Bonnie Bystrek

Consulting Chief People Officer

Years of experience:

Over 25 years of experience building culture innovation at companies like Virtual, Inc. Yes, I was born an HR practioner.

Past Employment:

I’ve worked in all kinds of industries to build my HR career – technology, financial services, healthcare, insurance and now professional services. I have worked in companies as small as 100 employees and as large as 40,000. Some of my learning portfolio includes State Street, OneBeacon Insurance, Steward Healthcare, First Data and Artisoft.


University of Connecticut, Bachelors of Science in Business Administration – Go Huskies!!!Northeastern University, Masters of Science in Human Resources – Double Husky!

Client Success Story:

I got to witness one of my companies going public so I had a chance to eat the breakfast of champions at the NYSE while our leader rang the bell. It was a highly exciting time for a company and HR leader to celebrate success.

Hidden talent:

I love playing golf and have sometimes been known to accidentally forget a stroke or two (I get distracted easily and like to win!). I also like to have fun and have been known to slip in an exploding golf ball!

What I do for fun:

Our Fun Committee at Virtual plans a lot of great events including an Octoberfest and seasonable beer tasting. I love traveling and got to go to Munich for the real one. If I am not traveling, you will find me in Newport, RI at Rejects beach, biking on Ocean Drive or visiting a mansion.

I can’t live without:

My golden retriever Cooper and my iPhone so that I can post hundreds of photos of us on Facebook and Instagram. I also have a Starbucks obsession but the Coffee Committee at Virtual does an amazing job satisfying my addiction. We are still working on puppuccinos!

Important life lesson:

Don’t take yourself to seriously – I am at our company bar getting to know people better and answering these questions. We work hard but take time to get to know each other. Teamwork is a core value at Virtual, Inc.

Community Involvement:

You can probably tell that I love golden retrievers so Cooper and I volunteer for the Sunshine Golden Retriever Rescue. Cooper’s daddy also volunteers for Yankee Golden Retriever rescue so we sometimes help great dogs find new homes. I also like to give back to the HR community so I am a committee member of HRLF and will begin teaching graduate level HR courses at Northeastern University.

Favorite Movie, Book, Food, Music:

If my car could talk, it would say that I am very unpredictable – Bruce, U2, Bon Jovi and then Sinatra, Katie Perry, and Tibetan Serenity Radio.

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