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HR director, Flowers Baking Company of New Orleans LLC
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Timothy Kelly was a senior in college when Hurricane Katrina hit 10 years ago. As a member of the Louisiana Air National Guard, he was deployed to help load emergency supplies onto helicopters, guard shelters and patrol the New Orleans area.
Witnessing that destruction and then losing his father a few months later prompted him to think more seriously about his future and that of his community.
Perhaps that’s why he’s so eager to help today’s college students. As president of the New Orleans chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) last year, Kelly worked with the University of New Orleans to create HR internships at local companies with funding by the chapter. He also led efforts to charter the Tulane University SHRM student chapter.
Currently, Kelly is the diversity director for SHRM’s Louisiana State Council and is planning Louisiana SHRM’s first diversity and inclusion summit, to be held in 2016.
What’s your work philosophy?
Number one: Relationships matter—whether they are with the CEO, a middle manager or an entry-level employee. They build trust. Without trust, why would anyone need or want your services? Number two: Keep a positive attitude. Being negative and snarky doesn’t do anyone any good.
What are you passionate about?
Giving back to the community and our profession. I have been truly blessed by having positive influences, friends and mentors to help me find my way in HR, and I try to volunteer on projects that help young professionals advance themselves whenever possible.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Take the time to learn the business. Get in there, ask questions and get your hands dirty. You can’t be an effective HR professional if you don’t understand what your company does and how your company does it.
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