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Excellence in HR Awards Honorees: Jennifer Harrold

Jenn Harrold, VP HR at Office Depot is an experienced change leader who translates business vision into HR initiatives, creating and influencing environments to produce results, improving performance and employee engagement.

Favorite Quote: “Mistakes are the portals of discovery.” — James Joyce

Fun Fact: Played rugby in college.

How do you unwind after a long day of work? I take my dog Toby for a long walk.

What challenges have you faced in your career, and how did you overcome them? Leading my team and supporting leaders and the organization through various mergers and acquisitions has been one of the most challenging and most rewarding periods in my career. I focus my team and the business on controlling what can be controlled and remaining focused on our objectives, while remaining nimble enough to respond to the unexpected.

What has been the most monumental moment of your career thus far? Simply watching my team grow and take on greater levels of responsibility is most rewarding to me.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten? My dad has always challenged me to keep improving and keep learning. He would always say, ‘when you’re the smartest person at the table, you’re at the wrong table.’

What qualities make for an outstanding HR professional? Objective, great communicator, passion for development and learning, trustworthy, self-aware, and a sense of humor

How have you adapted your HR skills to COVID? Leveraging interpersonal skills and relationships to drive effective collaboration as we all navigated unchartered territory together. Leveraging critical thinking and problem solving skills to develop real-time solutions for new and different challenges. Skills like resilience and adaptability were challenged in new and different ways as my teams and I worked night and day to keep our organization operating and our associates safe.

What are some misconceptions about HR and how do you combat them? I most often hear that HR takes care of “personnel issues” or “helps associates”. While HR professionals certainly do address associate concerns and help mitigate issues, that is merely one facet of the job. The role of HR is much bigger than this. It’s critical for HR professionals to have an understanding of the business strategy and balance the needs of associates with the goals of the business. When HR can translate business vision into HR initiatives, we add tremendous value and enable people and teams to produce results, improving performance and employee engagement.

What do you like most about working in HR? The role of HR is ever-changing to make things better for people, teams and organizations. When dealing with people, the work is much more dynamic and many times we face the unexpected or unplanned. I like the idea of not always knowing what the day will bring. In HR, you may find yourself working on new approaches for people development, new technologies and tools, or developing new process improvements to help the company reach its objectives. The variety is energizing!

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Drew Limsky

Drew Limsky

Editor-in-Chief

BIOGRAPHY

Drew Limsky joined Lifestyle Media Group in August 2020 as Editor-in-Chief of South Florida Business & Wealth. His first issue of SFBW, October 2020, heralded a reimagined structure, with new content categories and a slew of fresh visual themes. “As sort of a cross between Forbes and Robb Report, with a dash of GQ and Vogue,” Limsky says, “SFBW reflects South Florida’s increasingly sophisticated and dynamic business and cultural landscape.”

Limsky, an avid traveler, swimmer and film buff who holds a law degree and Ph.D. from New York University, likes to say, “I’m a doctor, but I can’t operate—except on your brand.” He wrote his dissertation on the nonfiction work of Joan Didion. Prior to that, Limsky received his B.A. in English, summa cum laude, from Emory University and earned his M.A. in literature at American University in connection with a Masters Scholar Award fellowship.

Limsky came to SFBW at the apex of a storied career in journalism and publishing that includes six previous lead editorial roles, including for some of the world’s best-known brands. He served as global editor-in-chief of Lexus magazine, founding editor-in-chief of custom lifestyle magazines for Cadillac and Holland America Line, and was the founding editor-in-chief of Modern Luxury Interiors South Florida. He also was the executive editor for B2B magazines for Acura and Honda Financial Services, and he served as travel editor for Conde Nast. Magazines under Limsky’s editorship have garnered more than 75 industry awards.

He has also written for many of the country’s top newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Boston Globe, USA Today, Worth, Robb Report, Afar, Time Out New York, National Geographic Traveler, Men’s Journal, Ritz-Carlton, Elite Traveler, Florida Design, Metropolis and Architectural Digest Mexico. His other clients have included Four Seasons, Acqualina Resort & Residences, Yahoo!, American Airlines, Wynn, Douglas Elliman and Corcoran. As an adjunct assistant professor, Limsky has taught journalism, film and creative writing at the City University of New York, Pace University, American University and other colleges.