Melissa Samuel Named to Ragan’s 2021 Top Women in Wellness & HR

Louisiana local recognized for expertise in strategic human resource management


Ragan Communications announced that Melissa Samuel, chief legal officer at Bernhard, has been named to its 2021 Ragan’s Top Women in Wellness and Human Resources list. Leading the HR team at the largest privately-owned Energy-as-a-Service (EaaS) company in the United States, Samuel has been recognized for her expertise in strategic human resource management.

Ragan’s Top Women in Wellness and HR are defined as those leading the charge when it comes to employee health (financial, mental, physical and social), performance management, diversity and inclusion, organizational development, talent recruitment and retention, compensation and benefits, human resources information systems, training and development, coaching and corporate leadership.

“Melissa’s expertise has been indispensable as we continue to innovate our services and experience growth,” said Jim Sabin, COO of Bernhard. “She has been a vital piece in our recruitment and retention of the best talent in the industry. We are proud she has received such prestigious recognition for her commitment to creating a better workplace and doing what she champions in all aspects of her life: investing in people.”

Samuel works to build bridges between internal communications, external communications and marketing, legal, HR and the executive leadership team at Bernhard. With Samuel’s counsel, Bernhard has seen a 75% reduction in annual spend on professional placement firms and a more than 40% reduction in its use of third-party labor. Samuel effectively improved the company’s bottom line by avoiding placement fees and vendor markup, while investing in individuals at all levels and rewarding longevity.

“As the largest privately-owned EaaS company in the country, we believe maintaining a strategic human resource department is imperative to fueling our growth,” said Samuel. “I’m thrilled to be named to Ragan’s 2021 Top Women in Wellness & HR as we continue to look for new opportunities to grow and sustain our company’s talent while also evolving our company culture to better serve our clients.”

With more than 25 years of legal experience and more than 13 years of experience in the engineering and construction industry, Samuel is focused on strong partnerships with operations to find optimal and sustained solutions. Prior to joining Bernhard, Samuel served as senior vice president for H&E Equipment Services overseeing HR, legal and safety, and as vice president and associate general counsel for The Shaw Group, Inc.