Connor Cross has been selected to serve a four-year term on a Kansas unemployment insurance review board.
Cross, who is the Director of Human Resources for Syndeo, is one of three individuals who make up the state’s Employment Security Board of Review. These positions are appointed and approved by the Kansas Senate.
In short, the board is tasked with determining the fate of second-level administrative appeals on Kansas unemployment insurance cases. Think of an appeal of the appeal. The board works with attorneys and state-provided administrative personnel to make determinations on a variety of docket items.
Cross says the objective of the board is to provide a neutral perspective and ensure determinations with unemployment cases are made in a timely manner and based on legal merits.
The board meets bi-weekly through a mix of virtual and in-person meetings in Topeka.
Serving on the review board is a chance for Cross to see unemployment claims from a different perspective. She spent the first 10 years of her tenure at Syndeo, an outsourced human resources services provider, as the company’s unemployment administrator assisting clients in managing their unemployment accounts. At its peak, Cross managed several hundred client accounts in 30 states.
“It became a huge interest for me and somehow I found myself becoming an unemployment expert in my industry,” she says.
Cross transitioned into an executive leadership position with Syndeo in 2019. Though she relinquished her responsibilities as unemployment administrator, Cross remains involved in the educational side of unemployment benefits by participating in speaking engagements and writing articles for various publications. She also is part of the ongoing efforts to fight fraudulent unemployment claims, which have risen dramatically in recent years.
“I love unemployment,” she says. “It was one of my favorite parts of my job and one of the hardest things to give up.”
Cross first got involved with unemployment claims early in her career in the human resources industry. She remembers a time she was asked to work through a large stack of unemployment insurance claims, despite having little experience with the process at that point.
Viewing it as an opportunity to learn something new, Cross slowly worked way through that stack of claims thanks to a lot of back-and-forth dialogue between her and representatives of the Kansas Department of Labor. All the while, Cross sought to learn everything she could about the state’s unemployment regulations.
Cross didn’t know it at the time, but those experiences would create a solid foundation for her to become a go-to expert on all things unemployment benefits.
Now, she will lean on that background and those experiences as she serves on the Kansas unemployment insurance review board in the months and years ahead.
“This is one of the accomplishments that I am most proud of in my career outside of what I do at Syndeo,” Cross says. “It’s an honor to serve our state and the public in this way.”
About us: As the Heartland’s leading employer services company, Syndeo partners with local business owners to help them minimize risk, improve efficiency and maximize profitability allowing them the freedom to focus on growth and fulfilling their mission. Syndeo fulfills its mission by taking on all of the HR responsibilities for our clients’ workforce, including employee relations, benefits, risk management and payroll.
~Josh Heck is Syndeo’s marketing manager. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (316) 440-9940