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Headshot of Nicole Norian, Interim CHRO

Nicole Norian, SPHR

Interim CHRO

Nicole Norian, SPHR,  currently serves as the Interim Chief Human Resources Officer for Dogwood Health Trust. She is committed to fostering a diverse, inclusive, and equitable workforce by building a culture where differences are valued. She believes that as we create workforces that reflect the communities we serve, we empower employees to bring their full, authentic selves to work which strengthens us all.

Nicole is an accomplished senior level Human Resources professional with a proven record of superior performance and innovative accomplishments with extensive experience in higher education and public sector venues. Her proven ability to work with senior leadership, peers, and teams results in collaborative, visionary, facilitative, and strategic leadership. She is skilled at envisioning the future with optimism and inspiring others to do the same.

Her HR career has included positions in public and private higher education and county government. Nicole has held leadership positions as the chief human resources officer at Emporia State University, Central Missouri State University, Nevada State College (founding director), and most recently the University of North Carolina at Asheville. 

Nicole established her HR consulting firm in fall 2019, Chrysalis HR Consulting (  With over 30 years of HR leadership experience in public and private organizations, small to large, with varying complexity, Nicole understands the joys and challenges of working in mission-driven organizations where you must be strategic and hands-on, frugal with resources, and have a high sense of accountability to those you serve and represent.

Nicole graduated with honors from both Drake University (master’s degree in counseling and personnel services) and Iowa State University (bachelor’s degree in psychology). She is a Senior Professional in Human Resources, MBTI certified, and a graduate of Leadership Asheville’s Class 33. 

In 2020, upon her retirement from a career in higher education human resources, she received Honorary Life Membership from the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR). Honorary Life Membership is the highest honor for recognizing retiring CUPA-HR members who have demonstrated a lifetime commitment to the higher education human resources profession and long-term leadership in the association. 

Since moving to Asheville, NC in 2013, Nicole has served on several boards, including Leadership Asheville and Celebration Singers. She was a founding member of the Western North Carolina Diversity Engagement Coalition, serving as Chair in 2018. She is currently on the Board of Directors for Hanger Hall School for Girls, serving as President in 2019-2020.