About Us

KSMKaren Stone Mickool, Executive Director

Karen is the Executive Director and co-owner of Stone Associates, LLC. She also serves as a Senior Consultant and Executive Coach for several regional consulting firms including CCI Consulting in Blue Bell, PA, and Kensington, International based in Chicago, IL. Her passion is in helping companies and individuals reach their full potential by maximizing opportunities for leadership, growth and development.

Karen has an extensive background in Human Resources, Organization and Leadership Development, Coaching and Management Development in a wide variety of environments. Prior to her corporate career, Karen spent over ten years providing Leadership Development and Student Services on college campuses. Karen then held strategic positions with The Bank of New York, Fleet Boston (now Bank of America), Southco Engineering, AIG Marketing, and the Coca Cola Company. She has managed human resources departments, designed and delivered global leadership programs, implemented corporate wide succession planning and change management initiatives, and provided coaching and development to senior executives, higher education leaders and front line management.

Since founding Stone Associates in 2009, she has been providing leadership development, executive coaching, onsite and remote HR services to a variety of large and small, profit and non-profit businesses across the country. She conducts HR compliance audits, designs leadership training and organizational assessments, and often coaches individuals through career transitions. She has partnered with several New Mexico and Texas non-profits to improve their organizational effectiveness, build their leadership teams and improve communications processes.

After moving to South Carolina in 2015, she was quickly asked to join the Board of Directors for the Coastal Organization for Human Resources (COHR). She was the President Elect of COHR in 2016. She also served the SC State Council for The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) in 2016 as a District Director after previously serving 2 terms as a District Director for the New Mexico SHRM State Council. She is a Past President (2 terms) of the Board of Directors of the Northern New Mexico Human Resources Association and served on the Board of Directors of NNMHRA and Delaware SHRM for over 10 years. Karen also taught as an Adjunct Faculty Member at Goldey-Beacom College, and Shepherd College.

Karen is a Master Graduate of the Discover Leadership Program, was a Master Trainer for Achieve Global (now MHI Global), and is certified in a number of other leadership development programs. She holds a Masters Degree in Higher Education and Student Personnel Administration and a Bachelors Degree in Education from the University of Delaware. Her specialties include Executive Coaching, Performance Management, Strategic Planning, Employee Relations, Project Management, Global Succession Planning, Change Management, Human Resources Compliance, HR Outsourcing, Talent Search & Recruiting, Career Transition, Lominger Leadership Architect, Leadership Development, and Organizational Design. She currently lives in Isla Mujeres, Mexico with her husband and 2 dogs.

CSMCindyStone Murphy, Executive Vice President

Cindy Murphy is the Executive Vice President of Stone Associates. She currently provides onsite and remote HR services to a variety of businesses in the retail, service, fine arts, education, medical, and construction sectors for both profit and non-profit organizations. Throughout her career, Cindy has managed various aspects of both human resources and administrative needs at the corporate level including benefits administration, record-keeping, development of policies and procedures, I-9 audits, recruiting, new hire on-boarding/orientation, HR compliance audits, and managing payroll and commissions.  In these roles she also served as a trusted confidant for senior leadership, providing support for a wide variety of concerns. 


Cindy has additional experience in a wide range of office management functions including contract management, accounts payable, accounts receivable invoicing, collections, account reconciliation, and expense report management. She is a former teacher with over 14 years of instructional experience. In addition to teaching, she served as a mentor to new teachers, supervised student teachers and has extensive experience in curriculum and instructional design at both a district and state level.


She currently serves as Co-Director of Marketing & Communications for the SHRM New Mexico State Council. Cindy has assisted with the planning of several of SHRM New Mexico's state conferences. Previously she served on the Board of the Northern New Mexico Human Resources Association for over six years as VP of Communications and Social Media Chair. She recently joined the conference committee for the Garden State SHRM 2018 Conference & Expo.


Cindy holds degrees from both Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Virginia and Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. Her specialties include Compliance, Employee Relations, Performance Management, Evaluating Core Competencies & Developing Compliant Job Descriptions, Employee Handbooks, and Office Management. She lives in Ringoes, New Jersey with her husband Brian and their incredible lab, Kelly.