This week I interviewed Kim Ervin, Executive Director of HR for Heartland Food Corp. I asked her why she was speaking at the upcoming Inspiring Women Conference, next month in Naperville, IL. Kim said that she hopes when women hear her story they will be encouraged to pursue their dreams. She said that women have many more challenges than men. The three major challenges Kim had to face were: 1) being a women who wanted to climb the corporate ladder, 2) Being a minority, and 3) she is a single mother/parent. She hopes that women will not be discouraged, but instead be challenged, motivated and encouraged to do more, and not settle for something less than what they dream.
Kim started out as a court reporter and she said that was a good job, but she didn’t feel fulfilled. The law was great and I learned a lot, but I really wanted to help people. She told me that Heartland has over 10,000 employees and is one of the largest Burger King franchises, and they just acquired over 140 new stores in the past few months. She said in her role she has the ability to help people with “life” options. People only have two choices, to pick healthy or unhealthy life options. Kim continued that at times she has to play the role of corporate “police” making sure people do things correctly. But that is really not the focus of Human Resources (HR). In this role we deal with many life situations. Sometimes it is to help people find the right job and balance for their life. Sometimes we help people see their strengths, and sometimes point out their weaknesses. Kim feels it is very important that your job blends well with your personal life… so you feel fulfilled. She commented that if a person doesn’t feel right at work then that will spill over into the home life and the disruption will spill back again at work. It is really important for that balance… people have to feel good about themselves and their job plays a role in that.
She finds it very gratifying to help people, help themselves. ” I love it when people get that ah-hah moment, and they realize they can be better than they first thought.” Kim said that sometimes people can’t see their own strengths, and don’t realize how their strengths can be an opportunity, and a strength for personal growth and personal fulfillment.”
I am very excited to be asked to speak at this conference, Kim continued. The Inspiring Women- one day conference can help make a difference in the lives of those attending. She is hoping that women will get off the fence, don’t wait, make healthy choices and take action to make a difference in their lives.