Verla J. Calhoun-Kelley. SHRM-CP. PHR Director Human Resources and Administration Turner Enterprises, Inc. Dior Mavens

Verla Calhoun Kelley headshot.jpg

“I am honored to work with a Maverick whose focus is on “SAVING EVERYTHING”.  Ted Turner is a fascinating individual and a lover of the earth.  “Love the earth, appreciate the environment, embrace everyone, give back to your community”.

Verla J. Calhoun-Kelley, SHRM-CP, PHR

Director Human Resources and Administration . Turner Enterprises, Inc. Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas

Spelman College/Kennesaw State University/University of Arkansas

Business Administration / Human Resource Management

Verla Calhoun-Kelley is Director of Human Resources for Turner Enterprises, Inc.  In this capacity, she is responsible for leading and developing the company’s human resource strategies, as well as working directly with senior management on other initiatives and strategic goals.

During her more than 22 years in the HR industry, Verla has been recognized as a career leadership professional with the insight, vision and enthusiasm necessary to inspire teams and garner impressive results.  With her keen sense of business acumen and astute leadership qualities, she continues to build strong, positive relationships throughout the business community. In 2014, she was featured in the Atlanta Business Chronicle as a recipient of the SHRM Atlanta Pegasus Award for HR Excellence.

Verla is deeply involved in the surrounding communities for which she serves. She has held several leadership roles in the Atlanta Chapter’s Society for Human Resource Management; including EVP of Community Partnerships, VP of Programs, Labor and Legislative Co-Chair, and EVP of Signature Events. She is also certified as an Emotional Intelligence Trainer for TalentSmart, and is currently a member of Executive Women International, Society for Human Resource Management (national and Atlanta chapters), the Payroll Association Atlanta Chapter, International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans and Southern Employees Benefits Conference.

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Who are your biggest influencers and mentors personally & professionally and explain why? My biggest influencer and mentor serve both roles on the person and professional side, William (Bill) M. Shaw.  I met Bill when I began working for Turner Broadcasting, Inc. in 1996.  At the time the Company was in the process of building a new arena, “Philips”.  After Philips was built, Bill went on to retire as VP of Human Resources from Turner Broadcasting.  Ted Turner would later ask Bill to come work for his personal company Turner Enterprises, Inc.  Bill listed a position for HR associate.  I sent my resume and, well 22 years later, I oversee the entire function after Bill retired in 2015.  I am honored to have been mentored by Bill.  Our working relationship and his investment in my career are simply put, AMAZING.  Bill was no holds barred.  He made sure that whatever I needed to excel in my career was taking care of.  He supported my philanthropist interest and supported my community involvement initiatives.  I truly admire Mr. Shaw and will always appreciate everything that he did to make me the success I am today.

Three things we should know about you? I am the mother of three AWESOME children and two grandsons: Erin Calhoun,28 Software Developer for AT&T, Eris Calhoun, 22, Spelman College Graduate, Analyst for IBM and Rylee Calhoun, Senior McIntosh High School and soon to be heading to The United States Military College at West Point.   Erin, Jr. 4 and Kayden 7 months, my handsome grandsons. I love my church!  The Dream Center Church of Atlanta, Bishop William Murphy iii, & I love to cook!

What fuels your drive? Knowing that my purpose in life is to inspire others to be the best that they can be. Positive individuals who are working towards their goals and purposes. Individuals who genuinely care for others and are willing to give back to their communities.

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What exciting project are you working on? This made me laugh… a Payroll conversion at Turner Enterprises. Completing all paperwork necessary for my daughter Rylee to attend the United States Military Academy at West Point.

What books have you enjoyed and what’s the takeaway from that book? The Last Stand – Ted Turner’s Quest to Save A Troubled Planet. My take-away, this has been the life I have lived over the past 22 years.  I am honored to work with a Maverick whose focus is on “SAVING EVERYTHING”.  Ted Turner is a fascinating individual and a lover of the earth.  “Love the earth, appreciate the environment, embrace everyone, give back to your community”.

What’s been your most successful approach in building business relationships? I strongly believe that effective communication is key in guiding and maintaining successful business relationships. Being able to clearly communicate your ideas to others allows you to build and maintain a relationship with others. It is also very important to be an active listener and address any concerns or questions the other party might have.  This was something I struggled with before becoming certified as an Emotional Intelligence Trainer.   A nice genuine smile and care for people can go a long way!

What are the lessons that you’ve gained that have profoundly shifted your direction in business? 15 years ago, my mentor, Bill Shaw said, I would never want to play poker with you.  That day he said more than a mouth full.  It’s all about your emotions, how your respond to situations good or bad.  With a career in Human Recourses, it’s important to maintain a straight persona whether dealing with a good or not so good situation.  I believe that I have mastered it now and am sure Bill would love to have me at his poker table.

What are the pressing goals that you’d like to accomplish? Definitely the payroll conversion.  It’s been quite the experience.  We are going totally paperless.  So, as you can imagine, it’s been a very involved process. Making sure daughter, Rylee has everything she needs to prepare her for her 2019 High School graduation and her transition to a Military Service Academy. Continue to assist with foundations and community involvement that are near and dear to me.

Your mantra? “You are AMAZING”, whatever you were born to do, you have been quipped to do!

What type of digital magazine or periodicals do you enjoy? I guess I’m boring. HR Magazine. Anything legally related to Human Resource practices.

Favorite spots to frequent for business connections in Atlanta/National/International.

  • SHRM ATLANTA networking events/conventions

Apple or Samsung explain why? Apple – I’ve never owned a Samsung, so I can’t comment.

5 Favorite Skin care products and & fragrance by Dior that you enjoy using?

  • Dior J’adore

  • Miss Dior

  • Capture Totale, Eye cream

  • Rouge Dior

What do you do for fun? Travel, travel, travel! Spending time with my children and grandson’s

What legacy do you want to leave behind? A legacy of ethical will, leadership, genuine love for people and this beautiful earth.

Interviewed by: Maryan Aiken. Publisher. Founder. CEO. CityBox Media. Listening to Spotify. Never Lies. Sonny Fodera

The Dior Mavens are stylishly captivating. She is a fashionista in her own right. She exudes wellness & beauty and she fully celebrates the moment of who she is now with her chosen field. She is a ground breaker, a catalyst and an influencer. She is an entrepreneur, a business leader and she is recognized for her business engagements, sense of style, community & philanthropic involvement.

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