster Tycoon was a factor in the decision to hire me!

Now, I am a passionate advocate for seeing people for their abilities as it is important to remember we all have some limiting disabilities as well as many amazing abilities.  The mosaic piece here was designed and made by one of the clients the agency is fortunate to serve!

Choosing to see the world in a positive light, I now take a strengths based approach to things and am not one for having rules just to have rules.  I still love to ride coasters (coaster count =103) and find my thrills with my wife Susanne and my two children Jack (11) and Annie (6).  Beyond family and work, I am completing my MBA and manage communications, technology, and social media for the Indiana State Council of SHRM.

Future writings will include a variety of HR topics with the occasional thrill thrown in to keep it fun.  They will be short and not too frequent, but I promise I will try to keep in interesting.  After all, life is too short to be miserable.  Let’s set out to have a little fun while spinning around the big orange ball in the sky!

The strength of our abilities overcome disabilities

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14 Responses to Why RollerCoaster HR?

  1. Buzz Rooney says:

    Welcome to the HR-blog community, Brad!

    I’ve always been a coaster-lover, too — my first job was at Six Flags Great Adventure in NJ.

    I look forward to connecting and hearing more from you!

    • bradgalin says:


      Thanks – always great to hear from another coaster lover. I’ve added thebuzzonhr to my reader and look forward to reading more from you as well!


  2. Tim Gardner says:

    Great theme! I wish I had known this when we met at HRevolution. I have been to Cedar Point more times than I can count – and it’s all about the roller coasters!
    I’m looking forward to your perspectives joining the voices we have speaking about great work in the HR universe.

    • bradgalin says:


      It was returning from HRevolution when I decided to jump into the fray of blogging! I hope that my perspective can be valuable to you.

      Cedar Point is ALL about the coasters and a great place to experience them!


  3. HRCrowd says:

    Hi Brad

    Great story and great blog title.

    The HR world is certainly full of ups and downs and I shall look forward to reading your posts. Personally, I have always been way too scared to try a coaster but who knows, you may be able to change my mind!


  4. Gary Nottingham says:

    Great topic!
    We used to travel to KI as kids from Indiana and then take tours to KI as youth leader and have since had children of our own work for KI in various capacities. I appreciate the knowlage that HR can sometimes make you sick; it seems that there are similaritiues to sales after all.

    • Gary,

      Many times in my HR career, my background in marketing has been helpful and I’m sure sales would be as well. I loved my time at KI and certainly still apply lessons from that experience to my world today. Thanks for reading and leaving a note!


  5. Bryan Wempen says:

    I’m really looking forward to hearing your thoughts on HR especially with the wild ride theme woven into the tapestry. Love to see/read about passions colliding in a positive way especially when you’re the audience building benefits your advocacy efforts for those who really support. I’m locked in a ready to roll…..

  6. Welcome to the “world” of HR bloggers. Hope it goes well. The name is very apropos.

  7. Ben Eubanks says:

    Welcome, Brad! Glad to have you. If I can help in any way, please just let me know.

  8. Sabrina says:

    Welcome to the world of blogging! It’s tons of fun especially when you combine it with thrill rides! Can’t wait to read more…

    • Sabrina,

      Thanks – I’ve enjoyed hrchatterbox since your launch and I look forward to hearing more about your new venture into the consulting side of the world.