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HR director, United Southern Bank
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Martha Argotte Thomas. Photo by Hatcher & Fell Photography
When the weekend rolls around, Martha Argotte Thomas likes to hit the open road on her 2004 Honda Goldwing motorcycle. In fact, it’s a lot like practicing HR.
“From the moment you get on the motorcycle, you don’t know what you’re going to come across,” she says. “That’s a typical day in human resources.”
Mentoring others and helping them live up to their full potential are the aspects of her job that rev her up most.
She feels a similar exhilaration when she is volunteering with the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).
“I feel like I have a part in the future of HR,” says Thomas, who is secretary of SHRM’s Kentucky state council. Previously, she served three years as diversity co-director of the state council and two years as president of her local Western Kentucky SHRM chapter in Hopkinsville, Ky. She has also assisted with planning for the state council’s HR conference.
Thomas likes life in the fast lane and has no desire to slow down.
What’s your work philosophy?
As Aristotle said, “Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work.” I believe everyone should enjoy what they do. As an HR professional, I want to motivate others, help them develop their skills and bring out the best in them. We all have gifts.
What are you passionate about?
Helping people understand there’s strength in diversity. My experiences as a bilingual woman from Ecuador who has lived in New York, Florida and now Kentucky have made me appreciate others’ differences, whether in nationality, race, age, religion or culture.
What do you enjoy in your spare time?
Camping with my husband and riding our motorcycle. I like to stay active. To me, life is precious. You never know when your last day on earth will be, so I try to live as fully as possible.
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