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How One Woman Became a Career Inspiration

Jaclyn Crawford Executive Features, Foresight, Leadership Leave a Comment

Chief Talent Officer Judy Jackson is no ordinary leader. She tirelessly mentors, teaches, and inspires those around her to strive for excellency

Editor’s Note: Judy Jackson is the Chief Talent Officer at IPG MediaBrands with an upcoming feature in Issue 12. We asked some people who knew her well to share their story of how her leadership has impacted them. Stephanie Soloman, SVP, Director, Human Resources at Initiative, shares a bit about the influence of Jackson’s leadership.

I first met Judy in 1995 when she hired me as an HR Manager for an advertising agency in New York City.  From the minute I met Judy, I knew she was an amazing person, but I didn’t know how amazing until years later when I was no longer working with her.  While working under Judy for six years, there were so many things that I learned from her that have stayed with me today and have made me the Human Resources Professional I am.

5.Our HR theme for 2014 is “You Matter”; looking at all of our people practices and finding ways to demonstrate to“Decency, dignity and respect” was one of them. We need to treat each other with decency, dignity and respect at all times.  By doing this, regardless of the situation, we can keep our heads held high and continue onwards, even during difficult conversations.  Another one is “no surprises.” There should never be a time when an employee is caught off guard by a conversation.  If that happens, someone isn’t doing his/her job, so it is our job (in Human Resources) to ensure that this doesn’t happen.  If more time is needed for more conversations to take place, we need to give each situation the time it needs to ensure no surprises.  It works and has been proven time and time again throughout my career.

These are a few of the many things that I have learned from Judy, things that stick with me each and every day of my career.  Throughout the many years between then and now, Judy and I never lost touch.  Judy is the greatest mentor one could hope for.  She always has a positive outlook, and her attitude is contagious. She inspires people to be their best, reach higher and go further.  She is very motivating and game changing.  It is no surprise that she has created a “Best Place to Work” with more to come in her future.  At this time in my career, I feel extremely fortunate to be able to say that I once again am working for Judy  – we were destined to work together again, thirteen years later!  I continue to learn from Judy, and I am now learning more about how to be a HR leader and strategic business partner.  Judy knows how to lead a room, knows how to give and get respect.  She is the most thoughtful professional I know.  She communicates with people on a professional level and allows everyone to feel a personal connection as well.  That is no small task, and Judy does this extremely well.  Her latest motto is “you matter.” Maybe this is a new tagline, but this is how Judy operates in her career on a daily basis.  And she means it.  I continue to learn from Judy each and every day of my career, and I look forward to many more years of this.


Stephanie Solomon is the SVP, Director, Human Resources at Initiative 

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