SVP, HR, Communications, Ace Hardware Corporation
WHAT I’VE LEARNED
My parents inspired me with their tremendous work ethic. They both had low paying jobs but were tremendous savers. They motivated me to be a good person, and to treat people like you want to be treated, and help pull someone up with you. I also learned not to take myself too seriously. It’s all about people, or the next person, it’s not about me. I also, as they say, try not to sweat the small stuff.
I’ve learned that your personal integrity is extremely important. Be humble, be honest, and be respectful. We are all people with diverse ideas, and we should respect that.
BEST CAREER ADVICE
Have patience. Learn as much as you can in any role that you have. Be willing to take a couple of risks as it relates to promotional opportunities early in your career. Integrity, commitment, and humility are important keys to growth in a career.
I motivate others by developing a strong level of trust, building strong relationships, while providing clarity and direction. I make sure to establish clear objectives and goals with input from the team. And the teams are empowered to drive results.
I think my greatest strength is my ability to communicate and connect with people on all levels. This involves the ability to be a good listener, and understand people on a personal level.
COMMUNITY AND LEGACY
One of the biggest challenges I see in the African-American community today is one of education and jobs. We need to figure out how to provide a strong educational structure and support system for our children as well as a strong re-education system for adults. This re-training of adults based upon the future directions of US jobs is critical. Education and job growth is also the key to reducing the violence.
HOW I GIVE BACK
I currently sit on a board of Lurie’s Children’s Hospital trying to help them raise money for kids and families that can’t afford the tremendous cost of healthcare. Reaching out and helping a sick child in our community is a key to family structure.
WHAT I’M READING
Amaze Every Customer Every Time by Shep Hyken
MY ALMA MATER
I earned my Bachelor of Science degree from Bradley University