“I love working in human resources…I really get excited about the potential of building an infrastructure that supports business needs,” said Ghotbi, who took over the HR helm last week and has wasted little time immersing herself in the massive role of spearheading a staff of nearly 1,300 employees for one of the largest privately owned substance abuse companies in the United States.  

 In her new role, Ghotbi will be in charge of all aspects of HR functions and strategies at Solid Landings, which will include employee relations, organizational design, workforce planning and recruitment, talent management and development, compensation design, as well as culture. Moreover, she will work closely with Chief Cultural Officer, Elizabeth Perry, to ensure Solid Landings continues to evolve with workplace satisfaction at its forefront.

 “We are extremely pleased that Ellie has agreed to join the Solid Landings family,” said Solid Landings CEO Steve Fennelly. “I really don’t think we could've found anyone more qualified to take over this extremely important position. She is a proven leader, and she clearly has the vision and skill set to help Solid Landings continue to grow and fulfill our aspirations of continuing to make this a great company for which to work.”

 To the casual observer, it would appear that Ghotbi has her hands full, having taken over a key department for a company on an explosive growth trajectory. But she doesn’t seem fazed in the slightest. After all, she just spent nearly four years as a key HR strategist for one of the largest health care conglomerates on the planet. And while Ghotbi speaks respectfully of her former employer, which at last count had more than 180,000  employees and raked in about $150 billion in the last fiscal year, she admits working for a mega-corporation like UnitedHealth Group had some challenges.

 "I have always liked linking my work to a mission,” said Ghotbi. “Working at CHOC (Children’s Hospital of Orange County), I was able to see a direct link between our work and the children we served. I see the same mission and vision here at Solid Landings. Their dedication to the health and safety of their clients is unsurpassed in the industry. Likewise, their commitment to their employees is quite impressive. Their vision for growth and development of their employees is not only thoughtful and purposeful, but visionary.”

 Ghotbi is clearly at the top of her game in the HR field and is highly respected by her peers and colleagues. But the road to this point of her career is far from a conventional one.

 Ghotbi, who grew up in Orange County, attended the University of California, Irvine, and set off on the path to become a scientist, having graduated with a degree in biology. But she admits that four years of science classes took its toll. So Ghotbi did what all aspiring scientists do…she went to law school.

 “After four years of intense science courses I was  burnt out,” she says, with a sheepish smile. “I thought law school wasn’t a bad way to go. I completed law school (Western State University College of Law) and proceeded to get hired by a national entertainment law firm. I was an HR manager and that was the start of my HR career. I guess the rest is history.”

 While Ghotbi clearly likes to laugh and have fun, it’s also pretty evident that she takes her job quite seriously. She is very adamant that a company’s success is a direct reflection of its employees’ engagement in their jobs. But she is insistent on the premise that good companies foster a culture in which their employees continue to blossom throughout the path of their careers.

 “Every strategic business decision has a direct effect on workforce and people. ,” Ghotbi said. "Putting in processes in place that helps the company grow as quickly as they need to to without shifting a lot in the HR department. HR leaders need to have a seat at the executive table. There’s lot of planning.  When i view HR, I think about the support system/infrastructure that needs to be in place in order to help the business’ current and forecasted needs. It is an exciting time to be a part of an incredible and dynamic company and in the center of all this success are the dedicated people that are work here.”