Introducing Corporate Trainer, Renee Hall. Renee started her ALKU career in December of 2019 and has recently been introduced as one of ALKU’s newest DE&I Council members! She will represent ALKU’s talent pillar. We are so excited to see the new perspectives and ideas that Renee will bring to the DE&I Council.
Below you will find a few responses from Renee regarding her perspective and motivation. Congratulations, Renee!
Who is your biggest mentor and why?
From ALKU, I would say my biggest mentor would be Leah Bourdon. She was the first person to show me the ropes at ALKU. She is also an incredible female leader within the company. I had no idea what a privilege it was to work alongside her in the beginning and throughout my career at ALKU. She is someone who listens, loves, and is not afraid to speak up. She taught me to bring my ideas to the table and to never be afraid to share. She has always been someone I look up to at work and in life. She is an amazing mama and wife to her family. She isn’t afraid of a challenge or a change. She has given me some of the best advice throughout my time here and I’m forever grateful for the friendship we have.
Growing up, my biggest mentor was my dad. No matter what me and my sisters pursued in life, he was going to fully support us. He has always told me to keep my head up, work hard, be kind, and share your gifts with the world. He taught me that no matter what, life is going to hit you hard sometimes. But it’s how we respond to those situations that is going to allow us to grow and change for the better. He always told me I was a go getter like him, and he’s right. I look up to him in so many aspects but especially his career. He was so excited to hear that I was working for an amazing company like ALKU. He was even more excited to hear about our DE&I initiatives. He can’t wait to see where I go and where the company goes from here!
What new initiatives do you hope to bring to the DE&I Council?
I believe that everyone has a seat at the table and that’s exactly what we learned as kids. When I got my Master’s in Education, one of the main topics was around diversity and how important it was to teach our youngest children. Alongside that topic, was growth vs. fixed mindset. A growth mindset goes hand in hand with being more mindful. Rather than focusing on what not to do, focus on what we are moving toward. Just like practicing growth mindset, mindfulness allows you to rewire your brain so we can all grow more clarity, wisdom, and resilience. Being able to work with the new hires hand in hand and show them what ALKU is all about has been very rewarding. I hope I can at least make a difference in all their lives while at work by teaching them resilience, perseverance, and that they can do anything they put their mind to. I think these past few years were tough on all of us. My hope on being on the Council is to continue the conversation around mental health and diversity so that we can all be the best humans we can be every day.
What has motivated you to get involved in being an advocate for change on the DE&I Council?
When ALKU created the DE&I council, I knew I wanted to get involved right away. With more and more ERG’s popping up, there then came a time when State of Mind was created. State of Mind is an Employee Resource Group to support employees managing symptoms of mental health or employees who just want to put more emphasis into their general wellness. I, being someone who struggles with stress and anxiety, got involved in this group from the start. Throughout the pandemic, especially, I was managing a lot of different emotions. It drove me to start putting more focus on my wellness. Whether that was nutrition, sleep, reading, meditation, etc. When I began to see that other people struggled with the same thing, I knew I could do more as a person and an employee. Being on the Council allows me to connect with more employees on a deeper and more passionate level. I can be an advocate for change because I can be involved in all aspects of our DE&I initiatives as a company while being a part of this council. The motivation stems from other people. Because I get to work with some of the most incredible employees, they motivate me to want to be better!
What are you doing every day to make sure everyone at ALKU is aware of our DE&I goals and initiatives?
I think it’s important every day to connect with those you work closely with. However, I also think it’s important to connect with those you don’t always get to see or chat with. Every week, I have a goal of connecting with someone new. It doesn’t matter what role they are in, just simply connecting on a level of being a human going through a busy life. Checking in with them to see how they are doing. I think it’s crucial to have these relationships with multiple people so you can be that person for them when they need it. Because I work closely with our new hire classes, I get to present to them our DE&I initiatives, ERG’s, as well as the Council. I get to show them how they can get involved and how they have a voice in the company too! Showing them that they can make change as an employee and that they have the support they need as well.