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Rebecca Harmon. Photo by Colby McLemore
By day, Rebecca Harmon, SHRM-CP, is an HR executive for a medical device manufacturer. By night, she’s a competitive ballroom dancer.
Both roles require her to be quick on her feet with the self-discipline and motivation to keep striving to be her best.
In the HR field, that drive led her to earn an MBA, which gives her a big-picture view of the role that HR performs within the organization and the value it brings.
Harmon also helps shine the spotlight on HR’s value through her volunteer work. She is currently director of the Tennessee state council of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and co-chair of the 2018 state conference planning committee. She previously served as president of her local SHRM chapter, the Tennessee Valley Human Resource Association (TVHRA) in Knoxville. She was named TVHRA SHRM Chapter HR Professional of the Year in 2016 and won the Tennessee SHRM State Council’s HR Excellence Award in 2008.
In September, she’ll be demonstrating her agility and grace under pressure in a different way as she competes in the U.S. Dance Championships in Orlando, Fla.
What motivates you?
I love seeing people develop and achieve their greatest potential. Knowing I played a small part in that progress is rewarding. I want to know I made a difference to someone, no matter how small.
What’s your work philosophy?
Always do the right thing. Never put your values second. Execute with excellence in everything you do, and lead the way for others.
What attracted you to ballroom dancing?
I love making people feel something when I perform. I started dancing six years ago and compete in the Southeast region in the rhythm style, which includes cha-cha, rumba, swing, bolero and mambo. Getting a reaction—a smile, applause or even tears—indicates to me that I’ve accomplished something as a dancer. It is great exercise and relieves stress. Dancing always puts a smile on my face.
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