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NewsMonday, May 13, 2013
Rhonda Deaton-Gibby, pictured here with her husband, Joe, received Tri-County Technical College's Distinguished Alumni Award, which highlights her dedication to her alma mater, at the College's spring commencement May 10. The recipient of this award must have been awarded a degree, diploma or certificate from Tri-County; must have graduated at least one year ago; and must have made significant contributions to the College, the Alumni Association, or the community.
Gibby is vice president of human resources for Kimberly-Clark Corporation in Atlanta.
Corporate VP Rhonda Gibby Named Tri-County’s Distinguished Alumna
CONTACT: RHONDA GIBBY, email@example.com
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 5/10/2013
(By Lisa Garrett)
PENDLETON --- One of the most gratifying and inspiring aspects of Rhonda Deaton-Gibby's job as vice president of human resources for Kimberly-Clark Corporation in Atlanta is the opportunity to meet and mentor employees, helping them to navigate the professional and personal paths of their learning journeys. After having had the opportunity to work in various areas of business including manufacturing as well as sales and operations, it is the people component that keeps bringing her back to the area of human resources.
Gibby received Tri-County Technical College's Distinguished Alumni Award, which highlights her dedication to her alma mater, at the College's spring commencement May 10. The recipient of this award must have been awarded a degree, diploma or certificate from Tri-County; must have graduated at least one year ago; and must have made significant contributions to the College, the Alumni Association, or the community.
As a student at Tri-County Technical College more than two decades ago, Gibby fondly recalls the investment made in her by instructors who recognized and encouraged her to pursue her passion for learning.
"We must be learning agile. We must make plans for how to get from point A to point B in our education and our career. I remember former Office Systems Technology (now Administrative Office Technology) instructor Judy Read talking to me about scenarios and contingency plans -- how to get from point A to point B with multiple options. That advice has served me well in my career," said Gibby, who has been with Kimberly-Clark since 2005. In her current position, she supports two divisions -- Kimberly Clark Health Care and Kimberly Clark Professional. This year the company ranked among the World's Most Ethical Companies. With brands like as Kleenex, Scott, HUGGIES, Pull-Ups, Kotex and Depend, Kimberly-Clark holds No. 1 or No. 2 share positions in more than 80 countries.
"Our vision is to lead the world in essentials for a better life while fostering our Kimberly Clark employee culture that is based on accountability and recognizes and rewards results, while staying true to the values that form the essence of who we are," she said.
As one of the Top 100 leaders of this Fortune 500 Company, Gibby is involved in the global business and HR strategy for the company. "I am able to engage with business and human resource colleagues around the world as we put together strategic business plans and a people strategy that enables us to win in our marketplaces, as well as be a great place to work, maintaining a culture of integrity that values employees and their successes," she said.
"One of the highlights of my role is the opportunity to interact with my peers and exchange best practices. I also coach and mentor associates and work with folks at all levels within the company, gaining insight and understanding on what is important to them. This provides us the opportunity to check and adjust our policy and practices as needed," she said.
She says Tri-County instructors inspired her as a recent high school graduate who was unsure of what her long-term goals were.
"Acquiring an education was my goal," she said. "At Tri-County I found a well-informed faculty and staff who gave me the tools and direction to achieve my goal." She began as a day student but switched to the evening curriculum when she gained full-time employment. "I really fit into the evening program. I could work during the day and go to school from 6 - 10 four nights a week."
"I always tell folks that I learned how to learn at Tri-County. Learning how to learn is a competitive advantage. Things change very quickly today. Content can be old in 30 days. I learned to be learning agile," said Gibby, " and I learned to set priorities."
She also appreciated the diversity of the student population. As an evening student, she attended classes with other working adults. "Many times the answers to my questions came from the students themselves who talked about their life experiences. Tri-County is so under-understood. It has true value and flexibility and it can be the right , first or next step for anyone."
After earning an associate degree and while working at Clemson University, she developed a interest in pursuing roles in leadership and came back to her alma mater with a renewed focus: human resources management. She attended university transfer classes on her lunch hour while continuing to work full time.
"My work at Tri-County was a direct result of my getting a job at Clemson and later when I developed an interest in management, the College opened doors for me and gave me an opportunity to pursue my education further through additional university transfer classes. I gained valuable contacts and I stayed in touch with Tri-County faculty and staff," she said.
"Tri-County graduates are well prepared, they have good reasoning skills and an excellent work ethic," said. "They hit the floor running. That's what I looked for in Tri-County grads when I was filling positions. I felt good placing these individuals because I knew the curriculum and I knew they were qualified."
After earning a B.S. degree in human resources at Southern Wesleyan University, she took her first job in the industrial segment with Dempster Equipment. "It was my first job in manufacturing. I got out on the floor and learned more about the people as well as the processes. I really wanted to help people to realize their goals," she said. This led to her pursuit of a master's degree at Clemson University.
With an M.S. in human resource development and business administration, she began working as a consultant at Etcon in Gainesville, Georgia. She later opened a Seneca office and was a human resource partner with business and industry and established a client base in the area. "When I was at Etcon, I enjoyed referring graduates to clients, and many times visited Tri-County classes to talk to students about how to interview and represent their skills and experiences. I always asked myself how I could give back and help the College."
After accepting positions at both Orian Rugs and later Kendall (now Covidien), she maintained a close association with the College and served on advisory boards while she worked in the area. It was during this time that she was instrumental in establishing the Orian Scholarship through the College's Foundation Office and went on to advocate for establishing Kendall's scholarship, as well as the start-up of its tuition reimbursement program.
Gibby says one of her proudest career accomplishments was the establishment of these Tri-County Technical College scholarships because they have provided others with the opportunity to pursue an educational goal that may not have been possible otherwise. "Lifelong learning is a passion of mine. It's a way to help people to bridge gaps. You can't underestimate the power of education."