Lowell W. Hellervik

Outstanding Achievement Award Recipient

College of Education and Human Development, June 15, 2022

Lowell Hellervik, native of Minnesota, earned his PhD in educational psychology in 1968 from the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Minnesota. As a graduate student in 1967, he established Personnel Decision, Inc., later known as Personnel Decisions International (PDI). PDI started out as a small consulting company, which grew to become one of the world’s premier consulting groups that helped organizations assess, manage, and develop talent in their employees and leaders. He served as president between 1975 and 1989 and as its CEO between 1989 and 2008. By the time he retired from PDI, the company was operating in 30 countries and had more than 850 employees. With strong ties to Minnesota, he is credited with creating employment for hundreds of individuals in the Twin Cities area and opening career opportunities for University of Minnesota masters and PhD students in applied psychology. A pioneer in his field, Hellervik created several “firsts” in the field, including a model for assessing capabilities of incumbents and candidates for jobs, a model for prescribing development activities based on the assessment; a model for individualized coaching of individuals, and a number of programs that emphasized interview training, performance discussion training, and leadership training. He also built a database for recommended next steps in professional development based on one’s assessment results and strengths--known as The Successful Manager’s Handbook, which sold over a million copies. He authored two additional books, Successful Executive’s Handbook and Behavior Description Interviewing. Hellervik is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology. He is also the recipient of the 2006 College of Education and Human Development 100 Distinguished Alumni. At 83, Hellervik continues to be productive, serving as chair of the OMNI, a human resources software development firm that he founded.

Biographies are as-of time of award presentation.