In our 2021 issue, we’re shining the light on several amazing Leading Ladies.
Executive Vice President, Consumables, Walmart
B.A. Political Science, Spelman College
Juris Doctorate, University of Arkansas School of Law
Did you always know what you wanted to do?
As a child, I wanted to be a teacher. At some point, though, I fell in love with the idea of working a cash register. I went to law school because I wanted to be a lawyer and a judge and then one day I decided my dream job was to be a personal shopper. If you think about it, being a personal shopper combines my childhood desire to guide and instruct with my love for commerce.
Have you stayed on a straight path to your career goal?
My career goal has been to be successful at whatever I endeavored to do. So, yes, I think I’ve stayed on track. As for achieving my dream job, I think I have gotten as close as I will ever get to being a personal shopper. Although, being a merchant — being thoughtful about what customers would like to buy, what appeals to them and what would help them meet their goals — is a bit like being a personal shopper. The difference is that I’m shopping on behalf of millions of customers rather than just one client.
Best part of your job:
Hands down, the best part of my job is the people I work with who strive every day to make sure customers who shop Walmart get the best price, great brands and the ability to shop whenever, wherever and however they want.
First big break:
My first real big break was getting accepted and attending Spelman College. It opened up a new world for me and fundamentally changed what I believed was possible in my life.
Quality you admire most in women:
One of the qualities I most admire in other women is that of being relatable – it empowers you with your people, your peers, leaders and stakeholders at every level.
In what ways have you personally and professionally had to pivot during the current pandemic?
One of the most important disciplines I’ve had to put in place during this time when we are working from home is to pivot from being at work to being at home. To physically turn off the computer, close the door of the office and be present at home. In a Zoom world where we aren’t in physical proximity to our teams, it’s important to watch for how people are doing and to check in on them regularly. I am learning to manage my energy and make sure I help my team take the breaks they need. As a company, Walmart has continued to keep a laser focus on our customers — providing the products they need and a shopping environment that is safe and convenient. We’ve evolved how we work with suppliers to strengthen our supply chain, instituted safety guidelines and sanitation protocols, and expanded services like Grocery Pickup and Delivery.
What changes have you seen in the current fight against racism?
I’ve seen greater compassion, curiosity and camaraderie.
Do you still seek out mentors or mentees?
Mentorship is important at every level of one’s career. We all need someone who will encourage us to dream bigger as well as challenge us to be better. I seek mentorship, and I mentor as well. Both push and motivate me.
How are you practicing self-care?
5 a.m. workouts. Since neither my trainer nor I am a morning person, I get quiet time for the first hour of my day.
Surprising fact about you:
Tomatoes are my favorite food.
What nonprofits are you involved with and why?
Over the years I have supported several organizations because they are part of the fabric of the community and do such good work across Northwest Arkansas. These include Big Brothers Big Sisters, Mercy Health Foundation Northwest Arkansas and Thaden School. I’ve tried to focus any efforts I support around organizations that specifically benefit children and women.
Thing you’re most proud of:
I am most proud of my children. Alex and Londyn are the truest reflection of God’s grace. I am proud of who they are —compassionate, kind, intelligent truth-tellers. They give it to me straight.