Orlena Cowan-Bailey

Founder & Chief Elevation Officer (CEO)


Orlena Cowan-Bailey is a multi-faceted, innovative, inclusive and strategic human resource leader and consultant with 15+ years of progressive leadership experience managing a full spectrum of HR processes, initiatives, and projects. Her experiences stem from a variety of industries including retail, financial services, government, transportation and banking. She’s passionate about architecting and influencing workplace cultures that promote engagement, retention, development, diversity, equity and inclusion. She is an Employee Relations Consultant for The Hartford. She formerly worked for MassMutual, a Fortune 100 company, as an HR Business Partner supporting their Corporate Functions. She is the former Chief Human Resource Officer for CT Transit where she led all HR functions during the implementation and launch of CTFastrak, a transformational and significant multi-million project for the state of Connecticut. She’s also worked for Target, Bank of America and Magellan Health.

In 2020, Orlena founded HR Zoom LLC where she serves as the Chief Elevation Officer (CEO) fueled by her passion for elevating workplace cultures and increased opportunities to help multiple organizations with her expertise and thought leadership. Her creative spirit led to the launch of the HR Swag Shop in 2021, an online store with the trendy and diverse merchandise for HR and workplace culture.

Mrs. Cowan-Bailey is a Hartford Business Journal “40 under 40” award winner which recognizes outstanding young professionals in the Greater Hartford area that excel in their industry and leadership roles. She’s a long-term and progressive SHRM Volunteer Leader currently serving as State Council Executive Director for the CT SHRM Council which has oversight of all SHRM affiliate chapters across Connecticut and a key liaison and partner to SHRM National in carrying out strategic initiatives. She is a recent Chapter President for the Human Resource Association of Central CT (HRACC). In her SHRM roles, Orlena is able to demonstrate her love and expertise in program and event management while creating continuous and valuable professional development opportunities for hundreds of HR professionals every year.

Orlena is a proud Hartford, CT native, Weaver High School and Fairfield University Alum with a B.A. in Organizational Communications and Marketing. She earned her HR Certificate from the University of Saint Joseph and boasts HR’s leading and premier certifications; Senior Professional in HR (SPHR) and SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP). Her enthusiasm for continued education and development led her to Central Connecticut State University serving as an adjunct instructor preparing students for SHRM Certification since 2020.

Out of all the hats she wears on any given day or night, her most important role is being Mom to her two beautiful children and Wife to her supportive, handy and comedic husband. They keep her hands and heart full. She enjoys curating customized milestone events, experiences & moments for her loved ones who often call her the “The Moment Maker.” Orlena loves to “chef it up” in the kitchen and on a rare lazy Saturday morning she can be found watching an episode of “Chopped” or any other show on Food Network or HGTV.

Orlena Cowan-Bailey
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