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What does someone in human resources look like? Before making the transition to HR, Rawleigh Richardson Sr. was told he didn’t fit the image. Perhaps that perception was fueled by the 17 years Richardson spent in retail loss prevention for Target.
“I was perceived as a tough and scary security person, but not by people who really knew me,” he says.
There’s nothing scary about what Richardson has contributed to the profession. He worked on Louisville, Ky.’s Compassion in the Workplace Initiative—part of a citywide campaign to spread kindness and empathy—through his involvement with Louisville’s Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) chapter. Richardson also served as director of the chapter’s workforce readiness committee and its college and community committee. And he currently serves as co-director of diversity with SHRM’s Kentucky State Council.
In short, he makes HR look good.
What are you most proud of?
Being recognized as an HR professional since taking my first HR job at Target in 2006. Also, in 2013, I was selected as keynote speaker at Webster University’s graduation ceremony. That was an honor since I received my master’s degree in human resource management from Webster in 2009—17 years after getting my undergraduate degree in police and correctional administration.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
A store manager at Burlington Coat Factory once told me “People do things for two reasons—either they don’t know or they don’t care.” As an HR professional and a father, I do my best to communicate expectations so that I can fix the first reason. Life usually takes care of the other one.
What other interests do you have?
I volunteer with the Chestnut Street Family YMCA Black Achievers program and conduct workforce readiness workshops at Sullivan University. I lead workshops on shoplifting prevention and anger management at the Clark County Youth Shelter, and I help lead a diversion program for adult shoplifters for the Better Business Bureau.
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