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Peterson Oil

Peterson Oil

Peterson Oil Service in Worcester, MA is a family-owned company specializing in heating, cooling and energy use. 

For more than 60 years, the company has been providing heating oil to satisfied customers as well as installing boilers, furnaces, water heaters, oil burners and air conditioners.

Business Challenge:

In 2003, around the time of his parents passing, Howard Peterson was nominated by his siblings to take over the family business. He accepted the challenge and quickly found himself challenged by the human resources responsibilities of running a prosperous company of more than 50 employees.

HR Deliverables

  • Karen was first hired to project manage an industry audit over a 3-4 week period which was passed with flying colors.
  • After a string of hiring missteps, Howard then asked for Karen’s help to screen, interview and hire for positions once held by Peterson family members. Over time, Karen successfully chartered the transition of the company’s management team from family to non-family members.
  • Karen manages the nuts & bolts of all Peterson HR issues, including employee recruiting and orientation, employee handbook updates, and ensuring compliancy with industry rules and regulations.
  • Today Karen is Peterson’s outsourced HR Manager one day a week. She runs all the management meetings and coordinates communications between Howard Peterson and his 6 direct reports.

On Karen Slein:

“Most family businesses don’t make it through the difficult period of succession planning. Karen Slein has been instrumental in helping Peterson Oil prosper because of her understanding of our business and talent for screening, recruiting and training the right fit job candidates.”

“Karen delivers much more than HR support for my company– anybody can do that. She is my trusted advisor and never holds back on giving pointed advice – even if that means critiquing the boss! She’s kept me from falling over on a number of occasions and I’ve come to rely on her as a mentor and confidante.”

“Before we worked with Karen, I did the recruiting. The problem was no one I hired ever flew out of the nest. Now with Karen in charge, we’re attracting the right fit people. She gives my team confidence to take leaps in their jobs and shown them how to fly and be successful here.”

Howard Peterson Jr., President

Project Details

Peterson Oil, Worcester MA


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