Kelli Justesen: Engaging and Inspiring Opus’ Workforce


​“The passion Opus associates have for our business, our clients and the teams they work with every day is central to our culture and how we show up to deliver for our clients," Kelli Justesen, Vice President of Human Resources said. “We work hard to provide our associates with creative and challenging work in a fun, energetic and fast-paced work environment."

At Opus, the combination of our people, our culture, teamwork and our unique design-build project delivery method truly differentiates us. It's why our associates come here, and why they stay. We firmly believe our highly engaged, collaborative, focused and talented team correlates directly to our ability to deliver buildings that exceed client expectations. And that's why Kelli's role at Opus is so important. 

Leading the HR team, Kelli oversees traditional HR functions, such as recruitment and staffing, performance management, organizational development, regulatory compliance, policy development and documentation, compensation and benefits administration, and associate relations, onboarding, communications and training. Additionally, Kelli's team manages our Minneapolis facilities-related activities and management of front desk and office support associates. She does all of this with an eye to Opus' future, developing the next generation of leaders through succession planning.

Champion of our Culture

Creating an engaged and inspired workforce is important; It enables our mission of exceeding client expectations by empowering their missions through the buildings we deliver. Supporting that is Kelli's ultimate objective.   

“In numerous ways, I'm the unofficial ambassador of the Opus associate experience," Kelli said. “I'm a champion for our culture, providing strategic human resources leadership focused on creating a collaborative work environment that attracts, retains, engages and inspires our associates to do their best work."

Kelli started down her career path with a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Gustavus Adolphus College and then a Master of Business Administration from the Opus College of Business at the University of St. Thomas. 

“As my undergraduate degree in biology would suggest, human resource management was not originally my intended path," said Kelli. “Rather, it was an intersection along the way, and I knew almost immediately it was the right place for me. I am energized by the space where business marries the human element of the workforce."

“The human resources field has evolved from being a back-office, administrative function for processing and filing personnel documentation, to an essential and strategic element of business management," she said. “I am drawn to the kind of challenges inherent to working with people, as no two people are the same."

Kelli started at Opus in 2011 as Manager of Human Resources and was promoted to Director of Human Resources in 2016. In 2017, having proven she could successfully manage the Human Resources function and more, she was named Vice President of Human Resources.

Associate Engagement = Delivering for Clients

Opus places tremendous value on associate engagement and its impact on delivering for our clients. Likewise, Kelli and her team are continually looking for ways to improve the work experience for our associates. Through the bi-annual Opus Engagement Survey, they gather critical feedback and input from team members nationwide. Year-over-year, results from the engagement survey have been well above the norm, continually trending up with steady improvement.

“We are focused on creating and supporting an engaged and inspired workforce," she said. “We do this by creating experiences, environments and spaces that are respectful, interesting, rewarding and effective. Doing this well is something for which we are tremendously proud." 

Perhaps Kelli's manager, Tom Hoben, Vice President and General Counsel, sums it up best saying, “Kelli is an exceptionally talented leader whose dedication to Opus and its associates shines through in all she does. Kelli simply embodies Opus' core values and is committed to excellence. That spirit rings true in the HR team she leads as well. One of our key strategies is an engaged and inspired workforce. Kelli is clearly engaged, and through her engagement she inspires. She is a true star in our organization."


Kelli is a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) and SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP). She is also an active member of hrConnection. 

To learn more about Opus and what it's like to work here, visit our Careers page.  


Our associates are talented, dedicated and knowledgeable. They streamline complex projects and always deliver value to clients. Read more profiles of our team.