Pethrona Russell

Pethrona Russell

Human Resources Manager & Equity Officer (Interim)

Pethrona Russell Pethrona Russell


Pethrona Russell, a native of Freeport Grand Bahama, The Bahamas moved to Halifax, NS in August 2016 in pursuit of her dreams.  She is an accomplished Human Resources Manager with over 13 years of experience and international exposure at post-secondary level institutions and non-governmental organizations. In January 2018, she graduated from Saint Mary’s University where she completed the Master of Technology, Entrepreneurship and Innovation degree.  After finishing up all requirements in fulfillment of her master’s degree, Pethrona gained meaningful employment with the Dallaire Institute for Children, Peace and Security for four years.

As Human Resources Advisor, Pethrona played an integral role in supporting the successful execution and delivery of key human resources and operations functions at the Dallaire Institute for Children, Peace and Security. She was responsible for all areas of human resources management such as recruitment, staffing, leave management, contract administration, records management, supporting HR system technology (HRIS) and performance management. Pethrona managed all recruitment competitions, prepared job postings for vacant positions via Dalhousie PeopleAdmin Recruitment System. She provided advice, guidance and support to hiring committees during all stages of the hiring process that ensured transparent and equitable processes free from conflict of interest; She screened all applications, made appropriate recommendations and appointed suitable persons for the position by applying good human resource practice. She also managed, coordinated and conducted all aspects of new employee orientation and onboarding. Pethrona also managed the entire employee life cycle from beginning to end inclusive of employee’s exit formalities. She researched and used knowledge of relevant legislation and best practices to advise, develop, modify or update HR policies, programs and procedures that support decision making processes. In addition to maintaining and identifying gaps in employee handbooks, HR policies and processes, Pethrona has provided effective and dedicated HR advisory services to employees in relation to all policies, employee handbooks and all other employee-relations matters.

In July 2021, Pethrona moved on to MetroWorks Employment Association where she became the organization’s first Human Resources Manager. She played an integral role in collaboration with senior management, developing and implementing Human Resources strategies, procedures and initiatives aligned with the overall strategic vision of MetroWorks. She was an innovative change agent, people centered and a catalyst for change at MetroWorks! During her short tenure at MetroWorks, Pethrona was the Project Manager of the Thrive Health Workplace App for COVID 19 rapid testing within the workplace. As the lead Systems Configuration and Organization Administrator, she served as the key person responsible for initial configuration and ongoing operation of the rapid screening program. Additionally, Pethrona provided strategic advice to the President and CFO on the implementation of modern Human Resources Information Systems (HRIS) for MetroWorks. Thanks to her advice and HR expertise, MetroWorks purchased and successfully implemented the organization’s first HRIS software(s) namely, HUMI and Voila, which are self-serve and cloud-based. As the lead Project Manager, she customized all HR applications and services such as recruitment, leave administration, time and attendance, onboarding, offboarding and much more in accordance with MetroWorks current policies.

Pethrona also successfully managed, lead and screened over 350 applications for 16 recruitment competitions at MetroWorks in just 10 short months. Finally, she led the planning, execution and hosted the Staff Service Awards, a ceremony that recognizes staff that attained milestones such as 5, 10, 15, 20 and 25 years of service, among several other accomplishments.

Prior to her relocation to Halifax Nova Scotia, Pethrona worked in New Providence within the Human Resources Department at The University of The Bahamas formerly The College of The Bahamas, from March 20, 2006 to August 26, 2016.  During her 10-year tenure at The University, she worked fervently in the capacity of a Human Resources Assistant II within the Training & Development and Benefits Units.  In 2005, she completed session 488 of the BahamaHost certification program, finished ahead of the bunch and was awarded an accolade for her academic achievements.  Subsequently, that same year Pethrona completed more intense preparation during the sitting of the Train the Trainer program and became a certified BahamaHost Trainer.

In 2004, she completed a Bachelor of Science degree with honors in Tourism Management at The College of The Bahamas where she finished at the top of the class and again was awarded three accolades of academic excellence in recognition of the same.  Additionally, in 2001 Pethrona completed an Associate of Arts degree in Marketing and was afforded the opportunity to complete internships at the Ministry of Tourism and Sandals Royal Bahamian Resort.  On another note, she along with her twin sister were the proprietors of “Dutty Fashions” a lady’s boutique with trendy fashion and fragrances located in Grand Bahama, Bahamas.  Furthermore, she has volunteered at the Bahamas Red Cross and the Bahamas Humane Society among others, and is the holder of a Gold, Silver and Bronze Award from the Governor General’s Youth Award Scheme, (formerly Duke of Edinburgh), an organization where more than 8,000 young Bahamians engage in community service, physical recreation, the apprenticeship of a new skill, and attend adventurous journeys to achieve the awards.   Finally, Pethrona is passionate about her Christian faith, sports, as well as health and fitness. She enjoys working out at the gym, a healthy diet, and travel.  Her favorite Bible scripture is Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”