Opportunity Enterprises is pleased to announce Kathy Jackson as its new Chief Talent Officer. Ms. Jackson will lead OE’s efforts to obtain, develop, and retain the best and brightest talent the area has to offer to help OE fulfill its mission of working to maximize self-sufficiency and enrich the quality of life for people with disabilities in Northwest Indiana. A graduate of Indiana University’s School of Business with more than twenty years of experience in both the public and private sectors, Jackson is well versed in human resources and business operations.
Before joining the OE team, Jackson was the Executive Team Leader for Human Resources for the Target Corporation. During her time with Target, Jackson was responsible for staff retention, training and development, benefit administration, managing talent, and hiring and staffing.
“I am most proud of my results for retention,” said Jackson. “The stores that I supported during my time with Target had retention rates as high 86%—higher than any other store in the district, group, or region.”
In her role as Chief Talent Officer for OE, Jackson plans to continue her focus on staff retention. “It all boils down to hiring the right people for the right positions at the right time,” said Jackson. Her plans include solidifying the interview processes for all of OE’s staff positions, from Direct Support Professionals to Directors, expanding the agency’s training and development programs, and implementing succession planning to promote staff from within the agency.
“Over the next five years, one of OE’s strategic initiatives is to become a best employer in Northwest Indiana,” said David Stupay, CEO of Opportunity Enterprises. “The most successful way to do that is to hire a Chief Talent Officer with a proven track record of recruiting, training, and retaining talent to focus on investing in our employees. Kathy Jackson is the right person to set up the systems and processes necessary for staff to succeed. We have exciting new training and development opportunities to advance our employees so they are fully prepared to serve our program participants.”
Jackson’s philosophy of finding the right position for the right person at the right time applies to her personal journey as well. Jackson has patiently waited for years for the right position at OE to come along so that she could use her skills and talents to benefit an organization that means so much to her family.
Twenty-five years ago, when Jackson’s first daughter was 10 months old, she was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy and her pediatrician referred her to OE’s All About Kids Early Intervention program. “I have always been dedicated to supporting Opportunity Enterprises because of the incredible experience I had during the years my daughters were in the All About Kids Program,” said Jackson. Jackson’s two younger daughters also benefited from OE’s services, and all three are currently pursuing careers to benefit those with disabilities. Jackson, also a firm believer in giving back, has served the agency over the years in many capacities; as a volunteer coordinator, as well as a contributing influence for OE’s marathon teams and annual galas.
“All of my experiences with OE have been tremendously rewarding, but most people don’t really know how impactful the agency is for our community,” said Jackson. “OE provides so much more for the community than we realize, and most of it is through employment.” Two of Jackson’s team members at Target obtained their positions with the help of Opportunity Enterprises’ community employment program, JobSource, and she couldn’t be more impressed with their work ethic and job readiness skills. Hundreds of families and caregivers can stay in the workforce because of the quality services that OE provides to their loved ones. Beyond program participants and their families, OE provides employment to more than 500 staff members. “All of these people are driving our local economy, supporting local businesses, and paying taxes,” said Jackson. “I want OE to truly be the best place to work in Northwest Indiana, because it will benefit our community as a whole.”