Huntington, WV Black History

Tom Wright

Entrepreneur

Tom Wright is a successful entrepreneur who has been recognized as a transformational human resources officer and leader over the course of his 30-year career.

Wright has a master of science degree in administration from Central Michigan University and earned a bachelor of business administration degree in management and economics from Marshall University. He is an alumnus of the Kansas City Chamber of Commerce’s Kansas City Tomorrow Leadership Program. He has been recognized as one of “Kansas City’s 100 Most Influential African Americans” and was named a Marshall University Outstanding Black Alumni and received the Marshall SHRM Alumni Award. Additionally, he was recognized as a Distinguished Dean’s Speaker by the MU Lewis College of Business.

He has a solid record of success in helping companies achieve operational excellence through effective employee engagement, talent acquisition, performance management and succession planning. His success was based in facilitating a corporate commitment, from the top down, to ensuring the career development of employees and fostering a deeply embedded culture of employee dedication to the success of the organization.

Wright currently serves as the executive vice president and chief human resources officer at Children’s Mercy Hospital located in Kansas City, Missouri. He also serves as the executive director of the Leadership Center within the Children’s Mercy Berry Institute.

In 2018, Wright retired from his role as EPR Properties Senior Vice President of Human Resources & Administration and Corporate Officer. He transitioned to a one-year executive advisor role with the company that allowed him to continue to partner with the CEO as an executive advisor on special projects related to corporate strategy, human resources, succession planning and organization development. In addition, he was instrumental in working directly with the EPR Board of Directors as a consultant on key initiatives.

Wright’s work in the executive advisor role wound down in January 2019 and, while he is enjoying the opportunity retirement affords him to travel and spend more time with family, he continues to extend his leadership acuity to the community, serving on multiple boards of directors and is actively pursuing additional board roles. His current board roles include serving as a member of the Executive Committee and Chair of the CEO Search Committee for the Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center, member of the Teach for America and Turn the Page Kansas City Boards, as well as a former member of the Kansas City Zoo Board of Directors, where he has served on multiple committees and provided oversight in development of the Executive Team and Human Resources function, as well as Succession Planning and Leadership Development processes.

From 2008 to 2015, Wright ran Tom Wright Consulting, a human resources advisory firm, specializing in helping leadership teams and business owners in a range of areas to help them more successfully manage resources, increase productivity and improve organizational effectiveness.

Prior to launching his firm, from 1998 to 2008, Wright served in several senior leadership roles in human resources at Hallmark Cards. There, he held responsibility for human resources in the United States, UK, Canada and Mexico. As the company evolved through several reorganization and transformation initiatives, he led a significant change in the corporate culture that eliminated silos and communication barriers and enabled the company to work across organizational boundaries toward greater success and attainment of growth objectives. The model he created was recognized as best practice and rolled out to managers across the entire company.

Wright also spent from 1990 to 1996 with Hallmark as director of corporate staffing, director of HR in a seven-plant manufacturing division; director of corporate diversity; manager of college relations; and manager of affirmative action planning. He was recruited in 1996 to join Thorn Americas as vice president of field human resources, where he created substantive and positive changes in culture, leadership development, employee engagement and compensation leading to a 30% improvement in staff retention. He was then recruited to rejoin Hallmark in 1998.

 

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