New VP for Human Resources Brings ‘Wealth of Experience’


Cara WaldCara J. Wald, with 25 years of experience in higher education human resources, has been named vice president for human resources at Palm Beach Atlantic University, effective July 25. She comes to us from Bethel University in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Bethel, like Palm Beach Atlantic, is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU).

“We are delighted to have Cara join us,” said PBA President Dr. Debra A. Schwinn. “She has a wealth of experience, and she shares our commitment to Christ-first education. This is a perfect example of a beautiful combination of ‘mission fit’ and content expertise, both very important to Palm Beach Atlantic University.”

Wald earned two degrees at Bethel, a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in organizational leadership. Since 1997 she has served in that university’s human resources department, which in recent years was rebranded as “People and Culture.”

For the past eight years Wald and her husband, Nate, have visited Florida to enjoy Minnesota Twins spring training games. “We’ve always said we would love to live in Florida in the back half of our life,” she said. “I won’t miss Minnesota winters, but more than that, coming to PBA is an opportunity to continue what I believe is a calling within Christian higher education. It feels like a true gift from God to be able to do that ministry work in Florida.”

Wald will assume the position now filled by Mona Hicks, one of PBA’s longest serving employees. Hicks previously had announced her retirement, but agreed to stay until April of 2023 to help her successor transition into the job.

“We owe Mona a tremendous debt of gratitude,” said President Schwinn, “for her many years of faithful service, and also for this gracious gift:  Staying until April to serve as emeritus vice president for human resources will allow her to impart historic PBA knowledge to Cara. We look forward to celebrating Mona’s incredible contribution to PBA before she retires.”

Wald was a key advisor and direct report to the president of Bethel University, and winner of the university’s Excellence in Management Award. She was chosen for the PBA post after a nationwide search.

She and her husband “are huge sports fans,” she said. “Our bucket list is to visit every major league baseball park in the country, and we’ve been to about half of them.” They have a Lhasa Apso, and enjoy doing special things with their nephews such as “spoiling them and then returning them.”