BOSTON (December 18, 2018) – Human Resource Leadership Forum (HRLF) and GattiHR announce Kathy Cullen-Cote, Corporate Vice President, Human Resources, PTC, as the recipient of the 2nd annual HRLF Bob Gatti HR Leadership Excellence Award. This award showcases the inspirational and exemplary work of HR leaders.

The awards gala was held in Cambridge and attended by close to 300 senior level HR executives and Business Leaders. Kathy was selected from a group of 15 nominees who each exemplify the criteria that define Bob Gatti’s very own values and legacy:

  • Bold and courageous leaders that make a difference
  • Honest, fair, transparent with a high level of integrity
  • Innovators of impactful change
  • Results-driven
  • Always there for others

Kathy Cullen-Cote embodies those characteristics, and during her acceptance she shared a touching message about how Bob Gatti played an instrumental role in her decision to work at PTC.  In 2002, facing a career crossroad, the single mother of three was referred to Bob Gatti for advice. Kathy had never met Gatti, but, as was his legacy, Bob seemingly created time to listen, lift, and guide this young professional. He advised her to make her decision based on the company for which she wanted to work.  He assured her that “hard work would lead to recognition and reward once there.” How serendipitous that 16 years later, one such reward, in this case the Bob Gatti HR leadership award, would bring these two paths together again.

Following Bob Gatti’s guidance, Cullen joined PTC, intent on making a difference and she quickly ascended the HR ranks, becoming a VP in 2009 and then promoted into her current role as the Global Corporate leader of HR in 2012.

“Kathy’s a bold, reliable initiator who’s changed the organizational culture at PTC, laying a foundation for change management and collaboration that’s led to a global transformation. She instills trust and faith in people through transparency and authenticity. She does not shy away from open and authoritative conversations,” said Russ Campanello, winner of the inaugural Bob Gatti HR Leadership Award in 2017. Describing the importance of this award, Campanello shared, “To advance, the HR industry requires the ability of our peers to innovate and recognize when success and inspiration happen. Because of Bob, we all stand a little taller today.”

As an HR leader in Boston-area companies like Bank of Boston, Digital Equipment Corporation, and Motorola, Bob Gatti successfully helped elevate the Human Resources industry. He was a founding member of HRLF and the Northeast Human Resources Association (NEHRA), and he created the Senior Human Resource Network (SHRN). Bob founded Gatti & Associates as an HR-specific executive search firm and today, GattiHR, has grown to become an internationally respected HR services firm offering Retained Executive Search, Workforce Analytics and Technology Services.

A leading community for senior HR leaders in New England, Human Resource Leadership Form (HRLF) provides an opportunity for HR leaders to connect and learn from each other, preparing HR leaders to fully anticipate and address the business and organizational challenges of today and in the future.   A natural partnership developed between HRLF and GattiHR to co-present this prestigious award.  This year’s nominees include:

Lisa Abbott

Chief Human Resources Officer


Ron Arigo *

Chief Human Resources Officer

Commonwealth of MA

Amanda Arriva

Global Vice President, Human Resources

Schneider Electric

Caren Block

Vice President, People and Culture

Casma Therapeutics

Kelley Boucher

Head of Human Resources


Laurie Connors

Vice President, Human Resources

Lahey Health

Kathy Cullen-Cote **

Corporate Vice President, Human Resources


Regina DeTore Paglia *

Senior Vice President, Human Resources

Paratek Pharmaceuticals

Colleen Fuller

Head of Talent and Experience


Beth Grous

Chief People Officer


Steve Kane

Senior Vice President, Human Resources Americas

Smith & Nephew

Renee Pecor

Vice President, Human Resources

The Gordian Group

Elicia Pegues Spearman

Vice President, Human Resources


Julie Rochon *

Vice President, Talent & Organizational Development

Nuance Communications

Tracie Sponenberg

Senior Vice President, Human Resources

The Granite Group

* Finalist, recipient of 2018 Award of Distinction

** 2018 HRLF Bob Gatti HR Leadership Award recipient

“Bob’s legacy and the values upon which he created this firm remain an important cornerstone for our entire team. It’s important that we take time to listen, have the courage to innovate and the opportunity to take risks. Together with our HR colleagues, we advance the field, while always remembering that humans are the most important aspect of Human Resources,” offered Tom Connolly, CEO of GattiHR.

“We saw the need to recognize extraordinary accomplishments in HR. Through our nomination process, we were impressed by the quality of individuals represented who are doing outstanding work in our profession” said, Stephanie Franklin, President of HRLF.