I recently had the opportunity to exclusively interview Gina Davis about five random facts about herself, what inspired her to go into HR . Plus her biggest accomplishment to date. Check out my interview with Gina Davis below:
Loryn: What inspired you to have a career in HR?
Gina: I stumbled into HR a very long time ago when it was known as Personnel. My husband and I had a financial services business with two offices. Unfortunately due to a recession, we had to close both offices and I had to find a job. The skills I acquired through owning our own business like active listening skills, excellent customer service, relentless followup, customer appreciation, engagement, and diversity appreciation I was able to transfer these skills into the Human Resources arena. I landed a temporary assignment in a Manufacturing HR department. I had a great boss that believed in me and mentored me. I went to school to learn about Human Resources. Ultimately I received a certificate in HR. From there I continued to grow and develop and practice my C.R,A.F.T. = Character, Respect, Accountability, Fairness, and Teamwork.
Loryn: What do you consider as your biggest accomplishment?
Gina: One of my biggest accomplishments so far has been the ability to create a Diversity and Inclusion team. My senior leaders gave me this task without any guidance or expectations. I looked at our organization and thought why do we need to have a D&I initiative. Our organization was diverse and comprised of the communities surrounding our location. At the time, our location was located in the Inland Empire (IE). I didn't know where to begin. I hand selected managers and hourly employees that had a great rapport and great influence. We met as a group and decided to educated our team members every month on every aspect of diversity. Before we could do this we took a field trip to the Museum of Tolerance located in Los Angeles. The first door in the museum, we were thrust into the world of hatred. We were catapulted back in time to the Holocaust and the Civil Rights Movement. We were given a card with a child's name on the card. We followed the child throughout the Holocaust and discovered at the end the child's fate. We sat at the lunch counters while obscenities were yelled at us. We even had the opportunity to listen to a man that was a Holocaust survivor. We took the museum experience back to our office and went to work. I divided our team into smaller groups and each month the group reported on what would be communicated to the workplace. We placed a world map and asked each employee yo place a pin on what country they mostly identified with. Push pins were everywhere on the map. We had rappers one month. We found out that we had over 27 different languages spoken at our site. We had Polynesian dancers that taught us how to hula. We had some potlucks to taste southern soul food. We had an African attire fashion show and so much more. This was a year long project. We documented each month what we did and posted our pictures and education materials around the site so people could read and learn. After the year, we ended the project with an old fashion red, white, and blue barbecue. The documented project was sent to our home office. My team and I was recognized globally and the program was rolled out to five other locations across the U.S.
Loryn: What advice would you give to future HR professionals?
Gina: The advice I would give future HR professionals is to be flexible and learn to be a servant leader. If you give of yourself you will constantly win. Have passion for what you do. Genuinely care about the people you work with and support. Be humble and continue to pay it forward. Remember to always look for the good in people. Be a blessing to someone and always give H.O.P.E.= Help One Person Every Day.
Loryn: What's a risk has left an impact on you?
Gina:My husband and I took a risk to get our insurance and series 6 and 63 license a very long time ago. The risk paid off and my husband and I lived a lavish lifestyle at a very young age. We were going for our dreams and traveling around the world. I loved helping and watching others achieve their dreams. It all ended when the recession hit. However, the lessons I learned was invaluable. It I had to do it all again, I would.
Loryn: What's something not many people know about you?
Gina: Many people don't know that I love the theater and was a dancer in another life time. I grew up in the Midwest, (Indianapolis, Ind.) I loved to dance so I learned to dance at a young age through the local community center. We had recitals twice a year and most times I had a lead part. My dance instructor coached me as much as she could and saw potential in me. I took all the local training I could because it was free. However, my instructor told my mother in order for me to grow and develop as a dancer I would need lessons. I knew that paid dance lessons would never happen due to our financial situation. That didn't stop me. I joined master classes for underprivileged. I attended dance camps and by the time I was eighteen I was dancing all over Indiana. In college, I joined a dance team and continued to push myself. I had a ballet teach to tell me I would never be a ballerina because I didn't have a dancer's body. She crushed my self esteem. When I moved to CA, I still longed to dance so I joined a dance company at a junior college and danced all over CA. It was the best time I ever had. Unfortunately due to an injury, I had to stop.
Be sure to stay updated with Gina Davis by connecting with her on LinkedIn under: Gina Davis