The Business Record has named Monica Friedman as the 2022 Dentons Davis Brown Human Resources Professional of the Year. Friedman is executive vice president and chief human resources officer of Des Moines-based Life Care Services Corp., a senior living management company.

The award, launched by the Business Record in 2020, is designed to highlight an outstanding HR professional from Central Iowa for their professional accomplishments and community engagement.

Friedman first joined LCS in 2018 as senior vice president and chief human resources officer before being promoted to her current role last year. She was nominated for the award by LCS President and CEO Joel Nelson.

In her first four years with the company, which employs 30,000 employees nationwide, Friedman has led the implementation of expanded internal training and development programs, reorganized LCS’ employee benefits department and programs, and chaired the compensation committee of the company’s board. She formed LCS’ Diversity and Inclusion Councils and established employee resource groups and learning opportunities. Under her leadership, LCS has started offering “floating holidays” so employees can celebrate the days most meaningful to them.

“Monica has exceeded all expectations when it pertains to her human resources and benefits expertise, but as a professional her skillset is much broader,” Nelson wrote in nominating Friedman. “As a member of the LCS executive leadership team, she brings entrepreneurial thinking, a strategic mind, and an ability to drive results.

"Since Monica has joined LCS, the organization has experienced improved employee engagement scores each consecutive year, been named on Iowa’s Top Workplace list each year with improved rankings each consecutive year and received national recognition as a ‘USA Top Workplace.’”


Friedman’s 25-year career in human resources began in 1997 at Nationwide as a HR specialist. She moved up the ladder, serving as HR director, vice president of human resources and senior vice president of human resources before joining LCS.

2021 HR Professional of the Year Jennifer Bryant of HR consulting firm Human Pivot highlighted her efforts in the human resources profession and the Central Iowa community in her nomination of Friedman for this year’s award.

“I’ve personally seen Monica purposefully and humbly raise up people from every facet of life,” Bryant wrote in her nominating letter. “She’s resolute as a diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging change-maker and advocate; she champions older adult rights, autonomy and care through her role at LCS and her work with the Center for Health Administration and Aging Services Excellence; she uses her leadership position to personally develop the next generation of HR leaders and senior living leaders; and she [has used] her voice to make the Central Iowa Community stronger through her diligent work with the American Red Cross and United Way.”

Her current community involvement includes serving on the LCS Foundation board since 2019, and on MercyOne’s board since 2015. She started serving as chairperson of the hospital system’s board in July.

Friedman was a Business Record Women of Influence honoree in 2016 and a Business Record Forty Under 40 honoree in 2006.

Friedman will receive the award during the Business Record’s Jobs Outlook virtual panel discussion that will be held Thursday, Oct. 13, at 11:30 a.m. Register for the free event.